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LabWare LIMS Version 5 User Guide


7.7     Troubleshooting the LIMS


7.7.1     Frequently Encountered Problems

The following sections list some frequently encountered problems and their possible causes. However, there are many possible causes of these errors and all possibilities may not have been listed. This section is intended as a guide only.

7.7.1.1     AREA: Login

Issue

 

Possible Cause(s)

 

There is a disabled field on my login template. How do I enable it?

 

Most often a disabled field is caused by configuration of the template that requires you to enter field in another field before the disabled field becomes enabled.

 

The Receipt box is disabled in the Sample Interface.

 

There may not be a Receipt ID defined in your sample login template

You may not have the PrintReceipts function privilege.

 

The Label box is disabled in the Sample Interface.

 

There may not be a Label ID defined in your sample login template

You may not have the PrintLabels function privilege.

You may not have a label printer defined in your Client configuration.

 

7.7.1.2     AREA: Result Entry

Issue

 

Possible Cause(s)

 

When I try to open result entry the LIMS I get the following message but I know the sample has tests.

 

This problem can happen if your business rules require that a user be certified for an analysis and you are not certified or your certification is not up to date.

 

There are no instruments listed for my result.

 

The result may not have the Uses Instrument option selected in the analysis definition

The instrument(s) normally used for this result may be out of service.

 

The instrument field is displayed in red when I enter a result.

 

This indicates the instrument is out of calibration.

 

7.7.1.3     AREA: Crystal Reports

Issue

 

Possible Cause(s)

 

Report not found

 

Check the rpt log file to see if the path to rpt file is valid. Also make sure the rpt file exists.

 

Report opens then closes

 

Check the rpt log file to see if the SQL is valid. You can copy and paste the SQL statement to the Query Window (which can be opened using Query Window from the Debug menu) then execute the query to make sure the query is valid.

 

Problem opening some reports after installing Crystal after installing the LIMS.

 

Crystal Reports overwrites some files if installed after the LIMS. Make sure you have the u2lapi32.dll in the Windows\Crystal directory and the lapi32.dll in the Windows\System directory (WINNT\System32 on NT/2000).

 

I cannot find the export format I want.

 

Crystal 8.5 or higher runtime files are required for the PDF, XML or HTML export options.

The way Crystal decides what it should display as export options has to do with two things. First it needs to find an export dll (crxf_pdf.dll), and second, it tries to open and initialize the dll. If the dll reports a problem, the option will not display. (an example would be the CC: Mail (VIM) export. The dll is available, but if you don't have the vim environment configured properly, it will not display in the list. The best way to verify #1 is to use a program called modules.exe. It is available on the Crystal Reports CD (possibly hidden away somewhere). You can use it to show which dll's are loaded at any particular time by each program. In your case, you would want to run it when the PDF option is available and also when it is not. Then compare the two dll listings and see what differences you can find. I'm guessing you'll find that there are a couple files that don't load when the option is not available. You may want to move these files somewhere else (system32 directory?) to see if it makes a difference.

 

Dates are displayed correctly when the report is run directly in Crystal Reports but not when run from the LIMS

 

Updating the p2sodbc.dll has solved the problem on for some people. Apparently a bad version of this dll was sipped with some Crystal Reports installs.

 

I get an error when I try to configure a Query Tag report saying Server is not available.

 

When configuring Query tag reports in Excel or Word you must be logged into the LIMS.

 

7.7.1.4     AREA: Configuration

Issue

 

Possible Cause(s)

 

I have a menu item that is disabled.

 

You may not have the function privilege needed for that menu item

Another possibility is that the menu item may only be enabled when certain condition are met e.g. when certain types of objects are selected or the selected object must be in a certain status.

 

I encounter a runtime error key is missing error when trying to configure the display fields.

 

You can see a message like this if a field has been renamed or deleted in the database but the Display fields list still includes the old field name.

 

 

You can see a message like this if the analysis corresponding to a test has been deleted and you select that test in a Sample Tree view.

