Project Management Information
Specialists in Project Infrastructure
Frequently Asked Questions
This page contains answers to common questions handled by our support staff, along with some tips and tricks that we have found useful and presented here as questions.
Installation and Setup
Q. Although users were entered by the System Administrator using the "Administer" function, they are not visible in drop down lists.
Q. I keep hearing about the "Administer" function. What is it?
Using shortcuts to run PA rather than opening from Windows Explorer. Setting up your desktop shortcut.
Q. How do I display the cursor as a single vertical line at the start of the field?
A. This is a function in Microsoft Access. It can be changed by opening another Access application, and going to "Tools", "Options", "Keyboard", "Behaviour entering field". There are three options:
Set the option you prefer for all Access applications
Q. When setting up security accounts and users, I see a name "Sysop". Should I delete it?
A. The user Sysop is used during the development of PA. It has certain access beyond the user "Sysadmin". It is best to leave it in place in case there is a problem that may require Project Perfect to assist. The user "Sysop" is not counted for licensing purposes. You are licensed for a certain number of logons excluding "Sysop" and "Sysadmin".
Q. The Menu bar (with the words File etc.) is below the Toolbar (with the icons). How do I get the Menu bar on top of the Toolbar.
A. They can be dragged. Move the mouse over the left hand side of either bar, and whilst holding down the key, drag it to the required position.
Q. When I select the "Update" button on the schedule screen, I get an error.
A. There can be several causes. Firstly check you have a project. Select "Edit" and make sure you can open MS Project. If not, go outside PA and try and open the project with MS Project. If you have difficulties, the project may be corrupt. You will need to set up a new project.
If you are still having problems, and the project seems to be OK, ensure the prompt to save a baseline is turned off. When you try to save a project you will sometimes be prompted to save a baseline. You can turn off this dialog box by ticking the "Don't show me this again" box. Incidentally, if anyone has worked out how to turn the dialog on, I would be interested to hear from them.
Q. When I try to install PA on a machine that has a standard operating environment, the install program fails.
A. In order to run the install program, you need to be able to add PA to the start menu. Some SOE machines don't allow you to update the program files. There is a workaround which is fairly manual and will require you contact Project Perfect. If you do have this problem, send us an email and we will provide instructions and all the files you need to do the install.
Program has errors when opening pages, and generally fails to operate
Unless you are an experienced Access user, or can contact one, I suggest you let us know and we will send you documentation. Basically it relates to files not being installed on your PC. As a start,
If any are missing (i.e. you can't find them in the list), it might be the cause of the problem. Something like a missing dll. If they are all available, save the module, close the new database and try PA again. If not you will need to add a reference. There is help in the Access help file, or if you are stuck, let us know and also the version of Access you are using.
This is a Microsoft bug which is covered in Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 811120. According to Microsoft it only effects Windows ME but we have had the problem on Access 2000 running on both Windows 2000 and XP. Some symptoms are that tables cannot be deleted, or a compact and repair causes Access to close. We are not sure what other problems may be related to the issue.
The problem is the use of linked tables with a path length of over 128 characters. If your tables are buried deep in the LAN, you can easily run up 128 characters. Microsoft have a fix you can download but it seems to not want to run on anything but ME. It is Microsoft Jet 4.0 Service Pack 7. If anyone has this problem, and tries the fix, we would appreciate feedback.
The problem we suggest is to relocate the files to somewhere where the file name is less than 128 characters. It is not ideal, but seems to solve the problem.
The user name is sysadmin and the password is left blank. The trial version is good for 30 days.
If you are running Access 2002 or later, you need to set the default database format to Access 2000. To do this open any database and go to Tools, Options, Advanced and ensure the Default File Format is set to Access 2000.
Another possible problem is that you have a runtime version of Access installed, or more than one version of Access installed. This may have been installed with another Access program you purchased. Your full version of Access may be Access 2003 for example, but you may have an Access 97 runtime version installed as well. Both full version and runtime version use the same filename - MSACCESS.EXE. The runtime version however does not allow you to modify the database design. Thanks to David W. Detwiler of Integrated Construction Solutions in the USA for bringing this one to our attention.
