Thursday, November 26, 2009


Slow DWG drawing and "Scanning" message

My collegue has found an interesting problem in one of the drawings he worked on (AutoCAD 2010). Every operation on this rather large file started with a delay (about 10 seconds) accompanied with a progressbar "Scanning the drawing".

We have checked all usual suspects - purged the drawing, annotation scales, loaded applications, references - but nothing helped. It was strange that the same drawing worked OK on another computer. So we have also tested the influence of the graphics card but again - no success.

Finally we have compared the system variables on both computers and found the culprit. The variable SHOWLAYERUSAGE was "on" on the slow computer. Switching it off has fixed the problem.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Windows 7 compatibility

I admit, I like to experiment. So I was happy to test AutoCAD and other Autodesk software in the new Windows 7 operating system.

AutoCAD (and even more Inventor) is known to be rather touchy to the version of operating system and even to some OS service packs. You cannot simply upgrade your operating system and rely on that your AutoCAD version will keep to be compatible. It probably won't.

As our company plans to upgrade to Windows 7, the tests have to be done in any case. Better sooner than later to avoid any bad surprises. So I have used the German version of Windows 7 Enterprise (64-bit) and the German versions of AutoCAD 2010, LT 2010, Architecture 2010, Map 3D 2010 and Inventor Professional 2010 (all in 64-bit versions).

The first potential problem could be the installation. But all installations of these applications went smoothly. Then I tested each of the applications in a series of typical functions. I have not tested the performance as I have installed it all on a new PC (HP Z400) so I had no comparison with Vista or WinXP on the same machine.

Here are the results:

I have also tested AutoCAD 2009 and it worked also well. Autodesk will probably not support officially it but some older versions may also work well in Windows 7. And if not, you can always use the virtual WinXP compatibility box in Windows 7.

So if you have machines capable of running Windows 7 (preferably in the 64-bit version) - i.e. lower specs than for running Vista - and if your peripherals are supported in Windows Vista (Windows 7 use the same drivers), I recommend to switch to Windows 7. AutoCAD and Inventor are not any obstacle to do this.

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