Technical Support
Frequently Asked Questions

Platform Inquiries





Windows Mobile (Pocket PC and Smartphone)

Palm OS



Q: How do I get WISER?

A: WISER is available to download from this web site. Please go to our download page and get the desired version of WISER for your machine/device. If you are unable to download WISER, you may contact us to request a CD. However, download access is preferable so that you can keep current with WISER updates; see below for more details on CDs.

A web-based version of WISER, WebWISER, is also available. Only an Internet browser is required. Both PC- and mobile-based browsers are supported.

Q: Can I request a CD??

A: Yes. However, unless you have technical difficulties with downloading, we strongly encourage you to instead download WISER from this web site. A WISER CD simply contains the same setup programs that you would download. Downloading is preferable to ensure you get the latest and greatest, and it facilitates getting updates when they become available.

The primary benefit of a CD is for installing WISER on computers that do not have Internet connectivity. You are welcome to copy the downloaded setup programs to a CD to support this. In fact, our WISER for Windows download page includes an extra download for this purpose. Much larger than the normal download, it includes the 3rd party dependencies (Microsoft .NET Framework) that would otherwise need to be downloaded if not present on the target computer.

If, after considering the above, you still need/desire a CD, then contact us with your request.

Q: How do I install WISER?

A: The WISER download is a setup program that will install the correct files to your desktop/laptop and, if applicable, your mobile device. After downloading the Windows setup program to your PC, double-click on it and follow the instructions it presents. For detailed instructions, read the corresponding README files for the Palm OS, Pocket PC (Windows Mobile touch screen PDAs/phones), Smartphone (Windows Mobile non-touch screen phones), or Windows platforms.

Q: What operating systems / versions are required?

A: See the separate questions for:

Q: What other software is required?

A: WISER for Windows® requires the Microsoft® .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 or above. The WISER setup program will verify if this is already installed and, if not, will automatically download and install it. Note that the .NET installation requires administrative privileges.

WISER for the Windows Mobile platforms (Pocket PC and Smartphone) requires a PC with the appropriate software for synchronizing with the mobile device. On Windows XP (or earlier) PCs, ActiveSync 4.x or later is required. Windows Vista or later already includes the required software, Windows Mobile Device Center, but version 6 or later of that software is required. The latest versions of either can be downloaded here.

The Windows Mobile platforms also require the Microsoft .NET Compact Framework 2.0 Service Pack 1, which is bundled with the WISER software and automatically installed.

WISER for Palm OS requires the Palm HotSync software to install the WISER application on the device. No additional software on the device is required.

Q: The WISER installation is prompting for a user name and password. Where do I get them?

A: WISER does not have a user name or password. The prompt you are seeing is generated by Microsoft Windows, which is requiring administrative user credentials to install software on your computer. Please contact your information systems support personnel for assistance.

Q: I uninstalled WISER, but the additional system dependencies that were installed did not get uninstalled. Why? Can I remove them?

A: WISER for Windows depends on the Microsoft .NET Framework, which the WISER setup program will install if required. However, uninstalling WISER will not uninstall .NET because .NET is system software, and there is no way to know if other applications on your PC require it. If you are sure it is not required for anything else, you may uninstall it by going to the Windows Control Panel and selecting Add/Remove Programs.

Similarly, on the Windows Mobile platforms (Pocket PC and Smartphone), WISER is dependent on Microsoft .NET Compact Framework 2.0 Service Pack 1, and it will remain after uninstalling WISER unless it is manually removed via Start-->Settings-->Remove Programs.

Q: How much memory is required? Why so much?

A: The vast majority of the memory required for WISER is storage space for the WISER database. WISER contains a wide range of information available for each substance, and that wealth of substance data takes considerable space.

WISER for Windows® requires approximately 20 megabytes of hard disk space.

On the Windows Mobile platforms (Pocket PC and Smartphone), WISER requires approximately 15 megabytes of storage space, either on the device or on a storage card. However, an amount of that same size is also temporarily required on the device during installation (in other words, 30 megabytes are required during the installation process). Up to 8 megabytes more of program memory is required to run WISER.

WISER for Palm OS requires approximately 8.5 megabytes of space for the databases and application. The application is able to read the data from either the handheld memory or from a storage card.

