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Office 2010 Help starts “Configuration Progress” every time, then fails

    Question

  • I just installed Professional Plus 64-bit on a fairly fresh install of Windows 7 Pro.

    Whenever I try to start Help, I get the dreaded “Configuration Progress” window with the agonizingly slow progress bar.  About halfway through, the Help Viewer window opens with an entirely blank, gray interior.  When the configuration finishes, it prompts me to reboot.  Whether I do or not, the next time I try Help, same thing.  I never can actually use Help.  (After setup, I am helpfully informed that no help topics match my request.)

    I have replicated this in both Word and Excel.

    Several other posts relate similar problems, but apparently always on program start, so I'd like to reiterate that this only occurs when I start Help.

    • Edited by P1h3r1e3d13 Sunday, October 24, 2010 9:47 AM “no topics” message regardless of reboot choice
    Sunday, October 24, 2010 8:20 AM

Answers

  • Aha!  A Microsoft tech support agent solved this for me.

    After much poking around, she downloaded the help files to my desktop from MS, then (I believe) replaced the existing ones.  There are about 33 (could vary depending on what components you installed) and they are mostly .hxn files, with some .HxW, .HxH, .HxD, and .Lck.

    She placed them in C:\Program Data\Microsoft Help.  As it turns out from my experimentation, the help viewer will actually look both there and in %LocalAppData%\Microsoft Help when opening help.  It will create either directory if it is missing, but gladly read the files from either.

    I’m sorry that doesn’t solve your problem if you don't have MS’s copy of the help files, but it’s a place to start looking.

     

    Note: The tech also gave the Everyone group Full control of HKLM and HKCU.  I didn't much like the sound of that, so I reversed the change with no ill effects.

    • Marked as answer by P1h3r1e3d13 Sunday, October 24, 2010 4:51 PM
    • Edited by P1h3r1e3d13 Sunday, October 24, 2010 8:49 PM fix directory path
    Sunday, October 24, 2010 4:51 PM

All replies

  • Aha!  A Microsoft tech support agent solved this for me.

    After much poking around, she downloaded the help files to my desktop from MS, then (I believe) replaced the existing ones.  There are about 33 (could vary depending on what components you installed) and they are mostly .hxn files, with some .HxW, .HxH, .HxD, and .Lck.

    She placed them in C:\Program Data\Microsoft Help.  As it turns out from my experimentation, the help viewer will actually look both there and in %LocalAppData%\Microsoft Help when opening help.  It will create either directory if it is missing, but gladly read the files from either.

    I’m sorry that doesn’t solve your problem if you don't have MS’s copy of the help files, but it’s a place to start looking.

     

    Note: The tech also gave the Everyone group Full control of HKLM and HKCU.  I didn't much like the sound of that, so I reversed the change with no ill effects.

    • Marked as answer by P1h3r1e3d13 Sunday, October 24, 2010 4:51 PM
    • Edited by P1h3r1e3d13 Sunday, October 24, 2010 8:49 PM fix directory path
    Sunday, October 24, 2010 4:51 PM
  • I have the same problem. How do I get in touch with the person who helped you so that they can do the same for me. ?
    Sunday, October 31, 2010 12:08 AM
  • The numbers I have for Microsoft tech support are:

    (800) 936-5700 and (513) 698-1051

    If I remember correctly, I called them on the 800 number and they called back on the 513.  Try your luck there or just <del>Google</del> Bing “microsoft tech support.”

    Tuesday, November 02, 2010 12:09 AM
  • I have have same issue that "Configration Progress" keep open every time i open Excell, Word or Outlook. 

    Office 2010 Configration Progress Loop Problem

    The problem is that if you have installed Display Language on computer try to change it to English. After changing the display language it solves my problem.

    

    Friday, March 02, 2012 12:28 PM
  • I hadn't and haven't installed any languages, though, so I don't think that was the cause of my problem.
    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 5:14 AM
  • I know this is an old thread, but just in case anyone else is having the same problem:

    It happened to me today, and after reading this thread I thought it was worth just deleting all the files in the two folders mentioned above ("%ProgramData%\Microsoft Help" and "%LocalAppData%\Microsoft Help").

    After opening Excel, and starting up Help again, it went through the same configuration as before, but this time it worked after re-booting.

    I'm guessing it was caused by a corrupt file in one of those folders.

    Friday, September 14, 2012 3:55 PM