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    Error Message on Help Page (IE6)

    Can anyone here help me with an error message that keeps coming up, preventing me from accessing instant support messages in the Windows Help and Support site?

    The taskbar tells me there are messages waiting; I go to the site, click on Get Message in Inbox and receive this message:
    "Exception in DisplayIncidentList 'null' is not an object."

    I've been trying for 3 weeks to get help on this through my computer manufacturer's Web site, help line, etc., but to no avail. Today I notice that the error message dialogue box had "Microsoft Internet Explorer" on the top so thought it might be an IE error.

    The system is new, running Windows XP. This site worked for the first few days (I didn't get this message), but not since.

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    Re: Error Message on Help Page (IE6)

    I'm not familiar with "instant support messages." Do you have a link to a page that explains what they are? I assume they're not personal messages, but just based on WindowsUpdate or other "self-healing" technologies.

    Anyway, you could try using WindowsUpdate and see if that causes the messages to be cleared out. I know this doesn't help for the future, but it's a start. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

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    Re: Error Message on Help Page (IE6)

    Thanks for replying. I don't have a link. It is the Help and Support page that is on the Start menu with Windows XP, at least with my Windows XP. Then, when you click it, you go to the Help page and further click on the "Instant Support" link.

    Does that help at all? I have been trying to add Windows patches (is that what you mean by Windows Update?) as per Woody's advice in WOW, but am sort of stymied because I'm still not sure which ones I should and should not add. The "Critical Updates and Service Packs" I did load just today didn't stop error message.

    Linda

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    Re: Error Message on Help Page (IE6)

    Hi Irene:
    I haven't heard of instant support messages either. It sounds like something that your computer manufacturer is pushing. It might be a link to their site. Who did you get the computer from? If you right click on the link on your menu & choose Properties, you should see the URL. Maybe you could post it. I don't have Windows XP, so I could be mistaken.

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    Re: Error Message on Help Page (IE6)

    Probably a bit different. Here is what I have on a Dell with Windows XP Pro. It's possible I customized it at some point to skip something. Can't swear it starts here out of the box...
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Error Message on Help Page (IE6)

    That looks pretty much like mine. As Phil suggested, it must be a Compaq feature. Here is (hopefully!) a screen shot of my Help and Support screen: forget that - I can't figure out how to get the shot from Paint to this message! Anyway, from what you showed me and Phil said, I need to work through Compaq on this issue! Back to the earlier challenges - can neither get through to them on their help line nor the Internet.

    Will try Phil's suggestion for accessing additional info and post my success here .

    Linda

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    Re: Error Message on Help Page (IE6)

    Hi Phil.

    Thanks for trying! I tried your right click technique - yielded only the hover-type message, "Get connected to a support profressional." So I want to site to obtain link - but there is no link to be seen. Just places to put your request and receive your answrer - if I only could!

    Can you see any other way around this except continual tries to get through on their Help line? (not even working right now due to overload caused by Blaster/ Sobig)

    Linda

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    Re: Error Message on Help Page (IE6)

    Hi Irene:
    I really don't have a solution. Although what I do is call their SALES department & ask for a manager & then complain that I can't get through. If you complain loud enough, there might be an inside line that they have. Although companies skimp on their support lines, they can't afford to irritate prospective buyers, so you usually get through pretty quickly when they think you want to buy their product.
    Good luck.

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    Re: Error Message on Help Page (IE6)

    If you call up a "full service" COMPAQ retailer (like CompUSA or Circuit City?) maybe they have a quick answer, particularly if it's something that lots of people are running into... as long as you're working the phones.

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    Re: Error Message on Help Page (IE6)

    Linda--

    Where are you getting the "Exception in DisplayIncidentList 'null' is not an object." error message? You said "The taskbar tells me there are messages waiting; I go to the site, click on Get Message in Inbox and receive this message." I can't figure out what site "this site" is. What site worked for a few days? A site that was in the Help and Support Window that linked you to a Compac support site? What does Event Viewer say as far as errors at the time you're getting the error messages?

    I get from this that you have a problem(s) and you want to get help from Compaq and the idea is that if you click on the links the OEM has branded or put into Help and Support--just like Jefferson's links to Dell in his screen shot--you can get "instant support" from Compac.

    Given the chance to choose between Compaq/HP support and the Lounge, I'd choose the lounge many times over. Why not put the problems in the lounge? Do you mean the problems you posted on the Windows XP section of the lounge or something different. I think you'll get much faster higher quality support here and you won't have near the wait.

