Is AutoCAD stability getting better or worse?

The term “stability” is sometimes used as a euphemism to refer to how many bugs a program has. I don’t use the word in that way. To me, stability is a measure of a program’s basic ability to keep functioning without crashing or corrupting data. A program can have a thousand tiny irritating bugs and still be very stable. Another program might have only one bug, but if that causes it to crash a dozen times a day, taking down your data with it, then that is very unstable.

So, given that definition, how stable is your AutoCAD, or vertical AutoCAD variant? How often does it crash, or mess up your drawings? How does that stability compare with your experience of earlier releases? How does the stability of plain AutoCAD compare with that of its vertical siblings?

Please add your comments. If this proves a popular topic, I may run some polls.

41 comments to Is AutoCAD stability getting better or worse?

  • David Kozina

    My two cents are here, FWTW:

    http://www.blog.cadnauseam.com/2010/03/25/autocad-2011-putting-things-back-to-normal/#comment-5315

    Until AutoCAD 2011, I had pretty much always felt that if AutoCAD crashed, it was the user’s fault for triggering it, and it was simply a matter of noting what caused it, then avoid doing that in the future. I’ve always tried to practice good drawing ‘housekeeping’ (purging and keeping the file size as small as possible) which has also been beneficial, IMO. But it seems that in the current version of AutoCAD, the programmers just yanked the previously working and well-behaved code for CLOSE, and replaced it with the code for the ABYSS-DITCH command:

    DIVE!
    DIVE!

    DIVE!

    Or so it seems.

  • I believe that the 32 bit AutoCAD 2011 seems to be far less stable than versions in the past. After switching to 64 bit, I believe the stability has increased, but not by much. A lot of our problem here seems to be our third party civil software, which seems to crash AutoCAD at least 1 in every 10 commands evoked, if not more. But I tend to attribute that to poor programming on the release of a 64 bit program. I would say crashing isnt consistent, and there is no way to determine what steps to avoid to prevent the crashes. When it comes to loosing data, I’m just in the habit of saving every couple of commands. I do seem to experience crashes much more often when closing out the software when I have multiple drawings open.

    • Senmu

      i find autocad 2011 32 bit & 64 bit is more worse if we compare for an older versions of cadd. if u install latest version of graphic driver it can resolve some of ur problem.

  • Have had significant problems. Updating my video driver recently seemed to help. Update 1 for vertical AutoCAD 2011 products is a bit overdue compared to previous years.

  • Chris Wade

    In my experience, 2011 is fare more stable than previous versions (please note that we have totally customized AutopCAD, so it is possible some of our cutomization was crashing previous versions, as I completely reviewed all of our LISP Routines before installing 2011 on any system besides mine.)

    I have also found that installing VBA causes 2011 to run substantially slower and crash more often, so any of our VBA routines have been rewritten using LISP and OpenDCL and we do not install VBA.

    Now 2011 was still crashing a bit more than I would have liked on certain systems, I have since installed the service pack on those systems first and the crashes have gone away……I haven’t even heard of a crash since then. My system has crashed a few times since installing the service pack, but it has always been due to me testing a LISP routine that I was working on and an error in it.

  • I don’t believe the blame of a less stable release can be placed wholly on the software vendor or it’s programmers.

    The Windows operating system itself is so complex that even the slightest change in code can produce totally unexpected results under varying conditions. Especially true with the increased security levels and access restrictions of Vista, Win7.

    Granted, that is where beta testing comes in but considering there is absolutely no two systems that are equal it’s amazing that some software even starts up.

  • Jeez – you would think I could at least spell my name right.

  • “Jeez – you would think I could at least spell my name right.”

    No naus:ribbon. What else could you expect? -Bill

  • franz@ploetzl.com

    working with large drawings (>10 mb) you loose much time with the 32bit autocad 2011 (win vista/7 4gb ram). crashes on the fly. autocad runs out of memory when changing complex layouts.
    some drawings with lot of xrefs could not loaded.

    autocad 2011 32bit feel like autocad 13.
    autocad 2011 64bit (win7 12gb ram) works fine.
    autocad 2010 32bit (ribbon not activ) worked without problems.

