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.

Tip: To switch to Classic Search in Explorer, read this article from PCTools Website. Alternately, 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.

Logoff and login back (just in case the changes don’t take effect) and 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 Control Panel / 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.

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.

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

  1. found my answer atlast… had to reinstall Internet Explorer to get search working in windows Explorer …. mickysoft

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

  3. 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.

  4. OH MY GOD!!!!!!!! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You are like my mini-God today! :D :D :D
    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 :,)

  5. 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!

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

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

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