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My "Search Companion" window comes up empty and I can't search. How do I fix it?

My “Search Companion” window comes up empty and I can’t search. How do I fix it?

“Search Companion” is the name of the left hand pane that
appears in the Search Window under Windows XP when you select Search,
For Files or Folders… The name “companion” comes from the
animated puppy – your “companion”- that many people turn off
immediately.

Sometimes the search companion pane is blank or gone completely,
leaving you without a way to search. A couple of things could be going
on.

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The first thing that may have happened is kind of strange. The search
companion pane can be closed by clicking the close control (small X) in its
upper right hand corner. Once done, I’ve not been able to find a way to
re-open it! Fortunately closing the Search window, and then selecting
Start, Search, and then For Files
or Folders
re-opens the Search window with the companion pane
restored.

That one took me by surprise. However I was also surprised by the other
possible source of a problem: jscript.dll.

Apparently if this file is missing, corrupt, or not properly registered
with the operating system several dialogs are affected including Search
Companion, User Accounts, Windows Update, Help and Support, and System
Restore.

Microsoft has provided a knowledgebase article on the topic, creatively
titled: Several dialog boxes are blank. This details
a couple of methods that should restore the proper functionality.

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79 comments on “My "Search Companion" window comes up empty and I can't search. How do I fix it?”

  1. This worked! Can’t thank you enough since I have spent a lot of time looking for the answer to this problem over the past 4 months. No one knew what I was talking about and of course, if you can’t access System Restore, you are really stuck. I was almost ready to wipe the HD and reinstall the whole system.

    Reply
  2. Spent about an hour searching MS site before I stumbled onto your hint. Fixed the problem in 2 minutes. By the way, the problem started when I tried to install Norton SystemWorks. 15 minutes to install and about 4 hours to repair the resulting problems including several safe mode restarts and then having to reinstall Mcafee. Thanks for the hint!

    Reply
  3. Thanks. I was getting to feel quite desperate about how to fix this, and I use these features, particularly the search, regularly. In the end the fix was quick and easy.

    Reply
  4. Wow! This worked great! Thanks for the link to Microsoft! I work in a Real Estate office as the admin person which also means I handle all of the computer problems. Well one of the agents has had this problem for a long time and after going to techs all over the place she came to me. I was able to fix the problem and I also think Norton System Works affected the computer somehow, or jscript.dll got corrupted when this agent upgraded from WIN98. But thanks a lot. Made me look like a computer wiz.

    Reply
  5. THANKS SO MUCH! I was getting ready to tear my hair out because the search feature wasn’t working after I uninstalled a piece of software!

    Reply
  6. Is there anyway to get rid of the search toolbar? Because my problem is that whenever I hit a page with frames or such, the search companion toolbar pops up, every time! I have never used it, and i just want to know if there is a way to get it to stop popping up automatically. I just want it to come up when i hit search.

    Reply
  7. My OS is Windows XP SP-2.

    When I click Start and Search the search window opens with the search companion (dog) but there are no input boxes, text boxes, search button or any dialog boxes what so ever on the page. The left and right pains are empty. The window shows the menu bar (File-Edit-View etc) and the button bar along with a search bar and thats it. I can’t do a search. Something has stripped the components from the window.

    Also my IE home page keeps getting changed to http://www.makemesearch.com/?said=191

    I have tried Adaware, SpySweeper, HiJackThis and AboutBuster. No help. Even tried to restore before the instalation of SP-2, however, Restore won’t allow this.

    Maybe just a coincidence, but my problem started after installing SP-2.

    This file does not exsist in my registry.
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\CLASSES\CLSID\{f414c260-6ac0-11cf-b6d1-00aa00bbbb558}\In procServer32
    However this one does.
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\CLASSES\CLSID\{f414c260-6ac0-11cf-b6d1-00aa00bbbb58}\In procServer32
    Notice the only difference is 58 instead of 558.
    The information in this file does meet the proper criteria that Microsoft has set forth except for the file name (558). Mine is (58)
    Just wondering whats with this?

    Doing the SFC does ask for an install disk, however I did not receive it with my system.
    The manufacturer will send me one for a price. So, this will take some time.

    Thank you for the info and have a GREAT DAY!

