Downloading the Windows SDK 7.1 documentation for offline viewing


We’ve received feedback about previous versions of the Windows SDK related to the large size of the download.  To partially mitigate this, the latest SDK now gives users the choice of whether to download the documentation to their machine for offline viewing or to view the documentation strictly online.  You may notice that there are quite a few sets of docs that can be selected.  Below are instructions on how to get only the Windows 7.1 SDK documentation.

Here’s how to download it:

– Choose “Manage Help Settings”  from within Start Menu->Microsoft Windows SDK v7.1->Documentation

– This will launch the Help Library Manager

– Choose “Install Content from Online”

– At the bottom of the list, there is the “Windows SDK 7.1” node.

 

– Choose Add and then Update.

Once the download and installation is complete, the documentation can be viewed by selecting Windows SDK Documentation while in offline mode.


Comments (31)

  1. Josh says:

    Except that due to the way the Help Library Manager uses BITS with download Ranges, the content can not be downloaded if you are behind a virus checking HTTP proxy which disables HTTP 1.1 Ranges support.  (such as Cisco's IronPort device).

    Any chance of a regular HTTP link to download the content so that it can be installed from a fileshare?

  2. samsa says:

    Same question here. Is it possible to download the Help content and install it on other machine with no internet connection.

  3. Albert says:

    Thank you for the info.

    But the BIG problem with offline documentation is, that there is no usable offline reader available?

    What I think about the the default browser can not be described with words. Then I have tried the tools below, but they are no real help either, to say at least …

    Microsoft Help Viewer Power Tool (Beta) : code.msdn.microsoft.com/HelpViewerPowerTool

    HelpViewerKeywordIndex : visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/…/4af86641-a302-4edf-9853-007bcc670b30

    Can you please give us some info/guidance on what is going on with Microsoft concerning this issue.

  4. dj_palindrome says:

    I don't even get that far. A sucessfull install results in a broken shortcut [HelpLibManager.exe is nowhere to be found on my computer]. If you really need VS2010 to be a prerequisite, you should say so, and the installer should trap on it. Frankly, not worth any more of my time to troubleshoot. You should have left SDK the way it was and not broken it.

  5. Ranting Bull says:

    The VS2010 Help System just sucks, sorry to say.

  6. Shantanu Gadgil says:

    Could the H2Viewer work with this documentation set(s)?

    Ref: helpware.net/…/h2viewer.htm

  7. Chris Hubbard says:

    Hi All,

    You can use this tool vshelpdownloader.codeplex.com to download the documentation to a file share.  This file share can then be shared out or burned to a CD for other users behind a firewall or not connected to the internet to install documentation.

    When using the tool, filter on locale "en-US" and then select "Windows SDK".  Finally click "Download".  The selected items will be copied to the "Store files in" location (on my machine, it is C:userschrishuDocumentsVIsual Studio 2010MSDN Store).  Those files can then be copied or burned.

    dj_palindrome, if you would care to send me your install log, I should be able to figure out why the HelpLibManager.exe isn't being installed.  VS 2010 is not a prerequisite for the Windows SDK.  My e-mail is chrishu @ microsoft.com

    Thanks,

    Chris Hubbard

    Windows C++ SDET

  8. Josh says:

    Thanks for pointing me to this tool.  It does give me a workaround.

    Unfortunately, using vshelpdownloader, every time the help is updated I'll still need to

    a) redownload the packages using vshelpdownloader

    b) uninstall the packages  (as you can only Add from disk, not update)

    c) reinstall the packages

  9. Chris Hubbard says:

    Thank you for the feedback, Josh.

    I will bring it up with the appropriate team that there isn't an "update" option for installing content from disk.

    Thanks,

    Chris Hubbard

    Windows C++ SDET

  10. Tom says:

    It's essential for us to get downloadable Windows SDK documentation for our local disk.  We work disconnected most of the time and need the documentation available locally.

    It is also essential because our long term production support plan requires a VM with the OS, development tools, full SDK documentation set and our source code.  This VM is backed up and is used for long term post production support of our applications.  That VM is rarely updated/patched because each OS or devlopment  tool patch increases the chance that we will not be able to develop for the legacy application.

    The VM, source code, development tools, production suport plan, how to documents, etc all are sent to an off-site software escrow maintaned by a third party.

    This is all required by our long term commercial software licenses we sell to our customers.

    The escrow and production support plans, etc may sound like too much but this has been common practice for the mainframe commercial software world for the last 30+ years.

    This parallels what is done for big company disaster planning and disaster recovery.

  11. Chris Hubbard says:

    Hi All,

    Here is one workaround for the issue of having to update documentation on multiple machines: social.msdn.microsoft.com/…/ce017c32-5780-449c-9c86-0c5a0acededd

    Thanks,

    Chris

  12. max says:

    Tom&Jery fack you,fack you and fack you                                        u

  13. max says:

    Tom&Jery fack you,fack you and fack you                                        u

  14. dj_palindrome says:

    Hi Chris, sorry for not responding before now, but I found my own "unsupported" workaround to get a usable help viewer in SDK by extracting the redistributables from a VS2010 Express iso: msiexec.exe /i help3_vs.msi VS_SETUP=1.

    I know this is supposed to be unnecessary, but in my case it really was.

  15. m_essaid says:

    Hello everybody,

    I have tried to download the net framework documentation, a problem happened with my connection, now I can't continue downloading although I already downloaded 503 MB. So I wish if anyone can help me with a solution.