  • Running C3D 2011 here on Win7x64 and it is about as stable as any release has ever been. The strange thing is, that when it does crash it is usually when doing something considered “normal”, like executing the LAYER command or some other basic task. I cannot recall any crashes during an intensive C3D task. We also have not had any data corruption that I know of because of these crashes and if and when it does crash, it doesn’t trash the CUI file like it did in years past. I would say all in all, stability is very good.

  • 2011 crashed on me today, almost 2 weeks since the last time. I’m with R.K. on feeling that 64-bit C3D on Windows 7 x64 is doing pretty well. Also with crashes seeming to be when something simple is being done. This time was a layer state restore.

  • Doug Gurevitch

    Hello Everyone,

    I just started experiencing this level of fun myself. AutoCAD 2011 is currently the least stable application I am running after Window Mobile Device Center. I have just tried increasing the Virtual Memory paging file size. I needed to do this in XP for both AutoCAD and ProE, so it doesn’t surprise me. Hopefully this will yield acceptable results as it did in XP.

    For those who want to know where to do this

    1. Right click on Start Menu> Computer
    2. Click on Properties
    3. Click on Advanced System Properties in the System window
    4. Click on Settings in the Performance box in the Advanced tab of the System Properties window
    5. Click on the Advanced tab in the Performance Options window
    6. Make sure you have the Processor Scheduling radio button clicked for Programs
    7. Click on Change in the Virtual Memory box
    8. Uncheck the box labeled “Automatically manage paging file size for all drives”
    9. Enter the recommended paging file size (shown at the bottom) in the box labeled “Initial size (MB):”
    10. Enter a sufficiently higher number in the box labeled “Maximum size (MB):”. I like 9999. Doesn’t appear to crash any of the computers I’ve used this on.
    11. Click the Set button and then OK for all windows you have opened.

    Good luck

  • Stable is an interesting state. I have found that an apparently stable AutoCAD Civil 3D can be anything but, yet it will continue to run and SEEM to be functioning – all the while trashing your data.

    Steve, I’d appreciate your checking out my latest at http://eklecticad.typepad.com and letting me know what you think.

  • Using AutoCAD 2009 I find it very stable but I am am probably not pushing it to the limits. Stability should be judged in consideration of what you do with the software, how many DWG you open side by side, how big, what other software are in RAM at the same time, how much RAM do you have? A frail skiff is very stable on a calm lake, much less on a stormy sea. (did I win something for that good word?)

  • Earl, that looks nasty. Repair install?

    Patrick, that’s a good analogy but sorry, no prizes. :)

  • Repair didn’t help, I had to do a complete uninstall/reinstall. Of both 2010 and 2011, because the 2010 install insists on installing Design Review, but fails if 2011 Design Review is already on the box. (Might not be their fault, it had something to do with admin policies.)

    I have repaired the dwgs, too. It appears that the actual pipes, structures, and labels survived, but all the styles for them disappeared. I guess they’re fashion-conscious. If they can’t be stylin, they don’t be showin their face.

    I’m putting together a package to send off to support, and I figure I’ll see some of the development crew in Vegas, if they don’t see me first (and run)! ;-)

    Thanks, by the way, for putting the comment & link back up after giving it the mod-check. I really wanted more peeps to hear about this one. but my readership is still a bit on the meager side. Didn’t help myself much by slacking so bad over the summer, either.

  • David Kozina

    We installed the Update for AutoCAD Architecture 2011, as well as for AutoCAD 2011 midweek.
    It might be a little premature yet to pass judgment, but since the update we have had NONE of the crashes we were experiencing upon closing drawings.
    So things may be looking up and for now I am giving things a tentative thumbs up!
    We’ll see what happens next week.

  • Natalie Johnson

    I downloaded AutoCAD Architecture 2011 upgrade over a month ago and have gradually tried to migrate everything over from 2010 expecting issues as AutoCAD typically imposes, particularly if I have a deadline. I have to say, that they did not disappointed me this time either. This is by far the most unstable upgrade I’ve done since Auto Architect Beta. It started out ok. But then glitchy, irritating things started happening like suddenly default plotter setups (i.e. DWGtoPDF, DWGtoJPG) disappeared. I had to re-path them through options to a location that was not listed in options. Somehow, the path changed. It was working fine before. Don’t know what happened. Also, one glorious morning I launched AutoCAD 2011 and my units had changed to decimal. ???? I don’t even know what that was. I have a lot of crashing and didn’t have it with 2010. The trim command was being very troublesome requiring additional keystrokes to trim a line. Same with erase. I tried to go through options to see if selection settings were at default which they were. After days and days of frustration and several re-starts, one morning I started up my computer and it went back to what I am familiar with for trim and erase. Setting up the ribbon. CUI was already a no-mans land, but getting the ribbon to work was kind of fun / challenging. The bad part was after I had set the ribbon, toolbars and menu’s up and used them for a project..one day I started up the computer and launched AutoCAD and the ribbon was gone. After a day of disgusted panic and loss of work, I reset the profile. It brought back a skeletal version of what I had set up previously. I made a few changes. After a day of work, the same thing happened again the next day at startup. I reset the profile again and the small changes made the day previous remained so for a few days I was re-setting the profile at startup. It seems to be ok now. For the price I’m paying for subscription, I really think this is unnecessary. I’ve had no problems with other releases for years now.

