Category Archives: Troubleshooting

Second Patch From Microsoft For A Security Update That Breaks Custom Reporting

A security update sent out on Aug 14 apparently breaks portions of MS Office.
Microsoft has released this update:
That fixes this issues. We had several reports of custom reporting failure and after applying this fix the issues were resolved.

Custom Reports Suddenly Stop Working????? Here’s a reason and a Fix!!!!

If you (suddenly) get an error like the following (which may vary depending on OS) when generating custom reports, it is likely caused by a recent security update for MS Office.



Good news is that Microsoft realized this problem and provided a “fix it” tool at


This is what happens based on my investigation if you care:


There is an EXD file created for some VB 6.0 runtime files when you use the controls provided by the runtime files in the Visual Basic designer. Those files are located in %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Forms\ folder (which may vary depending on OS). The problem is that, when security update installs new versions of certain runtime files, the EXD files become invalid and hence this error occurs.


To fix the error, you need to delete the EXD files and they will be re-created as needed. To delete those files, you can either use Microsoft provided “fix it” tool from the link above, or go to the folder directly and delete them.


This link gives you some details why the security update is necessary and which software are affected.


A Quick Note on OneNote and Report Printing?

Is Microsoft OneNote hijacking your print jobs?

on April 25

While we don’t usually focus on tech support issues here on the Office Blog (that’s what the Microsoft Answers forums are for), let me shine a quick light on a recurring issue that has caused some of you to scratch your heads and write in about.

In a nutshell, the problem appears to be that OneNote 2010 (or OneNote 2007) intercepts all of your print jobs whenever you try to send any information from your other programs or your Web browser to your trusty printer. While you must admit that this is a great way to save paper and finally “go green,” it’s no laughing matter when your boss expects you to hand him or her a printed report and you can’t seem to do that.

What’s happening?

Until recently, you’ve always been able to print anything from your computer to your printer. Now, your print jobs seem to suddenly bypass your printer completely and go straight into Microsoft OneNote, where they appear like scanned images. You really want things to go back to the way things were and have your print jobs sent to your actual printer once again.

What’s causing it?

Microsoft OneNote comes with a nifty little utility called the Send to OneNote print driver. A print driver is a small piece of software that directs output from a computer to a printer. Typically, the operating system controls such software, so it can monitor how a computer talks to hardware devices like a printer. In the case of OneNote, a special print driver is installed that lets you send your print jobs as images into your OneNote notebooks.

The OneNote print driver wasn’t designed to override your printer settings and assume you want every print job sent to OneNote 2010. Instead, it’s intended to be waiting in the wings, available whenever you want to use it, and taking a backseat again whenever you’re done sending a particular print job to OneNote.

However, the OneNote print driver may have accidentally promoted itself to top dog in any of the following conditions:

  • You installed OneNote 2010 or Office 2010 with no physical printer installed or selected at the time, causing the Send to OneNote print driver to act as your default (preferred) printer.
  • You installed a new physical printer on your computer after installing OneNote 2010 or Office 2010, without promoting the printer to act as your default printer.
  • You share your computer with someone else who installed OneNote 2010 or Office 2010 and set the Send to OneNote print driver to act as the default printer.
  • Your printer software is incompatible with your operating system version and Windows has reverted to the Send to OneNote print driver as the default printer.

Even if you’re not really sure how it may have happened, there’s an easy solution.
Setting a default printer in Windows Control Panel

When the Send to OneNote 2010 print driver is marked as shown, print jobs will be sent to OneNote as images.
If you have a real printer installed, right-click its icon, and then click Set as Default Printer on the shortcut menu.
Your printer is recognized as the preferred printer for future print jobs when it has the check mark icon next to it.

How can I fix it?

On any edition of Windows 7, do the following:

  1. On the Windows taskbar, click the Start button.
  2. On the right side of the Start menu, click Control Panel.
  3. When Control Panel opens, click View Devices and Printers (if you’re in Category view) or click Devices and Printers (if you’re in Icon view).
  4. Right-click the printer icon that represents your physical printer, and then click Set as Default Printer on the shortcut menu.

If you’re using Windows Vista, the steps are nearly identical:

  1. On the Windows taskbar, click the Start button.
  2. On the right side of the Start menu, click Control Panel.
  3. When Control Panel opens, click Printer (if you’re in Category view) or click Printers (if you’re in Classic view).
  4. Right-click the printer icon that represents your physical printer, and then click Set as Default Printer on the shortcut menu.

If you do not see an icon for your actual printer, it’s likely that your printer is not correctly installed. Check the printer manufacturer’s website for any updated drivers that are specific to your version of Windows (for example, a 64-bit edition of Windows) and make sure that the printer is properly connected to your computer.

Don’t be hatin’!

Even if you had a bad first impression of the OneNote print driver hogging all of your print jobs, don’t be too quick to dismiss it even after you demote it from being your default “printer.” You might be surprised how useful it is to have the ability to print certain information right into OneNote.

Although digital printouts in OneNote are image files that you can’t edit, you can right-click such images in OneNote 2010 and extract the text from them with the Copy Text from Picture command. As long as the text in the image is large enough and legible, this works really well. You can then paste and use the copied text into your notes or elsewhere in your work.

When you’re properly introduced to it, the OneNote print driver is a pretty cool feature!  😉

Remember, whenever you have a technical support issue, head on over to Microsoft Answers — the official Support forums for OneNote and Office. It is monitored daily by knowledgeable and helpful members of the Microsoft MVP community, Microsoft Support, and the Office product teams.

— Michael C. Oldenburg

Two ways in but no way out…… Xcalibur and TF open at the same time

HMMMMM…. Why am I golden but not green.. on my status ball.

