Had a problem with the MSDN Library for Visual Studio 2005 May Community Tech Preview (CTP) where it would just shown downloading… in the status bar forever for any topic selected.
After some googling, discovered that the readme on the MSDN VS2005 site is newer than the one on the DVD and addresses the issue:
If you use the external Help viewer with the Visual Studio 2005 Community Technology Preview May 2004, the Help system appears to be frozen when you try to access a topic. (You see the “Downloading…” message in the status bar, the progress bar barely moves, and the Internet Explorer icon continues to spin.)
In the “C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\help whidbey\dexplore.exe.config” file, change the following lines:
– or –
Switch the Help settings in Visual Studio to use internal, rather than external Help. To do this, select Options from the Tools menu in either the Visual Studio IDE or the external Help viewer. In the Options window that appears, expand the Help entry and select the General subentry. In the Show Help Using dropdown list, select Internal Help Viewer. Click the OK button.
I recommend you check out the latest readme online if you are encountering any other problems since it looks like that will continue to be a living document: