Checklist for Network Setup of GoAntiquing!

The checklist below will help you to setup your network for a multi-register retail store-front for use with GoAntiquing!.

The quick summary of what you will be doing below is easy to state: You will setup your network with a shared folder on the "Main" computer. This folder will contain the GoAntiquing! database. You will install the software to all computers, and you will connect each computer to the database manually, then you will get activation codes for all the computers. Naturally this summary implies some details, but again, the checklist here should help you get the installation completed and working.

Some important notes about PC's and performance:
  • We recommend you choose the fastest PC's you can afford and that for general rule of thumb an Intel Core i5 processor running at 3.0 Ghz will be a mid-range PC.
  • If you can afford to buy faster PC's, then PC's such as those with an Intel Core i7 or better at 3.0Ghz or faster will give you a better experience
  • Each PC should have double the minimum memory requirement for the operating system.
  • All PC's should be similar in CPU speed.
  • All PC's should be running at 1Gb (gigabit) Ethernet (WiFi NOT allowed!)
  • The Main PC should have a very fast hard disk, today it is not uncommon to find high end equipment readily available, so consider an SSD (solid state disk) or RAID1 (two disks acting as one).
It is important to realize that GoAntiquing! utilizes a database that is considered to be "file shared", and each PC always has to know how each other PC currently has data locally "cached" and what has modified, etc., this creates a "chatty" scenario where all PC's are constantly checking with each other about data status. This means that the network must be very fast and each PC must have a CPU that is comparable in speed with all the others so that no one PC is stuck "waiting" for the slow-poke of the group to report what it is doing.

Please do not buy 1 fast PC and the rest bargain basement entry level "turtles". You will regret it. It's like a relay race, where the fast PC is Usain Bolt, and the other PC's are basically average people you round up at Walmart, you will lose the race because no matter how fast Usain Bolt is, it is the slowest of the group that will set the pace for everyone.

"Stand-By", "Hibernate", "Sleep" and "Low-Power" Mode Notes:

You must ensure that all computers that connect to the database on your network or the database host computer cannot go to "Sleep" or enter "Stand-By" mode, or "Hibernate" while connected to your GoAntiquing! database. You must also ensure that the network connection you use for each computer is setup to NOT be allowed to go into "Low Power" or "Stand-By" or "Sleep" mode, or be allowed to "Conserve Power". If you do NOT do this, then without a doubt, you will experience data loss and data corruption. Newer versions of Windows also have advanced power settings that should be set, such as use power profile "High Performance" and in "Advanced settings" disallow the hard disk from turning off by setting that to 0, find the section for "Power buttons and lid" and set "Do nothing" as the action for "Sleep button" and "Lid close".

Here is a list of settings to change. Note these steps are documented as of Windows 10, depending on your version of Windows these options might be in a different location.
  • In Control Panel open "Power Settings":
    • Change power profile to High Performance
    • Click on "Change Plan Settings"
    • Click on "Change Advanced Power Settings"
    • Click/expand "Hard disk / Turn off hard disk after / Setting (minute)" and change setting to 0.
    • Click/expand "USB settings / USB selective suspend setting" and change setting to Disabled.
    • Click/expand "Power buttons and lid / Power button action" and change setting to Do Nothing.
    • Click/expand "Power buttons and lid / Sleep button action" and change setting to Do Nothing.
    • Click/expand "Power buttons and lid / Lid close action" and change setting to Do Nothing (this setting only visible if a laptop).
  • In Control Panel open "Network and Sharing Center":
    • Click "Change adapter settings"
    • Disable all network connections except the one Ethernet connection you will use
    • Right-Click on the remaining Ethernet connection and select Properties
    • In the listing of available protocols uncheck "Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)", then click OK
    • Right-Click on the Ethernet connection again and select Properties
    • Click the button labeled Configure
    • On the popup, if there is a tab labeled "Power Management" open it, other wise close popup
    • On "Power Management" tab, uncheck all boxes then click OK
    • On "Advanced" tab, find the "Property" list and scroll through options:
      • If you see an entry "Energy Efficient Ethernet" change the value to "Off".
      • If you see an entry "Speed & Duplex" change the value to "1.0 Gbps Full Duplex".

"Misc Services" Notes:

Some "services" that run on Windows can cause issues. This section covers the 2 most common areas to look into.
  • In Control Panel open "Administrative Tools / Services":
    • Disable "WLAN AutoConfig"
      • Scroll down to "WLAN AutoConfig"
      • Right-click on it and select "Properties"
      • On the "General" tab, click the STOP button
      • On the "General" tab, click "Startup type" and change to "Disabled"
      • Click the "Apply" button and then "OK"

    • Set recovery mode for "Print Spooler"
      • Scroll down to "Print Spooler"
      • Right-click on it and select "Properties"
      • On the "Recovery" tab, click the dropdown for "Subsequent failures"
      • Select option "Restart the service"
      • Click the "Apply" button and then "OK"

Public vs. Private Networking, Firewalls, and Anti-Virus Notes:

