This document is intended to help you in the situation where Paratext has been installed and is working correctly when all of a sudden it refuses to start or crashes every time you try to do some important operation. Possible responses are listed in this document starting with the easiest/safest and continuing on to the most desperate/dangerous. First of all, if the problem has just begun, try shutting down and restarting the computer. If it is still happening, continue with these steps. If you can get Paratext to start and stay open for a while, you could go ahead and submit a problem report (Help > Report a problem). Maybe the Paratext help staff or the developers have an idea what might be causing your problem. For a video tutorial of the reset and the deleting applications folder, see below
Paratext remembers a lot of choices you have made when restarting. Sadly sometimes there could be a bug that causes these remembered choices to crash Paratext. Ruling out this possibility should be your first response whenever Paratext starts to act strangely in situations where you never had trouble before. To reset Paratext to forget your previous choices:
Hold down the shift key and KEEP holding it down until step 3 below
Right click on the Paratext icon and select the “Open” command
When the dialog comes up asking you if you want to reset Paratext release the shift key and then click OK. If you have previously used Windows > Save Text Combinations to save your windows layouts, it is easy to reopen these windows. If resetting fixes your problem, observe Paratext carefully and see if you can figure out what action (if any) causes the problem to happen again. If you discover this action please report it to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can fix Paratext.
Delete local application data folder
Windows maintains a folder of settings files for your applications inside the "Appdata" folder. When data inside the Paratext application folder gets corrupted, Paratext may not start, or crash as soon as you start it. You may need to delete the “United_Bible_Societies” folder inside the application data tree, and then when you start Paratext it will recreate these settings files. Step by step:
1) Go to C:\users\username\AppData\Local, where username means your Windows login name. (If you have Windows XP, go to C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data. In the Linux version, the path is Home/.local/share. Click ctrl-h to see hidden folders like .local)
2) Delete the United_Bible_Societies folder, with all its contents.
3. Start Paratext.
To see these folders, you must have “Show hidden files and folders” set in Windows Explorer, or else when you get to C:\users\username, click in the address bar, and type in \appdata, then press Enter. When you delete this settings folder, Paratext will start as though it had never been run before, it will ask what language to use, and it will not remember the windows you last had open. But all installed projects should be present, and all your Saved Text combinations in the Windows menu should be present. When this folder is deleted, Paratext will recreate it.
Error message about missing XUL.DLL
While most people have not had problems with Paratext on Windows 10, a few people have seen a problem where Paratext will not start because it says it cannot load the XUL.DLL file. This error results when Windows does not have a complete installation of the Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 x86 Redistributable package. If this is your situation, try one of the following solutions.
1) Download the latest "Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 x86 Redistributable" from Microsoft. Link to page. Then install it.
2) Uninstall the Microsoft C++ runtime package from Control Panel > Programs, then run the file vcredist_x86.exe found in your Paratext 7 programs folder (c:\Program Files\Paratext 7 or c:\Program Files (x86)\Paratext 7).
Check your antivirus software
Sometimes antivirus software may remove Paratext.exe or some file it needs to run thinking it contains a virus. Most antivirus programs maintain a log showing the history of problems they have detected and actions they have taken. Often, the Paratext program or other file is not yet permanently deleted, but is somehow hidden by the antivirus software. Programs may call this quarantining the file, or putting it in the vault -- if you can see a list of such files, you may be able to restore the missing file so that Paratext will start working again. See the Temporarily Remove Protection section below for a more thorough way to check if your computer protection might be overly protective.
Log on as a different user
Because of the way Windows handles permissions about who is allowed to access what files it can make a critical difference what user ID you use to log on. If you have more than one user ID on a machine try them all and see if some work and some don't. It is quite possible that Paratext might work for user ID with administrative privileges and not work for an ID without user administrative privileges. If you discover that Paratext only works for some user IDs ask your computer support person to help you adjust access privileges to allow Paratext to work for all user logons.
Reinstall the released version of Paratext
This is available here: http://www.paratext.org/download/pt/74
Download the Paratext installation package and follow the installation instructions.
Run a virus and spyware check on your computer
Remove any viruses found.
