Windows Security update KB5011485 has broken RoboHelp 2015 .chm file

Community Beginner ,
Mar 22, 2022 Mar 22, 2022

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I'm using RoboHelp 2015 to create a .chm file that is called from within our application.  Yesterday our company pushed Windows Security update KB5011485 to our Windows 10 laptops, and now the help file has major issues.  (I have proved this update is the cause, because I was unable to temporarily uninstall it, but my company will be pushing it back onto my machine any minute now!)

The file still opens but the formatting of the text is wrong in some places, graphic images and .shg images do not appear at all, and worst of all, after looking at one or two topics, it goes into a Script Error "loop" where an error message is presented and you can't get out of it (multiple error windows keep appearing after you try to click out of one).  Apparently the RH2015-generated chm runs a lot of functions that Windows has deemed insecure.
Would updating RoboHelp fix this?  I greatly appreciate any ideas.  We have many clients using our product who rely on the help, so this issue will become huge for us very soon.  In fact, we are up against a release deadline next week.
Thanks in advance.
Karla
 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 22, 2022 Mar 22, 2022

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That's the first report of that I have heard of. Also I am not aware of anyone reporting "Apparently the RH2015-generated chm runs a lot of functions that Windows has deemed insecure".

 

What I have heard of is that CHMs can no longer be run on a network for security reasons. That occurred in 2004, way before RoboHelp 2015. Maybe you are mixing the issues or have you found something specific to 2015? CHM Files Not Working on Network (grainge.org)

 

Is it the source files that show the faults or just the output? Please tell me you have a backup that you can copy and see if that has the same issues.

 

Where is your project located? Is it on a local drive or a network drive? Network drives were never recommended for that version of RoboHelp, quite the reverse. Also where are you generating to and where are you running the output?

 

Please provide as many answers as you can. There may be more to this but I need that information first.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 22, 2022 Mar 22, 2022

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Hi Peter - I was hoping you were still watching this forum.  Thanks for the quick response.

 

I am not running on a network - never have.  The output - the chm itself - is what has the issues.  Nothing changed from one day to the next except the security update.  I have a chm on my desktop and I double-click it.  Everything's great.  Then I get the security update and my machine reboots.  I double-click the same chm and it's broken.  I uninstall the security update, reboot, and the chm works fine.  Just like that.  (Same result when calling the chm from within the application - so it's not that either.)

 

I believe it's as straightforward as something in the chm (which is a standalone executable) is running some script(s) that Windows does not like and deems insecure, so they disabled the ability for Windows to run these scripts with this particular security update.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 22, 2022 Mar 22, 2022

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You can't really change the way CHMs work as the are created using the Microsoft HTML compiler. Only Microsoft can change that and they haven't done so since 2004.

 

Whether or not 2020 will help will need to be tested on a machine with KB5011485 on it. In your case it can be on your machine as installing it will not affect your existing version or the projects. What you will have to do is install the trial as @Jeff_Coatsworth has suggested and "upgrade" your Classic project. I put upgrade in quotes as the process leaves the Classic version as it was so you can still work on that in 2015. It creates a copy and upgrades that.

 

There's a bit of a learning curve as the whole UI is completely different. See the RoboHelp Tour Introduction (grainge.org) on my site.

 

I said earlier I hadn't seen this reported but this page on Microsoft's site shows it is a very new patch March 8, 2022—KB5011485 (OS Build 18363.2158) (microsoft.com) so maybe it does affect all versions of RoboHelp but no one generating CHMs has hit it yet.

 

I think the next step is for you to try 2020. If that has the same issue, I can liaise with Adobe Engineering. The other option if you can share the project is for me to generate it. I will not have that update as it is for Windows Enterprise but it may help. See Contact Peter Grainge to send it.

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My site www.grainge.org includes many free Authoring and RoboHelp resources that may be of help.

 

 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 22, 2022 Mar 22, 2022

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Thanks Peter.  I greatly appreciate your offers to assist.  I'm working on getting the 2020 trial downloaded.  Will keep you posted. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 22, 2022 Mar 22, 2022

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As ever, it must be installed with admin rights.

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My site www.grainge.org includes many free Authoring and RoboHelp resources that may be of help.

