Can't read older *.hlp files on Windows-10

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  1. Posts : 5
    Windows 10
       #21

    You said:
    If you don't want to do all of that work, here is a copy of the Windows XP 32-bit winhlp32.exe file:

    And the Virustotal report to prove that this is not a virus or fake copy: https://www.virustotal.com/en/file/f...is/1441147593/

    A 64-bit Winhlp32.exe file will be posted soon!
    (You'd better be grateful because I am installing XP x64 in a VM just for this! :P)
    Thanks! I just installed the x64 version, and it works like a charm!
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 73
    Windows
       #22

    kimio kanda said:
    Comparison between the "winhlp32.exe" for Windows 8.1 Eng x64 (*1) and the "winhlp32.exe" for Windows XP Eng x64 (*2):
    (*1) = The "winhlp32.exe" for Windows 8.1 Eng x64, which can properly open an old help file (*.hlp) on Windows 8.1 Eng x64. Inother words, this "winhlp32.exe" is as same as that provided by "Windows8.1-KB917607-x64.msu."
    (*2) = The "winhlp32.exe" for Windows XP(SP2) Eng x64, which can open an old help file (*.hlp) on Windows XP(SP2) Eng x64. This "winhlp32.exe" is used as the "winhlp32.exe" which is replaced with the original "winhlp32.exe" in Windows 10 Eng x64.
    Please refer to the following picture.
    Note:
    These two "winhlp32.exe" files have completely different file-structure, when comparing them by using a certain binary editor. Therefore, showing the difference between two files (as a binary list) is meaningless.Attachment 35265
    Can someone please provide instructions on how to do this with the latest winhlp32 from a fully updated W8.1 install? Thx.
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  3. Posts : 3,257
    Windows 10 Pro
       #23

    Why not just convert the .hlp file to PDF? There are a number of tools to do so, but I don't know of any free ones.
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 12
    Windows 7, 8.1, 10
       #24

    Summary of the assignment of "winhlp32.exe" for Windows 10


    Roman Krejci said:
    I upgraded just a couple of days ago, successfully solved problems with LAN printer and DVD drives not showing up. Now I came across the fact that the older (hlp) files are handled by new winhlp32.exe that is merely a stub that opens a web site explaining that you are trying the impossible :-(. Hmm, not quite sure what MICROSOFT policy exactly is, but thinking that people stop using legacy apps just because MICROSOFT wants to push the new Windows version that is not compatible is naive. The old (win XP, win 7) winhlp32.exe version is still present in c:\windows.old\windows folder, but cannot be associated with HLP files (why?) and copying it to different location and running it gives the error 9009 (why?). For the time being I wrote myself a simple windows console application that launches the old winhlp32.exe located in c:\windows.old\windows folder and passes it the path to the HLP file as the 1st argument. I associated HLP files with my console application. I hope that MICROSOFT is going to do something with this problem soon or I shall make a fortune with this app
    Please refer to the following pictures.Can't read older *.hlp files on Windows-10-imageuuu551.jpgCan't read older *.hlp files on Windows-10-imageuuu552.jpg
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  5. Posts : 73
    Windows
       #25

    Mystere said:
    Why not just convert the .hlp file to PDF? There are a number of tools to do so, but I don't know of any free ones.
    In time, conversion might be the best option, however for now, I and probably others prefer to open the HLP files natively in W10. Converting can take time, maybe lots if there are a lot of HLP files to convert.
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  6. Posts : 1,983
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240
       #26

    I too have been frustrated by this Winhlp32.exe stub, since it first affected me in Windows 8. Microsoft has as little interest in old MS and 3rd party applications that use the legacy Windows 32 help system as it has in Windows XP, to the extent that thy receive no revenue from these legacy programs. Whereas the kind thing to do would be to offer an on-the-fly conversion of the legacy .hlp file to an acceptable modern format such as .chm, Microsoft has again chosen a lazy and arrogant approach to users - in effect telling users to purchase new software.

