Speed Up Start Menu Search in Windows Vista
In Windows Vista, when you use the search feature, Windows automatically includes the file index search, which can be huge because it includes all the searchable files on your computer. To speed the search process in Windows Vista, you can modify the registry per instructions below.
1. Start the registry editor (regedit.exe).
2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced.
3. Double-click Start_SearchFiles in the right-hand pane.
4. Set Value data to 0.
5. Restart your computer.
Keep in mind that by modifying the search this way you are reducing the scope of the search to exclude hard drive files. If this is not what you want to do, then you may want to leave the registry setting to the default.