Where have all my Help Files gone?

Clicking on Start>>>Help does nothing.  Also I am unable to access Help Files in IE5.  Any idea where they went and how to get them back?  Do I need to reinstall WIN 98?  Is there any other way?
Thanks,
Rick
rmbishowAsked:
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Patricia Siu-Lai HoConnect With a Mentor Commented:
rmbishow,  Try this
--------------------

(1) You might have just accidentally moved the C:\windows\Help directory to other places in your harddisk.  Use Find to allocate if the Help folder exist and move it back to C:\windows\

    Or at Start-run, type [HELP], OK , see if any "HELP" windows popup to help you.  If yes, note the current directory of it. Restore it back to C:\windows\HELP\
 
(2) Go to the recycle-bin , check if you have accidentally delete the C:\windows\Help directory. If yes, it still there, try to recover it.

(3) Try to run "sfc" to restore the system file.
      Go to Start-run, type "sfc" without the quotation, click settings, checked the box for [x] Check for changed files, [x] Check for deleted files. Click Apply and OK.
      Selected [x] Scan for altered files. Start to run with your Win98 or Win98SE cdrom on the cdrom.
      It will detect any files need to be amended. Try to judge and restore any detected files.
      Finished. Restart the computer.

(4) If it is not the case for (1) and (2) and not yet solved after (3) was done, try the followings.
       
     Some dynamic files may be corrupted where the help engine cannot create (eg. associated supporting dynamic files *.GID, *.dsz, *.hti, *.tsc ), carry out steps (a) and (b).

     (a) Restore the following run-time engine files back to the C:\windows\ directory

     Winhelp.exe   -  Windows 98 Help System run-time Engine. Windows WinHlp32 Launcher
     Winhlp32.exe  -  Windows 98 32-bit Help run-time engine

     Method:  Start-run-type [sfc] at the open box, OK, at the system file checker, select the option:
     [x] Extract one file from installation disk
     At the open box , type [Winhelp.exe    ], Click [Start] to begin extracting the file from win98cdrom disk to path C:\windows\

    Then repeat above steps for restoring Winhlp32.exe
    [x] Extract one file from installation disk
    At the open box , type [Winhlp32.exe   ], Click [Start] to begin extracting the file from win98cdrom disk to path C:\windows\
 
     (b)  Restore the following help files and help content files and supporting files back to the C:\windows\HELP\   directory.  
 
     Method:  Go to Start-programs-MS-DOS Prompt , at the Msdos prompt window,
         go to the directory  c:\windows\help
         and type the following line in sequence:

         c:\windows\help\extract /a x:\Win98\base4.cab *.hlp  <enter>

         c:\windows\help\extract /a x:\Win98\base4.cab *.chm  <enter>

         c:\windows\help\extract /a x:\Win98\base4.cab *.cnt  <enter>

         c:\windows\help\extract /a x:\Win98\base4.cab *.hti  <enter>

         c:\windows\help\extract /a x:\Win98\base4.cab *.tsc  <enter>

      (replace x: with the letter of your CD-ROM).

The *.hlp in all cabinet files will be searched and extracted to directory C:\windows\help\

It follows for the extracting of other file types *.chm, *.cnt, *.hti and *.tsc too.

Then restart the computer (it needs 3 successive reboots for changes become effective).

--------------------
Let me know the outcome.        pslh
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ApparatusCommented:
Go to The control panel to add/remove programs. Do you see "Discover & Help" in the list. If not the help files have been uninstalled. Maybe there is something on your recovery cd that should have some with your computer.
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rmbishowAuthor Commented:
"Discover & Help" are not in the list.
Rick
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larrypaloozaCommented:
Explain HELP DOES NOTHING.  No errors? No messages? If you explore your C: drive, do you find .HLP files?  
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rmbishowAuthor Commented:
Clicking on Start>>>Help produces an hourglass for about a milisecond and that's it. No error messages.

There are lots of *.hlp files, many of which are in the Windows\help folder but, most of these appear related to other programs.  

I did see a file called "Windows\help(230kb) which looked promising.  Opening it revealed an index full of trouble shooters(eg Startup Troubleshooter). All of the topics have an arrow to click on to start the topic's troubleshooter. Unfortunately, clicking on the arrows causes no action at all.

Rick
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Patricia Siu-Lai HoCommented:
rmbishow,
<<All of the topics have an arrow to click on to start the topic's troubleshooter. Unfortunately, clicking on the arrows causes no action at all. >>
The help engine has been corrupted. Do the steps (3) and (4) as my proposed answer.
Let me know any of your findings. pslh
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rmbishowAuthor Commented:
pslh,

Sounds like it's worth a try.  It may take a while. I'll get back to you later tonight I hope.

thanks,
Rick
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rmbishowAuthor Commented:
pslh,

I keep getting "bad command or file name" when entering the dos commands. I am in the C:\window\help directory?  I know that precision is crucial and that I must be typing something incorrectly.  Perhaps it's the spaces.  Would you_clarify_the_spaces_with_an_UNDERLINE_for_me?

