Fix corrupt files

Working with CAD software to create landscape plans is quite unlike working with other software applications. It is common to work on the same file over days so since your CAD drawings are such a valuable store of information they need to be protected. However, with the best intentions in the world, CAD drawings can become corrupt. Sometimes the file itself will not load and it is necessary to recover from a backup copy, at other times sometimes even though a file may appear to behave normally, some functions just do not work. Steps like zoom extents reveal a blank screen, the plant schedule tool will not update or gCADPlus closes and restarts. Here is a checklist to work through to fix corrupted drawings if you believe that you have a problem.

The file will not load

Use Windows Explorer, and navigate to the folder containing your drawing file. Select the file with the extension .lc$. At worst, this file will be 10 minutes old so by renaming the file so it has a .lcd extension instead of .lc$ will allow you to load a recent version of your work. Once the file loads, save it again under a different name. You could also do the same with the .bak file but it may not be as up-to-date as the .lc$ copy.

File loads, but is operationally compromised

1 Run the Tools > Purge Unused Objects option [PURGEX command]. This cleans a file of unwanted (unused) blocks, linetypes, text styles, and layers. these can often be the source of a problem.

2. Move to model space. Use the Tools >Selection All option and copy all model space entities to the clipboard. Start a new drawing (without choosing a template and paste it into this new space. Save the drawing and test doing operations in this new environment that previously caused difficulty.

3. Try using the Tools drop menu and select AutoCAD > Check AutoCAD file. This is a proxy for file integrity. If success is reported, use File > SaveAs dwg and use the ODA software tool to load the dwg and convert it to DXF. Then start a new drawing and open the DXF file. Save immediately as the native .lcd file format and see if your problem persists.

Example movies

The movies below describe some instances where we had to resort to more drastic measures to fix corrupted drawings.

YouTube movie We take a drawing that contains a considerable number of ghost entities and a malfunctioning update plant schedule command and repair in one simple action.

YouTube movie How to fix a corrupt landscape design drawing using DXF tools. We take a gCADPlus file that was unstable in the editing environment and using DXFin and DXFout commands create a version of the design that was stable.

Fix corrupted drawings

Built in file protection

We have systems in place that protect drawing files.

When you start drawing, gCADPlus loads a template file. The file is initially called noname. When you select File > Save, the drawing is saved under the name you have chosen – let’s call it MyNewDesign. As the save command is implemented, gCADPlus adds the extension lcd to the filename so the file becomes MyNewDesign.lcd.

As you add entities to the drawing, after 10 minutes, the autosave feature of gCADPlus cuts in and creates a backup file of the same name and in the same folder as the original drawing, but with the extension .lc$. At the 10-minute mark, there are two copies of the file – the lcd and the lc$. If you then File > Save, there are three copies of the drawing file in existence. The original file gets renamed MyNewDesign.bak, the current drawing gets saved with the .lcd suffix and the lc$ file remains (and is updated every 10 minutes). In this way, your design work is protected.

We suggest that you protect your work by creating a Jobs folder in the My Documents > gCADPlus folder and then sub-folders for each calendar year. Individual drawing files are saved in a folder with each client’s name. For example, drawings created for a job carried out in 2018 for M/s Smith would be filed in My Documents  > gCADPlus > Jobs > 2018 > Smith.

Backing up data is then quite straightforward – the Jobs folder is simply copied to a backup device. This can be as simple as a high-capacity USB drive or better still, connect the Jobs folder to a cloud storage system so the Jobs folder and sub-folders are backed up without any intervention from you.

Microsoft with their OneDrive service, DropBox, and Google + have excellent free systems backup applications for small projects while SugarSync and other commercial firms offer commercial cloud services.