Local help URLs look like http://127.0.0.1:47873/
The default help mode is "Online". To view local help run HelpLibManager.exe and set the help mode to "local".
Run Help Library Manager
Set Local help mode
Now when your press F1 in Visual Studio you should see local help...
Still no F1 help showing? Here's a check list you can go through.
The Agent tray application runs automatically when you press F1.
Sometimes restarting Agent can clear the problem. To do this right-click the tray icon and select exit. Then press F1 in VS to restart it and display help.
Usually Express is a web download. This check list is by Jason A. Campbell (MSFT)... Thanks Jason!
If you have a DVD of VS 2010 setup then you can simply install local documentation from that and save yourself the 1.x GB of download.
Local documentation is stored on the DVD in the \ProductDocumentation\ folder.
To install local help:
One way to install help is run VS 2010 Setup again (you may have missed the blue button first time).
After running Setup you will need to make a slight change (eg. Add or Remove F#) to get the screen with the blue button to show. Or you can run a full Repair (but this takes a long time).
Press the blue "Install Documentation" button on the last screen.
The first time you run a documentation install you will be asked to confirm the location of the local library store.
Then you will be shown the available local help you can install from the VS Setup DVD.
I assume if you did a VS 2010 web install you don't see this or you are taken to the "Install Content from Online" page instead.
This can also be used to change location of the local library store.
To clear and reset your local library
Tip: You could copy and paste this into Windows Start menu > Run command.
Or instead of Step 4 you could run VS 2010 Setup again and hit that big blue button (see above).
Tried rebooting, reinstalling, restarting Agent... We need to try something more radical.
This post from Dmitry suggests there may be a problem with making the Offline setting stick.
There was also a suggestion on the MS forum to add loadFromRemoteSources to HelpLibAgent.exe.config.
It fixes the problem by giving Agent access to the assemblies. However the flip between Online and Offline mode (above) should do the job.
After doing a complete repair of NET 4 and VS 2010 and reapplying SP1 MS Help Viewer 1.1 still did not work even though I carefully reviewed the notes from http://mshcmigrate.helpmvp.com/faq/init. I decided to try installing VS2010 on a laptop with Vista and help worked fine. I installed H3Viewer and used it for a while (I really like it!). I then noticed that unlike the MS Viewer 1.1, H3Viewer displays the full URL for the local help. I tried that URL in IE on the XP machine and it did not work at first. I remembered in the notes there was and issue with 127.0.0.1 and 'localhost' so I replaced 127.0.0.1 with 'localhost' and the help displayed in the browser just fine.
I had earlier checked the "Internet Settings/Connections/LAN Settings" page to be sure that the "Automatically Detect Settings" box was not checked and it wasn't. I remembered that there was a check box below it that was checked to automatically run a script so I decided to clear that check box and when I did the help system started working as it should.
This box was checked and the script that was being run was set by my ISP for the satellite Internet service I am using. Anyone using the WildBlue satellite Internet service may run into the same problem. I hope this will help someone. Thanks for the suggestions Rob.
The default browser view can be frustrating. Try our free H3Viewer which provides a full TOC and full index.
On the other machine, which does not have help content installed locally, please follow the below steps.
1. Launch Help Library Manager and set your offline content installation path to the same path as the one on the machine where you installed local content. The default path is %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\HelpLibrary.
2. Now, copy %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\HelpLibrary\*.* (or which ever path you configured on the machine where you installed the content) from the machine which has the content installed to the same path in the machine which does not have the content installed.
Please note that this is not a supported scenario and so, I recommend taking a backup before proceeding with the above steps.
For those who want MSDN in an older format.
Also only a fraction of MSDN ships as .mshc help.
Using this MSDN downloader you could perhaps grab required content and convert to .mshc using .mshcMigrate.
13-Sept-2010: Recently Malcolm Dickson (member of the MS Help team) wrote an extension that allows saving to .mshc format. http://www.codeplex.com/site/users/view/mdickson
For more info see Language Packs for Microsoft Help Viewer 1.0
If the Application Event Log mentions BITS then this fix has helped a few people...
To work around this problem by changing the method that the BITS 2.0 client uses to provide logon credentials to the server, create a UseLmCompat registry value in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\BITS subkey, and then add a DWORD value of 0. To do this, follow these steps on the BITS 2.0 client computer:
Q. I have the Visual Studio 2010 installed and am using the Help Viewer 1.1. For some reason, last week I lost all formatting. It is like the css was removed or corrupted.
A. The CSS lives in the branding package. This is located in "Program Files\Microsoft Help Viewer\v1.0\Help3Branding.mshc" for the default branding and "...\v1.0\dev10.mshc" for the Visual Studio 2010 branding. If these files are missing then we will not have CSS. If that is the case I would try repairing visual studio 2010 in add/remove programs to re-write dev10.mshc and/or repairing Microsoft Help Viewer 1.0 to re-write Help3Branding.mshc.
If the files are not missing then the likely cause is that the hosted IE frame is refusing to load CSS for our pages. We originate as ahttp://127.0.0.1/ request so in general we appear in the internet zone. If your security settings for this zone recently changed to reduce permissions this is a likely cause. If the security settings are ones you would like to keep (most likely) then I you can work around the issue by adding 127.0.0.1 to your trusted sites.
Hopefully this helps,
Whenever I invoke help within VS2010, I get the error "connection refused" by our local gateway. I put 127.0.0.1 localhost in my hosts file and I can get to the help system with localhost, but not 127.0.0.1 and there is no way to change host name in the Help Library Agent.