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WinXP Pro Help w/ Help and Support


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#1 g45

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 01:41 PM

Running WinXP Pro. Works well overall except for this problem. Would appreciate your counsel.

When I click on "Help and Support" nothing happens. Have sought out the Help and Support "startup file" on my system. It is good. I even created a link to it on my desktop which, when used, gets me to Help and Support just fine. From the Help and Support startup page I can use the feature as I wish.

But my Windows XP Pro built-in button for Help and Support apparently has a broken link.

I have looked in the registry, in an effort to seek out and repair this link. This attempt was not successful. I could not locate or determine the proper registry entry to repair, if indeed one exists. Perhaps the object of the Help and Support button link is stored elsewhere. I do not know. Please help if you are able. Thanks.

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#2 cowsgonemadd3

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 01:42 PM

Is the help and support built into your pc? Like help topics? Or are you trying to get to a online help and support provided by your computers maker?

#3 g45

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 01:52 PM

Help and Support is a built-in feature of WinXP Pro, designed by Microsoft. My inquiry/question is NOT making reference to something on the internet or to a non-Microsoft feature offered by a different manufacturer.

#4 JEservices

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 01:56 PM

So basically, if you was to click help on IE, nothing happens. You found the help file, and make a shortcut to it, and that works OK. You want to know how to repair it so that when you click help in IE, the help files (that you know you have because of the shortcut) will open up.

Is that what is going on and you want to accomplish?
We are all curious like a cat. We wonder, we ask, we learn.
Please post back when a suggestion works, so that others may learn.

#5 g45

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 02:26 PM

YES!

That's it exactly. Thanks.

If it is a broken link, I do not know where to go to repair it.

The underlying Help and Support software is, as you point out, working just fine.

This problem is not life and death. But it IS a PITA and I would like to fix the problem if repair is possible.

#6 JEservices

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 02:30 PM

Have you updated to SP2?

While I await your answer, I will be researching another fix for you.
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#7 g45

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 02:38 PM

System is at SP1 only. Am well aware of SP2. Will not be "upgrading" to SP2 any time soon.

It is just my personal opinion and situation. I do not trust SP2 at this time, and really do not need it.

Others reading this should not be guided by my opinion. "Upgrading" to SP2 is something you must decide for yourself. For me, at this time, the decision to stand pat is an easy one, not subject to further review.

Thanks!

#8 JEservices

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 02:43 PM

I understand your position. It was not meant as a recommendation, just wanted to know if you have done it.

Do you have the original CD/DVDs that has XP on it?

I am working on the angle of adjusting the registry. Although it is possible that the specific entry would differ from Home (that I have) and Pro (that you have), I will be testing it out before I post the instructions.
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#9 g45

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 02:51 PM

Yes have WinXP Pro CD. Have run SFC and no problems, but of course SFC only checks the system files. This problem is not worth reloading Windows over. But it is an annoying problem.

Thanks!

#10 JEservices

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 03:08 PM

You would not have to completely reload XP, you could chose the repair option.

Before we go that route, humor me on a few of these:

What I have done to research your problem, on my computer, I started the help via START -> help, while watching Task Manager on my other monitor. Two applications popped up: helphost.exe and helpsvc.exe. Would you mind searching your HD to see if you have these files, and post the full location (such as c:\windows\servicepackfiles\i386 is the location of helpsvc.exe). Oddly enough, even with hidden files shown, I could not find the location of helphost.exe.

What happens when you press F1 after you have clicked the title bar in IE?

Does the help come up in some programs, but not others? If so, which applications show the help screen?

The shortcut that you mentioned, did you get it by making a shortcut from the help on the START button?
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#11 g45

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 03:25 PM

Jason, first, thanks again. Appreciate your wanting to assist.

Am unable to comply at this time with your request. My XP Pro computer is not up. Am presently on a different computer (own several).

The files you mentioned, helphost.exe and helpsvc.exe, are unfamiliar to me. When I created the desktop shortcut mentioned earlier it was NOT to one of those files. I do not recall the file name I used, which came from a Google search. But it WAS the right help launch file and I was able to find it quickly after seeing the reference on Google. It was in my system files, I think

But the link to it within Windows did/does not work.

The failure of my "Help and Support" option to function is universal, happening without regard to the program running, AFAIK.

That's about all I can say now. This is not, I guess, an easy problem to nail. Regardless, thanks again! Gotta go.

#12 JEservices

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 03:41 PM

No problem on the help-in every literal meaning :thumbsup:

When you have the time, try those suggestions on the other computer, and let me know what you come up with.

