Why does ArtiosCAD randomly crash with PDF outputs on Windows 10?
WIndows 10 runs a scheduled task for disk cleanup. This task will look in temporary locations and delete inactive files and folders.
When ArtiosCAD creates a PDF, the PDF creation module creates a temporary folder in the %TMP% folder. This is usually set to the logged-in user's temp location, for example, C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Temp.
The PDF folder is created the first time a PDF is generated and remains in existence for the session of ArtiosCAD. It is removed when ArtiosCAD exits.
If ArtiosCAD is running but inactive, for example over lunch or overnight, the disk cleanup may awaken and recognize the PDF folder as inactive and "clean it up", that is, delete it. When a subsequent PDF is created, the PDF folder is expected to exist but does not. ArtiosCAD can crash. This crash appears random. The same file may work one day, but not the next. Many consecutive PDFs may be generated with no issues, but then crash some time later. Much depends on the time ArtiosCAD may be idle and when the disk cleanup runs.
To prevent the crash from happening, a number of workarounds exist:
Stop the disk cleaup utility from the task scheduler. This may or may not be desired. It may be advantageous to clean temporary locations so your disk space is not consumed. On the other hand, blindly deleting temporary files may adversely impact your applications. It is common for applications to create temporary files in %TMP%. Consult your IT department.
Exit ArtiosCAD if you expect it to be idle for an extended period of time.
Relocate the PDF temporary location:
Run Control Panel > System > Advanced system settings > Advanced > Environment Variables.
Create a new System environment variable called BG_TMP and set some temporary location which would be outside the purview of the disk cleanup utility.
This issue is not necessarily limited to Windows 10. It could happen on any system in which the disk cleanup utility is scheduled to run. It just so happens this is the default case on Windows 10.
ArtiosCAD 18.1 will be addressed to ensure the PDF generation folder always exists. For all other versions of ArtiosCAD, the workaround options above may be used.