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Sat, Mar 06, 2010 6:40 pm

Windows Help Under Windows 7

When I opened MUSHclient on a Windows 7 system, I saw the message "Failed to launch help." A Windows Help and Support window opened stating the following:

The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn't included in this version of Windows. However, you can download a program that will allow you to view Help created in the Windows Help format.

At I cannot open Help files that require the Windows Help (WinHlp32.exe) program, Microsoft provides the following information:

On computers that are running Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2008 R2, you may be unable to open Help files that require the Windows Help (WinHlp32.exe) program. This article contains information about a download that helps you fix this problem.

Microsoft stopped including the 32-bit Help file viewer in Windows releases beginning with Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. To support customers who still rely on legacy .hlp files, the Microsoft Download Center provides WinHlp32.exe downloads for Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2.

The version of the program for Windows 7 can be downloaded from Windows Help program (WinHlp32.exe) for Windows 7. That page provides the following overview statement:

Windows Help (WinHlp32.exe) is a Help program that has been included with Microsoft Windows versions starting with the Microsoft Windows 3.1 operating system. However, the Windows Help program has not had a major update for many releases and no longer meets Microsoft's standards. Therefore, starting with the release of Windows Vista and continuing in Windows 7, the Windows Help program will not ship as a feature of Windows. If you want to view 32-bit .hlp files, you must download and install the program (WinHlp32.exe) from the Microsoft Download Center.

There are two versions of the software available, one for 64-bit systems and one for 32-bit systems. The download files are .msu files. You can install the software by just double-clicking on the downloaded file from the Windows Explorer, which will open a Windows Update Standalone Installer window, where you would see the propmpt "Do you want to install the following Windows software update? Update for WIndows (KB917607)". During the installation, winhlp32.exe is placed in %systemroot, e.g. C:\Windows.

For a silent installation, you can use the Windows Update Standalone Installer, wusa.exe, with the /quiet option (quiet mode, no user interaction, reboot as needed). It isn't necessary to reboot after installing Windows Help. You can specify /norestart (when combined with /quiet, installer will NOT initiate reboot. You can see other options by using wusa /?.

The following command performs a silent install for the 32-bit version:

wusa /quiet /norestart Windows6.1-KB917607-x86.msu

To silently uninstall the software, you can use the command below.

wusa Windows6.1-KB917607-x86.msu /uninstall /quiet /norestart

A package file that can be used with WPKG to silently install Windows Help for Windows 7 is shown below. Note: though Windows Help will no longer work after the uninstall, c:\windows\winhlp32.exe isn't actually removed, though other files installed with it, such as c:\windows\system32\ftlx0411.dll are removed. You may have to take ownership of winhlp32.exe to remove it - see Add "Take Ownership" to Explorer Right-Click Menu in Win 7 or Vista, since otherwise only TrustedInstaller has full rights to the file.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

<packages>

<package
  id="WinHelp"
  name="Windows Help"
  revision="1"
  reboot="false"
  priority="10">

  <check type='logical' condition='and'> 
     <!-- The uninstall process doesn't remove winhlp32.exe, but does remove
     ftlx0411.dll -->  
     <check type="file" condition="exists" 
      path="%SystemRoot%\system32\ftlx0411.dll" />
     <check type="file" condition="exists" 
      path="%SystemRoot%\winhlp32.exe" />
  </check>
  <install cmd='wusa %SOFTWARE%\utilities\miscellaneous\Windows6.1-KB917607-x86.msu /quiet /norestart ' />
  <remove cmd='wusa %SOFTWARE%\utilities\miscellaneous\Windows6.1-KB917607-x86.msu /uninstall /quiet /norestart' />
  <upgrade cmd='' />

</package>

</packages>

References:

  1. I cannot open Help files that require the Windows Help (WinHlp32.exe) program
    Article ID: 917607
    Last Review: October 27, 2009
    Revision: 20.3
    Microsoft Support
  2. Windows Help program (WinHlp32.exe) for Windows 7
    Version: 1.0
    Date Published: 10/14/2009
    Microsoft Corporation
  3. Is it possible to silently run the Vista installation package for MSI 4.5?
    Windows Installer Team Blog
  4. silent installation paramters for Windows6.1-KB958559-x64.msu
    Date: July 7, 2009
    Microsoft TechNet: Resources for IT Professionals
  5. Permission from Trusted installer!
    Date: May 18, 2009
    Mcirsoft TechNet: Resources for IT Professionals
  6. Add "Take Ownership" to Explorer Right-Click Menu in Win 7 or Vista
    How-To Geek

[/os/windows/software/wpkg] permanent link

Sat, Mar 06, 2010 5:57 pm

Using Multiple Install Conditions with WPKG

There can be zero or more conditions checked prior to installing software with WPKG. To perform multiple checks, enclose the checks with <check type="logical" condition="logicalcondition"> and </check>. You can use not, and, or, atleast, or atmost for logicalcondition. E.g. to have WPKG check for the existence of two files c:\windows\system32\ftlx0411.dll and c:\windows\winhlp32.exe, you could use the following:
<check type='logical' condition='and'> 
     <!-- The uninstall process doesn't remove winhlp32.exe, but does remove
     ftlx0411.dll -->  
     <check type="file" condition="exists" 
      path="%SystemRoot%\system32\ftlx0411.dll" />
     <check type="file" condition="exists" 
      path="%SystemRoot%\winhlp32.exe" />
</check>

In this case, WPKG will only consider the software installed if both files exist. If only one of them exists, the installation will proceed.

References:

  1. Packages.xml
    WPKG | Open Source Software Deployment and Distribution
  2. Re: [wpkg-users] Check command
    Date: June 11, 2009
    wpkg-users

[/os/windows/software/wpkg] permanent link

Sat, Mar 06, 2010 5:43 pm

Incorrect Installed Software in WPKG

If WPKG is showing an incorrect list of installed software, e.g. it shows a program is installed, but the program is no longer installed because it was removed outside of WPKG, you can correct the problem by editing C:\Windows\System32\wpkg.xml on the system where the software was installed. Just remove the section of the file applying to that package. E.g. from the package id="pkgid" name="pkgname" revision="1" reboot="false" priority="0"> to the </package> for the particular package. Then, if you use wpkg.js /show:pkgid the package will no longer be shown as installed.

[/os/windows/software/wpkg] permanent link

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