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13 March 2007

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» Run AutoCAD on a Mac from Between the Lines
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» I Need Your Input on AutoCAD for the Apple Mac OS X from Between the Lines
At Autodesk we are always trying to stay in tune with our customers and the industries they are in as well as their needs. So what does this have to do with a Mac, the AutoCAD product team would like your feedback and opinions in a short survey to help... [Read More]

» AutoCAD 2010 on my MacBook Pro from Between the Lines
OK so it is not native Mac but pretty close. The new version of Parallels Desktop 5 for the Mac OSX has a new crystal view mode. [Read More]

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This is exactly what I wanted to hear!!! I have been itching to get myself the 24" 2.16Ghz iMac. It has been hard leading a dual life. XP at work and OSX at home. Was unable to do work on Autocad until now. Thanks for the info!!!

Shaan,

Do you have any performance comparison figures of these tests between similar specked Intel Mac and PC's?

Tim,

If all things were equal (comparing apples to apples ) in other words Windows XP did not have a million applications and running processes installed on it and the CPU, graphics card (GPU), and the disk speed were the same you would get the same results. There is nothing really special in the Apple hardware to make Windows run magically faster on the same hardware and same environment.

Of course when you first try it you think "wow, it is faster" but in reality it is like when you get a brand new machine or clean OS image, it always runs fast until you add hundreds of applications and add other continuous use wear and tear in the drive fragments and registry and all of the other apps like Acrobat in the system tray etc. It is just an option to run AutoCAD on the Apple PC hardware but no real reason to run out and buy a Mac if you intend for it to be your main Windows machine as that is like paying double price for a Windows PC. However if you do use it primarily as a Mac and use OSX then this could be an option. You could try Parallels on OSX to run Windows on the OSX desktop but that does run slower than the native Boot Camp XP method and we have not formally tested that environment.

Cheers,
Shaan

You asked for problems...

I've encountered an issue running LT2007 on my new Macbook Pro. I'm using Bootcamp rather than Parallels

For whatever reason, I keep getting asked to re-activate my license. So much, that I've exceeded the number of times I can do it online & now have to email my request off to Autodesk, wait the best part of a day for a reply, then enter the authorisation code.

I've made enquiries with Autodesk & a few forums for suggestions. Autodesk, as you pointed out above, don't support AutoCAD running on a Mac. The only advice I can get is that it could be one of two things...

1. error relating to machines with SATA drive controllers (although the MBP has a SATA drive, Windows doesn't appear to list any SATA drive controllers)

2. error relating to USB external devices (I'm using an external USB drive & have been advised that it should be listed as 'removable' in the Logical Disk Manager - it isn't, but I don't know how to correct it).

My gut feeling is that it is the second issue causing the problem. My only course of action at this point is to delete my windows partition & start from scratch. I'll maybe avoid using the USB drive for a while to see if everything is stable... but its a drastic measure, likely to take most of a day to do.

If anyone has encountered similar difficulties, I'd love to hear.

James,

The same removable drive problem occurs sometimes in Windows PC systems not just Apple Bootcamp. It has to do with the system not knowing the primary drive and getting confused where the license file is located. If you install without the external drive causing this then each time you run AutoCAD not use that drive you should be fine. I too rely on external drives but do not have this issue occuring. It seems limited to a very small group and hardware as I have only seen two people myself with this issue.

Thank you for the feedback and I am sorry you are experiencing this hardware conflict.

Shaan

Shaan,

Thanks for your reply.

Just one question... would it be sufficient to re-install AutoCAD as things are & avoid using the USB drive... or will it be necessary to wipe the partition & start again? If I've already applied the SATA hotfix, will it be remembered if I simply uninstall & re-install?

Sorry... that was at least two questions.

James.

James,

I am not sure but I believe the problem was due to install in the cases I knew about. It could also just be due to the way the hardware is assigned in the OS. Does AutoCAD work fine when the drive is not attached? Is it only a certain USB drive? I don't think partitioning is going to help in this situation personally but I will ask and also look around and see if I can find the needle in the haystack.

Regards,
Shaan

Why Autodesk is not supporting Mac, now that they use Intel processors? I'm sure thousands of professionals would use Autocad if they just could use Macs.

Franz,

We wish it were that easy that just by Apple changing the CPU architecture that it would allow us to easily port to Mac, but unfortunately it is not. We do have products on the Mac platform such as Maya and understand development for Mac as well as Linux and other platforms but AutoCAD is a very large application with the majority of users on the Windows platforms. It would take a great deal of resources to port to a native Mac application and we also want to make sure that the market will be there as well an appreciate the feedback requests. We have had AutoCAD on the Mac platform back in AutoCAD R11 & R12 but it did not do so well. With the multiple operating platforms comes the added expenses of effectively doubling development teams, support teams, and more. We have no hand shake to be a Windows only application and are always listening to the customer requests and gauging the effort and platforms. If you could mention a little bit of background, are you currently an AutoCAD user, what release, and how you use it that would be great.

