Windows 10 Issues

By and large we have found Windows 10 Pro to be quite good.  The greater similarity with the traditional Windows 7 (and XP) interface certainly makes it much easier to use than Windows 8, and some of the improvements to various parts of the interface are great.

However, we have encountered two issues so far, that adversely affect your ability to run our software on Windows 10 computers.  Fortunately, these can both be overcome.  The two issues are:

  • A "Font Issue" which prevents our software from displaying a report in "Print Preview"
  • A "Serious Multi-user issue" when new records are added simultaneously by two or more users (or recent records are edited).

Font Issue

Some sites (a relatively small minority) have encountered an issue where "Print Preview" stops working in our software, after Windows 10 has installed new updates and re-started.  The rest of our software works fine.  However, when you attempt to preview a report on the screen, it opens the Preview window frame, but doesn't display anything inside it.  (It seems to hang, but is still running, as you can close the preview window.).  Alternatively, the preview may run, but uses a different (proportional) font instead, which does not align the columns and displays Nordic 'A's instead of the normal horizontal lines.  Both sets of symptoms are caused by Windows 10 somehow messing up the visibility / availability of the special font ("FoxPrint") that our software previously installed.  (If you try to copy the 'missing' font file into the "C:\Windows\Fonts" folder, Windows complains that it is already there.)

Unfortunately, the Windows 10 behaviour is unpredictable.  Most of our sites have no problem at all, and with those that do, we have needed to use different methods to fix the issue.  You may find it easiest to simply call our help desk, and ask for a remote support session to fix the issue.  If you prefer to try to solve the issue yourself (or have your own IT people do so), the simplest thing to try first is:

  • Go into the "Control Panel" (if you can find it after the last Windows update)
  • Select "Fonts"
  • Select "Font Settings" (at the top of the menu in the left panel)
  • Clear the 'tick' in the setting "Hide fonts based on language settings"
  • 'Tick' the setting "Allow fonts to be installed using a shortcut (advanced)"

Screen shot of Font Settings

Run our software, and preview a report to test that it is now working correctly.  (The Time & Cost "Work in Progress Summary" report is reasonably easy to find, or the "Timesheets > Reports > Staff Report" if you want something very simple without a filter wizard.  If you are running our Sales Admin module, the "Product Type / Group Report" is a quick and simple one that is good to test this issue.)

If that does not work, then try clicking on the button below the tick-box, called "Restore default font settings".

If that still does not work, then re-set the 'tick boxes' as per the above screen-shot, and try the following:

  • Use Windows explorer to view the "c:\Windows\Fonts" folder
  • Check what fonts exist with a name beginning with "Fox..."
  • If there is one called "FoxFont" (but not "FoxPrint"), delete this, and see if the "FoxPrint" one magically appears
  • If "FoxPrint" does appear, then double click on it (to check that it looks OK, and ensure that it is 'registered')
  • Run our software, and preview a report to test that it is now working correctly.

 

If that still does not work, it might be because the font was originally installed from a network drive.  Copy the "FoxPrint.tty" file from the "\Adminsoft\Install\GESys" folder into a "\Temp" folder on drive C.  (You can call that folder "c:\Adminsoft" if you want to retain it for a future contingency.)  Copy that file (from the folder on Drive C) to your Windows Clipboard.  Select the "c:\Windows\Fonts" folder, and paste the full "FoxPrint.tty" file (not a shortcut) into this folder.  (You may need to tell it to overwrite the file that 'already exists' - but Windows 10 is hiding from sight.)  Double-click on that new file (you may find that it has jumped up among the other fonts beginning with 'F') to open and register it.  Run your test report.

If even that still does not work, then try uninstalling and re-installing the Adminsoft Workstation Install on the computer concerned.  Note: This will merely uninstall and re-install the fonts and Microsoft VFP run-time engine, not the Adminsoft program, data, and configuration files.

  • Ensure that you have downloaded the file AdminsoftWorkstationSetup2015.exe (or later) - You will need this for the re-install
  • Right-Click on the Windows10 start button at the bottom-left of your Windows task bar
  • In the pop-up menu, select "Apps Features" (at the top)
  • Click on the item "Adminsoft WorkStation Install", and when this expands, click on "Uninstall" (You may need to give permission for this to run.)  When it has finished, this item should have been removed from the "Apps & Features" list.  (It can be a good idea to reboot Windows at this point.)
  • Locate the file AdminsoftWorkstationSetup2015.exe (or later), right-click on it, and select "Run as administrator" (Give this permission if Windows asks.)  Let this extract itself into its default directory on your Drive C !!!
  • After the re-install has finished, open Windows Explorer, and navigate to the "C:\Windows\Fonts" folder. Check that the "FoxPrint Regular" font is now visible.
  • Run our software, and preview a report to test that it is now working correctly.

Serious Multi-User Issue

More importantly, Microsoft have changed the default behaviour of Windows 10, and disabled the older file protocols that were standard in all versions up to and including Windows 7, and on which Adminsoft (and many other mature software packages) rely.  This is not a 'bad luck' quirk, like the few sites that encounter the "Fonts issue".  It affects all sites that have one or more computers running Windows 10.  Our software works fine if accessed by a single user.  However, Windows 10 does not perform the record locking and other controls that our software is expecting in a multi-user environment.  This does not matter if multiple users are merely viewing adjacent data passively.  However, it can cause mischief if two or more users are editing records in the same part of a table, and especially if they create new records simultaneously (e.g. creating invoices from timesheets - or from orders in Sales Admin). This can result in unpredictable behaviour, trashed index files, and even lost data entry.

Fortunately, it is relatively easy for your IT people to make some low-level changes to the Windows 10 configuration settings, which restore the conventional behaviour that our software is expecting.  (This is not something normal users can do.)  We can do this for you in remote sessions on each of your Windows 10 computers.  However, it is better for your regular IT people to do this for you, as they are specialist technicians, and presumably have responsibility for the security and performance of your network.  Please ask them to contact us, so that we can communicate the relevant technical information, and discuss the nuances of your network from a technical perspective.  If you do not have a regular IT support partner, then please discuss this issue with us.

Having said this, we have taken another approach, where it is not necessary to do any low-level reconfiguration of your computers and server.  We have now spent many hundreds of man-hours re-engineering our software deep in its engine-room, with a work-around we have discovered that avoids any need for low-level reconfiguration.  With our 2018 version, this new technology has been incorporated into the main data-entry and processing parts of our software that are accessed by multiple users.  We are now progressively working it through other less used places in its various modules.

Please phone us to discuss this, if you have one or more Windows 10 computers that run our software.