Office2PDF not watching the watched folders

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joewinograd
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Office2PDF not watching the watched folders

Post by joewinograd » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:57 pm

Hi Folks,
I just downloaded the latest PDF-XChange Standard (Current Version: 5.0.267, Updated 19-Jan-2013, ZIP installer). My system is W7Pro/64-bit (Build 7601, SP1). My intended use is to set up a watched folder for Excel spreadsheets. The install went well and the first time I added a watched folder it worked fine, converting the spreadsheets to PDF. However, there are two serious problems:

(1) After it converts the files in the watched folder the first time (when adding the folder in "Watched directories"), it never converts again! I copy files into the watched folder, but it never again converts files, unless I exit the program, re-run it, and re-add the watched folders (which have now disappeared...see item 2 below).

(2) When exiting the program and coming back in, the previously entered "Watched directories" are gone! Of course, I can re-add them, but they should stay there.

My problem is similar to the "No reaction on new files in folders" thread:

http://www.tracker-software.com/forum3/ ... 41&t=12913

But I decided to open a new topic, since that thread is from 10 months ago and nothing in it has helped me to solve my problem. Note that my watched folder is on a local hard drive (in fact, the boot drive, C), so the whole network latency issue is not relevant here. Btw, all of my screen shots match those posted by "Paul - Tracker Supp" in the thread mentioned above. Also, I tried it with [Store converted documents into their original folders] both checked and unchecked...results are the same...doesn't convert after the first time. Also, I tried it with [Automatically process files from just added 'watched' folders] both checked and unchecked...again, results are the same...doesn't convert after the first time. Bottom line is that it doesn't seem to be watching the watched folders. Thanks for your help, Joe

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Paul - Tracker Supp
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Re: Office2PDF not watching the watched folders

Post by Paul - Tracker Supp » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:17 am

Hi Joe,

thanks for the post. I have tried to replicate your issue here and Office2PDF is working as expected for me. You are leaving it running right? It doesn't run from the system tray as a TSR (Terminate and Stay Resident)or anything. I think from your description that you are...
After it converts the files in the watched folder the first time (when adding the folder in "Watched directories"), it never converts again! I copy files into the watched folder, but it never again converts files, unless I exit the program, re-run it, and re-add the watched folders (which have now disappeared...see item 2 below).
What can I do to make sure I'm doing the same as you? For example what is different between the 'First time' and others? Do you select multiple files, drop them in your watched folder then drag more and it it the second dragging of files that does not respond?

I have set up a Win 7 Ultimate x64 machine with Office 2010 and am able to drag files over and over, both singly and in groups and all convert so at least on my machine it is working correctly. I will leave Office2PDF running on there over the next few hours and intermittently come back and drop more files into the watched folder and see what happens.

One thing that you can do is look to the Windows Task Manager and check that both processes OFFice2PDF5.exe*32 and pdfSaver5.exe are running. The former should always be running until you close Office2PDF, the latter should spawn when you drop a file in your watched folder. pdfSaver5.exe should then stop after 30 seconds (default - can be changed in settings). If pdfSaver5.exe is not stopping please try killing the process from the task manager and test dropping more files - it should spawn again and manage the conversion.

Regards the program not saving it's watched folder I can confirm that it is not and that it should. I have raised a Support Request Ticket to track the progress of this bug: RT#1741: Office2PDF not remembering the watched folders. We'll keep you posted here as to the progress of this part.

Looking forward to hearing what you see in the Task Manager and if killing pdfSaver5.exe is required and if it helps.
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joewinograd
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Re: Office2PDF not watching the watched folders

Post by joewinograd » Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:22 am

Hi Paul,
Thanks for the quick reply - very much appreciated! To answer your questions:

(Q1) You are leaving it running right?

(A1) Yes.

(Q2) It doesn't run from the system tray as a TSR (Terminate and Stay Resident)or anything.

(A2) Understood. I've been either minimizing the window or just leaving it up.

(Q3) I think from your description that you are...

(A3) Yes, I am leaving it running.