    Reply
  8. I mainly want to know how to turn off the search companion. it bothers me every time I get on the internet it pops up after I am already working, and moves my typing to the little box. I think this thing was really for the people who have no clue how to use the internet, but they did not state on how to get rid of it. I don’t want this search companion popping up everytime I access the internet only when I open it myself. if anyone knows how to get rid of it please email me at [email address removed] it would be much appreciated thanks.

    Reply
  9. Hey I posted a long time ago on this issue and it seems I get a lot of people that send me emails about how to get rid of the search companion. You can actually get rid of any kind of services from your computer that you don’t want even if it is a microsoft service they offer.

    Go to start and then run and type in msconfig (then the run/go/open). A new window will open and you will see the tab services at the top of that window. If you click on it a list will appear. It should be located in there if I am not correct. I don’t use XP anymore so I am not sure what the actual file is that you are disabling, but it should be in there. Hope that helps most of you who are still looking to get rid of mircosoft spyware.

    Reply
  10. I lost the ability to search files and folders after installing service pack 2. Microsoft offers no solution other than to go back to service pack 1.

    Adding a subkey in the registry to prevent the missing companion file from causing the search feature to fail was my solution, one that I found on another forum. This solution reverts the search interface to an earlier Windows version. That’s just fine with me since I never asked for an animated companion anyway!

    To see the fix, go to http://www.ozzu.com/ftopic39548.html

    Reply
  11. I had the black ‘search companion’ frame issue, I tried regsvr32 urlmon.dll with no success and then tried regsvr32 jscript.dll which fixed my problem, but both mat have been needed?

    Reply
  12. I have the same problem (search window blank, media player “Internal Application Error”, etc. I have “fixed” the registry as per microsoft, which doesn’t work. When I register jscript and vbscript.dll, everything does work — but, a couple of days later it’s all dead again. I have re-registered over a dozen times, and it does always work (even over reboots) but a few days later it goes on the blink again.

    Any ideas?

    Reply
  13. I am using Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2. I’ve suddenly had a problem with Search Companion being open everytime I want to explore a folder on my PC. I can click F3 to kill it, but when I click on a system folder, I opens up in a new window with only the search companion, and it won’t show me the contents of the folder. I don’t even have “Open in new window” selected in Folder Options. If I right click the Folder, Open is no longer listed as an option, only Search is in its place. I’ve tried messing with Registry settings relation to Driver/Shell and Directory/Shell as mentioned on the internet. Nothing is killing this damn thing. I just want to open my folder like a normal person. I’ve never had this happen before and I’m this close to blowing away my drive and starting over. Also, when I try to click Control Panel in Star Menu, it tells me that I can’t open it and the offers to create a shortcut to it on my Desktop. If I say yes and then click the shortcut, I get the same message. Someome please e-mail me at linnium@excite.com and let me know how I can fix this. Thank you!

    Reply
  14. Wow I could not figure out the problem I was having with my dialog boxes being empty. After I found your article everything was fixed instantly. Thanks!!!!

    Reply
  15. I Just had to write and say THANK YOU!!!! I was at my wits end, ready to give up and take my computer a Dell Inspiron 8200 with Windows XP home edition to an expert. I had ran registry fix,Win sox xp fix, had checked the hardware through the computer set up frame (F2 key), the windows file protection, went to Microsoft support (though I did not find this specific link, obviously)and reregistered other dll files, did many online searches which gave me many possibilities which I tried (as long as I did not ask me to change a command or program that is). . . Then I found your page and though my search companion was not totally blank (just incomplete) and I had read and done other suggestions regarding search companion issues I still read on (had nothing to loose)when I got to the portion where you mention java script (I had gone to the Java site so I knew that was a possibility but I did not know what exactly was the problem and how to fix it) and the other dialog boxes that also show up blank I knew everything was going to be all right. Thank you again!!!

    Reply
  16. trie all above and checked reg search compaion woprks ok for a while then goes blank again other user cannot re reg dll’s and gets error return code 0x80004005

    Reply
  17. I found that on one of the computers I work on, the problem was caused by removal of McAfee Managed VirusScan. This program changes the InProc setting to use a McAfee proxy to the scripting engine to perform script scans. Upon uninstalling the program, the registry settings are not restored to the original dlls.

