Open file, then click on Desktop object at left gives "this feature is not installed."

In the last few weeks, Office applications have developed a strange, new behavior. It usually only happens on the first attempt to open a file after the program is opened.

Here is the sequence:

1. Invoke the "open file" dialog.

2. On the left there are icons for "My Recent Documents", "Desktop", "My documents", etc.

3. Click on Desktop.

4. The message "This feature is not installed. Would you like to install it now?"

I always click "No". Upon retrying the above sequence, the message no longer appears.

What is causing this behavior?
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Harisha M GEngineerCommented:
Hi jasimon9,
    Press Yes and let it install what it wants

jasimon9Author Commented:
I don't like the idea of just "installing whatever it wants" without more information.

As an example of such "more information", if there is a known issue and the known safe workaround is to do what you suggest.
what is most likely hapenning (in my experience) is on your desktop, there is another file which your office application is attempting to load a converter or a filter for.  once you click no, it will not ask you again for that 'session'.  Unfortunatly, without getting to the point where it tells you what it is installing, it is hard to diagnose.
It would be beneficial to know what version of the application you are using, is it always with the same file, and which office applications it is affecting.  if it is affecting all or most of the office programs I would venture to say it is a common or shared ressource that it is trying to install (such as a filter or converter).  Try moving the file you want to open off the desktop, if it sill acts up, it's not the file.  Another troubleshooting step (more elaborate) would be to remove all the files from the desktop (put them in a folder on the desktop).  If the problem ceases, I would say it is as I described.  If you could be more specific, it would help.

GL, Joey
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jasimon9Author Commented:
Here is some more specific detail that may help: it has nothing to do with any file at all, as the sequence below will show. The problem occurs before a file is selected.
Here is the software configuration:

1. All of my Office apps are 2002 except for Outlook, but that has been a stable configuration before this problem showed up.

2. Outlook 2003 SP1, with MailFrontier (ZoneAlarm Security Suite version) and Yahoo Desktop Search. Both MailFrontier and YDS are very recent, having been loaded slightly before I began to notice the problem. Suspicious at the least. However, I previously used the standard version of MailFrontier (not from ZoneAlarm) and the problem did not occur.

Here is the exact sequence of events when trying to add an attachment to an email:

1. With Outlook closed, start a fresh copy of Outlook.

2. Create a new email message in Outlook.

3 Click Insert > File.

4. After the Insert File dialog opens, click on any object on the left "Look in:" bar, such as "My Recent Documents", "Desktop", "My Documents."

5. This message appears: "This feature is not installed. Would you like to install it now?"

6. Click "No."

7. Subsequently, clicking on an object in the left "Look in:" bar, in that instance of Outlook does not cause the problem, neither in that email message or any later email--only the first time after Outlook is loaded does the request to install appear.

I would like to understand what the real problem is before just going ahead and installing whatever it is.
Aland CoonsSystems EngineerCommented:
I think you are one the right track with the "Security Suite". What you are describing sounds like a failed attempt to scan a file for spyware or viruses.

Have you tried looking at installed "Add-Ins" (Tools / Options / Other / Advanced Options and Add-In Mangage button).  You could try disabling some of these add-ins to see if they are causing the error.

Finally, try uninstalling this "Security Suite".  If it was installed as an upgrade try doing a clean install (not as an upgrade of the prior version).
jasimon9Author Commented:
I looked at the Add-Ins and there were two items: one each for MailFrontier and Yahoo Desktop Search.

I disabled both, closed Outlook and reopened it and repeated the "test sequence." The "feature not installed" still appeared.

I am hesitant to change the Security Suite at the moment for a set of specific reasons:
1. It is the 15-day trial version.
2. The 15 days has expired and Zonealarm is not working. Although I strongly prefer having the software firewall for the program control function, I am behind a hardware firewall so I am fairly confident for a few days until I decide on the permanent replacment SW firewall.
3. Even though ZoneAlarm is not functioning due to the expiration, MailFrontier just keeps happily working. And I want to keep it that way, and playing around will probably disrupt this situation.
4. The "feature not installed" issue was occurring before the expiration of the Security Suite, so that is not the direct cause.
Aland CoonsSystems EngineerCommented:
Then I suggest you make an image backup of your C:\ drive and do some experimentation. If you don't like the result you can always restore from your image backup.
Harisha M GEngineerCommented:
Since that is only Office problem, try to install what it tells.. it will do no harm

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jasimon9Author Commented:
I finally decided to go ahead and let it install "whatever." KISS.

Since mgh_mfharish suggested this, points awarded.
jasimon9Author Commented:
I only gave a B because it is "arm-waving" in that no understanding of the underlying cause was provided.

In any case, seems to have worked, and my system has not melted yet.

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