You cannot open Help and Support Center in Windows XP

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Article ID: 888018 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

When you click Help and Support on the Start menu in Microsoft Windows XP, you may experience one of the following symptoms:
  • You receive an error message that is similar to the following error message:
    Windows cannot find HELPCTR.EXE
  • The My Computer window appears so that you can locate the HELPCTR.EXE file.

CAUSE

This behavior occurs if a registry key is missing or corrupted.

RESOLUTION

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
To resolve this issue, you must modify the registry. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type Regedit, and then click OK.
  2. Locate the following registry subkey:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\HELPCTR.EXE


    If this registry subkey does not exist, right-click the following registry subkey, click New, click Key, type HELPCTR.EXE, and then press ENTER:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths
  3. In the left pane, click HELPCTR.EXE, in the right pane, right-click (Default), click Modify, in the Value data box, type C:\WINDOWS\PCHealth\HelpCtr\Binaries\HelpCtr.exe, and then click OK.
  4. Quit Registry Editor, and then restart your computer.

Properties

Article ID: 888018 - Last Review: December 30, 2004 - Revision: 1.2
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Keywords: 
kbtshoot kbprb KB888018

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