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#679 by joebagadonuts
Tue Mar 01, 2005 1:57 pm
I'm currently working on a large residential project. We have the project set up so that all the floor plans are in a single file, layered one on top of the other. This plan is then xreffed to the structural and electrical plans to be used as a background. The structural plans are also xreffed back into the floor plans, so that we can coordinate the locations of structural posts. To further complicate matters, the garage doesn't fit on the plan sheet, so it has its own file as well, which is xreffed into all the plan files. Needless to say, I deal with many 'Warning! File 'x' contains a circular reference!' messages daily.

My problem is that as the files get more packed with 'stuff', the time it takes to load any one of the files is increasing dramatically, to the point where it takes 10 minutes to open a file. My suspiscions are that the multiple circular reference files are causing DataCAD to have a stroke. I was wondering if anyone else has run into this problem, and, if so, what they've done to correct it. I really like the drawing file system we have set up, and I'd hate to have to change it. Thanks.

joebag
#682 by Neil Blanchard
Tue Mar 01, 2005 4:06 pm
Hello & welcome:

Are you using the latest version of v11, which is 11.05.02? They made an adjustment in the way it handles circular and multiple XRef's that should keep the load times down quite a bit.

For example, I use pretty much the same pattern of XRef's, but I add the plans being XRef'd into the sections, and both the plan and the section XRef'd into the elevations, and sometimes the elevations XRef'd into the sections. I am working on a townhouse project with one plan XRef'd into the other, and the same for elevations (to be combined into a building elevation) -- and then the two unit's elevations are self-XRef'd and mirrored!

None of these files takes more than 10-15 seconds to load, and that is across a network, too. So, if you are not using 11.05.02 -- install it! :wink:

If you are using it already, then I'd consider the amount of RAM you have in the machine, and/or the speed of the network; if you are on one, of course.

IHTH
#686 by joebagadonuts
Tue Mar 01, 2005 5:12 pm
Thanks for the reply and the warm welcome, Neil. I neglected to fill you in on our setup here, sorry. Everyone in the office is using version 11.05.02. I believe that most are using Windows 2000, and we do have a pier to pier network.

I'm encouraged by your reply that you employ a similar (or even more complicated!) xref strategy, and have quick loading times. It's not just me that's experiencing slow loading times, but everyone (okay, three of us) involved with the project. All the files I'm attempting to open, and the xrefs inserted into them, are contained on my machine. So it appears as if it might be a combination of perhaps not enough RAM on my machine, and a slow network.

Thanks again for the help.

joebag
#687 by Neil Blanchard
Tue Mar 01, 2005 5:17 pm
Hello:

One other thing to try: turn off nesting whenever it is not needed. This could make a big difference.

How much RAM is in your machines? When you have your typical drawings loaded, how many swap files are in your C:\Program Files\DataCAD\Temporary Files\ folder? And your peer-to-peer network is a coax "loop"; or is it a 10/100 with CAT5 cables and a hub/switch?

FYI: I opened the three files that I was just working on (a plan, section, and elevation of one townhouse unit; the three AEC files are just 670KB total) and they all opened in a total of about 15 seconds. There are a total of 31 XRef's in the three files, and there are 23 files in the Temp Files folder, totalling 22.7MB. We have a 10/100 CAT5 switched network, and my machine's particulars are in my signature.
#688 by joebagadonuts
Tue Mar 01, 2005 5:31 pm
I believe we're using a 10/100 hub for the network. If you could be so patient and forgiving as to tell me HOW to access how much RAM is on my machine, I would be grateful (if I right-click-properties on my computer, it says 261,424 KB RAM, if that's any help).

Nesting is another funny thing. On this project, I simply cannot get nested xrefs to appear. The nesting option is enabled in both the preferences and the xref manager. After trying for awhile, I just gave up and inserted the nested xrefs separately. It would save me much time if I could get that to work as well.

Thanks again for your help (I should just insert that as my sig!).

joebag
#692 by Neil Blanchard
Tue Mar 01, 2005 9:43 pm
joebagadonuts wrote:I believe we're using a 10/100 hub for the network. If you could be so patient and forgiving as to tell me HOW to access how much RAM is on my machine, I would be grateful (if I right-click-properties on my computer, it says 261,424 KB RAM, if that's any help).


