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PaperPort 12 and Windows 7 x64 freezes on startup

Posted on 2012-12-25
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Last Modified: 2015-11-18
Client's machine running Win 7 x64 Pro. Trying to run PaperPort 12. It's a new machine, and it has run on it. But now, whenever we start it, PaperPort freezes. Can't get out of it. Just have to kill the process.

Any thoughts?
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Question by:d0ughb0y
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Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016 earned 215 total points
ID: 38720366
Two comments:

(1) This is almost always due to bad metadata in the folders that have been added to the PP Desktop. There are three types of metadata: thumbnails, desktop settings, and search indexes. The thumbnails have file types ".ptn" and "ptn2". They are the most common culprit, so delete all of them in all folders. Of course, PP will rebuild them automatically (but you will have deleted the ones that became corrupt). Try to run it after doing that...if it still won't load, try deleting all of the "maxdesk.ini2" files (the desktop presentation/layout settings) next. Note that this will kill the colors of folders, since that info is in the MAXDESK files, but is usually considered a small price to pay for fixing things. As with the thumbnails, PP will rebuild the MAXDESK files automatically. If that still doesn't do it, delete all of the SearchVerity folders (All-in-One Search indexes). That's the most painful, because rebuilding the indexes is very time-consuming (unless you don't use All-in-One Search...I don't...I switched to a third-party search tool that operates on the PDF Searchable Image files created by PP...many PP users have gone this route, as All-in-One Search is mediocre, at best). Keep in mind that some of the files discussed above have the Hidden attribute, so you'll need to check the setting in Control Panel>Folder Options>View to make sure that you can view (and delete!) them.

(2) If you're running PP 12.0, you should upgrade to 12.1 (free!). Numerous bugs were fixed in 12.1. Read my EE article called "PaperPort Upgrade: How to download and install updated versions of PaperPort 11 and 12" to learn how to upgrade for free:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Web_Development/Document_Imaging/A_6537-PaperPort-Upgrade-How-to-download-and-install-updated-versions-of-PaperPort-11-and-12.html

Regards, Joe
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by:d0ughb0y
ID: 38721378
@Joe - Thanks. Will try that and get back to you.
@Mod - First time I've seen a mod add a post to MORE categories. Me? I'm a minimalist. Thanks for looking out! :)
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 38723929
OK, looking forward to hearing back from you. Also, there's a utility program called [CheckPPFolders.exe] that is in the same folder as [PaprPort.exe] (if you did a default install in W7/64-bit it would be [c:\Program Files (x86)\Nuance\PaperPort\]). Here's the description of it from page 10 of the PP12 manual:

"Sometimes PDF files may become corrupted so that they can no longer be opened. In these cases PaperPort may not be able to generate a desktop thumbnail and this may prevent PaperPort from launching properly. A new utility program CheckPPFolders.exe is supplied in the PaperPort program folder, along with a short help file. Run this program to identify and remove any corrupt files so that PaperPort will work properly."

I tend to fix things manually, as described in my previous message (rather than with utilities), but I know many PP12 (and PP14) users who use [CheckPPFolders.exe] so often that they put a shortcut to it on the desktop and/or in the Start menu.

Btw, the user manual (called [Getting Started Guide.pdf]) should also be in the [c:\Program Files (x86)\Nuance\PaperPort\] folder. If it isn't, you may download it from this PaperPort wiki:

http://sites.google.com/site/wikipaperport/files/

At the wiki, the file is named [PaperPort 12 Getting Started Guide.pdf]. Regards, Joe
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Author Comment

by:d0ughb0y
ID: 38783806
I haven't really abandoned this question. The client hasn't made his machine available again, despite my prodding. So I can't check. But I also can't award anything on this question, because I have no idea whether any solutions work.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 38784041
I understand your dilemma. I've been involved with PaperPort for 20 years. I've seen these PP-freezes-upon-startup situations literally dozens of times. I don't recollect a single situation where it wasn't corrupt metadata (nearly always thumbnails) or PDFs. I can appreciate that you have no idea if the solution will work...I virtually guarantee it will...but if it doesn't, I'll want to learn all about it, as it will represent new ground, which is always fascinating. Btw, seems strange that the client hasn't made his machine available again...does that mean he hasn't used PP in 3 weeks?! That would be unthinkable here. :)
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by:d0ughb0y
ID: 38784462
No. It means that he doesn't want to pay me to have another look. ;)
The first time, I was already there working on another issue, and he called me in "just to see if I can fix it really quick." I couldn't.

At the moment, he says that if he waits long enough, it eventually comes up. It just may take 10 minutes or so.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 38784571
> At the moment, he says that if he waits long enough, it eventually comes up. It just may take 10 minutes or so.

That's really curious and could represent a different issue. He may have too many files in the folder that PP starts in. Or it could still be bad thumbnail files. I'll guess we'll find out when he's willing to pay you. :)
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Author Closing Comment

by:d0ughb0y
ID: 38840773
I'm giving you the points, because you answered the question. As I mentioned, I do not know whether you are correct, as the client has not had me back to check on it. But I don't think it's right to presume that you were unhelpful on this, and I don't want to lose your advice, in the event he DOES call back, and your solution works. This is one of those "nothing really fits" deals. So I'm erring on the side of giving you the points, because you did give me a lot of information that is likely turn out to be helpful, if not now, some time in the future.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 38840884
I appreciate the points...thanks very much! And I'll certainly be happy to help if you DO hear back on this issue (I'll be responsive on this thread, even though you've already awarded the points)...or on any other PaperPort issues. Regards, Joe
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Expert Comment

by:JHMarshIII
ID: 40461995
Excellent post.  .ptn/.ptn2 solution also applies to Paperport 11.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 40462250
Hi JHMarshIII,
Thank you for the compliment — I appreciate it! Yes, it applies to PP11, and also to the latest release, PP14 (Nuance got superstitious and skipped 13). Regards, Joe
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Expert Comment

by:Jose Pereda
ID: 41268289
Great post Joe, thanks. I too had the hang upon launching application. I deleted the .ptn and .ptn2 files and PP12 is working again. No scanned docs were deleted. .PTN files were reconstructed.

Joe you mentioned that you switched to a third-party search tool that operates on the PDF Searchable Image files created by PP. Can you tell me what search tool that is?

Thanks.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 41269167
Hi Jose,
Thanks for the compliment — much appreciated! I use a search product called dtSearch:
http://www.dtsearch.com/

Here's an EE post where I discuss it thoroughly:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Office_Productivity/OCR/Q_28476441.html#a40197670

If you have any questions after reading that post, let me know and I'll be happy to help. Regards, Joe
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by:d0ughb0y
ID: 41270998
FYI, I switched the client over to CutePDF Pro, which isn't free, but isn't expensive - especially for a business. And while it's not nearly as drag-n-drop friendly, it does the job just fine. One of the things that I found was that Nuance's support is abysmal, and they won't support anything earlier than PaperPort 14 on Windows 7. It was just not worth the hassle, which is why we switched products.
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