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October 2012

AutoCAD Structural Detailing 2013 activation issue

We are getting some cases where customers cannot activate their product due to a licensing error message basically saying that the license has expired. There are no choices to either reactivate or run the product.

PS_error at start01

PS_error at start02


FRE:  Cette licence ne peut être prolongée.
ENU:  The license cannot be extended.

Development has released a Hotfix that address the issue. You can download it at the following address:

Autodesk License Borrowing + Laptops + Windows 7 + Power Saving

Difficult cases can be a treat and license borrowing can be tricky.  We were so lucky to find a spooktacular solution to this issue.

You have followed the following steps to borrow a license...

If you disconnect from the network, it stops working.  When you launch an Autodesk product,  it is basically looking for the license server and comes up with the FLEXnet License Finder.

FLEXnet License Finder

The interesting part of the scenario is that the laptop was staged using the built-in network card and not the wireless card.  The issue was that when Windows 7 is disconnected from the network, it would go into power saver mode and basically disable the network card.

When you borrow a license, it is binding the Autodesk product to a the MAC address of the ethernet or wireless card.  The solution was to not allow the network card to be disabled.

We have lots of treats and last years trick is below:


 Thanks to Chris Newlen for confirming that this trick worked.


Understanding licenses on Subscription and not on Subscription [license parser]

Almost everyone knows that when you have an Autodesk product and it is on Subscription, you have access to use the current version and 3 versions back. i.e. AutoCAD 2013-2010.   When a license is generated and it is on Subscription, it will have the SERVER lines, PACKAGE & INCREMENT codes in it.

If the license file is NOT on Subscription, it will only allow you to run the 'current' version only.  When this license is generated, it will only have the SERVER lines & INCREMENT codes in it.

Using the license parser, you can quickly see what that means:

Sub-non-sub licenses


Laws: If you have AutoCAD 2013 in your Suite, don't include the update...

A tribute to Lefler's Laws, an old Star Trek TNG reference.  Here is the first Up and Ready Law:

If you have a Suite that has AutoCAD 2013 in it along with any other AutoCAD vertical, do not include the update in the deployment or it will roll back your installation.

This applies to ALL Suites:


Another good search parameter are the Quick Start Guides in Up and Ready blog site.


This will apply to any update including the SP1, if you had installed it.  There is a special note about SP1 here:

Epilogue 2

You will also need to look for Autodesk Sync and uninstall it.  If an update has been applied, you only need to uninstall the program and the update will be automatically uninstalled as well.




AutoCAD Installation Error: Entrypoint: StreamOutFNPCADLL

Just an update, if you are installing AutoCAD and the log file has the following error:

(SERVER) MSI (s) (9C:9C) [08:04:16:995]: Invoking remote custom action. DLL: C:\Windows\Installer\MSI5A0.tmp, Entrypoint: StreamOutFNPCADLL
(UNKNOWN) Action start 8:04:16: StreamOutFNPCADLL.
(UNKNOWN) CustomAction StreamOutFNPCADLL returned actual error code 1603

The solution is to set "TMP or "TEMP" environment varilable to point to a location that the installer has read/write access.

1.  Create a folder at C:\temp and include "Everyone" with full permissions.

2.  Right Mouse click on Computer and select Properties > Advanced > Environment Variables.

3.  Change the following values:

Variable: TEMP
Value:  C:\temp

Variable: TMP
Value: C:\temp

The default Value for TEMP and TMP is:  %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Temp

Thanks to Alison Gangler for this tip.



AutoCAD Architecture 2013 deployment will not install Content via Autodesk Design Academy Media

Just an quick update that we have reported some issues with the Content not installing with AutoCAD Architecture 2013 via Autodesk Design Academy Media. This only happens when installing the software when using a deployment.


The AutoCAD development team has been alerted of the issue and the only workaround is to install it directly.

Thanks to Michelle Hackett for alerting the Product Support team of this issue

FAQ: SOS Students that need help

Autodesk has a great student program in which you can download and use our software for educational purposes at:

There are some tips and tricks for getting some assistance...

1.  Use Matthew – Autodesk’s Automated Virtual Assistant by clicking Need Help? 


2.  Ask Matthew some basic questions.   We will be adding some more Artificial Intelligence to him as we build him up a bit more...


3. Select an issue and type a question and if the question is really "difficult" and you have an opportunity to get to a form to post that "difficult" the question as well.


4. Another tip for EDU users of the software is noted in this blog post:

Civil 3D 2013: Where is Storm & Sanitary Analysis & Subassembly Composer?

When you install Civil 3D 2013, you have to expand the accordian to get access to install the following Sub-Components:

  • Autodesk Storm & Sanitary Analysis 2013
  • Autodesk Subassembly Composer for AutoCAD Civil 2013


If you create a deployment and you do not select those components, you will NOT be able to add it in the deployment afterwards if you try to Create & modify a deployment [in the Tools folder].


To solve this problem, run the setup of AutoCAD Civil 3D again on the target computer.  It should will alert you that AutoCAD Civil 3D is installed.   Just expand the accordian to install the 2 sub-components.



You can re-download Civil 3D 2013 using the Virtual Agent (Step 3) here:


Thanks to Avto Chachava for this workaround.

AutoCAD: How much of my MEMORY [RAM] is my drawing really using?

Have you ever wandered about the amount of RAM memory that your drawing is really using and you don't want to use the Task Manager...

Here is a quick tip, open the biggest, baddest .dwg that you have and type STATUS on the command line.  It will show you the amount of RAM that your drawing is using with the complete statistics of the drawing.


Thanks to the team.

A Mountain (Lion) of Service Packs

Autodesk just released three service packs for the Mac versions of AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT. In addition to resolving issues reported by the Customer Error Reporting (CER) utility and other general problems identified since the previous versions were made available, these service packs add support for OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion).

AutoCAD 2013 Service Pack 1 (Mac) 
AutoCAD LT 2013 Service Pack 1 (Mac) 
AutoCAD 2012 for Mac Service Pack 3

Playing in the Sandbox

New Apple guidelines require that software packages installed on OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) meet certain security standards. These restrictions mean that you may be unable to do a fresh install or re-install of your existing AutoCAD for Mac products on OS X 10.8. In that case, depending on your product, you should either download the full version of AutoCAD 2012 for Mac or download the trial Mac versions of AutoCAD 2013 or AutoCAD LT 2013. These downloads have been updated to include the latest service packs and conform with new Apple security requirements.

Note: The service pack for AutoCAD LT 2013 is not for the AutoCAD LT 2013 purchased from the Mac App Store. That version will receive the new updates directly from the Mac App Store when it becomes available.