 

 

You can see a message like this if the record that is being opened has a Boolean field that is null. Boolean fields must always contain either a T or an F

 

I dont have the Macros menu but I have access to user programs.

 

You need to add your Macros menu using the Configure Menus And Toolbar Dialog.

1. Select Menus And Toolbar from the Configure menu on the LIMS Main menu..

2. Click on Macros menu in the All Menus pane and drag it to the User Defined Menus pane.

3. Click OK to save changes.

 

I changed my menu but the changes are not there when I log back in.

 

This can be a problem if you log in using a role. Any changes you make to the menus and toolbars are not saved. If there are changes required, your LIMS administrator needs to make these changes to the menus and toolbars when they are logged in as the Role.

 

I have added a new analysis or product but I cant see it.

 

You must set the Active field to T and save the analysis or product without increasing the version. The Active flag always defaults to F when a new analysis is created.

 

I have created a new version of an analysis or product but the LIMS is still using the old version.

 

You must set the Active field to T and save the analysis or product without increasing the version. The Active flag always defaults to F when a new version is created.

 

My Scheduler tasks are not running.

 

The machine where the Scheduler tasks were created must be logged in.

The Client Name on the machine where the Scheduler tasks were created may have been changed and the LIMS is still waiting for the old client to log in. For example, tasks are scheduled on a machine named WORK1. Someone changes the client name to WORK2 so all the tasks created for WORK1 will no longer run. You can sometimes remedy this by renaming the client to WORK1, however any tasks scheduled with the name WORK2 will not run!

CAUTION: Whenever renaming a client be sure not to use an existing client name to avoid future conflicts.

 

How can I re-point the help files to get them locally instead of from the web?

 

1) There are 3 lines that need to be modified in the NLSHELP.TXT file, as follows:

HelpBookHomeLims40Contents "\\<node>\<path>\limsuserguide_MAIN.htm"

HelpBookHomeLims40 "\\<node>\<path>\limsuserguide_Toc.htm"

HelpBookHomeLims40TOC "\\<node>\<path>\limsuserguide_Toc.htm"

For example,

HelpBookHomeLims40Contents "\\Black\c\LW-LIMS 4.0\User Guide\limsuserguide_MAIN.htm"

2) The NLSHELP.TXT file that's modified must be in the SERVER directory.

3) Rebuild the NLS Object file.

 

7.7.1.5     AREA: Folder Manager

Issue

 

Possible Cause(s)

 

The Modify Samples menu item is disabled in my folder.

 

This can be caused if the folder template used to create the folder does not have a sample template associated with it in the Folder Template record

This menu item is disabled when you are using an ad-hoc folder.

 

Some menu items are disabled on the Run menu.

 

Some menu items require that the appropriate object be selected e.g. the Edit Tests menu item will be disabled unless you have a sample selected.

You may not have the appropriate function privilege for that menu item.

 

When I used Remove Test from the Folder menu the test was not removed on all samples.

 

If you have multiple samples selected, this menu item will only operate on the selected samples.

 

I cannot see a folder created by another user.

 

The folder template must have the Global field set to True for other users to see the folder other than the owner. The only exception is users with the systemadministration function privilege, who can see all folders.

 

When I refreshed a folder some samples were no longer displayed.

 

These samples may no longer meet the criteria for the folder. For example if the folder only shows unreceived samples and a sample has been received since the folder was last refreshed. It no longer belongs in the folder. When refreshed again, the sample will no longer be seen.

 

7.7.1.6     AREA: Project Manager

Issue

 

Possible Cause(s)

 

Samples logged using the Log Samples option are not appearing in my project

 

This can be caused if the sample template that is opened when you use the Log Samples function does not define the Project. To make this automatic, set the default for the Project field in the Sample Login Template to &PROJECT and it will use the current Project name.

 

7.7.1.7     AREA: Lot Manager

Issue

 

Possible Cause(s)

 

My Sample Plan does not add samples to lot.

