Technical Support FAQ

These are some Frequently Asked Questions about the technical aspects of the T.O.V.A.:

How do I print out the test report?

  • Highlight the session in the T.O.V.A. main window, choose 'View', and then click the printer icon.

How can I change the gender or age of the subject?

  1. Highlight the subject in the Subjects tab of the main window.
  2. Click 'Edit'.
  3. Correct the information there and click 'Save'.

Note that changing the subject gender or birthdate will modify which norms are used for the T.O.V.A. report, and perhaps invalidate the test (the short-form test is only valid for ages four and five; likewise, the long-form test is only valid for ages six and up). You should try to be sure that that the birthdate is correct before administering the test.

If I view a test a second time, will I use another test credit?

No. A test credit is used when the test's data is retrieved from the T.O.V.A. USB device and saved to the database. Once the test has been saved to the database, it can be viewed, printed, and exported as often as you like. If you import a T.O.V.A. 7 test, no credits will be spent unless the T.O.V.A. 7 data file was itself never interpreted. You will always be warned and asked to confirm before a test credit is used.

Please note that importing an uncredited T.O.V.A. 7 test does not modify the original data file. Therefore, if you import the test again, on another system, another test credit would be required. You can avoid this by exporting the test session from the T.O.V.A. 8/9 and importing that file on the other system. T.O.V.A. 8/9 files are always credited.

How do I compare the results of two or more tests?

  1. Highlight the two sessions in the T.O.V.A. main window.
  2. Click the 'Compare' button.

You can compare up to four sessions at a time. It is a very useful way to show patients or parents the main areas of attention measured graphically and over time.

How do I give a second test to the same subject?

Highlight the subject in the Subjects tab of the T.O.V.A. main window and click 'New session'.

How many test credits do I have?

Click 'Credits' from the main T.O.V.A. window to see the number of credits currently available and to order more.

How do I order additional T.O.V.A. test credits?

If your T.O.V.A. system has Internet access, you can order test credits from the built-in Credits interface:

  1. Run the T.O.V.A. and choose 'Credits'.
  2. Enter the number of credits you want to order and click 'Purchase credits'.
  3. Confirm the purchase by clicking 'Purchase'.
  4. In seconds, your order will be completed over the Internet, the credits will be added to your T.O.V.A. USB device, and your new available credit count will be reported back to you.

If you do not have Internet access, or you encounter problems when ordering, please contact support at 1-800-PAY-ATTN (800.729.2886 or 562.594.7700) or by email at

Can I test subjects without having any test credits?

No. The T.O.V.A. 8/9 will not allow you to run tests or save test data unless you have test credits available. This is a change from the T.O.V.A. 7, but necessary because of essential differences in the hardware and software.

How do I know what version I have?

The software version will show on the footer or header of a T.O.V.A. report or if you choose 'Help' from the main T.O.V.A. window.

How do I know if I have the latest version of the T.O.V.A.?

If you have the T.O.V.A. 7, you do not have the latest version, and you should update. The T.O.V.A. 8/9 is packed with new features and compatible with more systems, including the Mac.

The T.O.V.A. 8/9 will automatically check for updates and notify you when they are available. Click 'Updates' on the main window to check for or install updates to the T.O.V.A.

When is the next T.O.V.A. version going to come out?

Updates to the T.O.V.A. have been coming out every few months. Beyond that, it is unwise to speculate.

Will the T.O.V.A. work on my computer?

In the US, please see the latest T.O.V.A. 9 System Requirements. Outside the US, please see the latest T.O.V.A. 8 System Requirements. If you are still not sure, please contact Technical Support, and we'll answer your questions as best we can.

Will the T.O.V.A. work on my network?

You may install the T.O.V.A. 8/9 on a networked computer system (almost every computer is on some kind of a network). However, your database must be stored locally on that system's hard drive. Storing data on a network shared drive, or sharing a database between systems, is NOT supported and may cause data loss.

Do I need admin access to my system to run the T.O.V.A.?

The T.O.V.A. needs to be installed by a user with administrator access to the local system, but afterward it can be run and even updated by any user on the system. Please note that modifying some T.O.V.A. settings will require an administrator.

Does the T.O.V.A. work with Windows 8 or 10?

New Windows 8 or 10 systems can only use the T.O.V.A. 8 with an EAV setup, which requires an external monitor. New Windows 8 and 10 systems are required to employ UEFI with SecureBoot, which blocks the T.O.V.A. PTE from booting. See Windows 8 for a more thorough explanation.

Systems upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10 (or 8) work just fine with either the PTE or EAV setups.

Will the T.O.V.A. work if I don't have a parallel port?

The new T.O.V.A. does not require a parallel port, only the ubiquitous USB port.

