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Copy of My Email Response to Act re My Technical Support Experience

Copper Contributor
Posts: 9
Country: USA

Copy of My Email Response to Act re My Technical Support Experience

As I have been unable to get my new installation of Act Pro 2012 to work (can't create a database), I called technical support last night.  Today I received an email query re my experience.  My reply is below.  I'm posting it here in hopes of finding someone who can help me fix my problem:

 

Saravana Kumar was very professional and took his time to try to resolve my problem. However, in the end, he didn't.  My experience:

 

A couple of weeks ago (9/16/11), I posted my problem to the Online Community forum on the Act website.  It appears that Act technical people monitor the site, but I never got any response from anyone.

 

So last evening I called Technical Support.  I was on hold for a full 45 minutes waiting to speak with a person.  I was frequently reminded of how important I am to you - I guess that's why you make your customers wait for the better part of an hour to speak with you.

 

My problem is that I installed Act Pro 2012 and cannot create a database. I installed and reinstalled (several times) the program and SQL server components. When trying to create the database I get one of two error messages:  (1) "Object reference not set to an instance of an object;" or (2) "Act encountered an error while performing your request. Please contact administrator."  I have two computers and, after failing to get it to work on the initial computer, I tried on the other - same error messages.

 

Mr. Kumar's "solution" was to uninstall the program and SQL server components, but first disabling virtually everything that starts automatically when the computer boots.  He said that having these things running in background at the time of the install was the problem.  After he got reinstall of Act started, he said the problem would be fixed when the install was completed and signed off, first giving me a reference number and phone number to call if I experienced further problems.

 

After the install was completed, I still had the same problem.  Add to that, many of my other programs started experiencing problems due to the various things that had been disabled.  I remembered that Mr. Kumar had gone into msconfig, so I was able to go in and fix the extraneous problems.  I had asked Mr. Kumar if I should be concerned re the fact that he had disabled the various items in msconfig and he said something I did not understand, but assumed was something to the effect of "no."

 

So, here I am, over two weeks since I purchased Act (I'm really busy and have a fairly narrow window of opportunity to call for support, given that it ends at 8:30pm EDT and I can't call during the day - and am quite busy) and facing another ordeal of a technical support call to try to figure out what's wrong.  My theory is there's a bug in the new 2012 version of Act.  If so, I can only imagine what it's going to take to get it fixed on my end. 

 

So - you asked.  And this is my response.

 

I was a very satisfied Act user back in the late '90s and was looking forward to using it again (for my wife's business).  I hope it doesn't come down to my having to abandon the idea and ask for my money back. 

Copper Contributor
Posts: 174
Country: United States

Re: Copy of My Email Response to Act re My Technical Support Experience

I have read your other submission and it is very difficult to help without knowing additional information about your computer, operating system and other programs loaded on your computer. Does the second computer that you tried to install Act on have the same programs and operating system as the first? It appears that Act! has a conflict with another program (probably a program that is part of the operating system, ie. sql ) that is causing your problems. I have had to reinstall the operating system on numerous occasions to correct problems not only with Act but with other programs that need to change the way the operating system works. Act! 2012 is the most stable Act! yet in my experience.

Copper Contributor
Posts: 9
Country: USA

Re: Copy of My Email Response to Act re My Technical Support Experience

One computer (the one I initially installed on, and used for the technical support session) has Windows 7 Home Premium.  The other computer has Windows 7 Professional.  Both have mostly the same programs installed.  When I attempted to install the database after the technical session, nothing was running, not even most background programs as the technical support person had disabled the startup of everything.   So...not sure reinstalling the operating system would do anything - except perhaps create unintended problems, that seem to come with things like that.  That said, if I were convinced that was the answer, I'd go for it.  As for a program causing a conflict (even if not running?) - how could I determine that? 

Copper Contributor
Posts: 174
Country: United States

Re: Copy of My Email Response to Act re My Technical Support Experience

This is probably too obvious but describe "installing" the database. Do you have a previous Act database that you are trying load in Act 2012 or are you starting from scratch?

Copper Contributor
Posts: 9
Country: USA

Re: Copy of My Email Response to Act re My Technical Support Experience

By "installing" I mean "creating" the database.  This is a new instance of ACT.  I do not have any previous versions on the computer.  

 

After installation of the program, the first screen I see asks to open or create a database.  There are no existing databases shown, although it is my understanding that there is a demo database.  I believe that should show on this screen as a database available to open, but it does not show - presumably because ACT is not connecting with the SQL server.

 

Another note, after installation, one of the SQL files (sorry I can't remember which one and I don't have access to the computer at the moment) shows as "disabled"  I've changed that to "automatic."  Also the main SQL server component does not show as running.  When I click to start it I get a message saying that it started and then stopped.

Copper Contributor
Posts: 174
Country: United States

Re: Copy of My Email Response to Act re My Technical Support Experience

OK. I just clicked on mine and clicking on new database creates a screen to set up new database. To get to the demo database you would pick the next one down open/share. When you get back to your PC see if you can open and work with the Demo Database. Also...do you know if there are other instances of SQL? In other words are there any other programs that require SQL Server?

Copper Contributor
Posts: 9
Country: USA

Re: Copy of My Email Response to Act re My Technical Support Experience

There are no other programs requiring SQL server.  And I (as well as the technical support rep) have uninstalled and reinstalled all the SQL components several times.

 

I'll look for the demo database this evening and let you know.

 

Thanks! 

Copper Contributor
Posts: 61
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: Copy of My Email Response to Act re My Technical Support Experience

Hi larrykelly,

 

A couple of suggestions.

 

Try reseting the SQL Password which controls the link between both softwares (ACT! and Microsoft SQL Server). The article provided below is for a different issue but you find a section titled 'Reset SQL Server Password'. Please attempt that and report success or any problems.

 

Also, it may be a good idea to delete your preference files. You've said this is a new install and you're creating new data so there is aboslutely no risk here.

 

The article below shows you how to rebuild preferences:

http://kb.sagesoftwareonline.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/14770

 

Don't forget to try the demo though, thats a very good test to see if ACT! is capable of "talking" to SQL.

 

Hope this helps,

 

SS

 

Copper Contributor
Posts: 9
Country: USA

Re: Copy of My Email Response to Act re My Technical Support Experience

Thanks. I'll give it a try and let you know the result.