Openlab user updates impossible; online signals missing/frozen; some injections mysteriously won't calculate some compounds which are otherwise integrated properly.

Hi, I know you're not allowed to go to the doctor with multiple problems but here we go.

Updates are impossible.  I received a set of instructions with multiple options for (I'm assuming) multiple openlab variations which I could not tell the difference between.  Trying several of them, one provided me with around 15 updates that I "needed".  All but 1 or 2 came back with errors so did not actually update most of them.

The reason I was told to get updates and why I spent a considerable amount of company time to get internet and follow these unfriendly instructions was to avoid "disappearing chromatograms", see the post.  Did this update fix this?  How would I know? The problem only happened 3 times in a year, each devastating as you can imagine.  Something to do with a printer bug when you don't have a printer.

Now after that update my online signal is frozen everyday within a couple of minutes.  I don't know all day long what the machine is doing and just hope that it's running fine.  Also, many of the chromatograms won't calculate some of the compounds even though the peaks look integrated just like the rest of the chromatograms.  If my retention times match the standards why are the "amounts" coming up blank.  

Rebooting has not fixed either of these and some of my work and validations are on hold as a result.  Will call for help next week but I thought it's important to document my issues here.

Thanks and best of luck!


  • No word on frozen online signal or how to get updates reliably but I had an update on missing calculations.  I found a "1" in the "level" field in one of the injections after the standards.  This will cause the rest of the injections in the sequence to not calculate since the calibration table is broken after that point in the sequence.  

  • Hi PJ,

    What version of OpenLab do you have? ChemStation/CDS 2.x/EZChrom?

    With regards to updates. Each update does come with an extensive readme file that explains which update to apply to which type of installation. OpenLab CDS 2.x has standalone workstations through to client/server installations, and depending on which installation type you have depends on which specific bits of the update apply. If you are unsure of your installation type, you can find this in the Control Panel under Administration>System Configuration. If the Setup states "Workstation" then you have a standalone workstation and should only apply those updates. Updates are also cumulative. This means if update 3 has been installed and you install update 5, then only items for update 4 and 5 are added, as 1/2 and 3 already exist.

    As for the missing online signals. What type of instrument are you collecting the data from (LC/GC/LC-MS/GC-MS). How long are your runs and what is the online signal time range?

    With respect to calibration. Are all the compounds you are looking for 'identified' in the compound table, and do they have the correct calibration values in the compounds calibration table? And does the sequence have the calibration defined within it and with the correct levels? Load in some demo data from the install media (Setup>Tools>Support>Demo_Data) and see if that calculates values correctly. At least then you will know if it is the core software or something related to your data set

  • Hi, thanks for the response.  What version of openlab is not as easy a question as it seems.  Is it CDS 2.5? Is it M8410AA?  Is it "Workstation Plus"? Is it something else entirely? 

    I have an HPLC.  How long my runs are, online time range, all seems irrelevant (correct me if I'm wrong) as my problem is that the online signal is frozen almost immediately and stays frozen all day until the computer and/or HPLC are restarted.  I've covered the calibration issue above.  I can't wait for online signals again!  I'm calling Agilent and will report fully to the community.



  • The phone advice given so far is to close Aquisition and restart it; yes, during the run.  This worked in that I can see online signals anytime I want and my samples keep running.  I can't see the sequence window anymore as that is blank when you restart Aquisition but you can see your position in the run by looking in the autosampler instead.  This will get me by for now as I try to address the update difficulties and the occassional disconnection between instrument and computer.  Will post anything learned.  The quote for an Agilent visit to look at the problem of frozen online signals is $6000, by the way.  Customer satisfaction going through the floor now.  As always, best of luck to everyone here!

  • Hi PJ,

    OK so sounds like CDS 2.5 and possibly the "Workstation Plus" version. M84100AA is the Agilent internal Part Number.

    It is perfectly fine to close acquisition whilst running a sequence in CDS 2.x. The running sequence is handled by a different service. This is a really odd feeling when you shutdown acquisition when running, as most other acquisition software HAS to have it open, including other Agilent software.

    If you want to see where in the sequence you are after reopening Acquisition, do the following.

    Go to the 'Status' view open the 'Run Queue' window, if not already open, and click the acquiring sequence once. On the righthand side there is a 'Details' button. This will show where the sequence is at a high level, e.g. injection 2 of 5. 

    However, for more info, with the acquiring sequence selected, as you did above, click the icon, second from the right. It looks like a few vials with a candy stuck to it! It is actually a magnifying glass. This allows you to view your currently running sequence, as you would as if you has just pressed 'Run'. See the picture.