Will the T.O.V.A. USB device work if I plug it into a USB hub?

The T.O.V.A. USB device must be plugged directly into your desktop or laptop's built-in USB ports. USB hubs cause communication with the device to be unreliable, and they should not be used, even if they work some of the time.

How can I back up my data?

All your T.O.V.A. subject and session information is now stored in a database, which makes it easier to search and sort for the information you seek. There is an entire section in the User's manual devoted to "Backing up the T.O.V.A. Database".

How can I transfer my T.O.V.A. data to a different computer?

All your T.O.V.A. subject and session information is now stored in a database, which makes it easier to search and sort for the information you seek. There is an entire section in the User's manual devoted to "Moving a T.O.V.A. Database".

If I move my T.O.V.A. USB device, will the test credits go with it?

Yes. Since the test credits are tracked by the T.O.V.A. hardware, you may move the hardware and the credits will move with it. Your T.O.V.A. test data, however, will remain stored on the first computer's hard drive.

Can I install the T.O.V.A. on more than one computer?

Yes. You can install T.O.V.A. on as many computers as you need, but you can only administer tests when the T.O.V.A. hardware is attached. It is the T.O.V.A. hardware that keeps you within the software licensing agreement.

Where are test credits stored?

T.O.V.A. test credits and credit orders are stored on your T.O.V.A. USB device. This helps protect against computer crashes and viruses.

Why can't I view the PDFs from your website?

Adobe or your browser (Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, etc.) may be having issues. Right-click the link to the PDF and select "Save Target As...", then open the saved file. If that doesn't work, you should reinstall Adobe Reader or install another PDF reader.


My system keeps booting the PTE and won't boot back to Windows!

Remove your T.O.V.A. CD or flash drive and click 'Done' or reboot your PC. If the CD or flash drive has boot priority, it will keep booting until it is removed or another device is given priority.

Specific Error Messages

"The T.O.V.A. service failed to prepare this system for the PTE."

"Failed to ask service about the system's state"

"Our attempts to connect to the TOVA 8 PTE Activation service failed."

This error usually indicates that the T.O.V.A. service has been stopped or failed to start.

You can attempt to start the T.O.V.A. PTE activation service by restarting your computer or you can start the service manually:

  1. Go to ‘Start’, ‘Run’ or hold the ‘Start’ key and press ‘R’.
  2. Enter services.msc and press ‘Enter’. This brings up the Services window.
  3. Highlight ‘TOVA 8 PTE Activation’ and, if it’s not already running, ‘Start’ the service.

"com.tovatest.usbd.USBDException: missing status field warningStates"

This error appears when you are running an older version of the T.O.V.A. software with newer firmware. The best solution is to update your T.O.V.A. program to the most recent version.

  1. Unplug the T.O.V.A device.
  2. Exit and restart the T.O.V.A. program.
  3. Click on 'Help', 'Check for updates' and follow the steps to install the new version.

Alternatively, you can exit the T.O.V.A. program and download and run this installer:

"com.tovatest.usbd.USBDCRCException: Warning: checksum not valid."

"com.tovatest.usbd.USBDErrorException: Unknown stimulus event type used in session event list"

If you have not already, update to the latest T.O.V.A. software.

  • Please restart the TOVA software and/or re-attach the T.O.V.A. device to a different USB port.
  • Make sure you have the T.O.V.A. hardware connected to a USB port on the PC not a USB hub.
  • Unplug any other USB devices (printers, webcams, etc.), at least temporarily. Sometimes other devices can create noise that interrupts communication.
  • Restart your PC.

If after trying these, you are still having problems, please follow these instructions:

  1. Open the T.O.V.A. program.
  2. Click ‘Preferences’.
  3. Select the ‘Advanced’ tab.
  4. Click ‘Logging Options’.
  5. Change 'Hardware log level' from ‘WARN’ to ‘DEBUG’.
  6. Click ‘Save’.

After you enable hardware debug logging, launch a new session. If you continue to get the same error (or any other issue), please send a technical support request through your program. The logging changes above will tell us more about the problem and assist us in resolving your issue.

"javax.print.PrintException: Printer is not accepting job."

Other similar errors while printing

This is usually caused by a Windows printing problem that Java has a difficult time interpreting. To resolve the problem, try the following:

  1. Go to 'Start', 'Printers and Faxes' (or in Windows 7, 'Devices and Printers'). This will list for you all your available printers.
  2. Right-click on the printer you'd like to print to, and choose, "Set as default printer."
  3. Double-click on that printer to see its printer queue. Please make sure there are no other documents still waiting to print. If there are, please clear them out, as they can cause errors with printing the TOVA report.
  4. If and when the queue is clear, go to 'Start', 'Run...'.
  5. Type notepad and click 'OK'.
  6. In Notepad, type a brief message (it can be gibberish, like "jfsaklfsufi").
  7. Go to 'File', 'Print...'. Make sure that the correct printer is selected and click 'Print'. This will print your document from Notepad, and confirm to us that the printer is able to print from other applications.
  8. Restart the TOVA. Find the correct session and click 'View Session' to see the report.
  9. Click on the Print button. When you are prompted, please confirm that the printer listed under 'Name:' is the same printer you want to use, the one we set as default.
  10. Click 'Print' to start printing.

