Strange AutoCAD 2006 behaviour under paralells (not graphics related)

Discussion in 'Parallels Desktop for Mac' started by NMistry73, Jan 25, 2007.

  1. NMistry73

    NMistry73

    Messages:
    9
    First off i need to give a shout out to the parallels team for making such a great product!!

    Now onto business. When running autocad 2006 under parallels, i am noticing some very strange behaviour. Autocad hangs for 30-60 seconds while loading a file through a Mapped \\.PSF folder. For example, i have \\.PSF\Home mapped to H:. Once the file is loaded there is absolutely no problem.

    The problem does not happen when I open the file using its UNC path, or by browsing to it.. for example \\.PSF\Home\Desktop\SomeFile.dwg. The problem does not occur when the file is local to the VM.

    What i have done to work around the problem is map the drive using my mac's home directory share instead of the paralles shared folder. \\NickMac\nick -> H: I feel this is a sub-par solution as i do not want to leave my home directory share open.

    One other thing i notice, is there is a bit of network activitiy when im accessing the file over the mapped PSF folder. Using my handy dandy packet sniffer, it shows that my machine make many DNS lookups for my machine's name @ my ISP's domain. This does not happen when i use any of the other methods described above..

    Has anyone experienced something like this, possibly with another app?

    I am running Windows XP SP2 under Parallels build 3120.. Network is DCHP for both host and client.

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated..

    -N

    ps. Other than this one problem, AutoCAD 2006 runs amazingly well on my MacBook Pro C2D under Parallels... I have configured it to run using OpenGL for 3d, and i have to say its quite stable and useable (although not 100% perfect).
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2007
  2. rcarver

    rcarver

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    17
    how do you draft with the hovering pointer over your crosshairs. It drives me crazy not being able to see the center of the crosshairs. I have tried to find a way to disable the hovering pointer so that you only see the crosshairs while in AutoCAD but no luck.

    any advice?
     
  3. Atomic_Fusion

    Atomic_Fusion

    Messages:
    190
    rcarver wrote: "how do you draft with the hovering pointer over your crosshairs."
    ===

    Apparently this is not happening to everybody, so it must be a fixable condition. I experience it for quite a while until the new betas came out. Now if I need to I can use acad in parallels. It undoubtedly has to do with Parallels Tools, but since it "just started working" with the new BETAS, I have been happy.
     
  4. NMistry73

    NMistry73

    Messages:
    9
    I do not have this problem at all... I am using Autocad 2006. What version of acad / parallels are you using?
     
  5. rcarver

    rcarver

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    17
    I am using AutoCAD 2004. and the last factory release of Parallels. since I could not find a simple way around the pointer issue I recently partitioned my harddrive and now run AutoCAD+3D Studio Max natively. (via Bootcamp)

    how is the performance of AutoCAD I found that with only 1 GB of RAM it was dreadfully slow.

    AtomicFusion you advised me before on this, I think I want to go with the lastest Beta and access my Bootcamp XP via Parallels, as you said. but there have been so many complaints of major software failure. what is your track record?
     
  6. NMistry73

    NMistry73

    Messages:
    9
    First off, i HIGHLY recommend upgrading to autocad 2006 from autocad 2004. This is said w/o parallels in consideration. IMHO, autodesk really made this ACAD much more efficient to use. (for example, you dont have to tell it to do copy multiple, it is the default now).

    Here is my setup:

    MacBook Pro C2D 2.33Ghz
    2GB Ram
    160GB 5400rpm Drive

    Parallels Beta 3120

    8GB fixed size virtual drive
    VM is configured w/ 512MB of memory (i used to have it set to 1GB, but I never see autocad and windows suck up more than 350MB of memory)

    Windows XP Pro, SP2
    Autocad 2006
    Rhino 3D Version 3
    PDF Creator (http://www.pdfforge.org/products/pdfcreator)
    QuickBooks 2006
    (nothing else installed.. everything else i need runs in mac land)

    Parallels VM is running full screen on a second monitor, and I do not use coherence..

    The stuff i work with is heavy 3d. Architectural models come from rhino 3d and then get exported into autocad for sectioning and details.. Rhino runs in software openGL mode (good enough for what im doing), acad runs in either software or hardware OpenGL mode (and works fine).

    Its definitely a tad bit slower than if i was to use bootcamp, but i honestly got used to it. The convenience far outweighs the performance hit i get by using paralles. Plus it has started me thinking of how to efficiently partition my drawings, and layers again. Kinda like we had to back before acad 12.

    If its a huge model i just wait for the drawing to load up and then i freeze the layers im not using, and it works fine.. (its a good time to go through my emails anyways)

    The only time i switch into bootcamp is if i get a huge steel model (70+MB) and i need to have all the layers on to do a global operation.

    I turn off the dynamic input, and otrack when im not using them.. (personally i hate the distraction, but find it usefull when i need it).

    3d rotation in autocad is pretty smooth in either software or hardware mode.

    Hope this helps...

