Monthly Archives: April 2017

Issues with Actively Scanning Virus Protection Applications and Data Acquisition and Processing

In many instances of instrument and processing stations being connected to the internet, I’ve helped individuals having system lock up issues on various mass spec systems over the past 20 years, when using Real-Time Virus Scanning Protection.

This issue is vendor agnostic and will causes problems in data collection and processing on a number of vendor platforms.

If you have Norton, McAfee, Microsoft Security Essentials/Windows Defender, etc and you need to run real-time virus protection. You should exclude the folders where data is actively being collected and processed. This will ensure that any processes, such as instrument communication, raw data writing to disk or processed result file creation,aren’t being interrupted by virus checking during data collection and manipulation.

Below is a list of folders recommended for exclusion in the various anti-virus programs.

The example comes from Windows Defender in Windows 10, and will have a different user interface dependent on what application you are using, however each application available commercially today has this capability.

1:Real-time protection is on and select settings


2: Select Add an Exclusion


3: Add each of these folders as an exclusion


Internal Standard Retention Time and Peak Width Diagnostic Chart

This a useful and simple report that is best viewed in Excel.

Click here to download the zip file:

Internal Standard Retention Time and Peak Width At Half Height

Place in the folder: C:\TraceFinderData\4.0\Templates\ReportTemplates

The chart shows the Retention Time and the Chromatographic Peak Width at Half Height,  in a line chart over the entire batch. It should show you the performance of the internal standard and the reliability of the chromatographic conditions.  A moving retention time and/or a widening of the chromatographic peak may indicate issues with the columns or mobile phase. This is useful in determining the health of the system and variability of the assay over time.


The Chromatographic Peak Width can be attained by setting the conditions in the detection portion of the method as shown below. You can change the width measurement to be any desired value. Default is 50% of peak height, though 25% may better gauge peak fronting or tailing.



The report is currently set up to show 59 samples from the data table. If your data set is typically large or smaller you can adjust the ending row in the series section of the chart dialog. Simply open the editor for this report, double click on the chart and the dialog will open as shown below. Expand the section for the Data Source/Series and enter your typical ending row. Any empty cells will not be charted.

Internal Standard plot series settings

Residuals Chart Report Template

In many instances, individuals wish to see the residual values of their calibration curves. This plotted chart may give a better visualization of how the curve is actually performing versus the singular R-squared value.

Click here to download the report templates for data that contains either internal or external standard curve types: Residual Chart Reports

Extract the files to the file location: C:\TraceFinderData\4.0\Templates\ReportTemplates

For use with TraceFinder 4.0 and later versions.

Presented are charts in both natural and logrithmic scales. If you only require one type of chart, the delete the one not desired and resize to meet your needs.


The chart will automatically adjust for a normal amount of calibration standards or a large validation set.