Fix Windows XP Search Companion Displaying a Blank Window

Have you come across a situation where the Windows XP Search Companion window is completely blank, except for the search dog showing up at the bottom of the search pane? You can fix this problem by registering a couple of system DLLs.

If the Search Companion registration is broken, the Search window may be completely blank. In some cases, it may default to Windows Classic search (which may work fine) even though the Search Companion is enabled.

tips bulb iconTip: You can use the Tweak UI PowerToy to switch from Search Companion to Classic Search, and vice versa.

Fixing Windows XP Search Companion User Interface

  1. Login as Administrator or equivalent.
  2. Click Start, Run. Execute the following commands:
    regsvr32 /i %windir%\srchasst\srchui.dll
    regsvr32 %windir%\system32\jscript.dll

    You should see the message DllRegisterServer in <filename.dll> succeeded. for each DLL registered.

  3. Logoff and log back in for the changes to take effect.
  4. Check if the Search Companion User Interface is displayed correctly. If it doesn’t, repair the search assistant components using Srchasst.inf.

Reinstalling the Search Companion using Srchasst.inf

Click Start, Run. Type %systemroot%\inf, and then click OK.

Locate the file named SRCHASST.INF, right-click, and choose Install.

Note that the file extension (.INF) is not shown in Windows Explorer unless the Hide extensions for known file types setting is disabled in the Folder Options → View tab.

In the next step, you’ll be asked for the Windows XP CD (to extract msgr3en.dll and other files). Insert your Windows XP CD and point to the i386 folder in the CD. The i386 folder is usually located at the root of the drive (e.g. E:\I386).

However, if you’ve installed SP1/SP2 or SP3 separately after installing Windows XP, you need to point to the “%windir%\ServicePackFiles\i386” folder when prompted.

Search Companion is reinstalled now. Note that the above fixes don’t help resolve search index related issues.

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

35 thoughts on “Fix Windows XP Search Companion Displaying a Blank Window”

  1. It worked! I am very grateful. These instrutions worked when other popular instructions for registering these files did not. Thanks so much.

  2. God bless you! I searched for weeks for a solution to this problem before finding this article. Two easy steps and it was fixed.

  3. Thanks dear, it helped me alot, I was having this problem since long back, after reading this i finished it in 30 seconds. you are great.

  4. you helped me dodge a bullet! I don’t know what I’d do if I wasn’t able to use my search companion but you helped me fix it.

  5. Thank you so much. I wish all fixes were so quick and easy.

    This fix solved my problem:
    Fixing Windows XP Search Companion User Interface

  6. Thank you very much! I didn’t have to go any further after running the first 2 run commands for updating dll’s. I had two problems today and this fixed both of them. I didn’t have windows search and some of my web pages were only showing part of the pages. I have put this site in my favorites!

  7. OH MY GOD!!!!!!!! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You are like my mini-God today! 😀 😀 😀
    I tried the first 2 commands and my windows search worked like a charm! And also… wait-for-it…. it also corrected the “blank yahoo messenger text box” … AND “user menu” in control panel, which was also coming blank!

    I’m so happy… I would be dancing around in the room if I wasn’t typing this msg.

    P.S.- I tried so many other things. Only your suggestion worked… *teary eyed* thanks. You are great :,)

  8. Oh yeah! I’m going to link your page to other sites, there are so many poor clueless people out there still searching for the right answer.

  9. Solved my Search Companion problem exactly as advertised. Now if I can revive Help & Support and System Restore I’ll be back to normal.

  10. I tried both procedures and neither worked. Installed SRCHASST.inf with my SP3 CD and it appeared to install a bunch of files, but I still have a blank search screen.


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