I deactivated the Windows Search service and I don't use ANY program which makes use of this crappy and useless journal. But it is still there, it keeps small but it fragments sometimes very hard. Fragments are in the way of important files like $MFT and something. It is very annoying. I want Microsoft to make a Setting to deactivate this useless crap completely.
This is what I did on XP. Obviously some of the instructions vary for Vista/7 and there may be other new components that create and use the journal, however I do not have a journal now, nor do I want one.
I wish McroSft would allow us to disable a lot of their hidden data mining "features" as well.
I deactivated windows search, and uninstalled Outlook 07 which will operate without search service but gives you a notification that it is unable to search. In addition to those things, I also uninstalled the search index from Add/Remove programs > Add/Remove Windows Components > Indexing service. I uninstalled Outlook express from the Add/remove windows components. I do not know if OE uses windows search or not. I also had to right click on all of my hard drives, go to properties and Uncheck "Allow indexing service to index this disk for fast file searching" I also removed/disabled windows search service and packaged up the windows search folders/files into an archive. Then I deleted my journal and restarted. It did not come back and hasnt been back/fragmented since.
I use agent ransack to find files on my computer and it is very fast and effective. Also searches through simple text and is free. (It is a freeware "lite" version of a paid product) Google desktop isnt bad.