I have tried to reproduce this behaviour by creating a schematic symbol
which is associated with footprint "BLANK".
No ERC errors in the schematic.
Generating a PCB using "PCB WIZARD" and using "UPDATE PCB" does not cause a
The updated PCB displays two of 6 components (not including the "BLANK") the
rest are not visible.
"FIT BOARD" and "FIT DOCUMENT" causes a zoom to maximum size (100000mil).
With designators and comments hidden the two visible components can be
selected and moved.
With either designators or comments unhidden attempting to move either of
visible components causes a selection choice of the visible component and
Selecting in free space selects "BLANK".
Hiding Designators and comments, then using
"MOVE COMPONENT" and "SELECT COMPONENT" with move component to cursor
all components except "BLANK" were moved to within the PCB outline.
"FIT BOARD" and "FIT DOCUMENT" now behave as normal.

Looks like a "BLANK" creates a very large invisible footprint.

Hope someone finds this useful.
I can send the .ddb to anyone if interested.

Dave Buckley 

-----Original Message-----
From: Ian Wilson [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
Sent: 18 April 2002 00:03
To: Protel EDA Forum
Subject: Re: [PEDA] FW: Access violation -- Is it a Protel bug?

On 02:40 PM 17/04/2002 -0700, Shuping Lew said:
>I use some notes on every schematic project. So I created a schematic
>named "note" for it. To avoid the warning of missing footprint, I also
>created a footprint named "blank" to associate with that symbol. For some
>reason, Protel does not like the footprint "Blank"(there is not primitive
>the footprint at all). I deleted component "note" from the netlist, it
>ok now...

Interesting - can this be validated (if someone validates I will add to the 
bug list).  Proposed entry (if validated):

Summary: PCB:Netlist load specifying a footprint with no primitives causes 
access violation.

Details: PCB 99SE SP6 A netlist load which includes a footprint with no 
entities (a completely blank PCB footprint) can cause an access violation 
during netlist load.  This does not affect the 
synchroniser.  Workaround:  Completely blank footprints should be avoided. 
Protel should make netlist import bullet-proof such that any file, even 
complete binary garbage, should not cause a crash.

Reported by: Shuping Lew
Validated by:....

I would especially like validation that this indeed the only way of 
triggering the issue or whether it requires other conditions as well such 
as large number of components, multiple instances of the blank component 
(maybe all with the same or possibly blank ref designators).  Also, 
checking what the effects of the blank footprint on the board is (is it 
reported in BOM, does it affect Zoom-ALL).  Maybe there is another bug in 
that a blank footprint causes the database to become unstable in some

As per usual, I will do the database if others put in some time on the 
validation, thanks.
Ian Wilson

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