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Troubleshooting CorelDRAW® Stability and Performance Issues

This document is designed to assist in diagnosing and troubleshooting CorelDRAW® stability problems when installed on Microsoft® Windows® 2000 or XP.

There are a number of variables which may explain stability problems when running CorelDRAW on Windows 2000 or XP. It is strongly advised that all operating system updates and CorelDRAW Service Packs be installed prior to troubleshooting application errors. It is also recommended that all system requirements are met prior to installing the application, since many older versions of CorelDRAW were never designed or tested to run on Windows 2000 or Windows XP.

Before following the instructions outlined in this document, do the following:
  1. Restart the computer and attempt to recreate the problem.
  2. Reset the workspace in CorelDRAW by following the instructions outlined in Document ID #753793 - Resetting Application Defaults in CorelDRAW® and PHOTO-PAINT® Running on Windows® Computers, then attempt to recreate the problem.
  3. Search the Corel Knowledge Base (http://support.corel.com) or the Microsoft Knowledge Base (http://support.microsoft.com) for any specific error you may have encountered.
  4. Seek the advice of a Computer Technician if you are unfamiliar with basic Windows operation or troubleshooting.

The first step in troubleshooting application stability issues is to determine and identify the source of the problem. Essentially, the problem is almost always related to a system or application variable and in some cases, related to the file itself.

1. Operating System
User Account

Should stability issues occur when logged as a specific user, try creating a new user account with the same permissions and run the application. If the problem(s) no longer occurs, they may have been related to the specific user profile. For information on creating user accounts in Windows 2000 or XP, please consult the Windows Help files.

User Permissions

Running the application as a member of any other non-administrative group may be a contributing factor to stability problems. Try running the application as a member of the Administrators group to determine if the problems can be duplicated.

Video

Older video drivers can often cause a problem with CorelDRAW as the application is demanding on video resources. Video problems are often corrected by downloading updated drivers from the manufacturers website. Hardware acceleration can also be reduced for the video driver to determine if the problems persist. To reduce Hardware Acceleration, do the following:

  1. Double-click Display in the Windows Control Panel.
  2. Click the Settings tab.
  3. Click the Advanced button.
  4. Click the Troubleshooting tab, then reduce the Hardware Acceleration slider to zero.
Fonts

While there is no set limit as to how many fonts can be installed in Windows 2000 or XP, for best performance it is recommended that only required fonts be installed at any given time. Having too many fonts installed can decrease performance and lead to font corruption. It is also recommended that TrueType and Adobe Type 1 fonts with the same name not reside within the Windows Fonts folder at the same time. Finally, checking for corrupt fonts periodically is also advised (corrupt fonts are usually zero kilobytes in size). These fonts must be removed from the Fonts folder in Windows.

Services and Startup Items

Certain background services and startup items may cause application stability issues, specifically services which scan the system for viruses. The easiest way to determine if services and startup items are at fault is to use MSCONFIG to disable these items (WINDOWS XP ONLY).

  1. Click Start | Run | type MSCONFIG.
  2. In the System Configuration Utility dialog box, click the Startup tab.
  3. Click the Disable All button.
  4. Click the Services tab.
  5. Place a check beside Hide All Microsoft Services (this will hide Microsoft Services from view).
  6. Click the Disable All button.
  7. Click ok and restart the computer. Once the system has restarted, attempt to recreate the problem. If the problem no longer occurs, you must use a process of elimination to identify which service or startup item is at fault.
NOTE: In some circumstances, certain processes or start-up items may have been disabled to prevent conflicts when running Windows. Make note of which items have been disabled as re-enabling all items may cause system problems.

Temporary Files

Temporary files are used by applications to facilitate a number of functions, but are primarily used to swap information from RAM to the hard disk (and vice versa). Often when applications crash, these files are left in the Temp folder and must be removed manually. To delete temporary files, do the following:

  1. Click Start | Run
  2. Type the following and click OK: %temp%
  3. In the window that appears, click Edit | Select All
  4. With all objects selected, hit the delete key
NOTE: Certain files may not delete if applications which access those specific temporary files are open. If this occurs, simply reboot the computer and repeat the steps listed above, ensuring that all programs are closed.