    Edit: What type of mac are you running on, and does it have a dedicated graphics card? Parallels / Acad runs like junk on my Intel MacMini 1.66 Core Duo w/ 1GB of ram.. And i know its due to the fact that the mini only has the Intel Graphics chip.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2007
  7. rcarver

    rcarver

    Messages:
    17
    I am use AutoCAD 2005 at work, but 2004 at home because it is last version I am able to get around the activation crap.

    my setup:

    MacBook Pro Duo2 2.16 GHz
    1GB RAM
    120gig harddisk
    Parallels+Bootcamp
    VM set to 604 MB memory (highest recommended for my RAM size)
    VM also set to expanding disk size (right now currently 4 gig and forever growing)

    I do not know much about the dedicated graphics card you speak of nor do I know much about the Open-GL. 3DS Max also prompts you to specify Open-GL or another option. maybe you could shed some light on the subject.

    I guess I need to get more RAM to really use CAD in Parallels. I also use 3D Studio Max and that obviously runs even slower.

    were you able to setup build 3120 to access your Bootcamp Partition? and if so does that require AutoCAD to be reactivated each time you boot?
     
  8. Atomic_Fusion

    Atomic_Fusion

    Messages:
    190
    rcarver wrote: "AtomicFusion you advised me before on this, I think I want to go with the lastest Beta and access my Bootcamp XP via Parallels, as you said. but there have been so many complaints of major software failure. what is your track record?"
    ===

    My experiences with Parallels' latest betas and RC have been very good (using 3120 now + Bootcamp), though I don't honestly use it that much. Primarily I am always in Bootcamp natively. It seems to be much smoother. Occassionally I find myself in O. S. Ten, and any time I am I will be running Parallels with my Bootcamp installation.

    I am running on a Macbook Pro 17" Core Duo with 1.5 gb RAM, and my acad projects are not very big. So allotting 256 mb RAM in Parallels has always been sufficient for me, for anything I do in Parallels. I have had no reportable problems with my setup, although Coherence and changing resolutions freezes my pointer -- so I stay in the same resolution in Parallels. ***Edit: I don't know what happened, but Coherence and resolution changes is no longer freezing my pointer any longer. Still using 3120 RC.*** I have had no problems on a temporary fresh install of Bootcamp, however, if I install Tools in Parallels first before installing any of Apple's drivers, when XP first boots after Setup finishes. But I am not ready to use that temporary fresh install as my main Bootcamp just yet, since it would mean having to tweak and install all my software again into it. So I have restored my Bootcamp partition back to the original one for now.

    Nevertheless, you should probably consider me a "little guy" when it comes to CAD and Parallels, as my projects only consist of 2d drawings, 5 layouts in Paperspace, and about a eight layers.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2007
  9. NMistry73

    NMistry73

    Messages:
    9
    if you have a MacBook Pro then you have an ATI graphics card, so you should be ok..

    I would recommend trying paralles beta 3120 w/ a vm with a fixed size disk first. Create a 4gb vm, install windows, and then install just autocad. Set your memory to 384 or 512 since your system ram is only 1GB. The less memory you can use for the VM, the more RAM you will have available for OS X, and that means the better overall performanc eyou will have. OS X is quite ram hungry, in my opinion.

    If you are planning on using parallels lots, i would definitely recommend going to 2GB of ram. Its just a good thing in general when working w/ OS X.

    I Have never run a VM off a bootcamp partition.
     
  10. rcarver

    rcarver

    Messages:
    17
    does it make any difference if I specify to use Open-GL or the other option (which I cannot recall at the moment) I am not sure I understand what was mentioned before about the difference between software and hardware Open-GL
     
  11. NMistry73

    NMistry73

    Messages:
    9
    With windows you have two major graphics API's... Direct3D and OpenGL. Both of them are written to abstract (or hide) the graphics hardware from the software, so developers can concentrate on writing their software instead of worrying about supporting different video cards explicitly (this the general idea). Both of these graphic API's have a software emulation layer that allows computers without a graphics cards with drivers that support their API to be able to run at all.

    In other words software mode simply means that your CPU is doing all of the graphics work instead of your video card's onboard processor.

    With AutoCAD you actually have 4 choices...
    #1. use the defaults. This uses autodesk's own internal software to do the graphics manipulation not relying on either graphic api. They were doing this for many years before D3D and OpenGL, so they feel it provides the best compatibility. i would say 90%+ of Autocad users use this w/o even thinking aobut it.

    #2. OpenGL (GSHEIDI-GL) If you go into your display preferences under autocad you can enable opengl. This offloads only the 3d graphics to the opengl driver. If you have a decent video card that supports the openGL standard then it works well. (ATI's are pretty good about this). *side note* you need to select at least the 3d-wireframe mode or above to actually use the opengl support. By default (even if you have selected it in the display properties), acad will use 2d-wireframe mode even if you orbit and rotate...

