Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Thursday, August 15, 2013

WinPatrol Internal Server Error

It’s only natural that problems occur at the worse possible time.  This week WinPatrol is having a unique sale for folks who want to upgrade to PLUS but couldn’t afford it.  I also released a new version of WinPatrol which always generates plenty of downloads and use by folks who haven’t installed WinPatrol in a while. You would have thought I was giving a demo on Good Morning America because yesterday our custom server stopped providing many features PLUS members.  Worse yet was our ability to create PLUS codes after customers made their payment broke.

As far as we know we weren’t attacked by the Syrian Electronic Army like the Washington Post.

Our problems started out around noon when users weren’t able to access any of our web pages. The technical support helper was quick to resolve that problem and I thought everything was fine.  Then I noticed most of our custom programs that run on the server including the one that provides PLUS Info were failing.  Users would see the following when requesting PLUS Info or when trying to create their newly purchased activation code.

errorinternal

My 2nd call to Verio web hosting support also seemed successful. The support rep helped me identify a few bugs that resulted from our earlier solution. It appeared that everyone could again access programs on the server.  Unfortunately, my confidence was short lived.

Late into the evening my third call was made in hopes we could isolate the reason why some programs worked and others didn’t.  By this time my patience and ability to think clearly wasn’t at it’s best.

I’ve now tracked down the main issue and hoped that today’s rep would be able to understand what occurred. It appears that something done during my first phone call created an entirely new problem. My ability to access my web pages no longer exists. I am hour on hour two waiting for a return phone call. 

While I haven’t calculated the lost business and reputation yet but I am happy that most PLUS members can access PLUS data.  If you can’t access your PLUS Info I can offer a quick solution.

Open up the main tabbed interface and click on the Options tab.
If you Uncheck the box in front of “Allow PLUS Info data collection” you’ll be able to obtain the correct PLUS data.
erroroptions 

I hope to have everything back to normal soon and I apologize to anyone who is still waiting for a response to their Email.  While I don’t think I’ve lost any Emails getting the web server working has been my first priority

In other new…

Malwarebytes Reports WinPatrol as Unwanted
I have seen reports that our friends at Malwarebytes have flagged some of the files which are used by our install package as unwanted programs.  We use a install package called Installmate which has worked well and is completely safe.  If I detected any problems or unwanted programs I would be switching to a new installer immediately. I haven’t had a chance to talk to my good friends at Malwarebytes but I understand their next database update will correct any mention of WinPatrol files.

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9 Comments:

Anonymous rhabdomantist said...

HitmanPro detects WinPatrol (winpatrol.exe) as suspicious.
http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=2265942&postcount=5582

5:34 PM  
Anonymous rhabdomantist said...

HitmanPro detects WinPatrol (winpatrol.exe) as suspicious.

5:38 PM  
Anonymous rhabdomantist said...

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=2265942&postcount=5582

5:40 PM  
Blogger Bill Pytlovany said...

I'm sure the false positive that Hitman is reporting has nothing to do with the server issues I'll reach out to Hitman as soon as possible.

We have seen other false positives related to files used by our install program so it's not a huge surprise. Most everyone knows these kind of errors can occur.

Thanks for taking the time to let me know.

Bill

7:11 PM  
Anonymous rhabdomantist said...

My apologies for multiple posts. You mentioned MBAM had FP with installer files so thought I'd mention HMP here also.

8:23 PM  
Anonymous Straspey said...

I experienced a kind of funny coincidence around this:

Around the same time the WinPatrol servers went down, the entire website of the New York Times had also crashed.

After failing to access the Times website, the very next thing I did was to visit WinPatrol.

When I received another server error - immediately after the NY Times -- I thought to myself, "Oh no - the entire internet has crashed."

I figured if both the Times AND Bill's sites were down at the exact same time, then something must really be bad.

11:57 AM  
Blogger Sam Ferdinand said...

WinPatrol does doesn't search the correct Cookie folder

This is not about the server issue, but rather a general bug report. I wasn't sure if the gmail was the best way to contact you, or blogger was perhaps better....

If you look at the screenshot I uploaded here:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/50606520/FEEDBACK/WinPatrol%20PLUS.png
you can see the last folder in the location named "low". That folder is empty! When I go one folder up, to the one named "Cookies", then I can see the long list of txt-files with cookies.

It's strange if no-one else has mentioned this error earlier. I scratched my head thoroughly on why WinPatrol didn't remove the cookies, as it says it should automatically. Now I know.
On the flip side it seems as it is handling the Firefox cookies correctly.

Please give me some kind of acknoledgment that you've read this bug report!

Kind regards
Sam

5:10 AM  
Blogger Bill Pytlovany said...

Sam,

You're correct that your experience with the cookie folder is not a server issue but is one that can be fixed.

Scotty has a good record of finding your cookie folder but where the cookies are stored depends on multiple things including your account permissions. Ultimately, the folder is defined by Windows and WinPatrol typically looks first at the registry location which developers are told to look.

I have had some reports of a possible bug in the registry location which points to system folders but not enough reports to say for sure what is happening. Your experience may be related which is why everyone isn't seeing the same problem.

In case of possible confusion, WinPatrol will allow you to tell it explicitly where your cookies are located. If you click on the cookie folder on the page in your image you can change where you want Scotty to eat your cookies. It will most likely be in the Roaming folder or the Locallow folder in the same path curently displayed.

Bill

2:58 PM  
Blogger FastEddie said...

I upgraded to pro a month or so ago and just today used the most recent upgrade. Problem is I am constantly being prompted to d/l the same upgrade over and over. I use win 7 Home premium
Thanks
Tyler

4:48 PM  

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