A Drawing Saver or Drawing Savior?

Have you been as lucky as I have to have a drawing that is unable to be opened?  or Can you open the drawing only to have in unable to plot?

Audit not fix your error? Read on to learn a new old trick.

We have had our share of corrupted drawings from others or generated by ourselves.  With the use of XREF’s increasing, we have found that we might not be able to plot a part of our sheet set.  If we recover that drawing, it “fixes” it fine.  But we still can not plot or get a plot preview.

How many people use a little know command called RECOVERALL.

A snip from the help:

“The selected drawing file and all attached xrefs, including all nested xrefs, are opened, repaired, resaved, and closed.

  • Drawing files are saved in the current drawing file format.
  • Copies of the original drawing files are saved as BAK files.
  • If the object enabler is present, custom objects are updated.

Results are displayed in the Drawing Recovery Log window. Each drawing file checked includes a Drawing Recovery Log that can be expanded or collapsed. The entire log can be copied to the Windows clipboard with the Copy to Clipboard button.”

This function will open your drawing’s XREF’s, recover those, and the drawing initially prompted you in error.


  1. JohnCobb says:

    Some of us can screw up a drawing more than others, I guess. I had great hope, but got this message: Drawing recovery log:
    The drawing could not be recovered

  2. sure beats unloading all x-refs and then re-loading them one by one until you find the “bad” one! Thanks!

  3. Dave says:

    Be cautious using the recoverall command. It does have its deamons also.

  4. Dave – Ouch. I feel your pain as I have been there and done that, gone back to the server for a much older uncorrupted copy from either the Shadow Copy or tape backup.
    Thanks for the warning Dave – I haven’t run across any demons yet – but the object enabler note does give me pause.

  5. Brad Hofman says:

    [from Autodesk Support]

    “Using drawing recovery with Vault managed drawings is not a good practice. Recovery can cause object handles to be reassigned. If the reassigned object is the source for a data reference, the reference may be broken. Generally, if a recovery is necessary, it is best to save a copy of the corrupted file, undo the check out, check the last version back out again, and attempt to reconstruct the changes made between the previous check out and the point where the data become corrupted. The copy of the corrupted drawing may help here…it can be recovered because, as a copy, it is not part of the Vault project. Data can then (potentially) be extracted for inclusion in the working copy… Auditing is generally OK to do, but Audit is not a guarantee that the drawing file is not corrupt. If you structure your projects correctly, you can maximize performance and minimize the chances of data corruption and the extents of the data affected should the drawing become corrupt.”

  6. Dallas Vikse says:

    This command doesn’t exist in 2007…. or at least on my machine…. sounds interesting, though.

  7. John Mayo says:

    I originally thought this was in the Grading BP Guide. I was wrong, it was the readme for 08 SP2.

    “Several issues that prevented the AUDIT command from working properly have been resolved. However, it is recommended that you use the File>Drawing Utilities>Recover command in situations where you need to recover a corrupt drawing.”

    If you are not using Vault is this still valid?

  8. John –

    We are not using Vault here at JAS and “Recover” or “Recoverall” and has saved pulling backup tapes to find a drawing that works. The Recoverall command is new in 2008.

  9. John Mayo says:

    Thanks for responding Matt.

    We have been using Recover & Recoverall as well.

    I was hoping to find out a little more on this. It seems there are diffrences in Audit & Recover. I would guess that more error trapping can be done if the dwg is not opened but, still I guess.

    I am also hoping to confirm that Recover is still the reccomended command if Vault is not in use.

    It’s a bit more comforting to us to use Autodesk recommended procedures.

  10. Try


    This is a little old – but I think this is still valid. Audit and Recover handle different things, but probably should be used together on a drawing or set of drawings.