1. What is the
best way for me to get up and running?
FreePOS has thousands of
features and while you can set up everything
yourself, it will take some time.
A lot of people call us and schedule a
remote install. By letting us log into
your computer, your system can be up and
running in less than 1 hour in most cases.
Before we schedule an install time with you,
we'll ask that you fax over your seating
chart, menu, and employee list.
Then we'll help you get everything configured so that
all you need to do is some basic data entry
on your menu. We can even send a
tech out to your location if you wish.
2. If I install
FreePOS, will I have to call support often?
If FreePOS is
installed correctly onto battery backed
computers, it will be very reliable.
Expect to call during installation and
perhaps once a year for "hickups" due to
power, hardware, training, system changes,
Here is a list of popular calls we get and
3. I am not a
computer expert... can I install FreePOS myself?
setup, menu programming, macro scripts and
reliable backup storage are vital to the
long term success of FreePOS. If you need
assistance, we can log into your system
remotely and do the installation from
Virginia. Alternately, you can send us your
computers and we will install them for
you. We also sell complete systems that
are ready to plug in...
4. Can I use my
existing computer systems and just change the
If your computers are
1500MHz or better, feel free to. If you
are coming from a proprietary hardware
platform (like Micros) you should
re-purchase. You should purchase new
computers with XP Pro or Windows 7 Pro 32Bit
for best results. We still think
XP is best.
5. Which is
better: All in one POS station or a mini-tower
For looks, the all in
one POS station is the best. For
reliability, low cost of ownership and long
term satisfaction, a Dell Dimension or
similar is best.
We also offer the
T-Series All-In-One which can even be
6. Should I get an
LCD, CRT or integrated touch screen monitor?
If you purchase an LCD
monitor, expect crystal clear images and a
higher initial cost. Often backlights fail
after 1-2 years of operation.
If you purchase a CRT
monitor, expect a crystal clear image and a
low initial cost. But plan for more
counter space. CRTs are very resistant to
"hard screen touches"... LCDs are likely to
have "pixels" burn out where the screen is
touched most often.
If you purchase an
integrated touch screen monitor, then if the
display or the touch panel dies, you will
have to repurchase the entire monitor.
If you purchase a
regular monitor with a touch screen add-on
kit, you can replace ONLY the part that
fails. TOUCH SCREEN ADD ON KITS are the
best way to go unless their cosmetic
appearance is an issue.
7. Which is
better: Thermal receipt printer or Impact
Thermals are: fast
and require no ribbon.
Impacts are: slow and
require a ribbon.
Thermals are: not able
to print on carbon paper and their paper
will turn black around hot kitchen areas
(grills, ovens etc).
Impacts are: able to
print carbons and are not sensitive to heat.
IN A HOT KITCHEN,
IN A SALAD/SANDWICH
AREA, use thermal.
FOR RECEIPTS, use
FOR EASE OF LOADING,
RELIABILITY, use thermal.
EVERYWHERE SOLUTION", use impact.
The best solution
is usually a MIX of the two printers.
8. How should I back
Get a computer with a
CDRW drive. Copy the entire FREEPOS folder
to a CD each time you wish to backup.
During a backup, users MAY BE logged in
thanks to a unique data sharing system
implemented in FreePOS. Also
registered users may wish to implement the
BACKUPFP module which mirrors the server to
a hard disk periodically.
9. Can I edit my
credit card batches before I settle them?
Yes, simply use the
card software's back office program.
10. How long can
cables: 100 feet.
cables: 150 feet @ 9600bps
CAT5 network cables:
125 feet or less is best. Use 568B color
Wireless: Depends on
interference. 50 feet is usually best.
Video cables: 25 feet
* All figures shown
above are NOT the textbook answers. They
are the REAL WORLD numbers. Textbooks
often indicate longer distances are okay
when in fact random/weird problems occur
11. Is a "quick
service" mode available? I run a Fast-Food
restaurant and I want to bypass the seating
charts, table management etc.
Yes, FreePOS does
support quick service mode. When a
terminal is put into quick service mode, the
first thing the operator sees is the
ordering screen. When the order is SENT
to the kitchen, the "accept payment window"
appears and the receipt is automatically
generated. This is great for "rapid fire"
order entry. Quick serve terminals can be
mixed with table, bar, carryout and cashier
terminals if needed.
12. I want an entree
to print on 2 kitchen printers and the KDS at
the same time. How do I accomplish this?
You must register
FreePOS to get this feature. The
registered version includes a program called
MultiSpooler. It allows complex
printing/display tasks to be automated.
It also facilitates complex KDS chains often
used by the fast food industry.
13. Can I hire
Positive Feedback Software to come out to my
restaurant and do the installation for me?
Yes. However, it may
be more cost effective to just send us your
equipment. We can set everything up in
Virginia and UPS it back to you... usually
in less than a week. If you prefer, we
can arrive onsite. Expect a typical onsite
installation to cost $2,500 - $4,000
depending on the size of your system.
14. Which credit
card processor is best?
Software recommends using XCharge or a
standalone card processing machine.
15. Do you offer a
Support contracts are
available, but not really necessary unless
you have more than 10 POS stations and a
couple locations. Please call for rates.
Most of the time, you're better off buying
support by the minute.
16. What does
telephone support cost?
Registered users pay
users pay $120/hour. Billing is
in 5 minute intervals. One
hour pre-pay may be
required if an oustanding balance has not
paid in the past. Receive a 5% discount on 10
hour blocks that are pre-paid.
TELEPHONE SUPPORT IS NOT REFUNDABLE unless
the unused portion is greater than $60.00 or
unless you are not happy with our services
(please notify us immediately if you are not
pleased and we will do everything humanly
possible to make it right!!)
17. I haven't ever
used Paypal. Is it okay to send a check?
Sure... Please put
your order# on the check. Call us and
we'll get the order details in the computer
system and issue an order number. We also
accept Visa, Mastercard & Discover over the phone.
Because checks can take 5-10 business days
to process, we also accept wire transfers
and certified funds.
18. I purchased the
registered version of FreePOS and I would like
to add more terminals.
No problem... you will
simply pay $99.95/terminal for each
19. Can I return the
registered version of FreePOS for a refund?
Software/End User Registrations are not
refundable under ANY circumstances. We
will gladly replace defective media,
however, if a license code was issued, the
software is yours. We offer FreePOS at no
cost for evaluation, so please be sure you
like it before you spend your money.
20. Can I be added
to your mailing list ?
Yes. Please send an
email with your name & address to
features are missing... what should I do?
Download the latest
version of FreePOS from this website. Many
shareware sites will download older versions
22. What should
cabling for a POS system cost?
A spool of cable is
less than $100 for 1,000 feet. However,
the installation time is usually billed out
by the hour. In general, multiply the
number of terminals you need connected by
$200 and that is your approximate install
cost. If you are able, run the cable
yourself and have your contractor put the
connectors on for you. This can easily cut
the costs in half.
23. Where do I
Please do not
purchase ICVerify as we no longer offer
it to new installations.
24. Why is FreePOS
Simple. FreePOS is
building a user base by keeping entry level
product costs extremely low. When our user
base grows and expands, we know they will
buy our upgrade products. FreePOS is
becoming a huge force in the restaurant
automation industry because we are making
POS affordable. Other software vendors
don't like "mom 'n pop" restaurants. We
love them! Non-profits, Churches
and Charities NEVER HAVE TO PAY FOR OUR
25. Does FreePOS
support Japanese Steakhouse style seating
Yes. Templates are
free for registered users.
26. How much does
FreePOS cost compared to other POS solutions?
$30.00 per month.
Approximate cost for software per station
for a typical 4 station system. Prices
vary by reseller and geographic area. Prices
listed should be used as a reference only... and
are intended to be good faith estimates.
Larger system purchases will result in lower
software costs per terminal. All software is
not created equally... so be sure to get a demo
to evaluate before purchasing a point of sale
package. FreePOS is free to download and
evaluate. Also, be sure to ask how much
telephone support costs. Some POS companies
charge per incident and some charge per hour.
FreePOS is $60/hour for registered users and
$120/hour for unregistered users. Some POS
software manufacturers require you use
their credit card processor and/or their
hardware. This can add thousands of
dollars of extra cost over the life of the
product. Some POS software
companies require mandatory monthly support fees
to be paid (in effect you lease their software) FreePOS works with any Windows XP
hardware and any card processor... and there are
no monthly fees to use it.
