[Emmy] uses the Money Talks checking account management program from the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) to keep track of her personal finances. However, since she got her new computer, three error message boxes always have come up when she closes the program. They are as follows:
- Error writing categories.
- Error writing pay names.
- Error writing items.
She did not get these on her old computer, and says that she’s noticed these ever since we installed the Money Talks software on her new Dell computer. She asked me to investigate.
Thus, I tried numerous possible solutions including the following:
- I looked in the Event Viewer logs. No errors were written there at the same time as the above errors displayed on the screen.
- I reinstalled Money Talks. This did not fix the trouble.
- I deleted the program from her system with the Add / Removes Programs wizard. Then again, I reinstalled Money Talks as in item 1. This still did not fix the trouble.
- I made a backup copy of her registry, then removed all mentions of Money Talks that I could find within it. Then I tried item 2 again. Still, the problem persists.
- I installed Money Talks on my computer, but was unable to duplicate the above errors. It closes just fine on my machine.
- I also noticed that in none of the reinstallation steps above was I prompted to reenter [Emmy’s] access code. Hmmm. This induced me to suspect that Money Talks leaves some data behind, even after uninstalling it. Perhaps it’s some sort of zombie data left over that caused the above errors.
Well, I looked around remotely through [Emmy’s] computer and could find nothing obviously wrong. So I called the APH tech support line. Did not talk to someone immediately but did leave a voice mail. They called back within several minutes (fast), and I explained the issue in detail.
They’d never seen this before. So to be safe, they said not to rely on the accuracy of Money Talks until the error messages have been eliminated. The support specialist said he’d confer with a software engineer colleague and get back to me ASAP. I asked him to ask the engineer if there are any other files that Money Talks writes besides the account data (.mtf) file. He said he’d check.
About a half-hour later, the APH support specialist returned my call, saying that he had no immediate answers. However he assured me that the developer would look at the code to devise an answer within a few days. The engineer also advised to have a look at the following files that Money Talks also writes to host computers:
- %AppData%\aph\Money Talks\category.ini
- %AppData%\aph\Money Talks\items.ini
- %AppData%\aph\Money Talks\paynames.ini
Solution: Well, I found these files. I did not find them before because they do not normally show up since the AppData directory is normally hidden. But upon inspecting the files, I quickly discovered that the read-only bit was set on all of them. We do not know how this happened. But there it was. Anyway, whenever I cleared this bit (with the ATTRIB –r command at a command prompt), the errors upon Money Talks program exit mentioned above occurred no more. Wow! Problem solved.
I notified the APH support technician of my findings and thanked him and the engineer profusely for their help. Perhaps I should work as a support engineer myself.