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I have reviewed the message boards several times about the crashing every 10-15 minutes that a lot of individuals including myself and an office of 10 (ten) are experiencing. Nothing has been posted by the VW tech support that even comes close to satisfying my dilemmas. I have several machines running 8.6 / 8.5.1 / 9.0.4 (G3?s and G4?s) all with 256MB of RAM, with over 80MB of RAM allocated to VW alone, and we still experience crashes doing simple commands such as zooming in and out, or panning left or right with the arrow keys. There is a major problem with the VW software that needs to be resolved on all ends of the spectrum, and I would like to read some intelligent trouble shooting comments, that goes beyond the general comments of upgrades. Our office has every upgrade possible and a variety of scenario?s to cover all possibilities.

What really gets me going is..... We by several licenses in this product (VW) and one would expected to have some sort of confidence in the software they use, not mention the confidence one would like to have in tech support behind that particular software. With VW I have absolutely no confidence in either!!! Thank you for all the headaches and times I have been late for my deadlines!!!

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I can sympathize with you, but we have 12 G3's (beige and blue) and 1 G4 in our office. All the G3's are running OS 8.6 and the G4 has OS 9.0.4 and we don't experience the problems you are having. Everyone has different memory allocations, and the specifics of each machine are also different. We even had some old Power Computing machines which worked fine. When we first got the G4 it did crash often, but with some tinkering and the 9.0.4 update its fairly stable now.

I have heard there is a known conflict with virus protection, but I thought that was only with PC's.

I can tell you to check for text that is Italicised (sp?) in the VW "text" menu under "styles", We had crashes over and over until we finally realized it was the Italic text. Now we don't use any of the text styles. This stopped most of those problems

If you could list some specifics of one of your machines (preferribly the G4 because thats what I run) I could compare it to ours to see if there is any major differences that might be causing a conflict.

Good Luck

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Are any of these crashes reproducible? It's a lot easier for us to figure out what might be going on, and thus help you solve the problem, if you can tell us how to make it happen. And what version of VectorWorks are you using?

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J.B. and I are both in the same office and as you can see by both our posts we are a bit frustrated w/ VW.

These crashes ARE reproducible. The version of VW is listed in my post which is the latest (8.5.2).

I would have to say the most common crash occurs during zooming in and out or panning left to right.

Our files on an average are somewhat small in size (approx. 1.5 to 3 megs).

It would be easy to say that our problem is due to another program running along side VW, but as I stated in my post, we have thoroughly tested this with a stripped down system.

As J.B. mentioned, deadlines are being missed and tension are high in our office to switch CAD systems. We would rather not, but as I venture futher into to this problem I find there doesnt seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.


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The frustration is certainly understandable! But although it doesn't make your crashes any less real, the feedback I see from this forum and from the VectorWorks mailing list seems to indicate that your experience is not typical. And so I wonder: what's the difference between your office and that of other users, who may experience problems from time to time, but who seem not to crash every 10 - 15 minutes?

Reproducibility is really the most important thing. Can you tell me how to reproduce the crash, so that I can see it and get some idea about what might be causing it? Does the crash seem to happen only with particular files? You can send a copy of a problematic file to us at bugsubmit@diehlgraphsoft.com . Are there any machines in your office that don't seem to suffer from the crashing? If so, what's different about them? Or, what do the crashing machines have in common? What happens if you turn off all non-Apple extensions?

I'm not a tech support guy, but I'm happy to help where I can.

Caleb Strockbine


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  • 3 weeks later...

My wife uses a beige G3 with a lot of graphics and web apps but Not VW. Since she installed OS9 (with updates) guess what?

Crashes every 10-15 minutes specially when panning and zooming!!!

She solved the problem by disabling all the extra video drivers and extensions that came with the system: now only good- old regular System 9 crashing.

Hope this helps.