    So if I understand this right, Help and Support is not in need of fixing. You're getting that error at some other site--but you haven't said which site.

    Just my two cents, but I wouldn't expend much effort trying to lessen what must be a long wait for Compaq support-- while the concept of a link to instant OEM support is attractive in theory (sorry about the waits) I'd just put up whatever are the problems in the lounge and see if they can be fixed here.

    SMBP

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    Re: Error Message on Help Page (IE6)

    This is what "Out of the Box" from MS looks like, with OUT any OEM or personal changes.
    Attached Images Attached Images

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Re: Error Message on Help Page (IE6)

    Hi to everyone - thanks for your suggestions. Sorry to be slow getting back to you - a physical bug felled me last week! At least it was a change from these computer "bugs"!!

    Like the different phone suggestions - one of them should work.

    To SMBP: here are attempts to answer your queries:

    As you suggested, the site I go to is the one reached by clicking "Help and Support" on the Start menu, like the one shwn on the Dell screen shot in Jefferson's message. It is a Compaq site, but I can't figure out the address! It doesn't seem to be visible any obvious where.

    When I get to the Help and Support page, there is a place to choose "Instant Support". Doing that, gets me to the Instant Support page, where there is a column on the left to send, receive or check archived messages. As soon as I click on "Get Message", the IE error dialogue box comes up with the aforementioned message.

    So I can't tell if that is an Internet Explorer problem or a Compaq problem.

    And you're right - coming to the Lounge provides the "instant support" that "Instant Support" doesn't.

    Does this give you the info you needed? Oh, wait, I'll go back to my print outs and find out how to access the Event Viewer...I looked, but am not sure which piece of info you need. There was, under System, a line that mentioned a Pop Up Application at the right time. Is there more info about this I could find for you?

    As a PS, I just got off the line with HP/Compaq again - connected to a person at last, but with "wrong department" - transferred - to another eternal wait, which I again gave up on after 20 minutes! Grrr.

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    Re: Error Message on Help Page (IE6)

    Linda--

    1) Whatever the problem,it has nothing to do with Compaq--unless they discontinued the site and then you'd probably get a 404 error. This is an IE orWindows porblem. 2) If the only problem was that you couldn't reach the Compaq site through that link and everything else worked fine, I wouldn't even worry. If you went to this site and clicked around toward support links, you'd probably reach your objective. It isn't just that the lounge would provide Instant Support--in most cases you'd get higher quality support for problems you brought here--I'd think.
    3) Try clicking on the hyperlink in the Help and Support page, then click properties and what do you get? If you ever reached the site recently, can you find it in History, and do you know the url from anywhere--compaq literature or anywhere else. BTW Compaq as you probably know has been completely absorbed by HP.
    4) You didn't get any info from Event Viewer yet. Put "eventvwr.msc." in the run box>stretch it out and look at the time you're causing the IE error and read/paste what it says then.
    5) Try going to Doug Knox's site, and on the left task pane/sidebar click "Win XP Fixes" and then in the column on the left, four from the bottom click "Fix Windows Help" and run the VB script from there. "To use: Download the fixwinxphelp.vbs file and save it to your hard drive (you may want to right click and use Save Target As). Double-click the fixwinxphelp.vbs file. You will be prompted when the repairs have been completed. This script can be viewed in Notepad or any text editor, as to the specific Registry key and value that are updated."

    Linda--Compaq did you a favor in that phone conversation. They showed you that their tech support is worthless. Did the wrong department lift a finger to try to stay on the line and get you help in five minutes? I want you to fix all the errors you have if I can find out what they are, but why do you want to talk to Compaq support anyway? What probem is it that you fell they can fix? And aside from not reach Compaq on this Help and Support link, how is your Win XP otherwise working?

    SMBP

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    Re: Error Message on Help Page (IE6)

    <P ID="edit" class=small>(Edited by IreneLinda on 23-Sep-03 17:15. )</P>SMBP, thought I'd try starting with this message of yours which just came in. In order, then:
    1. Got you. If this is in fact an IE/ Windows error, then we should be able to get it fixed using advice here, right?
    2. Followed your initial Compaq link, but think I should wait on digging deeper in this site if the problem is an IE one. Is that right?
    3. Your Properties idea worked! Here's the URL, according to Properties of Instant Support:
    <hcp://CN=Hewlett-Packard,L=Cupertino,S=Ca,C=US/Presario/XPHNAR> (my <>, not in address).
    4. Recreated that IE error I've been getting at Compaq's Instant Support to check Event Viewer. When I looked under the 3 headings (Apps, Security, System), there was no event listed for the time I created the error! Does this make any sense to you? Can you tell me where I'm going wrong on this? I did stretch out the Viewer and could see all the entries.
    5. I'll go to the Doug Knox site next and post results. It is to fix this error we've been talking about, right?

