Windows XP/Mem_Bad_Pointer


QUESTION: Dear Flinix
I have a Dell 8400 computer running widows xp with service pack 3. For years I've been running Autocad R14 on this machine. The other day when I tried to open it I get a screen at top it says SmartHeap Library (think this is 3rd party software) below it says MEM_BAD_POINTER. I have deleted and re installed program several times. I've loaded it on a friends computer.. it works fine. I've tried running program in different compatibility mode.. didn't work! Microsoft has hot fix for this if your running service pack2 but I running service pack3. It is a Regional & Language Option. I went in and checked and East Asian languages is not checked. This program worked for years on this machine. Can you help.
I received the following answer from Carl (of all experts)
Joe, most likely a scheduled recent Windows XP update caused the problem. These updates are sent out periodically by Microsoft.
Suggestions: 1) Use RESTORE to return to a computer configuration that worked.
2) Or ask Microsoft what update was distributed in the time window between "no problem" and "problem" with Autocad R14 on your machine. Then ask how to uninstall that update.
I was unable to find a fix for your Windows XP problem online but did find references to the SmartHeap memory pointer problem on Windows Vista machines.
I tried to send follow up Question but Carl is maxed out.
System restore only lets you go back 7 days. This problem is older than that. He said contact Microsoft about automatic updates. How do I do this? If you have any other suggestions please tell mw.
Thanks Joe

ANSWER: Hello Joe. Contacting Microsoft will not likely get you anywhere because the biggest thing they'll try to do is move you to a newer operating system before actually trying to solve your problem. If you'd still like to contact Microsoft, you can go to the Windows XP support page here:

If you did recently have an update installed as mentioned by Carl, try uninstalling the update. Go to the Control Panel and open the "Add/Remove Programs" applet. Once in the Add/Remove programs, make sure "Show updates" is checked and then scroll down to the bottom of the list of updates and look at the most recent few updates and their dates. select the most recent update(s) and see if Windows give you an option to remove the update just like you would any other program in that list. If you are unable to remove the update(s) of the most recent installment, there is nothing I can do for you in terms of fixing your issue with Microsoft updates.

If you are able to uninstall the update, immediately go back to the Control Panel and open up the Automatic Updates applet and disable updates completely and click the Apply and Ok buttons so that the update doesn't try to reinstall itself causing the problem to come right back.

The absolute fix to this if nothing else works would be to back up all your files to some external media and reinstall a clean install of Windows XP using the media that came with the computer you own. After installing the drivers to make all your hardware devices work again (such as the sound, video accelerator, Ethernet/wireless devices, modem, etc), you can then install your needed programs. Take the opportunity to turn off the Windows Updates like before, then go to Microsoft's website and download and install Service Pack 3 manually if your version of the re-installed Windows XP isn't already Service Pack 3. Jump back to the Automatic Updates after completely installing Service Pack 3 and check that it didn't change the option back to On, instead of the completely off that we want.

I hope something here is of some help to you. I am a full supporter of Windows XP, but Microsoft is trying to make it harder to do that these days. I don't like these newer operating systems. Nothing works right on them. Anyways, have a great day! Hope something works out with your autocad! Have a great day!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Do you know if Autocad 14 (32 bit) will run on newer versions of windows

You will most likely have problems getting Autocad 14 to work on anything other than Windows XP. If you want to run Autocad on any newer operating systems without little/no trouble, I recommend getting Autocad 2010. There are people who try to get Autocad 14 to work in Windows 7 and those who do try recommend using either "compatibility mode to Windows XP SP3" (only available in Windows 7 Pro and higher versions) or downloading "XP mode" for Windows 7.

Notice, Windows 8 has absolutely no support for for Autocad 14, so getting Windows 8 for use with Autocad 14 is out of the question.

Take another note. If you are going to use a newer OS and Autocad (any version), you will want at least 4GB of RAM at minimum. Windows XP is really good for its memory management, so you wouldn't need so much. Any newer OS is really bad at memory management, therefore in order to work properly, requires much more. If you are looking to upgrade the OS on your current machine, make sure your machine has at least that much RAM (4GB).

I highly recommend sticking with Windows XP for what you are trying to do. If you use any newer OS, and had the chance to compare it to Windows XP, you'll find how much better the XP OS performs, even on newer hardware. This is just my opinion and recommendation, but of coarse you don't have to follow such if you'd really like to upgrade your OS or computer as a whole.

Hope this helps, have a great day!

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