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Postings here will focus mainly on Advanced Accounting software updates, tips, and related topics. They will also include general comments relating to troubleshooting PC/Windows/network problems and may also include reference to our other software products and projects including any of our various utilities, or to the TAS Premier programming language. We considered setting up separate blogs for different topics so that users/others could subscribe to topics mostly aligned with their interests, but decided that it would be better to keep things simple since some topics cross over into others. We would nonetheless welcome your feedback/input in this regard. Our web site URL is www.addsuminc.com. Call us at 800-648-6258 or 801-277-9240. We also maintain www.advancedaccounting.us so that older Business Tools users in particular have a greater chance to find us.

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Network path not found

Recently one of our accounting software users suddenly could not run Advanced Accounting 7i from a local, shared path and received this message.  The details of the Windows error message indicated the error code 0x80070035.

The user was running Windows 7 Home (and had another Windows 7 PC on their network).  The software had been working the previous day when we were also on their system.   And it was not a Monday . . .

(A disproportionate number of computer problems happen on Monday mornings, probably due to weekend operating system updates, or networks not having been fully or properly shutdown, or power problems caused by storms, etc.; we otherwise like to blame them on sunspots which are for some reason more prevalent on Mondays!  The best strategy for dealing with these is to turn off everything that won't be used before leaving your office, and especially on Fridays.)

A UNC path was being used to reference the folder name in the format:

\\PCName\Adv\

Where Adv was the share name (in this case Adv61).    We verified the computer name was indeed the same name as the "PCName" (not the actual name) in the UNC path.   The folder was still shared.  The desktop icon properties were correct.  The INI file used by the executable and default registry entries were also correct.

And the operating system's network settings were seemingly all correct as well.   Network discovery for example was enabled (for a discussion of that setting, see Microsoft's enable or disable network discovery topic).

The causes of the "network path not found" error can be many but in this case it turned out to be Windows services that had been turned off.  We found for example that the TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper Service (and some others) had been stopped.  This isn't something that the end user had done so what caused these services to stop wasn't apparent.

Modern computer networks typically do not use NetBIOS (formerly referred to as NetBEUI).   It is a protocol that when using, for example, the Pervasive SQL engine is turned off (along with IPX/SPX) to enhance performance.   It can however still be used in simple file and print sharing networks (and the unfortunate "home" versions released by Microsoft)  and provide name resolution services as apparently was the case here.  

Other things that have been reported to cause this error include Windows firewall settings, anti-virus software, network name issues, UAC (may need to disable),  date/time clocks that are out-of-synch, and network card properties.   Services besides TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper Service to check to see if they are running include Computer Browser, Server, Workstation and if working remotely, Remote Registry Service and Remote Procedure Call.   (And we found also some of these services that were not running in this case.)  Power outages and power management settings could also be factors to consider.

PC networking has really not become simpler over the years.


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