You do not drive into work every morning, park your car (SUV, truck or Harley) in the parking lot running all day long knowing you may want to drive it to lunch or when it comes quitting time back home. You don’t think that if you leave it running it saves you a few seconds of having to start it up again and warm up before you put it in drive to drive off do you? OK so it would be nice this time of the year to go out and get in a nice warm vehicle when we head home for the day. Or for those in the southern hemisphere a nice air conditioned vehicle this time of the year. No, we do not do that or think about doing that because we know the risk involved of not only wasting fuel and adding to global warming but we also know we may not have a car sitting there waiting for us when we come out to drive off.
So why would would you do that with your AutoCAD software? I’m talking about users that come in to work and start up their computers start AutoCAD thinking they may need to open a drawing some time during the day. Sure the first time you start up AutoCAD it takes a few minutes to load and you have to wait especially if you do not have an optimized workstation. But, do you know it is wasting resources sitting there minimized to the taskbar while it is not being used? Just like leaving your car idleing all day long it’s is not only using fuel but the power steering pump is keeping the fluid pressure build up, the oxygen sensors are still sending readings to the on board computer, the fuel gauge, oil pressure gauge are still using resources, the tachometer is still reading the RPMs of the engine. All that and more is happening because you do not want to wait for your vehicle to warm up at quitting time. Sounds a little dumb doesn’t it? Well the same thing is happening to your computer when you have AutoCAD running and minimized. All the functions inside AutoCAD are sitting there running, the operating system is sitting there listening for a mouse click wondering if your are wanting to issue a line command in AutoCAD or read some email. All those support folders on the server are getting pinged making sure they are still connected, all those connections to the printers are still connected, and more.
So what does all this mean? It means when you do get ready to open a dwg file in AutoCAD that it (AutoCAD) already has taken up a lot of those resources and you may get those Fatal Errors or out of memory errors. Prior versions of AutoCAD are know to have memory leaks or hoard memory that it is not using causing errors or other issues when you do try to use the program. The fix for it short of upgrading to a more powerful workstation is do not open AutoCAD until you need to use it, if you have been running AutoCAD for a few hours then close it out and reopen it after a few minutes, give it time to release some of those resources. A few minutes of waiting for AutoCAD to open is better than a few hours of complaining to your IT, boss or your software support team.