PPS Windows Maintenance & Help Information

Before reading this document, please consider the following three important points

1. The PC computer or network that PPS is running on is your responsibility and is NOT covered by your PPS Support Contract. It is up to you to make sure that your PC or network is set up correctly to allow PPS to run correctly. Whilst PPS does not require any specific custom windows settings, there are various things that need to be set up and in place – especially in a network environment – before PPS will run effectively. You should employ the services of an IT expert if you are not sure how to set up your PC or network correctly.

2. The guidance given below is designed to help you if are prepared to set up and check your PC or network settings yourself. The advice and steps details are given on a “best intentions only” basis and PPS Support and Rushcliff Ltd. Are not responsible for any consequence of changes made to your PC or network by following the advice below.

3. If you are not happy following the guidelines below, then PPS Support can refer your problem to our in-house IT experts may be able to remotely assist you. This is an additional service that you pay for in exactly the same way as you would pay for the services of a local IT expert. The charge for this normally ranges between £30 and £120 per call plus vat.

If you have any questions or need any further advice before any changes are made to your PC or network then please do call us on 0845 0680 777. We are here to help.

Minimum PC Requirements

These requirements apply to Windows 10 Pro, Windows 8.1 Pro, and Windows 7 Pro

  • 2.4GHz+ single core processor or 1.5GHz+ dual core processor
  • 3GB+ RAM
  • 5GB+ hard drive space.(more as your system grows).

We do not recommend that you use PPS on a PC with a lower specification than this as you may experience slow performance issues or unexpected behavior of the software if the computer does not have enough resources to run correctly.

We also do not recommend you use Windows Home Editions unless you are on a single user licensed PPS system / single user PPS Sync Satellite system.

Network speeds

For network installations, you can use either a simple peer-to-peer network or a more advanced server-based network. For speed and reliability, we recommend a wired network rather than wireless as these provide very inconsistent connection speeds. Although you may see a full connection bar on your PC from a wireless connection, this is misleading as it will not show you the amount of data "Packet Loss" from each time you connect to PPS or any other application over the network . A wired network setup will require the network adaptor bandwidth to be 1Gbps or more.

Network speeds limited to 100MBps of bandwidth or less are NOT recommended because as your database grows and your usage/number of concurrent users increase you will find this speed is simply not sufficient enough - typically receiving a PPS error 1104 (Error Reading File) is a direct indication that your network speed is slow and/or inconsistent which is typical of most wireless networks. You will also need to ensure any routers or switches used are also capable of 1Gbps+ speeds.

Finally, the main PC or Server that hosts the PPS Database will need to have sufficient resources in terms of both processing power (CPU), memory (RAM), Hard drive storage/disk read/write speeds and finally network speeds - lack of either or all of these resources will result in reduced PPS access times for the entire network. Your IT provider will be able to consult you further.

Anti-Virus, Auto-Protect, and Firewall software

The first item to check (and often the most common cause for PPS not working correctly) is the security software package that you run on your system.

The most common choices are AVG, ESET, McAfee, Norton and Kaspersky although there are many others. Most of these programs, be them a simple anti-virus installation or a full on “security suite” which will often contain the software vendors anti-virus, firewall, auto protect, junk mail filter package all in one will have features in place which can affect the daily running of PPS.

To ensure PPS runs uninterrupted, you will need to ensure that the PPS4-0.exe (found in C:\PPSv4.0\pps4-0.exe) is added to an ‘exclusion’ or ‘safe program’ list within the software, which is usually found within the ‘tools’, ‘options’ or ‘configuration’ menu. Along with this, you may need to add a certain local or network path for your system to ignore – in this instance it will usually be “C:\PPSv4.0” for the local installation.

Here is an example of how to enable your AV software to ignore PPS using AVG Anti-Virus Business Edition:

Open up AVG, go to the Tools menu, and click on ‘Advanced Settings’.

In here you will need to add the pps4-0.exe into the ‘PUP Exceptions’ area (Potentially Unwanted Programs).

And then both the local and network “PPSv4.0” directories will need to be added into the ‘Directory Excludes’ area found within ‘Resident Shield’ section.

