A common error message that AutoCAD users see is the message that a “Drawing file is not valid”. This can occur when you are trying to open a file. We discuss the possible reasons for this error and what to do about it.
AutoCAD is one of the most popular computer-aided drawing programs out there, used by architects and engineers to create and share blueprints and technical drawings.
AutoCAD files contain vital data that are needed in construction projects as well as the creation and design of machines. So it can be quite a blow if these files become lost or corrupted.
“Drawing file is not valid”
One of the most common signs that your AutoCAD is corrupted is, if you try to open it, you get the message that the “Drawing file is not valid”.
Often time’s you will see this error message if one of the following has happened:
- You are trying to open a drawing file that was actually created in a different CAD program and not AutoCAD.
- Your AutoCAD version was updated after the file was created.
- You experienced an unexpected shutdown of either your computer or your AutoCAD program.
How can I fix this?
Likely because they recognize the fact that errors and corrupt DWG files are a common occurrence, there are a few built in tools that you can use to try and retrieve them.
If you see the “Drawing file is not valid” when trying to open a specific file, try the following.
- Use “Recover” on AutoCAD
- Open AutoCAD and go to “File”
- Select the option “Drawing Utilities”
- Choose “Recover”
- Find and select the DWG file that you were trying to access when you got the “Drawing file is not valid” message
- Wait for the file to be scanned and repaired. If it is successful, the file should automatically open.
- Find and delete DWL files
- Open the folder where AutoCAD places saved files.
- Check the option “Hidden Files”
- Go back to the Control Panel. From there, click on “Folder”
- A new box should open, click the option to “View tab”
- Click the option to “Show hidden files”
- Look for files that share the file name of your DWG file, but that are either .dwl or .dwl2.
- Select and delete the files.
- Try and open your DWG file.
Can data recovery software help?
When you suspect that you have corrupt or damaged files, you need to act as quickly as possible to try and repair or recover them to ensure that the data loss doesn’t end up becoming permanent.
To this extent, it might be wise to have a data recovery program that is specifically programmed to repair and restore AutoCAD files. A good program to install is DataNumen DWG Recovery; it can fix corrupt AutoCAD files quickly and easily.
Even if you have data recovery software, however, it’s still a good idea to regularly back up your important AutoCAD files. If you install DataNumen Backup on your computer, you can create multiple backups of your files to prevent data loss. This will also allow you to access your files even if you need to take your hard drive to an expert for repairs.