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Firefox, Vista, Outlook and URL General Failure errors

*UPDATE*Looks like after I spent all that time making this entry, that mozilla already had a knowledgebase article up about it. You can find it here:
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Windows_error_opening_Internet_shortcut_or_local_HTML_file_-_Firefox


So, in Vista with the latest Firefox update, I've noticed a problem when opening URLs in applications like Outlook or even the Windows Sidebar. I'll get a popup like this:

Opening a link in Outlook makes it look like this:



Either way, the path to fixing it is the same. Open up regedit and go to the following registry key:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\FirefoxURL\shell\open\ddeexec

Double click on the Default string, which should have a value of ""%1",,0,0,,,,". Delete that value and leave it blank.

That's it. You should not get the pop-up errors anymore. However, since this happened once, it will likely happen again. I believe it occurs when either Windows or Firefox (not sure which) resets the default browser on your computer to be Firefox. So next time that happens as part of a Firefox update or you messing with the Default Programs control panel, you may get the pop up errors again and have to redo this.

To make it easier you can just make a regedit file. Make a new text file, name it something like "FixFirefoxURLErrors.reg" and put the following into it:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\FirefoxURL\shell\open\ddeexec]
@=""

Then just double click on the file and it'll make the registry change for you.

Again, these steps are for Vista only. You may remember running into a similar error to this with Outlook and Firefox a long time ago, it seems to have come back. The steps one would follow on Windows XP don't work on Vista, since Outlook is looking at a different registry key. All I've done out is which registry key that is (thank you Sysinternals Process Monitor program!) and applied the Windows XP fix seen here: http://www.hanselman.com/blog/FixQuotGeneralFailurequotWhileLaunchingFireFoxURLsFromOutlook.aspx

By the way, just a fair warning, you can do a lot of damage in the registry if you delete something you're not supposed to, so be careful, I'm not going to help you if you break your computer. :)

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Comments (7)

David Winick:

I have tried your suggestion, as well as the Mozilla additional steps. Now I dont get the pop ups, but the link still doesnt work.
If, however, I set the default browser to IE, the links work. Of course, I hate IE, so hopefully you can help me get back to Firefox. thanks

Unfortunately, the only recommendations I have are the KB article on mozilla. If that's not helping, there isn't anything else I can do, cause it fixed my problem and so I have no other errors to test with. Make sure you've tried restarting Outlook, Firefox, and windows of course.

Steve:

Thanks! This has been bugging me for several weeks!

Thierry:

Works fro me 100% , thanks very much, that was really starting to p**s me off :)

Alexander:

What Thierry said above. Thanks!

Hank Arnold:

Add another success story. Another user saved from IE7... ;-)

SpooZ:

Thanx..

Works like it should do now.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 7, 2007 11:25 PM.

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