Author Topic: PFE and Windows compatibility (Win7 and Win 8)  (Read 8727 times)

Julien

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PFE and Windows compatibility (Win7 and Win 8)
« on: November 05, 2013, 09:34:32 am »
Hi folks!

I know PFE is working fine with Win XP and Win 7... Does anyone has experience using Probe for EPMA and other related ProbeSoftware programs using Windows 8? From what I've been told, Win 8 is basically the Service Pack 2 of Windows 7, but I was just wondering if anyone actually did try this...

Cheers,

Julien

Edit by John: It's a good question that I do not know the answer to... I know Probe for EPMA runs on XP, Vista (32 and 64 bit), and Win 7 (32 and 64 bit), but never tested Windows 8. Please let us know if you try it!
« Last Edit: January 13, 2014, 01:51:02 pm by John Donovan »

Jeremy Wykes

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Re: PFE and Windows compatibility
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2013, 07:44:54 pm »
I have been running Probe for Windows under Windows 8 for data processing (not machine control) since January this year with no problems.

If you want to preserve the traditional Windows user interface I suggest using installing "Classic Start Menu" http://www.classicshell.net/ which will give you a WinXP/7 style start menu and allow you to turn off all the Win8 user interface changes.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2013, 07:48:07 pm by Jeremy Wykes »
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John Donovan

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Re: PFE and Windows compatibility (Win7 and Win 8)
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2014, 02:46:37 pm »
A question I sometimes get is can Probe for EPMA and Probe Image be run on a non-administrative account under Windows 7 and the short answer is "yes".

So one can certainly create multiple logins, and PFE and PI *will* run under a "user" account without admin privileges, but yes, you will have to do the updates from an administrative account (or have someone available to type in an administrative password when the installer is run), and then when your users login and click one of the app icons the OS will re-run the latest installer for their user account.

Paul Carpenter adds the following comments in an off-line discussion:

"...the success of running the software on W7 under non-administrative accounts may require fiddling with how the application runs...it may be necessary to go to the application, right click to get properties, and perhaps set the compatibility to run as administrator.  Do this only if there are problems.  For example, there have been situations where the Matrix.exe app needs to be explicitly run as administrator."

And I will add that the issue with Matrix.exe Paul mentions seems to be a one-time permissions issue the first time it is run, but only on *some* computers...
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Philipp Poeml

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Re: PFE and Windows compatibility (Win7 and Win 8)
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2015, 05:56:27 am »
Hi John,

I have a question: We are running PfE on XP 32 Bit. Would there be any benefit of updating to Win 7 32/64 Bit?

Cheers
Philipp

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Re: PFE and Windows compatibility (Win7 and Win 8)
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2015, 08:15:06 am »
I have a question: We are running PfE on XP 32 Bit. Would there be any benefit of updating to Win 7 32/64 Bit?

I think Win 7 64 bit is a solid platform and the main reason to move to it is that Microsoft no longer supports XP.

As for other benefits I'd have to think about that, but I will say that my colleague Julie Chouinard has had some issues with Win 7 32 bit, so probably best to avoid that and get Win 7 64 bit.
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Philipp Poeml

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Re: PFE and Windows compatibility (Win7 and Win 8)
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2015, 08:25:23 am »
Thanks, John. But it is not like PfE runs faster on Win7 64bit, because it suddenly uses 64 bit, or multiple cores or whatever?

Is there any forseen end of support for Win XP concerning PfE?

Probeman

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Re: PFE and Windows compatibility (Win7 and Win 8)
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2015, 09:03:13 am »
Thanks, John. But it is not like PfE runs faster on Win7 64bit, because it suddenly uses 64 bit, or multiple cores or whatever?

It should run faster if the processor is faster but PFE is still a 32 bit app.  However, PI can take advantage of multiple cores because it is multi-threaded.  And if you run PFE and PI together they can run on separate cores as can the OS. So if you do go Win 7 I would suggest at least 4 cores and at least 8 GB of memory.  My PFE/PI/NSS computer has 8 cores and 8 GB RAM and runs well.

Is there any forseen end of support for Win XP concerning PfE?

