I mean the search box at start, that's what I was missing.
I discovered this after I installed all my applications.
Assume... but only assume... that this was caused by deselecting Windows Search (Programs).
If it was, then selecting this back and reboot-reinstalling does not work. Once Windows 7 wants to install it (at the very first startup screen, i.e. before the desktop) Windows 7 encounters and error and cannot install this.
After spending hours on trying to figure out how to solve this, I decided it might be better to again install everything from scratch, all apps etc. (took me almost whole day yesterday).
It is back. But if it was not 'windows search' that got me this issue, then what..?
Thanks to you all for yr help sofar.