March 6, 2013

Trouble Shooting Difficult Drawing Files

Insert your own comments here:
“I have a corrupt file what do I do?”
“My file keeps crashing how can I fix it?”
“AutoCAD keep crashing my file, what do I do?”
“!@#$%^& CAD file!”
…and the list goes on. Here are some troubleshooting tips that we at Ideate Technical Support go through to help you get your file working.

STEP 1. If you are able to open the drawing, use -PURGE to purge out Regapps, Zero length geometry, and Empty Text Objects.

Regapps are basically residual connections made between AutoCAD and some external applications such as AutoLISP, ObjectARX, .NET etc. When a connection is no longer needed, the regapp remains in the drawing database.

Zero-length objects are essentially lines, arcs, and polylines that have been modified such that the endpoint of one end is grip stretched on top of the opposite endpoint to “erase/remove” the line, arc, or polyline from the drawing. The residual object is still in the drawing database.

Empty Text Objects are text elements that have been edited such that the [Backspace] key was used to remove the text characters.

STEP 2. Use PURGE next. In the dialog box select the View items you cannot purge radio button. Under the Blocks and Layers sections look for items that may have the word “$AUDIT-BAD” in them such as $AUDIT-BAD-Layer, or $AUDIT-BAD-Block.

$AUDIT-BAD-Layer items are often objects drawn on the DEFPOINTS Layer. Use QSELECT to locate these objects, delete them and PURGE them out.

$AUDIT-BAD-Block are similar to BAD Layers. It may be geometry within a block created on the DEFPOINTS layer to remove use the -PURGE command to purge Blocks. This should remove them.

STEP 3. If you are able to open the drawing after using the -PURGE and PURGE commands use AUDIT to audit and fix the drawing.

STEP 4. If AUDIT did not work OR the file was not able to be opened, use the RECOVER command to open and attempt to recover the problem drawing.

STEP 5. If Recover does not work then try starting a new drawing using the ACAD.dwt file as this is a clean empty stock file. Use INSERT to insert the bad drawing and explode it. Next use the AUDIT command to verify it is “clean.”

STEP 6. If this still doesn’t work there is one last thing that I have had success with on occasion. If you have AutoCAD Map 3D, try the above steps with this product as it has some advanced cleanup features. Unfortunately in the event AutoCAD Map 3D cannot recover the file there is a high probability that the file cannot be recovered. In the event you do not have AutoCAD Map 3D, ask the Ideate support team to look the file over with AutoCAD Map 3D and try to recover the file. There are no guarantees that we can recover it but it may be worth a shot.

Ron Palma
Ideate AEC Application Specialist

Ron has over 24 years of experience in the architectural industry as a drafter, designer, lead project designer, trainer, and a CAD manager implementing Autodesk Architectural Solutions for a residential design firm. His instructional background includes being an Autodesk Certified Instructor, trainer, support technician, educator at Portland and Clackamas Community Colleges, as well as a U.S. Army certified instructor where he was a senior instructor at Ft Lewis Washington. Ron is a member of the Oregon Army National Guard and platoon sergeant, training and mentoring soldiers in their careers. Ron is a published writer and continues to author professional technical training manuals and shorts for AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, and Revit. As an Autodesk Certified Instructor, Ron provides Revit Architecture training and support for AEC firms. Follow Ron @RonPalmaAEC.

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