Helix Migration Frequently Asked Questions

When I migrate my drawings from Helix to CCD, the drawing file sizes are reduced by as much as 50 %. Am I losing any data?

No data is lost. CCD stores the files in compressed format and the file size is greatly reduced. When the file is opened by CCD, it is dynamically uncompressed in memory and compressed again when the drawing is refiled.

Can I run the Helix to CCD translator on Windows 98 or 95?

No. The translator (mcxtranv4.exe) requires that the MICROCADAM or Helix data files be stored with the long file names.For example:

..12000680816000000680816003333323733363420202020202020202042303034n1 ..vvvv

On Windows 98/95 or NT with FAT formatted drives, the MICROCADAM Data Manager does not store the files using this file naming convention, instead it stores the files as Mc000038.1@@, for example.This naming convention is not supported by the translator. In order to run the translator successfully, you must run it on a Windows NT 4.0 SP 4 (or above) system with NTFS formatted drives, where MCADAM resides.

Does the Helix to CCD translator support OS File Names (.MCD file types)?

Yes, but the files must pre-processed by the BULKXFER batch utility first, to convert the .MCD files to the required long file names. A "group,user" must be defined "BULK,XFER" for the batch utility to use as working directories. See the Helix Migration Guide for more details.

I have MCADAM on an NTFS formatted drive and still the Data Manager stores the files with the short 8.3 Mc000038.1@@) file names. What could be wrong?

One possibility is that in your defaults you may have defined the drive as a "V3 index system volume". Using the Data Manager, copy the files to a drive that is not defined as a V3 index volume, but is an NTFS formatted drive. If you do not have another drive, with the Helix Defaults, you could define a virtual volume using the same V3 index volume as the real server drive and a server type of MCW. Then copy the files to the new virtual drive. The Data Manager should store the files with the long file names now.

Mcxtran reports "No such file or directory", yet I can see all the files with Helix. What's the problem?

There are a couple of possibilities:

1 - It may be due to a bad Helix index file. Run the Helix utility MCIDXUTL and "del" the index, then "INIT" the index to match the existing drawings names.

2 - The translator (mcxtranv4.exe) requires that the MICROCADAM or Helix data files be stored with the long file names. For example:

..12000680816000000680816003333323733363420202020202020202042303034n1 ..vvvv

On Windows 98/95 or NT with FAT formatted drives, the MICROCADAM Data Manager does not store the files using this file naming convention, instead it stores the files as Mc000038.1@@, for example. This naming convention is not supported by the translator.

The drive where MCADAM resides is a FAT file system. Can it be changed to NTFS without losing data and if so how?

Yes, a FAT drive can be changed to NTFS without losing data, but it cannot be changed back. In most cases, changing to NTFS is not a problem it is a good thing. NTFS enables file/directory access security and better data recovery. One simple command converts a FAT drive to NTFS:

Convert c:/fs:ntfs

When I run the translator (mcxtranv4) I get errors saying that certain dlls cannot be found. What am I missing?

Make sure that hds\drafting\binwin is in your path. Also, is Helix V4R3 or V5 installed? Our translator will not work with older versions of Helix. Install V4R3 or V5 (no license is required) on the PC where you are going to do the migration on.

I run MICROCADAM Plus R14.x on UNIX.  Does your translator handle these files?

Yes. But first you must export your drawings to DMNDOS format using the R14 Data Manager. FTP the file from UNIX to Windows.  Then import this DMNDOS file into a "group,user" using Helix V4R3's Data Manager.

On some files, BULKXFER displays: ***Error Reading Model - xxxxx***. No further explanation is given. What could cause this error?

If BULKXFER logs this error and immediately after it tries to restart mcxtran, this means that the file it is trying to translate is causing mcxtran to crash. It will attempt to process the same file three times. If after the third try the same error occurs, then the file is skipped.

If BULKXFER does not try to restart mcxtran it's because the file is not causing mcxtran to crash, but there is some other problem processing the file. In this case it is most likely a file access permission problem. Check permissions on the file to make sure you have access to it. Also, using Helix's Data Manager check to see if the file is locked or if it is password protected.

How many files can your translator process per hour?

This a difficult question to answer, because there are so many variables, system speed, network performance, file sizes, etc. However, on a fairly well equiped PC, you should expect to process at least 5000 models per hour.

We use special characters, asterisks and double quotes, in some of our drawing files names. Are there mapping tables to take care of these characters during translation? If so, where can I find these tables?

Yes, we provide mapping tables for special characters in the file name. The tables (for English) are:


For Japanese language environments, the table are:>


Sometimes there are drawings in Helix which have symbols that need to be initialized each time they are brought up to view correctly (these are usually drawings brought over from Mainframe CADAM). How do we deal with these drawings when migrating to CCD V5?

The symbol initialize is not an option in CCD. The CCD drawing has references to external symbols in tables under Ccdraft\Drawings\system\symbol\, unless, of course, you specify a different location with cadprof. In order for CCD to resolve the symbols, you need to transfer the Mainframe CADAM (or Helix) symbol tables to CCD. Use the Helix migration tool BULKXFER to transfer the symbol tables from Helix to CCD.Helix can store the symbols within the drawing, but when you select to initialize, then Helix works the same as CCD. Helix will look for the symbols under "sys,symbol". If the symbols are not found, then a triangle indicating that the symbol is missing, is displayed.

I transferred all my formats and some had leading spaces in the name. After the files were transferred to CCD, the leading spaces were removed automatically. Now that the drawings are in CCD, the drawing's geometry plots, but not the format, even though the format over-plot is referencing the correct format name. Is this a problem or do I need to configure something in CCD in order to get the formats to plot?

This is a problem that was corrected in the CCD V5R6 timeframe. Files transferred using the 12/15/00 (or earlier) version of the Helix Migration Package will have this problem. The reference to the format name (with leading spaces) was not being corrected when the drawings were transferred to CCD. You have two options to correct the problem: 1) re-transfer the drawings using the later version of mcxtran, or 2) if it is just a handful of drawings, manually fix the drawing's plot data.

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