Fixing Windows XP HELPCTR.exe Error

I got this absolutely frustrating problem today in Windows XP, and it took me more than a few hours to find the cause. Darn Windows !

If you click "Help and Support" (Start > Run > Help & Support) and get "Windows cannot find HELPCTR.EXE" here's a possible solution to your problem.

  1. Start Regedit, by going Start > Run and typing "regedit" without quotes
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\HELPCTR.EXE
  3. If the key doesn't exist, right click and create the key : "HELPCTR.EXE" (sans quotes)
  4. Ensure the value is C:\WINDOWS\PCHealth\HelpCtr\Binaries\HelpCtr.exe or create this value
  5. Reboot the machine and try again

Woot! Should be fixed! Yay!

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11 Responses to Fixing Windows XP HELPCTR.exe Error

  1. ashok shital says:

    dear sir,
    I can not locate my helpctr.exe by the commands mentioned above. i can not find ‘App path’ pls help me. thanks

  2. rahul vhanwar says:

    If you click “Help and Support” (Start > Run > Help & Support) and get “Windows cannot find HELPCTR.EXE” here’s a possible solution to your problem.

    Start Regedit, by going Start > Run and typing “regedit” without quotes

    Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\HELPCTR.EXE

    If the key doesn’t exist, right click and create the key : “HELPCTR.EXE” (sans quotes)

    Ensure the value is C:\WINDOWS\PCHealth\HelpCtr\Binaries\HelpCtr.exe or create this value

    Reboot the machine and try again

  3. indah says:

    thanks ^^.

  4. Chris says:

    thanks a lot. I had that problem. I reinstalled xp and thought this would resolve it. I was wrong.

  5. baju Wanita says:

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    I’ll be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I will definitely return.

  6. Mithun Mitra says:

    Step I
    Restore missing Help and Support Files

    1. Click Start, Run and type %windir%\INF

    2. Locate the file pchealth.inf, right-click and choose Install

    There will be two files namely PCHealth.INF and PCHealth.PNF. You’ll need to right-click on the INF file (identified by a text pad and Gear icon in it) and choose Install. Note that the .INF suffix is not shown in Windows Explorer unless the Hide extensions for known file types setting is disabled in Control Panel / Folder Options / View tab.

    3. In the next step, you’ll be asked for the Windows XP CD (to extract dataspec.xml and many other files). Insert your Windows XP CD and point to the i386 folder in the CD. The i386 folder is usually located at the root of the drive for retail Windows XP CD. (DriveLetter:\I386)

    4. Click OK. This restores missing Help and Support files.

    Step II
    End the Help and Support services

    Click Start, click Run and type Taskmgr and click OK. This opens Task Manager. Click the Process tab. Terminate the following processes if running:

    helpsvc.exe
    helphost.exe
    helpctr.exe

    Step III
    Reinstall Help and Support

    Click Start, click Run and type cmd.exe, and click OK.

    In Command Prompt, type the following commands one by one and press {ENTER} after each line. Alternately, you can copy the commands below to Notepad, save the file with .bat extension (e.g. helpfix.bat) and run it. Then RESTART your computer.

    net stop helpsvc
    cd /d %windir%\pchealth\helpctr\binaries
    start /w helpsvc /svchost netsvcs /regserver /install
    start /w helpsvc /register
    start /w helpctr /regserver

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  9. […] Fixing Windows XP HELPCTR.exe Error | The Chaos Eternal – May 05, 2006 · If you click “Help and Support” (Start > Run > Help & Support) and get “Windows cannot find HELPCTR.EXE” here’s a possible solution to your problem…. […]

  10. […] Fixing Windows XP HELPCTR.exe Error | The Chaos Eternal – May 05, 2006 · If you click “Help and Support” (Start > Run > Help & Support) and get “Windows cannot find HELPCTR.EXE” here’s a possible solution to your problem…. […]

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