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Common issues with BugsCEP

Getting BugsCEP running in Windows 7, 8.x and 10

Problem: BugsCEP crashes on startup with any number of errors from "Runtime error" to "missing library" or references to controls not being found.
Explanation: Orphaned Registry Keys are the issue. Several Windows updates have failed to correctly handle the updating of a library file called MSCOMCTL.OCX, which BugsCEP uses. Microsoft's own method for fixing this usually does not work.
Tested solution: Warning: This requires expert knowledge of using Windows and DOS prompts. Please contact Phil for advice. unless you are comfortable undregistering and registering libraries. Essentially, you need to

  • unregister the mscomctl.ocx in C:\Windows\SYSWOW64
  • Either 1) delete all references to mscomctl.ocx in the registry, and/or 2) register and unregister an old version of this file
  • reregister the newer version of mscomctl.ocx

Problem: BugsCEP crashes when you click on any toolbar button, or try to access common features. The error message varies, but usually complains about something not being available or possible.
Explanation: Microsoft are not big on backwards compatability and think we should all be running the latest versions... and so Windows Update occassionally installs new versions of library files that are incompatible with BugsCEP.
Tested solution: Warnings: 1. This change may affect the functionality of software developed for post 2007 versions of MS Access. 2. Make sure you do this correctly, as changing the wrong file could stop parts of MS Office from working!

  1. Search your system drive for the file MSACC.OLB (Usually in C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14)
  2. Rename the MSACC.OLB file as "MSACC.OLB.RENAMED" (which prevents Office from finding it)
  3. Run BugsCEP as administrator:
    • click on the start menu
    • type BugsCEP into the search panel
    • right click on BugsCEP at the top of the start menu
    • choose "Run as administrator" (see image)
  4. Restart your computer and start BugsCEP as normal

This forces Access to use the older version of the MS Access Objects Library and thus allows the BugsCEP code to work properly.

Getting BugsCEP running on any system

Problem: Sometimes BugsCEP will install OK, but then crash with a "run-time error" once started. This can have numerous causes, usually relating to Windows security settings.

  • Try downloading this version, unzipping it into the folder C:\BugCEP (create the folder if necessary), and then double clicking the BugsCEP.mdb file from this folder. Note that you probably need to install the runtime version of BugsCEP before doing this.

Problem: If you have Access 2003 installed (or possibly Access XP or versions inbetween the two) then BugsCEP may not run from the Start Menu - and will tell you that it 'cannot find msaccess.exe...'.

  • This is because the installed version of Access is not letting BugsCEP use the Runtime Version of Access 2000 that it is supplied with. You should be able to open BugsCEP directly using the installed version of Access rather than the Start Menu shortcut.
    • Find the BugsCEP program file (BugsCEP or BugsCEP.mdb) using Windows Explorer or 'My Computer', and double click on it.
      It is normally in the folder 'C:\Program Files\BugsCEP', unless you chose another one.
    • Open Access, and then open the BugsCEP program file from its installation directory (see above).

Problem: If you have Access 2007 installed then you may encounter problems, including the lack of toolbars which allow the different BugsCEP components to be used.

  • As yet this issue is unresolved, although does sometimes appear to solve itself!

Problem: Under Windows Vista a number of problems may occur, including crashes during first run or during particular BugsCEP operations.

  • Most likely we will not have time or resources to fix these issues and you should try to find an XP machine. BugsCEP will eventually be incorporated into SEAD (http://www.sead.se) and made available online, which will hopefully resolve these issues.

Problem: If you are running Access 2007 under Windows Vista then BugsCEP may or may not run!

  • Please try the alternative Vista frontend, and start BugsCEP from its Start Menu item rather than by double clicking on the database file. (This problem is probably due to the way Vista restricts access to the Windows registry)

BugsCEP does not start

Problem: Thanks to a Windows Security Update, BugsCEP fails to start on some systems. It appears that only Windows 7 systems with the full version of Access are affected, but we could be wrong.
Explanation: Microsoft have updated some files that BugsCEP needs to run, and deemed the old ones to be unsafe under specific rare scenarios. So they replaced them, and the new one doesn't work for a lot of people.
Solution: The above procedure may solve this issue.

