When you strike trouble the first thing to do is stop doing anything more and determine what happened to cause the problem.

That first sentence is important because we spend a fair bit of time fixing "down-stream" problems where a problem has occurred or error messages have been ignored and the user has continued on without pause for thought.  This topic can only be general in nature and you will need to use the computer between your ears to sort out what you are to do.  There is a section below on data related problems but first we'll have a look at the more serious end because the troubleshooting process needs to go through the same first steps.

Having stopped doing anything, and in a network environment that may mean stopping all other users too, try and recall exactly what you have just done.  If there has been an error message write down the content of the error message(s).  Where there are multiple error messages the first one is the critical one.

Now write down as accurately as you can the things you have done since the last time things worked correctly.  If you were entering a transaction when the problem happened try and write down which fields you have just been entering or changing in the order you did things and how you got between the fields.  Did you Tab, BackTab, use the mouse and so on.

Only now do you assess what you might do.  Reading the first error message and some experience will tell you how serious the problem is and hopefully give some idea of the cause of the problem and therefore what the solution may be.  Unfortunately, Windows is notorious for "hanging" or "crashing" in mid flight.  Often "hanging" is because Windows is doing something behind the screen and is hogging resources.  So before hitting the Ctl+Alt+Del keys to "kill" the Aspect Property Manager off please try and close out "softly" by using any of the active buttons and the "X" in the top right corner of the window.

Some error messages may sound like gobbledy-gook to you but still be sufficiently understandable for you to work out what has happened.  Remember it's the first message that is the best indicator of the problem.  You may have left a mandatory field blank but the message may only give a general "blank field" message.  There is very little we can do about many of the messages as the Aspect Property Manager itself does not originate them, they may come from the Windows operating system or some other software.

Some errors are straight forward and can be corrected by fixing the missing or incorrect item.  If you are at all unsure, close the Aspect Property Manager down and restart it and see if the message persists.  Also try closing the whole system down and actually turning the power off the computer not just doing a "restart".
The Aspect Property Manager  has a variety of message types which appear when "things" do not seem right.  There are:-
  • "Informative" messages which simply draw your attention to unusual circumstances
  • "Warning" messages suggest there is something that should be fixed before proceeding.
  • "Stop you dead" messages won't allow you to proceed until the problem is fixed and may be "user-induced".
  • "Bug Report" messages are a special type of message which may be any of the above.  They contain the reason for the message and provides the ability to tell us about the error via an email.  You should first read the message to see if you have entered something invalid which can be fixed such as entering two decimal points in a number field or leaving a mandatory field blank.  If you can't see what is wrong or don't understand the message please click "Send Bug Report" then work through the three steps required.  Please complete the details requested on the first two steps and preferably send the screen shot.  On that last step you can edit the screen shot (add a circle or arrow) by clicking the screen image.  After the last step your normal email program will open showing the bug report.   You may add more to the email if you wish but must click "Send" or the Bug Report will be lost.  The report is sent using your normal email software because the error may stop sending directly from the Aspect Property Manager.  You may now be able to click "Continue Application" or the only choice may be "Close Application", the latter situation indicating something which can not be fixed by continuing.  However, continuing will not always work depending upon the serious of the error.

    XXXX where should the above be best placed?

    If the problem is related to how to perform some operational activity have a search around in the other help topics.  Remember also to look in the Help menu > How do I... topics.

    We have reached the point now where the "simple" things didn't work. So now everyone must log out of the system except the one user performing these next steps.  In general the next few steps are best performed on the server computer, that is the machine on which the Aspect Property Manager program and usually the database is located, because they will run faster.

    Start the Aspect Property Manager and run Administration > Utilities > Database Check and Repair > Check and Repair All. The checking program will log any errors in the "green" pane, some of which may stop and ask if you want to fix the problem.  For end users the answer is always going to be "Yes".  When the program finishes, scroll through all the entries and check for repair attempts which did not complete correctly.

    If the Check and Repair did not work, try running Administration > Utilities > Database Optimise > Optimise All.  Again check the log for steps which did not complete correctly.

    If you still have errors return to your last backup and repeat the work done since that backup was taken.  Refer to Back up and RestoreSave the current database as described in the Back up and Restore topic before doing anything else.

    Now we have reached the real nasty stuff.  You have a problem which is none of the above, the suggested fixes have not worked and it appears to be a program problem.  In this case you will need to contact Aspect Systems with your problem.  When you do it is imperative you supply as much background information as you can.  We really need to know what you have just been doing and what you were trying to do when the problem occurred.  Refer now to Assistance and how to get it.  Then pray that we can fix the problem.

    When you have a data related problem.
    When the results aren't what you expected, check you have entered your source data correctly.  Compare what's in the system using the various reports such as the Audit Trail, Cash Book, or transaction reports.  Special characters in some fields may cause a problem.

    If you are using the Bank Reconciliation many transaction data entry errors are fixed when they occur.  If the system does not reconcile fix the problem before doing any more data entry.  You should do a reconciliation each time you enter details from the bank statement.

    When you do strike a problem don't just "bog in" and fix it.  Work out exactly what went wrong.  With complicated transactions write down the steps you need to take to fix the problem and always check the results.  If you don't think it through, you can easily spend more time fixing your own mistakes than fixing the original problem.  If you don't work out what went wrong and it is something you did, you'll do it again, put a ring around it.  If you can't work out what steps you must take to fix the problem just "doing something" probably won't work either.

    If several transactions are involved or the problem relates to a previous period it is generally preferable to fix it by reversing transactions and reentering them correctly.
    When trying to work out where money has to come from or go to, remember that apart from any money in the Bonds, Management Fees, Letting Fees GST and Tenant Held control accounts, all the money in the bank either belongs to landlords or has been transferred to supplier accounts from landlord accounts  Therefore a payment to any other person has to come from a Landlord's account one way or another.     XXXX   Revise

    Make use of the Accounting Primer and in particular the Transactions and Accounts
    section where each transaction type is tracked through the accounts it affects.

    Related Topics
    Add, Change and Delete Records