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 22, 2022 Mar 22, 2022

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You could try testing the demo version of RH2020 on a non-production machine with a copy of your project, but I highly suspect that because CHMs are as old as the dinosaurs, there's probably nothing that RH is doing that impacts the resulting product. That's why most people have gone to HTML5 output.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 22, 2022 Mar 22, 2022

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Hi Jeff,

 

I have already started our corporate ordering process to get the latest RH software to see if that helps, but as I said in my reply to Peter Grainge, the chm is doing something that Windows doesn't like and I can at this point only hope that RoboHelp has changed something in the way chm files work.

 

I knew someone would make the dinosaur comment!  Our system architects who wrote our mature and stable product absolutely love the chm format because it's easy to deliver and has worked very well for us.  (Our software is licensed to individual users and is locally installed and not network hosted.)  The code has dialog-box-level context help for hundreds of dialog boxes and changing to a new format of help would require a lot of code changes for which we do not have the resources.  Given the state of things, this will not be changing anytime soon if there is any way to avoid it.

 

Thanks.

Karla

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 22, 2022 Mar 22, 2022

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I wouldn't think you'd need to go through an order process to download the trial version of RH2020, update it to Patch 7 & test it.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 22, 2022 Mar 22, 2022

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It's certainly not easy to do that at my highly monitored work environment, but I'm also pursuing that as an option, because the order process could take awhile.  (I work for a huge data processing company that monitors our every move, so I'll at least need someone to provide temporary access to do this.)  Thanks for suggesting it again.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 22, 2022 Mar 22, 2022

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  1. Please confirm specifically that the issues are in the output only and your source project is still showing things correctly.
  2. Please generate a CHM from one of the supplied sample projects and confirm that also has issues.

________________________________________________________

My site www.grainge.org includes many free Authoring and RoboHelp resources that may be of help.

 

New Users: Default forum names can be changed in your Account Settings.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 23, 2022 Mar 23, 2022

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Posting a general update.  I was able to download and install a trial of RH2020, and created a chm from it.  I found another person with the KB5011485 update installed and asked her to look at the RH2015 output first, hoping to compare that to the RH2020 output and see differences.  Oddly, it the RH2015 output was NOT broken on her machine.  (Is it possible that because she doesn't have any help-authoring tools installed on her machine, there is a difference in how the chm behaves?  Or is that a crazy thought?)

At any rate, I currently do not have KB5011485 installed so I cannot check again on my machine to verify any differences between the output from the two versions of RH.

I am waiting to get KB5011485 installed again - and in the meantime trying to find another user who has it - so I can retest everything as @Peter Grainge suggested.  

Right now we are basically on hold until I can validate the issue again.  Thanks to both of you for your interest and assistance.  I'll post back, either way, in the next few days.

Karla

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 23, 2022 Mar 23, 2022

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  1. Was KB5011485 on your machine when you generated with 2020? I think not from what you say later so it's not a real test of 2020.
  2. The fact that the 2015 output is broken on your machine but works on your colleague's machine strongly suggests that the update is not the issue. I know without it the CHM works for you but if the patch were the real cause, it would affect everyone with it.
  3. Maybe not a crazy thought. I am beginning to think the reader on your machine is the issue. I think the answer to that will be in another thread. Give me some time to find it.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 23, 2022 Mar 23, 2022

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Try the solutions here on my site. Search Not Working? Although they relate to the search, the solutions might cover what is wrong on your machine.

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My site www.grainge.org includes many free Authoring and RoboHelp resources that may be of help.

 

 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 23, 2022 Mar 23, 2022

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The trouble right now is that nothing is broken on my machine anymore (since I uninstalled the update - although that may be coincidental, I'm beginning to think).  I'm afraid to mess with anything at the moment.

And to answer your questions:

  1.   Correct.  It was NOT installed when I compiled.
  2.   Agree.
  3.   You are saying the help reader may be the problem?  (But if so it's only the reader in conjunction with KB5011485 because it's not broken now.)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 23, 2022 Mar 23, 2022

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Fair point re 3.

 

You could always install 2015 on another machine as you will have 30 days trial. That would put beyond doubt the update or something on your machine. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 29, 2022 Mar 29, 2022

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@KarlaT123 Have you made any progress on this?

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