    As for the update issue. Log into your SubscribeNet account and download the CDS 2.5 update 9. It is about 1.4GB. You do not need to download the other updates prior to this as it IS a cumulative update.

    Unzip the contents to an Easy to remember folder location (e.g. C:\Trumpet) Navigate to the CDS directory in the C:\Trumpet directory and unzip the contents of the I usually just drop it straight into the CDS directory I have already got.

    BEFORE you run the OpenLab_CDS_Update.exe please read Page 5, IMPORTANT section, of the CDS 2.5 Update 09_Readme.pdf. For the Workstation or Workstation Plus, skip to Page 8 and follow steps 1-14 there.

    It is imperative that ALL acquisition and processing instances of OpenLab CDS are close prior to applying the update. And you MUST have local administrator right on the PC to apply the update correctly.

    I hope all that helps.

  • Thanks for the tips on seeing the position in the sequence once Aquisition has been restarted.  Unfortunately something I failed to mention is that the sequence also disappears after pressing run but will re-appear once you toggle between another module and back to sequence.  I get this blank sequence table when I follow your instuctions above and it doesn't appear when toggling around.  Regardless, while these software bugs persist on my system, at least I'm able to see the online signals when I really need to and know where in the sequence I am.  Thanks for that.

    As for the updates: I have a really long failure log file.  I don't see a place to attach files here. What's the next step?

    Thanks, PJ

  • Hi PJ,

    When you click "Run" the sequence list is meant disappear as it flips context to the running sequence. You just have to give it 10-20 seconds to hand off the sequence to the 'instrument control service'. Whilst it is doing that it shows a blank sequence table as it was before you entered anything. It is perfectly normal behaviour. Use the 'Run Queue' window to allow you to get back to that view once submitted.

    Have a look at the following YouTube clip (How to run a sequence in OpenLab CDS - YouTube). Navigate to the 18 seconds mark and then change the speed of the video to 0.25. Then play. You will see the sequence disappear after the 'Run' button is pressed and then a second later the running queue becomes visible. In actuality this can take 10 seconds or so depending on your PC hardware.

    Maybe try the OpenLab Help & Learning. Go to the Learning Modules>Sequences and have a look at the 'Submit and Modify a Sequence' section. This also shows how to get back to the information regarding what sample the sequence is on, what has been acquired and what is still to be acquired (Pending).

    As for the update error. I would register on the Laboratory Informatics support site (Agilent Software Service Desk) and log a software issue direct with them. Or, if you already have a Service Request, ask them to log a job on your behalf. They are specifically dedicated to the software, rather than the instrument hardware. They will request the log files etc and give you a place to out them. They may even do a remote session to see if they can find the issue, but this depends on your Software Maintenance Agreement status.

    Based on that fact you appear to have a Workstation Plus installation...I would also check you have the right privileges to do and see the things you are not seeing. There is one specific privilege 'Edit users own running sequence', which you should have, depending on your role. If not that could be why you cannot see what you have submitted.

  • Once again thanks for the rapid replies, it helps me to keep moving these issues towards resolution. 

    Now after a couple of weeks of posting this software issue to this forum I have now found out about a software support division which I never would have known about had it not been for this fantastic portal of knowledge. 

    The disappearing sequence does not re-appear like before my issues. That's what I stated above.  It's not a problem to address but merely a clue that might help with either the freezing online signal, disconnecting and failed sequences or my updating issues, my top Agilent issues at the moment.  I will reply if any of my issues are addressed so hopefully other hard working lab workers will not have as many mysterious issues.

    Thank you,


  • Ok, the suggestion to address the disfunctioning Agilent software update process was to go to the software support website none of my 11 Agilent contacts told me about before.  Here's what I get when I want to "submit a request", a friendly reminder that technical questions will not be answered or responded to in the SMA Questions page.  Look at this screenshot and please tell me how I can submit a request to this Agilent website.  It looks like it's not possible nor is there any help anywhere here to be found on this "software support" website.  Pressing "here" for help above the word "Products" takes you to the SMA questions page not to any kind of help with issues.  Am I wrong or is this only for people with a service contract?  

    The other suggestion you made above, I have followed through on.  When I go to help and learning and even if I search for "modules", I get "no result".  Still wanting to try your suggestion somehow, I search for "Submit, modify"; also nothing.  What are you trying to show me here, please state it in this response if you're going to make one instead of sending me on a goose chase.  I already know I can see my position in "Run Queue".



  • FYI for anyone else being told to try the Agilent software support website, here's a lovely response completing the circle of futility and sending me back to the general phone line. Thanks a lot!


    This site is for client/server customers. I do not see a client/server system at Olli Brands Inc. For workstation support please call, 1-800-227-9770. Thank you!"

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