Q: How are upgrades of the downloadable versions of WISER handled?

A: The downloaded WISER setup program will automatically upgrade previous installations of WISER. To ensure you are aware of new releases of WISER, please subscribe to the WISER e-mail list.

In addition, WISER for Windows provides an automatic update check capability. If enabled (via the File-->Preference menu option), and if connected to the Internet, WISER will automatically check the WISER web site for a new version each time it is started. This check can also be manually invoked by selecting the Check for Updates option from the Help menu.

A similar capability is available for the Windows Mobile platforms (Pocket PC and Smartphone). A version check utility is included on the PC as part of the WISER installation. Each time synchronization with the mobile device occurs, this utility will check for a new version of WISER. To enable/disable this capability, or to manually invoke the check, open the Windows Start menu and select Check for Updates from the WISER group.

Q: Can I just download the WISER data?

A: No, a data-only download/update capability is not available, and it wouldn't provide any savings or benefit over the complete download and install. The database alone comprises 90% of the download, whereas the application is very small and fast to install. So, to ensure that users always have the latest versions of the application, database, and documentation, the only downloads we provide install everything.

Q: This FAQ doesn't answer my question; how do I get my question answered?

A: Please contact us. Feedback/questions are monitored daily, and we will do our best to answer questions immediately.

Platform Inquiries

Q: Can you recommend a mobile device for running WISER?

A: A summary of options follows:

  • iOS
    • iPhone/iPod touch/iPad devices: WISER for iOS
    • Advantages
      • Internet connectivity not required to run WISER
      • iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad support
    • Disadvantages
      • WISER for iOS is expected to be the best version of WISER offered for mobile devices. This includes support for devices that do not require a cell phone subscription (iPod touch/iPad) along with the use of a truly modern user interface. While WISER for iOS does not currently support the full set of WISER features, expect capabilities such as the full suite of WISER tools in the coming months.
  • Android
    • Android devices: WISER for Android
    • Advantages
      • Internet connectivity not required to run WISER
      • Support for Android devices running Android OS 2.1 or later
    • Disadvantages
      • Like WISER for iOS, WISER for Android is expected to be one of the best versions of WISER offered for mobile devices. This includes support for devices that do not require a cell phone subscription along with the use of a truly modern user interface. While WISER for Android does not currently support the full set of WISER features, expect capabilities such as help identify, the full suite of WISER tools, and protective distance mapping in the coming months.
  • BlackBerry
    • Touch screen and non-touch screen BlackBerrys: WISER for BlackBerry
      • Advantages:
        • Allows quick and easy access to WISER information
      • Disadvantages:
        • Internet connectivity required to run WISER
        • Not finger friendly on touch screen BlackBerry
  • Microsoft Windows Mobile Options Options
    • Touch screen (Pocket PC or touch screen phone): WISER for Pocket PC
      • Advantages
        • Internet connectivity not required to run WISER
        • Touch screen (stylus) input mechanism
        • Integrated PDA+Phone options
        • Richest WISER user interface of the mobile options
      • Disadvantages
        • From the standpoint of WISER, none. However, if using a device with a non-standard display size, such as the square screen of the Windows Mobile Palm Treo, scrolling of some displays will be required, as WISER is optimized for the standard portrait-oriented screens.
    • Non-touch screen: WISER for Smartphone
      • Advantages
        • Internet connectivity not required to run WISER
        • Integrated phone+PDA
      • Disadvantages
        • Small screen sizes (relative to a Pocket PC)
        • Non-touch screen interface not as rich (relative to touch screen)
    • For product offerings in each category, see the Microsoft Windows Mobile Browse and Buy Devices page (view this page with Internet Explorer)
  • Palm OS Options
    • Palm OS devices: WISER for Palm OS
    • Advantages
      • Internet connectivity not required to run WISER
      • Integrated PDA+Phone options
    • Disadvantages
      • Fully functional core WISER capabilities, but will lag behind the Windows Mobile options for the latest WISER features, and substance data presentation is not as rich
  • Any Internet-enabled device, for example, a Blackberry or iPhone, with access to WebWISER
    • Advantage: nothing to install; only an Internet browser is required.
    • Disadvantages
      • Internet connectivity required
      • While fully function, the PDA-version of WebWISER that is served to the BlackBerry is presented with a very simplistic user interface for maximum support of PDA-based browsers. iPhone, on the other hand, because of it's sophisticated web browsing capabilities, accesses the full (PC-based) version of the WebWISER.

