Getting Help with Windows and Computers
You've encountered an error while using BCSS. The 3 likely causes (which are not part of the BCSS program) are Microsoft Windows, your computer and/or corrupted data files.
By following the steps below, you will be able to determine the cause of the problem and whom to contact for help.
A common cause of computer problems is poor (or no) virus and Internet security protection. If you are using any anti-virus other than ESET (including Norton, PC-cillin and Kaspersky) there's a pretty good chance your computer has been compromised. If you are using free anti-virus software you most assuredly have computer infestations. Download and run a free scan from ESET: http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2267374-10857306.
Another common cause of computer problems is poorly-maintained computers. Run Windows Updates (see Windows Help) and download and run the free scan from Advanced System Optimizer http://get.esellerate.net/get/ALP92589666/default.htm?skuid=SKU8991693020&affid=AFL9534385278&at=&pt=
A third cause of problems is anti-virus software. It may be necessary to add 'bcss.exe' to allowed programs in your anti-virus program. (See the program's help section for guidance.)
Where to Get Help
POS-X Equipment (including setup/installation): Press F1 while viewing BCSS and scroll down on the left in the manual to Printers then click on POS-X Printers, or call POS-X at 800-790-8657 .
Epson Printers (including setup/installation): Press F1 while viewing BCSS and scroll down on the left in the manual to Printers then click on Epson Receipt, or call Epson at 562-276-1314 .
Other Hardware: Contact the provider or maker of the equipment.
Windows and the FoxPro Database:
- Click on the Start Button, then Help and Support and enter a keyword to search for help in Windows Help. (Be sure Windows Updates are current.)
- Retain local IT services. (Search Google for 'computer repair city' (replacing 'city' with your city's name).
We are last on the list for a reason: When our software can't function as it should, the causes are usually virus infections or computer or Windows-related issues, all of which are not supported by us, but these services can help determine the cause and find solutions:
- For issues related to computers and networking, contact Russ Cox (Cox Technology Associates, 203-421-6471, firstname.lastname@example.org) ($29/30 minutes).
- For help with Windows (how to copy/paste, zip/email files, install BCSS updates, etc.) contact Russ Cox, Cox Technologies, 203-421-6471 ($29/30 minutes).
Do It Yourself: Determine the Cause / Find a Solution
- In BCSS, click on Utilities then Rebuild Database Indices. If that doesn't clear the issue, proceed to the next step.
- Restore data. Back up your data then restore a set of data files dated just prior to the date of the problem appearing. If the problem goes away, then your current data files are corrupted and need to be repaired. (See Repair Damaged Data Files below.)
- Restore Windows to a previous date. (Click on the Start Button and Select 'Help and Support' then click on System Restore for instructions.) If this resolves the problem Windows Restore will display the change(s) that were made after the 'restore point' that may have caused interference with BCSS. (Windows Restore is completely reversible and there's no risk of losing any work or data.)
- Troubleshoot the computer.
Troubleshoot Your Computer
- Check your PC's resources. Right click on Computer (often found by clicking on the Start Button) or on My Computer (often on the Desktop) and select Properties. Here's a sample of a portion of the Properties Screen:
- RAM memory (purple arrow) should be 1 gig for XP, 2-3 gigs for Vista/Win 7/8. Large databases with 1,000's of records will require more.
- Clock rate (clock speed) (black arrow) is how fast a computer completes computations and operations. Yours should be 2GHz or higher.
- Your hard disk drive revolutions (green arrow) should be 7200 RPMs or better (for a PC). Laptops spin at around 5200 RPMs (to avoid overheating) which is why they are inherently about 30% slower than PCs.
- If your processor is Celeron or Centrino, Pentium 3 or lower, expect (much) slower processing speeds. The processor in the example is Inter(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU. The most recent Intel processors are i3, i5, i7 Core.
A local PC shop can easily diagnose your computer and make recommendations for generating more speed and efficiency. Computers that are always crashing and interfering with normal operations probably need to have Windows reinstalled to refresh the installation and update Windows to Windows 7/8 Professional.