    Reply
  18. Many thanks to Joe regarding the helpful .dll file re-registration information! My search function appears to be working properly now. I am an ignoramus regarding computing, and I am very grateful for the helpful suggestions found here.

    Reply
  19. Hi
    a big thanks for helping me with my blank search companion problem.
    I just copied “regsvr32 jscript.dll” to the run program and it now seems to work fine, many thanks

    Reply
  20. Wow, All problems on my computer has come back normally!

    thx for helping me with the missing dialogue boxes and many other problems which have made my computer ill >

    Reply
  21. Bless you for the help! Reregistering the 2 dll’s fixed my mysterious problem of no Search Companion and no “Restore”. I was about to re-load Windows but thought I’d Google 1 more time. Found your site anf fixed my problem in 10 minutes–saved me hours of work. Microsoft.com was no help til you pointed the way. (No reply needed.)

    Reply
  22. After months of frustration, last evening I fired up my laptop and found your suggestion for my desktop problem.
    I am so relieved to have my Norton 2006 loaded, my searching capibilities, and several other things that were missing back in operation.
    Thank you very much for having your sight!

    Reply
  23. Thank you so much for having this site. I don’t know how or why my search companion went down, but the first solution in the knowledgebase article you mentioned fixed the problem. I had already searched at Microsoft already, but didn’t find anything. Thanks, again.

    Reply
  24. i can’t get my search companion to work, all i get is an empty black box. I tried reinstalling it using the inf file, however that didn’t help. I’ve also tried a few other things to no avail. I can not do a reinstall because I need the files I have on my pc and to back them all up would take a long long time, so please tell me how to fix my search companion.

    Reply
  25. also i tried doing the suggestions via the several dialog boxes are blank link as well to no avail. Please help, I am losing my mind.

    Reply
  26. Tried the MS ‘fix’ but my registry settings were as described. Despite this I still have a blank search companion. Have tried several other suggestions but nothing works. Steve Davis

    Reply
  27. Blss you sir 🙂 I first found a hot fix on the windows site but it was for sp1 only. I fixed it with your link and it took 10 whole seconds, literally.

    Reply
  28. WOW!! DUDE!! THANK YOU!!..My computer has had problems for awhile now with dialog boxs blank, search wouldnt work, system restore wouldnt show anything! Just blank!.
    Thought i had a real nasty virus there for awhile! All my tools and searching had lead to even more questions!….UNTIL..Your (AWESUM) site and link to Microsoft which i followed. I followed two simple steps and restarted!
    OMG!! Everything that was missing that i needed is SHOWING again!!
    YOU ROCK!! May the Gods shine fortune on you!

    Reply
  29. Fantastic! The solution is at the bottom of this page and it works.

    Solution:

    I had the same problem.
    1. Blank Search Companion
    2. Yahoo messenger getting crash after login
    3. Unalbe to right click zip files

    Solution: START — > RUN —>

    regsvr32 wshom.ocx
    regsvr32 jscript.dll
    regsvr32 urlmon.dll

    check this link too
    http://www.computing.net/windowsxp/wwwboard/forum/161510.html
    Posted by: Imtiaz at April 28, 2007 11:04 AM

    Reply
  30. regsvr32 wshom.ocx
    regsvr32 jscript.dll
    regsvr32 urlmon.dll

    these commands were soooo helpful coz i had the same problem (empty search box). Another symptom detected: i couldn’t download attachment or view .jpg (pictures). After excuting these commands, everything works fine 🙂 (search + download matter) thank you.

    Reply
  31. Oh My! I’ve been looking for a fix for these issues for months!

    Symptoms:
    – Non-functional Zip files or context menu;
    – Windows Security Warning when trying to open Outlook email attachments;
    – Blank Search Companion window;

    Solution:
    Re-register these DLLs:
    regsvr32 wshom.ocx
    regsvr32 jscript.dll
    regsvr32 urlmon.dll

    Thank you SO much!!!

    Reply
  32. You guys saved my ass, i installed SP2 on win2k3 server and the problem started, i almost reinstalled everything, but this tip fixed it all, TY!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  33. My issue was that when searching the Windows Desktop, the search companion would return blank results.

    This was fixed by doing the following:

    START — > RUN —>

    regsvr32 wshom.ocx
    regsvr32 jscript.dll
    regsvr32 urlmon.dll

    Thank you, Leo, and the other contributors, for helping me get my Desktop search results back.