Q: Why isn't WISER available for [fill-in-your-platform here]?

A: Our goal with the WISER project is to provide a solution that can operate in a standalone, disconnected mode on the platforms that are most common for our primary user base: 1st responders. These platforms include Microsoft Windows PCs, Apple's iPhone and iPod touch devices, Windows Mobile devices, and Palm OS devices. For other platforms, support is available via WebWISER, the functionally-equivalent, Internet version of WISER. It can be accessed from any web browser, including those on mobile devices like BlackBerries.

Funding and resources are limited, so we cannot support development for platforms which are not common among our users, and on which WebWISER is available as an alternative. See the following questions for further details regarding specific platforms.

Q: What about Macintosh or Linux support?: These platforms are supported by virtue of the availability of WebWISER, the functionally-equivalent, Internet version of WISER. Apple's Safari is one of the browsers included in our testing.

In general, Macintosh and Linux machines are not used in the field by 1st responders, and thus users of these platforms are satisfied with the availability of WebWISER. Therefore, there are no plans to develop standalone versions of WISER for Macintosh or Linux.

Q: Any plans to support the recently announced Palm WebOS platform?

A: Such devices are supported by virtue of the availability of WebWISER. We currently do not have plans for a downloadable, standalone version of WISER for this platform.

Q:What features are supported on each platform?

A: See the WISER capability chart.


Q: What versions of Microsoft Windows are supported?

A: WISER for Windows requires a Microsoft® Windows®-based computer running Windows XP or later. WISER is dependent on Microsoft's .NET Framework 3.5, which does not support earlier versions of Windows.

At least 25 megabytes of hard disk space is required for WISER, excluding .NET. If your computer does not have the required version of .NET installed, the WISER for Windows setup program will aid in downloading and installing it.

Q: I have an old version of Microsoft .NET Framework on my PC from a previous WISER installation. Can this be removed?

A: WISER for Windows depends on Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1. Previous versions depended on .NET 1.1 or 2.0. It is recommended to not remove these in case you have other applications depending on them, even though the latest version of .NET should support backward compatibility with such applications. However, .NET 1.1 can be removed without affecting WISER. .NET 2.0 cannot, as .NET 3.x builds on top of it.

Q: I need to push a WISER installation out to multiple computers. Does WISER have a silent install option?

A: A silent install can be achieved by executing the setup program with "/SILENT" or "/VERYSILENT" command-line parameters, e.g.,

				 WISER_Windows_Setup.exe /VERYSILENT

The "/SILENT" option will still display a progress dialog, while "/VERYSILENT" will not display anything.

It may also be relevant to know that the setup is not a MSI (Windows Installer) package (WISER is packaged using the InnoSetup installation tool.)

Q: When I try to use the protective distance mapping feature WISER crashes.

A: Your Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 installation did not successfully complete. Please download and install .NET from here.

Q: Why are the right and bottom edges of windows being cut off?

A: WISER for Windows will not display properly unless the normal (default) setting is used for the DPI scaling (font size) option. Please see the Known Issues section of the README for details on how to fix this.

iOS Touch

Q: What Apple devices are supported?

A: WISER for iOS requires an Apple iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad device running iOS 4.2 or higher. It requires about 30 MB of disk space for installation.


Q: What Google Android devices are supported?

A: WISER for Android requires an Android device running version 2.1 (Eclair) or later of the Android OS. It requires 28 MB of disk space for installation.


Q: What BlackBerry devices are supported?

A: WISER for BlackBerry requires a BlackBerry device running operating system 4.5 or higher. It requires 52k of disk space for installation. Connectivity to the internet is also required.

Q: Why does WISER for BlackBerry require a connection to the internet?

