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WinHlp32.exe-How can I enable Legacy Windows Help system on Windows 8

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    WinHlp32.exe-How can I enable Legacy Windows Help system on Windows 8


    The Windows 7 download for WinHlp32.exe passes validation and downloads ok, but since it is a windows update, not an executable installation, it does not recognize Windows 8 RP as a valid OS for installation.

    Is there a workaround that anybody knows about?


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    Did you try renaming the 11kb winhlp32.exe, then drop this into your windows directory winhlp32.zip
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    No, because it is packaged in Windows6.1-KB917607-x86.msu, and opening and unarchiving this Microsoft update package reveals a mess of manifests, mum files and other xml gobbledegook, instead of a straightforward executable file.

    Download: WinHlp32.exe for Windows 7 - Microsoft Download Center - Download Details
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    Rename winhlp32.exe to winhlp32-old.exe.

    Then put the exe from the zip file in my previous post into the windows directory. Job done.
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    Thanks Simon, - I did not realize where the WinHlp32.exe you said to replace was located - I thought it might have been in the downloaded msu. I also had not realized that there was an 11Kb "WinHlp32.exe" (presumably to redirect any traffic targeted at the old windows 32 help engine) located in the Windows folder. Even more confusing, why is there a winhelp.exe (presumably win16, since it cannot recognize long folder names) that works there?

    Why on earth does Microsoft put a non-functional stub in Windows 8 WinHlp32.exe, where they could just as easily put a real executable? Sheer bloody-mindedness?

    Thanks again for the help - I guess from the date that it is the XP winhlp32.exe in the zip?
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    Yep, it seems to work on just about anything.

    Sheer bloody-mindedness?
    Probably.
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    Sorry this is an old thread but its still related.

    I write programmes in VB and I use the old Windows help files *.hlp which I make myself but they don't run a Windows systems after Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. You need to download updates from I cannot open Help that was created in the Windows Help format (WinHlp32.exe)

    I downloaded the correct files and run these on Vista 32bit and Win7 32bit and they work as they should but when I try to install Windows8-RT-KB917607-x64.msu on Windows 8 64bit it says This update is not applicable to your computer.

    You can't rename winhlp32.exe to winhlp32-old.exe it won't let you as its probably in use.

    Any suggestions?
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    Can't rememember exactly what I did. I expect you need to take ownership before renaming.
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    Thanks for the reply.

    I am the owner and only Administrator.
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    The Owner is "Trusted Installer" - you need to take ownership, gain full control permissions and either rename or delete the unhelpful little 11kB waste of space and replace it with the 261kB winhlp32.exe in the zip file that Simon has kindly made available.

    We'll probably have to do it over again if we upgrade to Windows 8.1!
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