Many computers today come with Firewall software pre-installed, typically a new PC will be configured as "Public", but for a small network we want the PC's to operate under "Private" network rules where it comes to how they interact with each other and the outside world.
  • To make your network Private, click the Windows start button and click the Settings icon.
  • Click "Network & Internet" box
  • Click the "Ethernet" choice on left
  • If your PC has the option "Make this PC discoverable" slide the setting to the ON position
  • If your PC has the option "Public" and "Private" select "Private"
  • If your PC is missing those options, you will need to run a PowerShell script...
    • Press the "Windows" button and the X key, which opens a menu.
    • Select option "Windows Power Shell (Admin)".
    • If prompted to allow program to "make changes", click Yes.
    • At PowerShell prompt "PS C:\WINDOWS\system32>" (usually), enter these two commands (in blue):
      • Get-NetConnectionProfile    (press Enter)
      • Note the value for "InterfaceIndex".
      • Set-NetConnectionProfile -InterfaceIndex <value from above> -NetworkCategory Private    (press Enter)
      • Exit PowerShell
  • Let's also take this opportunity to stop Windows 10 updates from being downloaded so frequently.
  • Under "Metered connection" slide "Set as metered connection" to the ON position (note: this is also listed below under "Disable Windows 10 Updates" section).

Usually a firewall will not block GoAntiquing! and it's ability to access the internet, but to make sure, the best way to do this is to ask someone who knows how to configure the firewall to setup an "exception" or "exclusion" for "GoAntiquingPOS.exe".

We also recommend that any anti-virus software be setup to exclude the GoAntiquing! application and Data folder from being scanned or otherwise monitored by the software. Although this is more of a performance setting, it can also affect operation, as main anti-virus software programs can see some of GoAntiquing!'s normal function as threatening as it creates/opens/modifies/closed/deletes many temporary files as part of normal operations.

Also, be aware that as anti-virus tools (such as Norton, McAfee, BitDefender, Avast, etc.) evolve to handle new threats the supplier, these tools often add new capabilities that might need to be revisited to check for settings that may need to be tweaked to allow GoAntiquing to operate without restraint. One comes to mind specifically, Norton 360 added "Data Manager" in 2020 which specifically can interfere with updating the program.

GoAntiquing! itself has no such viruses and contains a digital signature that means you know that it came from Brave New Software and is certified safe.

'Homegroup' Networking Notes:

With Windows 7 (and carried into Windows 8 and 10) Microsoft introduced a default networking protocol called 'Homegroup'. We recommend that you disable 'Homegroup' networking and revert to classic networking. To do so, you must find the 'Advanced sharing settings' for your network. This is located under Control Panel / Networking and Sharing Center. The option settings that are important are 'Turn on network discovery', 'Turn on file and printer sharing', 'Turn on password protected sharing', and 'Use user accounts and passwords to connect to other computers'. All of these options should be the selected choice. You will likely need to restart all computers on the network after making these changes.

NOTE: Recent updates for Windows 10 have removed Homegroup completely.

'Permissions' Notes:

With Windows Vista, and carried and into Windows 7/8/10 Microsoft introduced a higher level of protection called User Account Control. Generally speaking this is a good thing. GoAntiquing! will disable it at installation time, force a restart, then re-enable it, and force another restart after installation completes. However, there are times when you must override Windows permissions and force GoAntiquing! to run under elevated permissions called "Administrator Mode". You will know this needs to happen if when opening GoAntiquing! an error related to updating the "registry" is shown. To force elevated permissions you must locate the shortcut that runs GoAntiquing! and open up the properties of it, and set the "Run as administrator" checkbox, then whenever GoAntiquing! is run it will ask for permission to make changes (which it must be allowed to do).

Disable Windows 10 Updates:

With Windows 10, Microsoft decided to make updates compulsory. In past versions of Windows the ability to control when or even if, updates were checked for, downloaded, and installed were in your control. With Windows 10 they have removed this ability. The thought of the geniuses at Microsoft is that they only want to support the latest version of their operating system. This is understandable, but the problem is the side-effects that we as users then suffer.

The worst side-effects are the sheer size of the downloads for these updates. They are immense, and can be on the order of several gigabytes of data. That sort of download can choke your internet connection. The next side-effect is that they automatically and silently begin the installation of these updates. That is when the worst side-effect appears, which is that the installation of the updates is not completed until the system is restarted. In that period of time between when the updates start and you restart your PC is when instability occurs. Certain aspects of the Windows operating system are stopped, these are services that GoAntiquing! depends to be operational. BTW, this can all occur right while you are in the middle of a busy Saturday.

The good news is that there is now a back door to disable most Windows updates. You have to configure your internet connection (Network adapter technically) to be considered to be on a pay-per-megabyte or metered plan. Basically we lie to Microsoft because by setting the connection as metered we disable the updates.

