No Help! How do I get it back?

As was mentioned in one of the comments on Aaron Marten's blog and in the VSIP Extras Beta newsgroup, there is a problem with installing the VSIP Extras help files. If you have VS, MSDN, & VSIP (w/Extras) installed on a non-system drive, you may notice that ONLY the VSIP docs show up when you go to Help->Contents in VS. Oops. There is a workaround that we have that should fix the problem. You can just do the following:

  1. Open the command window (CTRL+ALT+A) and execute 'View.ShowWebBrowser ms-help://MS.VSCC.2003/VSCCCommon/cm/CollectionManager.htm'
  2. Uncheck all boxes
  3. Click 'Update VSCC'
  4. Restart Visual Studio
  5. Open the command window (CTRL+ALT+A) and execute 'View.ShowWebBrowser ms-help://MS.VSCC.2003/VSCCCommon/cm/CollectionManager.htm'
  6. Check all boxes
  7. Click 'Update VSCC'
  8. Restart Visual Studio

This will basically 'refresh' all the help files in the VS help collection. Please use the 'Contact' link on this blog to let Dr. know if this does not work on your system. Including any relevant details would be helpful. Thanks!


Dr. eX

Comments (14)
  1. Ben Fidge says:

    Just tried this in VS 2002 and now have no index or contents!

  2. Works perfectly, thanks!

  3. AaronM says:

    Hi Ben, VSIP Extras is only for VS .NET 2003, not version 2002 (which makes me wonder why you needed to try this in the first place). What exactly did you try to do?

    Email me: aaronm <AT>

  4. DrPizza says:

    It doesn’t work for me. I get the following error:


    Visual Studio .NET Combined Help Collection Manager


    Error Number: -2147220626

    Error Description: Another transaction has locked the registration files. Please wait until it is finished.




    I have no idea what might be locking them. I’m freshy logged in.

  5. DrPizza says:

    Well, I don’t know if it’s safe or not, but removing the .lck files from Documents and SettingsAll UsersApplication DataMicrosoft Help made the error go away.

  6. Dave Sieber says:

    Doesn’t work for me. VS.NET 2003, with VSIP and Extras. If I choose the VSIP help collection, that’s all I get — VSIP Help. When I follow the procedure on this page, the only change is that now Combined Help also has only VSIP. So, it seems that I can view VSIP help and nothing else, or view my Visual Studio Help without VSIP. Can’t get both at the same time.

  7. Aaron Marten says:

    Hi Dave,

    Could you get in touch with us via email and send some more details on how we can repro this? (Go to my blog and click "Contact") For example, your drive setup and where you install items. Also, please make sure you read the readme file as it contains information about known issues with VSIP Extras.


    Aaron Marten (MSFT)


  8. Is there a help collection editor for Whidbey?

  9. Dr. eX says:

    Hi Scott,

    Thanks for your response. Could you send the good doctor a more detailed explanation of what kind functionality you need for this help collection editor? Thanks

    Chetan N Parmar(MSFT)

    VSIP Team

  10. Sean M. Tucker says:

    Is there a way to display line numbers in the left hand margin?

  11. Aaron Marten says:

    Hey Sean,

    There are 2 ways in VS 2003 to turn line numbers on. Firstly, you can open the Macros toolwindow and run the TurnOnLineNumbers macro under SamplesUtilities. Secondly, you can directly turn it on by going to Tools->Options. Then click Text EditorAll Languages. Check the "Line Numbers" checkbox and click OK. You should now have line numbers for all the files you open in the editor.

    Hope that helps!

    Aaron Marten

    Assistant to Dr. eX

  12. Saurabh Jain says:


    There is a MSDN archive manager in VS 2005 and hopefully it what you are looking for.



    VS Help & Community team

  13. hossein shahrian says:

    Could not load type ….

    from assembly …

    Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=null because the parent does not exist.

  14. Aaron Marten says:

    Hi Hossein,

    Could you send us some more deatils on your problem? Are you getting an error message like the above when you attempt to repair help? Please get in touch with me directly: aaronm<AT>


    Aaron Marten

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