Tips & Tricks — Troubleshooting MicroStation problems made easy.

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Here is a cool tip that will help you troubleshoot a myriad of problems in MicroStation: Create an MSDebug file.

What is an “MSDebug file”?
An MSDebug file is a file that contains a whole lot of information about your installation of MicroStation. It lists all of the configuration files that run, it shows what variables are set in each configuration file and it displays the configuration files and variables in the order that they are loaded. This data allows you to determine what loads when MicroStation loads, what settings are set within MicroStation and much more.

The primary importance of the MSDebug file is as a troubleshooting tool. Sometimes you just can’t determine what you need to do by looking through the MicroStation interface. Having an MSDebug file can really help you figure things out.

How to create an MSDebug file

There are three ways to do this.

1. From the MicroStation Shortcut Icon:

  • Right click on your desktop MicroStation shortcut and choose “Properties”.
  • Select the “Shortcut” tab.
  • Place your cursor in the field labeled “Target:” Add a space to the end of the line and then “-debug”. (See the image above as a guide.)
  • Press <Apply> and then <OK>.
  • Double-click on your MicroStation shortcut. You will get a MicroStation text window that says “Debugging output saved to [MSDebug.txt]”. The “MSDebug.txt” file will be placed in your MicroStation folder. By default your Microstation folder is:
    “C:Program FilesBentleyProgramMicrostation”; (for V8)
    or
    &”C:BentleyProgramMicrostation” (for V7).
  • Press the <Esc> key to exit the MicroStation text window.
    NOTE: Remember to remove ” -debug” from your MicroStation shortcut after creating the MSDebug.txt file.

Most people run MicroStation by way of a desktop shortcut, so it is probably the easiest access point for creating an MSDebug.txt file.

2. From a Command Prompt:

  • Load a (DOS) Command Prompt by way of your Window’s Start Menu|Accessories|Command Prompt.
  • Type in: “C:Program FilesBentleyProgramMicrostationustation.exe -debug” (include the quotation marks) and press . (The line above assumes MicroStation is installed to the default folder.)
  • You will get a MicroStation text window that says, “Debugging output saved to [msdebug.txt]”. The “MSDebug.txt” file will be placed in your MicroStation folder.
  • Press the <Esc> key to exit the MicroStation text window.

There is often a desktop shortcut to the Command Prompt, but if not you can always get to it through the Start Menu.

3. From the Windows “Run” Command Prompt:

  • From your “Start Menu” choose “Run.”
  • Type in: “C:Program FilesBentleyProgramMicrostationustation.exe -debug” (include the quotation marks) and press <Enter>. (The line above assumes MicroStation is installed to the default folder.)
  • You will get a MicroStation text window that says, “Debugging output saved to [msdebug.txt]”. The “MSDebug.txt” file will be placed in your MicroStation folder.
  • Press the <Esc> key to exit the MicroStation text window.

Using the “Run” command prompt is fast and easy.

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