Ladies & Gents,
        I have a new Dell 1GHZ Pentium III with 128 megs of ram using 99SE
SP6 using Windows 2000 Professional. When I am drawing schematics or
manually placing components everything seems to run very stable. I have a
medium sized project that has 5 schematics and produces a single PCI long
card with DSP's and video chips on it.
        Sometimes for no reason at all, I get exception crashes while either
routing or un-routing the board or resetting DRC error flags. The errors
usually point to a "ntdll.dll". Some days the same design behaves stable and
some days it does not. If you kill the run away task and reboot, the problem
goes away for a while.
        I have tried several other machines in my office and they all behave
the same way, so I can't say it is a specific machine hardware problem. The
design itself is pretty far along the path and seems to be pretty acceptable
as far as saying is their something real radical in the design itself that
may be causing the problem. It is a 12 layer board with 3 power planes and 2
ground planes and 7 signal layers.
        I am not about to point the finger at either Microsoft or Protel,
but my question is "Does anyone else experience this kind of crap and still
put out a professional product??"; " Is Protel just a toy for hobbyists??"
It makes me very nervous. I am a UNIX type engineer and can not fathom this
kind of instability.
        Does anyone have a professional recommendation for a more stable
auto routing design package??


Thanks,
R. Gordon Price
Director of Research Engineering
Loronix Information Systems, Inc.
Del Mar CA

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