Recently, I received a call for computer repair in Marysville. The client was getting an error in Windows XP that “Windows cannot find HELPCTR.exe.“ Upon further discussion with the client, I found out that he had recently uninstalled a trial of AVG 2012 anti-virus. A little searching with Google showed that the problem was most likely caused by a missing registry key. Since I was providing tech support over the phone I didn’t want to have the client running regedit.exe himself, so I did a little more searching for easy solutions (yes, I could have started a remote session at this point). My diligence paid off when I found this:
This page contains a registry file to correct the observed error. After verifying the file I directed the client to the fix. He ran it, and upon seeing that the Help and Support link now worked, declared me a genius. (Truth be told I ride on the shoulders of giants.) Special thanks to the author of http://windowsxp.mvps.org/startmenuhelp.htm for his great resource.
Now, in regard to AVG 2012 I can not say for certain that it caused the problem, but it would not be the first time I have seen an uninstalled program break registry links before.
Stay safe out there,