Cannot Read Help Files Due To Missing Winhlp32.exe

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Article ID: 173250
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Symptoms

When opening RKTools.hlp or one of the other help files included on the Resource Kit CD-ROM, you may receive the following error message:
This file is not a valid Windows help file.
After clicking OK, you will then receive the following error message:
A newer version of help is required to view this file.

Cause

The Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 help files require Winhlp32.exe to be installed and associated with .hlp files. If Winhlp32.exe is missing, or if Winhelp.exe is installed in place of Winhlp32.exe, the errors listed above will occur.

Resolution

Make Sure Winhlp32.Exe Is Installed

  1. Click the Start button, click Find, and then click Files or Folders.
  2. Type Winhlp32.exe in the Named input box, and then click Find Now.

Install Winhlp32.exe

If Winhlp32.exe is not present, use the following steps to copy Winhlp32.exe to your system folder.

  1. Insert the Microsoft Windows NT Server or Workstation 4.0 CD-ROM into your CD-ROM drive. - or -

    Map a network drive to the location of your original Microsoft Windows NT Server or Workstation 4.0 files.
  2. Change to the folder that matches your platform (\I386 for Intel-based computers).
  3. Copy the following files into a temporary folder on your hard disk:
    Winhlp32.cn_
    Winhlp32.ex_
    Winhlp32.hl_
  4. Click Start, point to Programs, and then click Command Prompt.
  5. Change to the temporary folder where you stored the Winhlp32 files.
  6. Type the following commands:
    EXPAND WINHLP32.CN_ WINHLP32.CNTEXPAND WINHLP32.EX_ WINHLP32.EXEEXPAND WINHLP32.HL_ WINHLP32.HLP
  7. Copy Winhlp32.cnt, Winhlp32.exe, and Winhlp32.hlp to your \%SYSTEMROOT%\ folder. Typically this folder is C:\WINNT.
  8. Delete the contents of your temporary folder.

Check and Update the Association for Help Files

Use the following steps to check and update the association for help files:

  1. Click the Start button, click Programs, and then click Windows NT Explorer.
  2. Click the View menu, and then click Options.
  3. Click the File Types tab.
  4. Scroll through the list of file types until you locate the Help File registered file type, and then click Edit.
  5. Double-click the Open action. The default value for the "Application used to perform this action" field should be:
    C:\WINNT\system32\winhlp32.exe
    This is the default installation folder if you have installed Windows NT to another folder use the path to that folder.

    If this field references Winhelp.exe instead of Winhlp32.exe, update the field and then click OK.
  6. Click Close, and then click Close again to update the file association.

Properties

Article ID: 173250 - Last Review: June 22, 2014 - Revision: 3.0
Keywords: 
kbhowto kbprb KB173250

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