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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.

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.

All of the support paths are located in your AppData folder. One simple way to find it is to open Windows Explorer, type %APPDATA% into the address bar, and press ENTER. Make sure you include the percent signs. The current folder will change to the AppData\Roaming folder.

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

The AutoCAD support folder will be located in one of the following folders within AppData\Roaming, depending upon your AutoCAD version:

  • 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
  • AutoCAD 2021: …\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2021\R24.0\enu\Support
  • AutoCAD 2022: …\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2021\R24.1\enu\Support
  • AutoCAD 2023: …\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2021\R24.2\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 folder.
  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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