 

This can be caused if the sample template in the sample plan does not define the Product, Grade and Sampling Point fields for the sample. It also must include the lot number. Set the default for the Lot field in the Sample Login Template to &LOT and it will use the current lot number.

Make sure there is a quantity range defined for the Sample Plan that includes the quantity entered for the lot (e.g. if lot quantity is 230 make sure the sample plan has a range with Min Quantity <= 230 and Max Quantity >230)

 

I do not see any Lot Results in the Lot Results view.

 

The product specification must have at least one specification with a Spec Class = Lot Result or Any Result.

 

7.7.1.8     AREA: Batch Manager

Issue

 

Possible Cause(s)

 

I cannot add a test to a batch and it is a batch test.

 

You may not be able to add a test to a batch if it already belongs to another batch (if the Add If Batched field is set to False on the Batch Tests Template of the current batch)

You may not be able to add a test to a batch if the test has been authorized.

 

I have batch component that will not calculate

 

There may be no batch samples satisfying the calculation criteria. For example, you have a calculation variable defined for a specific type of QC sample, and there are none in the batch.

 

7.7.1.9     AREA: Importer

Issue

 

Possible Cause(s)

 

I have an import file where a result name appears more than once for the same sample but the importer does not create more than one result.

 

The importer will not create result replicates unless the importer file specifies result replicate numbers. Instead, the first result will be overwritten by subsequent results.

 

7.7.1.10     ODBC Errors

The following lists some frequently encountered ODBC errors and some of the common sources of these errors. Creating a DEBUG.LOG can help pinpoint the source of the field or records that may be causing the problem. Refer to the following section for more detail on creating a DEBUG.LOG.

Issue

 

Possible Cause(s)

 

 

This is usually caused when the database is rebuilt the LIMS is looking for a table corresponding to a Table Master entry but it does not exist. Make sure the indicated table is present in the database. In addition, some databases that employ ownership of tables may encounter problems if the table is present but the LIMS does not have permission to the table.

 

 

This error message can be caused when the LIMS is trying to insert some data using key fields that already exists in the LIMS database table.

 

 

This error message can be caused by a number of different reasons but usually the LIMS is trying to look for a field that does not exist.

 

 

These kinds of errors can be encountered when a SQL statement has incorrect syntax or may be missing an operator.

 

Invalid precision

 

These kinds of errors can be encountered when a Database field is wrong length or type or a field is missing altogether.

 

7.7.1.11     Runtime Error Messages

The following lists some frequently encountered runtime errors and some of the common sources of these errors. Checking the error log can help pinpoint the source of the field or records that may be causing the problem.

Issue

 

Possible Cause(s)

 

"|" not understood

 

     This error can be encountered when a field that the LIMS is expecting to be a Boolean field is NULL i.e. does not contain either a T or an F.

 

"addTemplateFieldsTo:" not understood"

 

     This error has been encountered when a Sample Filter assigned to a user belonged to a security group that the user did not have access to.

     This error has also been encountered when the SAMPLE_FILTER field on all the LIMS_USERS records was null instead of "NONE" like the SYSTEM user. Updating all records to "NONE" resolved the problem.

 

"asBoolean" not understood

 

     This error can be encountered when a field that the LIMS is expecting to be a Boolean field does not contain a T or an F. This can be caused when records are imported from older version of the LIMS and certain Boolean fields are not populated.

 

Collection is empty

 

     This error can be encountered when the LIMS is looking for a non existent external link

 

"copyFrom:To: not understood

 

     Check the database "Location" setting in the report. If the report was developed on a different database, setting the location to the current database may remove this error.

     One Customer resolved this issue when they found that the database driver was pointing to the wrong version of the PDSODBC.dll. Using the convert database driver from the Database menu they repointed it to the correct driver and everything is worked great now (note: PDSODBC.dll is the 16 bit driver, the 32 bit driver is P2SODBC.dll. These files are usually found in the windows\system directory)

     If the error occurs on one machine but not another, locate the file P2SODBC.DLL on the computer which runs the report without this error and copy it to the computer that is not working properly.

