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February 2012
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March 2012

AutoCAD Civil 3D: Opens Then Immediately Closes

We occasionally see reports where AutoCAD Civil 3D opens and then immediately closes with no message displayed. Typically, the described behavior could be happening when the program is not able to get its license; but there may be some other reasons for it. After you have confirmed that program in fact is able to ping your license server (if network) and that your license is valid it’s time to look somewhere else. In the next few paragraphs I tried to highlight a few places where you should look for clues. There are more, I guess, but these are most commonones I am aware of.


Windows: Zipped Files

Not all 3rd party tools work the same especially for zipping and unzipping files.  We had an interesting case in which Inventor Viewer 2012 was not installing properly. The download can be found here:

Just a note that if you are using a 3rd party application to extract files, it may cause some problems with the installation.  This particular one was causing some file corruption.  Also, I would extract the file completely before running the setup.exe.

In this scenario, the customer used this other 3rd party tool to extract, run and install the product.

Typically, I normally use the Windows 7 built-in technologies to compress and extract files. 

  • Select File > Right mouse click > Send to... > Compressed (Zipped) Folder
  • Select File > Right mouse click > Extract All

Here is another interesting post/TS dealing with zip files, in this case, you need 'WinZip':

Thanks to Tom Sack for confirming that certain utilities work better than others.

Installation Framework: Using Orca to check your what you have set up as your license server

We recently had this interesting question come into Product Support.  What can we use to quickly check what the installer has configured for as a  'license server' after you have created a deployment?

This is a simple request if you have one deployment i.e. Create & Modify it, but if you have a lot of deployments, that is a whole different story.


The instructions are below:

1.  Download Orca.  Use this tool with EXTREME caution!  If you edit, modify or save a change in a .msi or .mst file with this tool, you may destroy your deployment.

Danger, Will Robertson!

2.  Make a copy of the .msi and .mst file!  This is to ensure that you don't destroy your deployment.  These files are typically located here:



3.  In Orca, File > Open... > productname.msi file.

4.  In Orca, Transform > Apply Transform > productname-name-of-deployment.mst

5.  In Orca, Tables Column, go to Property and search for the ACADSERVERPATH.



I have included 2 Video Demos using Orca. 

Video:  ECS-MAYA


NOTE:  Product Support does not support Orca/ It is a developer tool so please do NOT log a case for product support to troubleshoot this tool/workflow. The only 'supported' method that we will 'officially' endorse is via Create & Modify a deployment.  I have included a video of the process as well.

Video:    ECS-Maya Create_Modify_Deployment

Please don't feed the Orca, it is a wild animal!  I would like to thank Alison Gangler for the tip of the year as far as I am concerned.

Autodesk Suites 2012: Which product key would I use if I plan to run a 2011/2010 product?

With the introduction of the Product Suites in 2012, if you plan to run a 2011 or a 2010 product, which product key would you use? 

I am going to provide 2 examples to shed some insight on the solution:

If you have the Product Design Suite 2012 on Subscription, you will be able to run the older products.  

1. Download the 2011/2010 from the Subscription Center.  The 2009 product doesn't require a Product Key.

2. Extract the downloaded file and note the Product Key.

3. Install the software using the 2012 serial number but use the product key noted in step #2.

If you are using a Multiflex license:

1. You can use the Multiflex Product Key [535D1] for any of the 2012 products.  

2 . Download the 2011/2010 from the Subscription Center.  The 2009 product doesn't require a Product Key. 

3.  Extract the downloaded file and note the Product Key.

4.  Install the software using the 2012 serial number but use the product key noted in step #3.


General Systems: Windows 7 Administrator Elevated

Windows 7 has some additional Security Settings that you should be aware of other than UAC.  You have something called "AlwaysInstallElevated".  If you are in a secure enviroment and there are problems with the installation of an Autodesk product, please follow these instructions before installing your software:

1. Disable the User Access Control prior to the install. This can be done by opening the Control Panel > System and Security > Action Center > Change User Account Control settings and turning it to the lowest level. NOTE:  Please change this back to the default setting when you have completed installing the software!

Please check out this post for further information on User Access Control:

2. Add the following policy for Windows Installer to the registry:


Note: Windows 7 does not include this key and you will need to manually add the Installer key to the registry. Right-click on the Windows subkey and choose New > Key and then rename New Key #1 to Installer.

AlwaysInstallElevated = REG_DWORD: 0x00000001 (1)

Note: You need to right mouse click on the right zone of Regedit > New > DWORD (32bit) Value.  Rename New Value #1 to AlwaysInstallElevated and Data Value to 1.

Always Elevated1


AlwaysInstallElevated = REG_DWORD: 0x00000001 (1)

Always Elevated2

There is additional information about this Windows Installer policy at:

NOTE:  Microsoft recommends that the policy be set back to "0" upon completion of the install maintenance!

