Let me paint a picture.....You receive a folder structure from another company or IT has moved the folder location on a server that contains thousands of DWG files and their associated Xrefs. The problem is that the path is incorrect for most of these Xrefs which means that when you open the host drawing the Xref will be "Not Found".
Let me paint the picture a little clearer with an example........The company standard is to save all projects in the following folder location on the server - S:\Engineering\Plans. The new server is put into place and the IT department decides to change the folder structure. You are now expected to save all projects to - Z:\Eng\Master\Plans.
This can be fixed in two ways, that hard way or the easy way. I prefer easy.
Instead of opening each host file and repathing the folder locations manually in Autocad, you can use the Reference Manager (it's been around since AutoCAD 2004), NO PROGRAMMING KNOWLEDGE REQUIRED!
"Oh, the Reference Manager, you mean the Xref Manager or External Reference Manager"....NO!"
Step 1: Close AutoCAD - I know this can be difficult for some of you. You could also wait for AutoCAD to crash if you want.
Step 2" START menu in Windows-->Programs-->Autodesk-->AutoCAD-->Reference Manager
Step 3: For our example you need to repath thousands of folder/file locations so the "Add Drawings" button would not be appropriate. Instead, open a session of Windows Explorer (My Computer) and drag the entire folder structure into the Reference Manager. Using the example folder structure above, I would drag the "Engineering" folder from S:\Engineering\Plans into the window.
Step 4: A warning may appear asking to add all nested xrefs....say Yes.
Step 5: After the Reference Manager finishes processing the files, choose the "Xrefs" folder in the left window. This shows only the Xref files, not the host DWGs.
Step 6: In the right window, select all the Xref files (CTRL-A is a shortcut to select all).
Step 7: On the top choose Find and Replace. In the x box input the existin file path - S:\Engineering\Plans\. In the x box below, put in the new folder path - Z:\Eng\Master Plans\. Make sure to include the \ (back-slash). Why Find and Replace instead of Edit Selected Paths? Find and Replace will change the parent folder names. Edit selected is used when you add individuak drawings from the Add Drawings button and you want to specifiy one new folder location.
Step 8: MOST IMPORTANT STEP!!!!! - Choose Apply Changes on the top.
In the end, the Reference Manager is a simple and very powerful Xref path re-mapper.
Please be careful when changing folder structure paths. If you are uncertain about changing the paths, contact your IT Admin for help.