We've been experiencing fatal errors associated with printing as well. We
are probably one of the largest users of Protel Software around. Problems
with swapping from one network printer to another in Protel have caused us
some trouble. We get access violation errors regularly and I found a
workaround for us... we have one printer that is an HP laserjet 4 (I think)
and when I select it as a printer after having experienced a failure from
the printer setup dialog box with our plotter or our copier/printer, and
then go back to the printer/plotter I wish to use.. the error clears and I
can work with the printer normally. Why it does that I don't know. We have
been logging the errors and crashes and will be sending that data to Protel
when we have them compiled with some sort of guess as to the pattern we are
seeing. The stations having the printing problems are using WIN2000 w/
512megs of ram not 98 or 95. (98 has it's own problems... 95 was fairly
stable.) I really don't think its a RAM issue.

Bill Brooks 
PCB Design Engineer 
3030 Enterprise Court 
Vista, CA 92083 
Tel: (760)597-1500 Ext 3772 Fax: (760)597-1510 
IPC Designers Council, San Diego Chapter 

-----Original Message-----

I ran into a problem, which I've reported to Protel, where I would get fatal
exception errors on Win2K.  I don't have the original message so I don't
know if this will apply but here's what I found..

I had set up the printer for a schematic drawing to use my Epson Color
printer, which happened to be on a Network print server but I don't believe
that has anything to do with this).  Printed the schematic, and some others,
in the DDB just fine.

Shut down 99SE, the system AND the printer.  Next day I booted up the Win2K
system, but didn't turn the printer on since I wasn't planning on doing any

Started 99SE and as it was processing the files in the DDB Kaboom, fatal
exception.  Hmm.. Had to kill 99SE via the Task Manager.  Tried again, same
thing.  Forgot about holding the Ctrl key down to avoid opening files, so I
renamed the DDB to prevent loading it.  Created a new schematic, no
problem..  Figured that the DDB must have been trashed.

Did some more playing and found that the new schematic would crash when I
attempted to set up the printer for the powered off device!!  Turned on the
Epson printer, renamed the original DDB back and loaded it.  No more
exceptions during loading.

I was able to duplicate this behavior with my LaserJet printer also, and
Protel has acknowledged that they have had reports of this problem from

So, you might want to check to make sure that any printer you used prior to
shutting down 99SE is powered on.  I don't think that it has to be "on line"
but it definitely appears that it must be powered on or you will get

Hope this is useful..

Burt Bicksler
-----Original Message-----
From: Terry Harris [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
Sent: Friday, March 16, 2001 3:45 AM
To: Protel EDA Forum
Subject: Re: [PEDA] Windows 2000 Professional fatal exception errors

On Thu, 15 Mar 2001 16:05:52 -0600, Jon wrote:

>Yes, it DOES sound like you are running with too little memory for that
>of project.  I'm running on 128 MB too, and know it is on the edge, but my
>projects are generally not quite so complicated.

People do talk rubbish about memory (aj included). I have never seen Protel
use more than 40MB of memory and most of that appears to be for some kind
of background pre-rendering of the PCB display image. 

When running short of memory you first get a reduced disk cache size with
slight performance hit and then you start to get swapping with a
progressively larger performance hit - Win2k is crawling with performance
monitoring tools which let you see what is happening. 

>by Protel's being locked into a somewhat obsolete programming environment
>for Borland.  Their Delpi environment apparently makes very heavy use on
>Windows resources.

Delphi obsolete? rubbish - Protel use Delphi for the huge productivity
gains it provides. By default Dephi does use a lot of windows resources
which is a problem on win9x but no issue on NT/2k. Protel could quite
easily reduce the resource requirement and should do for win9x users. 

For the original poster...

You may have something specific about that design which is upsetting Protel
but it can't be a common problem or others here would be experiencing it. 

If it really is the same on other machines then finding something else
common between them might be an indication of where the problem lies. 

Cheers, Terry.

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