Default Printer

CorelDRAW, when launched will poll the Windows default printer for information specific to the device. It will seek information pertaining to the printers capabilities, such as color capabilities, printable area, duplexing options and others. If a communication problem exists between the printer and the application, a failure to create a new document, or open an existing file may occur. This is particularly true with laptops removed from the network which use a network printer as the Windows default. Other problems may occur which result in random errors or reduced performance if there is a problem with the default printer. To determine if the printer is at fault, install a generic PostScript printer driver and set it as the Windows default printer (a color Apple LaserWriter will suffice). Once installed, check to see if the problems persist. For information on how to install a printer in Windows 2000 or XP, please consult the Windows help files.

Virtual Memory Options

Virtual Memory is used by Windows to swap information from RAM to the hard disk in order to free memory for use by applications when physical RAM is low. A paging file is used to accomplish this task. By default, Windows manages the paging file size and sets it to 1.5 times the amount of RAM on the system. This can be increased in cases where CorelDRAW appears to slow as a result of graphic and object intensive documents. When setting the paging size, the max size should never exceed 3 times that amount of physical RAM installed on the computer. To increase Virtual Memory settings in Windows 2000 or XP, please consult the Windows help files.

XP Themes

Certain XP themes have been identified as cause operability problems with certain versions of CorelDRAW. Furthermore, Visual Effects require resources in order to function correctly, which may have an adverse effect on applications installed on the system. Disable Themes and Visual Effects to determine if the problems persist. To disable themes, do the following:

  1. Click Start | Control Panel | Display
  2. Click the Themes tab
  3. Change the theme in the drop-down menu to Windows Classic

To disable Visual Effects, do the following:

  1. Click Start | Control Panel | System
  2. Click the Advanced tab
  3. Under the Performance field, click Settings
  4. Click the Visual Effects tab
  5. Change the option to Adjust for Best Performance
Other Peripherals

Ensure that all the devices on the system have the latest drivers installed. Pen tablets, scanners and other peripherals should all be updated when the device manufacturer releases an updated driver.

Routine Maintenance

Routine maintenance is critical to ensure operation and performance of the computer is maintained. It is recommended that the drives on the system be defragmented, temporary files be removed from the system and a virus scan be performed on a regular basis.

Scan for Viruses

Viruses will often have an impact on the computers operation and will impede the functionality of many applications. It is always recommended to routinely scan the computer for viruses, ensuring that the latest virus definition file is used.

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2. Application

Application Workspace/Customization

Workspace settings are used to save customization information in CorelDRAW. Custom toolbars, menus and shortcut keys are all saved to the workspace on exit. The next time CorelDRAW is launched, all customization from the previous session is restored. On occasion however, problems may develop with custom workspaces which affect the operation of CorelDRAW. It may be required that the workspace be reset in order to improve application performance. For information on how to reset the workspace in CorelDRAW, refer to Document ID #753793 - Resetting Application Defaults in CorelDRAW® and PHOTO-PAINT® Running on Windows® Computers

NOTE:

Resetting application defaults will delete all customization. Backup the workspace prior to resetting. To backup the workspace, do the following:

  1. In CorelDRAW click Tools | Options | Workspace.
  2. Click the Export button.
  3. Check all options and click the Save button.
  4. Choose a directory and name the workspace file Once exported, the workspace can be restored or imported into another computer by importing the workspace file. Should resetting the workspace not improve performance, the exported workspace file can be reloaded and customized settings will be restored.
CorelDRAW Memory Settings

When working with large files in CorelDRAW, it may be required to increase the amount of memory allocated to the application. Default memory allocation is set to 25%. This can be increased to as high as 50%, though it is not recommended to exceed this level. Increasing this setting beyond 50% will reduce the amount of RAM being used by Windows, decreasing performance of the entire computer. It may also be required to change drives being used as swap disks. Drives with a high capacity of free space are ideally suited for swap disks. It is also recommended that the primary disk be set to a drive which does not contain the Windows partition. This will improve read and write times if specifying a drive with little or no disk activity.

Backup Options

Ensure that auto-backup is enabled in Tools | Options | Save. In the event of an application failure, a backup copy of your file can be restored the next time CorelDRAW is launched.

Reinstalling the application

On occasion, re-installing CorelDRAW may be needed to update certain application files. When reinstalling CorelDRAW, turn off all non-critical background services and startup items. This will ensure that no other program conflicts with the installation routine. To disable service and startup items, refer to the instructions previously listed in this document.

3. File

The easiest way to diagnose if a problem is file related is to try duplicating the problem with a new file. If the problem cannot be duplicated with a new document, the file at the source of the problems may be damaged or corrupt. In the event of a corrupt file which will no longer open in CorelDRAW, try importing the file into a new document. If this doesn't work, the file may be corrupt beyond repair and an attempt to open the backup should be made.

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