Sharing Violation on WFW 3.11 Network

How can i work out if the error i am getting is caused by WFW or Tracker?
I am running a WFW 3.11 Network with about 30 PCs, most of these PCs are
runnning Tracker Contact Manager 2.3. We keep the Database of Tracker files
on what we refer to as our Tracker Server (The C: drive on this has been set
up shared - full access and  all PCs connect to the server using drive
letter F:), all the PCs that use Tracker have the Program files loaded onto
their hard disks and access the Tracker Server for the Database files. The
error that comes up is -
                                System Error
                    Sharing Violation on Drive F:
This error does not appear on all PCs at the same time but it appears on
some then later it will appear on others - there does not seem to be a
pattern as to which PCs get this message or even when the message appears -
i cannot force the message to come up. I have contacted Tracker Support who
have suggested the following which has not helped -
Changing all the *.exe and *.dll files in the Tracker (WINTRK) directory to
read-only.
Doing a Clipfile upload then a download to try and fix the Database Index.
Running TFIX which repairs the Database files.
Ensuring that Share.exe is loaded in Autoexec.bat on each PC with the /L:100
switch (L:500 on the Server).
Has anyone else ever had these sort of problems with Tracker ?
Any ideas on how to work out if it is a Tracker or WFW problem ?
TIA

korgullAsked:
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johnt082197Commented:
I don't know that Tracker software, but it looks like it either doesn't support a networked installation or the version installed is not networkable.
A sharing violation happens whena file is open by a computer, then, while it is sitll being used by that computer, another tries to access it. That second computer will get the error message.
I'm sure you can reproduce this with no problem.
Now, I'm not sure it's fixable. A way would be to have all the shared data files as read only. But that would stop anyone from saving data.
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johnt082197Commented:
Alright. But it's always nice to know why an answer has been rejected.
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korgullAuthor Commented:
OK - Tracker (A.K.A Maximize?) is a Networkable Application. As you said you are not sure if it is fixable - your last suggestion and comment are correct but whats the point in having a database that you cant keep up to date which is the whole point of using Tracker in the first place. As far as how the sharing violation appears - i am using share.exe which is supposed to enable file sharing. I need to know if there are any other things i need to load anywhere or perhaps not load as it may be causing a conflict with share.
Sorry but i didn't feel the question was answered in full so therefore had to be rejected. I do appreciate your comments though.
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robandrwCommented:
Is anybody running tracker on your 'Tracker Server'.
Someitimes applications running on a server will lock local
data files and not allow them to be shared.
Also, as you are running WFW3.11 you do not need to load
share.exe. WFW3.11 has inbuilt file sharing. Anyway, this only
applies to files on a local hard disk and not network files.

From your initial comments it sounds like Tracker uses exclusive
locks on the file which means that you can't share data files
on the network. Are there any settings anywhere in the application that refer to locking eg shared, exclusive.

It may be having a good read of your manual.
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korgullAuthor Commented:
Yes - they do occasionally use the server as a workstation but the errors appear even if they don't - this was something i thought of back when we first started getting tht error.
According to the Tracker documentation (which BTW I have read numerous times) you MUST load share.exe for Tracker to work correctly.  Also when you install Tracker onto a workstation or server  it also tells you that you must load Share.exe and to refer to your Dos documentaion for help on doing so. In the Dos (6.2X) documentation it says to load it using the following line in your config.sys file - install=c:\dos\share.exe but when i spoke to Tracker support here in australia they told me to put it into the autoexec.bat like this c:\dos\share.exe /L:100.
In response to your last question there are no settings in Tracker that have anything to do with file sharing or locks.
I have confirmed this with Tracker Support - they have said they have suggested everything that they could think of and beleive it must be WFW or DOS causing the error - i need to know how to find out if it is in fact WFW or a Tracker error - are there any utilities available that could be of use ?

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robandrwCommented:
Again, from your symptoms it sounds like Tracker is treating each installation as a stand alone install. Sharing violations occur when a file is locked exclusively for read or write access.This should not happen in a network environment and is normally caused by incorrect installation.

For some applications to function correctly in a network environment you need to install the application as a shared application on the server. Alternatively, you may have to do some sort of administrative setup to the server (eg copies files to server) and then do a workstation install to each PC requiring access.
Are there any command line parameters for the setup (or install ) command that indicate network or server installs.
Is there anything in the manual about different types of setups in the manual.

Also, if you are running WFW3.11 you do not need share.exe despite what the manuals say. Many older applications detedted if shared functionality was installed by looking at the autoexec.bat file rather than querying the operating system.. Microsoft updated WFW3.11 to include a built in 32-bit version of share. This was necessary as WFW3.11 supports both 32-bit disk and file access. Share.exe is required with Windows 3.1 or WFW 3.1 but not for WFW 3.11. WFW3.11 automatically installs a driver called vshare.386 which performs the same function as share.exe.

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j2Commented:
i would personalyl NEVER EVER use a WFWG machine to handle 30 connections, it isnt designed for this, i have seen random sharing violations in MUCH smaller networks, i would REALLY consider using a NT instead of a WFWG as the server.
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johnt082197Commented:
I only have to agree with this last comment. But will Tracker work with Win NT?
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j2Commented:
*shrugs* dunno.. but it should.
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korgullAuthor Commented:
I agree with j2's comment but the question still remains - how do i work out what file is causing the conflict ?

BTW - Tracker 97 is the latest version which is for 95/NT which they sent me, which is of no use to me as i only have one non-networked PC at work running 95.



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j2Commented:
Is it possible to test and see what happens if ony, say, 5 machines run tracker at the same time?
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korgullAuthor Commented:
I've tried this - after the 2nd or 3rd PC logging into tracker the 'sharing violation' error comes up.
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korgullAuthor Commented:
I've tried this - after the 2nd or 3rd PC logging into tracker the 'sharing violation' error comes up.
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robandrwCommented:
How did you install the application?
Did you install the Tracker on the server, share the
data files, then install Tracker on each of the workstations.
I doubt if this would work as Tracker would treat each installation as a stand alone installation. The symptoms of this are that Tracker will lock data files exclusive resulting in sharing violations. Does the GroupDataPath setting in the [Tracker 2] section of WIN.INI point to your shared database. If not, then I suggest you reinstall Trackeras follows.

For it to work correctly in a network environment you need to perform a network installation of the software to put the software and datafiles on the server, then perform a workstation installation on each PC requiring access.

I beleive the trick is that the initial network installation must be done from a workstation to the server, not on the server itself.
This is so Tracker will identify that it is on a network. When you have completed the network install you then do a workstation installation to each PC wanting access, including both the one you have just done the network install from and the server.

Once installed you may need to set all Tracker executables and dll's to read only.

Hope this helps.

PS From previous experience one a WFW server gets above 10 - 12 connections in a busy environment you will find that connections to the server are lost randomly.
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j2Commented:
Microsoft only guarantees 10 connection with WFWG btw...
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