Tales From Tech 2 - Issue: 6When you encounter an error message, don't panic. Just read issue 6 for help with the most common problems you might encounter.
Today I am thrilled to announce that we have our second winner in the "contest" I announced in Volume 4.5. Unfortunately, I'm not sure who it is. They haven't written me back to claim their fabulous, limited edition, PowerChurch Plus mug. Maybe they just want to remain anonymous. (By the way, if you want to take a chance on winning a fabulous, limited edition, PowerChurch Plus mug, just go to http://www.powerchurch.com/tech2 and put in a suggestion for a topic you'd like me to talk about in the future.)
Today I want to tell you about some of the most common error messages that you might run across in PowerChurch Plus Version 7. Just remember that what I tell you is between you and me. It's our little secret, okay? And, speaking of secrets, that reminds me of the old saying: A cat in the bag is a many splendored thing.
Let me start by saying that what we discuss today pertains only to Version 7 of PowerChurch Plus. If you are on a prior version of the program, you're certainly welcome to read this newsletter for its entertainment value, but nothing here will really apply to you. Sorry.
With most programs, some problems are usually discovered after the program has been released to the public. Some people call them "bugs," but I like to think of them as "undocumented features." Now, there have been a couple of minor "undocumented features" that have been discovered in PowerChurch Plus and corrected along the way. To make sure that the problem you're seeing isn't something that's already been fixed, the first thing we want to do is check your program date. To do this, simply go to the Help Menu and then choose About PowerChurch Plus. On the screen that comes up, you will see a tab that says System Information. Click on that tab and then look for Program Date. The date in that field should be 8/1/1999 or later. If it is not, you need to find the August 1999 Maintenance CD we sent you and install it.
I also want to note that if any of the suggested fixes I offer below don't fix your problem or if you get an error message that isn't listed below, you should contact our Technical Support Department for assistance.
Let's start with errors that can come up if you aren't reindexing your files regularly. I told you in Volume 3 what reindexing is and why you should do it. (If you need to go back and review Volume 3, please feel free to do so. Previous issues are available at http://www.powerchurch.com/tech2. I'll wait right here until you get back.)
If you ever get an error message that says something like "file does not exist," "record out of range," "table has no index order set" or "alias not found," then the problem is probably index related and all you need to do is reindex your data files.
A PRIEST, A MINISTER AND A RABBI GO INTO A BAR...
Once in a while, we've seen an error message come up when trying to access menu items in the program. This error will indicate something like "blah-blah menu bar 0 not found." If you should ever see this message, just close the program, then start it back up and then try to do whatever you were doing when you first got the message.
YOU CAN'T DO THAT ON TELEVISION!
Errors can occur if file attributes or permissions on a shared resource aren't set to full read/write access. File attributes indicate whether the file can be changed or deleted. None of the program or data files in PowerChurch Plus Version 7 should be set to read-only access. The same thing applies when you have the program on a network and the permissions on the shared folder or drive aren't set to full read/write access.
When files or folders used by the program are set to read-only, you can get errors that say something like "can't update cursor" or "error instantiating cursor object." If you see one of these messages, file and network permissions are the first things to check.
LONG CUT OR SHORTCUT
(AND I'M NOT TALKING CHEWING TOBACCO)
If you are setting up the program on a network and you get a message about an "API Library not found," then there's probably a problem with your program shortcut.
When you set up a network and you want to access the program from a workstation, you have to map a network drive back to the server in order to run the program. In other words, you must see a drive letter under "My Computer" for the shared drive or directory on the server. Once you've mapped a drive and run the SETUP.EXE program, your shortcut should have something like X:PCPLUS7PCPLUS7.EXE or X:PCPLUS7.EXE (where X is the letter for your mapped network drive) under the "Target" field. If it is and you still get the error, check the "Start in" field, too. It should list the drive and the directory that the program is installed in. For example, X:PCPLUS7.
BAD CRC! SIT! STAY! STAAAY!
In Volume 3, I suggested that you make regular backups. In fact, if memory
serves, I suggested that you make more than one backup when it was important (like the end of the month or year). (At least, I think I made that suggestion. If I didn't, please accept my apologies.) The reason I suggest making multiple backups is that somewhere along the way, you will probably come across a bad disk. It's even possible (hold on to your skirt, Ethel) to find a bad disk in a brand new box of disks.
Either way, if you are trying to restore a backup and you get an error indicating something about a "bad CRC," it's probably a bad disk and restoring from a different backup diskette may be your only choice.
SIT UP OR SETUP
(OR, DZ, EASY AND SNEEZY)
If you are doing a backup or a restore from within the program and you get an error that says that the program "can't load DZ_EASY.DLL," the first thing to do is run the SETUP.EXE program that is in the directory where you have PowerChurch Plus installed. This will replace the files that the program uses to make backups and restore them. Normally, this will take care of the problem.
As a side note here, if you ever print a report and the columns don't line up, running the SETUP.EXE program should take care of that, too. (But, remember, you didn't hear that from me.)
AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST...
Well, the last messages I want to mention are ones that can come up due to printer-related issues. The two most common messages that you might see are "detail band too large to fit" and "printer not ready."
The first one is usually pretty easy. It is usually caused when the printer is set to Landscape instead of Portrait orientation. Changing to Portrait will typically fix things. You can make this change through the Windows Control Panel.
The second one is a little trickier. It basically involves how the printer is named and typically only involves networked printers. The problem may stem from a known issue in Visual FoxPro 3.0 (the language the program is written in, if you're curious) and so it is an issue we have seen before. In fact, we've already written up some information on this. So, since I'm kinda on the lazy side and in no mood to reinvent the wheel (and since the last volume of this newsletter went out a month ago), I'll give you a Web address for a page that includes information on the "printer not ready" error. Just go to http://www.powerchurch.com/support/answers/ and then scroll down the page until you see a section called "Printing." The first item under there is "Printer Not Ready Error Message." You'll find everything you need to know there.
PCPlus V 7
Last updated: 04/13/2004