FreePOS For 2+ Stations:
27. How is data
stored in FreePOS?
FreePOS uses a
distributed client -server database that
deploys by running "DBServer" on one machine
in your network. "DBServer"
was custom designed so that there would be no
license fees and zero administration. The
database server uses client processor time as
well as server processor time to remove the
slow downs associated with server-based SQL.
The database server also runs at the client
even when the server is down. This makes
"DB Server" much more reliable than any
database currently on the market. A
developer kit may be purchased separately by
companies that are licensed to rebrand
28. How do I query
data in FreePOS?
At end of day, there are
databases exported to Foxpro DBF format. Use
a software package like Crystal Reports, Excel
or a freeware to do your queries.
29. Why is there a
blue background window when I run FreePOS in
The blue background is a
desktop protector - it improves system
security by protecting the Windows XP desktop
from touch screen drivers that support Drag 'n
Drop operations. If your trons drag 'n drop
the seating chart window, it would be possible
to "see" the Windows XP desktop. The blue
desktop protector eliminates this worry.
FreePOS will only look "correct" in 800x600
mode. Other video modes are NOT
30. What is new in
V6 of FreePOS?
The V6 FreePOS
program is extremely close to the commercial
POS packages in terms of its capabilities.
It's the best POS program we've ever
released. Learn more by
30. How do I
install a USB printer?
To install a USB
printer, first determine which operating
system you are using. If it is
XP or lower, use winspool.exe
If it is Vista or higher, use vspool.exe
Winspool and Vspool do
the exact same thing, however, Vspool is
able to work with Vista's escalation and
Now complete these
- Install your
USB printer using the manufacturer's
provided driver. Epson
drivers are at
Most other printer drivers can be
downloaded from their respective
- Verify that
the printer can print a test page
- Share the
printer. You may pick
any name. We will assume
RP1 is Receipt Printer 1 and
KP1 is Kitchen Printer 1's shared
name for this example.
your computer's name.
Right click "My Computer" and select
"Properties" then click the
"Computer Name" tab. The
computer's name does not have a "."
(period) in it even though Windows
will show this. Computer
name's must not have spaces (ascii
32) or punctuation. We will
assume your computer's name is
STATION1 in this example.
- Make a
shortcut on your desktop to:
that UPPERlowercase letters DO
MATTER in the above shortcut.
If printing comes out double spaced,
If you are
using XP or below, the shortcut is
- The above
shortcut will take the print jobs
routed to REC1 in FreePOS and send
them to the printer share specified.
you may move the shortcut to the
STARTUP folder so that it
automatically loads upon boot up.
(Google "how to make a program
automatically start in Windows")
* WINSPOOL and
VSPOOL are part of the registered user
add-on module. When you
register, you'll receive the link for
31. What command do
I run to get my print spooler running?
If you want to use a
Windows, IP or Serial Printer the command is:
For the demo restaurant,
Or on station #2:
Or to get the KITCHEN
if you have Windows 2000, XPSP1 or SP2 and you
are using PSPOOLER.EXE
32. What command do
I run to get my software KDS system running?
Please keep in mind that
you should not have RECEIPTS go to a KDS
spooler. If you set KDS to bump to a
printer, be sure the printer is not backing up
to another KDS. Receipts sent to KDS will
NOT print or display.
For the demo restaurant,
If you have a
MicroPlus Hardware KDS, use this command:
33. What IP
addressing scheme should I use?
POS station #1 -
POS station #x -
Router - 192.168.1.1
(this will be your default gateway address)
DNS - obtain
automatically from your ISP
TCP/IP is the best
way to network POS terminals.
34. Can I test my
credit card system without transferring real
Yes, start the ICV
Multi-User requestor with the initialize
string of /dd. WE NO LONGER
SUPPORT ICVERIFY. DO NOT BUY IT!
Download the free
edition of CreditLine and take all the
defaults during installation. Batching
will be disabled but auths will affect
Support for X-Charge is
activated with a release file. Please call
Can I transfer my sales
history to the corporate office?
Yes, simply send
SALES.PIP to the corporate office using
FTP. This file is located in \FreePOS\Setup\
and is updated at End Of Day.
36. Can I put space
holders in my menu and category layout?
Use the name BLANK if
you wish to leave a space. Categories are
displayed top-to-bottom in column 1 then 2
then 3. The number displayed in the menu
editor is the location (i.e. 21 = column 2,
37. Can I set all my
POS station clocks to the same time
This must be done for
the time clock to work correctly.
Run this command on each
workstation at STARTUP.
38. Which is
better: Windows 7, Vista, XP Home Edition, XP Professional
or XP Media Center?
If you are installing a
POS terminal, XP Home or Professional edition will be fine.
Windows 7 also works great.
Vista is very buggy.
We do not recommend it.
If you are installing a
POS server, XP Home is limited to 4 user
connections whereas XP Professional provides
10 user connections. Windows 7 is
at least 10 user connections.
Media Center is generally NOT
recommended for POS.
39. Can I use a
Windows 2000 machine as a server?
Yes. Set the file
system to NTFS however.
40. Can I run
software KDS on a cheap-o Windows 98SE machine?
Yes. The spoolers and
KDS can be set up on Pentium II/400 or
better. Windows 98SE is not recommended but it
should be OK for now.
41. Which product
should I use to backup FreePOS?
Copy the FreePOS folder
to a CDRW drive. Tape backup is yesterday
technology and is only used in situations
where the total amount of data exceeds 4.7
gigabytes. A portable hard disk is
also an inexpensive and reliable solution.
FreePOS V6 also includes an automated LAN
42. Which is
better: Name brand computers or Clone
If you are a computer
guru, clones offer some benefits.
If you just want it to
work with the minimum effort, get a Dell.
43. How many Kitchen
Display Systems can be used? Can I make them
talk to each other?
KDS is unlimited... but
a practical limit is 100 screens (each of
which can handle 1,000 orders
simultaneously). Each POS station talks to
the KDS. Each KDS terminal can be
configured in "pass along" mode. In pass
along mode, the on screen orders follow the
plating assembly line. When each step in
the assembly line is completed, the line cook
hits "bump" and the order jumps to the next
44. Can FreePOS
handle a Quick Serve environment?
Yes. Fast food
environments are easily configured. We have
some of the largest fast food chains in the
country using FreePOS in "test sites".
FreePOS has gotten a lot of recognition from
the major chains lately.
45. How do I start a
bar tab with a credit card?
Touch a bar stool.
Enter the tab name.
Ring in the opening item
Now click PAY
Swipe/Manually enter the
Enter an amount of $1 --
or any amount less than the tab.
Click "Finish This
>> The card number will
be stored until the check is closed or until
you CLEAR the card. When you are ready to
finalize the tab, click NEW AMOUNT and enter
the amount to charge. After the signature
form prints, you may use the ADD TIP button to
46. Can FreePOS
reprint a credit card signature form?
Yes. Once the check is
FINALIZED however, a manager will use the
REOPEN CHECK function. Click MGR to get to
the REOPEN CHECK feature.
After the check is
re-opened, simply click PRINT on any of the
splits you wish to re-print. Follow the
prompts on screen... which default to "print
In V6 use the MGR button and click "Print
Credit Card Slip" for a fast result.
47. What is a
Multi-Spoolers are print
spoolers that send print/display jobs to
multiple destinations at the same time. Use
a multi-spooler when you wish an item to print
at one or more printers while at the same time
appearing on one or more KDS systems.
To run a multi-spooler,
you must register FreePOS.
48. Is there a way
to turn off the message "No kitchen printer
On version 4 or
higher: Go to
POS-CFG / Utilities / Custom Settings. Put a
check in the "Don't show NULL kitchen printer
In Version 1.x,
2.x & 3.x:
If you have not
specified a print location for your menu
items, FreePOS will notify you of this
potential problem. To change the
notification, simply create a file called
This feature is only available on the
49. How do you run a
sales report on sales done at the quick serve
Quick serve checks are
stored in locations 901 - 964 (depending on
terminal#). Therefore, just run a sales
report by location range: 901 - 964
Obviously, you cannot
have tables, carryout, delivery or bar stool
locations numbered in this range or the
reports will be inaccurate.
50. Can I change the
receipt or kitchen chit formats?
They can be changed,
however, we do not have a graphic editor for
the process. Therefore, if you want a new
format, please call/email and we'll help you
51. Can I use my old
serial interface printer?
