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You say: "My sys admin controls the path for My Documents and that is networked to a VERY slow drive." Yikes!
"My Documents...networked" (and yes, JohnInCO, mapped drives are networked) cannot work with RH, period (even fast drives don't help). RH must be installed on your local machine, under your login with administrator privilege, and you must then work with your projects on that local machine. Then, you generate to your local machine and publish to any network you want.
If your sys admin refuses to recognize these restraints, first collect the 7th blue bar and the 10th blue bar, and then go to your sys admin's cube and WHACK HIM OVER THE HEAD WITH THEM!
Sorry if I wan't clear. I do not use the My Documents folder for anything!! I have changed every program I can to not use My Doucments (redirected network share) but use C:\MyLocalFIles
My RH7 install is to the local drive under my account with Admin permission, just like RH6 was.
My project is in C:\MyLocalFiles\RHProjects
The build path is C:\MyLocalFiles\RHBuilds
I only mention the My Documents folder in case RH7 does something RH6 never did.
The fact that the demo project builds OK, has me thinking that something in my converted project is the problem.
I did build one of the WebHelp Single Souce Layouts (SSL) successfully when I first converted to see what the breadcrumbs looked like, but haven't been able to build since then. (I have 20 WebHelp SSL defined and none work)
Make a copy of your project and put it somewhere safe.
Then try deleting the CPD file before reopening. You will lose some details but first see if that makes a difference. If it does, then we can cover what to do next.
Already tried that twice with no change in outcome. I am now in the process of reinstalling RH7 although I doubt that will make a difference.
Reinstalled RHv7 - It won't install the update to 7.0.1 (get unable to complete install error message), but I can now generate! Go figure. Hopefully I don't need anything that release 7.0.1 has fixed.