A: WISER for BlackBerry leverages WebWISER, WISER's web implementation, to deliver its content. This type of implementation is a direct result of technical feasibility issues with older  BlackBerry devices. WISER relies on a relational database, and a freely distributable database for BlackBerry devices is not currently available, across most BlackBerry operating system versions, that can fill our needs.

Q: How do you disable compatibility mode to run on touch screen devices?

A: On BlackBerry Storm devices, you will need to disable compatibility mode otherwise a blue border will be displayed around the application. This problem also affects the SureType virtual Keyboard making navigation and selection of fields or buttons very difficult. To turn off compatibility mode:

  • Go to options, then advanced options
  • Highlight WISER
  • Click on the menu button
  • Select disable compatibility mode
  • Once compatibility mode is disabled, restart your application.

Windows Mobile (PocketPC and Smartphones)

Q: What's the distinction between a Pocket PC and Smartphone?

A: Microsoft Windows Mobile supports two classes of devices: those with a touch screen (interact with the PDA via a stylus), and those without a touch screen (interact with the PDA via the keypad). Historically, the touch screen devices were called Pocket PC, and the non-touch screen devices Smartphones, and supporting both requires two different applications. The line between the two became blurred when phones started being integrated with Pocket PCs (a Pocket PC PDA without a phone is now difficult to find). While the traditional Pocket PC and Smartphone names are still used in the WISER branding, the bottom line is as follows:

  • WISER for Pocket PC: touch screen devices, including phones
  • WISER for Smartphone: non-touch screen phones

So, while you may have a "smart phone", you will actually need WISER for Pocket PC if that phone has a touch screen.

Q: What Pocket PCs (Windows Mobile touch screen devices) are supported?

A: WISER for Pocket PC (which is for PDAs and phones with a touch screen interface) requires a Pocket PC 2003 (version 4.x of the Windows CE operating system) or later device, which includes PDAs and phones running Window Mobile 5.0 and above.

NOTE that, as of version 2.3 of WISER, Pocket PC 2002 (version 3.x) devices are no longer supported. However, an old version of WISER that supported those devices is still available for download.

Q: What Smartphones (Windows Mobile non-touch screen devices) are supported?

A: WISER for Smartphone (which is for phones that do not have a touch screen) requires a Windows Mobile 5.0 or later device (operating system version 5.x or later). 2002 and 2003 editions of the Smartphone are NOT supported.

Q: Which WISER do I download for my Palm Treo Smartphone?

If your Treo runs Windows Mobile, then download WISER for Pocket PC (the version of WISER that supports Windows Mobile touch screen devices).

If your Treo runs Palm OS, then you need WISER for Palm OS.

Q: Why am I getting the following error message on my device: "The .NET Compact Framework version you are attempting to install already exists in ROM"?

Do you have a Windows Mobile 6.x device? It already includes in ROM the version of the Microsoft .NET Compact Framework that is included in WISER, but the WISER installer attempts to install it anyways. Please ignore this error and the subsequent "Installation of Microsoft .NET CF 2.0 CAB was unsuccessful" message; it does not affect the successful installation of WISER.

Q: I want to install WISER to my storage card, but installation is failing because there's not enough memory on the device! How do I get it on my card?

WISER can be installed to a storage card, but before the setup can present the prompt for the desired location, it must temporarily download setup files to your device. If your device does not have enough storage space for these temporary files, a "Not Enough Space On Device" dialog will be presented on your PC. Aside from deleting unneeded programs and files to free up space, this can be resolved by installing WISER directly to a storage card. For the detailed procedures, see the Resolving Installation Errors section of the README for Smartphone (Windows Mobile non-touch screen phones) or README for Pocket PC (Windows Mobile touch screen devices).

Q: Installation on my device fails, resulting in the following error message: "Installation of WISER for Smartphone(Pocket PC).CAB was unsuccessful." What happened?

There are two common causes of this error:

  1. The installation timed out. This results from the failure to respond to prompts presented on the device in a timely manner. Repeat the installation, and be sure to monitor the progress on the device. For more details, see the Resolving Installation Errors section of the README for Smartphone or README for Pocket PC.
  2. There is not enough storage space on the device to complete the installation. Aside from deleting unneeded programs and files to free up space, this can be resolved by installing WISER to a storage card, or using a storage card to install WISER to the device. For the detailed procedures, see the Resolving Installation Errors section of the README for Smartphone (Windows Mobile non-touch screen phones) or README for Pocket PC (Windows Mobile touch screen devices).