Update Internet Explorer
Paratext uses the display engine that comes with Internet Explorer. Your Internet Explorer version should be relatively current, at least version 7. If you have version 6 or earlier, you should probably update Internet Explorer. Click on the blue question mark icon in the Internet Explorer menu bar and then “About Internet Explorer” to see what version you have. You can probably update it in Windows Updates, or search for Internet Explorer download.
Check your hardware
Ask a computer repair person to run a complete set of diagnostics on your machine. It would be particularly important to run a memory check for an extended period of time and to make sure that all your fans are working so that you are not experiencing overheating problems.
See if your data is causing the problem
Move all your .ssf files from My Paratext Projects to a temporary directory
Reinstall Paratext supplied .ssf files by double clicking “Ptw71Upgrade-7.1.104.pud (from the Reinstall Paratext step above)
Restart Paratext. If your problem has disappeared, start moving .ssf files back a few at a time until you discover which project is causing problem
Restore all .ssf files to My Paratext Project directory From here down you probably need to be a computer support person to safely proceed
Suspect anything “odd” about your installation
Paratext really has only been tested with My Paratext Projects installed on a local drive. If you decide to install it on a shared network drive, especially one hosted under Linux, you are on your own.
Temporarily turn off all “protection”
Sometimes anti-virus and anti-spyware programs can become overly aggressive and shut Paratext down. In order to determine if this has happened to the following:
Disconnect your computer from Internet, e.g. remove network cable
Turn off (you may need to consult with an IT person to do this)
If this makes Paratext work, re-enable the protective programs one at a time until you discover which one is stopping Paratext from working. Ask your IT person how to configure the protection in a way that does not shut down Paratext One thing you should particularly guard against is having two different anti-virus packages installed and enabled at the same time. This can totally disable Paratext as the two anti-virus packages fight with each other.
Go to an earlier System Restore Point
Windows can be configured to save backups of your system in a way that allows you to go back to earlier working configurations. Hopefully your system is already configured to do this. If not you should definitely ask your computer support person how to do this. In order to go back to an earlier and hopefully working configuration do the following:
Go to All programs > Accessories > System Tools > System restore. In Vista or Windows 7, you may be to do this by typing “restore” in the “search for programs and files” box, then selecting “System Restore”.
Select “Restore my computer to an earlier time”
Select the date point you want to restore. Click “Next” to confirm, and Windows will do the restore to the specified date. For additional information:
Do a comprehensive reinstall of Paratext
Do a comprehensive reinstall (altho I am guessing the chance that this will succeed if the limited reinstall above failed is not very great)
Use system control panel to uninstall Paratext
Manually remove the Program Files/Paratext 7 directory
Using Regedit remove the registry entry and all its subkeys
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ScrChecks (for 32 bit systems)
“HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\ScrChecks” (for 64 bit systems)
Manually remove all directories in the directory c:\Users\\AppData\Local\United_Bible_Societies\Paratext.exe_Url_ (Windows Vista/7) or C:\Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Application Data\United_Bible_Societies\Paratext.exe_Url_ (Windows XP)
Follow the instruction here to do a clean install of Paratext
Make sure you specify the same drive for My Paratext Projects as you are currently using or it will appear as if all your project data is gone
Paratext uses a software framework by Microsoft called .NET. If this framework is corrupt or badly installed on your computer, reinstalling it may help Paratext work better.
Download and install .Net 4.5 from here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30653
Upgrade your Operating System
If you have an old version of Windows (earlier than 7), and your computer is suitable to be upgraded to Win7, 8 or 10, there is a some chance that whatever is stopping Paratext from running might be fixed by the upgrade.
I am sorry to say it might come down to desperate measures — especially if you have no local IT support help. A really good IT person can probably poke around on your computer for a while and figure out why it is all of a sudden not running Paratext anymore and help you avoid these measures. Reformat hard drive and reinstall OS. Paratext almost always installs easily on a clean install of Windows. This will also likely speed up your computer if it has been several user since you have done this. Clearly you will need expert help to do this and the opportunity for data loss is great. Buy a new computer. Maybe now is a good time. Once again Paratext very rarely fails to install and work on a new computer system.