OLI ScaleChem and Vista work-around

Error message received while running  OLI ScaleChem version 3.2.58

ScaleChem began its existence back in the 1980’s running on a Digital VAX computer.  It has greatly evolved since then to become the premier scale prediction tool in the upstream oil industry.  A common question has come up – “Does ScaleChem work on Microsoft Vista?”  The answer  is a generic yes but occasionally there are problems.

OLI is planning on upgrading the ScaleChem code to work on Vista and Windows 7 when it becomes available but for the moment we have a work-around for a particularly irritating error message.

Error Message:
The following error message “forrtl: severe (39): Error during read unit 37 file unknown” was returned while attempting to reconcile a brine running ScaleChem 3.2.58 under Vista.

Analysis:
Apparently some of the file dates are out of sync internally. When ScaleChem detects this conditions, it re-indexes the database to make all the files internally consistent. This re-indexed file is located in the C:\Program Files\OLI Systems\ScaleChem 3.2\Databanks folder.

On Windows XP this is usually not an issue since most users have write access to this folder. In Vista, however, most users have this folder write protected. When ScaleChem attempted to re-index a database in this folder it failed on Vista.

You can fix this problem by running ScaleChem as Administrator just a single time. Running as Administrator gives you write access to the folder and the database will be indexed. Follow these steps:

1. Right-Click the ScaleChem icon on the desktop in Vista or from the All Programs menu
2. Select “Run as Administrator”
3. Open your errant ScaleChem file
4. Re-reconcile the errant brine

The program should now work correctly. You can close ScaleChem and then start the program normally in non-administrator mode. The file has been indexed.

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