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I read the comments by J.Bone with some interest as I am employed in an office where we have two licenses of VectorWorks (8.5.2) running on a G3 and a PowerMac 9600 and have had the exact same problems...crashing while zooming and panning. I have contacted VW tech support several times and have tried all of the suggestions they have made with no success, the crashing continues. It is intermittent and very frustrating. We are working on relatively small files (less than 1.5 Megs) and quite often the crashes occur every 15 minutes or so as described by the other users. Sometimes I am kicked out to the desktop whereupon my computer is frozen and I need to reboot or it freezes suddenly while still in VW. The rusult is the same, time lost and wasted. I believe there is an inherant problem with VW that needs to be remedied immediately.

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Just to throw in another .02, we are running VW 8.5.2 on a G3 266, OS 8.5.2, and we do not have these crashes. We use VW day in and day out and pan and zoom constantly. We did have some problems with this after upgrading to VW 8.5, but either the 8.5.2 upgrade or a video driver upgrade fixed the problem (we did them both at about the same time--several months ago--so I don't remember exactly which it was).

There are lots of us out here who are not experiencing these problems, which may explain the lack of response you are getting. Sorry I can't be more helpful, and I can understand why you are frustrated, but just wanted to put in a plug for the tech support people, who have always been most helpful and responsive to us.

Barb Nelson

RLK Hydro, Inc.

Kalispell, MT

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  • 1 month later...

I work with an office of 25 architects using VectorWorks 8.5.2 on Macintosh G4s running OS 9.04 and 9.1, and we too have this problem with panning and zooming. It happens on all of the computers, whose configuration vary only slightly. This problem is 100% reproducible.

It occurs in zoom views over 9000% in files about 700k, which is our average file size. In larger files, 4-5MB, the problem occurs predictable at views over 6000%. The problem can be reproduced by opening a file and zooming to over 9000% and then begin panning, using either the arrow keys or the hand tool. Around 20 clicks of the arrow button later, the application will freeze. The mouse is still movable, but you cannot click on anything. A force quit of VectorWorks will return you safely to the finder, which you can use without a problem. if you do not restart the computer, however, returning to Vector Works will almost immediately freeze the application. Restart the computer and you can go back to working in VW, until your zoom excedes 9000%.

If you zoom up to 20000%, it takes only 3 or 4 clicks of the pan tool to freeze the application.

Also, if you zoom to only 3000%, pan around a lot and then zoom to over 9000% it will freeze immediatebly upon executing the zoom. However, if you open the file, zoom to over 9000%, the freeze does not happen until after some panning has occurred.

I can reproduce this problem with these steps on all of the G4s in this office, with many different files.

I have done a lot of extensions troubleshooting to try to pinpoint a problem in the Mac OS. I have tried turning off each of the following in turn: all QuickDraw extensions, all 3rd party (non-apple extensions), all Quicktime extensions, All open GL extensions, all ATI driver extensions. The freeze continues to occur reliably, panning at views over 9000%.

Finally, I clean installed OS 9.1 and stripped the system down to the bare essentials. With only the Finder, the System Suitcase, MacOS Rom, System Resources and the Vector Works Prefs files, I could still reproduce the crash 100% of the time.


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i have been trying to re-create a similar situation on both my desktop and powerbook, and am not able to get a crash. i am running full extension sets with tech tool pro, virex 6, and just about everything else you can imagine.

what i am finding when i am zoomed in tight (over 50000%) is that the refresh takes very long - over 2 minutes on a heavily noted and detailed floorplan and 1.5 minutes on a similar wall section sheet that is workgroup referenced. but again, i am not finding that the zoom or pan tools are causing a crash.

it seems to me that this is a problem, based on the posts, that is occurring on larger networks. my network is 3 machines and 2 printers. could this be a conflict between open transport and VW? are these networks using appletalk or TCP/IP?

my last question for those having this problem: are you sure you are frozen? try letting the machine sit for 5 minutes or so on time and see if it comes back around. if you still have control over the mouse, you are not frozen yet, but if you try a hard quit, then you almost certainly will be.

good luck

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I have disconnected all machines from the network for testing purposes. All network extensions have been disabled.

