In this episode of the Smarter Building podcast, we caught up with Dr. Stephen Hamil, Innovation Director at NBS, to gain insights into the future landscape of the construction industry and the upcoming trends in 2024.
Frequently Asked IT and CAD Support Queries When Working Remotely
The types of enquiries we receive in IT and CAD support tend to vary however in the last couple of weeks users have been experiencing similar types of issues that come with working from home. Remote working can be as easy as working in the office, but users can experience a few teething issues if they have never done this before. Most of these issues can be easily resolved with a few setting amendments.
Here are some of the more frequently asked questions we have had come through to our switchboards recently.
Q. My Inventor/Vault software freezes when checking files in & out/saving files/opening files and the only way to exit is by using CTRL+ALT+DELETE. How do I get around this?
This issue has only recently occurred for users who have moved from the office (where they had multiple screens/displays) to working from home (on a laptop or with one screen/display).
The problem is that the dialogue box is displaying out of your screen view, so it’s appearing to freeze. To fix this select ALT+SPACEBAR+M and then use the arrows to move the dialogue box into view, press ENTER to confirm position. The programme should now work as normal and any future dialogue boxes should also appear in view.
Q. What do I do if my Single User License of Inventor crashes on opening, after I initially installed onto a laptop or desktop?
Try re-opening after following each of the steps below to see if the problem is resolved:
- Check for Windows updates and update if necessary.
- Check graphics card capability and update where necessary
- Open Autodesk Desktop App, check for updates and update if necessary
- Right-click on Autodesk Desktop App in system tray and close
- Open the Autodesk Desktop App and sign out. Restarting Inventor should open the ‘License Type’ dialogue box so you can sign back in from there
Q. How can I use my Autodesk Standalone/Single User license at home?
Users can work from home as long as:
- The software is already installed on the machines you will be using at home.
- You are already assigned the license(s) via the Autodesk Account Portal
When opening the Autodesk application, you will be prompted with a ‘lets get started’ dialog box and will be provided with the following options:
- Enter a serial number
- Or use a network license
Select ‘Sign-In’ and then enter your username and password to access to the software.
The Autodesk conditions for use:
- For each user, only one instance of the software can be activated at any given time, either at work or at home.
- Connection to the internet must be made at least once every 30 days.
Q. Where can I find my licenses in my Autodesk account?
Newly purchased licenses can be found by navigating to Products & Services > All Products & Services in your Autodesk account.
Please note: Older licenses may be in the “Classic User Management” section of the Autodesk account.
Q. How can I work collaboratively on a Revit Model whilst working from home?
There are two main options:
- Via a remote desktop or VPN connection to the actual server location or
- By hosting the project on the Autodesk Cloud system BIM 360 Design.
Q. When I open AutoCAD via Microsoft Remote Desktop, I get a ‘Load Parameter 87’ error, what does this mean?
This points to an incorrect registry between your Desktop PC and your Remote Desktop on your Local PC. To resolve, follow the steps in the article here.
Q. Why can’t I borrow a license for longer than a few weeks?
This is likely related to either:
- The length left on your license file, stored on your nominated license Server. Should this license file be expiring soon, you will not be able to borrow a license exceeding this time and will need to have this license file replaced/updated.
- Or, if your IT administrator or CAD Manager has set the MAX_BORROW_HOURS variable in an options file (which is also stored in the license server) limiting the period you have to use that license.
Please note: You can borrow a license for up to 6 months if no restrictions are in place.
Q. I have a Sign-In ID Subscription license and want to change my email address aligned with the contract, how do I do this?
Neither Autodesk nor Symetri can update this as the changes do not synchronise correctly in Autodesk’s system, so you will need to do this yourself. Following the steps here.
Q. When a new subscription begins, only the Primary Administrator role exists by default, which means they are also the Named User of the software. How do I change this?
If either the Primary Admin or the Secondary Admin do not plan to use any of the products or services assigned by default, such benefits should be removed from them so the benefits may be assigned to other users. This is done through the User Management section of either Admin’s Autodesk Account. An article on Unassign Products and Services may be helpful.
Q. Why does it take so long to open my license?
Many employees find themselves working from home during the Covid-19 outbreak using VPN connections to acquire network licenses for Autodesk products. This connection type often needs more time to confirm a license is available. On your machine a system environment variable needs to be added in Windows via System Properties > Advanced > Environment Variables > New to allow for the longer transaction time.
System Variable = FLEXLM_TIMEOUT
Value = 3000000
3000000 equates to 3 seconds and is usually sufficient, however this value can be increased if necessary. The program does not wait the full time set if a license is confirmed before it runs out, as soon as a license is acquired the program continues to load.
Q. How do I install a missing font when opening a drawing in AutoCAD on my home machine?
To install a missing SHX font
Copy the .shx files into the Fonts folder within the AutoCAD program folder:
C:\Program Files\Autodesk\AutoCAD 20xx\Fonts
Please note: PostScript fonts (.pfb) and shape files (.shp) can be converted to .shx by using the COMPILE command in AutoCAD.
Installing a TrueType font
AutoCAD reads TrueType (.ttf) fonts that are installed in the operating system. TTF files do not go into AutoCAD's own Fonts folder. Copy .ttf files into:
As an alternative, right-click a .ttf file and choose Install.
Please note: Windows XP and Vista systems require going to the Control Panel and opening Fonts and then using "Install new font" under the Font menu.
Q. Why is my remote connection performing slowly?
Your connection back to your office could be for a number of reasons but there are a number of things that can be checked.
- Most users will use a wireless connection at home, wireless bandwidth is split between the devices in use and with everyone at home - this on some home routers could push them to their limits. Try to plug work machines in with a network cable.
- If a cabled connection is not possible it could be the location from the wireless router, be aware metal can reflect signals back and water can block these.
- Your Internet connection could be being hampered. Most standard and fibre broadband is dependent on other households, how they are using it and how busy it is. With everyone being at home at this time ISPs can limit usage especially if heavily used by a particular household. Running a speed test can help determine this. Tethering with a phone could help but this will eat into data plans and be costly for prolonged use.
- It maybe the business Internet connection, with everyone connecting remotely more will be used and little can be done to aid with increasing this or sharing the bandwidth equally.
Q. Why is my remote desktop connection getting an error when trying to connect to my office-based machine?
Your connection error could be a number of things:
- Check your connection to the office, most will connect via a VPN, are you logged in.
- Could the machine be off, it could be worth checking the power settings on machines so they don’t go into standby. This is difficult to check if already working remotely though.
- Try and connect to the machine using its fully qualified name (computer name plus domain) or IP address.
Q. Why can’t I logon to VPN?
Not being able to logon could be a sign your password has expired. Depending on the VPN software or remote connection product you may need to get someone to reset the password for you. A good practice is to reset your password before it expires, the best way to do this is to connect with your VPN, press CTRL+ALT+DEL and select Change Password.
If you have any other queries resulting from working remotely and would like our help please do not hesitate to get in touch, call 0345 370 1400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also working remotely and continue to operate our IT & CAD support services from the hours of 8am to 6pm.