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Summary:

I was previously running Office Beta 1 TR1 in combination with MSN Desktop Search 2.6.5 which worked well together.  The combination of the two programs allowed for instant searching in Outlook that was fabulous– start typing your search term and get instant results so finding that nugget […]

I was previously running Office Beta 1 TR1 in combination with MSN Desktop Search 2.6.5 which worked well together.  The combination of the two programs allowed for instant searching in Outlook that was fabulous– start typing your search term and get instant results so finding that nugget of information in Outlook email was so easy and very fast.  Today like thousands of other people I dutifully uninstalled Beta 1 of Office, installed Beta 2 from scratch, and when I fired up Outlook the first time it said I needed to upgrade my Windows Desktop Search and the only two options are Download and Remind me later.  Turns out the Remind me later causes the same obnoxious dialog box to appear every time you start Outlook.  No, it’s even worse.  It appears everytime you run OneNote, too, since ON can also benefit from Instant Search.  No, it’s even worse.  If you hit Remind me later an orange bar appears at the top of the Outlook window, taking up valuable screen real estate and distracting you in general.  Guess what?  These reminders cannot be turned off.  If you use Google Desktop Search or some other search program besides Windows Desktop Search then you are doomed to be plagued by these annoying dialog boxes every time you start either Outlook or OneNote.

So now you’re saying, quit complaining and just update your Windows Desktop Search.  That’s what I would say if I were you.  Well, it turns out I can’t.  Every time I run the Windows Desktop Search 3.0 Preview which is required, it runs the setup all the way to the end and then craters with a “access is denied” dialog box.  That is literally all the information in the box.  The only option it gives at this point is to uninstall what it has already installed to that point.  The problem is it has uninstalled my MSN Desktop Search too.  I end up with no desktop search capability at all.  Just that annoying reminder and orange bar.  I have taken two full steps backward and lost functionality in an area that is not even Office 2007 specific.  I have no idea what to do at this point.  I can’t find a place to post my problem with the WDS 3.0 Preview install.  And it seems this version was created especially to handle Outlook and OneNote 2007 Beta 2.  Can you say hosed?  That would be me all right.

  1. It’s ok to be annoyed, but remember, it’s a beta.

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  2. I had an error “you don’t have permission to update windows” first time I tried it but I resaved the file, logged on as admin (rather than just an account with admin rights) and it worked.

    Now I’m not running any other desktop search so I don’t know what impact that has but the Windows Desktop Search 3.0 Preview is purely the engine and not the front-end/UI etc so I don’t know if that will conflict.

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  3. Yes, it definitely is a beta and I haven’t forgotten that. But this is surely a tactic to annoy users of other desktop search products the way it is implemented. Maybe they’ll fix this one quickly.

    On the plus side, the overall performance is quite snappy and I am very happy about that. Kudos to the office team for speeding everything up. :)

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  4. Aaron M. Hall Tuesday, May 23, 2006

    JK,

    You might try using the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility to manually remove the Windows Installer points for MSN Desktop Search… and then try reinstalling the new one that way.

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290301/en-us

    Best of luck, and I hope you find a good way to get rid of the Search Prompts, because they’re damn annoying, indeed.

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  5. I had OneNote 2007 on my machine for all of 10 min. First, it wouldn’t connect to the internet to activate. Then, every time I started it it would ask to install WDS. I use (happily) Copernic Desktop Search. Beta 2 uninstalled. If the full version is like this, it’ll make my decision to switch to Mac that much easier.

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  6. So far, I’ve got to agree with JK. OneNote 2007 installation is a mess. Can’t activate and WDS is gone after the supposed 3.0 update needed for 2007. What good is all our information in one place if we can’t search for it? I know it’s beta, but geez…

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  7. JK – they definitely botched things up with this release. Fortunately, I was able to restrain myself and installed the new beta in my Virtual PC machine before diivng in and replacing my working O2K3 installation.

    The WDS 3.0 beta requirement is poorly documented and the implications for someone using Google Desktop, Copernic, or some other tool are unclear except to say that running two indexers is a guaranteed productivity killer (not to mention the wear and tear on your hard drive).

    Until this sorts itself out I plan to stick with the VPC test bed. FWIW, the activation problem seems to be a back-end problem at Microsoft and is not specific to anyone’s installation. It appears no one has been able to activate the beta based on early chatter I’ve seen on Channel 9 and in the blogs.

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  8. UPDATE: While WDS won’t install on the Tablet it installed fine on the Sony U, probably because I never installed WDS on it before. I left the Sony U on all night so WDS could index everything and first thing this morning I searched a mail folder and it found no matches. I was looking right at a match in the window.

    Instant search worked perfectly on both my machines in Beta 1 so this is a disappointment, for sure.

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  9. UPDATE 2: I found where you can disable the annoying WDS prompt. Go to OPTIONS|OTHER|ADVANCED OPTIONS and the last tick box under General Settings is “Show promots to download Windows Desktop Search”. Deselect this and restart Outlook and that prompt is history. :)

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  10. Aaron M. Hall Wednesday, May 24, 2006

    Yeah, I found it for Outlook, but the same option does not exist in OneNote, so far as I can tell.

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