We have recently encountered an odd issue with a few customers who were deploying Office 2010 via Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) and the Office Deployment kit for App-V. Whenever they would launch an application such as Excel they would receive an innocuous, yet annoying message:

“The operation completed successfully.”

Further investigation also revealed that this message would always pop up when a certain add-in was being loaded. The Add-in label was “RemoveHiddenData.”

Testing the applications with the add-ins disabled made it go away – but where in the world was this coming from?

The add-in is related to a tool known as the “The Remove Hidden Data tool for Office 2003 and Office XP.” The window is popping up because it is signifying the legacy add-in for removing hidden metadata was loaded successfully. The fact that it shows up as an error is probably due to how the message is handled by the Microsoft Office 2010 application.

Information about this tool can be found here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/834427

This tool is installed by default in the following directory:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Remove Hidden Data Tool

The add-in is placed in the Office folder as well. There is also an executable called offrhd.exe that can be triggered in batch mode. To find out where it is coming from, after the application (e.g. Excel) launches and you click past this error, go to "File" and select "Options." Then select "Add-ins" and look at the Active Application Add-ins. Look for "RemoveHiddenData" and remove it. This tool does not exist for versions Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Office 2010 because of the change in the file format and the add-ins are already in place as options in the newer versions.

Steve Thomas | Senior Support Escalation Engineer

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