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Peter Kovacs

VW 2017 SP2 - General Instability

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We are a UK based small sized office of 12 architects. Our computers are all Apple Macs, most of them are 2-year old with OSX Yosemite. I attach a screen grab of a system report which roughly covers our hardware background. 


Vast majority of our projects are run under Project Sharing. After a few service packs we found VW 2016 quite smooth and stable to use but since we have upgraded to VW 2017 with SP2 we have been experiencing many crashes and general instability. Just in January at least five of our projects suffered from numerous crashes. My colleagues have been constantly reporting problems ever since. Some of this projects had started in VW 2016 and were updated later to 2017, some of them were started from scratch in VW 2017. This does not seem to matter. We also have further projects to be upgraded to 2017 but at this stage we decided to pull up the handbrake instead.


We also got in contact with the local Vectorworks Support Service as usually. They helped us out a lot in previous cases but currently it seems like they have become too busy and are not able to respond on time. I afraid we cannot afford a week - or even more - delay in response, if we get any at all… Our last two requests have not been answered by the time of this post, although they were issued on the 25th and 30th January. Having look at the request ID numbers, they must have received about 60 (!) requests from others within three working days. The increasing number of these requests also concerns us although I must admit that I do not know how many of these they receive usually on a daily basis. As things stand we are not sure whether we are having local issues with the software or there are general problems.


Besides, any problem with project sharing seems utterly complex to identify. I do not think that we are able to send over our files to the Support Service every time and wait until they come up with any working solution. Sometimes they just send us back a fixed file by their engineers without any explanation what went wrong. I am not sure in that how we could prevent further issues then.


I’d had 10 years of work with ArchiCad before I started using Vectorworks about three and a half year ago. The methodology of project sharing is almost identical which at least made it easy to understand how it works. However the stability of this function since it has been introduced in VW is rather divisive. Every time a new service pack is being introduced we are quite tentative whether we should upgrade or not. Sometimes previous issues simply re-incarnates and the software becomes unstable again. You never know.


I thought I would share our experience which might draw the attention of other users who might have similar issues or alternatively it can be confirmed that this must be a separate and local problem only within our office if no one else finds VW 2017 unstable. All comments are appreciated.


(Is there a new service pack in the pipeline maybe?)

Screen Shot 2017-02-02 at 11.49.28.png

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Hi Peter,

I too had issues with VW2017 Service Pack 2.  At the time of my troubles with 2017 SP2, I was not sharing the file using fire sharing.  However, my Model File was quite large 250MB +/-.  We had also cut a number of section viewports that were flattened on one of the file's design layers.  What I discovered was that panning/zooming in and out (especially when these design layer viewports were visible in the window) caused the file to quit unexpectedly.

After downgrading to SP1, these problems completely went away.  My theory was that perhaps the size and complexity of my files were too much for the graphics card on my machine.  Or that something was added into the service pack that caused problems. I did observe minor UI changes and saw that were were new features added to SP2, such as Bluebeam compatibility.  Often before crashing, the crops on the design layer viewports, would begin acting strangely, showing information beyond the crop, etc. 


Others in my office using 2017 SP2 have had more success, with much smaller, and simpler models.  For comparison, my machine specs are as follows: 


Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015

2.5 GHz Intel Core i7

16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3

MD Radeon R9 M370X 2048 MB


Hope this helps. 

Edited by cberg

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