Network Connectivity Issues

Last Updated: 7/21/2011

If you receive any of the following frequent errors:
1.  Msg:  Error loading file (Error 1104).
2.  Msg: File 'usefile.prg' does not exist.
3.  OBROAD is not an object
4.  OFORM is not an object
5.  OAPP is not an object

What causes this?
Anything that interrupts the natural flow and communication with the workstation to and from the server can cause this error.  These errors occur when A1Law tries to read or write information from the server and Windows returns an error to A1Law that it was not successful in reading or writing information to the hard drive on the server.  This may be caused by any one or several of the following:

1. One or several bad network cables at the workstations with the errors (usually the connector at the end of the cable either from the computer to the wall or the wall to the hub/router).

2. A bad hub and/or router.

3. A bad network card on the server and/or workstation.

4. Software problems such as very high CPU usage on the server or workstations due to other programs running thus interrupting the normal communication flow from A1Law to and from the file server.  The Task Manager on the server and the workstation will show the percentage of CPU resources being used for each application.

5. Incorrectly configured antivirus software. If you are running Norton, be sure to use the Corporate Edition for networks.

A1Law should usually be able to backup the critical files (which many backup systems skip) in just a few minutes at most.

Fixing the Problem

1.  98% of all network connectivity problems are caused by bad connectors on the network cable right at the computer itself.  Although, one may also have bad connectors from where the cable plugs into the wall or at the hub, router or even the connector on the cable at the server.  Of course, the problem could also be due to a bad cable as well as the connector.  One may easily replace the cable from the computer workstation to the wall.  Sometimes several cables may need to be replaced in order to fix the problem.

One may run a simple test called DODIR to see if there is a connectivity problem with that cable.  A batch file may be created by your computer consultant in DOS where the batch file contains two lines  DIR F:   and the DODIR  so that when run it continuously runs DIR F:  (or whatever the server's drive is) on any workstation.  Then while it is running the directory should constantly scroll up the screen.  While this is happening, hold the network cable about 1 inch from the computer and gently position it up at the 12 o'clock position for a few seconds, then down, the left and then right in each position for a few seconds.  If the directory suddenly stops or pauses or drastically slows down, replace the cable with another one and test it again since you may likely have a bad connector and/or cable at that workstation.

2.  Isolate which computers are constantly getting errors.  It may be only one or several.  You may look at the Error log in A1Law\Text\A1Error.txt to see what the errors are and from which computers.

3.  Check the Task Manager for CPU Resources being used on the computer.  If there are a lot of resources being used or spikes either on the server or workstations with the problem, isolate the issues.

4.  Make sure your anti-virus software and backup software is current and properly configured.  Do not have this software accessing the files in the A1Law folder.  Make sure to exclude extensions including DBF, CDX and FPT.  If you are using Norton, please make sure that it is the Corporate Edition.  Make sure your anti-virus software on the workstations are not scanning the server's hard drive thus causing multiple scans and unnecessary traffic on the network.  If you have a "mirror image backup" try temporarily disabling it to see if perhaps it is interfering with A1-Law gaining access to the files.  Similarly, if you have an "online backup" try temporarily turning it off (even as a test) to see if it is interfering with access to these files.

5.  Remove all spyware.

6.  It could also be due to a bad network card on the workstations or file server and/or faulty network drivers that need to be reinstalled.

7.  Check the power settings for the network card since the server and/or workstation might turn it off after a certain period of time.  Set it to always on.

8.  Incorrectly installed A1Law software.  Make sure that the A1Law icon has a Target Location on the C Drive and not the network drive so that A1Law is running from the workstation and not the file server.  Otherwise, unnecessary traffic will be created on the network.

9.  Run the A1Comm program.  This program does not "fix" the problem but rather assumes that there is no such thing as a "perfect network" and therefore tremendously reduces the network traffic created with A1Law by using sockets for communications.  This has several benefits including the following:

a.  Increased reliability and speed due to substantially lower demand and network traffic.
b.  Instant message and other communications will be much faster.
c.  One may use the "Broadcast" feature which is not available without A1Comm.
d.  Integration with other programs such as Outlook will automatically post to case activity and also one may pull cases directly from Outlook.

Run A1Comm on the file server.  You may create an icon in the startup folder on the file server called

A1Comm Start Minimize

so that if the file server is restarted then A1Comm will be run automatically and then minimized.  One may also set this up as a service on the file server.  The first time you run A1Comm, click the Options button then check the box that says "Enable A1Law For Use With A1Comm"  Next, click the LISTEN button to start the A1Comm program which should run all the time on the file server.  Next, in A1Law click Tools, System, Configure System Defaults, A1-Comm Settings and check the box Use the A1Comm server.  Click the Save button sign out of A1Law and back in.  To test it, send yourself or someone else an instant message.  Make sure you have properly set your firewall so that it does not block usage of the A1Comm program.

10.  Replace all cables under any heavy desks, file cabinets, or spiked mats under chairs or any cable that looks the least bit frayed.

11  Check server logs for redundancy errors or bad sectors possibly indicating a bad hard drive.

12.  Right click on the A1Law icon on the desktop and make sure the target displays C:\LawLocal\A1MENU.EXE A1Login.exe and the Start In is also in the LawLocal folder.  Make sure that the workstation has full rights to the lawlocal folder and the A1Law folder on the network.

13.  Turn off Redundant Network Checking, Redundancy features, mirrored drives etc..   Even NAS drives such as NetGear may have this feature.

14.  Make sure all backups are running late at night and not during the day as they may take exclusive use of files.

15.  Some networks require that their network cards are set to their exact speed rather than automatic in the Advanced network card settings.

16.  Backup "in the cloud" software can by accident sometimes designate the offsite server as the "master" when the main server is turned off and then start copying all data from the offsite server back to the real master server when it is turned back on.  This can cause a lot of major problems so it's always advisable to have incremental backups as a main solution and if one decides to use the cloud then that should be a secondary solution.

17.  Make sure the server is not set to go into sleep mode or hibernation,.  Make sure the power settings for the network card and any other advanced settings to not shut off after a period of time as this may disconnect and open file handle thus affecting connectivity.  This could also happen on an idle workstation as well but it's most important to get the settings correct on the file server.

18.  Check the server's local policies.  For example:  Control panel, System security, Administrative tools, Local security policies, Security options, Network security, Force logoff when logon hours expire

19. Check the AutoDisconnect parameter: in your server settings.  They may also be in your workstation(s) as well.

20. Make sure your Windows 7 / Vista computer workstations are NOT set up for Offline Files,  Please make sure all workstations have this DISABLED.  At the Control Panel, select Sync Settings, Manage Offline Files and click Disable.

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