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VS 2008 help function problem

Posted on 2011-09-04
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I need some help please with visual studio standard 2008 on windows 7 professional sp1. I re-installed windows 7 following a motherboard and drive change and have now gotten round to re-installing vs 2008. I cant get the inbult help function to work properly. The document viewer opens up with a "Navigation to the webpage was canceled" window and it then starts a firefox browser session with the required document. Also with the document URLs in firefox fail due to the file's non-existance.  The URLs point to "file:///C:/Users/keith/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/Temporary Internet Files/Content.IE5...." The option to "try local only" is selected and i've tried other settings also but I still cant get the help to work properly. I'm sure that all was OK before. I seems to be independent of service packs, i've re-installed vs again without the vs sp1. The whole help area seems to be barren of VB help just generic IDE help or help on help stuff. If I start the document explorer on its own the fault appears immediately on opening. I use AVIRA virus guard.
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Question by:keithath
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Assisted Solution

by:dj_alik
dj_alik earned 250 total points
ID: 36482197
did you try run vs with administrator rights
Right click on VS icon in the Start menu, choose Properties, then Compatibility and check 'Run As Administrator'. This will change shortcut to run as admin automatically.
also
User Rights and Visual Studio
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms165100(v=vs.80).aspx

and try to install vs 2008 sp 1
Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack
http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=10986
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Author Comment

by:keithath
ID: 36483224
I hadn't tried that but it made no difference, the "Navigation to the webpage was cancelled" error, from the document explorer, still causes Firefox to open. I've loaded the service pack for VS plus the MSDN sp and the content has returned so I'm back to where I was when I discovered the problem. Further info on my system, the VS 2008 is an upgrade to VS 2003 which is still installed. Just as a precaution I've set UAC to minimum (off). I don’t understand quite how the help system should work in VS 2008 but it seems to generate web documents on the fly from the local MSDN library. I've had this error also when clicking a link within an MSDN web document, "Firefox doesn't know how to open this address, because the protocol (ms-help) isn't associated with any program." The first link which describes VS 2005 user permissions has the interesting line “You must have administrator rights to install Visual Studio.” Does that mean that being logged on as administrator and just running the DVD install program could cause a bad install? If so then I might as well run EVERYTHING as administrator just in case!
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Author Comment

by:keithath
ID: 36489179
I've since loaded "H2 Viewer" from www.helpware.net.  http://helpware.net/mshelp2/h2viewer.htm
 This program works OK with the vs 2008 help files. This would suggest to me that it is only the Microsoft Document Viewer that is at fault.

Although this new viewer seems good, I would still like to fix the MS one so I'll keep this question open.
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LVL 28

Assisted Solution

by:strickdd
strickdd earned 250 total points
ID: 36489916
Make sure you have the MSDN documentation installed. Otherwise you can't use the local help.
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Author Comment

by:keithath
ID: 36494390
strickdd, MSDN is installed and the MSDN sp1 applied.

To clarify, the local help works in a limited way. e.g. if under the document viewer index column I click on "- operator" I get the following:
A very brief window appears with "verifying...." in the title bar.
Then new tab in the main information window opens titled "Navigation Cancelled".
A new browser session is opened with the required "- operator" document. This document is in the Windows “Temporary Internet Files" folder. If I then click on a link within this document I get a "File not found" error.

Because I cannot navigate around from the browser document the local help is of little use. The PC has only been running 1 month from a clean install to a new SSD and win 7 sp1 applied.
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Accepted Solution

by:
keithath earned 0 total points
ID: 36510334
I have found the solution on another website.

http://www.pcreview.co.uk/forums/outlook-keeps-trying-download-some-html-file-t4028987.html

I discovered that Outlook 2010 can give the same symptom of chucking out an error and opening a browser session. This led me to look at Microsoft Office problems.

The fix describes reseting Internet option defaults to Microsoft applications.

I''ve reviewed the steps taken and typed them out below in case the above URL goes dead.

Go to "internet options" in control panel. (In win 7 the word options is interchanged with properties)
Select the "programs" tab and click on the "set programs" button.
Click on the "set program access and computer defaults" link.
Choose the "Microsoft Windows" button, the programs affected are then listed.
Click Ok, and click OK on the Internet Properties window.

This problem may affect any of the MS applications with Office components.
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Author Closing Comment

by:keithath
ID: 36534644
Self answered. Points awarded for trying.
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