I just want to run OSX on all my PC hardware that I have now at the very least. :-)

Again thank you for the feedback.

Regards,
Shaan

Thanks for the reply. Actually I'm not a direct AutoCAD user, I collaborate with a small architectural firm which uses AutoCAD 2004 and is now switching to 2007. I help them in administrating the PCs they work with, and I do the same for several Mac systems. No problems with the application itself, which works flawlessly most of the time, but a lot of headaches with the OS. For me it would be a lot easier to do the same work with Macs and I really hoped that AutoCAD would someday come back to them. I know that's a considerable effort, and I have no, of course, a quantitative estimation of how many professionals would switch to Mac+AutoCAD, but I have the feeling they would be many. But I'm sure Autodesk has sounder information about this.

Shaan,

I am experiencing the same problem as James. I am running a full license of Autocad Revit Architecture Suite 2008 on my Mac Pro (Office) and my Macbook Pro (Home). On both of these machines I am running Windows XP on Boot Camp. I am a lifelong Mac user, but as a practicing design professional have to run Autodesk applications which will only run on Windows. As such, I only run a few applications on Windows.

Please help, anyone, before I jump from my third storey window.

Bill

Bill,

Don't jump. I understand your frustration but it is partially due to using software that was not designed or supported for that exact platform. We tested AutoCAD 2007/2008 and not the Revit Series versions or products.

We have not seen this issue with plain AutoCAD on BootCamp and have been unable to reproduce it which is required to address it.

Sincerely,
Shaan

Were both applications (AutoCAD 2007 and AutoCAD 2008) tested on both machines? What were the processors of each machine tested?

I am considering getting a Mac Pro 2.66GHz, but am concerned about the 3.0GHz minimum system requirements of AutoCAD 2008.

Does AutoCAD utilize the two processors?

I am currently in the surveying/engineering profession. I use a mac and parallels to run Autocad 2007. I think it sucks that they don't port to Mac. The version they tried is not OSX. Our company would switch to Mac only if it weren't for Autodesk.

That said, I am going to work for a new firm that would like to switch all its pc's to mac's as well as the network/web server. Yet again, there is the hold of Autodesk keeping us from the plunge.

As far as Office software, it is all moving to Web 2.0, who needs MS office/outlook? Apples Pages takes the place of a "desktop" program that reads/writes .doc files if that is a must.

Please hear the cries before they turn into a roar. PORT TO MAC OSX.

MAC fans - thanks for posting your interest in have our products ported over to OS X. It is a subject we're highly interested in pursuing.

In an ideal world, what AutoCAD features are must-haves for OS X?

Thanks - Eric

Product Line Manager
Autodesk, inc.

So maybe I'm a little late commenting...anyway. I find it hard to believe that Autodesk doesn't see the market for Mac Users for their products. Just a cursory glance at online sources give me the the impression that there are scads of current Mac users, PC users and people who switch between the two (like myself) that would love to see AutoCAD ported to the Mac. What matters seems to the the portion of 'large' (30+ license) firms that are committed to using Apples platform over Windows. Most of the small design firms (like the one I work for) only own a few copies of the product and casual individual users almost can never afford to purchase the software.

That said, with Apple's increasing market share of late, and their switch to Intel processes, there couldn't be a better time for Autodesk to seriously consider offering a port. Wile it's true what you say above Shaan, with the support and development teams; I find it hard to believe that it would not be much easier with the switch to Intel than it was with PowerPC.

Anyway, thanks for your testing and 'limited' support for the Mac user, we appreciate that at least a few of you over there are thinking about this issue.

Michael
AutoCAD user since 1990, Currently using Autodesk Architectural Desktop 2006.

Hello everyone. A quick question regarding BootCamp. I am trying to upgrade from Boot Camp 1.1 to 1.4 on a Mac Book Pro in order to run autoCAD. The 1.1 install went fine, but in order to install CAD, I need internet access and the internet wont work on the windows OS. Any thoughts?? Anyone had this problem before? I have been poking away at it for months now, but cant figure it out.

Thank you kindly for any assistance.

