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Windows 7: Search programs and files blank/no results

11 Jun 2011   #51

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

ah ok, I had to enable show hidden system files.

now I have a ton of stuff. Now i'm wondering if I really have to copy EVERYTHING but those 3 it lists.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jun 2011   #52
James Colbert


Yes. Just select all files and folders (ctrl+a), then hold down the ctrl key and click those 3 files to unselect them. I would also unselect the ntuser.dat.log1 & log2 files.

copy them over. Don't move them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jun 2011   #53

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I copied all the correct files over to the new account. It's weird, it looked the exact same as when I created it. I figured I'd have to do the method to copy the profile settings over from In Windows, what is a user profile, and how do I copy one user profile to another? - Knowledge Base

however, it's still greyed out. Any ideas?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

12 Jun 2011   #54
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1

Have you tried a new admin account to see if search would work? Then we can worry about transferring your old profile and files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jun 2011   #55
James Colbert


Or, does the search work in the account you've already newly created for this process?

There are, it seems, as mentioned below, issues with copying profiles other than the default.

First question, are you logging in from the 3rd account, as suggested here?:

Fix a corrupted user profile

And from this excerpt, same page:
To copy files to the new user profile

After you create the profile, you can copy the files from the existing profile. You must have at least three user accounts on the computer to complete these steps, including the new account you just created.
  1. Log on as a user other than the new user you just created or the user that you want to copy files from.

As it turns out, the copy profile issue you are experiencing is new to Win 7 and has been discussed all over the web. MS has a somewhat convoluted solution here (and the only one they support):

How to customize the default local user profile when you prepare an image of Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2

And is further discussed here:

Copy a Windows 7 User profile.

And here is a soluition from an MS support person that suggests turning off password protection sharing to copy the profile (then turning it back on, of course):

Windows 7: Trying to copy a user profile. The "Copy To" - Microsoft Answers

And a forum discussion on the issue that presents some detail:

Mark Minasi's Reader Forum - Windows 7 default profile

And finally, here is an unsupported method that seems to work for some, but not others:

How do I customize the default user profile in Windows 7? - Microsoft Answers

A deluge of information, I know. My apologies. I was unaware of these profile copy issues, as I've not tried to copy a profile in Win 7.

But, again, is the search function now working in the new profile? And is system restore working again? If so, create a system restore point and you can try the methods above.

Or, you may choose just to rebuild your new profile. Let us know what is happening. I'll be in and out today, but will try to be available to help you through the process.

And, should have mentioned earlier, but have you run AV and malware (full) scans lately? For malware, I recommend free malwarebytes and SuperAntiSpware

My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jun 2011   #56

Windows 7 Ultimate x64


Yup, search is working on both new profiles (one I used to transfer files and the other as my new acct) it's wierd, huh?

Last night I researched not being able to 'copy to' and tried some of the methods above. Particularly turning off password protection, and using the third account.

I did do the 'fix a corrupted user account' deal, and it seems it didn't copy but some things (my documents got copied, and maybe one other thing) but I guess it copied a bunch of important files? I don't know. I can manually copy over the few things I have left.

I haven't tested if any programs work, yet 9 (Should they?)...I'm kinda scared to, to be honest! Same with system restore, I feel like if it gets stuck at initializing again and I have to cold shut down my comp it will cause damage. I did do that the first time because it was stuck for 20 mins, and so far (crosses fingers) there seems to be no damage from it.

I think I've just decided to work the profile from scratch. It can't be that bad, it's only a wallpaper, window color and sounds...I think?

I did do a malwarebytes scan, always come up clean. I'll probably be switching over to the new acct and fixing it up, but I WON'T delete this one until I consult with you guys knowing it's safe.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jun 2011   #57
James Colbert


Try your programs. They should work unless, when you installed them you chose 'this user only' rather than 'all users'. Also, definitely try to create a restore point and then try to restore it to make sure that issue is resolved. I'm not really sure why MS has complicated the profile copying issue, but apparently it was a concious decision on their part. As you have discovered, there seems to be no definite solution or workaround that is purported to always work other than the 'Sysprep' method. In Vista, one could copy their user files over to Default User and be ready to go.

It might indeed be best just to create the profile from scratch, but I would create another user account to do it, given that you've copied different user files over to the one you've been working on. Might as well start off sense in taking the risk of corrupting the new profile.

Once you've got the new profile in place, you can back it up from time to time so that if you have problems in the future, you can just restore and be back in the saddle. Or, even better, take the time to learn an imaging program and keep regular, rotating backups of your system drive. I myself keep 3 rotating backups of my system partition and my data partition (amongst others). If ever I have a problem, I always have a backup image that is less than a week old and can be restored in a matter of 20 mins.

Apologies for not being aware of the Win 7 profile copy issue. We all learn from these experiences, and that's the great thing about these forums...not only does the 'helpee' learn, but also the helper. Everyone wins.

Have to run now, but I check the forums regularly. Let us know how it's going, or if you have any questions, etc.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jun 2011   #58

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

So far, every program I've tried worked without a hitch. I had to redo the settings in them, no biggie. That is a good sign. I created a restore point for today after setting up the profile.

I worked all day on this account (the one I copied the files TO from my original) do you really think I should remake another without copying any of the files from that tutorial? I wonder what exactly those files are, because like I said, only a few things I noticed copied over. Hmm.

I definitely would like to learn more about the imaging thing. I think after I get all of this settled I will. I might even have some questions for ya on the subject . I do have an external with all of my important files at least, for now.

No need to apologize, this forum has been nothing but help. It's nice to have knowledgeable people assist me through the unknown.

I keep checking my search function to see if it's working, so far it's as it should be. My profile is looking just like my old one!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jun 2011   #59
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1

So glad it is working for you! Here is a list of some Imaging tutorials The 1st one by whs, is good and he is very adept at imaging issues along with Bare Foot Kid and Gregrocker.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jun 2011   #60
James Colbert


If all seems well, no point in creating the new(er) account. Since you've come so far, it would be no more work to do it if you had to later, and that may not happen.

As far as imaging, you shouldn't have any problem getting the hang of it. It seems intimidating, but it's a fairly simple operation, and you should have no trouble getting the hang of it, and of course, the people here are available to help you through any issues. That, along with your determination and ability to pick up quickly on things will serve you well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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