MSDN 2010 on Local Disk

For all of you who got new Visual Studio 2010 and can’t find good old MSDN this is what you need to do:

  • (assuming you already installed Visual Studio) first go to Start>All Programs>Microsoft Visual Studio 2010>Visual Studio Tools and run “Manage Help Settings – ENU”
  • if you see a dialog box to enter a path to local documentation just click OK (this dialog will be shown only once)
  • you should now see screen on image bellow, click on “Install content from disk”
    Visual Studio MSDN 2010 help library manager
  • browse for path “\ProductDocumentation\HelpContentSetup.msha” on your dvd or iso file
    Visual Studio MSDN 2010 install content from disk
  • now you will be presented with choise of topics to install
    Visual Studio MSDN 2010 install content from disk choose components
    don’t worry because it says “Estimated download size”, it will just use your dvd or iso file and not download stuff from internet

Thats it, now you have installed MSDN 2010 and you can access it by pressing F1 (or Ctrl+F1 for main help page) from Visual Studio or going in Help>View Help. If you see 404 errors then you probably had “Help Library Agent” already running prior to installing MSDN and you have to turn it of from systray.

Visual Studio MSDN 2010 new look

You will probably notice that help is now opened in browser instead of “Microsoft Document Explorer” as before in older versions of MSDN. Personally I think MS failed here. Worst thing they did is to make URLs pointing to help resource change every time you start help which means you cant bookmark topics, other thing is that you will probably find what you are looking for faster through Google search then by using local MSDN especially if you are used to using Index in older versions of MSDN (there is no Index in MSDN 2010).

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