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Help Viewer 1.0 - Readme_eng.htm

This is a copy of the Readme file that ships with Help Viewer 1.0 (VS 2010 RTM). I've included it in the wiki so that it is searchable on the web. It contains a lot of useful information. The file is normally located in the following location:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Help Viewer\v1.0\ReadMe_ENG.htm

Help System Readme
Table of Contents
  • 1.0 Introduction
  • 1.1 Obtaining Microsoft® Help System
  • 2.0 Setup and Removal
  • 2.1 Installing Microsoft® Help System
  • 2.3 Uninstalling Microsoft® Help System
  • 2.5 Supported Operating Systems and Platforms
  • 3.0 Managing Help settings and Installing Content
  • 4.0 Known Issues
  • 5.0 Additional Information
  • 5.1 Getting Microsoft® Help System Assistance
  • 5.2 Providing Feedback on Microsoft® Help System

1.0 Introduction

Microsoft® Help System is a product help platform.

1.1 Obtaining Microsoft® Help System

Microsoft Help System is not a standalone release. This product installs with various Microsoft products.

2.0 Setup and Removal

2.1 Installing Microsoft® Help System

Microsoft® Help System is not a standalone release. This product installs with Visual Studio® 2010.

2.3 Uninstalling Microsoft® Help System

To uninstall Microsoft® Help System, go to the Control Panel, select either Add/Remove Programs or Programs and Features and locate the entry for Microsoft® Help System and select remove or uninstall.

2.5 Supported Operating Systems and Platforms

This release of Microsoft® Help System and Visual Studio® 2010 Product Documentation supports the following:

Windows Desktop Computers

  • Microsoft Windows® XP Professional SP2
  • Microsoft Windows Server® 2003 SP2
  • Microsoft Windows Server® 2008 SP2
  • Microsoft Windows Vista® SP2
  • Microsoft Windows® 7
  • Microsoft Windows Server® 2008 R2 RTM

Supported Processors

  • X86
  • X64 (WOW32)
  • Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 and Hyper-V

Supported Web Browsers

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer® 6.01
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer® 7.0
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer® 8.0

3.0 Managing Help settings and Installing Content

You can use the Help Library Manager application to set your preference to online help or offline help. You can launch Help Library Manager (HLM) by clicking "Manage Help Settings" on the Start menu, All Programs, Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, Visual Studio Tools, Manage Help Settings.

The name of the file that HLM uses to install content is HelpContentSetup.msha. The MSHA file is an HTML file that identifies help content that can be installed locally.

Use the following instructions to find and install help content from media.

1.Launch Help Library Manager
2.Click "Find content on media"
3.Navigate to the directory that contains the content setup file (HelpContentSetup.msha).
4.Select the file and click "OK". The next screen shows the content available on the media, and any content that is already installed.
5.Select the content to install by clicking the "Add" action next to the content title. When you are finished selecting content to install, click the "Update" button at the bottom of the screen.

4.0 Known Issues

1.Removal of Help System will not remove content from user's machine; they should run HLM to remove content
2.Product Documentation shortcut will not work after uninstall of Help System
3.Help Library Manager requires the BITS service to be running if you want to use the “Check for Updates” or “Find Content online” features. Removing content and installing content locally does not require the BITS service.
4.Help Library Manager will hang if you attempt to install offline content but there is not sufficient disk space for the BITS service to download the content
5.If port 47873 is used by another process (not via the http.sys service) then the Help Library Agent will not be able to attach and use port 47873 and will fail. The port number can be changed by adding a string registry valueAgentPort under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Help\v1.0 with the value of the port to use (eg. 81). Due to the http.sys ACL settings it is necessary to run the following http.sys configuration command from an admin elevated command line. On Vista, Win2k8, and Windows 7 run the following native command:

netsh http add urlacl url=<port number>/help/ sddl=D:(A;;GX;;;WD)

On Windows XP, and Win2K3 run the following command:

httpcfg set urlacl /u<port number>/help/ /a D:(A;;GX;;;WD)

If the command is not found then it might be necessary to download the httpcfg.exe from Microsoft as part of the Windows XP Service Pack 2 support Tools (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&familyid=49ae8576-9bb9-4126-9761-ba8011fabf38&displaylang=en).
Now the Microsoft® Help Library Agent will run on the selected port number.
6.Help Library Manager (HLM) uses the BITS service to download content. If HLM is launched using the "Run as" feature, BITS will not be able to schedule jobs because the service is available only to the logged on user account. To work around this issue, when downloading content launch HLM with the user account that is currently logged on.
7.If the Help tray application is running while Help Library Manager is installing new content, the Help system does not automatically detect the newly installed content. To fix this issue, right-click the tray application to view the context menu and click "Exit". The tray application will automatically restart the next time you access documentation.
8.In Add/Remove Programs, selecting Help repair may cause Help Library Manager to throw an error if the contents store was originally put somewhere other than default. To work around this browse to helplibmanager.exe.config (C:\Program Files\Microsoft Help Viewer\v1.0\), open helplibmanager.exe.config (in notepad.exe) and change key="FirstTimeRun" value="False" to key="FirstTimeRun" value="True". Next time Help Library Manager is run it will prompt for a folder path to store documents. 
9.Selecting Offline Mode in IE and clearing cache will generate "Webpage you requested is not available offline" for F1 in IDE. The work around is to manage Offline in Help Library Manger (in the IDE, Help menu item, Manage Help Settings), selecting Settings, and then selecting “I want to use local help” (do not select Offline mode in browser).
10.For enterprise installations, after installing Visual Studio Express editions, on the same machine a new un-privileged user selecting “Manage Help Settings” from the “Help” menu item will be presented with the option to select their local store, which they will not be able to do since they will not have Admin privileges. Until the local store is set, the unprivileged user will not be able to change their settings from Online to Offline, or Offline to Online. The enterprise deployment work-around is to, as part of the VS setup script, launch HLM with the following command line: 

/product VS /version 100 /locale en-us /content " /brandingPackage dev10.mshc /silent

This will put setup the local store and install help on help without installing any other content. 

The Administrator could then run the following script: 

net group HelpLibraryUpdaters /add "User Name"

This will add users to HelpLibraryUdaters group so end user can update their content store.
11.In order for Maintenance Mode to re-install Help, at least one item in the selection list needs to be selected. For example:
  • Select Add\Remove from Maintenance mode
  • Select to add or remove any feature
  • This will trigger the Microsoft Help Viewer installation
Visual Studio will then re-install Microsoft Help Viewer.
12.If the content is wider than the screen size a horizontal scroll bar will appear at the end of the content, right above the footer instead of appearing at the bottom of the screen.
13.On Windows Server 2008 systems with Internet Explorer running with restricted permissions, the offline Help viewer search button might not be clickable. To work around this issue, you can add to the I.E. trusted sites. Alternatively, you can press the enter key to perform the search.

5.0 Additional Information

This section describes how to obtain assistance and provide feedback about Microsoft® Help System.

5.1 Getting Microsoft® Help System Assistance

To get assistance with these components, please utilize the MSDN online forums. Check the Visual Studio 2010 release documentation for more information.


5.2 Providing Feedback on Microsoft® Help System

To provide feedback on these components, please utilize the MSDN online forums. Check the Visual Studio® 2010 release documentation for more information.

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