This page contains answers to common questions handled by our support staff, along with some tips and tricks that we have found useful and presented here as questions.

Note: In these answers we will follow a few shorthand conventions for describing user-interface procedures. Key combinations will be presented like this: Ctrl+Alt+Delete, which means that you should press and hold down the Control key, the Alt key, and the Delete key at the same time. Menu selections will be presented like this: File->Open, which means that you should open the File menu, and then make the Open selection.

You may also want to refer to the manual and the online help for answers to your questions.

Note: This page will be seeing major changes in the near future as we update the questions.


How do I order?
You can place an order for PC Survey by calling (800) 652-7279 between the hours of 8 am to 5 pm central time Monday through Friday.

What is the pricing?
You can find the ordering details and current pricing by going to the pricing page

If I have 10 employees, how many copies do I need?
If they are using 10 different computers, you would have to purchase 10 copies or licenses of PC Survey. We license by simultaneous user.

Why can’t I just load one copy of PC Survey onto all my machines? We do that with AutoCAD.
If you did that with AutoCAD, then you violated the licensing agreement. When you purchase PC Survey (or most any other software, for that matter) you are buying one copy for one user. If we allowed everyone to load one copy on many computers, we would be out of business in no time.

Can I at least get a discount on PC Survey?
Yes, discounts are available for multiple purchases. Student rates are also available.

Why do I have to pay for technical support?
You don’t. Tech support is free. However, we do ask that you call us direct at 385-312-8567 instead of our 800 line.

I see that PC Survey will work on older systems. Surely that’s not the best way to run it. What kind of system do you recommend?
Versions of PC Survey since August 2008 require a computer running Windows XP or later. The current versions will run natively in Vista and Windows 7. Older versions of PC Survey will work on Vista and Windows 7 with XP compatibility mode enabled. A fast network connection, inkjet or laser based printer or plotter and at least 2 gigabytes of hard drive space available are recommended.

Will PC Survey work with pen plotters?
We are aware of one company, Drafting Solutions, that sells a driver for pen plotters that works with current versions of Windows.

When will you add “x” to PC Survey?
Our programming department is always looking for ways to enhance PC Survey. If you have an idea to improve upon it, send it to


How can I double-click on a PCS file to open it up with PC Survey?

  1. Go to Start > Programs > Windows Explorer.
  2. In Windows Explorer, select Tools > Folder Options. If there is no Folder Options in the Tools menu, check in the View menu.
  3. Go to the File Types tab.
  4. Click on New Type.
  5. Set Description of Type to something like PC Survey file.
  6. Click on New.
  7. Set Action to open.
  8. Set Application used to perform action to c:\pcs\pcs.exe “%1” -i c:\pcs (assuming that pcs installed in the default folder).
  9. Click on OK, OK, and OK to finish the 3 nested dialogs.

At this point, you should be able to double click on a pcs file and automatically start PC Survey.

Will PC Survey open AutoCAD files?
Yes, but with minor and occasional inconsistencies. With complex .dxf and .dwg files, some elements can be off slightly, so make sure to double-check your work.

Can AutoCAD open a PC Survey file?
AutoCAD does not have the native ability to open a .pcs file. However, you can export any PC Survey file to .dxf or .dwg directly from PC Survey.

I can’t find pcs.ini. Does that mean I don’t have one?
No, it means you have the file hidden. Refer to your Windows documentation to make it visible again.

I keep losing my authorization. What gives?
Very often, authorization can be erased when your run a hard drive defragmenter, like the one bundled with Windows or from a third party utility package like Norton Utilities. These utilities have an option to leave certain files and folders untouched. Refer to their documentation on how to do this.

I’m trying to open a PC Survey file and keep getting a “bad file version” error. Why?
The file you are attempting to open has been modified by a version of PC Survey that is newer than the one on your current system. You will need to install the update.

I’m installing PC Survey and keep getting an error message “initialization 100”. Explain?
This error most often occurs when installing an older version of PC Survey (before Oct 31, 2000) on a Windows ME machine. It can easily be corrected by installing a more recent version.

If you are installing on something other than a Windows ME machine, the installation probably failed. You will need to reinstall. If you downloaded the files from the web, you will need to download again. If you installed from disk or CD, you may need a new one.

I’m installing PC Survey on a Windows NT,  2000 or XP machine. It is giving me an error message “initialization 102”. What’s the deal?
Just go to the Downloads page, download the 102 network fix, and then run it. The error should now be gone

How do I resolve an error about “network driver appears not to be serving this directory” after installing PC Survey?
Just go to the Downloads page, download the 102 network fix, and then run it. The error should now be gone

Every time I open PC Survey, I get an error concerning a ctl3d32.dll file.  It doesn’t seem to effect the program, but it’s bugging the heck out of me. How can I get rid of it?
Go to your PCS folder and delete the file. You should now no longer be getting that error message.


How much does shipping cost?
We used to charge different rates for different parts of the program. Now, we simply charge $15 for the program and $10 for upgrades in shipping and handling charges. However, there will be additional charges for overnight and Saturday Delivery. Shipping overnight will cost an additional $10 and Saturday Delivery will cost $45 on top of that. Also, shipping out of the United States will also cost, but since the cost depends on where it is shipped, you will need to give us your location before we will have an estimate on the cost.

What kind of freight services do you use?
Our standard shipping is through the US Postal Service, but we can also ship through UPS.

When will my package get here?
If you didn’t request any kind of special shipping, the package should arrive within a week from when you ordered it.

What are updates, and what is the difference between them and an upgrade?
An update is when you go to our Downloads page and download an update. Of course, if you have a problem downloading, we can always send you a CD, which costs $10 for shipping and handling. We post updates every other week or so. Updates are free for a year from the time that you bought the program. If you want to download a new update after a year has expired, you will need to purchase an “upgrade.” An upgrade will cover your costs in updates for the following year. Please go to our PC Survey Pricing page to know the costs of upgrading your copy.

What is a hardlock?
To best explain Hardware Locks, it’s best to understand the authorization process first. When you buy the program and install it, and then open it, it will say “PC Survey is not authorized.” At this point, you will need to go to Project–>Authorize, then call or e-mail us and give us your site code. Once we have the site code, we will give you an authorization code. With your site code, we give you an authorization code based on which modules you bought. By doing this, we eliminate the need for shipping different CDs for different modules as they are already on the CD and install with the rest of the program.

Now, let’s say you like to use a defrag program. Unfortunately, doing this can wipe out the authorization. There are three hidden files in the PCS folder that contain the authorization. If these files are moved or deleted, you lose the authorization, since the program doesn’t appreciate smart alecks who want to extend an authorization time, such as in a 30-day authorization. But, because a defrag program moves things around to make room, it moves those files unaware that it is making a big mistake. Luckily, this can be avoided by using Norton Utilities. Just tell Norton not to move hidden files or don’t touch the PCS folder. You can’t do this with a Windows embedded defrag program. This is where the hardlock comes to save the day. It will act as your authorization. It is also useful as a backup in case a computer crashes, or if you have PC Survey installed on several computers, then you can just unplug the hardlock on one and put it on another. Of course, like all things, there are a couple of downsides to this little hero. First, it costs $50. Second, it can be a pain to have keys dangling on the back of your computer and that is why most people choose the path of the authorization code instead.