3. Temporarily disable the Anti-Virus Software on  your computer.

4. Enable the Verbose Logging for Windows Installer and send the log files to Product Support if necessary:

5. When launching the install, right click on the setup.exe or on the deployment shortcut and choose 'Run as Administrator'

The elevated policy for Windows Installer can be set just prior to the install launch through a batch script if you are pushing a deployment out in an enterprise environment.  

Thanks to Alison Gangler for this playbook on the installation of software.

Network performance issue when using SMB Ver. 2

Autodesk identified an issue when in a specific scenario, the Sheet Set Manager is using DWG files stored in a Windows 2008 R2 server with SMB V2 active.

As soon we open a Sheet Set from the server, Process Explorer shows that the process AdcomFolderWatch.dll uses until 50% CPU utilization, and the Network traffic goes up and stays at ~5 Mbps, even after closing all drawings in AutoCAD).

This issue only affects the systems having SMB Ver.2 active, like Windows 2008 Server R2.

The Autodesk development team has been informed. For the time being, the only way to avoid it is to enable SMB 1. See How to Disable SMB 2.0 on Windows Vista/2008

I will update this post as soon a fix will be available for this problem.

A fix has been released for this issue. AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT 2012 SP1 SMB V2 Hotfix

General Licensing: Mac License server - EXITING DUE TO SIGNAL 36 Exit Reason 4

This was a very interesing error message:

Exiting 36 - mac


In this situation, you have setup a Mac license server using the instructions noted in the post below:

The problem was that the license file that was sent in the email was in Rich Text format but you actually can't tell on the Mac.

Mac:  adsk_server.lic file using Textedit with it's preferences setup in Plain Text mode.


Windows:  Same adsk_server.lic file opened using Notepad.


To resolve this issue, you will need to download Textwrangler and resave the file with the settings noted below:


To Textedit or to Textwrangle, that is the question!  Thanks to Chip Barber for confirming that this solution worked.

Maya 2009: Using Pacifist to install Maya on Mac OS X

Please note that Maya 2009 is technically NOT supported on 10.7 (Lion) so it may not install the Maya Core.

As a workaround, you can try to installing Maya 2009 SP 1 using Pacifist.

1.  Download the lastest version of Pacifist.

2.  Download Maya 2009 SP1 for the Mac here:

3.  Open the .dmg or .mpkg file using Pacifist, select all the components and Install it.

4.  Maya 2009 uses a legacy licensing system so you will need to provide the Autodesk Business Center your serial number and your ethernet address.  Please include (in Anything else you want to tell us?) your ethernet address when filling out this form:


5.  If you don't have a license, you will get this error message and this is expected.


The  reason for this error is because Mac 10.7 does not have any PPC (Rosetta) code in it. The Product Configuration Wizard (PCW) was programmed with PPC (Rosetta) code and is included in Mac OS 10.4, 10.5 and 10.6*.

*Rosetta Information for 10.6 (Snow Leopard)

Mac 10.7 drops PPC (Rosetta) support

What is Rosetta? 

Creating a license file on the Windows/Mac using a Text Editor

I have included a demo of the installation process:

Video:  Maya-2009-pacifist-10.7


Autodesk Suites: Installing Turtle with Maya Creation Suite 2012

There are 2 updates to Maya 2012.  One is free and one is for users on Subscription:

Maya 2012 SP1 + Subscription Advantage Pack = Maya 2012 SAP

Maya 2012 SP2 + Subscription Advantage Pack = Maya 2012 SAP SP1

The additional tools in the Subscription Advantage Pack is noted here:

If you own the Maya Entertainment Suite, how do you install Turtle with the updated Maya 2012?  The solution is:

1.  Install Maya 2012 SP2 or Maya 2012 SAP SP1 and use the Maya Entertainment Suite Product Key.

Maya Entertainment Creation Suite Standard 2012 = 660D1
Maya Entertainment Creation Suite Premium 2012  = 775D1

2.  Install Maya again from the Maya Entertainment Suite but uncheck the items that you don't need. i.e. Backburner, Composite, Matchmover etc and make sure that Turtle is checked on. 


3.   When you run the updated Maya, it will register Turtle.    I have included a video demo of this process:

Video:   Maya-2012-sp2-Turtle-install
Video:   Maya-2012-sp2-Turtle-working

Here are some reference links another issue with Turtle and Bonus Tools:

Thanks to the Maya QA team [mathurf] for assistance on this issue and Heather Billgren for confirming that this solution worked.

AutoCAD LT 2012: Lock up at Checking license...

We just solved another interesting error, when you start AutoCAD LT, it will lockup at Checking License....


1.  We tried deleting the file.

2. We also tried to reset AutoCAD by running the secondary installer.

In the end, the hail mary solution was to create a new user account to run AutoCAD LT 2012. 


Here is another reference to a corrupted user profile in our blog:

Thanks to Eron Eighmy for confirming that this solution worked.