Q: AutoCAD 2004 hides all sorts of files in screwy new places, leaving little "Where are my files?" help messages in the \Support folders, where they would have been in AutoCAD 2002. Specifically, I'm looking for the Targa files used for applying textures.
Now, even with several hours of searching help and so on, I have yet to figure out where AutoCAD 2004 has put them. I was suspecting some compressed file somewhere, and a "wizard" required to add textures, but still no luck searching online either. Now I am wondering if the textures there are hard-coded in AutoCAD itself, and that it is yet another push to get real renderers to move on to Viz.
A: Autodesk's treatment of support files in AutoCAD 2004 (and now 2005) is very frustrating for users. Some support files are still in the \Support folder, while others are literally hidden in hidden folders. (The files you are looking for are not compressed, nor is there a wizard, nor are they hard-coded into AutoCAD.)
Here is the reason: Autodesk is following Microsoft's mandate that Windows 2000 and XP are multi-user operating systems. This means that more than one user can log onto a specific computer, say yours. By entering their username and password, Windows reconfigures itself to that user's customizations. This affects programs other than AutoCAD, BTW. The support files are hidden, because no one else is supposed to see them.
In the real world, however, you are the only one using the computer. All that multi-user stuff gets in the way. In our office, we all log in as "Administrator," because (1) that makes each user the "super user" who has access to all parts of the computer; and (2) allows Windows 98 computers to connect to Windows 2000 computers.
To find the support files that Autodesk hid from you, you need to unhide their folders. Use Explorer to turn on the display of hidden folders. From the Tools menu, select Folder Options | View | Show Hidden Files and Folders. (The command sequence might be different for the release of Windowsthat your computer uses.)
Then you need to navigate down to the folder, which in AutoCAD Neo looks like this:
C:\Documents and Settings\administrator\Application Data\Autodesk\AutoCAD Neo\R16.1\enu
Replace "administrator" with your username. In this folder are the support files that Autodesk considers unique to each user: \Support and \Recent.
I found a solution to getting to this folder easily: drag the folder onto the desktop, creating a shortcut. I just double-click the icon, and then have instant access to "my" support files.