10 Replies Latest reply on Dec 12, 2008 10:01 AM by tw45

    Help for Windows 98

      I have created a help system via RoboHelp 7, and it works fine under Windows XP. However, my client just notified me that when run under Windows 98, the help file shows a scripting error each time a topic is selected.

      The error appears in a dialog box, and in part reads "an error has occurred in the script on this page," line 2, invalid character

      referencing the URL for the CHM file: ...myhelpfile.chm::/imsprojectfile.htm

      How do I ensure the help files work on Windows 98?

      looking forward to learning more about this!
        • 1. Re: Help for Windows 98
          Pete Lees Level 2
          Hi, tw45,

          I think this typically happens when there is a problem with the HTML Help viewer components on the user's computer. More precisely, it seems to occur when the registry entries for the HTML Help ActiveX control, hhctrl.ocx, have been corrupted. At least one of the Internet Explorer security updates that Microsoft release 4-5 years ago is known to cause this problem.

          The best thing to do first is probably have the client browse around a few other help files, such as the Internet Explorer help file. If the client runs into similar problems, especially when clicking the Related Topics links in the IE Help file, then you'll know that the HTML Help viewer components are at fault.

          To resolve the problem, the client could first run MJ's Help Diagnostics and choose the option to "Refresh Registration of all HH 1.x DLLs". You can get this utility from here:


          There are a few other things to try after that, but I won't go into details until you determine that the problem persists after refreshing the registry entries.

          • 2. Re: Help for Windows 98
            tw45 Level 1
            Hi, Pete: The client tried your suggestions, but reports that nothing has changed -- the Help still won't let you select any topics from the TOC. He claims that "there must be an option in RoboHelp that I forgot to turn on" -- is there any merit to this statement? What else can the client try?

            Thanks for your continued help,
            • 3. Re: Help for Windows 98
              RoboColum(n) Level 5
              Hi tw45.

              Can you confirm that the issue your client has is limited to just your CHM and that other CHMs not created by you are OK on the client's PC?
              • 4. Re: Help for Windows 98
                Pete Lees Level 2
                Hi, tw45,

                It would be interesting to see the report that MJ's Help Diagnostics has generated for this machine, if there's any way to obtain it from the client. I'd be quite keen to see how up-to-date the HTML Help viewer components on the machine are.

                Does a copy of HHActiveX.dll need to be registered on the machine? See:


                Perhaps the client could try re-registering the HTML Help ActiveX control from the command line. To do this, open a Command Prompt window and type the following two commands:

                regsvr32 /u %windir%\system32\hhctrl.ocx
                regsvr32 %windir%\system32\hhctrl.ocx

                • 5. Re: Help for Windows 98
                  tw45 Level 1
                  Hi, Pete & Colum:

                  First, the client did say he brought up the Outlook Express and Internet Explorer help on the same PC, and they worked normally.

                  Here is the MJ Report:

                  MJ's Help Report

                  A common problem with HTML Help 1.x is DLLs not correctly registered during installation. This utility checks all components and registers DLLs if required. We also report if the RoboHelp DLL is registered, and if MS Help 2 components are installed and registered.

                  After running the report, try running your program again to see if the fault has cleared.

                  General Info

                  Report EXE: C:\WINDOWS\DESKTOP\MJSDIAG.EXE

                  Report Run Date: 12/9/08 1:10:39 PM

                  Report EXE Version:

                  Download URL: http://helpware.net/downloads/


                  Operating System: Windows 4.10.67766446

                  SysLocale.DefaultLCID: 0x0409 (1033)

                  SysLocale.PriLangID: 0x0009 (9)

                  SysLocale.SubLangID: 0x0001 (1)

                  DecimalSeparator: .


