Friday, 3 April 2009

Troubleshooting my Revit installation

In a recent post I described a problem I was having with my home desktop. Revit was failing to load and the following error would display:

Unfortunately it still does this, and having exhausted seemingly all other avenues with the helpful people at Autodesk I'm now preparing to wipe my machine and start again. There were however a few useful tips I picked up along the way that are worth remembering if you have problems with Revit.

Inspect your journal file

Your journal files (C:\Program Files\Revit SomethingOrOther 20xx\Journals\***.txt) amongst many other things may give you more of an idea of what might be going wrong. If you have a recurring but unpredictable error you could compare journal files to see under what circumstances it occurs, and thereby replicate it. Failing this, take the relevant information from the journal file and google it - you might not be the only one experiencing this. Unfortunately in my case the journal file wasn't much use:

The installer log file

If like me your problem happened as soon as you installed then you may want to look at the installer log file. This can be found in your %temp% folder ("Start" -> "Run." -> type "%temp%" -> "OK"), and will be called something like "Autodesk Revit Architecture 2010 - Preview Beta Install.log". Mine's 16MB of records from the installation process. If something went wrong with install, I assume you'd see it here.

Use Dependency Walker

Dependency Walker is a brilliant tool for all developers.

It is a free utility that scans any 32-bit or 64-bit Windows module (exe, dll, ocx, sys, etc.) and builds a hierarchical tree diagram of all dependent modules. For each module found, it lists all the functions that are exported by that module, and which of those functions are actually being called by other modules. Another view displays the minimum set of required files, along with detailed information about each file including a full path to the file, base address, version numbers, machine type, debug information, and more.

Dependency Walker is also very useful for troubleshooting system errors related to loading and executing modules. It detects many common application problems such as missing modules, invalid modules, import/export mismatches, circular dependency errors, mismatched machine types of modules, and module initialization failures.

Google "Dependency Walker" and you'll end up on the free download site.

The output from DW did help a little, and seemingly narrowed my problem down to the initialisation of one of the AutoCAD UI components. In response to this, I was advised to do this:

Uninstall all Autodesk products and remove Autodesk from path variable

This is quite extreme, but all else had failed so far so I was advised to uninstall all Autodesk products. When uninstalled, I edited the system path variable by going to System Properties > Advanced > Environment Variables:

The entry highlighted in the image above shows the path you need to edit. Remove the Autodesk entry - it should appear something like this: "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Autodesk Shared".

When done, reboot, and re-install.

This didn't work for me, but it might do for you. So after hours of tinkering, I'm none the wiser. Today I'm going to compare my install and DW logs with a known-working install to see if I can spot anything obvious. Failing that, I think it's time to re-install windows :(

UPDATE: May 7th 2009. In the last week Google analytics tells me I've had nearly 40 visits from users with Revitmfc problems, so I know I'm not alone. My problem is still unresolved, I bought a new machine instead as I couldn't face a Windows re-install! If anyone does resolve this please let me know. As far as Autodesk are concerned they think I'm unique. My stats prove otherwise...

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