PFE will stay a 32 bit app for the time being.
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Max Verdugo

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Re: PFE and Windows compatibility (Win7 and Win 8)
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2016, 09:05:43 pm »
Hi guys,

I just wanted to tell the community about an issue that I had some days ago. I wanted to install PFE for off-line data processing on my private notebook (Lenovo G500, Win 8.1, German version, year 2013) but I got a notification stating that: "There is a problem with this Windows Installer package. A DLL required for this install to complete could not be run. Contact your support personnel or package vendor". I tried running the .msi-files as an administrator, but I had no results.

What finally did solve this problem for me, was to change the security settings in properties of the folder "C:\Users\XXX\AppData\Local\Temp", where XXX is the specific user of the computer, and changing the permissions for Everyone to Full control, so that the .msi-files were allowed running the required files in Temp (http://superuser.com/questions/478631/dll-could-not-be-run-for-msi-installers). Once the programs have been installed, the security settings can be changed.

John Donovan

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Re: PFE and Windows compatibility (Win7 and Win 8)
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2016, 03:20:03 pm »
My colleague Julie Chouinard is teaching the EPMA course this fall and some students found they cannot see the full extent of certain windows in our EPMA apps on their laptop computers.

We found that some students had set the screen DPI on their laptops to 125% or even 150% (I don't know why, as their eyes are a lot younger than mine!).

Anyway, we found that if they set the screen DPI back to 100% (right click the desktop) the windows all fit fine:

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Andrew Mott

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Re: PFE and Windows compatibility (Win7 and Win 8)
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2017, 01:04:08 pm »
I've had a primary user what OS they should get (Win 7,8, or 10) for their new laptop for working with PFE. Is PFE compatible for Windows 10?

John Donovan

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Re: PFE and Windows compatibility (Win7 and Win 8)
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2017, 01:38:14 pm »
I've had a primary user what OS they should get (Win 7,8, or 10) for their new laptop for working with PFE. Is PFE compatible for Windows 10?

PFE will work with Win 7, 8 and 10.
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Probeman

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Re: PFE and Windows compatibility (Win7 and Win 8)
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2019, 01:19:21 pm »
I've made considerable effort to get all the computers in my lab updated to at least Windows 7, and if possible to Windows 10, over the last year.  This has been primarily because our IT people have been threatening to disconnect any computers still running Windows XP from the campus network. 

Updating from Windows XP to Windows 7 or 10 requires a new install of the operating system and all applications, ugh!  Hence all the "considerable effort" over the last year.  The good news is that updating from Windows 7 to Windows 10, is easy and quite painless.  Remember, Microsoft is threatening to stop supporting Windows 7 at the the end of this year!

We have one remaining computer still running Windows XP, which has software for interfacing to a petrographic scope camera and also our Nikon slide scanner.  I'm pretty sure we can get updated software for the optical microscope camera, but the Nikon slide scanner, though still useful (it's 4000 DPI so works well for both 35 mm slides and thin sections), is at least 18 years old!   So not very likely.

On a related note, I've recently noticed that the default update link from the Help menu in CalcZAF, Probe for EPMA (and PictureSnapApp), will no longer work under Windows XP.  Instead one gets this message:



This is because the server is now rejecting secure connections from computers running Windows XP (or older).  So what can a user do?  Well in Probe for EPMA there are two other download update options, and I find that the last one (third) still works under Windows XP.

The other solution for those still running Windows XP is to manually download the latest ProbeforEPMA.msi file here:

https://www.probesoftware.com/ftp/V11/ProbeForEPMA.msi

Contact Probe Software if you need the user login and password for Probe for EPMA update downloads. Note that if you update Probe for EPMA, it will also update CalcZAF (and Standard) automatically).

If you want to update CalcZAF only, no download login or password is necessary using this link:

https://www.probesoftware.com/download/CalcZAF.msi

To manually download the PictureSnapApp update under Windows XP, use this link:

http://probesoftware.com/download/PictureSnapApp.msi

Those running Windows 7, 8 or 10 should have no problems just using the Help | Update menus in CalcZAF, Probe for EPMA or PictureSnapApp.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2019, 02:06:59 pm by Probeman »
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Probe321

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Re: PFE and Windows compatibility (Win7 and Win 8)
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2019, 03:27:44 pm »
Microsoft is snooping still! Microsoft has made telemetry and diagnostic services critical updates. Microsoft claims this is to help them improve their products.

