Troubleshooting Exception Error Messages

Reference Number: KB-00802
Last Modified: September 29, 2015

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite or Home Designer Interiors or Home Designer Essentials


I keep seeing an error message that says something about an exception, for example, "SEH Exception".  And then it says, "Please contact Chief Architect Technical Support with steps to reproduce." 

What is wrong, and what should I do about it?


There are a number of different types of exception errors including:

  • SEH exceptions
  • Assert exceptions
  • Bad reference exceptions
  • Bad pointer exceptions
  • NULL pointer exceptions
  • Invalid parameter exceptions
  • Loop cancel exceptions

Exception errors can be caused by a variety of factors: some known and some as yet unknown. 

Common causes of exception errors include:

  • File corruption
  • Driver problems
  • Unsupported system specifications
  • Software issues


Since there are a number of possible causes of exception errors, some basic troubleshooting is required in order to identify the reason for a particular error.

To troubleshoot an exception error

  1. The first step to troubleshooting an error in any program is to make sure you are using the most current program version.

    • In Chief Architect, you can verify whether you have the latest program update by selecting Help> Download Program Updates from the program menu.

  2. File corruption and data loss can be caused by working in an unsupported fashion, such as working on files saved on a network server, external hard drive, or USB flash drive.

    • If you work in this manner, we recommend that you copy plan and layout files to your local hard drive before you open them in Chief Architect. When you are finished working, exit out of the program and then copy them back to their original location. 
    • For more information, see the Guide to File Management for Chief Architect files articles linked in the Related Articles section.

  3. Make sure that your computer meets the minimum system requirements for running the software.

    • The minimum and recommended system requirements for running the current version of Chief Architect can be found on our System Requirements page.

    • If your computer does not meet the minimum system requirements, you should consider purchasing a system that meets, or exceeds, the minimum requirements.

      • If your computer meets the minimum system requirements, you may need to update your video card drivers.

  4. If you have the latest program update installed and are running the program in a supported fashion, then the cause of the error is likely within the software itself.

    • If you would like to help us determine the cause of the problem so that it can be resolved, please follow the instructions below.

Some of the requested information may identify you as well as specific information about your computer, but it will also help us determine the source of the problem. Please be assured that any files submitted to Chief Architect Technical Support will be used for troubleshooting purposes only.

To report an error to Chief Architect Technical Support

  1. When an error occurs, it is a good idea to take a moment to write down what you were doing just prior to the error, including what kind of view was open, what tools you were using, and what objects you were drawing or editing.

  2. Use the Backup Entire Plan  tool to create a folder with a copy of the file in which the error occurs, along with all referenced files.

  3. Locate the Message Log to send the entire text file to Tech Support.

  4. Export your System Information and send the file to Tech Support for examination.

  5. Log in to the Online Support Center and create a new ticket to send to Technical Support.

  6. Give the ticket a short but descriptive title, and in the text of the ticket, type a detailed description of the problem, including the exact steps that caused the error to occur as best as you are able.

    • The more detailed you are, the more likely we will be to reproduce the error and identify the problem.

    • Include the exact wording of the error message, or attach a screen capture image of the error message box.

  7. Click the Browse button and attach all three of the requested files (the compressed plan Backup folder, System Info and Message Log) to your ticket, then submit the ticket.

It is possible that Technical Services may need additional information regarding the issue, which they will request via a reply in the Online Support Center.