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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Creating a script for running Automated Backups

This is the script I use to create an automated back up for the vault. This will backup both the filestore and database to a single folder. This just needs needs to be edited to work with your Vault and the extension changed to .bat. Then copy the file to your server, where you can set up windows scheduler to run the bat file periodically.

-Obackup -Bc:\Vault_Backup -VUuser -VPpassword -Lc:\Vault_Backup\BackupLog.txt -VAL -S

Breakdown of the commands

C:\PROGRA~1\Autodesk\ADMS20~1\ADMSCO~1\Connectivity.ADMSConsole.exe this is the path to the executable that will be performing the backup. Short names were used in order to facilitate the running of the application in DOS mode.

-Obackup This is telling the executable to perform the backup.

-BC:\Vault_Backup This is the folder I used to store the backup in, you may want to use a different folder. I used an underscore to represent spaces because this is running using DOS and does not support spaces.

-VUuser This is an administrator account that will be used to run the backup. This either needs to use the existing Administrator account, or it will be an account that needs to be created. Substitute an account name instead of user.

-VPpassword The password for the administrator account performing the backup. If there is not a password then this would be blank. password is the password I used for the user account

-Lc:\Vault_Backup\BackupLog.txt the path for the log to be created during the backup process.

-VAL Validates the backup. This records and errors to the log file.

-S tells DOS to run this in silent mode without someone having to interact with the server.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Changing the Shaded_ display In Inventor using Regsitry

Changing the Shaded
display In Inventor Using the Registry

In Inventor, the
shaded display can appear blurry. This is due to a setting Inside
Inventor controlling the display of shaded edges in drawing files.
This setting can be controlled by either the document settings, or by
editing a registry entry. In a previous blog entry I covered how to
modify the Inventor Drawing files document settings to control the
quality of shaded views.

When the shaded views
in Autodesk Inventor look fuzzy or blurry similar to the picture
below, this is due to Inventor using a bitmap for the display of the

The other option is
to set the “use bitmap” to offline; this causes Inventor
to calculate the shaded view display, rather than using a bitmap to
display the view. The result is shown below.

Before I cover the
steps necessary to modify the settings, a warning. Modifying
the Windows Registry is at your own risk. Incorrectly modifying the
registry could make your system unusable. Do so after backing up the
registry, for more information regarding backing up the registry,
article 322756
or Autodesk
article TS66513

Windows XP: With
Inventor closed and not running, go to the windows start menu,
then select run, when the dialog box shows, type regedit

Windows Vista:
With Inventor closed and not running, go to the windows
start menu, and type regedit in the “start search “ box.

For either
operating system:
In regedit using the folder on the left browse
. For the Bolded XXX look for numbers corresponding to your
Inventor version, IE. 13.0 for Inventor 2009, 12.0 for 2008, 11.0 for
Inventor 11.

When you’ve
selected the “DrawingFormat” folder, on the left will be
a list of registry keys. Look for
UseBitmapForShadedViewOnlyWhenOffline, then right mouse button on the
key and select Modify. In the Dialog box, change the Value Data from
0 to 1, then select the ok button.

Now that you’ve
modified the registry key close the registry editor and restart

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Changing the Shaded display In Inventor

In Inventor, the
shaded display can appear blurry. This is due to a setting Inside Inventor controlling the display of shaded edges in Drawing files. This setting can be controlled by either the document settings, or by editing a registry entry. I'll cover how to change the settings in the document settings in this blog post, and the registry changes in the next post. 

When the shaded views in Autodesk Inventor look fuzzy or blurry similar to the picture below, this is due to Inventor using a bitmap for the display of the view.

The other option is to set the “use bitmap” to offline; this causes Inventorto calculate the shaded view display, rather then using a bitmap to display the view. The result is shown below.

To change the settings for how the shaded views are displayed you can edit the document settings. The settings are accessed by going to the “Format” drop down menu, and then selecting “Active Drawing. This opens up the “Document and Settings” for the current file, now select the “Drawing” Tab. On the tab, select the drop down menu for “shaded Views”.  Now the shaded views in the current drawing will display without any blurring.  


To have these settings present in your templates and available for new drawings, open your template drawing and modify its document settings using the steps here, and then save the file. 

