Lotus Notes Designer – Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file !!

Well – this issue started when a client asked me to look at some xpage development queries. They had provided a virtual machine to me in the past with the Designer and Notes apps set up for me to access their various apps so when I wanted to start to investigate their issues I didn’t think that there would be an issue firing up designer. However what I got was “Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file” when clicking on the link. I had an issue before where the .lnk file association had gotten corrupt and wouldn’t launch apps but was able to rule that out.

I could access the files in their directory through windows explorer and check the security and permissions on the folder – nothing odd there. So knowing that something was blocking access – but using windows to provide the “error message” I looked at the applications on the virtual machine and found Sophos antivirus. Having used it extensively the first thing that came to mind were controlled applications i,e ¬†ones blocked by sophos group policies and lo and behold a raft of apps are listed including eclipse and the notes client.

A quick call to the client identified that the vm had previous been in a less restrictive Sophos policy group but had been moved for testing purposes to a more oppressive one. A quick policy change and reboot  later and the Designer and notes apps sprang into life.