    Yes, I agree about Compaq's "support". Thought it might be better now that HP has taken it over (I seem to remember having much better luck with HP on our old system when it was new which is why I went with Compaq - seemed like staying with HP at a slightly better price!). Anyway, I will come instead to the Lounge for help and support because it works! And the Lounge's support is much more "instant" than the supposed Instant Support offered by Compaq/ HP!! Do "they" realize how irritated their customers get, I wonder! Do they even care?

    Thanks for hanging in there!

    Linda

    EDIT
    PS SMBP, just went to Doug's site, but the NOTE re. the fix made me think it wasn't the right one for my problem. Here is the actual note from his site:
    " NOTE: This script will not correct issues that are accompanied by an error message. The indications for the use of this script are that Help and Support will not open, there is no error message, just a brief change of the mouse cursor to an hourglass."

    What bothered me is that I DO get an error message (that famous Display"Incident...is null or not an object one). Your thoughts?

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    Re: Error Message on Help Page (IE6)

    Apologize long post but I want to get or try to get Linda squared away with XP as quickly as possible:

    1) Yes. I have the highest possible regard for HP personnel I've met-- just terrifically strong people in many hardware and software areas as a rule--they come regularly to our user's group and they're just great and the tech support I got and the Windows teaching I got when I was using ME and didn't realize my printer didn't run because ME leaked memory every time it got fired up was super.

    Unfortunately with a lot of Tech Support the phone contact can be byzantine, horrendously long, dropped calls, incorrect routing and drive smart people nuts. It's a numbers ratio problem of course. I've found Microsoft to be on the whole exceptionally good but it depends on who and what. With very tough unusual problems, I've found some of them to be bulldogs who will work for hours--and even day after day.

    2) Right click the Compaq link Linda in the same place where Jefferson's screen shot showed you Dell or Dave A.'s showed you the normal out of the box view. Then left click properties and you'll probably see a url you can try in your address bar.

    3) You have not noticed I gave you a fix for Help and Support that often helps--it helped Al the other day and I strongly urge you to download and run it. It will not I repeat will not cause any further problems.

    4) Run System File Checker--I PM'd you detailed instructions on how to get this done. I don't think you got it done. When you do you're not going to see anything on the desktop or anywhere else but that progress bar must finish. You can then go to Event Viewer and I showed you how and stretch it out to full screen and you'll see the message "Windows File Protection Has Run Succesfully"

    5) If you can get through to Compac--which I would think is now answering the phone as Hewlet Packard and hopefully not get misrouted--you might ask them about the site. But here's what I'm saying: That's more or less an advertising Ploy like a popup. But if Doug's fix makes your Help look like Dave A's screen shot above, and it works for what's important--searching Help and Support which can be very useful--they link to ancillary articles and KB's then you're golden there.

    You can always call HP aka Compac back in the day if you need to. What I'd concentrate on now is taking any problem that doesn't have XP working well or any learning curve on XP and putting it in the lounge and you'll probably get a prompt response from at least others that will be very good--can't speak for mine.

    6) I'd say for sure to put your problem in the lounge where there are a number of people who have a good chance to help you fix or learn something or fix and learn extra quickly. I know nothing about Compac per se, but Compac absorbed a major company and then HP and compac became one and overall they have been working out the divisions and enterprise policies of that merger for a very very large company that makes some very good very durable products--at least the printers, scanners, faxes I've had from them.


    7) Run Doug Knox's fix anyway. It's not It's not It's not going to hurt you at all whether it helps or not. Again Run Doug's fix anyway. I really mean this.

    8) Last--my strongest bet and I sure could be wrong, is that you have an IE problem causing the error message you have yet to reproduce from Event Viewer to this moment and I think running SFC successfully--and I've PM'd you in detail how--may fix it.

    Good luck-- and practice posting an image to Test--I gave you details on MS Paint. Then you can move on maybe to try some of the other screen grabbers people in the lounge like or get something like Paint Shop Pro or Photo Shop Elements or Microsoft's Digital Image Suite depending on your inclination. A lot of them are free--Office Tools has Microsoft Photo Editor--a lot of people are very fond of Irfranview which is excellent and free and Bruce has tutorials on it in Software Finds and Wants--but get Paint down right now so you can get an image up if you need to.

    SMBP

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