Can't access your database over your computer network

If you can't access a Rent Master or Ausbroker database which is located on another computer in your network then you need to first establish whether

  1. the network connection is set up
  2. then if it's set up whether it is working
  3. and then if/when it's working then you should be able to connect to your database ok.

Using our MLOG.Exe program to check your network connections

If we set up your network then have a look for a RECONNECT NETWORK icon on your desktop or in your task bar (at the bottom of your screen). If you can find this icon then double click on it to run it and then click on the RECONNECT button and have a look down in the list of mapped drives that it displays and see whether they are all (OK) or (BAD). If they are all ok then your network should now be working. If any of them are showing BAD then they are not working. Is the other computer turned on? Check the network cable going to it (usually a blue cable) and see if it's plugged in ok. Turn the computers off, wait ten seconds and then turn them back on again and see if this fixes the problem.

If you can't get the network drive to NOT show BAD then it may be a hardware or Windows problem and you may need expert assistance to sort it out.

To check your network connections from the command prompt

This should list any current network mappings

  Status         Local  Remote          Network
  Disconnected   T:     \\Server\C      Microsoft Windows Network
  OK             U:     \\Notebook\C    Microsoft Windows Network
  OK             LPT2:  \\Notebook\HPLJ Microsoft Windows Network
  The command completed successfully.

Network mappings are used to access another computer's hard disk and/or printer as if it was connected directly to your current computer. In the list above you can see that the link to the Server C drive is disconnected and so won't work while the link to the Notebook C drive and the Notebook printer (HPLJ) are both ok and should work.

Your list might even be blank in which case there are no remembered or current connections. In the case shown above your computer will "pretend" that it has another hard disk called the T: drive but the T: drive is really the server's C drive (except that it has disconnected for some reason) and your U: drive is really the C drive on the notebook computer.

Hard drives are always accessed via their name which could be any letter from C to Z followed by a colon. C: is the local hard disk installed in the computer that you are using, drive D: is often your cd-drive although if you have more than one hard disk in your computer then drive D: would be the second hard drive and drive E: would then be your CD-drive. Drive A: is your floppy disk drive (those little square disks with hard plastic cases that you may use to backup your data are NOT hard disks even though they have a hard plastic case as inside the hard plastic case is the actual floppy or flexible disk). Some computers these days don't have ANY floppy disk drive and so there will be NO A: drive in them (usually notebook computers but some desktop computers are also missing the A: drive).

If any of the drives listed when you typed NET USE were shown as disconnected then try typing DIR followed by the drive name eg

and see what happens. Sometimes doing this will cause th drive to reconnect itself. You will either get a list of files on the T: drive (if it reconnects) or you may get an error message about not being able to access the T: drive. Once you have done this then type NET USE again and see if the problem has been resolved.

Often we will set up drive G: to be the drive that is used to store the Ausbroker or Rent Master database and so look to see if you have a drive G: in the list produced by the NET USE command and whether it is disconnected or connected. Note that in your case it might not be the G: drive. Try to remember what the title bar in Ausbroker or Rent Master said when it WAS working - that will tell you where your database should be.
Normally it will say something like...

  Ausbroker: (G:\Broker\BrokYour.Mdb or \\Server\C\Broker\BrokYour.Mdb)

so this tells you that the database is on drive G: and that drive G: is really \\Server\C which means the C: drive on the Server computer and that your database is called BrokYour.Mdb but of course your information will be in a similar format to this but will be different.

Identify the computer name and user name for your server computer

You have to identify what the name of your server computer is as far as the network is concerned. You can do this by...

You will see a list similar to this one and this will tell you the computer name and the user name

  ALLUSERSPROFILE=C:\Documents and Settings\All Users
  APPDATA=C:\Documents and Settings\Glyn\Application Data
  CommonProgramFiles=C:\Program Files\Common Files
  HOMEPATH=\Documents and Settings\Glyn
  PROCESSOR_IDENTIFIER=x86 Family 15 Model 2 Stepping 4, GenuineIntel
  ProgramFiles=C:\Program Files
  USERPROFILE=C:\Documents and Settings\Glyn

You will see the computer name and user name listed in the resulting output as long as your computer is running Windows-XP. If it is running Windows-98 or Windows-95 then it's time to get a new computer but you can find out the computer name by right clicking on MY COMPUTER and choosing PROPERTIES and then click on the COMPUTER NAME tab at the top.

Connect a network drive that has "disappeared"

If you know that you SHOULD have a G: drive but you don't have one then you need to know what it SHOULD be. If the main computer is called SERVER then it may be that your G: drive should be mapped to \\SERVER\C (or perhaps \Tony\C or \\Office\C depending on your network). If you know what the setting should be then you can reconnect it from within Windows Explorer. To find Windows Explorer on Windows XP computers you may have to click on the START button then PROGRAMS (or ALL PROGRAMS) and then ACCESSORIES and then WINDOWS EXPLORER. On Windows-98 or Windows-95 computers click on START then PROGRAMS then WINDOWS EXPLORER.

In Windows Explorer

If you have down this correctly then you will get no error messages.

Another way to do this is to go into Windows Explorer (see above information on how to do this) and then look down the left hand column (pane) and click on NETWORK NEIGHBOURHOOD (if you are using Windows 95 or Windows-98) or MY NETWORK PLACES (for Windows-XP computers). Then click on ENTIRE NETWORK then MICROSOFT WINDOWS NETWORK and then you'll see another name below this - it might just be WORK GROUP or it might be your business name - just click on this and you should see a list of computers connected to the network - including the one that you are using at the moment.

If you can't see any computers in this list or you can only see your own computer then your problem may be a broken or disconnected network cable so check this to see if it is ok - usually a blue cable.

Once you have identified the computer that the database is located on click on this computer and there should be a C: drive shown below this although it may also be called DATA or something else (depends on who set up your network). Right click on this drive (C:) and choose MAP NETWORK DRIVE and then select the G: drive from the drop down list and click on the OK button.

Note that where we have suggested drive G: in all of the information above - in your case the drive letter might be different - it could be J: or M: or U: or anything really. If you can't get this to work then you may have a problem with Windows itself.

Reconnect to your database

Once you are sure that your network is working then go into Ausbroker or Rent Master and it may open your database as normal without you having to do anything else. If it comes up with a message about "Can't find database you last accessed" then you can just select the option to OPEN ANOTHER DATABASE. If it opens the demo database on your computer then you will need to click on the FILE menu from the main screen and choose SELECT NEW DATABASE.

Once you have chosen to open another database then you need to select the correct drive letter from the drop down list in the bottom right hand corner of the open dialog.

You should now have the correct database open. Exit Rent Master or Ausbroker and then start it up again and it should go straight back into the correct database.