    – Robert

    Reply
  34. 2 1/2 days of my life lost until I found this article. Same problem – An uninstall of Norton Systemworks 2005 (to install 2008) led to absolute calamity. It’s scary as to how much power that one simple dll file commands. Norton definately needs to know about this one & I intend to inform them. On a positive note, I did learn quite a bit about IE browser options – even though that ended up not even being the problem.

    Reply
  35. Thnxxxxxxxxxxxxxx soooooooooo much !!

    This regsvr32 thingy re-registering on page 5 works and FIXED my PC !

    This happened to me when after removing AVAST! Home FREE edition ! Beware and dont install that
    Antivirus app !!

    But now PC is Running smooth !

    Bravo for LEO !!

    Thanx again !!

    Reply
  36. Dear Mr. Leo,

    I have OpenOffice version running in RedHat environment, but I am really borring when I start up OpenOffice. Sothat, could you help me solve this issue above “Why OpenOffice Start-up too slow” and HOWTO fix this problem.

    Thank you so much and I hope receive your respond soon

    Best & Regards

    LY KHOA TUAN
    email: tuanlyk@yahoo.co.uk

    Reply
  37. Wo0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0oW that’s great 😉
    it’s really help me.
    Thanks a lot

    START — > RUN —>

    regsvr32 wshom.ocx
    regsvr32 jscript.dll
    regsvr32 urlmon.dll

    Reply
  38. START — > RUN —>
    regsvr32 wshom.ocx
    regsvr32 jscript.dll
    regsvr32 urlmon.dll

    Note: regsvr32 jscript.dll alone did not help.
    All three dlls had to be registered.

    Also, I had to restart my PC to make it work.

    Thanks a lot for the great help.

    jun

    Reply
  39. Wow! This was really useful. After spending 4+ hours, trying to practically re-install stuff, and following Microsoft guides, etc. when nothing seemed to help, this has come as a big relief.
    Thanks a ton!!

    Reply
  40. Excellent, thanks! Yep, I have this exact issue, and running “regsvr32 jscript.dll” via Start > Run, per the MS article, resolved the issue.

    I recently had a virus/malware infection, so I suspect this was responsible for the issue.

    Again, thanks for posting this information.

    Reply
  41. I have three users on my computer. All three had this problem, but when I followed the instructions to reregister the dll’s it fixed it for the administrator only. I am not sure what to do next.

    Reply
  42. wow thank you so much!
    doing this solved the problem right away:

    START — > RUN —>
    regsvr32 wshom.ocx
    regsvr32 jscript.dll
    regsvr32 urlmon.dll

    Reply
  43. thank you ,iv done as everybody else and worked perfect,
    its [edited]…. me of for a while until found this site,

    START — > RUN —>
    regsvr32 wshom.ocx
    regsvr32 jscript.dll
    regsvr32 urlmon.dll

    thanks again
    ave.

    Reply
  44. For almost a week some of my windows XP functions such as : HELP AND SUPPORT, SEARCH, SYSTEM RESTORE, INTERNET EXPLORER 8, YAHOO MESSENGER don’t work properly. Days after googling, finally I find this is very useful and helpful article. I just do this commands :

    START — > RUN —>
    regsvr32 wshom.ocx
    regsvr32 jscript.dll
    regsvr32 urlmon.dll

    and everything back to normal. How wonderful…!!
    Now I’m happy and I have to thank to Leo and whoever give contribution to this article.
    Thank you so much..

    Regards
    Ationo

    Reply
  45. Search Companion appearing empty.
    When I try to run “regsvr32 jscript.dll. An error occurs.

    dllregisterserver in jscript.dll failed: Return code was 0x80004005
    Please suggest me best.

    Reply
  46. Hello.
    I’ve been investigating how to fix this for a few days now, and have tried registering the files described but to no avail, the problem still exists.
    I’m running WinXP SP3 and am now at a loss on what else to try.
    Do you have any other suggestions?

    Reply
  47. i have the same problem…the only thing i see is the Dog. i also tried runnning
    regsvr32 wshom.ocx
    regsvr32 jscript.dll
    regsvr32 urlmon.dll

    the second one failed.
    Return code was 0x80004005

    PLease HELP!!

    Reply

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