  • Carlos

    Autocad for MAc is crashing every minute, and that`s after the update! I don`t know what to do, it`s horrible, you can`t even work on a file for 10 minutes.

  • thomas riis

    in autocad 2004 and previous splines would often be the crash-trigger. i did some experiments years back, and it never failed; draw a spline in a block; duplicate the block and initiate countdown – in less than 5 minutes it would crash; often when zooming.
    i have been testing autocad 2011 for mac on imac 10.1 for a week now, and it freezes every day. the funny thing is that the trigger seems to be inactivity; when autocad is left open whether its for using other software or for taking a lunchbreak it will use its sparetime to do a silent suicide – it just dies; no warning, no letters left.
    today it died in the block-editor-mode, and now the actual block is the complete model in the dwg-file; the other blocks and x-refs are known in the list, but the complete drawing has disappeared.
    think i might wait a year or so, before considering returning to autodesk. today it seems like a no-go.

  • JD

    I saw this topic and had to comment, just to vent my rage at AutoDesk really!
    I have moved away from AutoCad to Inventor and get the impression AutoDesk pushes it out of the door long before it is anything close to stable, their version releases are almost 2 years ahead rather than trying to get just one version working without patches and endless updates!
    I recently got a package deal including Revit Architecture, and the program wont even load! Im really furious! Its like buying a car and then being told the engine will be delivered next year when they get around to making one that works! It would be a little more forgiveable if we were talking software that only cost a hundred bucks or so, but were talking 10 to 100 times this amount! Isnt it time a lawyer got on the case?!

  • Catherine

    SO ANNOYING! AutoCAD for Mac crashes everyyy minute! I keep on compulsively saving but it still completely slows down my productivity. I send an error report to Autodesk every time… Hopefully the next update will be better!

  • Chris Cowgill

    Even though posting this will probably jinx myself, I’ve been running 2012 for almost 3 weeks now and it hasnt crashed at all.
    Catherine, on your Mac, do you have update 1 and 2 installed?

  • Hello, I’m french, I’am sorry from my bad english… I saw this topic and i want to tell you that i have recently installed MacOs 10.6.7 on my MacbookPro Late 2008 ! After that, the command copy/paste make the Autocad freezing ! So I have installed the update 1 and the update 2. Since the update 2, Autocad just crash every minutes like Catherine said ! It’s horrible ! What can we do ?

  • Chris Cowgill

    Go with the windows version?

  • E K

    Autocad for Mac is absolutely appalling. I have the official trial downloaded from the website onto my 2 week old Macbook Pro and it crashes on average once every 10 minutes. Autodesk must be JOKING if they think I’ll be purchasing their software after the trial is finished. What I’ll have to do is install windows on my Mac and use my old version. It is unbelievable how unstable it is on Mac. Also I think Apple themselves should be concerned about this. I’m an architect and just switched from Windows to Mac – had I known that the main programme that I use would have been this problematic on Mac then I would never have switched and I will also be advising other people I know of this. Sort it out Autodesk, expecting hundreds and hundreds of pounds for this software is nothing short of a disgrace….

  • I am a Tech not a a CAD user. We have issues saving Large CAD drawing with Window 7 (SP 64bit) crashing reularly.
    Can you please try this and advise?
    Turn off “Remote Differential Compression”
    1. Click Start – Control Panel – Programs – Trun Windows features on or off
    2. Uncheck “Remote Differential Compression” and click OK.
    3. Restart the computer and you should see an improved performance.

