A while ago my old trusty windows search companion disappeared! Here's how I fixed it...

I don't know when the switch was made because i don't usually search for files and folders on my computer very often. It must have happened when I installed an update either for windows itself, or my office products, or maybe it was when i updated all that newer windows live stuff.

Anyway, I went to search for something on my computer and found myself looking at this new windows desktop search thingy, this might not be a big deal except that i prefer to have my windows search indexing turned OFF on all drives! So when i tried to search for a file i got nothing! Doh!! Here is a picture of the new search (clicking on the picture will give you a better look):

Then after the panic wore off I started inspecting this thing, and I noticed this little guy in the bottom left corner along with a link "Click here to use Search Companion":

So for a while, every time I wanted to search for a file I would first click the search link in my start menu, then wait for this thing to load up, then use the link at the bottom to close the new search and open the old search companion, then search for whatever it is that I was trying to find.

Of course you might be asking "why not just turn on indexing and use the new search? Well, I don't have a really good reason except that I tend to be a bit anal about keeping my old XP pro system running as lean as possible, so I keep indexing off on all drives. I also have the windows desktop service disabled, I don't need an extra process running 24/7 just for this new search thingy.

Then one day I had to search for a file, yea the same old rig-a-ma-role, going all the way around the block just to get to my next door neighbors house :-O. I had had enough and set out to scour the internet for some way to get my old search back WITHOUT having to uninstall any software or updates, the following is what I found:

Open RegEdit (hit Start > Run then type ‘regedit’ > click "Ok")

Use the tree view on the left to find:
HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindows Desktop SearchDS

Then double-click on "ShowStartSearchBand" and set the value to "0"

Close the RegEdit window and that's it, the next time you click "Search" from the start menu or in explorer, the old, reliable search companion will appear!

Of course this is mostly useful for operating systems earlier then windows vista, here is a picture of my old search companion working now directly from the start menu link instead of that crazy "rig-a-ma-role":