Another one you can do is go to My Computer -> right-click C: chose explore ->find WINDOWS and click the + next to it -> find Help, right-click and select properties. Post back the number of files, under the tab Contains (Ex: mine shows 644 files, 39 folders). Click Cancel, and on the right-hand portion, you will see some files, with nearly all of them with ? on the icons. Scroll down until you see the file called notepad.hlp, with a blue ? as the icon. Double click this file, and tell me what you see.
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#13 phawgg

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 09:30 PM

This problem of your's caught my eye, g45. Interesting. I have winXPpro. I followed your questions, Jason

helphost.exe and helpsvc.exe. Would you mind searching your HD

The dates 8-2001 reflect original OS file written, and I loaded it 10-27-04 (not 29th) , then any date after was after sp2 install. (10-27-04)
Posted Image

Posted Image

What happens when you press F1 after you have clicked the title bar in IE?

Posted Image

Post back the number of files, under the tab Contains (Ex: mine shows 644 files, 39 folders).

mine shows 586 files, 14 folders

you will see some files, with nearly all of them with ? on the icons. Scroll down until you see the file called notepad.hlp, with a blue ? as the icon. Double click this file, and tell me what you see.


Just for comparisons. winXPpro no SP. screenshot taken b4 sp2 install, without goin' to sp1 first.
Posted Image

winXPpro SP2
Posted Image

winXPpro SP2 3 weeks later. hmmm.
Posted Image

following jason's question to open notepad.hlp (a 13KB file opens to "contents" tab.)
Posted Image

then opening the next tab "find"
Posted Image

I guess like many questions, this raises some more. I await g45's response. And Jason's further conclusions. :thumbsup:
patiently patrolling, plenty of persisant pests n' problems ...

#14 g45

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 10:03 PM

I appreciate the response, phawgg; thank you.

I may know less about what is going on here than I thought I did. Your post is helpful in that it shows me what I should look for, expect, and seek out.

Still do not have my XP machine up, but soon I hope. Received today via FedEx a refurb SCSI 10K hard drive which plan to use in this machine. Was running an IDE Bigfoot. Must Ghost data over and so far no time.

Wonder if XP Pro supports software RAID. Bet it does. Hmmmm.

Anyway, I realize the XP Pro Help function contains a cascade of downstream, subordinate help programs. These all seemed to work for me when "clicked" individually or accessed from within an upstream calling program.

It is only the initial, entry point program I could not reach. And I need to set the computer up again to obtain the name of that file so I can report it here. This I will do . . . . . . . . . in the fullness of time.

#15 JEservices

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Posted 23 November 2004 - 02:06 AM

After researching the registry angle, it may be too much of a difference between the versions for me to see if it would work. I may have access to a XP Pro computer soon, but until I try it out myself, I would like to put that suggestion on the back burner.

Thanks Phawgg for stepping in and providing pictures of the Pro screen.

The dates 8-2001 reflect original OS file written, and I loaded it 10-27-04 (not 29th) , then any date after was after sp2 install. (10-27-04)



The reason for that is because your prefetch files can be modified after the computer is already on. Just like when an application says that it has to restart Windows to take effect, it usually changed a prefetch file or setting.


What happens when you press F1 after you have clicked the title bar in IE?



Most users are not aware that F1 is the keyboard shortcut for help. If the shortcut worked, but not the clicking of Help, then it would give me a direction to go.


Post back the number of files, under the tab Contains (Ex: mine shows 644 files, 39 folders).

mine shows 586 files, 14 folders



I was thinking that if help did not work, but a shortcut to it did, then it would be possible that the files have been moved. If he had posted a very low number, then I would give direction on how to find them.


Just for comparisons. winXPpro no SP. screenshot taken b4 sp2 install, without goin' to sp1 first.


winXPpro SP2


winXPpro SP2 3 weeks later. hmmm.



Maybe it is a sure sign to move to Linux. When the more you use Windows, the more help files we all need... :thumbsup:


you will see some files, with nearly all of them with ? on the icons. Scroll down until you see the file called notepad.hlp, with a blue ? as the icon. Double click this file, and tell me what you see.



By looking for this specific file, that I know is in both Home and Pro, three different things could happen. One-the file is not there; two-the file is there, but you get an error when you click it; and three-the file opens properly. Pending on the answer, will lead me in the way for it to be repaired right.

Phawgg, once again, thank you for providing the screen shots. If there is any other suggestions, please post them. I am curious as the reason behind the problem.


It is only the initial, entry point program I could not reach. And I need to set the computer up again to obtain the name of that file so I can report it here. This I will do . . . . . . . . . in the fullness of time.



Take your time, g45. We are not going anywhere.
We are all curious like a cat. We wonder, we ask, we learn.
Please post back when a suggestion works, so that others may learn.




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