I’m one of the many people who’ve had problems loading OS X’s “Help” system after upgrading to Jaguar. First I got the spinning beach ball of death and had to force-quit Help. Then it degraded into a simple “Application unexpectedly quit” error whenever I tried to load Help.
I saw numerous reports of this on message boards, but I hadn’t found a solution that I was willing to try that worked. Many wrote of searching for all Lexmark-related files and deleting them or moving them to the desktop…but I have a Lexmark printer, and to be honest, it all sounded a bit fishy to me. Why would removing all the Lexmark files help Help?
Then on MacInTouch I found a collection of posts about the topic (see the heading, “Several readers sent notes about fixing problems with Mac OS 10.2’s Help viewer”), including this gem:
[Dave Gomme] I also had the problem where Finder’s Mac Help would act as if it were loading, then crash. I was able to open Help Viewer by itself, though, and in the Help Center browse list I found a blank entry at the top of the list. It turned out that the Virex 7 help folder in the /Library/Documentation/Help folder was causing the problem. I trashed the “Virex7.help” folder and Mac Help was able to load. Try looking for folders with a “.help” extension. I get the feeling 10.2 is less forgiving about these, and only wants packages with “.help” extensions.
Since I have Virex installed, it sounded promising, so I searched for .help files and looked for folders…sure enough, there’s a
Virex7.help file AND a folder alias called
LexmarkZ42Z52.help. I renamed both, just removing the
.help extensions, and now Help is back in business.
I think Dave Gomme might be on to something here with the .help extensions being for packages only. There are some other suggestions floating around, but this one definitely helped me.
So my Help system works, but now I don’t need it…I already figured out how to get screenshots in non-PDF form from the talkbacks in Derrick’s weblog!
What helped your help?