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VW Crashes - Why Do We Put Up With Crashes?

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I have been away for a year or so, working for a company using ArchiCad...

It didn't crash once in a year.


Neither does Photoshop,

Microsoft Office,

MYOB software,

AUTOCAD, Revit or Bentley.

So I buy the 2015 upgrade yesterday...

And all I get is crashes!!!


after CRASH

after CRASH

after CRASH

after CRASH

after CRASH

after CRASH

after CRASH

after CRASH!!!

15 today...

Why do I have to pay so much for faulty software?

Maybe I should go back to VW2011 which only crashed 3-8 times a day?

So I go on this forum and see a whole lot of suggestions and guesses about how to MINIMISE the crashes!!!!

What about we PAY a company to PROVIDE software THAT WORKS????

And if you're a moderator who never has a crash...I don't want to hear it!!

I just want to work without the half hourly punch in the guts from Nemetschek.

Why don't you boffins delay the release until it works...


We'll go 9 months...no release...

and you stop this mindless useless flawed moronic SERVICE PACK DANCE,

and just bring out a package that works.


I am about to stab my own eyeballs with a hypodermic full of bleach.

Just saying.

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wow....i am sorry to hear of your problems.....i do get crashes but not to many these days....i was looking forward to upgrading to 2016 but wonder if i should stop with 2015 as i don't want to loose my eyesight.....i am just of to throw all my bottles of bleach away just in case though

good luck there must be a solution to your problem i just hope VW can fix it and fix it quick.......


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Yeah Phil...thanks.

But it shouldn't need all the users to mumble about until we get a solution...

We need a product that is reliable.

WE DONT WANT A SOLUTION...We shouldn't have the problem in the first place.


and stay away from the bleach...

it really smarts.

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Not something I am experiencing, max once a day on Windows (a little too often I think but not as catastrophic as yours.....)

You using files created in older versions? Or templates created in older versions? Any imported dwgs or other imported 3D geometry? Does it crash on all files or just one?

(ArchiCAD, Revit (had a crash today), Bentley etc all crash sooner or later :))

(Far less crashes on a Mac though for most of these apps in my experience)

Edited by Vincent C
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It doesn't matter what im using...it is supposed to work!!!!

As it stands though, I have not opened any old files, imported any dwgs or 3D geometry.

All I have done is worked on setting up my template...



Thanks for you reply though...

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No...purely just setting up a template from scratch...

I'm on a Mac with plenty Of ram and a reasonable graphics card...

It has to stop though...

Because not only does it interrupt the flow it puts me on edge all day...

Like going through earthquakes, suddenly you don't trust the ground any more...

Vincent, even if it was an old template...it should still work.

Thanks for the reply...

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Id like to address this more fully but my schedule is stocked at the moment, however this is important enough that I wanted to at least give a basic response:

1) If you feel that you did not get what you paid for, or that you basically bought a stomachful of anxiety about whether your work will be safe or not, by all means return the software. Under no circumstances would I want anyone using our software (or anything, really) when they felt they'd been tricked out of their money. At least in the US, there is a 30 day window for returning the software for a full refund and I am fairly certain the policy exists across most if not all of our international distributors.

2) The direct comparison of "Nothing crashes other than Vectorworks" is simply not accurate. However, this is not to say Vectorworks does not crash, (no one has drunk THAT much Kool-aid) but to be perfectly honest, it crashes about on par with other large software packages. If your use of ArchiCAD was crash-free, then it makes complete sense for you to use the software package which fits your needs the best, and if it doesn't crash for you and you can do what you need to do in that package as well or better than you could using Vectorworks software, then I wish you all the best.

But, ArchiCAD crashes plenty on average, and their troubleshooting steps and kbase articles are extremely similar to ours with very similar symptoms and resolutions. Heck if you really want to see how true this is, not just with ArchiCAD, search:


and you will see hundreds or thousands of results about what I mean. If you walk down that path, which normally only tech support reps live on, you would fast come to the conclusion that no software works EVER and nothing but crashing has occurred since 1995.