(Q4) For example what is different between the 'First time' and others?

(A4) The difference is that the first time, files are already in the watched folder. It detects them, they display briefly under the Excel icon, they get converted, and the PDFs appear in the output folder. After that, when I copy more files into the watched folder, nothing gets converted.

(Q5) Do you select multiple files, drop them in your watched folder then drag more and it it the second dragging of files that does not respond?

(A5) No. As explained above, by "first time", I meant what it does with the initial files that were already in the watched folder. But this gave me an idea...what would happen if the watched folder had nothing in it initially and then I copied files into it? Turns out, the same behavior! Here are the steps: (i) Clicked the Folder button and selected a folder to watch. It shows up correctly under "Watched directories". (ii) Copied a spreadsheet into the watched folder using my file manager. OFFice2PDF detected it and immediately converted it. (iii) Did the same thing again...copied a different spreadsheet into the watched folder using my file manager. OFFice2PDF does not convert it!

(Q6) I have set up a Win 7 Ultimate x64 machine with Office 2010 and am able to drag files over and over, both singly and in groups and all convert so at least on my machine it is working correctly.

(A6) I don't know what to say. It's working for you but not for me.

(Q7) One thing that you can do is look to the Windows Task Manager and check that both processes OFFice2PDF5.exe*32 and pdfSaver5.exe are running.

(A7) OFFice2PDF5.exe*32 and pdfSaver5.exe are both running.

(Q8) pdfSaver5.exe should then stop after 30 seconds (default - can be changed in settings).

(A8) Interesting! It's not stopping.

(Q9) If pdfSaver5.exe is not stopping please try killing the process from the task manager and test dropping more files - it should spawn again and manage the conversion.

(A9) I stopped the process. It then spawned again and did the conversion. But once again it stayed running. So I stopped it again, copied another file, but this time it did not spawn again and convert.

pdfSaver5.exe seems to be the culprit but I don't know how to proceed from here. Any ideas? Btw, the [Autounload pdfSaver after:] box was not checked. So I checked it and changed the time to 15 seconds. Didn't help to fire up conversion. Also, the Autounload is not working...after 15 seconds, the process is still running. But even if I manually end it, the conversion is not starting.

Btw, when you exit OFFice2PDF and come back, does it retain your "Watched directories"? For me, it doesn't. Regards, Joe

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Re: Office2PDF not watching the watched folders

Post by Paul - Tracker Supp » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:05 am

Hi joewinograd,

thanks for the detailed answers. It looks like OFFice2PDF5.exe*32 not unloading is indeed the culprit, it appears to be not responding to the calls to do the conversion. We are making progress...

I would like you to uninstall PDF-XChange 2012 from the 'Programs and Features applet in the Windows Control panel, restart your PC and then use it again using this link: http://www.tracker-software.com/PDFX5SA.zip then test again.

If OFFice2PDF5.exe*32 is still not unloading and becomes unresponsive we will need to investigate what is happening on your system. That may mean a remote session or perhaps a debug version installed. Would you be OK with that?
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Re: Office2PDF not watching the watched folders

Post by joewinograd » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:31 pm

Paul,
I'll respond a little later to your comments, but I'd like you to answer this one question for me, as it is the third time I'm asking: When you exit OFFice2PDF, and then run it again, does it retain the folders that were under "Watched directories"? Phrased another way, are your watched folders "sticky"? If not, is that a feature or bug? Thanks, Joe

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Re: Office2PDF not watching the watched folders

Post by Tracker Supp-Stefan » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:16 pm

Hello joewinograd,

The watched folders list should be saved in a file "folders.wch" in the same directory where the Office2PDF5.exe is located. So the Office2PDF should have permissions to write to that folder for this to work.

