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Thread: A4 was working yesterday, today it won't start!

  1. #1
    Adam Lloyd
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    Default A4 was working yesterday, today it won't start!

    I clicked on the desktop icon to start A4V8 today that I have been using for many many months. It started loading as it usually does, opening a dos window, but then the window just collapses and disappears. No error message, nothing. If I double click again, same thing happens.

    Nothing has changed on my computer, except I downloaded and installed the microsoft security updates for Windows XP. I also deleted two files in my Sun Java directory, which I don't think have anything to do with A4.

    I've also tried going to the directory where A4V8 is stored and directly clicking on the exe. Same problem.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Adam Lloyd
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    Default RE: A4 was working yesterday, today it won't start

    PS - it occurs to me that if there is an error message, it might be zipping by so fast I don't see it. It may be useful if there is some way to slow down the loading process, or make the window require confirmation before closing. Is there a way to do that?

  3. #3
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    joseph mar
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    Default RE: A4 was working yesterday, today it won't start

    Try re-installing A4 and see what happens.

  4. #4
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    Default RE: A4 was working yesterday, today it won't start

    Adam

    Use a DOS window that you open yourself.

    Start - Run - cmd

    Then navigate to the Alpha 4 directory and run the bat file that starts your app. The dos window shouldn't close and should show any messages.

    The other option is to set the property of the dos window to not close on exit.

    I like the first option because it is a temporary situation and does require you to undo things to bring it back to normal.

  5. #5
    Adam Lloyd
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    Default RE: A4 was working yesterday, today it won't start

    I'm on WinXP, so unfortunately going through cmd just has the effect of a different method of starting the program - in windows - without any difference after the command has been entered. A new window opens up when I type "A4.exe" for example, as if I had clicked on an icon, and it quickly shuts off again.

    I also can't find any way to get the window not to shut down after ending -- how do you do that in WinXP?

  6. #6
    Adam Lloyd
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    Default RE: A4 was working yesterday, today it won't start

    Nothing changed. I even tried putting it on a different drive, no luck. :(

  7. #7
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    joseph mar
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    Default RE: A4 was working yesterday, today it won't start

    Using My Computer or the Explorer, go to the A4 folder and double click on the A4V8.exe. If this starts it up, then it's the A4.exe at fault. If it doesn't, then there's an OS problem.

  8. #8
    Adam Lloyd
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    Default RE: A4 was working yesterday, today it won't start

    Doesn't work. Any idea what might be wrong with the OS? All my other programs work, and a4 has been working for a long time. It just stopped after I installed the MS Security updates, but I've had A4 work with those before. I've also reinstalled A4 and the problem remains.

  9. #9
    Larry Staples
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    Default RE: A4 was working yesterday, today it won't start

    Had this same thing happen...

    Had to go back to xp restore point prior to running xp updates and then installed xp updates one at a time and tried bringing up a4v8 each time.

    after about fifth one, identified the problem one (error was something about no support mode), excluded it and ran rest up xp updates (individually and retested each time).

    only one was the problem, don't remember which one it was...have it written down at client site and would call and get it but they are gone for day by now...

  10. #10
    Member randyw's Avatar
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    Randy Wood
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    Default A4.exe and Windows XP

    I had a similar problem with Alpha 4, version 7 and Windows XP. I found that is I set the compatiability option in the A4.EXE file to Windows 95, the poblem went away.

    I do not use Version 8, but give this a try, and let me know if it helps.

  11. #11
    Member randyw's Avatar
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    Randy Wood
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    Default Disappearing DOS Window

    Hi guys,

    Update on my earlier post (which I realize now does not fix this problem!).

    I had a computer in our group that had Windows XP with SP1 and Alpha IV installed and running fine. The other day the user got a Security update on Windows XP; it installed SP2.

    When we tried to run Alpha IV V7 again it did as described; the DOS window would immediately open, then close with no error given. I was able to generate a screen capture of the window while open, but it contained no text at all.

    I then uninstalled the Alpha software, deleted all icons to apps, etc. and reinstalled the whole application again. It is running fine again. I just thought you would like to know what happened in my case; hopefully it will help you, too!


    Randy

  12. #12
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    Charles A. Halsall
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    Default RE: A4 was working yesterday, today it won't start

    Mr. Staples,

    I would really like to know which update it was that cause the problem. I tried the same thing you did but was unsuccessful. I have noticed, however, that the problem occurs more frequently with XP Home Edition than with XP Pro. Not sure if that means anything.

    Any assistance on this matter will be greatly appreciated.

    Charles A. Halsall

  13. #13
    VAR davej's Avatar
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    Dave Jampole
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    Default A45 Was Working, But . . .

    Guys,

    Add me to the list. I have A4v6, V7 & V8 on my development system; A4V6 & V8 on my laptop - along with almost all version of V5. But systems run Win XP Pro SP1. V4 worked 100% until one of the Windows updated screwed up all versions of A4 on both systems.