All computer systems in the world, from a Operating System to specific applications like TraceFinder have a file managing system. Typically called an I/O or File I/O, for In and Out. This manages the handling of a file and the opening and closing of a file to extract data or other things inside the file.

Inherently TF and Xcalibur being from the same family of applications, act like siblings and try to grab the same file if they are both open at the same time.

If this happens then sometimes the door handle flies off and someone gets stuck inside.

When this occurs then rawfile will apprear as yellow status meaning it is acquired but not processed.

To fix this you just have to make sure xcalibur is shut down. and then proces the file. If for some reason that doesn’t work then you may have to reboot the PC. Not the best of situations, to say the least.

So Word To The Wise. Only use one Application at a time when Acquiring Data.

Hmmm… License, Do I Really Need One??? YES

TraceFinder Installation Instruction, including license registration process

In the link above you can find the installation instructions, plus a process that tells you how to register your copy of TF.


So if you see the above notice, you have that amount of time to register the product.

After this runs out you will not be able to open TF.

It will only open to the registration page until a license is obtained.

Just enter in the your info and email the text, “Blob” ,to the address listed at the top.

This occurs whether you have a demo or full version.

This is also the only way to extend the demo version by a specified amount of time, which is handled on a case by case basis.

If you are a Thermo Employee. Please register your version and as long as we are sending this to a Thermo email address, then YOU, will receive a full license.


BIG HINT: The license is good for one PC. It is Mapped to the motherboard’s MAC address.

So it is not transferable between systems.

Each purchase gives the user the right to install on two PC’s TYPICALLY, the instrument PC and an offline processing station.

Pause or Stop … That is the question

In TraceFinder there are a couple Queue List to consider.

So First there is the Acqusition Queue. This is a list of samples being acquired by instruments that TF controls.

The Second, simply named Queues is a list of processes that are occurring with sample data. This includes acqusition(is the sample done being created), Processing (is the data I want being extracted) and Reporting (are my reports being generated)

All these can be paused or stopped.

Pausing simply hold the allows the current process on the curtrent sample to finish and then it waits.

Stopping kills the process, whatever that may be. Acquiring data or reporting, etc…

Once this is done then you can remove or restart the things that were previously QUEUED up.

All instruments of all vendor with all software applications have issues with batching and removing batching of sample in some form. No matter what you might use in the lab its always a best practice to let instruments go home before giving them new instructions.

Another word to the wise: If you are acquiring data Pause the queue and then remove samples from the Acquisition Queue. Let all the instruments finish their processes of rehoming themselves, in the case of the autosampler, or finish the gradient flow in case of the LC pump. This will allow for the system to be in a good known state when you remove samples fromthe queue.  Otherwise the messages to the instruments might get cross with each other.

Houston We Have A Problem… Communicating How Issues Occur

Many times, messages come through asking for help that say, ” I have an error.” The problem is, to fix something we need to reproduce the error or see what the error says.

If you get an Unhandled Excection error, Windows is telling you the application is in a bad state. Here basically you have two choices. Close the application “Do this, Please” or Continue, not recommended because the system will be running in an unknown state.

Before, you do either of these, please click on the details button. This will open up a text dialog below the error message, which contains valuable information on what files internally or externally to the application are being effected by the error. Please copy this text and email it or post it someplace where the person rendering you assistance can get to it.

Also, a good tool to use if the problem is reproducable, is a Free tool in Windows called the Problem Step Recorder.

See the Link Below for how to use the Problem Step Recorder.

And there is always the Windows 7 Snippet tool for capturing images off your screen and saves them in picture format.

So help us help you, by using these tools to get us info to pinpoint your issue as rapidly as possible.

Fight the Good Fight.


Multiplexing methods: Bigger is definitely not better.

So if you’re getting an error that in the instrument log that says. Something like, “data file closed before the instrument was finished.”

And you’re using an Aria multiplexing front end.

Then most likely the mass spec portion of your method file has an acquire time larger than the data window in the Aria portion of your method.

This could cause the raw files to remain open and use up RAM depending on your batch size you could run out of memory depending on what version you are using.

RULE OF THUMB: The mass spec acquisition time must be EQUAL TO OR LESS THAN, the Duration time in the Aria method. So if the duration time is 3.0 minutes then make your mass spec time 2.99.

So, you can definitely do more with less.

If you want you Reports to fly off the printer, Give them WINGS!

Why don’t my reports print on the fly?

Well, one reason could be the printer is out of paper.

Most likely,the reason is that your reports aren’t configured.

So, in the batch template make sure you select any reports and the type you want to be produced.
If you selected reports in the master method then they should be marked accordingly here.
If you didn’t then this is your opportunity to fix that step.

REMEMBER: Just because you selected reports in either of these places doesn’t mean reports will be created on the fly. When you submit the batch there is a checkbox that says “Reporting”. This must be checked to have reports automatically be produced.

So, the feathers are the selected reports and the lift is the checkbox. Have both, you’re an Eagle.
If you don’t, your Icarus.

Designated Driver?????

One of the issues that many new users have is making sure all the different pieces of software are compatible with each other.

TraceFinder installers guarantee the system has the right Foundation, Xcalibur and TF versions.
In the release notes on the installation disks, we list the appropriate instrument drivers for that particular TraceFinder release version.

An example of this would be an incompatible mass spec driver, with all the other pieces being correctly paired. The instruments may not respond,or the instrument editor may not open because it can not detect the instrument.

So a word to the wise always make sure that if you’re taking TraceFinder out for a spin, you bring along the designated driver.