I suspect the Microsoft telemetry probing is clashing with the PfE to JEOL ELKs communications interface causing problems with probe operation. Windows temp directory fills with files so eventually the hard drive gets full of gibberish. (I had 2+gb on the Windows 7 PfE computer and 8+gb of files on the JEOL Windows 10 CL computer).  Microsoft needs to do better file cleanup.

This link has directions on how to neutralize Microsoft telemetry snooping. 
 
https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/2000012-neutralize-telemetry-sustain-win-7-8-1-monthly-rollup-model/

The background:  It started with “computer needs to restart to finish installing updates” on the display of the Probe for EPMA computer.  Operation of PfE and the JEOL 8530F+ microprobe went down hill from there.  PfE started to malfunction (proper engineering term is wonky behavior) Event Log did not have anything that would indicate a problem.  Next, disk cleanup detected 2+ gb of files in the Windows temp directory  Examined the files as they were titled probe they might be part of PfE actually they are window telemetry files.

There is more information on telemetry tracking available on the internet for the curious.

John Donovan

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Re: PFE and Windows compatibility (Win7 and Win 8)
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2019, 10:06:59 am »
This is not a compatibility issue per se, but it is another Microsoft "gotcha" that we recently ran into.

Late last year we happened to open an older MDB Access database which was created using v. 7 of Probe for EPMA (the MDB file was created in 2007). Back in 2007 we were using the Access 97 database format. When the current version of PFE tried to open the database we got the following error:



Even trying to open the database with old versions of PFE didn't help.  When we first saw this, we assumed that we had somehow broken something, but we were wrong!  It was Microsoft!  Here is an explanation:

https://www.devhut.net/2019/01/12/access-97-bug-unrecognized-database-format/

The really weird thing was that these older MDB files could be opened just fine on some computers, but on other computers (same MDB file, same EXE, same OS), we'd get the "unrecognized database format" error. Anyway, after thrashing around a bit, we tried to modify the msi installer script to add back in some older DAO controls that we had removed when we migrated to Access 2000 a few years later (which did not help).  Then all of a sudden these old databases from 2007 starting working again with Probe for EPMA! 

So what happened?  What happened was that on one of the computers with the "unrecognized database format" issue, we got a message that Windows had some updates that needed to be installed.  So we allowed the updates to install, and lo and behold, we could open these old Access 97 MDB files again no problem.   ???

When we looked at the installed updates from Microsoft, there was about 50 different Microsoft Office updates. Apparently one of them fixed this Access database problem which Microsoft had created earlier in a previous update.  As to why some computers never saw the issue, but others did- we have no idea.  I guess we live (and die) by Microsoft...

Anyway, now that that particular drama is done with, we wanted to let you all know that we did find a work around that fixed the issue, and although it is no longer necessary, we thought we would mention it. We found that one can open these Access 97 format MDB files in Microsoft Access and convert them to the Access 2000 format. After the conversion, the databases can again be opened with Probe for EPMA even before the Microsoft Office fix had been applied!

The basic procedure is to open the file in Microsoft Access (our version was Office 2010), and when prompted to convert the database, say No (though this may be unnecessary because it seems to convert the file anyway!), then click the File | Save & Publish menu, then select the Microsoft 2000 Database option, then click save As and enter a different file name. That should save the Access 97 database to the Access 2000 format. After this, Probe for EPMA can open the MDB file with no problems.

Anyway, it appears that Microsoft has now fixed their own bug, so we should all be OK for now, though please let us know if you run across anything strange or have other information on this issue.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2019, 04:10:55 pm by John Donovan »
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Probe321

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Re: PFE and Windows compatibility (Win7 and Win 8)
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2019, 12:26:49 pm »
Another windows "feature" or is that "gotcha" is updates.  The PfE computer is on the network which requires windows updates to be installed.  IT set the windows update to download, but let user install.  PfE seems not to be effected by new updates once installed.   Now the feature, PfE starts acting wonky when there are updates waiting to be installed, and it acts worse and worse until PfE crashes and you restart the computer and surprise, updates.  What is wrong with a little popup window that says updates are waiting to be installed.  Not sure if others are experience this "feature", but I find it annoying especially when setting up an analysis.