Dude, Dashboard’s dead. Defunct. Done. AutoCAD 2009 replaced the Dashboard with the Ribbon. If you type in the DASHBOARD or DASHBOARDCLOSE commands, they are just converted to the RIBBON and RIBBONCLOSE commands, which turn the Ribbon on and off.
If you’re a fan of the Dashboard (and I never was), there is good and bad news. The good news is that you can right-click on various parts of the Ribbon, pick Undock and you get a Dashboard-like floating vertical Ribbon that can be resized and configured very easily in terms of turning panels on and off. You can’t do that with Microsoft’s Office 2007 Ribbon. Performance aside (more on that later), I generally prefer the way the vertical Ribbon works, compared with the Dashboard. But I’m still not a fan.
The bad news is that if you put a lot of effort into customising your Dashboard in 2008, your work is lost. There is currently no automated migration path from your Dashboard to the Ribbon, so it’s time to start again. This involves using CUI, and unfortunately the process is slow and immensely frustrating. This is due to a combination of the long-standing CUI shortcomings and a set of new ones introduced to go with the Ribbon. Buy yourself one of those squeezy stress-ball things, you’re going to need it.