18 Replies Latest reply on Mar 16, 2018 11:10 AM by soccerdad

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

    soccerdad

      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

        • Re: 7890A/5975C/7697A Headspace-GC-MS slow loading of software
          james_jenkins

          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

            • Re: 7890A/5975C/7697A Headspace-GC-MS slow loading of software
              soccerdad

              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

                • Re: 7890A/5975C/7697A Headspace-GC-MS slow loading of software
                  james_jenkins

                  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

                    • Re: 7890A/5975C/7697A Headspace-GC-MS slow loading of software
                      soccerdad

                      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

                        • Re: 7890A/5975C/7697A Headspace-GC-MS slow loading of software
                          james_jenkins

                          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

                            • Re: 7890A/5975C/7697A Headspace-GC-MS slow loading of software
                              soccerdad

                              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

                                • Re: 7890A/5975C/7697A Headspace-GC-MS slow loading of software
                                  james_jenkins

                                  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

                                    • Re: 7890A/5975C/7697A Headspace-GC-MS slow loading of software
                                      soccerdad

                                      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

                                        • Re: 7890A/5975C/7697A Headspace-GC-MS slow loading of software
                                          james_jenkins

                                          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 .

                                            • Re: 7890A/5975C/7697A Headspace-GC-MS slow loading of software
                                              soccerdad

                                              Thanks James I will take a look. I suspect that I will have to keep my current DNS server settings if I want the PC to access the corporate network etc

                                               

                                              One question/possible solution. On our LC-MS/MS we have two LAN cards so as to keep the instrument away from our corporate network. Is this an option with this set up as it may solve the issues. I recall that there was a problem with the GC-MS in the past when two LAN cards were present but that solved now.

                                              Using two LAN cards may turn out to be the easiest solution perhaps

                                              Kevin

                                                • Re: 7890A/5975C/7697A Headspace-GC-MS slow loading of software
                                                  james_jenkins

                                                  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

                              • Re: 7890A/5975C/7697A Headspace-GC-MS slow loading of software
                                james_jenkins

                                One of my co-workers just pointed me in the direction of something I didn't know of.

                                This is a Windows 'feature' where the system is trying to go out on the Internet and verify that the software certificate is still valid even if the system is not connected.

                                 

                                Tools->internet options->advanced tab->under security uncheck  “check for publisher’s certificate revocation”.

                                 

                                • Re: 7890A/5975C/7697A Headspace-GC-MS slow loading of software
                                  valentinrusu

                                  Another performance improvement would be to optimize your PC for performance rather than appearance. The instructions below apply to Windows 7 and will essentially remove some unnecessary cosmetic features in the operating system.

                                  1. In Windows, click Start and type “adjust appearance” and the following instant search results will appear; choose the one called “Adjust the appearance and Performance of Windows”:

                                  Choose Adjust for best performance, then click Apply but not OK yet:

                                  1. Click on the Advanced tab in the same window, then choose Change… under the Virtual memory section.



                                     

                                    1. Uncheck the “Automatically manage paging file size for all drives,” highlight your primary drive (likely C:\) and choose a custom size. I recommend the initial size about half your current installed RAM and the maximum size about 2-3 times your installed RAM (so, for example, since you have 16GB, 8000 for initial and 32000 for maximum). You can choose other numbers, but the purpose of virtual memory is to supplement the physical RAM installed.
                                    2. Click Set, then OK. Reboot the PC.
                                  1 person found this helpful
                                    • Re: 7890A/5975C/7697A Headspace-GC-MS slow loading of software
                                      soccerdad

                                      Thanks for the suggestions - still no improvement.

                                       

                                      With regard to the default gateway should that be blank on the host computer and also on the GC, HS and MS

                                      I tried having all of them set to 10.1.1.100 (the IP address of the host computer) but haven't tried them all blank yet (0.0.0.0 - I presume). Would that help

                                       

                                      Thanks

                                      Kevin

                                        • Re: 7890A/5975C/7697A Headspace-GC-MS slow loading of software
                                          valentinrusu

                                          Hi Kevin, I'm sorry you haven't seen improvement yet.

                                           

                                          The default gateway is typically used in a more complex networking setup than what you should be using for a workstation environment. It would only be applicable if you had a forwarding host or router that would put your instrument network on a larger wide-area network. Since from your previous replies it does sound like you do have the gateway entered on the PC, GC, HS and MS in order to match your corporate network settings, this might be the root of these problems. Ideally, with a simple ChemStation workstation you would use an isolated LAN. So, the reason I recommended a blank gateway is because there really shouldn't be one. Your computer wouldn't serve as that gateway, so it wouldn't be appropriate to use its IP address as such.

                                           

                                          If you've already done the following, you don't have to try it again, of course, but I think it's worth exploring if not. As a test, disconnect your corporate network connection from this setup. Set up the IP addresses manually, use 255.255.255.0 as the subnet mask, and leave the gateway blank. Make sure all 3 instruments reply to a PING test (in the command prompt, type ping 10.1.1.101 to test the GC connection, ping 10.1.1.102 to test the MSD, etc). Then, try to perform your regular runs and see if the performance improves. I really do think it's worth a shot. If you get stuck, let us know.

                                           

                                          For more information on the proper network setup, check out this document: https://www.agilent.com/cs/library/quickreference/Public/Setting%20up%20the%20LAN%20Instrument%20Network.pdf

                                            • Re: 7890A/5975C/7697A Headspace-GC-MS slow loading of software
                                              soccerdad

                                              Hi all

                                              I have tried setting a blank gateway and no improvement.

                                              One thing I would like to add is when in the past I reinstalled the software either on a new pc or the existing one when troubleshooting the problem I didn't notice the lags when I had just the GC and MS configured - It was only when I added the headspace control software that this problem became readily apparent.

                                               

                                              I think that unless someone has any more ideas for me to try we shall have to leave this as unresolved.

                                              I may have to update the computer to Windows 10 this Summer and I have been told that new headspace and GC MassHunter software is required. If I am able to go down that path (money being the issue of course) then maybe that will solve the issue

                                              Thanks for all the help

                                              Kevin