    #3. Direct 3D (GSHEIDI-D3D) If you look hard enough you can find the same thing as #2 but for Direct3d. It does not get installed by default (as per my knowledge, i could be wrong)

    #4. Display List drivers... custom GSHEIDI drivers for autocad that support special graphic cards... this has really become outdated... some powerful graphics cards may still provide these.. (Nvidia quadro cards) but the industry is moving towards opengl... Autocad 2007 is a prime example, as is Autodesk inventor.

    so.. now in simpler terms... if you have a modern computer and are not doing assemblies or objects that have tons of parts (over 1000), then i would say stick w/ the defaults it usually runs fine. I am dealing w/ models that have over 10000 parts (parts not objects), and i woudl not be able to do anything w/o an accelerated driver.

    -N

    ..side note... its amazing how quickly this thread has become a "graphics related" thread after i started it as a "non-graphcis" related thread.
     
  12. rcarver

    rcarver

    Messages:
    17
    thanks NMistry73 sounds like you know your stuff. what type of work do you do? Architect or Product Design.

    sorry about making this about graphics, and thanks for your help.
     
  13. NMistry73

    NMistry73

    Messages:
    9
    No worries...

    I actually do lots of things.. I never wear the same hat twice in one week. My family has a few businesses: Architectural / Engineering + Civil / Survey, Construction, Commercial Glass and Glazing.

    With our experience we tend to get lots of complicated jobs. The most recent being a very complicated art museum w/ irregular geometry and glass that is skewed, we are tasked with doing some engineering and drafting for the glass sytem. To get an idea of the project look here: http://www.stoutarc.com/Projects/InProgress/AMWV.htm

    The only way we can solve many of the conditions is using 3D. And the only way the system can be fabricated is by completely modeling all the parts in 3D. I use a mix of AutoCAD, Rihno3d, Autodesk Inventor, and Blender (free) to get the jobs done.

    Funny thing, my training is in electrical engineering, and i am a software engineer by trade. Family business just keeps pullin me in.

    no worries, just realized that nobody answered my original question.
     
  14. Atomic_Fusion

    Atomic_Fusion

    Messages:
    190
    Just out of curiosity, you ACAD users, when using Parallels, is there a way to change the scroll wheel action back to panning when I press and hold the wheel, instead of the annoying zoom in and out behavior? While in Bootcamp natively, it will scroll, but in Parallels it will zoom. Seems odd.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2007
  15. NMistry73

    NMistry73

    Messages:
    9
    FYI, It would be helpful to know what version of parallels and what version of autocad you are running...

    So...I am not following you completely, but let me give it a shot..

    The default action for the mouse wheel (or scroll wheel) in autocad is to dynamically zoom in and out while you slide the wheel up and down. By pressing on the scroll wheel like a button, it then invokes the dynamic pan command while you drag the mouse around.

    This is how autocad works for me in both bootcamp and parallels and any other pc.

    I use a very basic microsoft optical 5 button mouse w/ scroll wheel, and i do not install any of the microsoft intellipoint drivers.

    I have seen before where some mouse driver utilities (Microsofts being one) use a different method for the mouse wheel, especially when you have a mouse with both horizontal and vertical scroll features. The utility does not send the mouse scroll events as usual, and sends scrollbar up / down / left /right messages... Autocad will then treat those events as if you pressed a scroll bar button, and pan left / right / up / down accordingly.

    I believe this is not exactly what you are explaining, but it may give you some insight. ....

    So, this leads me to ask you a few questions:
    1. did you install any mouse drivers / mouse utilities on both your parallels & bootcamp environments
    2. did you play w/ the configuration of your buttons / scroll wheel?
    3. what type of mouse?
    4. What version of autocad / parallels
    5. what kind of mouse?
    6. Have you installed any extra mouse drivers under OSX? (microsoft's intellipoint for mac, etc..)
    7. Did you play w/ any of your mouse settings under OSX?
    8. Did you install the parallels drivers in your VM? (gotta ask that.. )

    Once i get more info from you i may be able to figure it out...
     
  16. rcarver

    rcarver

    Messages:
    17

    NMistry73
    that is very impressive. I actually went to school at VT so I am very familiar with Roanoke. looks like a Frank Gehry building.

    any luck installing 3150 yet and are there noticeable improvements with CAD software
     
  17. Atomic_Fusion

    Atomic_Fusion

    Messages:
    190
    NMistry,

    I did some exploring in USB Overdrive, which improves the OS X pointer motion, as well as buttons (it appears to be an extremely customizeable utility), and saw that the wheel-click assignment was not correct. I thought I had the problems even when USB Overdrive was not installed, but upon fixing the assignments, everything is working.

    This changes my entire outlook with using Parallels!
     
  18. billearl

    billearl

    Messages:
    31
    AutoCAD Double Cursor Solution

    There is a solution posted by "flak" in another thread last October.

    "For the cursor issue... there is a work around: in windows go to the display properties, select the settings tab and press the advanced button... once on the new window select the troubleshoot tab, then look for the hardware acceleration control and select one less than full. This fixes the cursor issue... I been doing great since I discovered thar... good luck."

    It worked for me in AutoCAD 2004 & XP Pro.
     

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