Windows Cannot Find HELPCTR.EXE

Audience: Fellow Techs, Power Users

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 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,


The Number One Rule of Computing

The Number One Rule of Computing: Back it up! (imho)

target audience: home user

If you are reading this blog, then you probably live in a world full of data. Data that you depend on, for work, finances, travel, entertainment, and more. Without this data you day-to-day life would be turned on end. And yet, this data along with the technology that reads it can be fickle and fragile. I think most everyone has at some point tasted the bitterness of failure from forgetting to save a document. Many people have hung their heads in defeat as critical hardware went to an early grave. And a few people have even suffered theft, fire, or floods. Murphy can visit in many forms, so it is critical that we back-up all of our important data. It is not my intent to discuss specific products, or deliver a complete how-to (look for future articles) but rather to explain several varieties of back-up. Read on to find out the basics of back-up solutions for the home PC.

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