When you first start the Reporter, you can press one of several F keys quickly to force the Reporter to perform a particular task or enter a troubleshooting mode. Normally, you won’t need to use any of these options unless you’re having trouble and we ask you to try one or the other. When the Volunteer Reporter splash screen appears, you have about two seconds to press one of these keys.
F3 (version 5.9) This will force the Reporter to immediately re-index your data. It would be the same as starting the Reporter, then going to File and choosing to re-index. It doesn’t hurt to re-index your data, just takes time. Normally, your data only needs to be re-indexed when it is upgraded to a newer version.
F5 (version 5.9) This will start the Reporter in a “minimum startup mode” which bypasses many system checks. For example, normally the Reporter checks to make sure that all of the files needed to operate are present and accounted for. If you use this startup option, that check (and dozens more) won’t happen. If you can’t start the Reporter because every time it tells you that some file is missing or folder is locked, you can use this option to bypass that message and get into the Reporter. It won’t make the problem go away, just allow you in so you can fix the problem.
F7 (version 5.9) The Reporter knows where your data is located on the network by looking in a particular table, looking in a particular table, datasets.dbf. If that table becomes corrupted, the Reporter can’t start. This is very rare. Pressing F7 forces the Reporter to assume that the datasets table is corrupted and to remake it. It will try to recover your data’s folder location from the existing table, but if the existing table is really corrupted, it won’t be able to and you will have to point the Reporter to the location of your data on the network. In any case, this has nothing to do with your actual data, but only knowing the location of your data.
F9 (version 5.9) Pressing F9 forces the Reporter to upgrade your data from a previous version of the Reporter again. Normally, your data is upgraded just once when installing a new version of the Reporter. It is unusual to have to upgrade your data a second time, only in the case of the upgrading process failing before completion. Even then, the Reporter will know that it didn’t complete the process and start it over. It won’t ever hurt to upgrade your data more than once, it will just be a waste of time if you don’t need to.
F11 (version 6.0) Will reset the BDE to low. The BDE stands for the Borland Database Engine and it is an integral part of the Volunteer Reporter. It starts automatically when the Reporter starts. In the Reporter, under Preferences. you have the ability to adjust the performance settings for the BDE. There’s a very slight possibility that, on an old computer, you could adjust it so high that the Reporter wouldn’t run. In that unlikely case, this will reset it back to the lowest level and allow you to restart the Reporter. If the Volunteer Reporter starts normally, there is no reason to reset the BDE.