Help With A Help File That Won’t Open

By | November 22, 2005

After months of messing about wondering why I couldn’t access any of my help files in Windows XP, and never finding an explanation and solution online that didn’t involve smearing myself with axle grease and climbing into my computer, I stumbled on this tool (via PC Answers of the UK): Helpware Downloads’ MJ’s Diagonostics which

is a small utility that reports if all the HTML Help runtime DLLs are installed and registered correctly. If a DLL is not registered then it will ask if you want to register it. It also checks the RoboHelp DLL (HHActiveX.dll) and MS Help 2 DLLs.

In English, this means if you get messages like this:

Cannot open the file: mk:@MSITStore:C:Program FilesEverNoteEverNoteEverNote.chm

or your help file just won’t open, try running MJ’s small, free utility first. It’s simple, elegant, and it gets the job done. As the report file explains

A common problem with HTML Help 1.x is DLLs not correctly registered during installation. This utility checks all components and registers DLLs if required. We also report if the RoboHelp DLL is registered, and if MS Help 2 components are installed and registered.

In other words, the help file, which has a CHM extension, hasn’t properly checked in with the Windows registry. This was certainly the problem in my case, and the utility fixes it without fanfare. There are other aspects of the problem, and if this solution doesn’t work, check out Nic Cubrilovic’s suggestion, and the many comments that follow his post. I don’t know who MJ is by the Helpware Group, which hosts the file, is well worth checking out. Thanks!

Why doesn’t Microsoft award honorary knighthoods to these kind of helpful, selfless people? Without them, would Windows even run?

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