effykingly for the help issue I'd suggest switching to the external help browser instead of the 'Gimp Help Browser' in your help preferences,as for why it has no python do you have a python Folder
Okay so I'll have to use the web browser for help and yes I have a python folder. I'm using the installation not the portable version of GIMP 2.8.6 32-bit version. I know I have the Windows 7 64-bit version however I've used the GIMP 2.8.6 64-bit version with the same issues- no gimp help browser and no python-fu so I thought to switch over to the 32-bit version as I find 32-bit versions tend to work better.
As Graechan said, please use the Gimp manual from docs.gimp.org. Building the help browser is a pain.
Python can be finicky animals. Btw, you don't need the 32-bit Gimp since you have a 64-bit machine and my 64-bit builds have 64-bit Python incorporated.
Please do the following:
1. Open a commandline window.
2. Assuming you installed Gimp at C:\Program Files\Gimp-2.8\, please type in the commandline Window:
cd C:\Program Files\Gimp-2.8\bin
.\Gimp-2.8 --verbose > C:\Users\[yourloginname]\gimp-run-2.8.log 2>&1
Now you can shut down Gimp or open an image or something.
After you shut down Gimp, send me the gimp-run-2.8.log file that was generated.