Using any of BugsCEP's tools

Problem: If you already have any version of MS Access installed other than 2000 or 2003, BugsCEP may fail when entering the BugStats, BugsMCR or other calculation sections. It usually displays something like the following error message: "Object or class does not support the set of events."
Explanation: Microsoft are not big on backwards compatability and think we should all be running the latest versions...
Solution 1:
The most useful workaround for this problem comes from Allan Browne at http://allenbrowne.com/bug-17.html:

Use "Run As Administrator"

Create a shortcut to run each msaccess.exe as an administrator. This allows each version to register itself on start-up.

To set up this workaround:

  1. Delete any shortcuts created by installing Office. (These lack the Run As Administrator option.)
  2. Create shortcuts to msaccess.exe from each version of Office. (Right-drag them from the folder in Computer.)
  3. Right-click the shortcut, and choose Properties. Click the Advanced button. Check the Run as Administrator box.

Each time you start Access, you will need to click the Continue button in the User Account Control warning dialog.

For Access 2007, you can use a normal shortcut, i.e. Run As Administrator is not needed for this version.

Note: after you make this change, you may need to switch to another version and switch back before Access will register the correct library.

Solution 2: The above procedure may solve this issue.

Creating Ecofigs or MCR exports and diagrams

Problem: When attempting to create Ecofigs or MCR diagrams, BugsCEP freezes whilst "Calculating...". (In theory, this problem will only affect systems with newer versions of Office installed).
Explanation: In its continued attack on palaeoentomology, Microsoft has yet again killed parts of BugsCEP with an Office security update. It appears only to have affected one specific, routine where Excel is used to create outputs. There may be a hidden error message behind the BugsCEP windows which can be found by switching to Excel using the task manager
The solution is unfortunately technical, as Microsoft no-longer supports any version of Office prior to version 2007 and are thus not interested in offering an easy solution to this problem.
I have thus far only tested this on two machines, both running Windows 7 x64.

For experts:
Delete the file "%temp%\vbe\MSForms.exd"
Note that there could be other .exd files and locations in other temp subfolders that need deleting should this not work. See the links below for more information.

For brave individuals who do not have an expert to hand:

  1. Close BugsCEP, Excel and Access.
  2. Using Windows Explorer, navigate to the temp folder for your user (e.g. C:\Users\Phil\AppData\Local\Temp, but entering "%temp%" without quotes in the address bar will get you there)
  3. Search the temp folder for "*.exd"
  4. Delete the file "MSForms.exd" from the "VBE" subfolder
  5. Restart BugsCEP and try to create an Ecofig. If this works then you are home and dry!

A discussion of this issue, its cause and potential resolution can be found here and here.

Problem: Ecofig creation: Under unknown circumstances BugsCEP will choose an x-axis scale which does not show the full horizontal span of at least one habitat type.
Explanation: The EcoFig generation system can be set to scale bar charts so that the horizontal axis is the same for all charts, with the maximum value allowing the largest bar on any chart to be fully shown. For some reason, this has stopped working properly, occasionally. Most likely this is caused by some mystical Office update which has had an unpredictable effect on BugsCEP's code.
Solution: Please check all diagrams carefully and rescale axes as appropriate.

Importing Excel files

Problem: Import of Excel files might not work correctly on some computers. It seems to have trouble with anything beginning with "A", for some reason, and matches them to incorrect species. It may also crash when replacing species names from the master list, and the function to save recurring synonym replacements for future use no longer does so (although this does not really affect import).
Explanation: The import routine allows you to map your species names to those stored in Bugs, but mysterious changes in Windows or Office have stopped this working properly.
Solution: As yet we have no workaround for this problem, please try on an older computer, or send the files to us for import and we'll return Bugs-formatted versions to you.

Problem: Due to the taxonomic revision of a few species in the latest versions, import of files exported with an older version of BugsCEP might not work correctly.
Explanation: Basically a few taxa have been given new taxonomic codes (i.e. moved to another position in the taxonomic order), and when BugsCEP imports files it does not check names against codes and these taxa get lost.
Solution: To work around this problem, delete the CODE column from the file that you wish to import, thus forcing BugsCEP to match the names.
Future plans: Sorry, we don't have the time or money to fix this one in BugsCEP! We will make sure it doesn't happen in the next version.


Problem: Internet Explorer (7+) (on Vista?) only downloads a few KB when you click on the download links, and the downloaded file fragment is identified as a corrupt zip archive file.

  • Not sure why it does this, sometimes... probably a security measure "for your convenience" from Microsoft.
    To work around the problem either:
    1) Right click on the download link and choose "Copy shortcut", then paste the copies link into the Internet Explorer address bar (at the top of the window, where web addresses are shown), then press the Enter key. This should lead to a "File Download" message box which will allow you to save the complete zip file.
    2) Try another web browser (e.g. Firefox or Opera).