If these steps don't work, you may need to try restarting the printer and restarting the TOVA system. If the printer is connected via USB to a different computer on the network, you may need to reboot that system as well.

If the T.O.V.A. report continues to cause problems for your printer, we also have a workaround:

  1. Run the T.O.V.A. and go to 'Preferences', 'Advanced', 'Other'.
  2. Select 'Use PDF reader for printing' and click 'Save'.

When you print, instead of the T.O.V.A. trying to print the report directly for Java, it will export the report to PDF, open it in your default PDF reader, and print from that reader. You may have to manually close your PDF reader program when printing is complete.

"The TOVA USB device is unreachable--system probably went to sleep."

"java.lang.IllegalStateException: The device is not open."

This error can be caused by a Windows PC going to sleep or standby mode. After the system wakes up, it can no longer see the attached T.O.V.A. USB device. Furthermore, if the system goes to sleep during an EAV test, the test will be interrupted and the results lost.

The first steps to fix and prevent this error are as follows:

  1. Disable sleep mode on your PC. There are instructions for different OSes below.
  2. Detach and reattach your T.O.V.A. device's USB cable. It may take a minute for your system to recognize the device again.
  3. Exit and restart the T.O.V.A. software.

To be on the safe side, we recommend that you disable Sleep mode on any T.O.V.A. system where you intend to do External A/V testing. If that’s not possible, the computer should wait at least an hour before sleeping. There are other problems that can cause this error, so if you find that it occurs even after you perform these steps, or if it keeps recurring even after sleep mode has been disabled, contact T.O.V.A. technical support.

Note: How to disable Sleep mode on a given system can vary somewhat. If the instructions below don’t work for you, contact your system’s manufacturer.

Disabling Sleep mode on Windows XP

Note: You will need Administrator rights to change your Windows XP power options.

  1. Right-click on your desktop and choose ‘Properties’ or go to ‘Control Panel’, ‘Display’.
  2. Click on the Screen Saver tab and at the bottom click the ‘Power’ button.
  3. Systems vary on this, but under ‘System standby’, ‘System hibernates’, or any similar options, choose ‘Never’. That’s the best way to ensure that your T.O.V.A. EAV Test session won’t be ruined by Sleep mode.
  4. Once you’ve disabled standby and hibernation, choose ‘OK’.

Disabling Sleep mode on Windows Vista/7

  1. Click the Start button and type ‘Power’.
  2. From the list that appears, choose ‘Power options’.
  3. Select a new power plan if you want. For the selected plan, choose ‘Change plan settings’.
  4. Under ‘Put the computer to sleep:’, choose ‘Never’. You may have to disable this in multiple places (‘Plugged in’, ‘On battery’, etc.).
  5. Click ‘Save changes’.

Disabling Sleep mode on Windows 8

  1. Bring up the Start page and type ‘Power’.
  2. Click ‘Settings’ and then choose ‘Power options’.
  3. Select a new power plan if you want. For the selected plan, choose ‘Change plan settings’.
  4. Under ‘Put the computer to sleep:’, choose ‘Never’. You may have to disable this in multiple places (‘Plugged in’, ‘On battery’, etc.).
  5. Click ‘Save changes’.

Disabling Sleep mode on Windows 10

  1. Bring up the Start page and type ‘Sleep’.
  2. Click ‘Power & sleep settings’.
  3. Under ‘When plugged in, PC goes to sleep after’, choose ‘Never’.

WARNING: Always plug in your laptop for the T.O.V.A. test. The test should never be administered on battery, and power loss during the test will likely result in loss of test results.

Which Java version do you use?

Our latest release of the T.O.V.A. 9 (9.0-78) uses Java 8 (8u111 on Windows, 8u102 on Mac). Our latest release of the T.O.V.A. 8 (8.2-202) uses Java 8 (8u45) on Windows, Java 7 (7u71) on Mac. The T.O.V.A. copies the Java we use locally, so that you no longer need Java "installed" to run the T.O.V.A.

See this page for a more detailed explanation.

Other Questions?

You can look through some of our other Frequently Asked Questions. If you have a technical question not listed here or just want someone to walk you through the steps, remember that T.O.V.A. technical support is always free.