Friday, September 19, 2008

Using Spot Elevation Labels

The spot elevation routine in Civil 3D is a useful tool, especially if your design changes. It is located in the Surfaces menu. (Figure 1)

Figure 1

This routine allows you to set spot elevations based on the surface you are working with and if any changes are made to the surface elevations, the spot elevation labels automatically update. All you do is select the surface you are working on and pick the spots you want to label. (Figure 2)

Figure 2

The image (Figure 3) below shows the same location, but the surface has been raised using the Raise/Lower Surface. (Figure 4)

Figure 3

Figure 4

So remember, if your design is going to change, and it will, remember to use the Spot Elevations routine so your labels will automatically update.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Free up memory by setting up the Autodesk Data Management Console to run on demand

Inventor and the Autodesk Data Management server can be configured so that the data management server is not running in the background when you are not using Inventor. This fee’s up system resources for other application.

First you will need to setup the services so that they do not automatically load, the services to be modified are “Autodesk EDM Server”, “SQL Server Browser” and “SQL Server (AUTODESKVAULT)”

To do this you will need to access the services, these can be found in the “control Panel” under the “administrative Tools”.

Launch Services, when the services console opens, I suggest switching to the standard layout; this makes it easier to find the services we’re looking for.

To switch to standard layout look to the bottom of the services console, and select the “Standard” tab.

Now we need to modify the services, find “Autodesk EDM Server” in the services console, and then select properties from the right mouse button menu.

From the Properties dialog box, change the startup type from Automatic, and change it to manual startup, also while in the dialog box, stop the service.

Now repeat these steps for “SQL Server Browser” and “SQL Server (AUTODESKVAULT)”

Once the services have been configured we need to create a batch file that will start the services upon our command. To do this we will create a text file that contains links to the applications we wish to start.

For Inventor 2008

For Inventor 2009

net start "SQLBrowser"

net start "Autodesk EDM Server"


"C:Program FilesAutodeskInventor 2008BinInventor.exe"


net stop "Autodesk EDM Server"

net stop "SQLBrowser"

net start "SQLBrowser"

net start "Autodesk EDM Server"


"C:Program FilesAutodeskInventor 2009BinInventor.exe"


net stop "Autodesk EDM Server"

net stop "SQLBrowser"

When you’ve created the text, save it with a .bat, this saves the text file as a batch file that can be executed. While you’re saving the file, save it to a location that you can find easily, and where the file won’t likely be deleted. You’ll also want to create a shortcut for your desktop to launch the batch file from. To do this you can, right mouse button over the batch files, and select Send to>Desktop (create Shortcut) this will create a desktop shortcut for the batch file.

The alternative is to edit the shortcut for Inventor to point to the batch file instead, you would do this by selecting the icon you wish to edit and then, using the right mouse button select properties.

In the properties dialog box, change the target to point to the batch file, be sure to include the quotes at the end and beginning of the target path. If the icon for the shortcut changes when you select apply, select change icon and browse to C:Program FilesAutodeskInventor 2009Bin and select app.ico

To use and work with what has been set up, launch Inventor using the icon, and a CMD prompt will start, loading the services, then Inventor will start

When you close Inventor, the same services that were started will be shut down in the CMD prompt, freeing up the available resources as the applications close.

The results of this are that the SQL services that run when your computer boots, do not start automatically, and instead only run when Inventor is launched. This frees up system resources for other applications that you may need to run. We did this by changing the startup properties of the SQL Browser service, Autodesk EDM server service, and Autodeskvault instance of MS SQL. Next we created a batch file that contained a script to start the services that ADMS uses, when Inventor starts. Next we edited or created shortcuts on the desktop to launch the script and run all of the applications and services.

Remember to start using the script for when you access the vault; otherwise you won’t be able to login

One other thing that can be done is to configure the batch file to run different applications. A batch file can be setup for launching the Vault, instead of Inventor; this is done by substituting "C:Program FilesAutodeskVault 2009ExplorerConnectivity.Vault.exe" for "C:Program FilesAutodeskInventor 2009BinInventor.exe"

Thursday, August 7, 2008


He has been standing on the gallows for five years now waiting for the final edict to come and the trap door to spring open below his feet. The edict has been signed and passed down. The trap door will finally open sometime in the spring of 2009 and the trumpeter will play TAPS.