                  HH Installed: YES

                  HH Version: 4.73.8412.0

                  HH Friendly Version: 1.21


                  H2 Installed: NO

                  H2 Version:


                  IE Installed: YES

                  IE Version: 5.0.2614.3500

                  IE Friendly Version: Internet Explorer 5.0b

                  NT Administrator

                  NT Admin Check: Not NT machine

                  HTML Help Run-time Components

                  File Registered OK: C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\hhctrl.ocx (Version: 4.73.8412.0)

                  File Registered OK: C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\itss.dll (Version: 4.72.8084.0)

                  File Registered OK: C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\itircl.dll (Version: 4.72.7276.0)

                  File Found: C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\hhctrl.ocx

                  Version = 4.73.8412.0

                  Registry Info: {adb880a6-d8ff-11cf-9377-00aa003b7a11}

                  ClassName = HHCtrl Object

                  InProcServer32 = C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\HHCTRL.OCX

                  ProgID = Internet.HHCtrl.1

                  DLL is Found and Registered OK = YES

                  File Found: C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\itss.dll

                  Version = 4.72.8084.0

                  Registry Info: {5D02926A-212E-11D0-9DF9-00A0C922E6EC}

                  ClassName = Microsoft InfoTech IStorage System

                  InProcServer32 = C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\ITSS.DLL

                  ProgID = MSITFS1.0

                  DLL is Found and Registered OK = YES

                  File Found: C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\itircl.dll

                  Version = 4.72.7276.0

                  Registry Info: {4662DAA5-D393-11D0-9A56-00C04FB68BF7}

                  ClassName =

                  InProcServer32 = C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\ITIRCL.DLL

                  ProgID = ITIR.WordWheelBuild.4

                  DLL is Found and Registered OK = YES

                  For HH Version Info See: http://helpware.net/htmlhelp/hh_info.htm

                  HTML Help 1.x Registry Settings

                  Description: If present this Key can disable HH Shortcuts and HH WinHelp commands on the local PC

                  Reference: KB 810687, KB 323180

                  Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\System\

                  Value: HelpQualifiedRootDir (string value) =

                  -> Report: Policy is not enabled. HH Shortcuts are not restricted on local machine.

                  Description: This key can be used to enable Hhctrl.ocx ActiveX Visual controls on servers

                  Reference: KB 892675

                  Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\HTMLHelp\1.x\HHRestrictions

                  Value: UrlAllowList (string value) =

                  Value: MaxAllowedZone (string value) =

                  -> Report: Settings reported for information only.

                  Description: This key allows MS programs such as iexplore.exe to open ITS file that do not have a .CHM file extension

                  Reference: KB 873343

                  Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\HTMLHelp\1.x\HelpRestrictions\AllowedExtensions

                  -> Report: No special file extensions have been enabled on this PC.

                  Description: This key can be used to allow access to remote ITS files

                  Reference: Win 2003 SP1, KB 896054

                  Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\HTMLHelp\1.x\ItssRestrictions

                  Value: UrlAllowList (string value) =

                  Value: MaxAllowedZone (string value) =

                  Value: NestedProtocolList (string value) =

                  -> Report: Settings reported for information only.

                  For HH Registry Info See: http://helpware.net/htmlhelp/hh_info.htm#hh14

                  HTML Help 1.x Workshop Components

                  *** HH Workshop not found or not installed correctly. Try reinstalling.

                  File not found: C:\Program Files\itcc.dll

                  *** File Not Found: hha.dll

                  KeyHelp OCX by Keyworks.net - KeyHelp.ocx

                  This is for information only. KeyHelp is a 3rd party DLL.

                  *** KeyHelp.ocx is not registered or not installed!

                  *** You can register your KeyHelp.ocx using the "Register a DLL" button.

                  *** KeyHelp.ocx could be installed anywhere on your PC by normally resides in the Windows System folder.

                  For More Info See: http://keyworks.net/

                  RoboHelp DLL by eHelp/Macromedia - HHActiveX.dll

                  This is for information only. HHActiveX is a 3rd party DLL.