You may. For full
featured support, register FreePOS and you
will receive our multitasking serial print
spooler (includes redirection). For basic
needs, you may use IPSpool - which is included
free with the download on this website. Up
to 6 serial printers may be driven from a
single POS terminal when you register.
For the most
professional installation, we recommend serial
printers. For the simplest installation
procedure, we recommend parallel printers.
52. Can I use my old
serial interface printer to trigger a cash
Yes. You must register
to get this feature.
53. How does FreePOS
support Microsoft Office?
You may run all back
office reports and import them to Microsoft
Office. Starting in v4.x you may edit your
menus in Excel. We recommend supporting Open
Office which is a FREEWARE clone of Microsoft
Office. You can
copy/paste any HTML report directly into
Excel for cell level editing.
54. Is there a way
to read an electronic scale?
Yes. Any NCI or A-Com
scale is supported over a serial interface.
55. Can FreePOS be
configured with custom prompts & button names?
56. Can FreePOS be
configured for wireless "take an order at the
Yes. Starting in V4,
many options are available. Please call for
57. How can I
quickly reorder a round?
The registered edition
of FreePOS has a reorder button..
58. I have a new
bartender. Can I have a "bar tender's guide'
pull up in order mode?
The registered edition
of FreePOS has a recipe button & a bar
59. How does
FreePOS compare to other commercial POS
systems... and tell the truth!!
FreePOS has very similar
capabilities. The major
difference between FreePOS and the big
systems is that FreePOS has less back office
reporting. If you are a Mom 'n
Pop restaurant, FreePOS is perfect.
If you are a small chain and don't require
massive reporting detail, FreePOS is
perfect. If you are a huge chain
and want to know how many times Pepperoni
was sold on a Small Pizza that also had
mushrooms, FreePOS is not for you.
60. When I add
tables to the system, they are RED... why?
You must go to POS-CFG
and select System Settings... and then
Regenerate Tables anytime you add or renumber
tables, stools or touch zone locations. Be
sure to close all checks before doing this on
a live system.
61. Does FreePOS
have the ability to accept orders from a Server
Side Web App?
Yes. You will need to
purchase the developer kit.
62. FreePOS is
perfect except I want to change a few cosmetic
things: button names, currency symbol, colors,
disable a couple features etc. How do I
The source code for
FreePOS is available. Licenses start at
$25,000. If you would like a few minor
changes made, please call for a quote.
Simple changes are usually easy to complete
for under $250.
63. How do I map
drive letter S:?
for Microsoft's answer.
for a tutorial.
REMEMBER you must run
BEFORE Freepos1.exe or Freepos2.exe can run.
If the database server isn't running, the POS
system cannot be started!
64. I don't have a
receipt printer. Can I get my desktop printer
to emulate one? I want to see the "roll
Step #1: Set a
printer to be the DEFAULT Windows Printer
Step #2: Run
Startup FreePOS Station #1. Everything that
would normally go to your receipt printer will
print on the DEFAULT Windows printer.
* Note: If you
wish to see what is printing in the kitchen,
change REC1.spl (above) to KIT.spl If you
want to see what is printing in the bar,
change REC1.spl to BAR.spl Similarly, if
you want to see what is printing on the
receipt printer connected to Station #2,
change REC1.spl to REC2.spl. Last, to view
delivery packing printer, change REC1.spl to
65. When I first go
into FreePOS, my seating chart screen has a
solid white background. Why does this happen?
(1) XP PROCESS
FOCUS: FreePOS is a network
application. When you run the database
server on the same machine as the POS
Workstation software, sometimes the graphics
routines loose focus to the database server.
To fix this, go into POS-CFG and select
UTILITIES and then CUSTOM SETTINGS. Change
the check mark next to "Bypass dbServer
Diagnostics". This will prevent the database
server from running a long process during boot
(2) VIDEO RAM
BUFFER SIZE: This problem has also
been linked to some video cards which do not
support large video buffers. If you have an
integrated video card (i.e. built into your
mainboard), change the RAM allocation to the
video card to 32MB.
(3) VIDEO DRIVER
PROBLEM: This problem has also been
linked to corrupted XP video drivers. If you
have tried the two suggestions above,
reinstall or roll-back your video driver.
How do I clear out all databases in
the system before I go live?
To clear out a
system's sales history, go to:
-> UTILITIES -> REGENERATE TABLES ->
ANSWER OK OR YES TO EACH QUESTION
OFFICE -> MAINTAINENCE -> "PASSWORD" ->
CLEAR FOR 1ST LIVE DAY
-> UTILITIES -> RESET FOREVER COUNTER
ALL .DTL FILES IN THE \FREEPOS\JOURNAL
5. IN THE
POS, CLICK MGR -> RESET USER/MGR
66. When I run
FreePOS from my stand alone computer, it
loads/runs quickly. On a file server however,
it runs slower. What should I do?
FreePOS should be able
to run extremely fast on a Windows XP
network. Unfortunately, many networks are
missing a Size Request Buffer value
in the LAN Manager Server configuration.
This results in slow POS performance on
workstations. It also causes slow network
performance in other applications.
To fix this:
go to the machine which is hosting the SYS
share (the share that S: is mapped to) and
perform these actions (backup first!):
1. On the "Server"
computer, start RegEdt32.exe
2. Navigate to:
3. On the EDIT menu,
create a new REG_DWORD value called (case
4. Set the SizReqBuf
value to 14596 DECIMAL (not Hexidecimal)
5. Reboot the server
computer IF USING WINDOWS 7,
BE SURE TO SET THE DB SERVER'S THROTTLE TO
250 OR LESS WHEN MAKING THIS CHANGE.
See Microsoft article
Q177266 for more technical information about
why this makes
the file server faster.
It should be noted that some users have
reported that this patch will not refresh if a
server computer drive mapping is in place.
If you make the patch and find it does not work,
first double check you have selected DECIMAL and
not HEXIDECIMAL then make sure you have SPELLED
the registry entry correctly. It is
CaSe sensitive. Finally, if you
still have troubles with the patch, disconnect
drive mappings on the file server and
67. How do I hook up
FreePOS on a network?
Run CATEGORY 5 ethernet
cable from each POS terminal to a 10/100
Run SERIAL CABLES or
PARALLEL CABLES from a POS terminal to each
When purchasing cable,
verify whether PLENUM COATING is required.
68. How do I make my
own Null Modem cable?
Although we recommend
prefabricated cables for best results, here is
the information for those of you who like to
solder ends onto CAT5:
Note that pins 2 & 3 are
the critical pins that "reverse to each
69. Can I use the
tablet functions with my touch screen?
Yes, but we recommend
you get a felt stylus (available at any office
store)... your image clarity will be much
better this way.
70. What is the
SET_CODE field for in POS-CFG?
These codes are used to
control station level settings. See the
manual for details.
71. What is the best
way to start accepting credit cards?
The credit card industry
is extremely dynamic at the moment.
Please call for the latest advice on this
72. My printers
aren't working... what should I do?
If they were working and
have stopped, try rebooting the workstation.
If they have never worked, give us a call and
we can log into your system to help you setup
73. What kind of
connectors do I have?
If you are unsure,
consult the diagram below. Remember that
most serial printers require a NULL MODEM
cable to operate. They are available from
Positive Feedback Software, LLC if you can't
find them locally. Radio Shack sells NULL
MODEM ADAPTORS which allow any modem cable to
74. What are the
ports on the back of my computer for?
Here is a typical Dell
computer you might be working with.
75. When I run the
Database Server the message I get is "The
database is corrupted".
This is most likely
caused by running the dbserver.exe from the
wrong folder. For example, if you attempt to
c:\sys\freepos\prg\dbserver.exe you will
get this message. If you map S: to SYS and
s:\freepos\prg\dbserver.exe you won't get
76. Why does my
printer hesitate before a receipt comes out?
This is caused by the
scan rate being set too low. By default
FreePOS sets up a scan rate of 1500mS. By
decreasing this to 500mS, the printer will run
faster in most cases.
Setup PSpooler & Setup COMSpool)
77. Why won't my
cash drawer open?
Is the cash drawer
connected to a PARALLEL PRINTER?
If so, you must run \freepos\prg\wssetup.bat
to copy needed DLL files
Did you set the
STATION SETUP to LPTX = 0?
