MLS 12.41.24 Update

UPDATE:  Several people contacted us about the update not printing.  The issue is in the Settings on each computer, and can be immediately corrected by the user:

   1). Go to Tools -> Setup -> Invoice and select the printer you wish the Estimates / Invoices / Counter Sales to be directed to.  This is set individually on EACH computer.  This makes it easy to use a network printer from all machines, etc.

   2). Go to Tools -> Setup -> Worksheets and select the printer you wish to use for Technicians Worksheet.  This can be a different printer than the one you use for Invoices.  Again, you could select a network printer if it is seen from your computer.

This allows a convenient system where anyone could print invoices to one central printer, and yet direct worksheets to a single network printer, perhaps one tht the techs will have in the bays.

Most shops did not have any problem because these  features have been in since the initial release of MLS 12 ( ASW 12 ), but if they were not selected, then the system would use a default printer.  This led to some issues with printer drivers, etc., not matching up and causing less than ideal printouts.  This was tightened up in the 12.41.24 update.




We have just posted the Version 12.41.24 update.  The primary focus of this release is the “lines per page” of the Invoice printout.

We know this has been tricky because of the way some printers were handling the output.  The code for printing the estimate / work sheet / invoice / counter sale is over 2000 lines long.  We went through every single line and optimized the code.  As a result, with some changes we implemented, we are now getting perfect output on our system with lines per page set at 59 ( Tools -> Setup -> Invoice ) and no top lines.  If you have added blank top lines, be sure to lower the lines per page by the same amount.

In our testing ( so far ) we are getting 100% of the text fitting on a full page.

Our other concern is that we had to use an “alternate” PDF system for sending invoices via email.  Every other report in our system uses a very fast one that is built into our Windows interface, but it is not happy with “something” in the Invoice code.  The alternate one works perfectly.  In our isolated test routine it does work, but that is only with a small amount of sample data.  

The alternate will work perfectly except sometimes ( on some computers ) it will not “load” and instead the routine tries to use Microsoft Word to create the PDF ( which would have to be open ).  This should not happen, but it does ( on some machines, infrequently ).  We made some more changes to hopefully stop the “failure to load” and hopefully it will work fine.  We are still combing through the code, line by line, to try and see what might be causing the problem with the internal PDF routine to not properly create this PDF document ( when it does fine with every other one in the system ).  Once we find the problem, we will fix it and post another update.

VERY IMPORTANT:  If you have any further problems with printouts not fitting correctly, DO NOT take a picture of the page.  Instead, from the View option for the printout, select the @ symbol and email the invoice to If you do not have email setup in ASW, then create a PDF using the Triangle symbol ( to the left of the @ button, it is the Adobe PDF button ), then attach it to an email.  PHOTOS DO NOT HELP because they distort the spacing and cannot be adequately evaluated.

Thank you.  BTW, if everything is working fine, an email to support would be helpful.

The Auto Updater is not Working

When the auto updater is not working on the server, you will see a message displayed when entering Auto Shop Writer.  Sadly people continually ignore this message, and thus will often encounter major issues.   Here is why it is very important to handle this alert immediately.

1). The Auto Updater is a “service” that runs in the background of your server.  It keeps your version of ASW current, backs up your ASW files ( including to our cloud server if you wish ), updates your key file ( which authorizes your use of the program ), uploads your data to 3rd party vendors you have chosen to use for services ( like CARFAX ), sends out follow up emails and texts automatically, and more.

2). If you use CARFAX data ( like VIN decoding, service histories, etc ), your agreement with them requires you to upload the labor descriptions to their services daily.  The auto updater does this, but if it’s not working, the CARFAX system will end up blocking your access to their service.

3). Many people are on monthly rental plans.  When your payment posts, the system automatically updates your key file, and it is then uploaded to our server.  The autoupdater downloads the key and updates the authorization on your computer.  There is ample “grace time” and the system works flawlessly.  However, if the updater is not running, your keyfile times out, and you cannot log into your program.  The alert when you start up the program gives you ample time to get this resolved ahead of time.

4). Our backup system has saved many people with system crashes, or who have become the victims of a virus or ransom ware.  When doing the initial setup, we suggest that direct the backup to an external backup drive, and then problems that arise on the main computer will not usually happen on that drive.  Also there is an option to send a copy to our cloud server.  It sits there untouched unless you have a failure and we need to use it to restore your system.  IF THE DESIGNATED DRIVE IS NOT PRESENT, the auto updater will error out.  Thus if you use an external drive, and unplug it, there will be an error.  Plug it back in, and restart the auto updater ( see below ).

5). If you use our automated follow up systems and reminders ( with email ), and the updater is not running, they will not be sent, and then you likely lose business.


How to restart the autoupdater:

This must be done on the Server.

1). On the main windows task bar, you will see a magnifying glass ( search ), or a box where you can type in a search.  Enter Services 

2) You will see a popup box and Services App will show.  Double click on it

3). Scroll down until you see MLS 12 updater

4)  On the left box you will see Start or Stop or Restart.  Select Restart if it is present,  Otherwise do Stop then Start, or if only Start is present, select that.  

5). Wait a few minutes, then go into ASW and under Tools, select Progress Log.  It should show you a series of events that just took place ( which are listed with date and time ).

6). Each time it starts with “Auto Cycle has begun” and ends with “Cycle Completed”.  The various tasks are listed between those two log entries.  If you do not see the completed line, you have a problem.  

IF THIS FAILS: then you need to get assistance right away.  It is most likely that something within your system setup is causing problems.  IT IS MOST LIKELY the result of using “malware protection” other than that built into Windows 10 or 11 ( ie. Norton, McAfee, etc ).  We do not work with any malware protection except the default ( and very good ) system built in to Windows  8, 10 and 11, so if you have something else installed we simply have no answers for how to get it to behave with our software.  

If you have an OS older than Windows 8, Microsoft no longer supports those products in any form.  It is too old, and should be updated.  

If you have any questions, please email and we’ll reply quickly.l