Poor Performance and Running out of memory error…

Today I wanted to talk about some things that you can do to try and avoid the memory error that you might have received and perhaps also improve your computers performance. So after doing some research from our own findings, Autodesk Discussion Groups, Customer Support cases and straight from the Analyst team at Autodesk, I have found that there are lots of things that one could do to help your memory and computer performance issues. Here are a few things that might help you out. By no means, are these “cure all techniques”, but they should help…

1. Empty your Temp folder on a regular basis; using Xrefs leaves a lot of data that can slow down your machine.

2. Set FIELDEVAL to 4, this will only evaluate the fields when plotting, and avoid constant regenerations.

3. Set INDEXCTL to 2, this will index the drawing making it much quicker for future work.

4. If you use a lot of Layouts in your Drawing, then check your Caching Layouts settings in the options dialog box under the System tab, set the “Layout Regen Options” to “Cache model tab and last layout” so when switching layouts it does not regenerating the entire drawing every time.

5. Check your Scales List; we have had cases were someone using an older version with a lot of Xrefs in their drawing caused the scales list to climb to almost 3800 scales; which drastically decreased the performance. I all fairness this issue has been addressed in the newer versions but to could be coming from older content. So, if you go to Annotation Scale button and the list is overwhelming? Then you can reset this list by clicking the “Custom…” option near the bottom OR the “Edit Scale List…” under the “Users Preferences” tab in the “Options” dialog box. Once the Edit Scale List dialog box opens hit the “Reset” button.

6. Another thing that you could try is to close and re-open Autocad software through out the day. This will free up some virtual memory that is being stored; I would say at lunch time and again at the end of the day at least.

7. Make sure you are running the latest service pack for this software. You can do this easily buy clicking the “Communication Center” icon at the top-right of your Autocad screen located in the “InfoCenter” toolbar. Please note you will need to have internet access.

8. I have also been told that some people that need to work on multiple drawings at a time were able to work around this by opening a couple of sessions of the software and only running a few drawings in each; rather than working on a bunch of drawings in one session of AutoCAD.

9. Run a registry scanner and cleaner regularly. This can help track down issues and get rid of them. If your registry is good, you will see better performance. Also, run a cleanup utility to help get rid of unnecessary junk. The following site has an excellent product to check out: http://www.stevengould.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=15&Itemid=69

10. You can also reduce the amount resources taken by Windows by going into the Control Panel and click System, In the System Properties dialog box, go to the “Advanced” tab, set “Visual Effects” to “Adjust for best performance”.

11. Performance options – adjust paging file size. Right click on “My Computer”, and select “properties”. Then inside the system properties dialog box select the “advanced” tab. From there under “performance” click “settings”. Next, in the “performance options” dialog box click the “advanced” tab. Under “virtual memory” click the “change” button. Now, look at the initial size setting. This value shout be set to 1.5 times the amount of RAM in MB value. (1GB is equal to 1024 MB). For example if the computer has 4GB of RAM, this value in MB is 4096. SO, take 4096 times 1.5 and this value is 6,144 MB. This is the initial value to put in. Next, look at the maximum size in MB. This value should be 3 times the amount of RAM in MB value. SO, for a 4GB machine multiply 4096 times 3 to get the value of 12,288. Once these values are plugged in, click the “set” button and then all of the “ok” buttons to get out of the routine. One thing to note is that you will be prompted to restart your computer before the changes will take effect.

12. Another thing that you can check on your computer is to see if you have the 3GB switch turned on, if your computer has at least 3 GB of RAM. If you don’t go to this link to turn it on. http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/item?siteID=123112&id=9729516&linkID=9240697

There are other things that may work as well (purging unused content, cleaning up the drawing file of unneeded duplicated entities with the “Overkill” command in the express tools, or even “Wblock” the file out to rebuild the content in oversized files, or file with corrupted entities. The list goes on.). But all of the suggestions listed above are the most recommended workarounds for memory and performance issues for now.

Also make sure you are sending in your error reports to Autodesk, Inc when you crash so they can review and suggest additional comments to try and submit them to the proper software developers to find a possible solution to the problem.

So if you are having these types of issues; please try these steps and let me know if these alleviate some or all of your problems?

Thank you,
Isaac Harper, CD
Cadsoft Consulting

Isaac is the go-to guy for the AutoCAD skills that lie at the foundation of AEC software tools and increased productivity. And you’d be hard pressed to find someone who knows more than he does about how to be more efficient in AutoCAD. Isaac can present best strategies and tips for productivity because he understands his audience and what they do. He has a high number of repeat customers who like his dynamic style and keep returning to learn more from him.

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