To check, look at the shortcut to Access and in particular the location of MSACCESS.EXE. If it is not in somewhere like C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office 11\ look for the file in Program Files and, if you find another MSACCESS.EXE change the path in the shortcut. To be sure, you can run a search across all C: drive for MSACCESS.EXE to see if there is more than one copy.
The usual culprit is a missing ActiveX component in your Access installation. It is called Microsoft Common Dialog and the file is COM32DLG.OCX If you have a system administrator, ask them to install the file for you. It should be part of your Windows operating system, or on your Office CD. Alternatively, we have produced a kit which has instructions and the files. A zip file can be downloaded by clicking here
I keep getting an error message (version 5 or prior)“You do not have exclusive access to the database at this time. If you proceed to make changes you may not be able to save them later.”
We must thank one of our Canadian users - Yvonne Wupori from Akita Drilling for solving this one. You may see the problem if your PA.mde and PA.mdw files are in the same directory. The solution is to move the PA.mdw file to another directory, and change the desktop icon to point to the new location. For more information on adjusting the shortcut, see Q 6 above.
This is a problem we unfortunately can do nothing about. There is a converter program within Access that does strange things when you convert to Word. The usual problem is to drop the word off the end of a line however sometimes it deletes a few lines. There are numerous references on the Web to the problem and nobody has been able to either identify all the situations that cause it, or come up with a solution. You will find the same issues when you use the "Office Links" function in any Microsoft Office program. Send an email to Bill Gates and complain.
After upgrading your database to version 4.0 you get an error adding a new project. The error refers to the beforeUpdate event. The error relates to a field in the table tblProjectSupplementary. To fix this, close PA and open the tables file using Windows Explorer. Go to the tables section and open tblProjectSupplementary in design mode. Change ProjectNo from Autonumber to Number. You may be prompted to confirm so confirm you want to change the field type. Save and close the file. Next time you open PA, you should not have a problem adding a new project. This error occurred on very early purchases of the software.
As at August 2007, Access 2007 has a number of "undocumented features". Like most serious Access developers we are hanging out for Service Pack 1. Whilst we have tested the software on Office 2007, and it runs without a problem, you should let us know any issues you are experiencing that may be related to Access 2007.
There are a whole different set of security requirements to be managed in 2007 and these are covered in the Quick Start guide you received in the download package. We suggest you check these out and if there is still a problem, let us know.
This one relates to an error that table tblAvailProjects cannot be deleted or created. To explain the table, whenever you select a project, a program, or all projects on the home screen, a table is created to store the numbers of the projects selected. For example if you select only one project, that project number is stored in tblAvailProjects. When you go to another screen – for example Issues – the program looks at what is in tblAvailProjects and only displays issues for that project. The table is continually created and deleted as you use PA.
If the folder or file is Read Only, the table cannot be created or deleted. You need to change the folder and any files in the folder, to read write. This is not always straight forward in Vista however we did locate a good article that helped one user Harri Siebert in Germany fix the problem. You can read it at at http://forums.devshed.com/windows-help-34/i-can-t-get-the-directories-to-not-be-read-452403.html Basically it says:
"You have to change the ownership of that folder. You can do that by opening the folder properties, goto security then click advance. After that, go to owner tab then select your account then check the replace owner on subcontainers and object then click OK. NOTE: your account must be an administrative one. "
There is more information in the newsgroup thread above as to what to do if this does not work.
For more information download this guide to changing the security settings
When opening Access 2007, you may receive a warning that macros are not enabled. Follow this link to find out how to change the macro security and avoid the warning.
If you are using an earlier version, open any Access database - but not PA - and go to Tools, Macro, Security and set the security level to Low. You can even create a new Access database if you want just to change the setting. Delete it afterwards.
This does not work for runtime Access unfortunately. There is no access to the trust centre.
You do not need to have a full version of Microsoft Access installed on your computer. Microsoft provide a runtime version which you can use. It allows you to run Access programs, but not create or modify them. You can download either a 32 bit or 64 bit version of Access runtime 2010 from http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=10910