Cloning To Bigger Hard Drive

I was bumping my Windows 7 computers head against its hard drive space limit and I wanted to clone the install to a bigger drive. I did not want to spend anything so after a search I found Clonezilla fit the bill. I was not changing any hardware except for the bigger drive (going from 250 GB to 1.5 TB). Using Clonezilla Live .iso, I created the boot CD. I plugged in the new drive as a second drive and made sure I formatted it first (NTFS within my WIN 7 Drive Manager). Formatting was necessary so the cloning would recognize it as a viable drive. I followed the instructions here to the letter. Read carefully because at one point you will want to switch to Expert mode to toggle a switch on. Afterwords, I unplugged the old drive and plugged the SATA cable to the new drive, rebooted, and crossed my fingers. What do you know, Windows wanted to do a chkdsk and after that, booted to the new drive like nothing had changed. That wasn't so bad. I now have plenty of space and my old drive will serve as a backup. As things change, I will probably wipe that drive and give a shot at creating an image backup of the current drive (another option in Clonezilla).


Raster inserted without path

Our company has proprietary drawing files that we do not give to our customers for final documentation. Our customers now require that we give them these drawings. They understand that they are proprietary and do not require them to be in AutoCAD but still need to see them and have them with their title blocks in AutoCAD. The method to accomplish this is to insert a raster image of our drawing file into the AutoCAD drawing. To do this and not have the path or the raster image as a separate file, I use a method that was prescribed on the Cadforum.cz site. I open the tif in a raster editor (I use Infanview because it is free and works great), and then select COPY and then in AutoCAD select PASTE SPECIAL. From this I select DEVICE INDEPENDENT BITMAP. It puts it in as a OLE object and the path is blown away. I tried copy and paste from Explorer and also inserting as an OLE object but those methods did not work. One note. Even with this method, an issue arose with the image. After a save, the reopened file had a blank rectangle instead of the image. After many iterations of various settings, I think I have a fix. I analyzed the TIF image we were using to paste in the drawing. Always A2 size images worked but A0 and A1 failed often. Hmmm, I tweaked the image properties of the file (using IrfanView) and then saved it with the image at 50 percent of its original size and repeated my steps. What do you know. It opened back up after a save and the image was visible.


Crosshairs at Isometric/Angles

A setting I always seem to forget is how to rotate the cursor/crosshairs to draw at different angles. A quick refresher: Variable SNAPANG rotates the cursor at the angle you specify. Variable SNAPSTYL toggles between and isometric cursor and rectangular cursor.


AutoCAD 2009 Crashing

I had a lot of issues with AutoCAD 2009 crashing suddenly. Usually when logging back on when the screen-saver would lock the screen. I worked through the issue with Autodesk and come to find that it was a graphics driver issue. I have a Nvidia FX3700 and was using using the latest "approved" driver from Autodesk. Using the "Tune Log" within the "3dconfig" command in AutoCAD, I got a clue to what AutoCAD was doing with its graphics driver. To see the approved driver list go here:
I actually had to install the third oldest driver on the list to get a stable AutoCAD. The second oldest caused Windows blue screens and required me to boot into safe mode to restore it. I would suggest downloading all of the approved drivers before trying, so that they are available on the computer in case the worse happens.

Dimension Fits Missing

When we recently upgraded to AutoCAD Mechanical 2009 and a few users could not choose their fits when dimension (ie H7, f6, etc...). It took a while to figure out, but another user found the answer. There was file corruption with the fit data (VAL tables). We copied the files from a known working set (ex. ACADM 2009\Acadm\gen\Val) to the non-working AutoCAD computer (AutoCAD should be shut down while copying the files). The fits are back!


Lost My Ribbons

I am not too sure of this AutoCAD yet. It seems Autodesk has taken so many privileges with poorly chosen default settings, quirky UI behavior, unwarranted crashing, and odd screen refreshing and behavior. Anyway, I digress, I lost my ribbon bar when I had shut down and reopened AutoCAD. Why? Who knows. Anyway, I tried a few things but finally found my answer. It may not work for everyone, but typing in RIBBON at the commandline brought it back. Back to work.


Newly Inserted Items are Faded

What gives? A user created a block and it came in with faded colors. He then copied a block and it had faded colors. Hmmm.. When I listed the layers and the objects all seemed fine but it still looked faded. It was not in an edit mode of any sort. I researched and found what I thought was an unrelated variable LAYLOCKFADECTL which controlled the visualization of objects on locked layers (not the case here). When we set this variable to 0, we got our blocks back to vibrant colors again. Oh well, fading is gone, bewilderment still here.


When the ISOCP font is too big

We are completing an upgrade from Mechanical 2006 to Mechanical 2009 (I know, we are a little behind the times) but when we opened drawings, the ISOCP font looked like ROMANS and grew outside the leader notes and Block references. We have the Style STANDARD defined as ISOCP.shx but it would not appear correctly. I found a fix. In the OPTIONS, under the FILES tab, expand the TEXT EDITOR, DICTIONARY, AND FONT FILE NAMES, and then set the ALTERNATE FONT FILE to ".". Shut down AutoCAD and then restart. Your ISOCP should appear correct.