If so, this means "No
cash drawer is connected". Change the 0 to
a 1,2,3 if the cash drawer is on a parallel
port or change it to A,B,C,D,E or F if it is
installed on a serial port (COM1=A, COM6=F)
Are you using the
proper DKD cable?
Depending on the type
of printer you are connecting the cash
drawer to, you may need a different cable.
STAR printers do NOT use the same cable as
an EPSON or NANOPTIX printer.
Is the printer ON?
If not, the cash
drawer cannot open.
Is the printer OUT
Sometimes this causes
the cash drawer not to open.
78. I have a table
that says, "The table is marked ready even when
the table is in use. Database corrupt. Call
How To Fix The Problem
The problem is
localized to just the table you were
working on (the
table's database, not the system-wide
avoiding use of that table is the
"work around" until
you complete the steps below:
What To Do:
1. Run End of day (if
you didn't already do this)
2. Go to the \FreePOS\Checks\
folder and delete any
checks that end in .CSH
3. Go to POS-CFG
4. Select System
5. Select Regenerate
Tables (this clears all checks, so be sure
no tabs are open when
you do it!!)
Why Did This Happen?
The cause of this
problem is the restart of the computer
process. It usually happens during power
or a hard drive
failure. Sometimes anti-virus programs
this when files are
held for scanning.
79. I can't
figure out my reports. What should I
Before you open, ring
in a single check. Record the
Go to the MGR screen
and run all the reports. Observe
how the sale appears on each report.
Go to the back office
module - repeat this procedure.
You should now be able
to determine what each figure represents.
If you need additional assistance, call us
and schedule a training session.
79. Which Windows XP
settings should I set before deploying FreePOS?
1. Setup CLASSIC MODE (why?
2. Setup CLASSIC MODE
START BAR (why? FASTER
3. Right click MY
COMPUTER and select PROPERTIES then:
a. Turn OFF system
restore (why? FASTER
b. Turn OFF automatic
updates (Remote tab)
c. Turn ON BEST
PERFORMANCE (Advanced tab, Performance)
4. Right click the
TASKBAR and select PROPERTIES, then:
a. UNCHECK "Keep task
bar on top of other windows"
b. UNCHECK "Autohide
the task bar"
5. UNINSTALL NORTON (if
6. UNINSTALL MCAFEE (if
7. ALWAYS set
workstations to STATIC IP addresses (no DHCP)
DHCP leased addresses expire causing
8. DO NOT allow internet
access at any POS WORKSTATION if you have a
back office computer. To run credit cards,
the POS stations DO NOT need internet access.
SECURITY is improved)
9. DEFRAGMENT the C:
drive before putting FreePOS into live
FASTER BOOT and LOAD TIMES)
10. RIGHT CLICK the "S:\FreePOS"
folder & select PROPERTIES. Make sure the
READ ONLY BOX is UNCHECKED. (Copying from a
CDR sets files to READ ONLY)
11. UNINSTALL AOL
12. UNINSTALL BIG-FIX
(ships with Dell & Gateway machines)
13. SET VIDEO MODE to
800x600, 16 bit color
FreePOS IS ONLY COMPATIBLE WITH 800X600)
14. TURN OFF screen
NEEDED & CONSUMES MEMORY)
15. TURN OFF clear type
SCREEN REDRAWS FASTER)
16. DELETE all scheduled
PERFORMANCE IS IMPROVED)
17. TURN OFF all POWER
HARD DRIVES GOING TO SLEEP CAUSES LOCK UPS)
18. CLICK START,
Settings, Control Panel, Security Center then:
a. Click "Change the
way Windows notifies me"
b. UNCHECK all
NOTIFICATIONS CAN POP-UP DURING POS OPERATION)
19. MAKE THE REGISTRY
ENTRY (QUESTION #66 ABOVE) ON THE FILE SERVER
NETWORK SPEED WILL DOUBLE)
80. How do I change
the HIGHLIGHT BAR's color ?
Follow the instructions
81. What codes
should I use for my Epson compatible printers?
Set up the ESC Codes
(POS-CFG / System Settings / ESC Codes) as
82. I am getting
ready to purchase some kitchen & receipt
printers. What should I get?
Purchase EPSON TM88
thermal receipt printers and/or EPSON TMU200,
210, 220 or 230 impact printers if you are on
a budget. If you want the best printer
available for front of house operations,
for a little extra, you can get a NanOptix
Spill Proof printer.
83. How do I set up
a SERIAL printer (Do I have to register first ?)
Yes, you must
register FreePOS in order to use serial
REC1 (receipt printer for station #1) on
- Go to POS-CFG
/ UTILITIES / STATION SETUP
a) Make sure the
RECEIPT PRINTER is set to REC1
b) If you have a
cash drawer connected, make sure the DRAWER
is set to B (A=COM1, B=COM2, etc)
- Go to POS-CFG
/ System Settings / Print Spooler Setup
a) Make a line
Spooler Backup Port Omit From
REC1 ______ B _____
____ = do not
type anything here
- Create a
short cut on the desktop:
Note the FULL
PATH to the COMSPOOL.EXE file is specified.
Note the FULL
PATH to the SPL file is specified.
there are no other devices installed on your
computer using COM2
click the SHORT CUT you created and the
print spooler will start
84. Some of the
windows in FreePOS are not correctly formatted.
How do I fix this?
Double check that these
items are setup correctly by RIGHT clicking
the Windows XP desktop and selecting
85. Everything is
set up correctly - but my printer won't print?
Remember that FreePOS
sends print jobs to the RECEIPT PRINTER that
is defined in the Station Setup screen (POS-CFG/UTILITIES/Station
Setup). If you have 2 records for the same
station or if you have not specified an REC
printer, reports & checks won't print. This
is an easy setting to overlook.
can I get a serial magnetic stripe reader to
you have not yet purchased a reader, by all
means get a keyboard wedge or USB interface. If
you already have a serial interface reader, you
1. Select Start, Settings, Control Panel.
2. Select Accessibility Options.
3. Select the General tab.
4. Check the Support Serial Key Devices
5. Select the Settings button to enter the
device's Serial Port and baud rate.
87. I am getting the
message "Database server failed to synchronize."
latest version of FreePOS from this website.
The upgrade will fix the problem
88. I am
getting an error message: "The database server
has timed out..."
caused because the database server is not
running OR if multiple .CS files are in the \FreePOS\Shared\
folder. If you have more than 1 .CS file in
the \FreePOS\Shared\ folder, delete all of the
LOWEST numbered files and KEEP the single
HIGHEST numbered .CS file.
FreePOS support large currency?
cannot support the currencies of countries
like Indonesia. The maximums are:
per check split
can't get into the POS. It says, "User ID is
already working at another terminal."
caused when FreePOS is closed while in order
entry mode. Usually, this happens when the
power goes out unexpectedly, but it will also
happen if you press CONTROL+ALT+DEL and do an
END PROCESS on the FreePOS program.
To fix this
problem, go to POS-CFG.EXE and select
UTILITIES. Next select RESET USER. Last,
enter the 5 digit user ID that is having
trouble. Remember that user ID's 1-99 are to
be entered as 70001, 70002 ... 70099.
On V5 or
higher, click MGR and then RESET USER/MGR
and answer YES or OKAY to each question.
This autofixes most issues.
can't get into a table. What should I do?
If a table
becomes inaccessible, you should:
POS-CFG.EXE and select UTILITIES and then
operation will delete all checks at the
table and release it to use.
In the POS, press MGR ->
RESET USER/MGR and answer YES or OKAY to
your network wiring (it may have caused
that you ARE NOT using DHCP - you must use
STATIC IP addresses
to the latest version of FreePOS
sure you DO NOT HAVE more than 1 .CS file
in the \FreePOS\Shared\ folder.
FreePOS print Chinese characters?
working on this feature, but right now the
answer is NO.
old restaurant had a POS called _______ and it
had a feature that does ______. Can you add
this feature to FreePOS?
to hear your request. Right now, there are
over 300 requests for new features. The
requests are tabulated in Excel and each time
they are requested, we increment the
counter. When a counter reaches 5 requests,
we promote the request to an "evaluation for
If you need
a new feature ASAP, it can be added
immediately - it just takes (our) time &
(your) money. Call for a quote.
do I fix my computer?
99% of the
time, reboot the machine and everything will
be fine again. NEVER reboot the file server
when other workstations are using the POS.
won't my menu post? And why do I have to post
the ability to store edits to your menu in a
batch and then post the batch to your POS
terminals. This important feature gives you
the ability to edit the menu while the POS is in
use without disturbing the old menu.