3) Do we crash more than we should? Oh yeah. No question. Because ideally it would never happen. I do want to convey that while you probably will not see many other company reps speak on it or mention it at all, it isn't considered acceptable or OK that crashes happen, regardless of their frequency. We tear apart any bug reports that come in with any sample files that are provided, try to find what caused the glitch or crash, then work hard to make sure it stops happening. The main problem with this kind of work is, the public will never see 100% of the crashes we have already fixed, the public will ALWAYS see 100% of the crashes we haven't found or haven't fixed yet.

I certainly don't mean to defend crashing or allowing bugs through QA in any way, and If I have come off sounding like that I apologize, but I will leave you with some of the practices I use and habits i have after working here nearly a decade to avoid crashing as much as possible:

--Never work on a file stored on networked storage. Should this be doable? Yes, but it increases the risk of crashing significantly at the present time. I always copy any file I work on locally and then put it back on the network when I'm done with it.

(Project Sharing will change this because it does this in the background for you, but thats besides the point.)

--If a file came from more than 1 version back, use Layer Import to bring the geometry into a new, blank document in the new version. The main pain point here is Sheet Layers, I have submitted many requests on allowing the import of those as well to make cleaning up a file more painless.

--If Vectorworks crashes, wipe your preferences before you use it again. This is also painful as setting up your preferences and settings can take awhile, there are changes coming that may help address this, but in the mean time, I still find it saves me more time than it costs me.

--If Vectorworks crashes, reboot your machine entirely before launching it again. When an application does not close properly, parts of it can be left behind still running and then the problems simply compound one another.

--Do not migrate your OS or user account from an older version of the Mac or Windows OSes from an old computer to a new one. This is just crashing in general, but Vectorworks is especially susceptible to it particularly on Macs. You can test this out by using Vectorworks in a new user account first, often the difference is night and day.

--If you are using Vectorworks and suddenly it seems to stop responding, WAIT. Don't click a dozen times or bang on the keyboard (believe me, I want to) because it will only increase the likelihood of a crash. After moving to 64bit, Vectorworks is way more resilient to stacked up and queued input handling, but its still a good idea to just give it a second if you just initiated a heavy workload, even by mistake.

--Finally, if you are getting crashing regularly, make sure you have spoken about it to one of our techs and they have taken a look at your system profile/diagnostic as well as the files you were working with if they believe that to be the issue. I can not tell you how many users we have that experience crashing we have received automated crash reports from, but have no history of ever contacting our Technical Support department. They are equipped to solve the great majority of problems you will encounter and you ALREADY PAID for their services for a year just by buying the application, PLEASE take advantage of them.

Of course there will at some point be some problems that they cannot solve and of course, those will be the most likely to be vocal about it, (and understandably so) but for the majority of readers of this now extremely long post, make sure you go through the steps, they solve over 90% of cases without issue within minutes via phones or email.

Sorry that got a bit long and I have to head back to the editing room now, I hope my reply was at least informative if not directly helpful in troubleshooting.

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--Do not migrate your OS or user account from an older version of the Mac or Windows OSes from an old computer to a new one. This is just crashing in general, but Vectorworks is especially susceptible to it particularly on Macs. You can test this out by using Vectorworks in a new user account first, often the difference is night and day.

Thanks JimW - These are helpful troubleshooting tips for any software package, because as you rightfully stated, they all crash. The one step you neglected to mention was to step back and take a deep breath. ;)

But I was troubled by your suggestion to not migrate your OS or user account from an older version of Mac or Windows. With Apple now releasing major OS updates on an annual basis, installing a clean OS is a time-consuming process which usually takes at least an entire day, and there are always some files that didn't get copied over with the Migration Assistant. Creating a new User Account always causes 'File Permissions' issues to contend with.

