| Introduction | Security Updates | Checklist |
Original: 15-May-2005, Updated: 15-May-2005
This pages attempts to assist users in fixing problems associated with the HTML Help runtime system.
I hope that together this web page and MJ's Diagnostics application will help you fix your help system.
In a connected world security updates are now a fact of life. Get used to them. Microsoft have done a mighty job of securing Windows starting with XP SP2 released in Aug 2004. Since then a string of updates have reduced the humble CHM to the status of a humble local help system. It's a shame but we need to move on.
Lets review the main HH security updates. Note that many of the KB articles below contain work-a-rounds to get around the security restrictions. Sometimes necessary. Please use with caution.
Why HH security updates?
So just like executables only open CHMs that come from a trusted source.
The HH Shortcut command can be used to run video viewers, open other CHMs, run Camtasia movies... the list goes on. Extremely useful and hard to do without. They are also the biggest target of most HH security updates.
Before we look at specifics make sure you have all the latest patches installed.
Often HH Shortcuts don't work because the help DLLs are not up to date.
1. Hhctrl.ocx 5.2.3790.1194 (Released with Win XP SP2 - Aug 2004)
2. Hhctrl.ocx 5.2.3790.1280 (XP), 5.2.3790.233 (2000/2003) - (Released Nov 2004 as MS05-001 / KB892675)
3. Hhctrl.ocx 5.2.3790.2453 (XP), 5.2.3790.315 (2003), 5.2.3790.309 (2000) - (Released June 2005 as MS05-026 / KB896358)
If your Hhctrl.ocx file version (see Windows System folder eg. c:\windows\system32\) is only 1. or 2. then you need to update to the MS05-02 / KB896358 Patch.
- Either do a Windows update via http://update.microsoft.com/
- Download and install the KB896358 patch - List KB896358 downloads for all versions of Windows
eg. download page for Security Update for Microsoft Windows XP (KB896358)
|1||Why does my CHM Open Blank?|
|The right hand pane of the help viewer shows the IE message "Item
canceled" or "Page cannot be displayed".
Note: Microsoft should display a clear message telling the
confused user why content is not showing in the help file.
|2||Content (Style Sheet / images) not rendered correctly in help viewer|
|Try emptying your Temporary Files Cache (Control Panel > Internet
Options > General page > Delete Files...). When the cache fills up IE
cannot render its content correctly.
Note: Microsoft should fix
this bug. Is IE7 ok?
|3||Script Error when clicking Shortcut Link|
|Shortcuts can be disabled on the local PC by setting the following
Registry Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\System\
To enable shortcuts simply deleted the registry key name "HelpQualifiedRootDir". Even HelpQualifiedRootDir=<empty string> will enable the policy. If the problem persists and the registry key name reappears then check with your network administrator as they are probably enforcing the policy.
Note: Microsoft should display a clear message "shortcuts disabled
via policy. See your network administrator". Displaying an unrelated
script error is clearly misleading and wastes everyone's time.
|4||Corruption Help System - Help Wont Open|
|Certain Help related DLLs can become unregistered. Usually due to a
faulty installer or a 3rd party help authoring tool vendors trying to
cut corners. Some vendors (usually Chinese based) actually install and
register individual Microsoft help DLLs (they should use hhupd.exe and
HtmlHelp.exe). These DLLs are often installed to the wrong location and
eventually DLL mismatch problems occurs.
Download and run MJsDiags.
This will check and repair DLL problems.
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