Common Problems

Common Problems

Click on the links below to expand them and show detailed information about each problem.

Running CT DOS/POS Under Win 7

The XP Compatibility Mode is only available in Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate versions. It's NOT included with Home Premium. And it requires hardware assisted virtualization, which is included with most processors (Intel and
AMD) released in the past three years or so.  To find out whether your PC can support running CT Dos under Win 7, and to get instructions on how to set up your PC to support programs under XP, copy this link (Copy or Ctrl-C the highlighted area) and put it in your browser address area:

ComTrac or POS Won't Start
If you cannot get into ComTrac or POS from your desktop shortcut icon (for example, it launches, then quickly disappears), or if you are getting "corruption detected" or "1010" errors, you almost certainly have one or more corrupted index files.

The quick way to fix this is:

1. Close ComTrac or POS
2. Go to My Computer, navigate to either the ComTrac or POS20 folder
3. For ComTrac, delete all files ending in "ntx"
4. For POS, delete all files ending in "cdx"

Then restart either ComTrac or POS from the desktop.  POS will recognize that the index files are missing and will recreate them.  Depending on your version of ComTrac, it'll either automatically recreate them or it'll prompt you to Reindex Files.

Problems Printing from Windows XP/2000

If you are having problems printing from Windows, and especially if you are getting a DOS Error (2) when printing to file, make sure you set up a printer port under the DOS PRINTER options in Comtrac.

Delay Before Receipt Prints in POS

If you experience a long delay in printing from POS, this is due to the default timeout Microsoft uses for printer ports under DOS. To fix it, you'll need to use the program regedit to edit your registry.

1. Go to command shell by clicking on "Start", then "Run" and entering "cmd" at the prompt and pressing Enter.
2. Start the registry editor (regedit.exe)
3. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\WOW.
4. Double-click LPT_timeout.
5. Set the LPT_timeout value to 3.
6. Click Ok.
7. Close the registry editor.

If you don't understand how to do this, please call us so we can walk you through it.

Delay Opening Cash Drawer in Windows XP/2000

Here's how to speed up your cash drawer opening speed for Windows XP or 2000 if you're using DOS POS:

1. Go to command shell by clicking on "Start", then "Run" and entering "cmd" at the prompt and pressing Enter.
2. Start the registry editor (regedit.exe)
3. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\WOW.
4. Double-click LPT_timeout.
5. Set the LPT_timeout value to 3.
6. Click Ok.
7. Close the registry editor.

This reduces the cash drawer lag time to 3 seconds.

Fixing Unlock Codes That Don't Stay Unlocked

1. Disable any antivirus software before attempting to strip copy protection. (Norton - Disable AutoProtect, McAfee - uncheck System Scan)

2. Do the strip process from the command prompt - click Start, Run, then type cmd and press Enter. Instead of using stripprot.bat or strip.bat, do the following steps manually:


ATTRIB *.* -h -s -r

del *.sys

del *.fil

3. Launch POS from the command prompt by typing POS and hit Enter.

4. Enter unlock code. Exit from POS.

5. Type exit in command window to close window.

6. Launch POS from icon, should stay unlocked now.

Getting ComTrac to Run Full-Screen in Windows XP

This is getting to be an increasing issue on new PC's that have the video card integrated into the motherboard. PC manufacturers are doing whatever they can to cut costs, so these days, many video cards don't have the video memory to display DOS programs in full screen anymore, or if they do, sometimes your monitor isn't capable of displaying the frequency the video card uses to display the program, causing it to go black or squiggly.

Getting DOS programs to run full-screen under Windows XP can either be really easy, or kind of a pain. Let's try "really easy" first.

If ComTrac is currently running in a window, hold down the Alt key, then press Enter. This should make it go full-screen. When you exit from ComTrac, it will remember the last setting and start up that way next time.

If ComTrac goes full-screen, but it only takes up the top half of the screen, you'll need to do the following steps:

1. Put ComTrac back in a DOS window by hitting Alt + Enter.

2. Right-click the mouse anywhere in the title bar of the DOS window and choose Properties from the menu that pops up.

3. Click the Layout tab.

4. Change the height of both Screen Buffer and Window Size to 25.

5. Go to the Screen tab, select Full Screen. Click OK.

6. Select "Save properties for future windows with same title" in the Apply Properties dialog then click OK.

At this point, the window may or may not switch to full screen.If it does, you should be set. If it doesn't, try Alt + Enter.

If it still doesn't switch to full screen, try rebooting XP, and open Comtrac again, then do Alt + Enter if it's not full screen.