                  *** HHActiveX.dll is not registered or not installed!

                  *** You can register your HHActiveX.dll using the "Register DLL..." button.

                  *** HHActiveX.dll could be installed anywhere on your PC.

                  For More Info See: http://www.macromedia.com/

                  MS Help 2 Run-time Components

                  *** MS Help 2 NOT installed on this PC

                  • 6. Re: Help for Windows 98
                    Pete Lees Level 2
                    Hi, again,

                    Thanks for the report, which gives a few clues as to what may be happening.

                    > HH Installed: YES
                    > HH Version: 4.73.8412.0
                    > HH Friendly Version: 1.21

                    This appears to be a baseline Windows 98 SE computer that has never been upgraded. The HTML Help viewer components are extremely old and date back as far as April 1999 (see HTML Help History)! So, I'm inclined to say that the client should try to apply all available updates, but I'm aware this isn't straightforward now that Microsoft has dropped support for Windows 98. As a minimum, the client could try upgrading Internet Explorer to 6.0 SP1, which should bring newer versions of the viewer components with it.

                    The client can upgrade the viewer components to version 1.3 (still very old) by using the hhupd.exe utility that comes with HTML Help Workshop. However, I'm not confident that this will make much difference.

                    It could be that there is something in your help file that is looking for a more recent version of the HTML Help viewer components than is available on the computer. For example, if you've used HTML Help design-time controls in your topics, they may be branded with the version number of the viewer components on your own computer -- likely to be much more recent than those on the Windows 98 computer. To determine whether this is the case or not, you could try viewing the HTML source of a topic that contains an HTML Help design-time control:

                    1) Open the help file and browse to the topic.
                    2) Right-click the topic pane, and then click View Source.
                    3) Search for instances of <object> elements and see if they contain codebase parameters.

                    If they do, these parameters are likely to specify the version number of the HTML Help control on your computer. Removing the codebase parameter wherever it occurs could fix the problem, but I don't know whether this is feasible with RoboHelp.

                    > *** HHActiveX.dll is not registered or not installed!

                    If you've added a Glossary tab or browse sequences to your help window then you'll need to ensure that HHActiveX.dll is registered on your users' computers.

                    • 7. Re: Help for Windows 98
                      tw45 Level 1
                      Hi :) I much appreciate your patient help with this confusing problem.

                      1) I forwarded the client a copy of the HHActive dll file -- but I'm almost certain the help system doesn't use dynamic HTML.
                      2) There is no glossary tab displayed when the CHM file is run, and the browse sequence editor doesn't show any browse sequeneces
                      3) I don't even know what a "HTML Help design-time control" is - so I'm not sure how I could have used one, but this is an "inherited" help system created by someone else previously, so who knows what's in there!!?? I did do a search for "<object" (without the quotes) in all the HTML files used by the project (using HomeSite's extended find feature), but nothing turned up.

                      My question is -- why is a script getting called under Windows 98 (and thereby generating a script error), when no such problem occurs under XP? I could understand it if the CHM file simply wouldn't display at all -- but the TOC and default topic display, but then when a topic is selected from the TOC, then the scripting error occurs. :(

                      Sigh. I feel stupid, but I guess that's the way some days go...
                      • 8. Re: Help for Windows 98
                        Pete Lees Level 2
                        Hi, again,

                        How would you feel about sending your .chm file to me so that I can take a closer look at it? If that's OK, contact me by clicking my name at the left.

                        • 9. Re: Help for Windows 98
                          tw45 Level 1
                          Hi again. I sent the CHM file via e-mail. Here is a tad more info from the client:

                          He says that if he tries to open a specific HTM file from the help project, in IE5 on the Win98 system, he gets the same scripting error as occurs when trying to select a topic from the TOC.

                          He also said he tried the help file in a debugger on my dev system (Vista). It is definitely calling the ehlpdthl.js file for things like CEngine.OnPageLoad, CEngine.OnPageClick and CEngine.OnMouseOver.

                          perhaps the above info will help diagnose this interesting problem.
                          • 10. Re: Help for Windows 98
                            tw45 Level 1
                            interestingly, I checked the "baggage file folder" for the project, and the ehlpdthl.js file is NOT included...