ATX 2012 Network Installation error

I am working with an accountant on installing ATX 2012 tax software (from CCH) with one main Windows 7 64-bit machine the accountant uses (that will be the “server”) and a second Windows 7 64-bit computer that a helper uses during the heavy tax season.

Following the user guide, I choose Network (not Stand-Alone), and choose a folder in which I shared to “everyone,” but I get the error message: “The location you selected is not available to other workstations on the network. Please select a different location or create a a shared location and try again.” I can access the locations that I tried on the other computer, but no matter where I choose, it won’t do it.

The user guide says, “Unlike stand-alone installations, network installations cannot be installed to the default Program Files directory. You must select another directory, such as a mapped or local drive.” So the guide says I should be able to, but it won’t work.

In early January I went ahead and ran the Stand-Alone installation to get it working, figuring that I would fix it when I went onsite. On January 22, I called ATX support at 11:30am. After waiting about 15 minutes to talk to a first level person, she said I needed to uninstall ATX and reinstall with the “Custom” option, not Stand-Alone. I told her there is not “Custom” option, just “Network”. She insisted that I choose “Custom.” Sensing that she had probably never installed ATX in her life, I hung up and gave it a shot. Then I ran into the problem above again. I called back and got a first level person again quickly and she didn’t seem to know anything about this error and had a very hard time typing it all in her computer very fast. After consulting with some others, she said I needed to talk to a “tech.” Since I was onsite billing the customer by-the-hour, I asked how long it would be; she replied that it would be an hour. Being that now the accountant had no ATX installed, I figured that I better wait.

After 17 minutes, the call dropped. Ugh. I cal led back, got back in line again — from the back. I searched their knowledge base, but couldn’t find anything like this problem. I logged into their customer forum site and found other that did have this problem. No solution was given, and it didn’t look like anyone from ATX bothers to read or reply to any of the posts. One user did a workaround method of mapping a network drive to a network name of a directory on his own computer, which worked. I considered this, but ATX would not work if the router was disconnected or failed, so I chose not to go that route.

I waited about 1 hour 45 minutes on hold (with repeated messages to go to the website to look for help to common problems and them telling me that the call was VERY important to them), but needed to leave to get to my next appointment. I left the call on hold anyway. FINALLY, 2 hours 22 minutes in and a technician answered. I have a tremendous amount of patience, but when he told me that this is a known issue that they were working to fix with a new release, I lost my temper.

In the end I apologized for yelling at him and said that it was not his fault, but I was extremely angry at ATX for how poorly the company is run and how they have treated me. He told me that uninstalling and reinstalling with the Network option would not work (terrible advice by the first level), as many hidden directories need to be deleted.

Just checking today, I see this: “The target date for the 12.5 update is Monday, January 28th.” I’ll try it and report here with my finding.

ATX, why:

  • do you not tell your first level group about known issues so I don’t waste billable hours of my customers?
  • do you not post on the customer forum when they run into known issues?
  • do the first level group sound like they’ve never done a day of tech support in their lives?
  • do you not give the ability to give a call back phone number and have technician call when I’ve wait the unreasonable amount of time that you require? Do toll-free bills matter to you?
  • do you not tell me how many people are waiting in front of me so I know whether I should wait or not?
  • do you not give me the ability to schedule a time in advance with a technician?
  • do you not hire more real technicians for the months of January and February?

[UPDATE 2/13/13] Since this post, I’ve been reading the forums popular with ATX users:

and it’s obvious that I wasn’t alone. I’ll be surprised if ATX makes it to 2013 Tax Year.

In my case, sadly, I setup both computers as Standalone and they can’t shared anything. But it works, albeit slower than last year. CCH really blew it badly and I hope they pay a big price for running their company so poorly.

12 replies
  1. Servatec says:

    I agree ,Their package this year is quite buggish. They promised an update that was actually due yesterday the 28 th. My clients are still waiting on that to fix the menus errors we are getting now besides all the crashes. I spoke with support
    Many times and they seem to have different tiers .You need to be patient while the customer is under pressure with clients.Not the proper way of supporting a software .Another way to network Atx is to use windows sharing with folder mapping also to create different level of users. I’m also supporting another client that use Taxwise from CCH. & they tell you off the bat not to call for Net support
    Actually they outsourced this tier to another company & it’s another subscription.Too bad for them my client opted for another package.

  2. LJohnson says:

    I am on hold as I write. Over 2 hours yesterday and now on 2 hours 58 minutes. countless hours the week before. I equate the hold time to this example. I complete a tax return and the client has questions. I do not answer my phone, Rather, my voice mail tells them to go to the IRS website to find answers to their problems. I would not have that client another year.
    I am a small shop and I too must pay to have an IT person set up my network. Not complaining because that is a cost of business. What I bothers me the total indifference to preparer’s problems with the software. I am so upset when they send us emails telling us that they appreciate our business but we should become more familiar with the programs funcionality. Really, if my network setup is deleted every time there is a new update, then it is their functionality that needs working, not mine.

  3. bob says:

    I have been having problems with this program !!! errors after errors shut downs etc. As far as tech support I believe they fired the first team and we are left with the rookies.. Been an Accountant for 35 yrs and can’t believe this is CCH..I used this program for 10 yrs and I can’ t believe what has happened!! Tried to call Sat. 2/2/13 but was told they were too busy to talk to anyone and was disconnected. Can’t even start my work!!

  4. Sharon says:

    Same problems! One main user and one workstation helper during tax season. Every other year it has been a simple process to install- this year the workstation cannot access the client data no matter how we install- stand alone, network- two different techs have spent time trying to get it to work. No help from atx- just hours spent on hold, then if we are lucky we get an uninformative person with no answers. AARGH!

  5. marcus says:

    CCH changed platforms for 2012. These issues are items that should have been worked out in October of last year. I might as well be paying my clients to be able to do their tax returns with the amount of time and returns being lost.

  6. James says:

    I have been with ATX since 2003 great program until this year it still does not work for me I am a sole proprietor CPA I have wasted at least a week on hold with tech I finally gave up and change software after the 12.5 and 12.6 did not work they obiviously knew there were problems because the payroll was separate this year and it works fine too bad it was a great program New and improved ha Also I applied for a refund from ATX and the program crashed doing this Good Luck and have a great tax season

  7. Diane says:

    I have been with ATX for many years as well. I will move next year, as I have already wasted a lot of time that I should not have. I have complained for years about us training their customer service. Especially for corporate returns, there has always been a strong learning curve that I just can’t do again next year.
    I cannot even get anyone to return my call.

  8. George says:

    I started using ATX in 1999 loved the program until this year. After installing it and running one client on it and seeing how long it took and all the problems I had enough after two days. I called asked for a refund jumped to Drake since ATX was slow and required a learning curve, best decision I made. Played with Drake on one return it was fast and the support was patient in explaining things. Support takes about 10 seconds to answer your call and all they ask is your efin and name they don’t go through the procesure of address etc like ATX. You have until the 28th of February to adk for a refund, my advice is bite the bullit and convert to a different program. ATX is history they took a good program and ruined it. Good luck to all this tax season.

  9. William says:

    I ran into the same error, prior years the share had to have program files folder and the ATX20xx folder inside of this folder.


    share:\Program Files\ATX2011\

    It worked for me with 2012 to place the installation folder directly on the root of the share.



    let me install.. hope it helps

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