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I've tried to rebuild my search index but it does not seem to help.

When I search for anything even command I either get an empty list or a list of short cuts with the names

  • Programs
  • Documents
  • Files
  • ...

They all have the default white paper icon. If I click on them I get an error message that says:

Internet security settings prevented one or more files from being opened.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

This Microsoft Support article seems to relate to this bug (hotfix available):
The "Search programs and files" box does not display search results correctly in Windows 7 and in Windows 2008 R2.

On a computer that is running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2, you try to search for an item on the computer by using the Search programs and files box. However, the search results are not displayed correctly. Only the category headings of the categorized search results are displayed, such as Programs, Control Panel, and Documents.

You need to view the above article using Internet Explorer. If the update is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. To download the hotfix, click the "View and request hotfix downloads" link, then "I accept" and follow instructions.

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this fixed it. thanks! – madmik3 Dec 28 '10 at 2:37
Happy this worked. FYI it is not enough to accept - the bounty has to be manually awarded. – harrymc Dec 28 '10 at 8:02
Internet Explorer is not required... – Hello71 Dec 29 '10 at 17:26
@madmik3: If you do not manually award the bounty, auto-award will award 25 reps, while your other 25 reps will simply be lost. – harrymc Dec 31 '10 at 7:51
sorry a combination of not know the bounty worked and going on vacation resulted in messing things up :( – madmik3 Jan 3 '11 at 18:19

I don't know any definite answers, but if i were you i'd:

  1. Make sure there are no viruses infecting your computer.

  2. Check the indexed locations, remove anything internet explorer related from that list, if you don't use IE or don't intend to search IE history, bookmarks etc.

  3. Go to Control Panel -> Programs and Features -> Turn Windows Features on or off (in the side bar on the left). Here ensure that "Indexing Service" is NOT installed. It is the service from previous versions of windows, don't know why it's still present in 7. Also ensure that "Windows Search" IS installed. This installs the current Indexing and Searching feature.

That is all i can think of right now, let me know if by some off chance it works out :)

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