If the menu
changes you have entered have typos/errors, the
menu will not post... this means that the old
menu will remain in place until the errors are
fixed. Here are some popular data entry errors
people make when modifying their menus:
SPACE in the ITEM_FILE or MOD_FILE column of
the MAINTAIN CATEGORIES function. An item
file is the name (alpha or numeric digits
only) of the file that stores the items for a
particular category. Filenames may NOT have
spaces or punctuation in them.
printer name that is mis-spelled. For
example, if you have a BAR and a KIT printer
installed, sending an item to the BARR printer
will cause the item not to print.
category with no items in it. You must have
at least 1 item in each category
menu item with a forced modifier script that
hasn't been defined. For example, you create
an item called HOUSE SALAD that has a forced
modifier script called DRESSING but then you
forget to enter the salad dressing choices.
blank line in the menu or category maintain
screens can cause an error on some versions of
won't my printer print?
obvious things first:
printer turned ON?
printer loaded with PAPER?
printer loaded with a RIBBON?
printer print a self test?
data cable plugged into your printer?
still got a problem, try these things:
printer is controlled by a spooler. The
spooler software may have stopped running.
If this is the case, reboot the computer the
printer is attached to - however, be careful
not to reboot the file server (also known
as, "back office machine") while the system
is in use.
moving a known working printer to the failed
printer's location. Does it print? If
so, you've got a hardware problem.
spooler software may have stopped because
the DATA CABLE is loose from the back of the
computer. Check the cable is seated well
on the back of the computer.
spooler software may have stopped running
because a network cable (CAT/5 ethernet
cable usually) is loose. If the POS
software won't start either, you've got a
bad network cable.
problems listed below are EXTREMELY UNUSUAL,
so please do not check these items without
first consulting your installer:
may have set up a BACKUP_TO printer but not
configured the challenge/response codes
(POS-CFG / System Settings / Print Spooler
may have changed the PORT to which your
printer is connected to - but forgotten to
update the print spooler setting (POS-CFG /
System Settings / Print Spooler Setup)
not mix INCOMPATIBLE FAMILIES OF PRODUCTS -
for example, you can't swap an Epson printer
for a Star printer unless you configure the
new printer to be 100% ESC/POS compliant.
tables are showing 60 minutes has elapsed even
though I just opened them.
change is causing this. Exit from the POS
and double click on the Windows Clock in the
lower right hand corner of your screen. Set
the time on each computer using this
have Windows Vista and now my end of day takes a
couple extra seconds to start up. Why?
Vista delays the start up of programs due to
integrated security. There is nothing wrong
- but you may have to wait a couple extra
seconds. You may wish to call a local
computer geek who can turn OFF some of the
"vista features" that cause this.
of my Vista computer's messages format
incorrectly on the display.
your screen is set to 96DPI - some video cards
default it to 120DPI. Also, enable CLASSIC
MODE for fastest operation. See Q84 above.
Vista/Windows 7 computer has 512MB RAM. Is that enough?
Microsoft is recommending 2GB and a 256MB
Video Card to use these O/S to the fullest. A
minimum amount of RAM is 1GB.
XP computer keeps asking "Is it okay to run this
caused by the zone rights in Internet
computer's screen keeps going blank. Why?
caused by either or both of the settings
* Do you
have a screen saver installed? If so,
* Do you
have POWER MANAGEMENT turned on? If so,
POS is displaying a message "Tables.pos is
missing" or similar.
to your computer has become loose. Replace
the ethernet patch cable. This message can
also be caused if you are not using STATIC IP
addresses. You should always use static IP
addresses instead of DHCP - otherwise you'll
get disconnects every time the DHCP lease
expires (36 hours in most cases).
server is turned off while the POS stations
are running, this message will pop up.
have a _____ style restaurant. Do you have a
database for a similar restaurant that I can
download... so I don't have to re-invent the
$90 we will let you download a pre-designed
database that matches your restaurant's
genre. You must be registered to take
advantage of this service since most of the
databases we design utilize features only
found in the registered edition of FreePOS.
Sample databases we have on file:
Pizza/Italian, Sub Shop, Indian, Brazilian,
Bar, Mexican, Smoothie, Fast Food, Chinese,
American, Rib/BBQ Shack, Fine Dining,
Counter Service, Drive Thru, Buffet, Family
Style - and virtually any combination of the
above. We even have the database for a
Mexican Restaurant that serves Pizza (they
play country music while you dine too!).
computer is slow... what can I do?
Give us a
call - we have programs that optimize the
performance of your computer. It doesn't
always make your machine new again, but often
our optimizer (which we developed) will double
the speed of your machine(s).
did you change all the configuration menus in
themselves did not change... we just organized
the options under new headings. Also, we are
now offering bulk Tylenol on this website and
figured moving the menus around might increase
our sales. Ha Ha!
do I reset a table on a different seating chart?
NEW CHART button and enter a number 1,2,3,4,5
or 6. That seating chart will appear.
Proceed as normal from this point.
restaurant is in a hotel and I want to charge
checks to guest rooms. I know I can do this
with V5 but I can't figure out what to load.
We are not
being mysterious on purpose, but there are
many issues that differ from one hotel PMS
system to another. You'll need to call
Positive Feedback Software and provide us with
the name of your PMS software. After we
discuss the interface, we'll tell you how to
proceed. Hotel integration is NOT a "do it
When using TCPSPOOL my receipt printer will
not print line feeds and everything comes out
garbled. What should I do?
an ethernet print spooler which can send
print jobs to any IP address and PORT...
even across the internet! To
start TCPSPOOL make a shortcut to:
192.168.1.240 9100 KIT
will send the KIT spool to the printer
installed at 192.168.1.240 on port 9100
(typical for Epson).
If you are getting garbled print, check the
DIP SWITCH on the bottom of your printer -
it's CRLF TRANSLATION or "Line feed
translation". Turn this feature
ON. If you don't want to mess
with DIP switches, then you can use the
alternate printing personality by completing
Rename \freepos\prg\tcpspool.tkn to
Rename \freepos\prg\tcpspoolcrlf.tkn to
Reboot your PC or do an END PROCESS on each
instance of TCPSPOOL.EXE in task manager
Restart the tcpspool shortcut - it will now
add CRLF codes to each line. If
print comes out double spaced then change it
note that only a single instance of TCPSPOOL
can be run on each Windows XP, Vista or 7
computer. If you have multiple
ethernet printers, run each of them from
separate machines or use vspool instead.
delivery telephone numbers & addresses did not
come over after I upgraded to V5. What should
old backup, copy the \FreePOS\Delivery\ folder
to your V5 installation.
What is the difference between BATCH and HOST
mode credit card settlement?
BATCH set_code is added to a station setup
(pos-cfg -> utilities -> station setup ->
set_codes) it tells the POS system to build
a batch and to expect each transaction to
require finalization when the tip is added.
If the BATCH set_code is missing, the usual
result would be that untipped transactions
will remain pre-authorized and never
finalize. In HOST mode there is
no pre-auth and instead the check total
appears as a sale. BATCH mode is
the way most systems should be configured.
Vista (or XP with Internet Explorer 7,8 or 9) computer
keeps popping up message boxes that say "Unknown
Publisher. Do you want to run this program?"
What should I do?
Microsoft's attempt to make your Windows
computer safer by asking you EVERY SINGLE TIME
whether or not you want to run a program.
Apple Computer did a funny TV spot about it
and we agree it's a huge PITA. To
suppress the message on XP:
In Internet Explorer, click
tools - Options
Under security settings,
select "Intranet zone"
Click the "Sites" button
Uncheck the box that says
"Automatically detect intranet network".
Check the "Include all
network paths (UNCs).
suppress this & other popup messages on Vista:
MSCONFIG into the text box and press
the [Enter] key or click OK
the "Disable User Account Control" option
under the "Tools" tab and reboot
that these procedures will (according to
Microsoft) make your computer less secure.
Which version of Windows Vista should I get to
not recommended. Use XP or
do I shutdown FreePOS (or any of the spoolers or
processes) using a batch file?
easily accomplished using the Windows XP command
called TASKKILL. Below is a sample command to
shutdown the database server. To learn more
about TASKKILL go to the command prompt and
enter TASKKILL /? and a help screen will appear.