Jeff Campagna

Jeff,

You can activate AutoCAD without the use of the Internet. You can do this from another machine and email or the activation website or by phone to the registration and activation listed in the product.

www.autodesk.com/register

Sincerely,
Shaan

Few questions:
what processor are you using on those Macs? Intel Core 2 Duo or Intel Duo Core?
I tried installing AutoCAD 2008 on a MacBook, Intel Duo Core, and a strange failure occured: the installed web registration form (the web document CAD installs, stating company, name, and install code) needs to be validated. Every time I enter the key code, CAD comes up with the same error message. Is this a MacBook failure or Autodesk failure? Thanks for all advice

Hello
I have an imac desk top and I cant seem to get the autocad software for mac ( in Nigeria where I leave) to even attempt to install, talk less of exploring the operability. I have been using autocad on windows for years.
I will be in the Us from 23th - 28th october for a conference.
Can any one help to advice or direct me on how/ where to purchase.
Thanks.

Hamza,

There is no official supported Mac version of AutoCAD currently. We only did some initial testing of AutoCAD 2008 for Windows on Apple Boot Camp running Windows XP. We have found it works but in some limited cases activations can fail.

Regards,
Shaan

Shaan,
I'm having a problem activating my AutoCAD 2008 on my MacBook Pro running in Boot Camp. I have "Activated" it over a dozen times, but, each time I activate it it doesn't stay permanent. I have noticed that it requires activation again after I have switched to the OSX side, then switched back to the Windows portion of my partioned hard drive.

This issue is driving me mad and I can't seem to figure it out. I talked to some technical guys at Autodesk and they said it might be that something in the boot sector/drive zero is getting changed or re-written when I switch to OSX and back to Windows to run AutoCAD (I don't know what any of that means). Can you help?

I hope I'm being clear, but if not, feel free to contact me via email, or through these comments...I'll be checking them often to see if you can come up with any shread of a solution. Thanks!

-Scott

Scott,

We have found this issue to be possibly the result of the licensing software. We have reported this for research by them. There is no easy solution at this time for this limited issue with boot camp on a Mac.

Sincerely,
Shaan Hurley

We run AutoCAD MEP on three apple pro machines. Two using parallels and one with Fusion. We like the fusion one better, but have not had any problems with either. We would love to have a native Apple version to be able to switch completly to Apple. In addition, we have switched our servers over to Apple iMacs and haven't had any problems with these.

Shaan,

This issue with the activation is most likely with the licensing.
Autodesk stores the authentication information in the master boot block.
I am guessing that the master boot block is virtual and is getting over written each time the OS is switched.

Bob Holland

Will we ever see an AutoCAD Architecture for the Mac platform again? I started with AutoCAD on a Mac years ago. I sucked it up and made the change to PC when the platform was abandoned. I've regretted it ever since. If it makes a difference to anyone I'll beg.
Please give us an AutoCAD Architecture for the Mac!
Thanks,
Ashley Coco.

Hi Shaan,

I have a MacBook Pro with 2GB RAM and 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Dual. I used Parallels to run AutoCAD and 3ds Max before, but the experience was terrible. When running on CAD on Parallels, the system becomes very slow, and the mouse cursor "jumps" all over the screen, it's virtually unable to do any drawings.
Then I switched to using BootCamp and running CAD and Max is almost perfect (the performance part of the programs), only that I cannot bear the fact that I have to reboot the computer to use my Mac programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, etc.

I think having the native Mac version of Autodesk programs will be a blast. because if we only use BootCamp for all the neccessory programs, then what's the point of having Apple machines? I believe many people use Apple for good reasons and it's like a discrimination not to be able to use the programs we need to use on the OS we want.

I have a quick question do u have a list of all the laptops that can be used for autocad/autodesk because am looking for one and am not sure if the Compaq Presario F730US 15.4" Widescreen Notebook Computer With AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Processor TK-55 is good anought for the job? By the way, am a sophmore student currently attending to south suburban college and my major is mechanical engineer.

I too am interested in AutoDesk porting AutoCad and Revit to the Mac. We are an architectural firm that is currently using Architectural Desktop 2004 and evaluating Architecture 2008 and Revit 2008. I imagine that part of the difficulty in porting to Mac is the large number of specific vertical flavors of AutoCad. Whichever of those don't get ported will have Mac users crying foul. That being, the case, I certainly do hope that AutoDesk starts the process of offering AutoCad for OSX. Our office is primed to switch to Macs, the only thing remaining is AutoCad.

For our users, if a port was made, one of the big things necessary would be scroll button support for pan/zoom. I know it sounds trivial, but our users have become so reliant on the productivity gain from that capability that they would be quite upset. Other than that, it's really just a matter of feature parity with the Windows version.

Thanks for listening and hopefully there will be some positive news from Autodesk in the near future.

just give us the Autocad for macs!

