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AutoCAD2012/13 and Outlook2010 won't launch on various PC's

Bobbin85
Bobbin85 used Ask the Experts™
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All of a sudden a number of workstations of various types of hardware are unable to launch both AutoCAD2012/13 as well as Outlook 2010.  CAD hangs on the loading splash screen and Outlook hangs on the processing window.

This only appears to be affecting our Windows 7 x64 machines, not Windows XP.

We are not sure why both apps are affected and the fixes we have applied are proving to be very unreliable in some instances.

We have narrowed it down to .net4 framework client profile and .net4 extended in a sense but this is a rather complicated scenario.  A combination of uninstalling it, rebooting, reinstalling seems to temporarily resolve the issue but then after a while the problem comes back DESPITE us having blocked those updates we suspected from reinstalling which they don't.

Exporting the Registry for Autodesk found at HKey_Current_User\software when logged in as Domain Admin and then importing it when logged in as the user also seems to temporarily resolve the issue but then it comes back for some users.

System Restore also does not seem to be a permanent fix.

We are trying all kinds of other various things but does anyone here perhaps have any good leads or ideas on this issue?  I'm thinking maybe a dll shared by Outlook and AutoCAD but where?  What else could it be?

Please feel free to ask for any more info.  Help would be much appreciated.

Thanks.
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Rodney BarnhardtServer Administrator

Commented:
Since you have narrowed it down to a .Net 4 issue, I would look at the lastest windows updates that were installed. I know there were several that were released:

KB2604121
KB2656405

(the only XP systems these applied to was the x64)

We block most .Net 4 on our WSUS system because it conflicts with custom apps we have written. I would try removing these and seeing if that resolves the problem.

Author

Commented:
Thanks for your response rbarnhardt.  

It is actually affecting x86 Win7 machines the most I found contrary to what I mentioned above.

We have just now recently managed to resolve most of the problems and are hoping they don't return in time as they had previously.

This issue has not affected our other business areas, the ones we support that are running our own Win7 images.  The area that is affected is a recent contract we took over with their own setup.

What we have done to resolve is as follows (and so far holding thumbs it holds up but it has to be run in this exact sequence):

1.  Enabling their local administrator account which wasn't enabled.  Logging on that admin account and first running two .net 4 framework fixes we located.  1. dotNetFx40_Full_x86_x64 and 2. NDP40-KB2468871-v2-x64.

2.  Renaming the user profile folder with .OLD

3.  Deleting the users profile specific regkey located at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

4.  Rebooting and logging on to the users account making sure it doesn't start in a temp profile.

5.  Running CAD 2013 and Outlook which now should work.

6.  Copying all users desktop/docs etc over to the new profile.

Then testing by rebooting a few times and making sure it continues to work fine.  If it doesn't work we have to perform the steps again and ultimately it seems to come right.

Very very strange issue :/ but hoping the above will help anyone with a similar problem.

I'm thinking either sysprep wasn't run on these machines if they were imaged, or something else specific to their installations that we don't know about caused this mess which .net 4 somehow broke ??? - either way it appears to be windows user profile related, corrupt profiles perhaps.  I can't imagine what else.
Rodney BarnhardtServer Administrator

Commented:
I have seen issues in the past when we used Ghost to image systems with AutoCAD on them, so if sysprep wasn't run, that could be a cause. Those updates affected all Windows 7, Vista, Server 2008, etc. The only reason I mentioned the XP 64-bit, is because you said your XP machines were not affected. This was in the event you used x64 for XP, then they would be affected. It was not applicable to XP x86 systems.

Author

Commented:
I could laugh but it doesn't seem appropriate.  On some of the PC's this morning the problem is coming back like well after 8 reboots later.  They have not received any windows updates.  This has gone back to a complete mystery again.  

Going to try see if CAD 2011 works and temporarily install that on all PC's while we try sort the issue.  They are losing so much productivity and revenue over this issue :/

To be honest I don't know why they insisted on having the latest software.  Case and point.
Server Administrator
Commented:
We are running CAD 2012 on Windows 7 with Office 2010 and have not run into any problems. This is why I was thinking that maybe the .Net updates released a few weeks ago may have started the problem since we block them.

Author

Commented:
Thanks rbarnhardt.  I think so too and also that our higher tier guys should consider blocking the updates as you said.

CAD 2012 seems ok now on machines that we remove 2013 completely and clean install 2012 with sp updates.  So we are running with that as they do not wish to revert to 2011.

There simply does not appear to be a good fix for this issue at least until Autodesk and/or MS provide some updates/hotfix.

Thanks for your time and responses.