Apple (and others including Macworld) recommend doing a Clean Install as a fix for ongoing hardware / software problems, but not as the recommended means of upgrading the OS.

Why is Vw more susceptible to crashes on a migrated OS / User Account than other software?

And what is Nemetschek Vectorworks doing to fix it?

Because it would seem that if you could minimize crashes caused by OS / account migration, then you would go a long way to reducing the total overall causes of Vw crashing. Which would make all of us very, very happy.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

^ Yes, sorry it was a bit unclear. Going from one OS update to the next nowadays isnt THAT big of an issue. Windows Vista to 7 was a mess and OS X 10.4 to 10.5 was seriously botched, but more and more often now the OS updates are a little cleaner than they used to be. Its using migration utilities to bring everything from one machine to another that really gets you in the weeds.

I mean, personally I do full wipes when I install a new OS version but, Im a massive nerd and technology is the focus of what I work on. When your main goal is design and not the underlying technology, it can be harder to justify the 1 to 2 full days it can take to freshly install a new OS and get back up to speed with applications and settings.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Why is Vw more susceptible to crashes on a migrated OS / User Account than other software?

And what is Nemetschek Vectorworks doing to fix it?

THIS however is still an area of valid questioning.

We relied on a LOT of components of the host operating system in the past and still today to a lesser extent, which is why the Mac and Windows versions used to be so different in the way they behaved and why going 64bit took so long.

The Vectorworks Graphics Module is solving a lot of that (like why we no longer need Quicktime on Windows, we also don't need to rely on the built in QT components on the Mac side either, but users wouldn't see that change) as it is of our own making, is pretty much the same cross platform and since we have full control over it, it doesn't get messed with during an OS update like other Apple or Microsoft specific components would.

The Adobe CC suite is a good comparison, theyre a massive company so they've pretty much built everything so that the various apps in the suite can run on their own or rely on their own servers. Thats the main reason their UI is able to be upgraded so regularly and is almost identical on Mac and Windows.

We'll get there, but for us allocating the resources to it as well as to new feature development is the pinch, luckily we're still hiring like crazy so development is getting much faster.

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Gotcha - thanks JimW for the clarification - apologies for my misunderstanding. Yes, I agree that migrating an OS / User account from an old computer to a new computer is just asking for trouble.

I also certainly understand why NV and you personally would want to always start with a clean OS install: your computers are for development and serve as the 'Control Group' for any problems / bugs that we might be having.

JimW- thanks for answering my question. I'm glad to hear that NV is working on fixing whatever may be causing it.

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I can relate to DontEvenJoke's experience, and let's face it, VW has a long legacy of crashing.

I use Photoshop and other software a lot. Very, very rarely do they crash, admittedly I'm not a heavy user of them but neither would I consider myself an advanced user of Vectorworks.

I acknowledge that there have been challenges to overcome and I also acknowledge that 2015 so far seems to be the most stable release. But the excuses have got to stop; just do what it takes to fix it and fast.

If VW2016 proves itsel to be a stable release and contains some REAL time saving features (some that have been long requested) then VW2016 may be a release which opens our wallet.

But stability is definitely priority number one.

Edited by Kizza
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I upgrade every year

Why wouldn't I?

I reckon if you do not you should put your money where your mouth is

Be loyal and support this great bit of software

Vectorworks is too cheap anyway

Should be more expensive

I run some huge files for landscape designs and get crashes sometimes

Mostly though I can predict them and therefore Ctrl S as necessary prior to doing some things

When I get the rare crash - yeah turn away from my puter and say rude things but mostly laugh as I reboot, make a cup of tea and am so grateful to be using Vectorworks to help with what I do


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May I suggest you do check your system (both hardware and software), Vectorworks install and settings, other installed software as well as your file(s). I'm not questioning your crashes but you may have a faulty Vectorworks installation or something else (software or settings) on your computer that interferes with Vectorworks.

