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Mark's Sysinternals Blog

MSN Desktop Search Bugs

Yesterday I discovered a bug in MSN Desktop Search (MDS) and its Outlook integration. I would enter a search term in the MDS toolbar in Outlook and the resulting Explorer window (someone pointed out that MDS uses an Explorer shell extension to display results instead of IE) would reflect a search for a term that I had entered earlier in the day. The behavior was totally reproducible - regardless of what I entered in Outlook the search was for the previous term. A search from the taskbar search window worked as expected.

Figuring that a restart of Outlook might clear up the problem I exited. When I relaunched Outlook I was confronted with a "The Operation has Failed" dialog that I've seen so many times before when exiting and restarting Outlook. You get this dialog when you start a second instance of Outlook before the previous one has completely exited. Its just one of the many examples of lame Outlook error reporting.

You can cause Outlook to generate this same lame error message a different way:

1. Use winzip to create a zip file, add a large directory to the zip file, and press Esc during the add operation to get the 'cancel?' dialog
2. Create a new outlook message and attach the zip file. Here's the error message:

Here’s what Filemon shows:

The problem is a sharing violation on the zip file that occurs because Winzip has opened it without allowing shared access. It’s amazing to me that in the year 2003 a program like Outlook, one of the most widely used pieces of add-on Windows software on the planet, behaves like this. I consider meaningless error messages a bug, since they do absolutely nothing to help you resolve whatever problem was encountered.

posted by Mark Russinovich @ 12:37 PM

"It’s amazing to me that in the year 2003 a program like Outlook"

Mark - what year is it?
I think what he is referring to the year in which the product was released.
Not reproducible, Winzip simply deletes the temp file whenever I click 'Cancel'. There isn't any 'cancel?' dialog...
By the way, it's not surprise to see Outlook has such bug, there are more nuisances or bugs listed on SSW Outlook suggestion.

There is a problem between msn desktop search and outlook.
Randomly, outlook crashes and the famous error message that outlook needs to close, "send a report to microsoft" appears. Doesn't happen with other programs like google or yahoo desktop search. I need however msn search bc it is the only one I know that searches inside outlook business contacts.
Can somebody help ?
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