Microsoft KB Archive/240350

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Article ID: 240350

Article Last Modified on 7/1/2004


  • MSDN 2003 Universal Edition

This article was previously published under Q240350

IMPORTANT: This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry


This article describes procedures for manually removing the MSDN Library as well as any other HTML Help collections installed on the system.

NOTE: Only use these steps as a last resort. When possible, the MSDN Library should be removed and/or reinstalled using Control Panel's Add/Remove application.


WARNING: These steps will remove all HTML Help collections from the system. This includes but is not limited to the MSDN Library installations and the Platform SDK Documentation. All customizations for these collections will be lost.

WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

If the operating system is Windows 2000, first change the settings to view all the hidden files and folders on the system:

  1. Open Windows Explorer.
  2. From the Tools menu, choose Folder Options.
  3. Choose the View tab in the Folder Options dialog box.
  4. Under Advanced settings, select the Show hidden files and folders option.

The following steps will completely remove all HTML Help collections from the system:

  1. Use Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel to uninstall all MSDN Library installations listed.
  2. Use Add/Remove Programs to uninstall any other HTML Help collections, such as the Platform SDK Documentation.
  3. On the Start menu, point to Find, and click Files or Folders.
  4. Search for and delete all occurrences of the following files on your hard disk:

  5. Delete the installation folders for any MSDN Libraries. The default folders are as follows:

    Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio\MSDN98 (for the MSDN Library for Visual Studio 6.0)
    Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio\MSDN (for the MSDN Quarterly Library releases)
  6. Search for MSDN* on your hard disk, and then delete all instances of files or folders that are found.
  7. Use Regedit.exe to delete any instance of the key for MSDN Library under the following key:


    WARNING - Do not delete the entire key, only those subkeys for MSDN, such as:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\MSDN Library - January 2000)

  8. Use Regedit.exe to delete the following registry key if it exists:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\HTML Help Collections

  9. Manually uninstall and update HTML Help. The MSDN Library is dependent on HTML Help for its functionality. For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

    201420 How To Manually Uninstall and Update HTML Help

On Windows 2000, the above steps can cause problems for the Administrative Tools (Microsoft Management Console [MMC], Services, Event Viewer, and so forth). The Help files for these tools may not work. To fix this, you must also do the following on Windows 2000:

  1. Locate the path containing user profiles. By default this is located at C:\Documents and Settings. For an upgrade it may be located under <Windows Directory>\Profiles.
  2. For each user, go to <User Profile Directory>\Local Settings\Temp.
  3. Delete all collection files (.col) from this directory.


216109 How To Troubleshoot MSDN Library Run-Time/Install/Uninstall Problems

Keywords: kbhowto KB240350