The main key is setting the Window Size height to 25, after that, it's just fiddling to make it do it. XP seems to be funky about how it does full-screen, and one requirement on some systems seems to be that you need Administrator or Owner privileges to make this tip work.

Hey, none of that stuff works. What now?

Well, sometimes changing the monitor refresh rate can help, or swapping out the monitor. Ironically, buying a cheap PCI/AGP video card and sticking it in the PC and using that instead of the one on the motherboard can also help. The older the card, the better, as it most likely supports DOS programs out of the box.

If none of that sounds appealing, you can run ComTrac or POS in a window. You'll need to change your POS shortcut as follows:

In the Target: line where it says C:\POS20\POS.EXE, change the line so it reads: C:\POS20\POS.EXE /WINNT /STD. This will change the video mode POS uses so it's legible in a window.


Administrator/Owner privileges needed for running ComTrac DOS Under Windows XP

For ComTrac and POS to operate properly under Windows XP/2000, you MUST run it on an account that has Administrator/Owner privileges.  If you use an account that does not have Administrator privileges, POS especially will give you problems. Before calling Tech Support, please make sure that you are logged in with Administrator or Owner privileges.

Keep Windows XP Up to Date

If you have done a new install of Windows XP and  ComTrac DOS or POS/DOS isn't working properly, it is very likely that you haven't installed your Windows Updates yet.

Windows XP was notoriously buggy in its initial release, especially where DOS applications were concerned.  We have had several users who reinstalled Windows XP after a virus or disk crash and who had multiple weird ComTrac behaviors.  Doing all current Windows Updates solved the problem.

Configure Pole Display Under Windows XP for POS DOS

Pole displays use a serial port to receive information from the computer. You need to tell your computer what settings to use in order to have the pole display receive information correctly.

To get your pole display working under XP, in Device Manager, go to the COM port that the pole display is connected to, click Properties, go to the Port Settings tab and set it to 9600 bits per seconds, Data bits 8, Parity None, Stop bits 1, Flow control None and click OK.

Running ComTrac Under Windows ME

Thankfully, Windows ME is dying a well-deserved death as older PC's are phased out, but there's still a few around, so here you are.

ComTrac/POS DOS often runs out of file handles under Windows ME. In Windows 98, you'd edit the CONFIG.SYS file to fix it. 

However, the traditional config.sys file that we are used to doesn’t work under Windows/ME. Go to the \Windows folder and open the System.Ini file. Depending on how your PC is configured you may only see a file named System. Use Notepad or Wordpad (Start|Programs|Accessories) to open the file. Look for a section that looks like this:

mouse=*vmouse, msmouse.vxd

and add the following line after the last line in the [386Enh] group:

Make sure that there’s a blank line after this line so there’s a break between the [386Enh] group and the next group of instructions. Save the changes, close down all your open windows and
reboot your PC.

Fixing Low Memory Problems in ComTrac DOS for Windows 95/98

If you are running low on useful memory (RAM) on your PC, and especially if you've changed PCs in the last year, read this and carry out the instructions.  Remember, ComTrac needs at least 600kb of low memory to operate properly.

If you are getting an ‘out of memory’ message when you run certain functions in ComTrac you may need to modify your Config.Sys file. (POS isn’t as demanding about memory as ComTrac, but if you do get an ‘out of memory’ message the following instructions apply to you as well).

ComTrac is a pure DOS program and can only access the first megabyte of RAM on your PC. POS can make use of high memory, and so it isn’t limited to just the first megabyte. All of these limitations will disappear when you move to the 32-but version of ComTrac or POS.

Do You Have Enough Memory?
Go into any DOS window and type the command "mem" and press "Enter". Near the bottom of the diagnostics that will appear is a line saying "Largest Executable Program Size". The value for this line should be "600" or greater. If it is less than "600" you will have occasional problems with ComTrac’s operation, the severity of these problems will depend on how small the value is.

How to Get More Memory
Now that you know you don’t have enough free low memory for DOS, switch directories to your root directory. If, for example, you’re at C:\windows use the command"cd c:\" to get to your C: drive’s root. Then enter the command: edit config.sys [enter].

You will either see an editing window with nothing in it, or you may only see two lines with the words "buffers" and "files" in them. Here’s what your config.sys file should contain:

device=C:\WINDOWS\himem.sys /testmem:off

device=c:\windows\emm386.exe noems




When you have finished editing this file, enter Alt X (that means press the Alt key and then press the "X" key while you are still holding the Control key down. This will exit you from the Edit program - it will prompt you whether you want to save your changes or not. Respond with "Yes".

Once you’ve made these changes, go ahead and reboot your PC, as these changes won’t take effect until you do. You shouldn’t have any memory problems after this.