     Check that the Windows\System\CRPE32.DLL file is present (WinNT\System32\CRPE32.DLL on NT).

 

"dataBaseRecord" not understood

 

     This error can be encountered when a record has been deleted that this system is looking for. For example, this error was encountered by a user that had deleted a batch but there still was a batch action that the system was trying to perform for the deleted batch.

 

"do:" not understood

 

     This error can be caused by records that have been removed that the LIMS is expecting to be there. For example, someone has removed result records but test and sample records are still in the LIMS. This can be a problem if records have been transferred using DBMT and only a fixed number of records have been transferred.

 

Invalid Audit Event Type

 

     This error can be encountered if the NLS entries are not up to date. Try making sure you have all the current nls fix files and rebuilding the nls.

NOTE: All NLS fix files should be located in the LIMS executable directory (this is the directory where the LIMS .exe file is located).

 

"isNumeric" not understood

 

     This error has been encountered when a component on an analysis was removed and a new component added to replace this component. An analysis calculation that had a calc variable defined was looking for the old component. Had the original component simply been renamed this problem would not have occurred.

 

key is missing

 

     You can see a message like this if a field has been renamed or deleted in the database but the Display fields or Browse fields still include the old field name.

 

Not not understood

 

     This error can be encountered when a field that the LIMS is expecting to be a Boolean field is not configured as a Boolean field in Table Master, for example, when the REMOVED field on a table was not configured as a Boolean.

     This error can be encountered when a field that the LIMS is expecting to be a Boolean field is NULL i.e. does not contain either a T or an F.

 

receiver is not a Boolean

 

     This error has many possible causes. One possibility is that the LIMS is expecting a Boolean field but the field has not been configured correctly for a Boolean field.

     This error has been encountered when a LIMS table had a missing field

     This error has been encountered when a LIMS table had fields with dashes in the field name. Changing the dashes to underscores solved the problem (e.g. use USER_ADDED_FIELD instead of USER-ADDED-FIELD).

     This error can be encountered when a field that the LIMS is expecting to be a Boolean field is NULL i.e. does not contain either a T or an F.

 

System Primitive Failed

 

     This error can be encountered when LIMS can't find field or record. For example, a lot record references a customer but that customer has been deleted from the database. It also encountered when using new code or module that is looking for a field that does not exist in your database.

     This error has been encountered when a Batch Tests Template has been changed, without increasing the version, to reduce the maximum number of samples and then the user has opened an old batch with more samples than the new maximum. For this reason, it is recommended using versions with batch and project templates and analyses, because there is some information that is referenced from the original template or analysis.

     This error can be encountered when a field is defined incorrectly.

 

7.7.2     What to Do When You Encounter an Error

Naturally, the response you take depends on the error. The following are some general suggestions you can try if you dont find specific help in the previous sections. Some of the places you can look for help are the LW-LIMS mailing list and the LabWare Support page. On the Support site, there are links to technical documents, the LabTrack database and the Hints and Tips database. It is useful to check LabTrack to see if an issue like yours has already been reported to LabWare. If it has been entered in LabTrack, you can download the fix from the Support site.

 

TIP: Before investigating errors, put the !Debug.sll in your working directory (this is your client directory if you are using a served LIMS). This sll will give you access to the Debug menu which can be helpful in locating the cause of errors. Since this sll should only be used by LIMS administrators, it is not recommended to have this sll in the LIMS executable directory. If you do not have the !Debug.sll, look for an sll called Debug.sll and put the ! in the beginning of the file name then put the file in your working directory. Exit the LIMS and re-launch the LIMS. When you log in, you may not see the Debug menu. Refer to the section on Menus and Toolbar for instructions on how to add a menu to your menu.

 

First, determine the type of error- is it a Runtime error (which should produce an error in the Error.log file), an ODBC error (which should produce an entry in the Db.log), a Report error (there should be an entry in the Report log), or a LIMS basic error (which should produce an entry in the Basic.log)?

