Problem: ArcCAD fails to load


ArcCAD boots me back to the desktop, returns an error "cannot load arcad.lsp", or otherwise fails to load.


ArcCAD can fail to load if the load method is incorrect, the AutoCAD and ArcCAD Preferences are defined incorrectly, or if you are using AutoCAD Map 3 or AutoCAD 14.01.

Solution or Workaround

ArcCAD should be loaded by typing "(load "arcad")" and hitting return. If this does not work, try the following in order to find the problem.

    1. At the AutoCAD command prompt, type PREFERENCES.
    2. Go to the Profiles tab and set the current profile to ArcCAD14. If there is no profile to select, create/add a new profile, name it ArcCAD14, and then set it as current.
    3. Go to the Files tab and click the plus (+) sign to expand the SUPPORT FILES SEARCH PATH.
    4. Make sure the following paths are set appropriately to your system (if they are missing, add them):
    C:\autocad14\ Fonts

    5. Apply the changes and close AutoCAD.
    6. Restart AutoCAD.
    7. Try loading ArcCAD by typing (load "arcad").
  • Make sure the USER environment variable 'arcad' is set to the appropriate directory, for example C:\ARCAD14. (You may have to create the variable or edit the current path.)
    For help with setting a system environment variable, see: How To: Edit an environment variable.
    After you have made your changes, try loading ArcCAD from AutoCAD.
  • Make sure the Target path for the ArcCAD desktop icon is set to the correct path.

    1. Right click the desktop icon for ArcCAD. If the icon is not on the desktop, then go to the ArcCAD folder and right click the SHORTCUT icon, not the arcCAD.exe.
    2. Make sure the target path is set to the arcad.exe folder.
    3. After that path, type in the path to the ArcCAD qwikstrt.dwg file that came with the CD as part of the tutorial data. If you do not have the tutorial data loaded, you will need to load the data off the ArcCAD CD. The target path should be based on your particular program structure, for example:
    C:\ARCAD14\BIN\arcadwin.exe; C:\arcad14\qwikstrt\qwikstrt.dwg
    This is usually the cause/fix if you are running AutoCAD 14.01 or AutoCAD Map 3.0.
  • Another possibility is that you will need to add a configuration switch to start ArcCAD. One easy way to find out the appropriate configuration switch is to look for the qwikstrt shortcut. Before you start, load the qwikstrt, and then work in ArcCAD. If you can do this, the path is correct in the shortcut target path.
    To add the switch, go to the shortcut's properties. Substitute it for the one in the ArcCAD shortcut icon target path.
    Start AutoCAD by typing "(load "arcad")".
    If this works then you can play around with the configuration switch to load the proper profile, or various other options. One option for the configuration switch is the following:
    C:\Program Files\Autodesk\ACADMAP3\acad.exe" qwikstrt.dwg /b qwikstrt /p "ArcCAD 14"

    This loads AutoCAD map 3 first, then the qwikstrt.dwg, then it switches to load the qwikstrt script, and then the ArcCAD14 profile.

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