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2.3. Nothing Happens When I Launch the Software

Disponible tambien en Español: Nada sucede cuando inicio el Software

Applies to: @RISK and all other Palisade add-ins for Excel, all releases

I double-click the desktop icon for @RISK (StatTools, PrecisionTree, ...) and it seems like nothing happens. (A message "initializing Microsoft Excel" appears briefly, but that's all.) If I go through the Palisade DecisionTools group in the Windows Start menu, it's the same story.

The cause could be any of these issues.  From most common to most unusual:

A. Excel running but not visible

When you launch @RISK or any other Palisade add-in for Excel, it asks Windows to if there is open copy of Excel. If Windows says "no, there's no Excel running", @RISK will launch Excel and attach to it.

If Excel is already running, Windows will tell @RISK how to find Excel, and @RISK will attach to it. If that copy is not visible — if it's minimized, or hidden behind another window — you won't see @RISK do anything after "initializing". If there are multiple copies of Excel open, Windows won't necessarily choose the one you expect, even if one copy is open and visible on the desktop.

Check the taskbar carefully for copies of Excel, and bring each one in turn to the foreground. Chances are that @RISK just attached to a different copy of Excel from the one you expected, because that's the copy that Windows told it about.

It's also possible for Excel to be running in background, meaning without any indication in the taskbar. To check for this, press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to bring up Task Manager. Look at the Processes or Details tab to see all running processes, including those that don't have a window. Click the Image Name column head to sort the processes by name. If you have one or more copies of Excel that don't have a visible window, click each one and then click End Task or End Process. After killing all background copies of Excel, launch @RISK again.

B. Disabled add-in (Excel 2007 and newer)

If Excel crashes while an add-in from Palisade or another third-party vendor is loaded, Excel may disable that add-in. Check Excel's add-ins list by clicking File » Options » Add-Ins. (In Excel 2007, click the round Office button, then Excel Options at the bottom, then Add-Ins.) There are three lists: active add-ins, inactive add-ins, and disabled add-ins. If @RISK or other Palisade add-ins are disabled, you can re-enable them.

To re-enable disabled add-ins, look for the Manage: Excel Add-Ins box at the bottom of the list of add-ins. Click the drop-down arrow to change that to Disabled Add-Ins, and click Go. Select the add-ins to re-enable, and click the Enable button. There is no need to add Palisade add-ins to Excel's active add-ins list; it's enough that they are not disabled. Now use the desktop icon (if available) or the Start Menu group called Palisade DecisionTools to launch @RISK or whichever application you were trying to use.

C. Antivirus

One method antivirus/antimalware software products use to flag malware is heuristic analyses, which examine a file’s binary contents and estimates, or guesses based on internal metrics whether the file is likely to contain malware.  Palisade software runs alongside and as an add-in to Microsoft Excel, and sometimes can be misidentified as malware, for example the @RISK launcher Risk.exe that starts Microsoft Excel.

Occasionally antivirus products will falsely identify Palisade products and interfere with its usage.  When this occurs, Palisade works with these companies to improve their heuristic methods and resolve the conflicts with our products.

If you are receiving a notification from your antivirus product or you suspect your antivirus product has quarantined a Palisade file, preventing either the installation or running the Palisade product:

  • Make sure your antivirus product is up to date.  Check for any updates.

  • In your antivirus product, whitelist or allow the Palisade file or files.  You may have to go into a quarantine area of the antivirus product.  If the antivirus product deleted the files, then uninstall and reinstall the Palisade product and during any notification in the antivirus product, allow the Palisade file(s).

  • Report the behavior to Palisade: report the following:  Palisade product and version number, antivirus product name, version and database definitions version.  Include a list of Palisade file(s) affected, and if possible, screen captures of the false positive notification and resulting behavior in running the Palisade product.

Sample false positive submission:

Serial number or Activation ID:

Antivirus Product:
Antivirus Version:
Database Version:
Palisade Files Affected:
Screenshots of Notification:

Submit to with subject heading “Antivirus False Positive”.  We will contact the antivirus manufacturer and follow up with you, however it may take several days for the antivirus product manufacturer to issue a corrected update.

D. Policy setting

A few IT departments may unintentionally set Windows group policies that interfere with running Palisade software.  If @RISK can't add its tab to the Excel ribbon, please see @RISK Initializes, But No Tab Appears in Ribbon and @RISK Creates Empty Add-Ins Tab in Ribbon.


E. Microsoft Office 2016 

There's been recent findings (as of June 2021) where Microsoft Office 2016 (RTM  and older versions) are causing issues when attempting to execute @RISK and Decision Tool Suite applications. We highly recommend updating MS Office to the latest version available, as we have confirmed this has worked with some users.

Last edited: 2021-06-11

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