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Educational Software Thread, Promethean Pencil function (only) not working in Technical; Anyone had this problem and got a better fix than a complete reinstall on the laptop? One of our teachers ...
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    LeMarchand's Avatar
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    Promethean Pencil function (only) not working

    Anyone had this problem and got a better fix than a complete reinstall on the laptop?

    One of our teachers cannot use the "pencil" function on the Promethean software. The highlighter and eraser "pens" work fine, but the pencil creates a "dot" where it first meets the board and that's it. I don't think it's a hardware problem as other laptops are fine on the same board and (more tellingly) the problem still manifests when the laptop is not connected to the board and is controlled by mouse.

    I've uninstalled/reinstalled the software and removed old versions as well as doing the same with the drivers.

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    judyB's Avatar
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    I don't know why it would cause that problem but you could try checking the pen mode on the driver settings - it should be "mouse" for XP and "pen" for Vista.

    I've had odd problems that that's solved in the past.

  3. Thanks to judyB from:

    LeMarchand (14th September 2009)

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    LeMarchand's Avatar
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    Cheers! I'll take a look when I'm next there. It shouldn't have been altered, but as the teacher has somehow managed to snap the tips off her 3.5mm audio connector in 2 classrooms, who knows...

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    LeMarchand's Avatar
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    No luck .

    Anyone else got any ideas?

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    cmssbrie's Avatar
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    What version of software is it? (Studio 3 / Primary 3 / Inspire)? and version number (Shown in Add Remove Programs, or Help -> About)
    Also, is it Windows or Mac?

    Could be a dodgy settings or layout file - try deleting any file with .a3l or .ap3l in c:\Documents and Settings\>username<\Documents\Activ Software\Studio or Primary

    If using Inspire, it's a bit different, so let me know!

  7. Thanks to cmssbrie from:

    LeMarchand (22nd September 2009)

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    LeMarchand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmssbrie View Post
    What version of software is it?
    Primary 3 (.7?) - I'm not back there until Thursday, so I'll give it a whirl then.

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    LeMarchand's Avatar
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    No joy . It's Activprimary 3.7 Build 19 running on XP.

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    cmssbrie's Avatar
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    That's really strange - just had a look, and we never had any reports of a bug like that.

    Might be worth...

    Make sure Primary isn't open

    Go to C:\Documents and Settings\<USERNAME>\My Documents\ActivPrimary 3

    Delete the .a3pl file
    Delete the APSettings3.ini file

    Go to C:\Documents and Settings\<USERNAME>\Local Settings (Hidden Folder)\Temp

    Delete the contents of this folder (or as much as you can)

    That will then return the software to it's defualts completely. The problem with uninstalling / reinstalling is that these files actually get left behind, so if it is a corruption in any of these locations, the problem will more than likely always return when reinstalled.

    Failing that, it might be worth giving ActiVinspire a whirl on the machine, and seeing if the user is willing to give that a go instead?

    Hopefully it won;t come to that though!

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    LeMarchand's Avatar
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    Still no joy - I'm wondering if it's some weird graphics card problem as if I use Windows + E to view explorer and then shrink/close it the marks appear.

    They're all getting new laptops soon, so she'll have to live with it. Thanks for trying!

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Exactly this problem on 2 different sites, using very different computers. Activeprimary 3.5 (tried 3.7, reinstallations etc).

    Little "tip" for you - it IS actually drawing what you draw, but some bug is hiding it. Click the "next page" arrow, then go back again. Magically, it appears.

    Annoying as hell and I'm also at a loss as to the cause. Tried it on a brand new laptop with nothing else on and it's exactly the same, and in both instance it "just occurred" from when it was working normally.
    I'm wondering if a windows update is responsible.