We are using G4s with ATI RagePro graphics card with 16MB of VRAM. Somehow I suspect that the processor processes faster than the video card can render.

Yet, when I let the machine sit for 15 minutes after a freeze, it does NOT return to operation. It stays frozen until I force quit VW.

I have read a number of other posts that suggest that other faster video cards are causing even worse problems with VW.

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I have disconnected all machines from the network for testing purposes. All network extensions have been disabled.

We are using G4s with ATI RagePro graphics card with 16MB of VRAM. Somehow I suspect that the processor processes faster than the video card can render. This problem is noticably worse on the dual processor G4s that we have.

Yet, when I let the machine sit for 15 minutes after a freeze, it does NOT return to operation. It stays frozen until I force quit VW.

I have read a number of other posts that suggest that other faster video cards are causing even worse problems with VW. So, I am reluctant to try upgrading the VRAM.

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Just chiming in as another person who has witnessed the zoom/pan/crash syndrome. In my experience ( part of which has been watching this list - I can't believe tech support is playing it so cool with this bug given its frequent documentation here) it appears that the bug is vexing primarily g4's with ati rage cards. Also, users have reported a decrease in the problem, but unacceptable refresh slowdowns after turning off ati's 2d acceleration extension. Given the varied results people are getting with apparently similar hardware AND software configs, I wonder if the contents of the VW drawing aren't a factor. I myself don't suffer from this bug, but I consult for an office where 3 workstations are cursed by it.

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Howdy -

I never had experienced zoom/crash issue until I experimented after reading about it on this list. Like the last couple of responders, I rarely need to zoom in this close. However, I continue to have the problem discussed under the topic entitled 'Video Card Woes'. After much inquiry, and finger pointing between Apple and Nemetschek, I received this email from the Nemetschek Tech Support Manager. I called him and was assured that it IS indeed a Vectorworks issue, and that the 'engineering' department was working on it. He also told me that an interim solution (downloadable software fix) may be posted on the site soon, and that V9 (due 'shortly') will solve the 'Video Card Woes' problem.

I hope this helps.

d. s h a f f e r

a r c h i t e c t

Dear Nemetschek North America Customer:

Thank you for your inquiry. We have been getting a number of customers

having the same situation. Our Engineering dept is being made aware of this

problem and I will be contacting you shortly with a possible solution to the


If you have any other questions, comments, or suggestions, please feel free

to contact us at (410) 290-5114 (tel) or (410) 290-8050 (fax) or

tech@nemetschek.net (e-mail).


Mike S.

Technical Support Manager

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I have been reading about the video card crash, but I have been having many more perplexing crashes than that.

Does anyone have info on:

If I create a group with arrows (arcs with arrows on the end) together and then select one arrow and use the command flip horizontal, all of the arrows in the group actually flip. This I have been able to reproduce, however what I can't reproduce is the problem where all of the sudden all of my arrows in the entire file (including plans, elevations, sections at different scales) are reversed. Luckily I had discovered the work around, and I grouped everything on the layer and selected one arrow and reversed it and all of the arrows reversed, but I have no idea what triggered the global reversal.

My biggest problem lately is that after about an hour of using VW, if I haven't remebered to save for at least 20 minutes, I will click-drag an object (to duplicate it) and VW crashes. It seems to be calculating something as I can move the mouse, but I have waited 20 minutes before and it still is crashed.

These are the most easily traceable crashes but I have been crashing about 3 times in an 8 hour day with v.8.5.2 and I'm wondering if I should go back to 8.5.1. Also, in our offices fear of change I still have OS8.1, and I wonder if 9.1 would help or hurt. With 384mg on a G3, I would think that I'd never run out of power.

Any suggestions would be welcome.

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