Friday, March 28, 2008

Autodesk changes will affect Mechanical Desktop 2009 customers!

Hot off the wire!

Autodesk has notified Avatech Solutions of an important delivery change for Mechanical Desktop customers.

With the release of the Autodesk® Inventor® 2009 products, we are changing the way our customers receive the Mechanical Desktop® software. While all Inventor 2009 products include Autodesk® Mechanical Desktop® 2009, the software is no longer included on the Inventor DVD. Customers who still use Mechanical Desktop must download it.

A notification card included in the DVD box explains the change and invites customers to visit, where they can download the appropriate files. This download page includes a short questionnaire that will enable us to improve our understanding of current Mechanical Desktop usage. Customers may also request physical media after completing the questionnaire.

Mobile CAD Viewing Application

We were recently asked by a client if they could view designs on their mobile devices. The answer is yes, with Project Freewheel. This works with WM5-6 software and Blackberry.

But, the homepage of Project Freewheel does not support this, it has some incompatible elements. try instead this page:

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Disable Antivirus Software During Installs

It has always been said in the installation instructions that the antivirus software should be disabled during the installation. This is not widely known and most people when asked are not aware that their supposed to. If the antivirus software is not disabled, the registry may not be written to properly. This causes a common error with the Tool Palettes that will read “Class Not Registered” when a tool is activated. If this happens to you it will likely take a “Clean” reinstallation of the software to correct the problem. For details on how to do this, see Please also check your antivirus manufacturer’s documentation for assistance with turning off the antivirus protection for installation purposes.

Issue Found in AutoCAD Architecture 2009 & AutoCAD MEP 2009

The Avatech team is excited about the release of the 2009 product line – and we pride ourselves on our ability to break things before anyone else. Our technical support team found a glitch in AutoCAD Architecture & AutoCAD MEP 2009.

We are proud to say we found this before Autodesk did.

Enough already! What did we find?
The drawing scale cannot be changed through the Drawing Setup menu in either of the products. However that this can be changed through the command prompt using the “CAnnoScale” variable. To do so, simply type cannoscale at the command prompt and enter the scale you want to change to such as ¼” = 1’-0”.

We hope this helps. Stay tuned for more glitches and fixes.

AutoCAD 2009 Hotfix - NLM IPv6

Autodesk released a hotfix for AutoCAD 2009. Be sure to read through the readme file before you install this fix. This is intended to assist people already running the Autodesk Network License Manager. Contact us with additional questions.

Get the fix on the Autodesk website.

Read more about AutoCAD 2009.

Contact Avatech Technical Support - 800-808-7645.

Monday, March 24, 2008

When Not to Use the Network Activation Wizard

The Network Activation Wizard, a part of the Tools and Utilities of many Autodesk product installations is an optional application you can install to assist you in activating your network license of certain Autodesk products. There are, however, limitations to the use of this program.

  • If you are trying to activate (or obtain license files for) more than one Autodesk product, you should instead contact Autodesk Authorizations directly to obtain your license files. Each Network Activation Wizard works only for the product with which they are shipped. Each is not designed to assist you in acquiring product licenses for more than one product
  • If you have license manager already running and have existing license files in use, you should also contact Autodesk to obtain new license files.

Autodesk Authorizations can be reached toll-free at 800-551-1490 or on the web at

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

/3 GIG Switch and drivers *Video*

3GB switch on XP or Vista32:
The graphics vendors have re-structured their drivers to use more Operating System address space and less application address space. You may have to use the USERVA switch (i.e.. /USERVA=2800) to move the 3GB boundary down. When running up against this boundary, please limit Inventor to 1 graphics window. Do not run any other applications that are not required, as each application takes OS resources that may not be available.

  • The 3GB option reduces the amount of kernel address space to 1GB. Sometimes the kernel may need more space for internal tables or other drivers. See Microsoft support for tuning information. If you have this problem, use "/USERVA=2900" (or 2800 etc.) (MB for this argument) to limit the USER Virtual Address space to less than 3GB. This allows more space for the operating system kernel if it is needed. This option is placed in the Boot.ini file just after the "/3GB" option.
  • The first time you reboot to the 3GB mode immediately go the My Computer properties > Advanced tab > Settings > Advanced tab > and change the maximum amount of virtual memory to 4 GB. This is part of the Microsoft requirements.

Graphics vendor specific information is available for these vendors:


  • The Wildcat III/4 cards do support the 3GB option.
    The Wildcat VP880 & VP990 use 256MB of kernel memory. The 3GB option reduces the amount of kernel address space to 1GB. If other devices are using large amounts of kernel memory, then this may cause a Wildcat VP driver to fail to load (see Microsoft support for tuning information). If you have problems, use set /USERVA=2900 (or 2800 etc.) to reserve an additional 100MB (or more if needed) for the kernel with these cards.


