Reckon Accounts Pro 2013 error Error 1920. Service QuickBooks Database manager Service (QBCFMonitorService) failed to start

Today I upgraded my laptop to Windows 8.1 Pro. By ‘upgrade’ I actually mean backed up, formatted & installed Windows cleanly. It went surprisingly well and was pretty fast. The only Microsoft glitch I had were some updated that failed to install until after I rebooted, then away they went (though they gave me no indication that a restart was needed).

I’d been running QuickBooks Pro 2012/2013, so it was time to install the new version – Reckon Accounts Pro 2013. And this is where I went around in circles.
The product is supported on Windows 8, but the installation failed with “Error 1920. Service QuickBooks Database manager Service (QBCFMonitorService) failed to start.” The installation would then roll back.
This kb was hopeless:http://www.quicken.com.au/kb/issue_view.asp?ID=4906
And another kb was hopeless that told me to delete a bunch of folders (that hadn’t been created) and try it again. It mentioned that my installation was having trouble connecting to the company database file, which made no sense seeing as I’d pick the stand-alone client option (as our company file is on our file server, no my laptop).

My laptop had no anti-virus software on it (yet) and no previous versions of QuickBooks.

Unfortunately the error is a bit generic and had to search for, because 1920 is the standard windows error code for any service failing to start.
But the solution actually wasn’t that complicated after all. Compatibility mode!

Here’s what worked:
Browse to the contents of the DVD and find the autorun.exe file. If your ‘file extensions are hidden’, you’ll see a few autorun files listed, but only one of them will say Application in the type column:
Capture2
Right click that file & choose Properties. Then put the tick on to run in Compatibility mode as Windows 7:
Capture

Click OK and run the autorun file. My installation then completed successfully, without any errors.

So far I haven’t needed to run the program in compatibility mode, just the installation.

And there you have it. After my lost productivity/time to figure this one out, I hope it saves somebody else! It’s just a shame that solutions like this aren’t easy to find, especially in the software maker’s own knowledge base.

-SCuffy

Fixing Code 19 error in device manager for CD/DVD drive – configuration information (in the registry) is incomplete or damaged

Windows XP laptop with a DVD writer not working – can’t see or play CDs or DVDs, not even appearing as a drive letter.

Device manager shows the drive with an exclamation mark and the error:
“Windows cannot start this hardware device because its configuration information (in the registry) is incomplete or damaged. To fix this problem you should uninstall and then reinstall the hardware device. (Code 19)”

The troubleshooter suggest uninstalling & reinstalling the device, which gives exactly the same error. Updating drivers & windows etc didn’t help. It was hard to find any information on this message that actually related to the registry.

Until I found an article with a link to this Microsoft support article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929461
The article had the fix – remove the UpperFilters registry entry and hey presto, we’re back in business.

It’s a pity that this support article doesn’t actually include one of the common symptoms (being the above error message) which makes it very hard to find when searching for the error message. Posting this here to help link the two, in case anyone else is pulling their hair out or thinks they have faulty hardware.

-SCuffy

P.S. Most common cause? Unclean uninstall of DVD writing software.

When business & IT collide.

I had the pleasure of showing a team the features of their new CRM software. Have I lost you yet with how boring that sentence is? Fortunately the reality was far from boring.

To me – the CRM system is a plugin to a Joomla website. There are some bits I can configure & some bits I can’t (especially as I’m not the Joomla site admin nor do I ever ever want to be.
To the business owner – the system means no more monthly fees to a Cloud CRM system. This one off purchase will last her for at least 3 years and will handle the growth she is expecting. It’s also one place to see how her sales pipeline is looking & to get instant access to the conversations had with & information that’s been provided to her customers & prospective customers.
To the team members – this is a ‘central console’, one place to get a picture of what they have on the go and what others are working on too.

So you see, I’m the only person who views this system with technical eyes.

The business owner sees the results she can get from it and the capability it will give her.
The team members see how it can track the work that’s being done & how it will help them organise their next move.
THIS is the value of I.T. This is truly ‘information technology’ at work, delivering business benefits.

The session was purely run by demonstrating how to create & edit information & how to report on it. It was filled with ‘what happens when’ and ‘if we do this, what would enter into the system’ type questions. 99% of the answers actually had more than one way of doing things and were solved by refining the business process or drilling into more detail about what they actually do right now, without this system in place. As nervous as they may have been about learning a new system, they walked away with lightbulb ideas about how they would be using it.

Bliss.

Now they’ve been sent their logons. Even more importantly, they’ve been given a test Person and a test Company to play with. Change details. Create, edit & delete deals. Play. Try. Do.

This is not the Rolls Royce of CRM systems. It’s also not the prettiest web-based software I’ve seen. But right now, it suits them. It’s functional without being overly complicated. And sometimes that’s all you need.

Don’t be distracted by new, shiny things. Be inspired by how it will actually help your team to do their jobs (and help you to do yours).
When business & IT collide, in a good way, it’s actually pretty exciting.