Problem: Bugs will not install - it ends up in a repeating loop of restarts and installation screens.

  • This occurs very rarely and we have no real idea why. Please contact Phil for instuctions on how to manually install BugsCEP.

Problem: The BugsCEP setup routine may restart certain Windows XP machines without warning - we have no idea why.

  • Installation functions otherwise, but please close any other programs before installing!

Problem: BugsCEP update overwrites any alterations made by user in previous version.

  • Sorry, but no merging update is available yet, although this functionality will be provided by SEAD. Please export your countsheets before upgrading, and then reimport them. Better export and import routines will be created in the future, and downloads of just the program part will be provided to preserve data when updating.

General operation

Problem: BugsCEP crashes or gives an error message whilst producing MCR graphs - leaving a single yet colourful bargraph rather than TMax and TMin diagrams.

  • Make sure that all sample names begin with a letter and not a number. This should solve the problem.

Problem: "The expression ... Object or class does not support thie set of events" (or similar).

  • These errors are usually caused by conflicts between multiple versions of MS Access competing to run BugsCEP. The solution varies, and is invariably technical (involving temporarily renaming the latest version of MSACC.OLB). Please contact us for help in resolving this problem for your system.

Problem: "Error 3027: Cannot update. Database or object is read-only" (or similar).

  • If BugsCEP crashes it can leave so called "locking files" behind which prevent you from saving data when BugsCEP is openned next time. The files will be called BugsCEP.ldb and/or bugsdata.ldb, and be very small 0KB - which distinguishes them from the much lager database files (>19MB). Close BugsCEP if it is open and delete these locking files (called "Microsoft Office Access Record-Locking Information" in some versions of Windows/Office).

Problem: After clicking a button or choosing an option from a menu, BugsCEP no longer responds, but no error message is shown.

  • Sometimes pop-up windows are opened at the edge of or even beyond the edge of the visible area of the screen(!). Try pressing Alt+[space]+x which should force the troublesome window to cover the entire screen, then continue as if nothing had gone wrong.

Problem: On some systems, the [Find Next] button does not work when searching the bibliography.

  • At the moment we have no explanation or solution for this problem! It seems to be dependent on something in some Windows installations that we cannot track down...

Problem: On versions downloaded before 6th December 2006, the version numbers displayed on the 'About BugsCEP' screen and in exports was wrong.

Problem: The message "Please close Excel before running the ... routine" is displayed when I try to use BugsMCR or BugStats, but Excel is not open.

  • Either (a) you do not have Excel installed, and cannot run the routines, or (b) Excel has not closed properly and is running in the background. If the latter is true then use the Task Manager to end the Excel process and try again.

Problem: Attempting to delete more than one sample at a time in the Countsheet Editor may cause a crash.

  • To work around this, delete one sample at a time, applying changes between deletions.

Results & Exports

Problem: When creating Ecofigs using Bugstats the following warning may pop up several times: "The file you are trying to open... different format than specified by the file extension...". It isn't, Excel is lying, so just click [Yes] to continue every time.

  • This is due to conflicts between different versions of Excel. BugsCEP uses the standard 97-2003 format rather than the newer ones. As yet, this is not a serious problem and should not affect results.

Problem: Using the "To species id's only" option for EcoFig creation leads to incorrect results/sample names under certain circumstances. The problem occurs where a sample only contains low resolution species (i.e. sp./spp./indet.).

  • This is most likely a result of the following:

Problem: Ecofig diagrams include a series of samples called "0" at the bottom, and results (bars) are assigned incorrectly in the diagram.

  • This problem occurs when Bugstats encounters samples with no taxa (i.e. empty samples). Use the samples manager to delete these samples and create the figure again.

Problem: Vertical axes on MCR diagrams are usually different.

  • Sorry, can't do everything. Please rescale them manually.

Problem: Where ln(n+1) transformation is used the SumRep values in EcoFig outputs are incorrect, and hence the '% sumrep' calculations are incorrect when used with this option.

  • We're ignoring this problem, please use Excel after export if you wish to correct the sums after using this function.

Please contact us at the address below if you encounter any other problems.

Data queries: paul.buckland (at) bugscep.com

All other queries and help: phil.buckland (at) umu.se

Last edited: November 18, 2016