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    LeMarchand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    Little "tip" for you - it IS actually drawing what you draw, but some bug is hiding it. Click the "next page" arrow, then go back again. Magically, it appears.
    Cheers! I've shown the teacher a couple of similar work arounds, but she HAS to have it "live" for modelling handwriting. At the moment I've got her using the thinnest eraser and setting the colour to black.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Still battling with this problem after trying all the above fixes today.
    I didn't before notice the comment re the marks appearing just by popping up Explorer in front of it, which may well be suggesting an interference problem elsewhere.

    LeMarchand : may I enquire as to what hardware you're running and on what OS?

    Fujitsu Siemens laptop here (circa 2 year old Core Duo Amilo Pro) on XP SP2 with Mcafee 8.7 running.

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    LeMarchand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    LeMarchand : may I enquire as to what hardware you're running and on what OS?
    In case I forget when I get to that school this afternoon (or - quite likely - the teacher has already left) I'll give an educated guess of:

    HP NC6120 (definitely - just checked, I knew that my naming convention would come in handy one day), XP Pro SP2, McAfee 8.0 (possibly 8.5 or at a stretch 8.7). Like you, everything was fine until it just stopped working one day.

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    I'm at a loss with this one! - the machines do all have the latest MS updates don;t they?

    If you've deleted the settings and layout files from the users My Docs / Primary folder, that should revert the software to factory default.

    Is it any particular colour that you choose? - or 'size' of pencil?

    Also, a couple of longshots to try...

    Delete the contents of the local temp folders (C:\Docs and Settings\UserName\Local Settings\Temp)

    Click Start / Run and type in "dxdiag" (without the ''s) click "ok" all you need to do is simply let the program complete (small progress bar in the bottom left hand corner)

    Reboot

    Go to C:\Program Files\ActivSoftware\ActivPrimary 3, and double click on 'Regfiles.VBS' - click 'Ok' when asked (this will re - register all the components Primary uses) - and you should get a message saying it's complete.

    If that doesn't work, a very long shot, but try reducing the hardware accelleration of the graphics card, and see if that helps.

    Failing that, try logging on as a 'new' user - do they still get the problem?

    If they do, then I really don;t know what else to advise to be honest!

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Spent a good deal of time on this again today. Again, not wanting to do a full reinstall (as didn't have the means to do a reliable backup first) I did the following:

    All of the above steps including logging in as a different and brand new user, clearing all temporary caches etc. Updated to the latest version via ActivPrimary itself.

    Even:
    Uninstalled ActivPrimary 3 and ActivDriver
    Manually deleted any leftover files, again in the temp caches and My Documents folders.
    Manually deleted the THOUSANDS of leftover Registry entries (this leads me to believe the uninstallater is far from fit for purpose if it leaves that much behind)
    Reinstalled from a fresh source (from PrometheanPlanet) ActivPrimary 3.7.xx and ActivDriver 5.x

    Problem still occured.

    Reinstalled DirectX runtime. Ensured XP is fully up to date (SP2, SP3 is unwanted as yet). Tried without McAfee installed. Reinstalled the graphics drivers.

    Problem still occured.

    Before giving up in preperation for a wipe-and-start-afresh on my next visit, tried a couple of things that might help shed light. Conclusively, ANY graphical refresh brings up the text/lines/scribbles. So like above, bringing explorer above the window or going forward then back a page brings it up.
    Also, hitting FN&F5 on the laptop (the crt/lcd switch) made it show.

    I would conclude there is a discrepancy or incompatibility within ActivPrimary itself - but with what within the laptop/windows subsystem? All very well and good saying "This piece of software doesn't work" but as cmssbrie will be fully aware, without being able to replicate the issue, find a common link between our two cases here etc etc, it's going to be rather hard to sort this out.

    I'm not going to be wiping this laptop until my next visit, which due to half term is 4th November. I'd organise a remote hookup with someone at Promethean (cmssbrie?) but I'm not sure they'd know where to look either - I've certainly exhausted the options as far as I can see. If anyone can think of anything else, or even have suggestions for things we can perhaps just eliminate from enquiries it may be useful either for us or Promethean.

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