Troubleshooting STROBOSCOPE - EZStrobe

Troubleshooting the Installation of STROBOSCOPE

The most common reason for a "faulty" Stroboscope installation is that you did not install Stroboscope "as an Administrator". To remedy this, install Stroboscope again:

The Stroboscope GUI in Visio appears to hang.

Occasionally, when a user opens the Visio file for a Stroboscope model that was created by the Graphical User Interface (GUI), Visio shows the following Security Warning: "Macros [in this file] have been disabled".  

Even though Visio warns that the macros in this file have been disabled, however, the Stroboscope model in this Visio file still behaves correctly. For example, if the user ignores this warning and right-clicks the page and selects "Run Model" or "Build Stroboscope Source Code" the model runs correctly and produces output or creates a source file in Stroboscope as expected.

Problems start when the user decides to click the button "Enable Content" to dismiss the above Security Warning and enable the macros in this file. In that case, the Visio Security Warning is indeed dismissed. Moreover, this Security Warning no longer appears for this file, even if the file is closed and opened again (and even if the file is not saved to disk after clicking the button "Enable Content"). However, now the Visio file does not behave correctly.  For example, when the user right-clicks the page and selects "Run Model" or "Build Stroboscope Source Code", a small dialog box showing incomplete text (one or two characters) appears on the upper left corner (as if though Stroboscope is about to start) but nothing happens.  

One way to verify the nature of this problem is to close Visio completely and to rename the problematic Visio file by giving it a different filename that has never been used for a Visio file in the same folder.  The test is to open the renamed file in Visio and to check if it works correctly. If it does work correctly, then the problem lies with the hidden security settings that Visio has saved in the Windows registry for this file (which include the complete path and filename for this file). It is these hidden security settings in the Windows registry that make this Visio file fail when it tries to call Stroboscope through automation.

One way to correct this problem is to edit the following key in the Windows registry and delete the "Trust Record" entry for this file.
(Note that the long string "S-xxxxxxx" (where each "x" is a number) identifies "the current Windows user" and would be different for each user.:

After the "Trust Record" for this problematic Visio file is deleted in the registry, the file should behave correctly again.


In a related topic, it should be mentioned here that the following "conservative" Visio "Trust Options" are sufficient for automation with Stroboscope:

> File > Options > "Trust Center" > "Trust Center Settings" > "Macro Settings" > "Disable all macros except digitally signed macros"

The checkbox for "Trust access to the VBA project object model" does not need to be checked.

For Stroboscope Versions earlier than 5,22,1,15.

The Stroboscope GUI in Visio does not work (but EZStrobe works)

The Stroboscope GUI provides the necessary automation between Visio and Stroboscope (such as the multi-tab custom dialog boxes that appear when a Stroboscope node or link is right clicked in Visio).  Stroboscope versions earlier than 5,22,1,15, include only the Stroboscope GUI "StrGUI32.vsl", which is a custom 32-bit DLL for Visio written in C++ and installed with Stroboscope.  For these earlier versions of Stroboscope, you must use the 32-bit version of Visio. The 64-bit version of Visio does not work with the Stroboscope GUI because StrGUI32.vsl is a 32-bit dynamic link library (DLL)

Starting with Stroboscope version 5,22,1,15, the Stroboscope GUI is implemented in two separate Visio DLL's: the 32-bit "StrGUI32.vsl" and the 64-bit "StrGUI64.vsl" (both written in C++ and installed with Stroboscope). Thus, the Stroboscope GUI works with both the 32-bit and the 64-bit versions of Visio.

Installing Microsoft Office and Visio: 32-bit vs 64-bit

Because Visio is considered part of Microsoft Office, you cannot install the 32-bit version of Visio unless all other Microsoft Office programs that are already installed on the same computer (such as Word, Excel, etc.) are also the 32-bit versions.  

If you have already installed the 64-bit versions of Microsoft Office programs on your computer, you must uninstall the 64-bit Microsoft Office programs and install the 32-bit versions of all Microsoft Office programs (including Visio).  

It is a common misconception that if your computer is running the 64-bit version of Windows, you must also install the 64-bit version of Microsoft Office (and Visio). That is incorrect. Like Stroboscope (which is a 32-bit program), the 32-bit versions of all Microsoft Office programs work fine under the 64-bit version of Windows.

There is no advantage to the 64-bit versions of Microsoft Office programs (vs. the 32-bit versions) other than the ability to open files that are greater than 2GB each. Very few people work with massive Microsoft Office files that are so large. The disadvantage of the 64-bit versions of Microsoft Office programs is that they are not compatible with 32-bit add-ons (such as StrGUI32.vsl and several addons for Excel). 

EZStrobe does not work

The most common evidence of a "faulty" Stroboscope installation is that EZStrobe does not seem to work. For example, when you right-click the drawing page in Visio and when you select an action such as "Run Simulation" nothing happens.

The cause of this problem is the same as above: You must install Stroboscope as an "Administrator".

EZStrobe does not work --- Multiple user accounts

Sometimes, Stroboscope is installed using one user account, and then another user logs into Windows with a different user account and tries to run EZStrobe and fails. The reason for this is that each user has their own "Visio settings", and the appropriate "Visio settings" for the second user account have not been set up, yet.

There are two ways to correct this (other than reinstalling Stroboscope with the second user account).

Method 1 (automated):

From the Windows Start menu:

Find "Stroboscope"

     and then find "Register Stroboscope with Visio" in the Start menu.

Right-click the menu item

    "Register Stroboscope with Visio"

and select

    "Run as Administrator."

    (If right-click does not show the option "Run as Administrator", then select

     "More" > "Open file location"

Right-click the batch file 


and select

    "Run as Administrator."

Method 2 (manual):

Go to

    Menu: Stroboscope > Installation

Read all the text and follow the manual instructions at the end of the page about how to set up Visio manually (for the current user account) to work with Stroboscope.

Either of the above methods should solve the problem.

Stroboscope, EZStrobe, ProbSched, Vitascope and Vitascope++ are based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants No. 9733267, No. 0113890, and No. 0732560. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.