Hi, Im from Costa Rica, and we have just the same problem with the license , running Revit and Autocad Suite on a Macbook pro, we just buy the mac in order to get the best laptop avaible on the market two months ago , but know , we are saling the machine , becouse of that problems, it is really a shame that , the best designing OS cant work together with the best architectural softwares(revit and autocad),
it is that hard to see, that in a logical world , cad software have to be mac natives?

I have autocad and I am considering getting a Mac. I would prefer a laptop, but the Mac Book Pro versions are too expensive. The Macbook is cheaper but does not have a dedicated graphics card. Does anyone know if autocad would work on the Macbook? If not, I suppose my other choice is to go for an iMac. Also does anyone know if there are any better alternative program to Parallels? Vic

Does anyone have an update on the topic of the ACTIVATION code? I see that the Serial ATA issue described at Autodesk's support site may be the problem...has anyone installed the update given there and had any better luck?

Thanks!

We are another design company who would love to see Auto CAD work on Mac.

Please give us AutoCAD in OSX! This is the direction the design world is going, and we do not want to start using MicroStaion...but we WILL!

We're also having issues with licensing ACaddLT2008 on bootcamp. Has there been any progress on this ?

The app works seamlessly on Bootcamp, that is until the allowable activations exceeded their quota . Autodesk refuse help the moment you mention Mac.

I can't believe they would see a user walk over something that could be dealt with administratively. As it stands it looks like we just blew a couple of grand.

I love the IMAC 20 inch; 2.0GHz the other day when I saw it at the Mac store. Of course the guys at the Mac store said there is NO problems with the Autocad running on Macs. I guess I am on here to findout if its worth it.
1st I was thinking I can do the bootcamp. Last night I read that doesn't really work because of the Autocad licensing only lets you re-input 4 times.
2nd My boyfriend says I can wipe-out all mac and have it only be pc. But I like all the mac stuff that comes with it.
3. Parallels I have read here and other sites http://forum.parallels.com/showthread.php?t=2867&page=3 said that it runs very slow. Well slow is my old dell computer and why I need to get a new system. Also the mouse problem.
Ahhh... The sad thing is Autodesk will never be Mac again. I love Mac but need the autocad 2008 for work.
Advice please!

today I do the repair issue for Costa Rica ( Revit Architecture 2008)in Intel Based on Mac.

1.- uninstall revit architecture 2008
http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/item?siteID=123112&id=2887771&linkID=9240617

2.- remove all Revit Register on windows Regedit.

Log on to the workstation as a member of the local Administrators group.
Click Start menu (Windows) > Run.
In the Run dialog box, enter regedit in the Open box and click OK.
In the Registry Editor, locate the following subkeys and delete them:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Autodesk
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Autodesk

3.- delete all Revit Folder.

4.- Reinstall Revit.

5.- Install AutoCAD 2008, and Service Pack

6.- get an authorization code,

7.- user has a USB External Hard Disk, so unplug this one, when the installation process was finish installation, restart the system.

8.- start the system Mac and Switch to windows XP,

9.- start Revit or AutoCAD 2008, the software work fine. the license is OK.

10.- now you can plug USB External Hard Disk,

I hope this help.

Simon


I will talk with the development and licensing group again on the status of this issue. As I understand it the problem lies with the licensing technology used by Autodesk products. There could be other issues as well which is why we do not officially support the Mac platform for AutoCAD products.

We are always reading the market and in some markets have Linux as well as Mac based products and believe me if it were easy to port, we would have already done so but it is no small undertaking for a 10+ million line product and perhaps virtualization support could be something as a first step in the future.

Thank you for all the feedback as it is not falling on deaf ears.

Regards,
Shaan

Well, we finally stumbled out of here at 2am and may have found the problem in our case, hope it's of some help to anyone else trying to figure it out.

Searching forums, some suggested that USB Storage Devices might be a problem. Then I remembered that I'd used a Western Digital USB mass storage which on first connection loaded files onto the Bootcamped Windows for some backup app that came with the device. We deleted everything to do with the WD app and so far so good, the latest authorization is sticking....so far.

Shaan, thanks for the reply. So there's hope ! This is really encouraging. Didn't Autodesk have a Mac version a couple of years ago ? What happened ?

I know this will send some folks reeling and granted some lucky ones have no issues with Windows PCs, but I have to relate why we are on Macs.

Our small firm had years of hell with Windows and hardware from various manufacturers. It became an albatross around our neck with it's daily issues and cost us much in productivity, income and time with our kids.

