When I turned on the new Windows Sidebar in Vista the other day, the Windows Installer popped up, displaying the Preparing to install… message. Then, another dialog box appeared with the message The feature you are trying to use is on a CD-ROM or other removable disk that is not available. The message went on to instruct me to Insert the ‘Destinations’ disk and click OK.
Unfortunately, no ‘Destinations’ disk came with the computer. I figured since this is a Windows feature, I could just insert the Windows Vista installation disk. So, I inserted that disk, waited a few moments, and clicked OK. Well, that was the wrong disk. I repeated the steps with every disc that came with my new computer. Nothing worked. I clicked Cancel to close both dialog boxes, and viola, the Windows Sidebar appeared. However, whenever I restarted the computer, those darned Windows Installer dialog boxes would appear asking me to insert the ‘Destinations’ disk. How annoying.
So, I turned off the Windows Sidebar. Not surprisingly, the Windows Installer dialog boxes no longer appeared on startup. Now, I had to figure out a way to get the Sidebar to appear without having the warnings on startup. I tried to contact Microsoft, but because Windows came installed on the Dell Inspiron I was using, they didn’t offer free 90-day support for it. I contacted Dell, and the tech person who helped me led me through the following steps:
- Click Start, All Programs, Accessories.
- Right-click Command Prompt and click Run As Administrator.
- Type cd \Program Files\Windows Sidebar and press Enter.
- Type regsvr32 -u sbdrop.dll and press Enter.
- Type regsvr32 -u wlsrvc.dll and press Enter.
- Type regsvr32 sbdrop.dll and press Enter.
- Type regsvr32 wlsrvc.dll and press Enter.
- Restart Windows.
- Run the Windows Sidebar (Start, All Programs, Accessories, Windows Sidebar).
This essentially unregistered the sidebar .dll files and then re-registered them in Windows. It certainly did the trick for me. Some users have reported that their Windows Sidebar completely disappeared, and this is the same recommended fix for that problem.
My desktop background did not cover the entire screen afterwards, so I had to go back to my display settings and fix that:
- Right-click a blank area on the Windows desktop and click Personalize.
- Click Desktop Background.
- Select the desired background and position on the desktop.
Although this solved my problem, I did some additional research and found a message on GeeksToGo about another user getting this same ‘Destinations’ disk error when he tried downloading and installing MediaPlayer11 Beta and updates for AdobeReader7. The problem was that he had a partial, corrupt installation. The fix was to download and run the Windows Installer Cleanup Tool:
Read the article above, download the Windows Installer Cleanup Tool, and then run it to clean up the Destinations installation and any other installations that seemed to be triggering that warning message to appear. I didn’t try this, because my problem’s been solved, but it seems like a logical solution.