That's 256MB! :shock: With Win2K, I would recommend at least 512MB, but 768 (three 256MB sticks) or even 1GB is not a crazy amount to have. Depending on your motherboard and how many open slots you have, you might have to spend from $27-35 for another 256MB stick, or you could spend as much as $50-65 each for some 512MB sticks. Not very much really, if you could load a drawing in seconds instead of minutes. ;)

joebagadonuts wrote:Nesting is another funny thing. On this project, I simply cannot get nested xrefs to appear. The nesting option is enabled in both the preferences and the xref manager. After trying for awhile, I just gave up and inserted the nested xrefs separately. It would save me much time if I could get that to work as well.


If you Control-Right click on an XRef, is Nesting turned on for that XRef? ...and maybe Mark Toce can pop in here -- if you fix this, it could go a long way toward fixing the slow loading! :?
#735 by joebagadonuts
Thu Mar 03, 2005 12:51 pm
I agree on the RAM upgrade. For such piddly money, it's worth it. I'll have to run that by the big boss.

The nesting option is 'on' when I ctrl-right-click on the xref. But no nested xref wants to show up.

We did a little test yesterday, where I copied a file that I was having a particularly difficult time opening to another machine. It opened within seconds (as opposed to minutes) on that other machine (which also has 256MB of RAM). This tells me that the problem is not a corrupt file, or a factor of limited RAM. The fact that I could copy the file very quickly across the network tells me that it's not a network issue.

When I tried to open that same file across the network, I still had an exceedingly long loading time. That would seem to indicate that perhaps it's an issue with the DataCAD software on my computer alone. However, when other people try to open the files on my computer for this project, they get the same long loading times.

I'm going to try to reinstall DataCAD on my machine, but I'm not confident that will work. Other than that, I'm baffled (it doesn't take much, sometimes).

Thanks again for your suggestions.

joebag
#738 by Neil Blanchard
Thu Mar 03, 2005 2:29 pm
Hello:

Are these machines using the same OS? What about the state of the hard drive fragmentation? Are there any other differences in terms of programs running in the background? I.E. are you all running the same antivirus, or software firewall, or maybe a different CPU?

It could also be something like a slower (older) hard drive in your machine, or even something in the BIOS that really slows down the HD -- check for something called PIO; that would make it very slow. Is your hard drive much closer to being full than the other machines?
#886 by joebagadonuts
Thu Mar 10, 2005 8:54 am
Neil,

Thanks for the continued help. I've done a bit more investigation into the problem, and still have no answers. I understand what you're getting at with the OS, antivirus, etc., but I've found that I can easliy open files from other projects that have a similar xref setup. It seems to be this particular project, and perhaps one particular plan file. I've also tried uninstalling and reinstalling DataCAD. I'm going to try to copy and paste into a brand new default file, and see if that clears it up.

I've also been getting an occasional error message when I close out of DataCAD. It says;

DCADWIN.exe-Application Error. The instruction at "0x77fcc7ae" referenced memory at "0x09350650". The memory could not be written. Click OK to terminate the program.

I don't lose any saved data when this happens.

I'm beginning to think that I'll have to copy the plan data into a new file and reload my xrefs. If you have any other thoughts or suggestions, I'd love to hear them. Thanks.

joebag
#890 by Neil Blanchard
Thu Mar 10, 2005 11:04 am
Hello Joe:

If it is just one (set) of files that are loading slower that others, I would zip 'em all and e-mail them to TechSupport@DataCAD.com and let them take a look at the files. They might find a snag internally that is causing the issue.

I would also persue the extra RAM -- it will not go to waste! I just checked with TaskInfo and with just Folding@Home, FireFox, Thunderbird and of course, TaskInfo itself running (plus the "background stuff" like antivirus, backup software and firewall), I am using 47% of my 1GB of RAM -- or ~470MB of RAM. On your systems, this forces you to use the hard disk a lot, which is about 1000 times s l o w e r than RAM is! :wink:
Last edited by Neil Blanchard on Thu Mar 10, 2005 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
#893 by joebagadonuts
Thu Mar 10, 2005 1:02 pm
Thanks Neil. I think I've exhausted my knowledge (it doesn't take long), so I will be emailing DataCAD to get their take on the problem. Thanks again for all your help!

joebag

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