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Support for Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) ends on July 12, 2011. To continue receiving security updates for Windows, make sure you're running Windows Vista with Service Pack 2 (SP2). For more information, refer to this Microsoft web page: Support is ending for some versions of Windows.

Problem description

The Search feature of the "Handwriting recognition personalization" tool is unavailable, and the accuracy of the tool has decreased. This article help you fix this problem.

To have us fix this problem for you, go to the "Fix it for me" section. If you would rather do this yourself, go to the "Let me fix it myself" section.

Fix it for me

To fix this problem automatically, click the Fix this problem link. Then click Run in the File Download dialog box, and follow the steps in this wizard.

Note this wizard may be in English only; however, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.

Note If you are not on the computer that has the problem, you can save the automatic fix to a flash drive or to a CD, and then you can run it on the computer that has the problem.

Now go to the "Did this fix the problem?" section.

Let me fix it myself

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

322756 How to back up and restore the registry in WindowsTo resolve this issue, you have to check the Windows Vista registry for a specific registry subkey. If that subkey is present, you have to delete the InputPersonalization registry subkey, and then you must restart Windows Vista.

Note When you delete the InputPersonalization subkey, this forces the "Handwriting recognition personalization" tool to re-create the InputPersonalization registry subkey. When the InputPersonalization subkey is re-created, the Search feature is reactivated.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start Start button , type regedit in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.

    User Account Control permission If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Allow.

  2. Locate and then click the following subkey in the registry:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search\Gathering Manager\Applications\Windows\PluginManagers\3

  3. If the subkey in step 2 is present, locate and then click the following subkey in the registry:


  4. On the Edit menu, click Delete, and then click Yes.

  5. Exit Registry Editor.

  6. Restart Windows Vista.

Did this fix the problem?

Check whether the problem is fixed. If it is fixed, you are finished with this article. If it is not fixed, you can contact support.


This issue occurs when either of the following conditions is true:

  • Windows Vista is activated after the 30-day activation period

    This issue occurs when you activate Windows Vista at startup after the 30-day activation period has passed. After you install Windows Vista, you have 30 in which to activate the system online. Activation is required. If this activation period expires, the activation of Windows Vista becomes mandatory the next time that you start the computer. Windows Vista runs in Reduced Functionality Mode until you do activate it.

    When you activate Windows Vista after the 30-day activation period, the Search feature of the "Handwriting recognition personalization" tool is turned off during Windows Vista activation, and the Search feature does not turn back on.

    For more information about reduced functionality mode in Windows Vista, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

    925582 Description of the behavior of reduced functionality mode in Windows Vista

  • Indexing Options are reset to default settings

    This issue occurs when the Indexing Options for Windows Vista desktop search are reset to the default settings. When this occurs, the Search feature of the "Handwriting recognition personalization" tool may be turned off.

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