    However, the official reason why the old Windows help system is not readily available is because it is inherently insecure. Any .hlp file can be crafted to do nasty things to your PC because these .hlp files can run programs, macros and other scripts.

    I have read that the Microsoft Installer for Windows 8 winhlp32 only works on US-EN systems (you can change this temporarily to install the KB update), but subsequent recent updates in Windows 8/8.1 have broken the functionality of winhlp32.exe. As well as this, the component store may replace the functional, older XP version of winhlp32.exe, with the stored 10KB useless stub, with the up to date timestamp.



    http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/w...ef68972?page=1
      My Computers


  7. Posts : 1,524
    Windows 10 Pro (32-bit) 16299.15
       #27

    Am I right in thinking that the update mentioned in Post1 (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/917607) fixed the problem for Windows 8.1, until update KB3000850 came along and broke it?

    But KB917607 isn't offered in a variant for Windows 10 at all?

    Although it doesn't solve the problem immediately, I think it wouldn't do any harm if people 'upvote' the posts in the Feedback app which ask for windows help to be reinstated.
    Feedback - Send to Microsoft in Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums
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  8. Posts : 12
    Windows 7, 8.1, 10
       #28

    An example of the HLP to PDF Conversion


    Mystere said:
    Why not just convert the .hlp file to PDF? There are a number of tools to do so, but I don't know of any free ones.
    Hi, Dr. Mystere.
    I think you might well know, but here is just an example to convert the HLP file to the PDF file. Please refer to the attached pictures.Can't read older *.hlp files on Windows-10-r4image111.jpgCan't read older *.hlp files on Windows-10-r4image222.jpgCan't read older *.hlp files on Windows-10-r4image333.jpg
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 1,983
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240
       #29

    This lack of support for Winhlp32.exe OOTB has been present in every Windows consumer version since Vista, and (grudgingly, it seems) each time, a "fix" has been made available, usually by optional updates that are not offered by the routine update systems.
    Then, if the installation can actually be made to work (often it fails with "not applicable for your system" or similar error), many features of Windows Help can only be made to work as intended with registry edits, further Microsoft "Fix It" patches, or not at all due to security features in the OS, or just undocumented error messages.

    Why, oh why, does not Microsoft cut their losses and provide a hlpwin32 conversion script that decompiles the legacy help files to their RTF source files and indexes, and then recompiles these to CHM help format, and offer support for difficulties with this process, rather than swimming against the tide of users who wish to continue to use their legacy software, often bought at great expense at a time when software was not dumbed down to the status of "app"?
      My Computers


  10. Posts : 12
    Windows 7, 8.1, 10
       #30

    Fixing the HLP reading problem on Windows 8.1 caused by "KB3000850"


    DavidY said:
    Am I right in thinking that the update mentioned in Post1 (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/917607) fixed the problem for Windows 8.1, until update KB3000850 came along and broke it?

    But KB917607 isn't offered in a variant for Windows 10 at all?

    Although it doesn't solve the problem immediately, I think it wouldn't do any harm if people 'upvote' the posts in the Feedback app which ask for windows help to be reinstated.
    Feedback - Send to Microsoft in Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums
    Hi, Dr. DavidY,
    Following are basically same as those of "Title: From the technical viewpoint, is the information by M$ enough good?" written by me. But the understanding might be easier because of having many pictures. Therefore, this is just information for you and users.
    P.S.:
    By the way, regarding a tool to fix some problem(s), it might NOT be a good idea to use some tool (e.g. "Fix It”), which contents cannot be checked by users, even if M$ (company) recommending it to use.Can't read older *.hlp files on Windows-10-rrimage3333.jpgCan't read older *.hlp files on Windows-10-rrimage4444.jpgCan't read older *.hlp files on Windows-10-rrimage5555.jpg
      My Computer


 

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