  • I’m not able to do that test meaningfully myself, but if anyone else wants to try it and report back, they are welcome to do so. I know RDC gets blamed for a variety of ills but I don’t know how accurate the claims are.

  • Michael Meio

    Is AutoCad stability getting worse?.. Yes!.

    As it is implied within the question itself, the software has been degrading stability-wise along the last 3 to 5 versions.

    The problem is that if AutoCad users are as obliged to update the hardware as they are being pushed to with the software, there is gonna be very little time to be productive enough to pay for it all.

    In my case, the problem is not crashing as is.. somehow the program seems to be working when it’s not. (guess someone commented this before). And it’s very true that it happens on ‘simple’ tasks.

    I had to revert to a previous version to enhance productivity on the 2D side. I do lots of hatch and the recent versions are simply too slow and have a distinct behavior.

    And TBH, the learning curve is looking steep for me. So much, that It would be advisable to see if there is less of learning in trying a different approach and move to another software package. Or better yet, check out those new ‘freebies’ around.. At least they actually DO the job.

  • R. Paul Waddington

    “Or better yet, check out those new ‘freebies’ around.. ”

    This comment of Michael Meio’s raises a very interesting question. Are there readers of Steve’s blog who have downloaded, trialed and or swithched/using Draftsight in the professional roles and jobs?

  • ken bast

    the 64 bit autocad mechanical 2011 is more stable than any of the 32 bit 2011, but it still has an issue. I have had this happen 2Xautocad mechanical 2011 will open a dialog box telling you to close the drawing and open in vanilla which comes with the installation mechanical installation. Also I tried installing the VBA enabler autodesk has and I had to repair autocad because some basic function in autocad just quit working. They need to re-write autocad form scratch instead of keep bastardizing for the next version. All autocad in windows was is a bastdarsized version of the dos they never re-wrote it. Because if they did there would be no memory limitations that it currently has.

  • David

    i have found any autocad release since 2008 to be unstable.

    Autodesk need to stop making yearly releases as all it does is release more n more bugs.

    Autocad has become extremely bloated… i’d love autocad 14 to work on a windows 7 64bit pc again. i know its a very old version but 1. it was quick, 2. it was stable and 3. it didnt have all the crapware built into it.

  • Deepak

    AUTOCAD 2011 for MAC is crashing on every print..!! n i have downloaded & installed all the updates..!!! What should i do now..??? can any one solve my problem…

  • Marcin

    I find ACAD 2011 extreme unstable. It crashes every 5 – 10 minutes. Things that triggered crashing in previous releases have been fixed (hatching, etc), but Autodesk implemented new bugs. This time its mainly layouts switching. Often ACad simply crashes on start. I have 12 thread processor, 12 gig ram, good machine. They give a very smart explanation at AutoDesk for all the issues: “Machine non compatible with AutoCAD” and even provide a list “ACad compatible hardware”. Ridiculous! So now, Im looking for an other software, this time “me-and-my machine-compatible” …

  • Senmu

    i find autocad 2011 is more worse if we compare for older versions.it si getting crashed every 30 minutes & if i forget to save i m loosing all of my data i had worked on.pls give me some suggestions on this…..

  • JZ

    We use R14 on WIN7x64. Works fine except SPLINEs are not fully supported. You have to convert SPLINEs to PLINEs. SAVEAS R12 is the easiest way, but you can also use a LISP routine to attack just the SPLINEs. R14 does everything we need for 2D drafting, and, as David said, it is quick and stable.

  • jim

    I know this is an old post but just got my release of Civil3D 2013. Very dissapointing. It installs and loads more slowly than ever and still has the age old bugs. 3d orbit or render will crash it randomly. I have crashed 3 times per day since i installed it. Things on the civil3d wing of things is not getting any more stable. However i can’t say its worse. (land desktop) 2004 seemed to be the best resease yet as far as stability.

  • nuj

    i just only admire the autocad 2007.. is the best ever Cad i ever used..

  • ACADUser

    By far, the most stable version of Autocad was R14. It’s been a steady march towards greater and greater instability since then. I’m a the point where I dread opening 2013. I manually save frequently because even autosave can trigger crashes. I’m using a fully updated version on an Autodesk certified Dell Precision T7500 with a Xeon processor, 16GB of RAM, and an nVidia Quadro 4000. Maya can handle tens of thousands of particles – but Autocad still freaks out with a moderate sized bhatch.

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