  16. ckoy says:

    I'm interested in Win32 and COM development. I added SDK 7.1 along with Win32&COM and Visual C++, but some Win32 related links still result in 404 Not Found pages, e.g. msdn.microsoft.com/…/ff657751%28v=VS.85%29.aspx does not exist in my offline Help.

  17. N/A says:

    Guys, can you please just publish a zip file or iso with docs and be done with it? There will be enough people to serve as dogfood testers for that new web-tied system without having to make everyone incur time loss and frustration every time the net has a hiccup.

    Internet is unreliable channel by definition – it serves fine for things small enough that you can just hit F5 and forget. But when you put a Dev in a situation that he has to worry about something that's so crucial for his work as the OS SDK is you are literally cutting the branch on which you sit. It never ceases to amaze me how people manage to forget the inherent instability and degradation of Internet connections.

    Won't even mention how much of your own resources this wastes since a lot of people are going to download twice – 1st time during VS install sine they don't know better or are in panic and then second time to have it in a well known location where they can be in control of it and have a backup.

    I'm not saying "put everything back into one iso" I'm saying just publish separate iso with files and stand-alone Dexplore. You can do patches for better synchronization, updates etc. latter – fixing the missing docs issue is much more urgent.

  18. N/A says:

    Guys, can you please just publish a zip file or iso with docs and be done with it?

    There will be enough people to serve as dogfood testers for that new web-tied system without having to make everyone incur time loss and frustration every time the net has a hiccup.

    Internet is unreliable channel by definition – it serves fine for things small enough that you can just hit F5 and forget. But when you put a Dev in a situation that he has to worry about something that's so crucial for his work as the OS SDK is you are literally cutting the branch on which you sit. It never ceases to amaze me how people manage to forget the inherent instability and degradation of Internet connections.

    Won't even mention how much of your own resources this wastes since a lot of people are going to download twice – 1st time during VS install sine they don't know better or are in panic and then second time to have it in a well known location where they can be in control of it and have a backup.

    I'm not saying "put everything back into one iso" I'm saying just publish separate iso with files and stand-alone Dexplore. You can do patches for better synchronization, updates etc. latter – fixing the missing docs issue is much more urgent.

  19. Roberto says:

    SDK is a total waste.  It is confusing.  Every year Microsoft's documentation is worse and worse.  This round of the SDK is probably the worst idea Microsoft had – worse than Vista and Kin phone. Ha!

  20. Noname says:

    The help viewer just sucks!

    I'd rather back to the CHM version of MSDN for Visual studio 6.0.

  21. John says:

    Hi,

    Any news on a download link for an off-line install. Where I am, developing on a machine connected to the Internet will never happen.

    Echo Noname, whenever possible we use Visual Studio 6.0 + MSDN98 + SDK February 2003. Its a significant productivity gain over newer product versions.

  22. World says:

    How can MIcrosoft be so INCOMPETENT?! Who was the responsible for this stupid new documentation system? Its incredible! Utter INCOMPETENCE!

  23. ntstatus says:

    Web baby farming produces script kiddies. They then grow up and get hired.

    Not in my firm!

    I ask them to describe a flip flop. If I get an answer that is not footware – they go on the short list.! 🙂

  24. Matt says:

    WOW I work for Microsoft and I can't beleive the utter mess this new help documentation has become.  I am trying to look up some information as a part of my job and the help system is just broken beyond words.  Why do we have such a problem with proven, existing methods?  New does not equal better.

  25. Matt says:

    WOW I work for Microsoft and I can't believe the utter mess this new help documentation has become.  I am trying to look up some information as a part of my job and the help system is just broken beyond words.  Why do we have such a problem with proven, existing methods?  New does not equal better.

  26. Vitalii says:

    Just won't do!!!! The local doc system just does not work!

  27. JG says:

    Well, with  9C i was able to write some super cool absolute mind bending game clips, the whole set up and library was fantastic. It worked with dual core 2.6G uP running vista, and few of the best 1G RAM card that were on the market till October 2009. With some few hours/days spent I was able to  produe slightly better games and terrains compared to what the guys on the market are selling to the kids. The most useless thing on SDK 9c was the F1 key, dont press that key or it will totally give you wrong answer and send you in circles.  

    But will DX11, Microsoft Windows SDK for Windows 7 with .NET Framework 4, be as good as the 9c SDK. Will it have all the libraries, or will the user go looking for them all over the web? Will it help produce games for SONY 3d TVs?  I wonder.

    Will the guys from MS have wriiten enough referene notes for individuals like me who love to push Hi tech computer to the edge, while expermenting and writing super cool game clips.

    Well, we shall soon findout by mid 2011, i guess, but for sure before year 2012.

  28. NG says:

    Guys, this 3rd party tool might be useful.. 🙂

    Visual Studio 2010 Help Downloader:

    vshelpdownloader.codeplex.com

  29. Bordon says:

    Strange to me that the help is not available as download as a zip or something like that. That would make it much easier for people who having problems downloading the help because they were sitting behind a firewall and proxy and the "VS 2010 Help downloader" and the "Help Library manager" were throwing exceptions because of it.

  30. ask says:

    just any uri or ftp address to download ,use third side tool ?

  31. Rohit says:

    This is UTTER RUBBISH. I can't believe we have been so patient with MSFT over all the years post .NET 2.0 release. The good old CHM API reference is nowhere to be found, only to be replaced by this pile of trash!