Re: win95 help files suddenly don't work under NT 4.0

Subject: Re: win95 help files suddenly don't work under NT 4.0
From: Geoff Lane <geoff -at- GJCTECH -dot- FORCE9 -dot- NET>
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 22:57:53 -0000

Melissa Fisher wrote:
>
> Anyone have any idea what would make a winhelp file suddenly stop
> working under
> NT? Our test engineer has just come to us saying that he's
> getting a message
> that he needs a "newer help file", whatever that means.
>
---

Hi Melissa,

Does the error say a 'newer version of help', or a 'newer help file'? If
the former, then this could be due to a known issue with NT. If the first
help file accessed during the current session is a 16-bit file, then NT
passes that file to the 16-bit reader (winhlp.exe). For the remainder of
the session, the OS passes *all* help files to the 16-bit reader (providing
that it is still loaded in memory). However, if the first help file is
32-bit, then the OS passes all help files to the 32-bit reader (without
problem). The Microsoft knowledge base has an article on this topic.

You can find out if this is the problem in your case as follows:

1. Do not dismiss the error message.
2. Invoke the Task Manager by pressing [Ctrl+Alt+Del].
3. Search the task list for "winhlp.exe"

If winhlp.exe is loaded, then this issue is causing your problem.

Unfortunately, there isn't much that you can do about this -- the problem is
with the OS and not your work. The user can, of course, ensure that the
first help file that NT loads is a 32-bit file, or can manually end the
winhlp.exe task before invoking your help file -- but that's about it.

The above information is fairly old (I suffered from this snag about fifteen
months ago.) Hopefully, Microsoft have sorted this out in one of the
service packs.

However, if the error states that 'a newer help *file* is needed', then the
problem may be due to the developer mapping context-sensitive help to a
non-existent topic. The error message in this case usually goes something
like, "topic not found, please contact the vendor for an updated version of
the help" (that's not word-for-word).

HTH,

Geoff Lane
Cornwall, UK
geoff -at- gjctech -dot- force9 -dot- net


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