Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Windows Search

  1. #1


    Posts : 16
    Win 8.1 x64 Pro

    Windows Search


    Hi guys

    How do I reinstall Windows Search please?

    Long story short, but I uninstalled Windows Search from my Win 8.1 Pro installation about a year ago via 'Turn Windows features on or off' and now I need it back again but the feature is no longer listed to reinstall from 'Turn Windows features on or off.

    None of the articles I've read about resetting or Troubleshooting via the Control Panel or turning on/off the service help me because the Windows Search service actually seems to be gone from my computer entirely rather than just disabled, there's no trace of it or the associated Search*.*** files in System 32.

    To be clear there are no damaged files via sfc /scannow. And the Microsoft Troubleshooter SearchDiagnostic.diagcab from: https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/kb/2970908 won't run, it returns error 0x80070002. I tried to reset HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search\SetupCompletedSuccessfully to 0 but it didn't help.

    Any ideas please? Thanks

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      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,101
    Windows 8.0 x64


    For a quick shot try opening an elevated(administrator) command prompt and enter
    net start wsearch

    and hit Enter. See if it gives a msg such as Windows Search Service is starting...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 16
    Win 8.1 x64 Pro


    Thanks for your reply. That just returns 'The Service name is invalid.' error.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 2,101
    Windows 8.0 x64


    I found an online page that states SearchIndexer.exe is in fact removed if you turn it off using Windows Features. If sfc /SCANNOW will not install it then I think all you can do is run a repair install. Supposedly this type of install does not overwrite your settings and customizations.

    To bail yourself out in the future I would get a disk imaging program and either an external USB HD or a large USB stick. I use Macrium Reflect Server Edition. It has an incremental backup and restore methodology. The first backup has to be a full backup. The next 10 times I can just do an incremental which is much faster.

    If on a budget Macrium Reflect Free works well. It does support both MBR and UEFI systems unless you have some oddball hardware. But you can find a bunch of free ones on Free Hard Disk Backup and Restore, Hard Disk Image and Cloning Utilities (thefreecountry.com)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 16
    Win 8.1 x64 Pro


    Ok thanks, I was hoping that somebody would actually have experience of reinstalling Windows Search.

    I take a system image with Macrium every week already, but I have an evolving system with over 400 programs and it's highly customised. I don't want to try a repair reinstall, there'd be too much else undone by it and the same applies with Macrium.

    I have a Macrium system image from February 2015 which was before I removed Windows Search so I could browse the image and copy back all the Windows Search files individually, in theory, and then restore the registry keys in theory - but somebody has to know how to do that?

    Thanks again...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    there are search alternatives too..

    Agent Ransack.. that's all I use now anyway..

    but I'm sure if you google more you'll find something about installing / reinstalling windows search...


    are any of your "400" programs changing settings? I know Samsung Magician will change search features in windows etc.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 2,101
    Windows 8.0 x64


    I think the only thing I saw regarding install of Windows Search without reinstalling Windows was something about Office 2013 install. I have no idea where I ran into the mention though.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 16
    Win 8.1 x64 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by Napkins333 View Post
    there are search alternatives too..

    Agent Ransack.. that's all I use now anyway..

    but I'm sure if you google more you'll find something about installing / reinstalling windows search...


    are any of your "400" programs changing settings? I know Samsung Magician will change search features in windows etc.
    Yes, there are loads - Listary, UltraSearch, Copernic Desktop Search Lite - all better than Windows Search, but I wanted to get back the instant Windows Search within Outlook, having just ditched Xobni
     
    I've spent hours Googling restore/fix/repair/reinstall/enable Windows Search/Indexing on Windows 8, and there is nothing that helped with the circumstances I've described. Best I found was:
    https://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/9413-services-restore-default-services-windows-8-a.html - but restoring the Windows Search service didn't work alone, neither with copying back all the suspected Windows Search files from a system image, it needs a lot more than that to get the Indexing Options back in the CP plus the Windows Search troubleshooter back plus the Windows Search feature listed in Programs and Features/Turn on or off, and get SearchIndexer.exe to actually start without returning an error.
     
    It used to be that Windows Search was available to download as a KB, but not for Win8.1 Pro it seems.
     
    Anyway, I give up, too much research and trial and error.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Maybe you already did this, and I know Microsoft is a pain in the ass, but,

    have you emailed Microsoft help forum with how the hell to reinstall Windows search after you disable it like you did?

    You would have to tell them exactly how you disabled it.

    but I know, it's Microshaft when it comes to customer service..
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 2,101
    Windows 8.0 x64


    The trouble is that so much of the Registry is undocumented that it might require installing Windows in a VM, taking a Registry snapshot, then removing Windows Search, take another snapshot, to find out what got removed/modified. It may be easier just to customize again.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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