More than a year ago we'd spent weeks struggling with issues that ultimately cost us a project. That was the day we backed everything up, threw the albatross's on the drive and took a sledge to them all. Reckless, yes, but we'd just had it. In the moment I wondered what the hell we we're doing but In hindsight it was the best $20G we ever spent, if not therapeutic. Same day we bought Macs and did a wholesale switch. We figured it couldn't be any worse, at least they'd look nice.

Within 24 hrs we we're up and running and have been ever since. To this day a it's been absolutely seamless, even MS Office behaves !! Until our license issue with Autocad we'd had ZERO down time. Macs have literally saved our firm and our sanity. They are more than pretty, they work, as tools should.

The only app preventing a complete switch was AutoCad. We tried a couple of other Mac based Cadds but found all had issues with DWG conversion. So back to Vista/AutoCad we went, but I refused to allow a PC in the plant, so Bootcamp it was.

AutoCad remains the only app preventing us from closing the door on Windows altogether, for us that day cannot come too soon. Considering the hours we spent on it over this past weekend it only demonstrates that it continues to be a liability.

AutoCad for Mac cannot come too soon.

Anyway there's my rant.... and no I don't work for Apple.

Spoke too soon....back to square one with licensing.....gimme strength...

Phil,

I am checking on the status for this problem which is due to our licensing technology being incompatible with the Apple platform. I had a discussion last night with a senior AutoCAD Management person (and big Mac fan), but I don't have anything to report yet.

We did have AutoCAD on the Mac many years ago but back then there was not enough demand in sales to support the extra teams and efforts required. When it makes business sense for the product AutoCAD we will try make something available just as we have other Autodesk products supporting the Apple platform.

Sincerely,
Shaan Hurley

Hi Shaan, any movement on the licensing issue ?

There is no update to the macrovision licensing issue. Since the Mac is not an officially supported platform for AutoCAD and the problem is with a 3rd parties technology it may be difficult. I have raised the issue in discussions but there is not much more I can do at this point. If there are any changes I will post.

Regards,
Shaan

I think I might have just found a potential solution for the losing of licenses. There are some people are looking into it now.

If you were using a network license product you would not lose licenses as the machine would always grab a license.

Regards,
Shaan

I just bought a Macbook Pro 4 GB RAM and 2.2Ghz processor and am running parallel platforms (OSX and XP). ACAD 2007LT fails about 30 seconds after I open it. From what I have read here, it seems like there is not ifx. In simple terms, is that true?
Thanks

AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT is not supported on Apple Bootcamp.

Update on License issue: I found the document below and it seems to have helped the serial # and latest authorization/license stick.

http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/item?siteID=123112&id=9506795&linkID=9240617

Shaan, you never answered my question as to why ADesk won't provide a Mac version while so many smaller and less profitable companies can and do support both platforms ?

It kills me that I've had to spend countless hours dealing with this only to find the above document proving that the licensing issue is not limited to my Mac/Bootcamp configuration. It seems to me that ADesk is just using Bootcamp as an excuse not to provide support.

Phil,

Porting to another operating system an application as complex as AutoCAD is not like porting other lesser or raster applications. We know what it takes as we had ported to Mac many years ago but the customer base was not there. Just because OSX is Linux and Macs now use the Intel chip does not make the efforts any less complex. It would mean adding a separate new team and support unit and would take a great deal of cost to Autodesk in hopes th market for specialized CAD on the Mac is a market for AutoCAD as you slice the Mac market as a whole down to a very small segment slice say 0.01% of the Mac base which is now at 6% of the entire PC market now. We appreciate you and others feedback on this and are definitely listening but just have anything to announce at this time.

Believe me I wish we could just do it, but costs are high and add Apple to the mix which can be difficult to work with in my experiences when compared to others like Intel, Microsoft, AMD, Red Hat and many others who work more closely and are responsive to requests. Last time I asked to test a Mac I was told by Apple to take a hike, but I can call many others and have a loaner machine or support. Remember that most likely Apple thinks of us as a competitor to their video editing market but they even stopped porting their application to Windows impacting many of their Windows based customers regardless of the outcry. We are also the developer of Maya which is ported to Mac, Windows and Linux.

Best Regards,
Shaan Hurley
-Posting from the hiking trails around Escalante Utah.

Dear Shaan,

If Autodesk can fix the licensing issue you don't have to port all your software to a Mac version. Just support it running on Bootcamp, and the license problem is all that's stopping it.
I need 3DS really badly but not badly enough to buy another £3000 pc computor that's going to crash all the time when I have a great Mac.

Please try and get Autodesk to expedite the license issue on ALL their software!
Their sales will go up as it is all that is standing between them and millions of customers!

best wishes,
RHD

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