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Problem Opening Approach Files

Posted on 2006-06-20
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Last Modified: 2010-04-22
I'm having a problem opening Approach .apr files on our office network. The largest file is actually the front end/data entry for 7 databases joined to make up our main company database. I can quickly open this .apr file on any of the other 10 computers in our office, except for one problem workstation.  When I try to open most .apr files on the problem computer, it starts to load the file but it never gets to the password login box.  I either just get the hourglass on the screen until Approach finally stops responding, or after 5-7 minutes it may open the file.

This problem computer has been opening these Approach files for several years just fine, but has been getting progressively slower at opening these  files for about the last month or so.  If/when this problem computer manages to get one of the apr files open, then everything runs and works fine in Approach.  On the other machines in our office (even old Windows 98 machines) it will open the largest .apr files we have in about 10-15 seconds.

I imagine it's something specific to this one computer but I can't figure out what. Maybe someone else has run into this problem before.  The problem machine is a 733 pentium with a gig of ram, running XP Pro, with 14g of hard drive space, our network is TCP/IP.  This computer is fast at opening large files (on our network) in other programs and is fast on the internet & downloading. The database is on our server (Windows Server 2003).

I've already:
Uninstalled Approach v 9.5, rebooted and installed v 9.7
Compressed all of the .dbf files
Run checkdisk, spyware & antivirus scans - all clean
Defragged the drive
Deleted all of the .tmp files
Changed network card settings with no effect (full duplex vs half duplex vs Auto)
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Question by:SteveH012698
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Author Comment

by:SteveH012698
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Addtl: I've also made sure that the system clocks are synchronized on the problem computer and our server.
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by:SteveH012698
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Addtl: I've also tried turning off the firewall, no difference. We use Computer Associates E-Trust antivirus. Having it open/closed makes no difference either.
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by:patrickab
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I cannot prove it but I think it's something to do with the network and the access that particular pc has.
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by:patrickab
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Did you by any chance have a dedicated printer or other piece of hardware attached to that pc, that is now longer there? If there was I suggest you 'disable' it in the Control Panel/HardwareManagement.
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by:SteveH012698
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patrickab comment: I cannot prove it but I think it's something to do with the network and the access that particular pc has.

A: That's what I'm thinking, but this computer has been opening this same file for severa years, and nothing has changed on this computer, that we know of.  Also, this computer will open any other types of files from the network just fine, large or small.  The time delay is just with Approach databases, and only on this computer.

patrickab comment: dedicated printer?

A: There's no dedicated printer or other piece of hardware on this machine.
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by:patrickab
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What happens if the index files have been deactivated/deleted? Approach builds and re-builds these file automatically.
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by:SteveH012698
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nothing, I tried that a couple of weeks ago.
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by:patrickab
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What happens when this rogue pc is the only one accessing the Approach database?
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by:SteveH012698
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same thing, whether other users are in the database or not.
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by:patrickab
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Have you switched pcs on that node of the network to test whether it's machine or network specific?
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by:SteveH012698
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yes, I've tried several laptops on that same cable/connection and they open the databases up in just a few seconds.  It's something going on with the problem computer.  I woud thing that it would have to be a network card getting flaky, but any other type of program/file else runs/opens fast on that computer.
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by:Joe
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How long has this been going on for? You can also try to do a system restore to restore it to a point from which the machine was working properly.

Joe
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Author Comment

by:SteveH012698
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several months, just progressively worse (longer time to open these types of files)
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by:SteveH012698
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A system restore is the last resort, since when we can't really nail down when it started.
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by:rtanner_big_d
rtanner_big_d earned 200 total points
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Dear SteveH,

It sounds like that computer is due for a "CleanUp"!    This is exactly the name of the executable file that can be searched on the internet (cleanup.exe).  Make sure you look for the latest version that covers the Windows XP machines.

After a while, your log files and temp files become exceedingling large.  This can slow-down your computer to a crawl..especially the spyware that you may think was being blocked by your anti-virus/spyware blocker programs!  Personnaly, I use a software "cocktail" to rid the computer of extra dulicate files as well.  Thsi can be done by downloading the latest Toni Arts Easy Cleaner and Ad-Aware.  Run all three programs and your machine will be rid of allot of spuware, log files, temp files and duplicate files.  Be careful with the registry cleaner found in Easy Cleaner.  You may eliminate some needed licensing info!

If this workstation is used by other personnel for web-surfing, I would be especially curious to know how many spyware Ad-Aware detects.  I think almost 1,537 was a record on a friend of mine wife's business computer!