Further to this, the firewall software (be it Window's own or a third party's) may need to be added to the exclusion list also. This will enable PPS to check for PPS software updates from our server, update Support Contract or registration details automatically or even allow the usage of Sync Server if you are sharing your data over various locations. The Windows firewall can be found within the 'Control Panel' via the Start menu.

Windows Sharing and User Permissions

PPS requires that any current Windows user has full “read/write/modify/delete” access rights to the program folder and all files contained within. This means that the local "PPSv4.0" folder (usually found on the local C:\ drive) may need to be changed to reflect this.

If you are running from a network copy of PPS then both the local folder and the shared “PPS-Database" folder (where the database resides) will require the same full access rights.

To alter your NTFS sharing and security permissions, go to your “PPSv4.0” folder, right click and select ‘Properties’.

In here you can firstly click on the ‘Security’ tab. You will be able to see a list of different Windows User Groups that may have different access rights. The rights shown below allow changes to be made to not only the currently selected folder but all sub-folders and files contained within as well.

- Full Control
- Modify
- Read & Execute
- List Folder Contents
- Read
- Write

If you are unsure of your current 'Windows User Group' account that relates to you or if you have an IT company that looks after your networking and security, you may require their assistance. However if you are fully aware of all Windows accounts enabled on the machine in question and you are happy to apply full file access to everyone that uses the PC in terms of PPS then you can enable all users to have full access to the folder by simply editing or adding in the windows 'Everyone' group with 'Full control'.

If you need to share your PPS-Database folder so that network copies on other computers can use the system then on the same 'Properties' screen, you can access the 'Sharing' tab. You will need to share the folder with the respective Windows accounts or all network users, and then use 'advanced sharing' button to enable which permissions they require - again this will need to be full access. This will need to be done on the assumption that all computers are using the same 'Workgroup' account, which can be checked and changed by going to 'My Computer' or 'Computer', right clicking and going to 'Properties'.

PPS will work over any Windows network even if a variety of systems are on different operating systems and versions - i.e Windows 7 32bit can share its database over a network with other PPS systems using Windows Vista 32bit and Windows XP 64bit. There may be extra sharing and security principles to take into consideration for this setup - for instance, Windows 7 can share using 40, 56 or 128-bit encryption method, whilst most XP and Vista systems can only use 40 or 56-bit encryption. Other items to look at may include making sure that password protected sharing is not enabled, and that the actual printer and file sharing ability is enabled as well.

Ensure the PPS Database is kept in a healthy condition.

Making sure the indexing and integrity of your data is at its optimal performance is a key part of ensuring that your PPS Database not only stays in healthy condition, but also allows for faster access times. For information on this, please refer to the separate help guide by using the following link: http://www.rushcliff.com/kb/secure/database-maintenance-16.html

Disk defragmentation

Disk Defragmenters are utilities that can be used in Microsoft Windows that have been designed to increase access speed by rearranging files stored on a disk to occupy “contiguous” storage locations, a technique called defragmentation. Defragmenting a disk minimizes head travel, which reduces the time it takes to read files from and write files to the disk. Beginning with Windows XP, Disk Defragmenter also reduces system start-up times. Windows has its own Disk Defragmentation tool built in however you can get other paid for and free 3rd party defragmenters that do an even better job of keeping your hard disk data in peak condition, increasing performance and access speeds.

Disk cleanup

The Disk Cleanup tool helps you free up space on your hard disk by searching your disk for files that you can safely delete. You can choose to delete some or all of the files. Use Disk Cleanup to perform any of the following tasks to free up space on your hard disk which in turn will increase performance:

Remove temporary Internet files. Remove downloaded program files. For example, ActiveX controls and Java applets that are downloaded from the Internet. Empty the Recycle Bin. Remove Windows temporary files. Remove optional Windows components that you are not using. Remove installed programs that you no longer use.

You can start Disk Cleanup, by doing any of the following: Click Start, and then click Run. In the Open box, type ‘cleanmgr’, and then click OK. Or in Windows Explorer or My Computer, right-click the disk in which you want to free up space, click Properties, click the General tab, and then click 'Disk Cleanup'.

Finally, when creating backups within PPS you may often find that there are old backup files stored within the 'Backup' or 'Temp' folders that the system uses which can subsequently be deleted to increase hard drive space. you can navigate to these folders using the following path: "PPSv4.0\PPS-Database\LiveData".

 

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