-SCuffy

“Hey yourname” from earthlink.net emails – spam

Just a quick post to show you some spam emails I’ve been receiving. My fantastic spam filter (http://www.ctscleanmail.com/) has been quarantining this stuff, but the subject AND the fact they are coming from the same domain name earthlink.net made me curious enough to do a little more research.

Spam list earhlink.net

Spam list earhlink.net

 

 

 

A quick internet search shows that while earthlink.net is a valid email provider, it has been known to have issues with spam from user’s accounts in the past, especially spam that has been coded to include your name in the subject. See this July 2011 blog post http://blog.onlymyemail.com/endless-spam-from-earthlink/

So, delete I go! Moral of the story: Don’t trust emails just because someone has mentioned your name.

-SCuffy

BigPond ADSL – Your ADSL Service Cancellation Notice email

Disturbing email doing the rounds over the long Easter weekend in Australia, pretending to be from BigPond. I’m blogging about this in the hope that you’ll find this entry if you receive that email and Google it first.  It’s a scam, and a very clever one.

First the details: sender address ebilling@bt.com (that’s your first alarm bell-bt.com is not a bigpond or telstra domain name)

Subject: Your ADSL Service Cancellation Notice (second alarm bell – I am not and have never been a BigPond ADSL customer)

Text: Dear BigPond User,

Telstra BigPond is sending you this e-mail to inform you that our service to you could be suspended. This might be due to either one of the following reasons:

1. You have changed your billing address.

2. You have Submitted incorrect information during bill payment process. (third alarm bell – bad english & capital letter in middle of sentence)

3. Your credit/debit card has expired.

4. You didnt update your bigpons profile. (fourth alarm bell-missing apostrophe and now bigpond has lost its capitals)

According to above(more bad english), and to ensure that your service is not interrupted, we request you to confirm and update your billing information now BY CLICKING HERE. (another alarm bell-Telstra will never ask you to do this and definately never in capitals)

If you have already confirmed your billing information then please disregard this message as we are processing the changes you have made.

Regards,

Telstra

Billing Department

Thanks for your co-operation

Accounts Management As outlined in our User Agreement, Telstra (r) will periodically send you information about site changes and enhancements.

OK, so there are a few things in there to make you question the email, but the real surprise is the lengths they have gone to with the fake website, and what they have the cheek to ask you for.  When you click on the link, you are taken to a page that looks very much like a Telstra website:

The logo is there and the links at the bottom even point to pages on the real Telstra website.  But the big alarm bell here is this statement: “This is a secure page. Telstra has implemented SSL security technology designed to prevent unauthorised people from reading this page, or the information you send to us via this page.”  Ah no, actually that page is not secured by an SSL certificate, as the address at the top does not appear as https:// and there’s no little golden locked padlock showing in my browser.

So let’s see how far we can push this thing?  Enter a username & password – just anything, make it up .. and you get to page 2 – Thank you for confirming your identity.  And now the fun begins. They want your name, credit card details, billing address, phone number, home phone, date of birth and drivers license number.  Excuse me? I don’t think so.

So we make up some more fake info and submit it, and we get a short confirmation page which then redirects us to the real Telstra website.

Apart from wondering how on earth it can validate a completely made-up username and password, there are elements in there to really make you think it is legitimate.  The site is hosted by e3event.com which is in Indian company.  I’ve forwarded this email to Telstra to get their comment, but I’m betting my money it’s a fake. And if it is, it’s a good one.

The best scammers know that instead of spending their time trying to break technology’s security measures, they just need to take advantage of our human nature and gain our trust. With a few chosen words and a carefully placed logo, we believe they are Telstra and we’re going to lose our internet connection. The easiest way for them to gain access to your personal information is for them to to ask you for it. 

Another concern is the timing of this. It was reported to a few Computer Troubleshooters franchisees as appearing over the Easter long weekend, which was a 5 day public holiday in Australia this year due to the ANZAC Day commemoration.  The billing departments of all corporations were closed (internet providers only run technical support on weekends) and who wants to be without their internet for 5 days because you decided to wait & phone Telstra to check it out first?

So, now you’ve been warned, and you’ve seen why I think this is a scam. I’ll let you know Telstra’s reply when I get it (hopefully tomorrow – at 9pm their privacy department isn’t open).

-SCuffy

Logitech Harmony One Review – Logitech Australia Product Tester

Logitech Australia Product Tester – Harmony One Remote (Dec 2010)

Logitech Australia reached out to its social media community and asked for volunteers to test some of their products.  I was accepted as one of the ‘chosen few’ and here is my completely unbiased report on their product.  Enjoy!

On arrival, the Harmony One remote was staring at me through clear plastic, just waiting to escape!  The packaging did a clever job of hiding all of the boring bits (software installation CD, instructions, charge cradle and cable), whilst leaving the feature product on clear display.  The plastic was a bit of a mission to get in to… or maybe that was just my impatience!