RT

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by:patrickab
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SteveH,

Ad-Aware is good as is SpyWare Doctor and Registry Mechanic. SpyWare Doctor found 19 infections on my machine 'after' I had run a total check using Symantec's all singing all dancing virus checker - so much for their product!

Even though you may have reasonably good AV software etc on your network I would still run those mentioned. I will almost guarantee you will sort out the bolshi pc that way!

Patrick
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by:rtanner_big_d
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...could it be the database is becoming to large on the available hard drive and it is beginning to affect the Swap File?  Check your available Swap File size and see if it is set to "Let Windows Adjust The Size" or is in "Manual".

RT
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Expert Comment

by:ScooterAnderson
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Also, on the "problem machine" - have you reviewed the Event Viewer for problems?  It might be an obvious check, but hadn't been mentioned yet...

Good Luck,
Scooter
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by:SteveH012698
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I've run the "CleanUps".. Adware, Spybot Search/destroy, Easy Cleaner, etc., deleted log files and temp files, run checkdisk, spyware & antivirus scans, defragged the drive.

The Event Viewer is ok

Q: could it be the database is becoming to large on the available hard drive and it is beginning to affect the Swap File?

A: it is set to "Let Windows Adjust The Size", the largest database is only about 10meg.

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by:rtanner_big_d
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O.K.  Maybe it is time to look at the hardware:

1.  Replace the RJ-45 Patch cord - If this does not work then:
2.  Change the plug location and chose another port on the Hub/Switch - If this does not work:
3.  Re-Terminate RJ-45 Connectors to the Hub/Switch and check for the correct pin-out for CAT-5 A or B, etc., and check the wall plate wiring inside the wall.  Make sure the termination is seated witihin the CAT 5 module.  Re-terminate using a new module.  Never re-use a CAT 5 module!!!
4.  Re-boot the machine each time you make a change to the the port, hub/switch, or wiring.

RT
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by:SteveH012698
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re: time to look at the hardware:

I thought about that, but I can unplug the cable from problem computer, plug it right into a laptop, logon, and the laptop will open the databases right up. The cabling & plugs are ok.

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patrickab earned 200 total points
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SteveH,

I know you've covered the network functionaility already so no need to go over that ground again. I think you've also said that, that particular pc works perfectly well with other applications on that node of the network. So again it's not how the pc communicates with its outside world. Equally the pc cannot be bugged if it runs other stuff OK. So it comes down to Lotus Approach not working correctly on that pc.

I still think that it has something to do with how that pc communicates on Lotus Approach. It is using settings which affect its performance. I think you could try a number of different things:

1. I know the PageFile (Swap File) has already been covered and you reported that it was set at "System Managed size". However in my experience that doesn't always do the trick. Try setting it to 1500 to 2000 MB.

2. Use Registry Mechanic to clean up the registry. The reason I suggest this is that the chances are there are some keys in it which are affecting what's going on with Lotus Approach. You can get Registry Mechanic from http://www.pctools.com/registry-mechanic/offer.php?ref=google_registry
or as a free part of the bundle that comes with SpyWare Doctor from the same people.

I feel more certain as time goes by on this question that it is some setting/s in the registry that are the problem. Almost nothing else could affect the performance adversely - considering you've ruled out the network by experimentation.

I know this does not give you the answer but I reckon there's no only one area in which to search for the problem.

Patrick
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Expert Comment

by:rtanner_big_d
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SteveH,

I should have recommended this earlier.  Bbefore going to the physical troubleshooting stage, have you tried using another computer using the problem computer's current plug and port, and see if the same issue arises?

I have had great success with Registry Mechanic...especially on my Windows 98 machines.  If Mr. Patrick's registry solution does not solve the problem you may want to think about replacing the Network Card or Mother Board.

RT
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Expert Comment

by:rtanner_big_d
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...also, compare and check the TCPIP settings between the problem computer and the computers that are working properly.  See if something is different, or not enabled (especially the "Auto's").

In addition, check the network card.  What type of Network Card is the problem computer using?  What are the other computers using?

RT Jr.
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Author Comment

by:SteveH012698
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we tried Registry Mechanic, and replacing the network card on this computer and still the same problem. We are going to replace this computer in a couple of months, so we're just going to live with it for now. There's no telling what's causing this & we don't have any more time to spend on it.  Thanks for all the help on this one.
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by:patrickab
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SteveH - Thanks for the grade. Frustrating to hear that the problem still persists. - Patrick
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