A missing folder, a missing day

I recently moved some scheduled tasks from a Windows 2008R2 server to a Windows 2012R2 server. This should be the easy type of work: copy some files, enter some credentials, move on to another project. But as luck would have it, An exception occurred. Those three words.

One of the scheduled tasks uses a COM object to access Visio.Application. The script enumerates a listing of Visio diagrams, sees if they are newer than a static version on a web server and if so runs SaveAsWeb for each new document. After moving to a new server the ‘An exception occurred.’ error kept showing up for each document being published when the script ran as a scheduled task. Running the script interactively worked fine. A bunch of searching kept pointing at dcomcnfg, specifically for an entry named Visio Document and/or Microsoft Office Visio Document. This option did not show up for me. I even re-installed Visio and rebooted hoping to re-register the COM object. When I was just about ready to give up, I found this simple article, with a comment all the way at the end:

You need to ensure that the folder C:\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile\Desktop exists. It’s the same when you try to automate Word in a service.

Could it really be that simple? Would creating one folder solve the day long project? The answer — yes. I browsed to C:\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile and created a folder named Desktop. The scheduled task now works fine on the new server. One missing folder, one missing day in troubleshooting a simple task.

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