This may get a bit lengthy but I want to lay it all on the table in the hope of getting to the root thus helping to arrive at an answer.
For the past several months I've been developing a help system for a food processing plant. This is a brand new plant with state of the art technology. They wanted a system that would house all the SOPs for the facility and also all the manuals for all the equipment. I arrived on the scene late in the game so things were a bit disorganized to say the least. The SOP documents are all Word docs - some 2010 and some 2007 or earlier. Some are in an old style format and some developed in a new template that I created to try and standardized things. The manuals are all PDF documents.
I've worked with RoboHelp before but not on a project like this. My previous project was built from the ground up with style sheets, fixed layouts etc. This project is not like that. Because of the wide diversity of the Word docs I pretty much abandoned trying to standardize the style sheets and simply let each imported document create it's own style sheet. It's not that hard to manage and up to now seems to work OK. Most of the imported Word documents are built in some kind of table format.
Then there's the PDF manuals. Some are small and some are HUGE. I've broken them up when I could. The best solution I could figure out was to import the PDF documents as a baggage file and then create a topic with a hyperlink to the PDF. From a file managment standpoint it seems to work OK. I've been concerned from the onset about the amount of space these baggage files will use.
The help system is still in it's infancy. There are currently nearly 300 topics. The project size is currently just over 2GB in the working files on my hard drive (PDF files included) and the published version used on the network is just over 1GB. The published version seems to run fine on any machine that accesses it, but lately when I compile I get the "RoboHelp has stopped working..." crash. Sometimes it will finish compiling and the crash occurs when I click Publish and other times it crashes during the compilation.
I'm using WebHelp HTML to generate the help system. There are some weeks when this project is updated every day and other times I can go a week with no updates. As I said I am still building this project so it will just keep getting bigger. Usually if I generate two or three times it will eventually run without errors or crashing and allow me to publish it. The crashes are becoming the norm rather than the exception. I'm fearful that it's a size issue and I'm considering trying to rebuild and this time loading the PDF files directly on the server and linking to them rather than loading them as baggage files. I know it will reduce the database size to make that change.
There are some who feel that maybe RH is not the right program for this venture. There are others who think the result is wonderful.
I'm using a computer with Windows 7 64bit, Intel i7 processor and 8GB RAM with a 465GB hard drive that is 3/4 empty. I don't think my computer power is the problem.
Sorry for the long oration. There are many things about this project that defy the "norm" so I wanted to get it all on the table. I appreciate any feedback and/or suggestions.