    After installing SP2 on the laptop, A4 again works 100%. I have no idea which Windows patch did the damage, and since it's probably impossible to unwind one update, I'm not worrying about figuring it out. I'll be installing SP2 on the development system as well and hopefully that will be the end of the A4-Windows problems. Until next time.

    Dave
    Dave Jampole
    www.customalpha.com

    Women and cats will do whatever they want. The sooner men and dogs realize that, the happier they will be.


  14. #14
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    Steve Crocker
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    Default The updates that are the problem

    We have had the identical problem. It appears that the updates which prevent Alpha 4 version 8 from starting are KB885835 and KB890859

    -Steve

  15. #15
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    Charles A. Halsall
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    Default A4 was working yesterday, today it won't start

    Hi guys,

    Someone suggested applying the windows 95 compatibility mode on the alpha.exe file in another discussion. Just to be on the safe side, I applied it to both the a4.exe and the a4v7.exe and it worked. I did the same with my runtime version.

    To apply it, find the respective executable, right click on it, select property then choose the compatibility tab. The rest from there is straightforward.

    I had tried this before but was applying the compatibility option to the short cut and not the executable.

    Charles
    Last edited by cahalsall; 01-30-2006 at 12:11 AM.

  16. #16
    Member dpawley's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks Steve for identifying the patch numbers, I had this issue today, uninstalled those patches and it works now. I had tried the compatibility mode option, but it did not reolve the issue.
    Dave

  17. #17
    Member dpawley's Avatar
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    David Pawley
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    Default

    WOW, 2 occurrences in one day. On this occurrence I decided to reverse the order in removing the patches, and found that Al4v7 started up after removing only the second patch Steve listed KB890859.
    Dave

  18. #18
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    Robert Okrzynski
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    Default

    I had a similar problem but it was confined to only one PC. It was a HP Compaq. Other PC's were fine with the security patches.

  19. #19
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    Ken Fletcher
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    Default

    This problem occured on my HP Compaq Presario 2500 laptop about two weeks ago. I was able to solve it by removing the security patch KB890859.

    Many thanks to you all on this forum.

    BYW, I do not have the problem on my Dell Desktop.

  20. #20
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    Jeff Golden
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    Default removing security patch

    Please excuse my ignorance, but how do you remove security patch KB890859? Do I just find it in windows and click "delete," or is there a more involved procedure?

  21. #21
    Volunteer Moderator
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    Default

    Control panel - program uninstall?
    Al Buchholz
    Bookwood Systems, LTD
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    Occam's Razor - KISS
    Normalize till it hurts - De-normalize till it works.
    Advice offered and questions asked in the spirit of learning how to fish is better than someone giving you a fish.
    When we triage a problem it is much easier to read sample systems than to read a mind.

  22. #22
    Member
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    Default sucessful recovery!

    Thank you, Ken and Al, for your quick replies and advice.

    I'm using an HP Pavilion PC, Windows XP Home Edition and Alpha 4 version 7. The suspicious Windows updates are Windows XP Hotfix KB885835 and Windows XP Hotfix KB890859.

    Taking Ken's advice, I went to Control Panel and clicked on "Add or Remove Programs." First I removed KB890859, but Alpha 4 still wouldn't work. Then I went back and removed KB885835, and suddenly Alpha 4 is working again!

    When you do this there are lots of warnings about other Windows XP Security Updates and Hotfixes that may not work if you remove these programs, but everything else seems to be working fine.

  23. #23
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    Default Backup Before Windows updates

    Excellent Help, I had the same problem yesterday, and decided to restore a system state backup, which fixed the problem. To backup your system state, in XP Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Backup, Backup Tab, System State. Before updating windows ALLWAYS do a backup of your system state. I will try to update windows xp with critical updates without the two that are causing the problem, glad to know where to look, and find Perfectly pertinent information!
    Scott Frock

  24. #24
    Volunteer Moderator
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    Default

    Scott

    Is that a manual way to do what XP system restore will do for you?

    Of course, you need to have that option enabled, but by default it is.

    And yes a backup is always a good idea. Especially before the problem arrives.... :D
    Al Buchholz
    Bookwood Systems, LTD
    Weekly QReportBuilder Webinars Thursday 1 pm CST

    Occam's Razor - KISS
    Normalize till it hurts - De-normalize till it works.
    Advice offered and questions asked in the spirit of learning how to fish is better than someone giving you a fish.
    When we triage a problem it is much easier to read sample systems than to read a mind.

  25. #25
    Member
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    Scott Frock
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    Default

    Yes and No. I am answering to the best of my knowledge and experience. I am not sure of the difference between a system restore point and this backup method, but there is one. When I updated my XP OS with the critical updates, express method the restore points were erased.
    However I could restore the files from the backup. So. . . I'm not sure of the technical differences, except the "backup system state" doesn't rely on the good will or programmers preferences that are written into the system restore program.
    SF

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