[teknoids] Spring Examsoft Problems

John Resotko resotko at law.msu.edu
Thu May 7 13:13:07 EDT 2009

We've had a few here as well, at least four that I'm aware of so far
this week.  Our best guess is that one or more programs running in the
background created a task-bar pop-up, and Examsoft couldn't recover from
it.  We haven't always been able to duplicate the problem, even on a
laptop where it's happened once, but the general advice we give to
students is:

1) run Windows update the day before your exam, for all critical
updates that may cause a pop-up, 
2) run updates on all ant-virus, anti-spyware, and anti-malware
programs you may have in an active monitoring mode
3) turn off and disable all instant messenger clients prior to starting
4) if your computer has an external switch to turn off wireless
networking, then disable wireless while Examsoft runs, and enable it
immediately after you finish your exam, just before Examsoft reboots
your computer back to normal mode. Most software attempting to do an
automatic update will halt that process if there is no active network. 
Since Examsoft stores intermediate backups of the exam on the local hard
drive, you don't really need the network again until you finish the exam
and reboot to upload it.

Out experience matches yours in that it seems to be Vista computers
having this issue. I don't have any reports of this on laptops running
Windows XP.   Also, in every case I've seen, if the student was able to
type a partial exam, following a forced shutdown and reboot, Examsoft is
able to recover the partial exam and upload it.

If anyone working with Examsoft on this issue discovers a more
permanent fix, please post it to the list.  Thanks.  

John A. Resotko
Head of Systems Administration
Michigan State University College of Law
208 Law College Building
East Lansing, MI  48824-1300
email: resotko at law.msu.edu
Phone: 517-432-6836
Fax: 517-432-6861 

Current Chairperson of the 
MSU Network Communications Community

>>> Erin Warhol <warh0007 at umn.edu> 5/7/2009 11:54 AM >>>
Hi everyone,

We're having a bit of trouble with machines that are repeatedly
mid-exam. Realistically it's only a half-dozen so far, but each one 
takes a significant amount of time to support (at this point we're 
cutting our losses and making them loaner computers and re-downloading

their exams onto the loaner). Has anyone else had this problem? It has

happened so far only with Vista.

In the past, we saw severe lag problems if the user had Windows Updates

downloaded that had not installed, and we suspect that this is the same

problem. Ideas? Similar experiences?

Many thanks,

Erin Warhol
University of Minnesota
Law school
IT Professional
warh0007 at umn.edu 

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