I need a couple extra
serial ports on a computer. Would it be okay
to use a USB-Serial Dongle (so I don't have to
open my computer up & install a PCI card) ?
It will work
for a month or two... but someone will unplug it
or the device will simply fail after 60-90 days
of continuous use. In short, the USB-Serial
dongles are not "industrial strength" devices.
I need to purchase a cash drawer with a
cash drawers have a "Star" as well as an "Epson"
compatible cable. If you use the wrong cable,
the drawer will not open. One small point:
you can get a manual opening cash drawer for
less than $50 at most office stores. Is it
really worth the cost to have the drawer open
automatically? Sometimes (in multiple server
environments) it is. But if you have just a
single register and you're the only one using it
- consider saving the money.
What is the PIN# and why
do I need it for version 5.5?
number (Program Identification Number) tells
FreePOS how to send credit card transactions to
your payment processing software.
I deactivate certain options on the POS-CFG
program? I'm worried people will get into
things they should not?
POS-CFG program just calls the .EXE files in the
\freepos\prg folder. If you rename or delete
the .EXE file that corresponds to an option, it
will be deactivated.
117. I am totally confused about how fast
a computer I need. Help!
You are not the only
one! In the good ole days, a 286 was
slower than a 386 and a 486 was the fastest of
all. Now we've got an industry that
changes clock rates, core counts, P ratings,
cache (pronounced cash) RAM and buss speeds.
Here is a chart that shows roughly how fast one
CPU is in comparison to the others.
Please remember that 256MB RAM is not enough
anymore. XP systems should have 512MB and
Vista systems should have 1GB if you are using
the Home Basic edition and 2GB for all the other
A couple of other
processors people ask us about often:
Celeron 2Ghz -
About 60% slower than the base system above
P4 2Ghz -
About 40% slower than the base system above
over 2Ghz run great - but stay away from the old
Sempron & 1st generation Athlon chips.
118. Can you explain the
comspool settings? For example, what does
ds0 signify at the end of serial port
initalization? ENQ get printer
status code? Good ENQ Result? Serial
printer throttle in milliseconds?
Here's an explanation
- but do keep in mind that using the default
configuration is usually best.
1. Serial ports have "handshaking"
capability. When you
add the CS0, DS0 parameters you are turning
this off. It
means "just send the data without confirming
received it properly"
2. ENQ is a code that the comspool program
determine if the printer is "alive". If the
the ENQ result is compared to the response and
redirect decision is made.
3. The throttle setting is for unbuffered
printers. For example,
suppose you have an old printer with 128bytes
of RAM and a
9600 bps data rate. The printer can't print
per second, so the buffer fills up and the
printer errors out.
By setting a throttle, you are telling
comspool to send the
data and then wait X milliseconds before
All new printers should have throttle set to
I have 2 network cards in my computer and the
shortcuts to the print spooler(s) are not
working when I first boot because Windows has
not yet started both network cards.
How do I delay items in the STARTUP folder to
give Windows time to fully load?
This is an
advanced subject that requires a batch file
script. Below is a summary of how to
accomplish the goal.
I have a problem. Whenever I go
to edit my labor, I get a DBFWIN error.
What's going on?
occurs at 1280 pixel resolutions. Just
change the resolution of your screen to 800x600
or 1024x768 and it should be fine.
V6.5 or higher will also fix this issue.
SPLIT EVENLY button is not lit up.
What is causing this?
Go to POS-CFG
and select UTILITIES and then CUSTOM SETTINGS.
Toggle the REQUIRE SEND option and then press
of my data from before my upgrade to V6.55 is
showing up. What do I do?
Go to the
BACK OFFICE MODULE and click MAINTENANCE.
The password is the CHANGE TENDER password
(defaults to PASSWORD) which you can configure
in POS-CFG -> UTILITIES -> CUSTOM SETTINGS.
Click on CONVERT SALES and CONVERT LABOR as
122. How do I set up a
VIP account member and charge to them?
(1) Go to pos-cfg
-> VIP -> VIP Membership Console
(2) Enter the VIP#,
first and last names. Also set credit
limit to 1000 or whatever you are
comfortable extending. Set points to
0. Click ACCOUNT OWNER. Click
(3) Now press the $
button on the VIP member screen. Enter
a starting balance of 0.00 and click
POST. This will set the account to a
$0.00 balance with $1000 credit limit.
(4) Next, go to
pos-cfg -> VIP -> Setup VIP -> If
you want everyone to be able to charge
to VIP ACCOUNTs, uncheck that the "@"
sign is required in front of the user
(5) Finally go to
pos-cfg -> system settings -> payments
and be sure the VIP TENDER is CHECKED.
you pay a check out to a VIP ACCOUNT, press
the ACCOUNT button (next to the cash buttons
on the payment screen) and click the VIP
NAME from the list. Then enter the
charge amount and tip amount as prompted.
There's a lot more in the manual about this
upgrading to V6.55, every time I run a credit
card, it asks for a manager approval. Why?
Go to POS-CFG
-> UTILITIES -> CUSTOM SETTINGS and enter 50 in
the MAXIMUM TIP% field. This will
allow you to enter a 50% gratuity before a
manager is required.
My mag stripe reader isn't working well.
What can I do?
To fix a mag
the mag reader from the computer's USB port
2. With a
Q-Tip or paper towel, gently swipe the card
track (inside slot) or use a "Cleaning Card"
if you have one.
push the sides of the clam-shell of the mag
reader together (it should give 1/10 of an
inch) and release to reset the gap.
Carefully insert the USB cable back into the
5. Note the
mag reader's status light is ON if
everything is okay.
cards, be sure to swipe slowly for best
What is the format my MSR Mag Stripe Reader
should output in?
For a gift card:
For a credit card or debit
What are sentinels and why do I have
to program them?
Each mag stripe
reader manufacturer makes their product
output data in a slightly different format.
Most, however, provide a programming utility
that allows the installer to change the
output format so that it is compatible with
the software being used.
Sentinels are the codes that delimit or
"separate" each field. FreePOS
expects these characters: % ^ ? ; ?
to be used as sentinels. FreePOS
also expects a Carriage Return Line Feed (CRLF)
between track 1 data and track 2 data.
See the sample scans above which are typical
of the output you'd expect to see in
NOTEPAD. If you do
not wish to deal with MSR programming,
please order your mag stripe readers
pre-programmed from Positive Feedback
Software at 540 243-0300.
How do I amke a printer print multiple
copies? For example, my BAR
wants 2 copies of the order each time it
To make a
printer print multiple copies, go to the
Run -> CMD -> Enter)
commands followed by an ENTER:
(type this only if you are on a
workstation with an S: drive Map)
(this is the same as clicking the X in
the window frame)
Here is what your screen will look like
on a Windows 7 system:
an end-process in TASK MANAGER on the
spooler running the BAR printer and
restart the BAR spooler. Or if you
have never used TASK MANAGER before,
simply reboot the POS station that runs
the BAR printer. When the spooler
restarts, it will see the BAR.2 file in
the SETUP folder and know to make 2
copies of everything it prints.
My mag stripe readers are built into
the screen. I have to
use them. What are my
because the MSR is built into the
screen does not mean that you have
to use it... you can always attach
an external credit card scanner.
Infact, you'll find at repair time
this will save you LOTS of money.
If you want use the built in reader,
you'll have to download the setup
software for your touch screen's MSR
or All-In-One's MSR.
There is no short cut.
We'll be happy to help you over the
phone if you need it.
How do I set up a user card?
the card is numbered 1234, simply
create a user in the usual manner
but add an '8' in front of the
card's number in the User Rights
grid. Below is a screen shot
of a manager card with the
pre-programmed number 1234.
The 8 tells FreePOS this user ID is
a card and cannot be punched in.
Please note that as long as the NAME
column is the same for two or more
users, the labor will accumulate.
It is okay to create two user IDs
for the same physical person... one
user ID for their mag card, another
for their finger print and a third
for punching in manually.
When I hit FINALIZE & CLOSE the POS
locks in a window which reads,
"Waiting for database server..."
It flashes this message every 2
seconds or so. What should I
do to fix this?
the \FreePOS\HISTORY folder is
erased (on purpose or by accident)
this will happen.
Restore the entire \FreePOS\HISTORY
folder from a backup or new install.
Please keep in mind that HISTORY has
nothing to do with sales history -
rather it is a folder used to track
transaction sequences as they are
processed... which in turn creates
complete database records which are
My server is fast and my workstations are
question #66 above regarding how to
add a SizReqBuf registry entry.