The first step was to charge the remote, as it had a Li-Ion rechargeable battery (like most cordless phones).  It fitted snugly into the cradle.  The downsides to the charging process were 1) the lack of indication as to whether it was still charging or had completely charged (you needed to press a button on the remote to find out – a colour changing LED on the cradle would have been great, or the ability for the remote screen not to ‘sleep’ during this process so you can see the on-screen indicator all the time) and 2) the cradle took up a bit of bench space, being slightly larger than the remote itself (would have been great to be able to charge it vertically, but with the battery contacts being near the top of the remote, a stand-up cradle would mean you’ve have to place the remote in upside down).

While that was happening, I wandered around and gathered the information for the devices I wanted to control (TVs, games machines, DVD players, set-top box, VCR etc).  Once the remote was charged, I installed the software onto my Windows 7 Professional laptop and connected the remote via the USB cable, and received an error (Step failed Updating region: 0x10a00102 – The information was not sent.  Check your USB cable and try again.  If the problem persists, contact customer service. Step 2 of 4 Applying settings 80% complete).  To fix this, I tried a different USB port on my laptop, and then it had no problems.

Adding devices was easy, and I was surprised to see cheaper & older devices listed (eg DSE DVD, DGTEC Set-top box and 10yr+ old Panasonic rear projection TV).  Unfortunately neither the Installation Guide nor the device worksheet tell you to note your input channels for your devices, so I had to wander around again to check which AV channels were needed for which devices.  With that information, setting up Activities (like Watch TV) was also easy.  It was great to see that I could have a ‘TV’ and ‘TV2’ and also multiple games machines etc, so this one remote could be used in both rooms where I have AV gear.  Though the remote can’t natively control a Nintendo Wii (Wii’s limitation of being a bluetooth device though you can buy a Wii IR receiver), I could still setup an activity so my TV and Amplifier would come on and set to the right channels for the Wii.  Only downside to the software was a full-screen limitation where the software doesn’t ‘maximize’ to the full edges of my screen (the icon areas stays the same and it just extends the grey background).  It would also be nice to have the Activities in a vertical list, instead of tiled with big icons.

The remote is comfortable to hold, with the buttons in the right places and a gloss finish matched with an underside rubber grip right where it’s needed.  The screen also sleeps automatically when you put the remote down, and lights up when you pick it up again.  A friend commented that it would be nice to have hard red, yellow, green & blue buttons (eg used by Foxtel), but I don’t have Pay TV and apparently they do display onscreen as touch buttons.

It’s fairly intuitive to use and the remote assistance feature is great when things don’t seem to go quite right.  Watch the screen and follow the prompts and it will sort everything out for you.  Remember that some devices will have to be physically turned on at the switch and in standby mode before the Harmony One (or any remote) can talk to them.  Once it’s configured to turn on and set the correct devices to the correct channels at the press of one icon (Watch DVD, Play Game etc), it’s just like having a teenager in the house .. but significantly less expensive!

The Slideshow is a little gimmicky but my family loved seeing their photos on the remote.  It only allows for 8 photos of max 160kb each, so I had to resize them before loading them on.  The only way I can find to display them is through the Options menu, and then you can turn the slideshow on to run once.  It would be great if this had more options, or could be set as a ‘screensaver’ though ultimately that would affect the battery life.

The battery life is really the only other negative, it seems I have to charge it every 3 days or so.  Perhaps that’s just because I’m using it so often to test it?

Overall, this remote is fantastic.  It has easily replaced 8 other remote controls in my house and sits there looking unobtrusive, even stylish, on my coffee table.  If you are looking to consolidate the number of remotes you have, or if you are looking for an easy way to control multiple devices and make them simpler to use, I would highly recommend the Harmony One.

Issues with security update patch for IE7 WinXP KB2416400?

Our friends at the Kaseya NOC have decided not to rollout out a Microsoft security patch just released for Internet Explorere 7 machines (on Windows XP).  They’ve seen some issues once it’s been installed and there are a few blog sites with people reporting problems.  Suggest hold off installing this one for a while until it’s sorted:

“Post: We have noticed that after applying the patch KB2416400 (MS10-090), when browsing a particular site, all links stop working following clicking a link to open a java script pop-up window. Hitting F-5 to reload the page restores functionality of the links. So to avoid this miss-functionality we have denied this patch from all Virtual Manage machines.

http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/InternetExplorer/thread/eec87070-61eb-4fbd-aa45-911206f7039b

https://blogs.technet.com/b/wsus/archive/2010/12/16/important-questions-regarding-ms10-090-kb2416400-internet-explorer-cumulative-security-update.aspx

https://blogs.technet.com/b/sus/archive/2010/12/16/update-on-a-couple-issues-we-are-seeing-related-to-detection-and-installation-of-ms10-090-kb2416400.aspx

-SCuffy