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I had recently been experiencing an issue at work that was driving me nuts. I first discovered this issue when I tried to open an attachment in a TFS work item. One of our QA people had kindly attached an image so that I can see the problem in action. I double clicked the attachment and was presented with an error message. I can’t remember the exact wording, it was something along the lines of “No type handler specified for the operation.” The other way this issue manifested itself was when I tried to open IE, and type in an address. It would open the URL I typed in FireFox…from IE…WTF? I also noticed clicking links in Outlook and Google Talk did not launch FireFox.

I immediately remembered that I had installed a standalone version of IE7 so I can test in both IE6 and IE7. I’m pretty sure that is what messed me all up. So, I uninstalled the standalone IE7. That didn’t help at all. I tried resetting FireFox as the default browser. Again, the problem still persisted. I tried setting IE as the default browser, didn’t work.

I then did some googling and I found that there’s a file type in Windows called “(NONE) URL:HyperText Transfer Protocol” and also another for HTTPS. These two file types were the cause of the problem. If you go into folder options then the file types tab (why are file types under folder options??), pick the above type and go to advanced, there needs to be an open action. The standalone IE7 (or MultipleIE’s, not sure which did it) removed this action for whatever reason. Once I associated the open action with FireFox, everything went back to normal.

Now, the thing that really bothers me is I googled the original error message and found a bunch of crap that was totally unrelated to my problem.  It must have been a very generic Microsoft error message.  Why can’t they help us out and in that instance, when you can’t launch a file from a work item, tell me why, I wouldn’t have wasted literally hours of my time at work.  I even had to bother other people to open the attachment and send it to me.  Thanks Microsoft.


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  1. […] pretty straightforward to add and manage tasks / bugs. There are a few quirks (the worst being this one). For the most part it works really well. It deals with links very oddly. When you click a link it […]

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