Some parts of the order entry screen are not
redrawing correctly when I run FreePOS on
Vista. What's up?
your Vista Theme to Classic Mode.
The problem affects certain video
cards... usually the integrated
mainboard SIS or NVIDEA chipsets.
I upgraded to Windows Vista from XP and now
my computer isn't printing.
Please call us and we'll log in
remotely. Vista has many
issues that require an experienced
computer tech to resolve.
If printing alone is the issue,
email our support address and
request VSpool - a print spooler
that is designed for Vista.
It comes with an instruction sheet.
133. Please help me
understand why COMSpool is not working.
Assuming you have registered, comspool.exe
will be installed in your \freepos\prg
Here's a check list of some common
If you have a Windows Printer Driver
installed on the COM port your
printer is plugged into,
the COM port will be unavailable all
of the time - regardless of whether
you are printing to it.
Windows holds COM ports open
continuously when a driver is
installed. Delete the Windows
Driver and it should become
Verify your baud rate in POS-CFG ->
Printers -> Setup Comspool matches
the baud rate settings of
the device. The industry standard
If you have a BACKUP TO printer
specified in POS-CFG -> Printers ->
Print Spooler Setup remove it
while you are testing. This may
cause issues if the challenge status
string is not compatible.
Make sure you are using a NULL MODEM
cable. This cable has pins 2 & 3
criss crossed and is
required to print from a computer to
a serial printer device.
Make sure your touch screen driver
(if it is a 3M touch screen) is set
to use COM1 - only put
serial printers on com ports after
the 3M touch screen's port.
3M drivers have a bug
which scans & holds com ports below
it open. You
turn OFF the 3M serial port
Do not use "made by hand" serial
cables. Grounding issues in the
cable can cause communications
Make sure your COM port's Windows
Driver matches the OS you have
installed. For example,
using a Windows 2000 driver on an XP
or Vista OS can cause problems.
Sometimes using Vista
drivers on Vista systems causes
problems... so we recommend XP
because Vista is kinda buggy.
Make sure you do not have multiple
copies of COMSPOOL running. Each
one will try to hold
com port open and this "blocks" the
port for subsequent instances of
In POS-CFG -> Print Spooler Setup
make sure you have the proper COM
port for each
spool specified. A=COM1, B=COM2,
10. Reboot your machine between
tests and verify there are no
spooler programs starting up
folder for example).
134. When I run COMSpool I
am getting a message which reads, "Detail:
Os error: the system cannot find the file
This indicates your command was mis
keyed. Use this one instead:
is the FreePOS print spooler name
Please note that you cannot run the
COMSpool (or any) FreePOS command
from a folder
other than \FreePOS\ . For
would cause an error. The program
must run directly from the root
135. I'm trying to get a
wireless printer to work in the kitchen.
I'm getting garbled characters sometimes.
The Sprinter Serial WIFI system and most
802.11B WIFI ethernet printers have a lot of
issues working in a stainless steel
environment. Run a cable instead or
use professional grade wireless devices
rather than devices which rely on consumer
bandwidth frequencies. We've seen
2.4Ghz wireless phones cause 802.11B/G drop
136. My credit cards stop
working whenever the internet service
provider (ISP) has an outage.
Can my server automatically dial a modem?
Yes. Use X-Charge for automatic
failover to modem in the event of an ISP
outage. Another solution is to
use a router with a 56K analog backup... but
X-Charge is much less expensive to implement
and only requires a modem be installed in
the machine running X-charge.
137. Why do restaurants say "86 an
item" when it's supply runs out ?
Before World War II, many bars
had an occupancy limit of 85 persons.
The 86th person could not drink.
This caught on and "86ing someone" became slang
for getting rid of them. Today,
occupancy permits and ABC licenses are required
and issued on a site by site basis.
The old federal occupancy limit is no longer
138. My mag
reader loses power sometimes. What
should I do?
Windows Power Management may be
turning the reader or USB ports on your computer
OFF to save power. Make sure
your devices are not set to "turn off to save
power" in the device manager configuration.
Using a USB port without loading the
manufacturer's chipset drivers can also cause
this. Always load the chipset
drivers that came with your mainboard even if
Windows does not appear to need them.
Ofcourse humidity, drink spills, wet credit
cards and overly aggressive swiping action can
cause readers to turn off as well. Use a
cleaning card once a week to keep the card
reader's path clean and free of restaurant
"gunk". This can also be caused by
intermittent USB connectors. Once plugged
in, tape a strain relief loop into the MSR
139. I am using
Windows Vista. Should I upgrade to
Yes. Vista is a mess and
after you upgrade to Windows 7 Professional (32
bit), your system will run faster and without
140. How much memory do
I need for Windows 7?
2GB is a minimum.
3GB is better. A desktop level
(not an Intel Atom!!) dual core CPU is also
141. How do I build a
network and/or install FreePOS On Windows 7?
Please email us for a Windows 7
Networking Guide. This guide
explains how to get the benefits of Windows 7.
142. I am getting a
"Can't read/write to network or disk error".
What should I do?
network/disk errors occur when a cable,
network card or switch fails.
popular reason is someone powers off the
switch while the system
is in use
and it just happens to be "writing to
To fix the
1. If the
error occurs on a specific tab
navigate to \freepos\everyone and erase
the .TAB file corresponding to the TAB
that's giving you trouble
2. If the
error occurs on a table, bar stool or
to pos-cfg -> utilities -> reset table
(or bar or carryout) and click the touch
zone with the problem
answer OK or YES to each question to
complete the reset process
3. If the
error occurs on a phone order in
navigate to \freepos\everyone and erase
the .DEL file corresponding to the order
that's giving you trouble
procedure is completed, go to MGR (in
the pos software) and click RESET
OK or YES to each prompt. Presto!
143. The "PAY" button
has disappeared. I only have
"SEND TO CASHIER". What's up?
pos-cfg -> system settings -> user
check the ACCEPT_PAY user right for
will allow each server to close
their own checks.
If it is
unchecked, the server will require a
cashier to close checks on their
wish to affect all users at a
specific terminal#, use the AAP
set_code to make all users cable to
accept pay (Always Accept Pay = AAP)
144. How do I add a station to my
existing FreePOS installation?
must register you new /
additional terminal(s) first.
But assuming you've done this,
follow these steps:
to pos-cfg -> utilities ->
the ARROW DOWN key and add a
line to the bottom of the
Station Setup Grid
you have 3 licenses currently,
add a 4th line and enter:
Station# = 4
Receipt Printer = REC4
Drawer = 0 (if no drawer is
connected) or 4 (if a drawer is
connected to the receipt
copy the remaining settings from
Enter your new registration key
in pos-cfg -> system settings ->
Remember - it must be in UPPER
you are using integrated credit
card processing go to pos-cfg ->
peripherals -> credit card
replace the old PIN# with the
new PIN# you received in your "FreePOS
Registration Upgraded" email.
to the new station and install
touch screen drivers on top of a
fresh install of Windows.
sure your new computer station
has a 1.8Ghz CPU and 512MB RAM
drive letter S: to the file
server's SYS (or similar) share.
the following shortcut in the
START -> PROGRAMS -> STARTUP
(if you're adding station #4 as
in our example)
a print spooler for REC4 in the
START -> PROGRAMS -> STARTUP
REC4 LPT1 /CRLF (if REC4 is
connected to LPT1 of the new
you are using serial, ethernet,
usb or other printer interfaces,
please call us for the
installation method as they vary
by interface and printer
Couple of other
little notes about adding
Make sure you have a folder
called REC4 in the \freepos\spooler\
Otherwise there will be nowhere
for the print jobs to be stored.
If your printer is not working,
make sure the connections and
secured properly and that the
correct power supply is being
Make sure you have THERMAL paper
in thermal printers. PLAIN
only for impact printers.
Use static IP addresses for each
station - this will make your
system much more reliable.
145. What is the password to get into
Back Office -> Maintenance?
Just enter "password".
To change it go to pos-cfg -> utilities
-> custom settings -> change tender
password -> save
146. I want to
move my computer. Do I need
to change the POS system?
long as you leave all of the
peripherals connected to each
computer, you can move them
anywhere there is a good
147. How can I do a "Buy One Get One
Make a category called COUPONS.
In this category, add an item called "BOGO"
or whatever you wish to call it.