- If your PC runs slower than it should, take a look at PC Maintenance. If your computer is crashing for freezing, see https://www.bestconsignmentshopsoftware.com/maintain.htm.
- Protect your computer from viruses and hacks. Don't use free anti-virus programs (Kaspersky, Avast, AVG). Use ESET Smart Security.
- Run a free scan of your computer for problems using Advanced System Optimizer. Download the free trial from: http://get.esellerate.net/get/ALP92589666/default.htm?skuid=SKU8991693020&affid=AFL9534385278&at=&pt=
After download close the browser window of instructions. The Smart PC Scan Screen should be present and ready. Select Deep Scan and click the blue Start Smart PC Care button.
ASO will check for junk files and folders, disk drive fragments, spyware and malware, privacy traces, outdated/missing drivers, Windows Registry errors and fragments. At the end of the scan, you'll see a report of its findings. Click the orange Register Now button to purchase the program and repair the errors.
- Run Scandisk periodically to repair bad hard-disk sectors. Go to Start then Run and type chkdsk /f. (There is a space before the forward slash.) Click OK. Windows will scan the hard drive for errors, repair them and present a report of its findings. (See Windows Help.)
Repair Damaged Data Files
Your data is stored in the FoxPro database on your hard drive (at C:\BCSS). There are a number of causes of data corruption: no electrical surge protection, hard shutdowns, power failures, program interruptions, bad disk sectors, failing components, etc. Our 'free support' doesn't include fixing something we didn't break but we can help fix it.
Here are the steps for data repair:
- Send us your data files:
- Press the Send Data button (in BCSS, upper right corner) to upload your data files to our server. If you don't see a message confirming that 69 data files have been uploaded, try again. When files have uploaded successfully, send an email to us stating your name, shop name and reason for sending the files including error messages and actions taken to produce the error.
- If there is no Send Data button, zip and send your last backup folder to email@example.com along with your name, shop name and reason for sending the files including error messages and actions taken to produce the error.
- If you are unable to open BCSS, send your data files by zipping the entire BCSS Folder (C:\BCSS or C:\Program Files(x86) or C:\Program Files\BCSS) and emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org along with your name, shop name and reason for sending the files including error messages and actions taken to produce the error.
- For files over 2MB, use WeTransfer.com to send data files and information to email@example.com.
- Go to https://www.bestconsignmentshopsoftware.com/bcss-order.htm. Enter 29 in the field named 'Enter an Amount' and press the Blue Order Button to remit $29 using a credit card. Send an email to support if you prefer another payment method.
- We will return the files to you (usually within 24 hours) with instructions for updating BCSS and installing your repaired files. If you need assistance with updating, contact Russ Cox at 203-421-6471.
Reduce the possibility of data damage by following these practices:
- Don't use old equipment. These days you can lease a brand new powerful Desktop PC from Dell for $15/month. (See System Requirements.)
- Use a surge protector/power backup between the PC and the power source.
- Don't use the power button to shut the PC off. With XP, go to Start > Turn Off Computer. Vista is more complicated. See http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-vista/Turn-off-a-computer-frequently-asked-questions. For Win7/8 use the Log Off function under the Start Button.
- Make sure there are no malware/spyware/virus/worm/trojan infections and use a commercial-grade anti-virus program, ESET.
- Don't use the computer to download bit torrent, games, music, movies, software programs (especially 'free' ones and ones from untrusted providers).
- Don't interrupt BCSS while it is processing information.
- Don't jar the computer.
- Don't place the PC on the floor (where it can collect dust).
- Close all other programs before installing BCSS.
- Reinstall Windows after reformatting the hard drive. That's the best way to eliminate problems without having to spend hours fighting with a machine and trying to discover what the causes of problems are. After Windows reinstallation only install programs that are necessary.
- Train employees on how to use a computer and Windows. (Teaching Windows doesn't become the responsibility of a software developer whose software you've installed. There is lots of free help on the Internet for learning computing.)
- Don't let people who don't know what they are doing operate your computer.
Support is free via email. For fee-based phone and remote-PC support please contact Russ Cox, Cox Technologies, 203-421-6471, Connecticut | email
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