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“‘base.dcl’ Can’t find file” Error

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Problem: When you run a command, you get the following AutoCAD Message dialog boxes.

“base.dcl”
Can’t find file.

base.dcl Can't find file.

Error loading dialog control file.

Error loading dialog control file.

Semantic error(s) in DCL file.
See file acad.dcl for details.

Semantic error(s) in DCL file. See acad.dce for details.

Cause: One of the standard AutoCAD support file search paths has been removed.

Solution: Manually restore the missing support file search path. The location of the support path depends upon the version of AutoCAD you are running.

All of the support paths are located in your AppData folder. The location of this folder depends upon the operating system you are running.

One simple way to find it is to open Windows Explorer, type %APPDATA% into the address bar, and press ENTER. Make sure the percent signs are included when you type it in. The current folder will be changed to the AppData\Roaming folder.

You can also locate it manually: C:\Users\<User Name>\AppData\Roaming

The AutoCAD support folder will be located in that folder.

  • AutoCAD 2007: …\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2007\R17.0\enu\support
  • AutoCAD 2008: …\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2008\R17.1\enu\support
  • AutoCAD 2009: …\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2009\R17.2\enu\support
  • AutoCAD 2010: …\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2010\R18.0\enu\support
  • AutoCAD 2011: …\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2011\R18.1\enu\support
  • AutoCAD 2012: …\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2012 – English\R18.2\enu\support
  • AutoCAD 2013: …\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2013 – English\R19.0\enu\support
  • AutoCAD 2014: …\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2014\R19.1\enu\support
  • AutoCAD 2015: …\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2015\R20.0\enu\support
  • AutoCAD 2016: …\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2016\R20.1\enu\support
  • AutoCAD 2017: …\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2017\R21.0\enu\support
  • AutoCAD 2018: …\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2018\R22.0\enu\support
  • AutoCAD 2019: …\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2019\R23.0\enu\support
  • AutoCAD 2020: …\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2020\R23.1\enu\support

Once you have located the folder, you can add it back to the AutoCAD support file search path using the following steps:

  1. Copy the filepath from the Windows Explorer address bar.
  2. In AutoCAD, type OPTIONS at the command line.
  3. Select the Files tab.
  4. Select Support File Search Path in the list.
  5. Press the Add button.
  6. Paste the filepath into the field provided and press ENTER.
    • You can also press the Browse button and browse to the file.
  7. Press the Move Up button to move the new support path to the top of the list.
  8. Press the OK button to close the Options dialog box and save the change.

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