Use a forced modifier to prompt for the "buy
one" and then a second forced modifier to
prompt for the "get one free".
Set the price of the "get one free" forced
modifier to $0.
148. I have a forced modifier that has
more than 12 choices. How do I
make this work?
You must register. Then
email us for a quick tutorial on setting
up multiple page forced modifiers.
149. I have a ROD KDS system and the
screen(s) froze and won't accept orders.
What should I do?
The best solution is to restart the
ROD NGEN controller(s) first.
This corrects most issues. If you
stilll have a problem, go to the root of
the C: drive of the computer that ROD
GOLD is installed on and delete the
KDSDATA file. It may
have become corrupted during a power
outage or another program may be holding
it open. If the problem
still persists, erase the .ROD file(s)
on the root of the C: drive and reboot
the PC. Before deleting any
file, it is good practice to make a
150. Can I network 2 computers
together with a category 5 crossover cable
and save the cost of a hub/switch or router?
Yes, but it is not a good idea.
By getting a router (like the Linksys
WR41 series) that has a switch built
into it, you can share internet service,
interface with online ordering, perform
automated network backups, get remote
access support from a technician all
while allowing your customers access a
"hot spot". Internet service
and a router should be considered a
mandatory item for any restaurant POS
151. My system lost power and
now a table won't open. What
should I do?
Try pressing MGR -> RESET USER/MGR
and answer OK or YES to each question.
That should fix everything.
152. Is there a way to make the
POS with hold final receipts unless I
specifically request them to print?
Yes. Upgrade to
version 6.85 (or higher) first.
Then go to pos-cfg
-> utilities -> station setup ->
copies_final = 0
When a customer
wants a print of their bill, press
REPRINT and pick
their bill from
the chronological list which
available on V4.95E and higher is to
use the SET_CODE PAF - but upgrading
to 6.85 or higher is preferred.
153. For 22 days no one has run
end of day. Now when I try to do
it, I get a message indicating there is too
much payment volume. What should
FreePOS can handle a maximum of 2,000
closed checks per shift. If
you have exceeded 2,000 checks over the
22 days then your payment volume is too
large. To fix the issue, go
to the \freepos\check folder --- notice
that there are a bunch of .CHK files.
These files are date and time stamped
when they were closed. You
can move the files out of this folder
day by day and run end of day to post
the sales bit by bit. Call
tech support too - since this can be
154. Will a POS system save me
and my staff time?
will see an increase in organization
and time savings... but when you are
first learning any system it will
take some getting used to.
Remember the goal of a POS system is
to capture more sales than you could
on a manual paper system.
The secondary benefits are
organization and time savings.
155. I have a shortcut to vspool
in my startup folder. Do I need
Vspool prints checks from the \freepos\spooler\
folder to your shared printers.
Without this shortcut, your
printer(s) may not work. Feel
free to email us if you need a cheat
sheet on how vspool works.
156. What is the difference
between winspool and vspool - they seem like
they do the same thing?
But Winspool is for windows XP and
lower. Vspool is
for Vista and Windows 7.
157. What does "[NOT
verified...]" mean? Is there something
No - it simply
means the POS's integrated credit
card processing system has not been
installed and verified.
It is not an indication that
something is wrong.
158. What should I do to fix a
Go to pos-cfg ->
utilities -> reset table and click
the table that is green.
Answer OK or YES to each question.
This will reset the table to $0.00
and close it. This can happen
if you change user id's while a user
has an open table. It
can also happen if you forget to
grant the ACCEPT_PAY user right.
The SET_CODE AAP makes it so that
all users can accept pay regardless
of their user right settings.
159. Windows 7 won't run FreePOS
correctly. What should I do?
perfectly with Windows 7 and Vista,
however, you must register FreePOS
for all the functionality and you
must be logged in as the
administrator. Email us
and we'll send you a Windows 7
system preparation cheat sheet.
160. It is 6:30p on a Saturday
night and no one will return my tech support
161. I forgot my CreditLine
password. Can it be reset?
Please call us and we'll assist you.
This is not a do it yourself job.
162. I am getting a "Transmit
Failed" error from my credit card server.
Usually it is
because your internet service is
down. Reset the
modem/router and wait 2 minutes.
Try again. If the problem
persists, consider changing your DNS
server address and/or adjusting
It has been reported that Adobe
program updaters can temporarily
block card processing requests.
163. My credit cards randomly
start declining. Why?
Usually, this is
because one or more of these
conditions have occurred:
internet is down - try rebooting
the modem and router
ISP's DNS server is having
problems - try updating one or
both of your DNS server
credit card swiper is
misprogrammed or worn out.
credit card server software has
computer(s) have a virus.
Make sure you run virus
detection software on any
internet connected PC at
computer(s) have multiple
accounts - each one is running a
copy of the card server thus
creating multiple instances.
intermittent wiring problem can
cause temporary problems
credit card processor is having
a computer outage (Add a modem
and use XCharge's modem
backup as a failsafe)
static IP addresses on each
computer - this way DHCP leases
will not expire.
reasons that this can occur for each
processor as well. Call
Positive Feedback Software if you
need a hand with diagnosis.
164. What should I do if my file
server computer crashes?
We can assist you
with repair or data restoration.
The best solution is to make a
BACKUP of your \freepos\ folder
before a crash.
165. How do I get developer
is required when you wish to
integrate a program with FreePOS.
Please call us at 540 243-0300 for
rates and options. In
general, we do not offer
integration/developer level support
for less than $175/hour.
166. How come the printing is
Below, please see
a "jumbled" print out.
when the printer is not feeding
paper after each line is printed.
To fix this:
are using this spooler
||Then make this change
tcpspool.tkn in the \freepos\prg
||add /CRLF to the end of
your shortcut (i.e.
REC1 LPT1 /CRLF )
||You'll need to set a DIP
SWITCH on your printer
called LINE TRANSLATION to
||same as COMSPOOL
||same as COMSPOOL
||same as WINSPOOL - add /CRLF
((must be in UPPERcase
167. When we try to change User
Rights, it says "Missing Job File". How do
we fix it?
Go to pos-cfg -> system settings ->
job groups and create a job group by the
same name show in user rights.
In the screenshot above, the job
groups are named MGR and TRON.
168. We are adding tips but none
of them are adjusting in CreditLine.
Verify that the \911\data\911_ccv.ini
file has the TransNumMod=10000
line enabled. It should look
;Limits the maximum transaction number.
;The number specifies the maximum
transaction number before it rolls over
and start with 1.
;Values: 10000 (4 digit transaction
number) to 1000000000 (9 digit
This applies to CreditLine V4.x
and not earlier releases.
169. We keyed in a manual
transaction into CreditLine but it won't
Verify that it was keyed in as a
SALE. If it was keyed in as
an AUTH it must be edited before it will
170. How can I confirm that my
Credit Card processing solution is working?
Call your credit card processor and
verify a small test amount before going
live. This is a critical
171. On Windows 7 and Vista my
POS Configuration toolbar closes when I
select an option. Why?
Windows 7 and Vista use a technique
called "escalation" to protect home
computer users from programs launching
other programs. As you might
guess, a computer virus uses this
technique quite often to "launch itself"
again into memory.
Unfortunately, many types of programs
use process launching for practical
reasons. The FreePOS
Configuration menu option selections are
each mapped to .EXE files located in the
\freepos\prg folder. If you
wish to disable a particular menu
option, you can simply rename or delete
the corresponding .EXE file... this is a
great feature that allows the installer
to keep the end user out of options like
dbserver setup that could potential
damage the install. Windows
7 needs to be told that every shortcut
should be run as an administrator.
Look at the screenshot below to see how
this is done:
One of the reasons Windows 7 has been
criticized is that the O/S attempts to
protect you from yourself.
This may be what the novice computer
user wants, but in the Point Of Sale
world, most systems need to be running
in an open environment that the
operating system does not interfere
If you need more assistance with
Windows 7 networking, please email us
for a Windows 7 guide.
172. On Windows 7 and Vista I am
getting random database server errors like
"failed to issue token". What's
Windows 7 and Vista (fully service
packed) improve performance in some of
the operating system's libraries.
This improved performance may require
you to decrease the database server's
throttle to 250 or even 200 mS.
Ofcourse, permissions can also cause
issues as well. For best
results have a network technician
configure your W7 or Vista server and
make sure that the S: drive is given
full administrator permissions at the
share and folder levels.