8 Replies Latest reply on Aug 7, 2007 11:24 PM by ---Dirk_Bock

    Fatal Error: Unexpected error from Microsoft HTML Compiler

    JaredHess Level 1
      I'm using RH 6 with Vista (yes I know Vista is not supported, but I'm one of the few that has to have it, so I'm using the tweaked unsupported version)

      Sometimes when generating a CHM output (Compiled HTML Help) right after the "Compacting file system..." step I get an error that says "Fatal Error: Unexpected error from Microsoft HTML Compiler".

      I'm not sure what causes it. I don't get it all the time, but I seem to get it more often than not. However, it doesn't seem to do anything adverse to the compiled help file. Well, not that I can see anyway.

      Any information on what causes this and how I can fix it?
        • 1. Re: Fatal Error: Unexpected error from Microsoft HTML Compiler
          RoboWizard Level 4
          Hi JaredHess

          Personally I'll be pretty surprised if you are able to obtain a definitive answer here. I've just installed Vista last week in a new dual boot configuration. Unfortunately, I've not been able to play with it since, as I have paying work with RoboHelp and Captivate classes. Hence, I've been back in the world of Windows XP. I'm not claiming I'm *the* source for RoboHelp information here, only that I like to think I'm a reasonably "techie" sort of guy and I'm just now getting around to installing Vista. So I'm guessing that odds are, not many have.

          Anyhoo, I do wish you the very best of luck in getting it sorted. I'll definitely be watching for any responses offered here so I may learn something new!

          Cheers... Rick
          • 2. Re: Fatal Error: Unexpected error from Microsoft HTML Compiler
            ---Dirk_Bock Level 1
            I've experienced the same message on a XP system several times, without being able to nail the problem down. In most cases it seems to be connected to illegal entries in the HHP generated by RH.

            If you see, e.g., absolute paths in the HHP, you should - after the obligatory backup - delete the project's CPD, open the project again, have some coffee, and try again.

            Hope this helps.

            ---Dirk Bock
            • 3. Re: Fatal Error: Unexpected error from Microsoft HTML Compiler
              JaredHess Level 1
              Thanks RoboWizard, I don't think this is a Vista-specific problem.

              Dirk, I tried your solution, but I still get the error. I just noticed on some .htm files that my images aren't appearing in the compiled html help file. I don't know if this problem is due to this error or something else. The .htm files when viewed in a web browser show the missing images.
              • 4. Re: Fatal Error: Unexpected error from Microsoft HTML Compiler
                ---Dirk_Bock Level 1
                If deletion of the CPD doesn't work, there seems to be more amiss in the HHP.

                Have you had a look at the new version of the HHP-file?

                Your missing images are due to another problem: I guess you have images linked to from imported topics. During import RH copies all necessary files to the appropriate relative locations, but it does not 'recognize' new folders created during this step. For the compilation RH copies all the stuff it thinks belong to the project to a temp folder, but 'unrecognized' files are ignored, thus missing in the compiled help.

                Use Windows explorer to note where linked images are situated and 'create' these folders within RH via the context menu of the Project Explorer's folders 'HTML Files' section. This way RH suddenly recognizes the folders and is able to handle the images therein.

                Perhaps some unrecognized folders are responsible for compiler crash, too?

                Regards

                ---Dirk Bock
                • 5. Re: Fatal Error: Unexpected error from Microsoft HTML Compiler
                  JaredHess Level 1
                  Fixed my images...

                  (I don't know what happened but a lot of stuff went bezerk with my project and I had to do a lot of topic reimporting since several of them went MIA...)

                  Anyway, things are back to where they were before I posted. Still getting this "Unexpected error"-- Actually, I'm starting to expect it more and more. You asked if I had a look at the new version of the .hhp file. What exactly should I be looking for?
                  • 6. Re: Fatal Error: Unexpected error from Microsoft HTML Compiler
                    ---Dirk_Bock Level 1
                    If this error turns up after the message "... compacting the file system", this means that the FILES section of the hhp has been processed correctly. Look after the FILEs section, and pay special attention to the BAGGAGE section of the HHP file; in our case some non-existing file showed up in this place.

                    ---Dirk Bock
                    • 7. Fatal Error: Unexpected error from Microsoft HTML Compiler
                      JaredHess Level 1
                      I don't see a BAGGAGE section in my hhp file... I don't think that's a valid section for the hhp file is it?
                      • 8. Re: Fatal Error: Unexpected error from Microsoft HTML Compiler
                        ---Dirk_Bock Level 1
                        BAGGAGE is a valid, albeit not a necessary one.

                        My remote debugging skills are at an end now. You could send me a PM for other options.

                        ---Dirk Bock