AutoCAD appears to freeze during startup

In some cases you might receive feedback from an application that is misleading. Take AutoCAD for example, a frequent complaint about this application is that it starts up slowly and/or it hangs up during loading. In many cases it’s not the fault of AutoCAD, it could be that the Internet connection is slow, or the A/V is blocking something, etc. In recent versions of AutoCAD, a series of messages appear in the splash screen showing you the progress of the load. In the image below, the message says “Loading plug-ins…acapp.arx”. If your AutoCAD froze at this point, you might start looking for a problem with “acapp.arx”, but you might be barking up the wrong tree.

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Consider the following sequence of events.

  1. Begin task A
  2. Tell the user Task A is running
  3. Begin task B
  4. Tell the user Task B is running
  5. Begin task C
  6. Task C freezes.

Now what message is the user looking at? The one about task B running. When in fact, task B was successful and it’s task C that froze up. I recall many years ago, there was a bug in a certain program that would tell the user that there were licensing problems if the program crashed, when in fact this was not true at all. Probably the same type of thing was going on.

Of course this is just a simple scenario, but you get the idea. If the application has the ability to produce a .log file, use it. Verbose logging can tell you a much more useful information.

Back to the main topic of AutoCAD freezing up at startup. Some things to try:

More info from the Autodesk KB:  AutoCAD appears to freeze or hang during startup  |  Software hangs at “Checking License” or “Loading”