If you find that the Windows XP Search assistant slows you down or distracts you, you can disable the puppy dog (or wizard, etc) that shows up when you click Start –> Search.
1. Open your Registry editor by clicking Start –> Run and typing “regedit” (without quotes) in the Run box.
2.Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Explorer CabinetState
3. In the right pane, find the string value “Use Search Asst.” Double click it and change the value to “no” (without quotes).
4. Click “OK” in the Edit String Dialog box. The Search Assistant will be disabled the next time you log in.