Thanks,
Rick
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Patricia Siu-Lai HoCommented:
Rick, Here it is:-
------------
Go to Start-programs-MS-DOS Prompt , at the Msdos prompt window,
         go to the directory  c:\windows\help
         and type the following line in sequence:
         "extract_/a_P:\Win98\base4.cab_*.hlp" without the quotation mark and also replace all "_" by a "space" which is for indication where a space should be added.
         C:\WINDOWS\HELP>extract_/a_P:\Win98\base4.cab_*.hlp       <press enter key then>
         It looks like as: -
        C:\WINDOWS\HELP>
        C:\WINDOWS\HELP>extract /a P:\Win98\base4.cab *.hlp

After pressing enter, it will run automatically to search all cabinets to extract all *.hlp files.

Next, do it for extracting the following file types.
       
         c:\windows\help>extract_/a_P:\Win98\base4.cab_*.chm  <enter>

         c:\windows\help>extract_/a_P:\Win98\base4.cab_*.cnt  <enter>

         c:\windows\help>extract_/a_P:\Win98\base4.cab_*.hti  <enter>

         c:\windows\help>extract_/a_P:\Win98\base4.cab_*.tsc  <enter>

--------
pslh
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Patricia Siu-Lai HoCommented:
Rick, missed the first line in above comment:-
Place your Win98cdrom in the cdrom (e.g. drive letter P)
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rmbishowAuthor Commented:
pslh

No luck.  The instructions you gave were clear and concise.  All went as you said, except that it did not have the desired end result.

I replaced the existing winhelp.exe and winhlp32.exe files from my Win98 SE disc.  I extracted all the files from the base4.cab files, and that went smoothly replacing ALL existing files.  I restarted 3 times. I had my hopes up. But....

I click on Help for Win98 or IE5 and...zippo.

Got any other thoughts on this issue.  I am increasing the points to 200.

Thanks,
Rick
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Patricia Siu-Lai HoCommented:
rmbishow, Have you done the step (3)?
<<I click on Help for Win98 or IE5 and...zippo. >> 
Any effect that is different in comparing before the changes.

Boot into the command mode.
At the c:\ prompt, run "scandisk" without quotation.
Afterwards, run "scanreg /fix" without quotation.
Restart the computer.

If there is still no improvement, try to go to the command mode and
At the c:\ prompt, run "scanreg /restore" and restore from one before the problem.

Let me know any of the testing outcome.
pslh
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rmbishowAuthor Commented:
pslh

Running SFC revealed hundreds of changed files with many change dates going back to the clean install I did in 4/99.  Way too many to deal with one at a time.  Looking only at deleted files, there were about 85 items listed as deleted.  I have intalled and uninstalled a good deal of software over time and this may be reflected in these large numbers.  I did not restore any files, as I did not have a clue as to which may be related to this problem, if any.

I routinely run scandisk without problems.  Scanreg /fix did not help.  I did not run scanreg / restore fo fear of creating problems running recently installed software.  

I should mention to you that my missing help files have been missing for an indeterminate period of time...several months that I know of.  I am just getting around to dealing with it now.

So, do I need to reinstall Win98?  If so, I do not want to do a clean install at this time.  My preference is to install over the current installation for now.  Unless...you have another fix in mind?

Thanks,
Rick
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Patricia Siu-Lai HoCommented:
Rick,
<<Running SFC revealed hundreds of changed files with many change dates going back to the clean install I did in 4/99.  >> Compared the date and version of the files being detected, selecting "update" for newer and "restore" for older.

See if any improvement.

You may try to delete all the rb*.cab in the C:\windows\Sysbckup. There are about at least 5 cabinets. (rb000.cab, rb001.cab, ...rb005.cab).
Restart the computer to normal desktop again. Then shut it down.
After 10 min., Start the computer to normal desktop. Restart it to command mode.
At the command mode, run "scanreg /backup", a first copy of registry is recreated again.
Restart the computer.

See if any improvement.

Otherwise, an installation over top the current windows is recommended. Rename the config.sys and autoexec.bat as config.old and autoexec.old. Load over the Installation of win98 on current one again.

Let me know your outcome.    pslh
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rmbishowAuthor Commented:
pslh

Now here is a real mystery!   I followed all of your fine advise and still no help files.  Even after a smooth re-installation of Win98, the problem persists.

I suppose that I need to do a clean install now.  If that is the case it will have to wait a few weeks when I have a bit more free time.

Any other ideas?

Thanks,
 Rick
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Patricia Siu-Lai HoCommented:
Rick, There may be some registry key especially the ActiveX components has been corrupted but still logged in your old system that deter the system to get back to normal, even though files and system have been re-installed on top of it.

Meanwhile within these few weeks before you make a clean installation, you may tell me more about your system and software, which have been installed.
You may post the details in the start-up of system configuration utility -(start-run type "msconfig" without quotation) so that I can perceive your system better.

Besides, you can't click the help, any other running problems especially using IE5 in surfing the web or going to the Windowsupdate site. Is Netscape (ver) installed or not?

Is IE5 installed from download or a disk? Go to the control panel, Add/remove programs and select the IE5 and choose repair. See any response from the system.

pslh
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rmbishowAuthor Commented:
pslh
Even though we did not achieve a fix, I want you to know how much I appreciate your time, effort and your very expert advice. Your kindness and generosity should be rewarded.

I am getting a new computer in about 4-6weeks and it makes sense to me to wait to reformat this one until then. I don't want to string you along for such a period of time. I would like to award you the points if this is allowed under these circumstances. Is that ok?

Thanks,
Rick
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Patricia Siu-Lai HoCommented:
Thanks Rick. You're always welcome!  pslh
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