You also may want to check your security software settings to see if it is not locking or blocking access to folders that Vectorworks needs to access freely, either during install or using it.

Why I am saying this?... When using Vectorworks 2013 I was working on a 2D/3D file with almost 2 million objects most of them polygons (no DTM/DEM in the file), 1500 something classes, 50+ design layers and 80+ sheet layers.

At times it would slow down to a snail pace and seem unresponsive but after waiting for some time it would come back to life but it would rarely crash, have worked on that file for entire days without crashing.

When opened in 2015 it behaves the same though a bit more responsive. Before Vectorworks 2013 it would probably have crashed on a regular basis.

If your drawings are not as heavy loaded as in my example it could be worth to (re)check the things mentioned above or also be something else... the way you are using Vectorworks, either how you use the tools or the Vectorworks settings or a combination..

Years ago on a Mac I noticed something odd, we had two identically specced Macs with the same AutoCAD version installed. On one Mac (my colleague's) it would crash several times a day and even approx. every 10 to 15 minutes at times. On my Mac the software would crash maybe twice a month if at all even though we were doing quite similar work on the computer.

However, when I used his Mac at some point I did not experience as much crashing as he did. So when I noticed him working it became clear he was doing several things quite differently than I did (e.g. using a lot of consecutive undo's where a simple delete of multiple objects would have been more efficient). There may have been a hardware factor as well as when I used his Mac it would still crash more frequently than my own Mac but still way less then when he was using it.

If for example you have up to 200 undo's set and operations large objects then the undo memory can bog down Vectorworks and run out of memory at some point and then crash after trying multiple undo's.

Give me time and I can make almost any program crash, whether it is AutoCAD, MS Office, Adobe software, something else... I've experienced crashes with all of them in the past, sometimes on things that seemed really simple and easy. Vectorworks, at least for me, is definitely not worse than the rest and probably even in the better half of the pack.

You simply can't expect any software vendor to cover any possible use of its software on any possible system with any combination of other software being installed for every possible use scenario. I'm using Landmark for jobs for which it was not intended by a long shot but it still does a really nice job, though some bits and pieces have bugs that I can work around and more importantly, they are being fixed.

For example, for AutoCAD Civil I am hearing complaints about bugs, some of them pretty serious for some users, that exist for years and never got fixed so not all is that rosy on the other side either.

That being said, the amount of crashes you are experiencing would make even me consider using an alternative if it would be happening to me.

Edited by Art V
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Thanks ArtV, rdesign and Jim,

I have reinstalled my OSX as well as your suggestions...

ArtV - I have reduced my undo amount to 5 and I am trying to be more measured in my work flow.

Also, I have cleaned out my hard drive and storage.

The thing that seemed to make to biggest difference was changing my Time Machine saving from an external drive to an onboard secondary drive.

Almost immediate slow down in crashes.

Thanks to all for the feedback,


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The thing that seemed to make to biggest difference was changing my Time Machine saving from an external drive to an onboard secondary drive.

Almost immediate slow down in crashes.

Simon- that is very strange. I have my Time Machine on an external 2TB USB drive and have nowhere near the number of Vw crashes you were reporting.

I guess all that matters is that it's working better for you.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one! I've been getting on average 5 VW2015 crashes per day for months now.

I even tried a format and reinstall - no difference.

@JimW - I can't use another modelling program, I do need to solve this problem as we are a sub-distributor of WV in South Africa, and I need to be able to offer support to our end-users. Unfortunately thus far I haven't been able to find a VW tech support center that supports VW serial numbers sold in Africa.

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New Mac & New V2016 & new issues with frequent crashes. Did not have this issue with V2014 (I didn't run V2015 as my computron's OSX was too old). These are small files mostly 2D drafting at this point.

I've yet to detect a pattern but will stat to keep a log.

I'm a little nervous when we move this project from Site Plan approval to Working Drawings.

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