Launching attachments from CHM files

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One of the nice noew “features” of Windows Server 2003 is how the new enhanced security has broken the ability to launch attachments from compiled help files, also known as CHM files.

I had the opportunity to learn about this problem when I needed to move an application that we internally create content in that shows workflows. The workflows are easy enough to create but you can actually launch attachments with more information, actually forms in pdf format.

Part of the moving of the app involved upgrading from Windows Server 2000 to Windows Server 2003 R2. Windows 2003 was no problem but the R2 release was a big security change for Microsoft. When I first moved all of the files over there was a problem in even viewing the CHM information but after an initial fix executing the CHM file with the workflows I was not able to execure the attachments.

So when an app does not work like this I go to Google and to Microsoft to see what they have to see but in this case I was able to fix only a part of the problem…I am going to give the knowledge base article that gives the full fix, It is info from the patch itself MS05-026 but there was an earlier fix that gave me the ability to view the CHM results, who cares right? We want the whole fix.

So there are two steps in the above knowledge base article that will help you to fix your CHM attachment evecution, both are registry fixes invloving ITSS Restrictions. First you need to point Windows 2003 R2 to the location of the CHM file and secondly you need to tell Windows what kind of security you want to give on a scale of 1 to 4, I think the knowledge base article is great for this so no need to explain exactly.

In my case there was one more change that I had to make and that was to have PDF file on the server to not execute within a browser. We use Adobe Reader 7 and the setting is in the preferences under Internet preferences.

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