Autodesk finally announced in early July that Land Desktop 2009 will be the final release of this product.

I cannot say that I will miss it much. I was never a fan of that product. I know that some people think that it is great and others are like me. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

But do not worry all is not lost. Autodesk released a new civil engineering product back in 2003 called AutoCAD Civil 3D 2004. The idea behind it was to develop a software package that could do what Land Desktop does but better. Five years later they have a product that is amazing, in my opinion, and they are still adding things to it. Civil 3D helps cut down on mistakes and production time because it automatically updates the documentation as design changes are made. What more can you ask for?

This year Autodesk introduced a new product for civil engineering called AutoCAD Civil. As AutoCAD Civil 3D has continued to mature with analysis and simulation capabilities, the product has grown beyond the needs of the civil engineering technician, drafter, and surveyor. The introduction of AutoCAD Civil provides a solution that delivers a more appropriate level of value for the technician, drafter, and surveyor, at a lower price point.

What is the difference between AutoCAD Civil 2009 and AutoCAD Civil 3D

The functionality in AutoCAD Civil 2009 is a subset of that in AutoCAD Civil 3D 2009.
AutoCAD Civil 3D includes incremental functionality to support analysis and simulation
more appropriate for civil engineers and designers. Both AutoCAD Civil and AutoCAD
Civil 3D are model-centric solutions and can be used together seamlessly within the same
organization. The following table provides a high level comparison of the two products.
More details on functionality for both products can be found at



How many times have you tried inserting TIFF images of aerial photos and have gotten frustrated? I hear about it a lot. You insert an image into your drawing and everything seems to be going great. Then all of a sudden you insert another one and everything starts going down hill. One or more of the images becomes white in the drawing. (See Figure 1) Uh oh! What do you do? You install the Raster Design Object Enabler but that does not help? Even using Raster Design does not help.

Figure 1

Don’t panic! There is a solution. But I will get to that in a moment.

One thing you have to consider when working with TIFF images is that there are approximately 27,000 different types of TIFF images out there today. Autodesk cannot support all of them. What TIFF images do they support? I am not sure. I have asked Autodesk but they cannot tell me.

So how do you get your work done? If you cannot get anything other than TIFF images what are you supposed to do? Simple, follow the steps below.

The first thing that you want to do is purchase image viewer software. I recommend either Irfanview or Global Mapper. Irfanview is FREEWARE for home use only and the author asks that if you are going to use it for commercial use that you send him some money, $12 cash, and register the product. Global Mapper (GM) is the more expensive of the two for the full version, $299 for one license. Make sure that you download and install the plug-ins for Irfanview. To use all of the tools in GM, especially the conversion tools, you will need to purchase the full version. To read more about what these two providers have to offer just click the links above.

Once you have installed the image viewer you want to start converting your TIFF images into another image format. I used for Irfanview for this article.

1. Go to the ‘File’ pull down menu and select ‘Batch Conversion/Rename’ or hit the ‘B’ key.
2. In the upper right hand corner of the Batch Conversion dialog box, see figure 2, browse to the folder where your images are located and select the ones you want to convert and click ‘Add’.
3. In the upper left hand corner of the dialog box select ‘Batch Conversion’.
4. Select the ‘Output format’ that you want. In this case select the PNG, Portable Network Graphics, format. You can choose any format that you want.
5. Select where you want the files saved to.
6. After you have made all of your selections then click on ‘Start Batch’.

Figure 2

Depending on the size and complexity of your images it might take a while to complete the conversion. The 13 images that I used were all about 120MB in size. It took about 3 hours to complete the process.

What about the world files? Simply copy the existing TFW files to another location and change the file extension to PGW, i.e. Taft-NE.TFW will become Taft-NE.PGW. If you convert your images to any other format besides PNG please remember that the world file extensions will need to be changed to match that format. All you have to do is remove the middle letter/character and slide the last letter/character to the middle and add a ‘W’ at the end, i.e. for a JPG file the world file extension would be JGW.

Once you converted your images and changed the file extensions on the world file you can insert your images again. All of your images should come in correctly! See Figure 3.

Figure 3