Here's how to disable most Windows 10 updates:
  • Click the Windows Start button
  • Click the Settings icon
  • Click "Devices"
  • Check the box "Download over metered connection" - we do this so new things (such as printers) you plug into the PC are recognized
  • Click the Home icon
  • Click "Network & Internet"
  • Click Ethernet (remember WiFi NOT to be used)
  • Click the network connection such as "Ethernet Network 2"
  • Under "Metered connection" section slide "Set as metered connection" to the ON position
  • Close Settngs
  • You may see some prompts pop up, such as OneDrive might ask you to "Sync Anyways" (allow that), or your anti-virus program might alert you that it is also on a limited connection (there are ways to solve that too)

Get a full install of GoAntiquing! from the download support page. This has been tested on Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10, as well as a Windows Embedded POSReady7 and Windows Embedded 8.1 Professional.

Copy the install to a removable memory stick device or place it on a shared network location, or you can just download it to each computer individually from the link above.

Install the software to the computer that will be designated the MAIN computer. The software must be installed by an "Windows administrator" login.

Create a folder on the MAIN computer, perhaps "C:\GAData" and copy your shop database to that location.

Note: if you have previously been configuring the software on another computer you will copy the file of type MDB, which should have a name like your shop name, from "C:\Data Files\GoAntiquing! POS" to this "C:\GAData" folder. You will also want to copy the "Settlement" folder if it exists. A deeper discussion of this can be found on the FAQ located here.

Now share that folder on the network. You must NOT be using "simple file sharing" on ANY of the computers. Set the share so "Everyone" has "Full Control" access - this is located under the Permissions tab of Sharing Properties for the folder. If you do not know how to setup file sharing please consult a technical person.
A few notes:
  • Do not create more than 1 share on the Main PC for the same folder, as this can cause errors!
  • Do not try and take the shortcut of using the "public sharing" features.
  • You might find it necessary to set the security permissions for the shared folder (not for the share, but for the folder itself) to allow the "Everyone" user full access.
  • If you are using blank passwords for any user, you must either set the password, or you would have to set a local security policy (Group Policy Editor) to allow blank passwords

Create a user on the "MAIN" computer with a simple password. Typically when support does this a user "dbconnect" is created with the password "dbconnect". Each remote PC then will potentially have to connect to the "MAIN" computer using that user name and password.

To create this user from elevated permission command line, use these commands:

net user dbconnect dbconnect /add /y
wmic useraccount where "name='dbconnect'" set passwordexpires=false
wmic useraccount where "name='dbconnect'" set passwordchangeable=false

This is optional, but it might make sense to create a batch file that is executed each time a remote PC starts up with two lines in it that force a network connection. In this example "mainpc" is a generic name and example for what the "MAIN" register might be named.

Here are the two lines for the batch file:

net use p: /d
net use p: "\\mainpc\gadata" /persistent:yes /user:dbconnect dbconnect

These two lines will create a network drive P: and connect to it using the credentials for user "dbconnect". Then you will open the database via the P: drive when browing for the database via "File / Open Database". Note: it is not necessary to use a mapped drive, but it might be convenient to do so.

NOTE: If you do this, the batch file must be placed into the 'Startup' folder for the special 'All Users' entry, folder is here:

Windows 10: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
Windows 8: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp
Windows 7: C:\Users\All Users\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
Windows Vista: C:\Users\All Users\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

Everyone will access the database by opening the database from the shared folder using File / Open Database. This means every computer needs to know the "name" of the "Main" computer. So please be sure and locate the "Main" computer name - this can be found under Control Panel / System. Please note, all computers on the network should have a different 'Name'. The name setting is found under Control Panel / System / Computer Name.

You should now complete the installation of the software to each computer that will function as a cash register.

On the MAIN computer, run GoAntiquing! and use the "File / Open Database" option. Browse to the shared folder location, such as C:\GAData and open your shop database. Select or type in the word "ADMIN" for the cashier to use and click the Login button.

You will then be waiting at the Activation Screen and will need to send the hardware key info and the Registered Shop Name to our Support email address. We will then provide an activation code.

If you have any additional setup tasks to do, such as creating Dealers, Cashiers, etc., this is the right time to do so.

On each of the cash registers open GoAntiquing! and and use the "File / Open Database" menu option. Browse to the shared folder on the "Main" computer using the Network or Network Neighborhood option on the Open Database window, or via the P: mapped drive concept. Select or type in the word "ADMIN" for the cashier, or another Admin level cashier name, and click the Login button.

You will then be waiting at the Activation Screen for each cash register and will need to supply Support with the "Hardware Key Info" and the the Shop Name. We will then provide an activation code.

You will then need to use the Manage Cash Registers tool to confirm the settings for each register.

Assuming all settings completed and you have tested your POS environment you are ready to make/take sales.

Above all, be sure and ALWAYS backup your data. Check the settings in GoAntiquing! under "Settings / General Settings / Close Out", ALWAYS execute a Close Out EVERY DAY and ensure you are using the Backup option when you Close Out. If you are interested in a on-line data backup solution, consider the integrated GoAntiquing! Data Backup service that costs $10/month.