How do the links in YOUR copy of SQL Server 2008 Books Online work?
July 19th, 20085
How do the links in YOUR copy of SQL Server 2008 Books Online work?
July 19th, 20085

I am just taking a quick show of hands; and maybe some information, if you are willing.  (And if this hasn't happened to you, I apologize for taking up your time.)

I have had various problems on multiple installations of Books Online throughout the entire Katmai / SQL Server 2008 cycle.  They have been on both 32 and 64-bit; with / without IE8 installed; and with / without Visual Studio installed.

Currently I have one instance where IE8 is not installed, BOL is alongside 2005 on Server 2003, and every single link is not clickable at all.  Just no response… I can only navigate to items through the index or search results.  On a similar machine the links work, but every single one leads to a page that says, "Sorry, no topics were found for the selected link."  Again I must navigate via index or search results.  Which is really too bad, because some of those links are much tougher to track down.  And now I came across a much more isolated case where on a Vista SP1 machine with IE8 installed, a certain link leads to this "sorry" page from one topic, but not from another topic (the difference is an xmlns attribute in the link, which I think may be the cause of the problem).

You can see what I am talking about in more detail in the following Connect items:*/*/

(I have some other items about messed-up formatting in IE8, and a lot of others have submitted the same.  But I am more curious here about the links, as the formatting issue is being addressed.)

I can't imagine that this kind of thing happens differently across every single machine / VM I use, but it doesn't happen to anyone else?  If you have had any issues clicking links in Books Online, please drop a note here providing any specific information we can relay back to Microsoft so they can try harder to reproduce these issues.  I mean really, I am not making this stuff up… please help me escape from this madness!


By: Aaron Bertrand

I am a passionate technologist with industry experience dating back to Classic ASP and SQL Server 6.5. I am a long-time Microsoft MVP, write at Simple Talk, SQLPerformance, and MSSQLTips, and have had the honor of speaking at more conferences than I can remember. In non-tech life, I am a husband, a father of two, a huge hockey and football fan, and my pronouns are he/him.

5 Responses

  1. totemuegerli says:

    I got rid of "Sorry, no topics were found for the selected link" messages by starting BOL with "Run as administrator".

  2. M.Afifi says:

    Hi Aaron,
    I have exactly the same problem. I am googling sometime ago but could not find a solution. The killbit Hugo talked about is not found in my registry.
    Could you solve this problem? I would appreciate if you tell us how.
    Thanks in advance

  3. Hugo says:

    I've also had the problem where clicking on a MSHelp-link would almost always result in a  "Sorry, no topics were found for the selected link"  message, for all local SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 documentation. Reinstalled Document Explorer (2005 and 2008) and the documentation, but to no avail. Happened with IE7 and IE8, regardless of the security settings.
    Just found out that this problem was caused by an ActiveX killbit being set, somehow, for hxds.dll, the Microsoft Help Data Service Module v2.5, class HxSession. Removed the killbit and now the MSHelp-links work fine.
    You can find the killbit setting here: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\ActiveX Compatibility\{31411198-A502-11D2-BBCA-00C04F8EC294}
    If DWORD value "Compatibility Flags" is set to 0x00000400 (1024), the killbit is set and the hyperlinks won't work. Set it to 0 and the hyperlinks should work again after restarting Document Explorer. This might increase the IE attack surface though.

  4. David says:

    Sorry for the late response, just subscribed to your blog feed.
    Can't say that I have had more than a couple of link problems just more on the missing content side. Stuff that should be clear in the index list is not there and when reverting back to 2005 BOL (mainly to check my sanity) I find it immediately. So, there is certainly some work that needed to be done prior to the final release.

  5. AaronBertrand says:

    Wow, I guess I am the only one with these problems.  <shrug>  How did I screw up all of my machines this badly, and in slightly different ways, leaving me with not a single functional copy of SQL Server 2008 BOL?