LIMS Basic errors

 

     Check the basic log when the error occurs. Most LIMS basic errors are related to problems with the way the code is written. Check to make sure all variables are properly assigned. You can use the Debugger to help pinpoint the line where the error occurs and check variable assignment. Refer to the LIMS Basic manual for more on the Debugger.

 

Report Errors

 

     Make sure the rpt file exists

     Make sure the Reports directory is valid.

     Check the rpt.log. Copy and paste the SQL statement to the Query Window (which can be opened using Query Window from the Debug menu). Execute the query to make sure the query is valid.

 

ODBC errors

 

     Check the Db.log file.

     If the error has Too Few Parameters or Invalid Column name you may want to generate a Debug log to see what fields that the LIMS is trying to insert data into.

 

Runtime errors

 

     Try rebuilding the database object file (see following section).

     Try rebuilding the NLS obj file (see following section).

     You can try looking at the error log entry. This entry may be difficult to interpret but it may give you some idea of what the LIMS is trying to do.

     Check LabTrack (Go to LabWare Support Page) for similar issues.

     Create a Debug log for the error (see following section) so you can get more detail on what the LIMS is doing when the error is encountered.

 

If you are unable to locate the source of the error on your own, you may wish to contact LabWare. Refer to the following section for more details for contacting LabWare.

7.7.2.1     How to Rebuild the Database Object

Many errors are caused by changes to the database that the LIMS is not aware of. To do this, use Rebuild DB Obj from the Debug menu or take the following steps. Exit the LIMS, delete the database obj (the obj file name corresponds to the ODBC name) which can be found in the LIMS executable directory i.e. the directory with the lw-lims.exe file. Then launch the LIMS and log in. The database structure will be rebuilt automatically.

7.7.2.2     How to Rebuild the NLS object

First make sure your nls files and nls fix files are up to date. Then use Rebuild NLS from the Debug menu or take the following steps. Exit the LIMS, delete the nls. obj which can be found in the LIMS working directory (this corresponds to the Client directory in a served environment). Then launch the LIMS and log in. The nls will be rebuilt automatically.

7.7.2.3     How to Create a Debug Log

Creating a Debug log is useful if you are able to reproduce the steps needed to produce the error.

  1. Before you create a Debug log you should remove or delete any existing DEBUG.LOG file. You can rename any existing DEBUG.LOG file to a different name or use Clear Debug Log from the Debug menu to delete the file.
  2. Turn Debug On by selecting Debug On from the Debug menu. A checkmark will appear beside the menu item.
  3. Repeat the steps needed to produce the error.
  4. Once the error has been encountered, turn off Debug by selecting Debug On from the Debug menu.
  5. The Debug log file will be produced in the LIMS working directory.

7.7.3     How to Report an Error to LabWare

Before contacting LabWare make sure of the following:

  1. Check the LabTrack database on the LabWare Support site to see if the error may have already been reported.
  2. Create a Support log by selecting Create Support Log from the Help menu. Enter a comment at the text prompt that is relevant to the error being reported and click OK. The Support.log file will be produced in the LIMS working directory.
  3. Try to repeat the steps needed to produce the error. If possible, try to recreate the problem on a base LIMS database.
  4. Generate any files needed for LabWare to reproduce the problem e.g. .obj files, .rpt files. In some cases , we may need to get a copy of your database

You can contact LabWare support by phone and/or e-mail. LabWare recommends sending in an e-mail to LabWare since you can include attachments with the e-mail that are essential in understanding or reproducing most errors. If the issue is urgent, follow up the e-mail with a phone call (Users in North and South America can send email to SupportNA@LabWare.com., users in Europe can send email to SupportEU@LabWare.com, users in South Africa can send email to SupportZA@LabWare.com, users in Asia Pacific can send email to SupportAP@LabWare.com ).

In the e-mail sent to LabWare, please include the following:

  1. Description of problem
  2. Steps to reproduce issue.
  3. Support.log
  4. Related files- .rpt, .obj, Debug.log, etc.


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