7890A/5975C/7697A Headspace-GC-MS slow loading of software

Hi everyone,

 

We have a 7890A with mass spec (5975C) and head space analyzer (7697A) running MassHunter acquisition (B.07.04.2260) on a Windows 7-64 bit computer.

The headspace control software is B.01.06, the GC drivers package is A.03.02.021

 

Whenever we load the software there is huge lag (up to 1 minute) in the software being run and the software being ready for use. During the software loading, the Windows activity monitor shows on two separate occasions that the program is not responding. Not responding is shown for at least several seconds each time. It seems to me that the end of the not responding period is accompanied both times by an audible beep from the headspace.

This issue has persisted through more than one version of the MassHunter software. I can't remember if we had the problem with MSD Chemstation or not

 

We have talked to Agilent about this and have gone through the normal steps - reinstall the firmware, remove the software and reinstall. reinstall Windows and reinstall windows and then the software. I even tried installed Windows from an installation disk on a brand new PC and then installing the software but I had installed anything else. No success.

 

 

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance

Kevin

  • Hi Kevin,

    I updated some tags for better visibility . I have seen a few case similar to what you describe. By any chance does the PC you are using have dual lan cards, or is it connected through your corporate domain? If the answer is yes to any of the above, we need to examine some PC settings that may improve things.

    James

  • Hi Kevin,

    This setup sounds ok. In cases where the instrument is configured like yours I have seen slow boot of the software when there are DNS entries on the PC lan card or the gateway is filled out. If these are there, you may want to check with your IT to see if they are needed.Alos, the troublesome windows firewall can slow initial communication so if its on, I would add exceptions or turn it off. Let us know .

    James

  • Hi Kevin,

    I have attached the firewall settings for MassHunter. There isn't anything specific for the headspace as once the driver is installed its handled through the MH communications.

     

    The Gateway and DNS may not be needed where you are using a switch, but I am not sure how that will affect contact with your domain so you are going the right direction to check with your IT. One mistake I often see is that customers will set a gateway on instruments that is the PC IP address. This isn't needed. It seems like no two cases are the same when it comes to network troubleshooting or software issues.

    James

  • Hi James,

    To answer your questions.

     

    There is only one LAN card. The LAN Is connected to a switch. The MS, GC and HS all connect to this switch. The corporate network is also connected to the switch.

    As a result the host computer, the MS, GC and HS all have real IP addresses not 10.0 etc. These addresses are static on the MS, GC and HS. The computer picks up its IP using DHCP but it always picks up the same IP as the IP is reserved for it in the DHCP table.  Even though the GC, HS and MS have static IP‘s and dont have DHCP turned on, these specific IP‘s are also reserved in the DHCP table so no other device on the network can accidentally pick up the same IP.

     

    Kevin

  • I have had a look at any port numbers. I checked with one of my co-workers and suspect that they may not be an issue. For testing you could shut down the firewall as a temporary measure to see if the boot of the software improves. I suspect the issue maybe more related to DNS entries.

    James

  • Hi James

     

    I will take a look at the various firewall settings. I did try to include everything when I set up the instrument. Is there a current document with a list of the various firewall settings that I could refer to. Does it include any firewall settings for the headspace or I don't recall seeing any for the headspace specifically?

    Also I recall that I have the gateway and DNS entries for my network set up on the GC, HS and MS. Should I have done? I will also check with my ITS folks about whether the gateway and DNS are needed on the PC LAN card.

     

    Will keep you posted

    Kevin

  • I took a look at the firewall settings. There was duplication of entries for many of the programs so I carefully removed duplicates ensuring that I wasn't changing the overall permissions and that the entries were true duplicates. No improvement on rebooting. I did notice that I had some additional programs listed including Ag7697WSEvents and several Agilent OpenLab GCDriver Port #### programs where the #### incremented from 10000 to 100010. Any ideas about these?

     

    Kevin

  • Hi Kevin,

    See attached for a screen capture of DNS. If there is anything in these circled boxes, this can slow you down.

    For other settings, this is where you and your IT department need to make a judgement call. The instruments typically are not run through a gateway PC and gateway IPs usually are not needed when you are using local IP addresses like 10.1.1.100 for PC , 1.1.1.101 for GC etc.

    Typical settings would be as below for the PC. On the instruments the gateway setting can be turned off or set to 0 for each module. Before you make any changes make sure to note what the original settings are so you can always go back. I cant see your network, so hopefully this will work. Not all networks are the same and there can be issues here that I haven't thought of.

    If you are DHCP on the PC and the IP is reserved as I think was mentioned, its worth setting it static as I have had very little experience with DHCP. I think this may make a difference at the local switch, but am not sure .

  • Hi Kevin,

    The two Lan card is not an official supported solution , having said that , at the risk of the world seeing this, it works and works very well. The separate lan card can be set up very basic (IP and SM)  and as long as the binding order is set correctly in the PC( the order in which Windows uses the cards) then this is a robust set up that is immune to communication drops due to Domain network issues.  Fixes most speed issues as well.

    Use the arrows to make sure the new second lan card for the MSD is at the top of the list.

     

     

    Let me know if this works for you.

    Regards

    James

  • Hi James

    I will try shutting down the firewall but I have tried that in the past without success.

    re. DNS issues - Do you mean gateway and subnet mask settings directly or something else

    I do have the gateway and subnet mask entered on the GC, HS and MS. These match my corporate network settings. Are you suggesting that I should remove those settings on the 3 devices. If so what should be entered instead as I don't think I can leave them blank

    Kevin

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