Friday, May 30, 2008

How's your CAD doing under the hood?

Applies to:
AutoCAD 2007-2011 and related family of products

Your graphics card is one of the most utilized components of your computer (outside of the CPU and memory) when using AutoCAD-based products, so it's important you know when you need a tuneup or if you are using a certified display driver. Doing so can improve overall system performance.

To determine if you are updated and ready to go, type "3DCONFIG" at the command line and hit Enter to display the Adaptive Degredation and Performance Tuning dialog as shown. Then click on the Check for Updates button to have the application check if there are any updates to the certified graphics card driver list from the Autodesk website. If you have the check box next to Remind me when a new display driver is available enabled, AutoCAD will then compare your currently-installed display driver to the database and let you know if a newer driver is available.

Settings under the Manual Tune button allows you to change some of the AutoCAD display settings that affect performance.

Depressing the View Tune Log button lets you know what your current system settings are.

So you should periodically check to see if you have the display updates necessary to keep your AutoCAD purring under the hood by checking for updates every so often. Autodesk puts out revisions of this database several times a year.

You may also visit the Autodesk site where the latest AutoCAD certified graphics drivers are listed by navigating to the following link:
For Autodesk Inventor products:

Friday, May 23, 2008

Do not install Inventor View 2009 from DVD

Caution: Do Not Install Inventor View 2009 from the DVD.

Autodesk determined late in the cycle that critical errors remained and they disabled the installation. Attempting to use it will cause problems.

For more information on errata for Autodesk Inventor, Please visit the following web site:

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Fatal Plotting Error

You may receive this: "Fatal Error: Undefined Access Violation Reading 0x28203220 Exception at 28203220h" when trying to plot. Note that the memory address seems to change with each error when you print or plot to a particular device.

It's back! Actually it never left. Since release 2005, AutoCAD sends path and filename information to the plotter and some devices (Windows print or plot drivers) will give you a fatal error if the length of the path and filename exceeds the device driver’s programming

To verify this is the issue you're having:
Save your file to c:\test.dwg and plot again. If you don't get the error, then there are several possible ways to work around this issue.

Method 1 (Recommended):
Get another driver. (The latest driver may not work and you may need to go back to an earlier version.)

Method 2 (quickest):
Set FULLPLOTPATH = 0, this tells AutoCAD (or AutoCAD-based program) not to send the path information and to only send the filename.

Method 3:
Set Background Processing for Plotting On (check the box for Plotting on the Plot and Publish tab in Options).

There are other methods, like mapping a drive closer to the drawings (which could cause issues for XREFs); however above are the best methods available.

Friday, May 16, 2008

AutoCAD 2009: Migrating Legacy Menus

Applies to: AutoCAD 2009-related products

Due to the introduction of new interface changes, such as the "ribbon" in AutoCAD 2009, bringing forward an entire cui file from a previous version is not supported because it lacks the components to support the new features.

To bring forward customized features from previous releases to AutoCAD 2009, please use the "Migrate Custom Settings" option located in the AutoCAD 2009 program group, then select "Migrate From A Previous Release" selection.

An alternative way to migrate specific components of a legacy menu is to use the Customize User Interface (CUI) dialog to drag and drop customized items into the AutoCAD 2009 menu.

Click on this link to access additional information from the Autodesk website. For additional help on this topic, contact the Avatech NSC. We're here to help!

Autodesk 2009 on the Road

This week I have been on the road for the Avatech 2009 Rollout events. I visited Richmond, Raleigh and Indianapolis.

In every city, I have heard technical questions asked of our presenter such as "When I do XYZ, my computer freezes." or "I tried to install the last version but ran into too many problems so we've just been working in R14.". These statements are sad, but true. And it just shows how much we all need someone who's been there and done that. I tell everyone to call our tech support team, that they've likely encountered the issue.

If you're sitting in front of your computer, frustrated once again at your software... give us a call.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Windows XP Service Pack 3 support

When booting Windows XP or when visiting Microsoft's Windows Update website. you may receive a message about installing Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP 3).

At this time, Avatech does not recommend updating any computer with this service pack in a production environment. We recommend you fully evaluate the update in a test environment prior to deploying it widely.

For those that may have already or inadvertently installed SP3 manually, be sure that any local data is backed up regularly in the event of a problem as your main recourse will likely be the re-installation of Windows XP.

For those that need more information about SP3 immediately, it is suggested you await results from the cad community with similar hardware and/or watch for official updates from Autodesk regarding this matter before risking complications from this update.

For more information on Windows XP SP3, please visit this link.

Autodesk's statement:
"Windows XP Service Pack 3 is not supported as it's not a supported platform per the system requirements." No testing has been done on 2007 or higher Autodesk products as of yet since it is brand new release this week.