Taming Misbehaving AutoCAD Files

This blog post was originally written for the Managed Design blog. Managed Design is now a U.S. CAD company, so please check back here at www.uscad.com/blog for more written articles from Doug Benoit and our new U.S. CAD Minnesota team.

Recently I was reviewing a very thorough and detailed Autodesk Knowledge Network document called How to repair corrupt AutoCAD files.   When I was done, I realized that there was something missing from this document.  It’s a very important tool that is, personally, my “hail mary” to bring a corrupt AutoCAD file back to life.  That tool is called… wait for it…

Autodesk AutoCAD Map 3D.  WHAT?  You don’t have a seat of Map? Perhaps it is time to consider getting, or upgrading to one.

The two tools that I used in Autodesk AutoCAD Map 3D (or Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D) to attempt to recover corrupt files when all else fails is the MAPCLEAN command, and from the Map Task Pane (MAPWSPACE) the Query functionality.

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Typically, the first thing that I try is cleaning the file using many of the MAPCLEAN Cleanup Actions.  This can be done either Automatically, or Interactively.  Interactively, as shown, will identify the location of the errors and then allow you to Fix or Remove the error.

I1 MapCleanInteractive

If the Cleanup Actions don’t help you put the naughty file into a time-out, then its Query time!

From the Map Task Pane (I type MAPWSPACE on the command line) on the Map Explorer tab, attach then create/edit alias to add the folder where the mischievous file is residing.  Select the file, and then define a Query using Location and type All.  Set mode to Draw, and execute the query.

I2 MapQuery

With luck all of the model space geometry will be added.  If so, detach the file and then using Autodesk Design Center (ADC), drag-and-drop any layouts you need back in.  If not, you may have to refine the Query and add the Property type set to Layer, bringing in a handful of layers at a time and repeating this process until you have all layers and everything on those layers less the content that is causing us all of that grief.

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Note: The process presented here does not indicate every menu or command used, it assumes that the user is familiar with Autodesk AutoCAD Map 3D 2016 (or Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D 2016) and is comfortable with the standard process.

Remember, let’s be careful out there and SAVE often.

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