Best,
Stefan

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Re: Office2PDF not watching the watched folders

Post by joewinograd » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:42 pm

Stefan,
Seems to me that storing a configuration file (like "folders.wch") in Program Files on W7 (where "OFFice2PDF5.exe" is located) is not a good idea. In your next release, I suggest you store that file in AppData, which is the standard approach for a data file in W7. That said, please tell me the syntax of the "folders.wch" file...perhaps you can post a sample one. Thanks, Joe

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Re: Office2PDF not watching the watched folders

Post by joewinograd » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:59 pm

Stefan or Paul,
Another question for you: How does OFFice2PDF know if a file in a watched folder has already been converted? In other words, what technique does it use to assure that it is not continuously converting the same files over and over? Or is it the responsibility of the user to move converted files out of the watched folders? Regards, Joe

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Re: Office2PDF not watching the watched folders

Post by joewinograd » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:27 pm

For other folks watching this thread, the answer to my question about the syntax of the "folders.wch" file is that each line simply contains the fully qualified path of a watched folder. Here's an example of a two-line "folders.wch" file:

C:\0tempC\pdfxc-watched\
C:\0tempC\pdfxc-watched2\

It is just plain text, so you may create the file with any text editor, even good ol' Notepad. Of course, you need to run elevated to be able to store the file in [c:\Program Files\Tracker Software\PDF-XChange 5\], which is why the file really shouldn't be there, imo.

Stefan and Paul, I'd still like an answer to my second question about how it knows what files have already been converted. Thanks, Joe

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Re: Office2PDF not watching the watched folders

Post by Paul - Tracker Supp » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:16 pm

Hi joewinograd,

thanks for all that detailed information - I'm sure it will be of use not only to other readers but also the dev team as they look into this. I actually made a Support Request Ticket last night after confirming that the watched folders on my test machine also were not remembered: RT#1741: Office2PDF not remembering the watched folders I then lost my Internet for a few hours then forgot to mention that after it came back. Sorry about that.

Regards how the app remembers what it has converted - I don't know the details, I'll need to get the input of the dev responsible for that. The devs are super busy finishing V3 and that has impacted a little on their response time to questions like this so I would ask your indulgence here and an answer will be posted as soon as they can.

Hope that helps.
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Re: Office2PDF not watching the watched folders

Post by joewinograd » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:42 am

Paul,
Thanks for submitting the ticket. They really should fix it so that "folders.wch" is stored in a proper place (such as %AppData%), although for now I'm fine with the work-around of using Admin privileges to store it in Program Files (it's not something that I'm going to change often, so for me it's not a big inconvenience, although some of your other customers may feel differently).

Thanks, also, for researching how it remembers what it has converted...I'm very interested in hearing what the devs have to say about that. I do understand that V3 is a top priority for them, so I'll be patient.

The far bigger problem right now is that I can't get it to fire up the conversion reliably. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't; sometimes killing [pdfSaver5.exe] brings it back to life, sometimes it doesn't.

Re your two previous questions: (1) The link you suggested (http://www.tracker-software.com/PDFX5SA.zip) has the same exact EXE file in it that I had already installed. The module size is 5,672,280; the date/time stamp is 18-Jan-2013/23:15; and I used a utility to do a bit-by-bit comparison of the two files...they are identical! (2) I'm OK with a remote session as long as I drive and you watch. I'm also OK with installing a debug version. Regards, Joe

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Re: Office2PDF not watching the watched folders

Post by Paul - Tracker Supp » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:03 am

Thanks Joe for the patience and understanding.

I gave you the link to make sure you had the latest installer - looks like you already did. :-)

I'll let you know what the devs have to say. If we do want to remote in we would need you to sign the indemnity form here: http://www.tracker-software.com/knowled ... e-an-issue and for sure ou can be there and take control should you wish!!!

regards
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Re: Office2PDF not watching the watched folders

Post by Paul - Tracker Supp » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:05 am

Hi Joe,

this is what the developer responsible for Office2PDF said:
Office2Pdf remembers what it has converted only for one session (when the program is still running). After a restart it will suggest to convert all files in watched folders.
- so it's pretty straight forward. I guess this does place the responsibility of managing the files in there squarely on the user's shoulders however once we sort your pdfSaver issue this should not be a problem as you could keep it running.

In regards to the pdfSaver issue I'm waiting to hear back from the conversations between different devs on that.

hth
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