  • The recommended mode of operation assumes that you have a 4GB system, a reasonable card (256MB or better) and setting the flag /userva=2500. See for information on tuning your system so that stability is maintained.


  • The 3GB option appears to be supported by drivers newer than 4072. Using the latest drivers, no problems have been found with Nvidia cards. Not all cards were tested.

    My test system is set up as follows:
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)WINDOWS="XP full 3GB setting" /3GB /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)WINDOWS="XP 2300" /3GB /USERVA=2300 /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)WINDOWS="XP 2500" /3GB /USERVA=2500 /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)WINDOWS="XP 2800" /3GB /USERVA=2800 /fastdetect

  • Always copy and edit the last line of your Boot.ini file. It may be different from my last line. Using my line may make your system unable to boot.
  • Line 1 is the original last line in my boot.ini file. As the first line in this group, it will be the default line if one does not make a different selection during the boot process. This is my escape hatch.
  • Line 2 is modified to boot in the 3GB mode which allows 3GB of address space to the application and 1GB to the windows kernel.
  • Line 3 provides 2.3GB of address space to the application and 1.7GB to the Windows kernel.
  • I have all of these combinations available to test different hardware and drivers. You should not need to have all of these lines in your boot.ini file.
  • Use what works. You have to allow enough space for the Windows kernel to run.
    Once you are finished modifying the boot.ini file, please protect it by changing it to read only.
  • Microsoft has identified a problem for systems with multiple SCSI controllers.
  • See more at Article ID:319043

Monday, March 3, 2008

How to set the /3GB Startup Switch in Windows XP and Vista

Below is the XP Pro /3GB Startup Switch procedure for your boot.ini file to change the allocated memory the OS reserves for each program.

  1. Right-click My Computer and select Properties. The System Properties dialog box will appear.
  2. Click the Advanced tab.
  3. In the Startup and Recovery area, click Settings. The Startup and Recovery dialog box will appear.
  4. In the System startup area, click Edit. This will open the Windows boot.ini file in Notepad.
  5. In the [Operating Systems] section, add the following switches to the end of the startup line that includes the /fastdetect switch: /3GB
  6. Save the changes and close Notepad.
  7. Click OK two times to close the open dialog boxes, and then restart the computer for the change to take effect.

Example of my Boot.ini – I have 2 lines of XP pro and 1 for safe mode for my support testing on my machine.


[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional with 3gb switch" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect /3gb
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Safe Mode" /safeboot:minimal /sos /bootlog


Below is the Vista 3 gig switch procedure (This has a known issue with Civil 3D)

Enabling 3GB switch on Windows Vista™

Published date: 2007-Sep-25 ID: TS1069947

To enable the 3GB switch on Windows Vista™

  1. Right-click Command Prompt in the Accessories program group of the Start menu.
  2. Click Run as Administrator.
  3. At the command prompt, enter "bcdedit /set IncreaseUserVa 3072"
  4. Restart the computer.

To disable the 3GB switch on Windows Vista™

  1. Right-click on Command Prompt in the Accessories program group of the Start menu.
  2. Click Run as Administrator.
  3. At the command prompt, enter "bcdedit /deletevalue IncreaseUserVa"
  4. Restart the computer.

For more information on the 3GB switch, refer to the following Microsoft MSDN article:


ONE KNOWN ISSUE with /3GB switch:

Applies to: AutoCAD Civil 3D 2008

Issue: When you tried to insert an image, you received the following error message:

Cannot Open Frame File .\AcMapCoordinateTransform.cppeUnknownErrorFile .\\AcMapCoordinateTransform.cppeUnknownErrorFile .\\AcMapCorrelation.cpp

Solution: This issue occurs when the 3GB switch has been enabled on your system, but your graphics card does not support this option.

To correct this issue, you need to disable the 3GB switch.

Autodesk 2005 Products Retirement

On March 14, 2008, Autodesk will officially retire many of its 2005-era products; ending sales of upgrades and technical support for the same.

Avatech Solutions, Inc. will continue offering technical support under its "Legacy Product Support" offering only. The Legacy Product Support program offers technical support for retired products under the following stipulations:
  • Support is delivered to Flextime clients only
  • No resolution is guaranteed or promised
  • No escalation resources to the vendor are available
The following is a list of the products being retired as of March 14, 2008:
  • AutoCAD LT® 2005
  • AutoCAD® 2005
  • Autodesk® Architectural Desktop 2005
  • Autodesk® Land Desktop 2005
  • Autodesk® Raster Design 2005
  • Autodesk Map® 3D 2005
  • AutoCAD® Mechanical 2005
  • AutoCAD® Electrical 2005
  • Autodesk Inventor® Series 9
  • Autodesk® VIZ 2005
  • Autodesk® 3ds Max® 7
If you have any questions, please contact our National Support Center at (800) 808-7645 or by email at