Q: During installation, a message on my PC indicates that Microsoft .NET CF 2.0 is not supported on my device, and I cannot run WISER. My device meets the minimum platform requirements, so why do I see this?

A: Check the version of Microsoft ActiveSync: on your PC, open ActiveSync, and select "About Microsoft ActiveSync from the Help menu. If the version is not at least 4.0, then you must upgrade it (Click here to download it). Installation of WISER and its dependencies (Microsoft .NET CF 2.0) require Microsoft ActiveSynce 4.0 or later; failure to upgrade will result in the error described in the question.

Q: I have Microsoft .NET Framework 1.0 and Microsoft SQL CE 2.0 on my Pocket PC from a previous WISER installation. Can these be removed?

A: WISER for Pocket PC depends on "Microsoft .NET CF 2.0". Previous versions depended on "Microsoft .NET Compact Framework" (the 1.0 version), which is a separate installation, and which will not be automatically removed when upgrading WISER. Unless there is another application on your device that specifically requires it, you should be able to remove it. To do so, go to Start-->Settings-->System-->Remove Programs, and remove"Microsoft .NET Compact Framework".

Prior to version 2.3 of WISER for Pocket PC, Microsoft SQL CE 2.0 was also a dependency. If there are no other applications on your device that require it, it can similarly be removed.

Palm OS

Q: What versions of Palm OS are supported?

A: WISER for Palm OS requires a device with Palm OS version 3.5 or above.

Q: What version of WISER do I download for my Palm Treo Smartphone?

A: See above.

Q: Installation to the Palm OS device is very slow!?

A: The databases for WISER are large, so they will take several minutes to install. With a USB connection, synchronization time can approach 10 minutes for an older (e.g., 4.x) device. Note that there are issues with earlier versions of the Palm Desktop that cause the installation to be significantly slower. It is recommended that you upgrade your Palm Desktop software to the latest from the Palm web site.

Q: Why can't I sync to the Tungsten T5 or Treo 650?

A: Known issues with synchronizing large files to these devices have been fixed in ROM updates available from Palm. For more details, please see the README file for WISER for PalmOS.

Q: I upgraded the version of WISER on my Palm, and now it tells me I have an old, incompatible version of the database!?

A: Do you have a storage card in your device? If so, pop it out and try to run WISER again. If this works, you have old database files on the card; delete them, or HotSync the database files to your card instead of handheld memory. Following are details of this issue:

Running the new WISER program against an old database results in this behavior. Because WISER can run against databases that have been HotSync'd to either a storage card or to handheld memory, it is easy to create this scenario if the database files have not been updated in both places. If your device has a storage card, WISER will first look for its database there, and if not found there it will look in handheld memory. So, if you sync all three WISER files (the .prc program file and both .pdb database files) of the new version to the handheld, but still have old versions of the .pdb files on a storage card, you will encounter the problem.

WISER looks on the card first in order to support devices with limited memory. It allows the large database files to reside on a card, but still install the program to handheld memory for better performance. Further, a smaller version of the database can be installed to handheld memory, and it will automatically be used by WISER if the card with the full database is removed.


Q: What web browsers are supported?

A: Theoretically, WebWISER should work with any PC- or mobile-based web browser. It is tested against a BlackBerry browser and against the following PC-based browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 7 on Microsoft Windows
  • Mozilla Firefox 3.0 on Microsoft Windows
  • Safari on Macintosh (MacOS 10.3 and above; 10.2 is not supported)

It is highly recommended that the latest versions of the indicated browsers be used.

Q: Why does some WebWISER content not display properly on my BlackBerry?

A: In the Browser Configuration Options, make sure that the options "Support HTML Tables" and "Support Style Sheets" are checked (enabled). Without these options there is certain content that will display very poorly. It is also recommended that the "Show Images" option be set to include HTML pages; the PDA-friendly version of WebWISER has intentionally been designed to avoid images as much as possible, but some content, in particular the WISER Tools, will not be useful without images.