HotDocs Won't Run Auto-Install or Auto-Assemble Files

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When attempting to run either a HotDocs Auto-Install file (HDI) or HotDocs Auto-Assemble file (HDA), HotDocs displays an error message and is unable to launch the file. The error message frequently says it cannot find hd6dispatch.exe, the application used to launch these files.


During installation (most notably the HotDocs 2005 installation), HotDocs creates certain entries in the Windows System Registry. One of these entries designates where the file hd6dispatch.exe should be found so that HDAs and HDIs can be properly run. By default, this file is usually created and registered in C:\Program Files\HotDocs 6. However, if you performed a custom installation and changed the program folder for HotDocs to some location other than C:\Program Files\HotDocs 6, this registry key was not updated with the new program files path. Because of this, HotDocs cannot run the HDA or HDI because it doesn't know where to look for hd6dispatch.exe.

To update the registry with the correct information

  1. Click Start > Run. The Run dialog box appears.
  2. In the Open box, type regedit. The Registry Editor appears.
  3. Open HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT > hdafile. (To update the information for an HDI file, navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT > hdfile.)
  4. Expand the folders so you can see its subfolders.
  5. Click the Default Icon folder.
  6. In the right pane, double-click on (Default). The Edit String dialog box appears.
  7. Change the folder path in the Value data box so that it matches the folder where HotDocs is installed. Do not remove the ,1.
  8. Click OK.
  9. In the same subfolder (in the right pane), expand Shell > open > command.
  10. repeat steps 6 through 8, updating the folder path so that it matches the folder where HotDocs is installed. Again, do not change the information after the file path.