That is exactly what my AutoCAD install did UNTIL I read about the private profiles and created one based on the <VANILLA> private profile that is invoked by the startup shortcut installed by the install program (a private profile is NOT, by default, invoked by any startup icon you might create). I can not tell you for sure this can fix your setup, but using private profiles did get my AutoCAD Help system working (along with using the recommended compliled Help files download).
First thing you need to understand is that a profile is a section of your Registry. In AutoCAD, if you export a profile, it reads from the registry and creates a "arg" file containing everything for that profile that was in the registry. In AutoCAD 2011, in order for your local help to perform correctly, there must be an entry in that profiles section of the registry specifically telling it to NOT use web based help. This entry will be there for any NEW profile created. If it is an old profile that you imported, for some reason it does not add this entry.
I could go through a very long explaination of what is happening here but, I will just make this simple.
1) Go into your options dialog.
2) Go to the Profiles tab.
3) Export the profile that is NOT letting your help work properly.
4) Open the ".arg" file that you just created.
5) Find the section simliar to this one: You are looking for the word "variables"
6) Directly below that line add the following Key name and value.
7) Close the file and save it.
8) Go back into the options dialog box in AutoCAD.
9) Go back to the Profiles tab.
10) Import the .ARG file you jus saved.
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