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Crashing - DezignStuff

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									  THE ZEN OF
 SOLIDWORKS
CRASHLESSNESS
What are the major causes of crashes?

Stuff that’s not your fault Bug in the software
                            Corrupt data
                            Corrupt registry / User Profile
 Stuff that is your fault
                             Software conflicts
 (“fault” = something
 you can fix or prevent)     Case of “the Mondays”
                             R/RBPS (Rapid or Random Button Pushing Syndrome)
                             Amateur software installed on your computer
                             Discovering new heights of multitasking
    Stuff that’s your IT     Installation problems
            dept’s fault
                             Hardware/drivers
                             Operating System
                             Memory Settings
                             Network
According to Trimech Tech Support,
 crashes happen with the following
 frequency:
      1. Installation problems
      2. Network problems
      3. Antivirus turned on during installation
      4. Drivers (video, spaceball, printer, etc)
      5. Corrupt registry
      6. User randomly pushing buttons
      7. Corrupt data
      8. Bug in the software
      9. Hardware (memory or cards not pushed down in
         the connector, or just bad hardware)
      10. Conflicts with other software
Facts of life:

1. Windows is an imperfect Operating System
2. SolidWorks is an imperfect CAD Application
3. SolidWorks is not porting to Linux in the
   foreseeable future
4. Life is not fair
What are the most common FIXES of
crashes?
     If you told me you crash frequently, and I had to fix it based on no
     more information than that, I would ask you to:


     -uninstall/reinstall
     -Update drivers
     -Reboot computer
     -Call me in the morning


     Bottom Line: Most crashes can be avoided by using reasonable
     system maintenance practices.
What to do when you have a crash

     •Is this a reproducible crash?
         •Write down what you were doing with which file when the crash
         happened
         •Unreproducible crashes tend to be installation related issues.

     •Turn on Tools, Options, Performance, Use Software
     OpenGL
         •if the crash still occurs, it is not video driver related

     •Does it always happen on the same document or on any
     document?
     •Are the files local or network? Shared? Read only?
     •Does it happen on other computers or just on yours?
     •If you log in as another user on your computer does the
     crash still happen?
     •What other software is running when the crash happens?
         •Try turning off some add-ins like Photoworks, etc.
What to do when you have a crash

      •Check your video driver version against the SolidWorks website
          • ( http://www.solidworks.com/pages/services/videocardtesting.html )
      •Use the SolidWorks Troubleshooter to help you self-diagnose
          •(http://www.solidworks.com/pages/services/subscription/troubleshooter/TroubleShoot
          er-Main.html)

      •Are you running low on disk space?
What to do when you have a crash

      •Gather information, do some homework, and contact
      support
          •OS, including sp
          •Video card brand / model, know how to find the driver version
          •RAM, VM, CPU speed
          •SolidWorks version / sp
          •Other periferals such as spaceball, with driver version
          •Steps to recreate crash
          •Data that crash happened on

      •Don’t get indignant when Tech Support asks you to update
      a video driver or reinstall the software. These are not just
      “blow-off” responses.
          •It doesn’t usually make sense to fully investigate the cause of the
          error, when the likely fix is known.
How to SET UP a system that runs
Solidworks without crashing
      •   Buy an off-the-shelf system
           •   Every reputable PC manufacturer has a well configured “workstation” level box
           •   Custom building a reliable PC from components is more involved than you think,
               and is always more expensive

      •   Don’t be cheap
           •   Don’t skimp on RAM (get a gig), video (get a Quadro FX 500 or better, no
               “NVS”) or hard drive space (get more than you need)
           •   Get a real OS (XP Pro). SW will not be supported on NT, ME or 98.
           •   Don’t expect a “business” laptop to work well for “workstation” applications

      •   Treat your box as if your job depends on it (because it does)
           •   Don’t install junk software
           •   Don’t turn on every option you can find
           •   Don’t use your nice workstation like a home multimedia toy
           •   Don’t overclock CPUs or hack video drivers
           •   If you really need to run Real Player, dual boot Linux, temperature in the task bar
               and a dancing dinosaur animated cursor, dig up an old 500 MHz box.
           •   Err on the conservative side
How to MAINTAIN a system that runs
Solidworks without crashing
       •   Operating system
            •   Format your primary hard drive into 2 partitions, one with 10-20 Gb for the OS
                and the rest for program files and data
            •   Never “upgrade” an OS, always reformat the partition and install a fresh OS.
                Yes, this takes longer, but it is also much more reliable.
            •   If you install / uninstall a lot of software and change configuration of your
                computer a lot, you may want to consider reformatting every 6-12 months.
            •   Don’t use ghosted images of your primary partition unless the image was
                created from the same machine it is going back onto, and there have been no
                hardware or BIOS changes since the image was made.
            •   Windows can’t make use of more than 4 Gb of total memory (RAM + VM), and
                unless you’re using the “3 Gb switch”, is not likely to use more than 2 Gb. If you
                have 1 Gb RAM, set the Min and Max swap file to 1.5 Gb (for all but the largest
                assembly work). Setting swap space too high can result in a slow running
                computer, and crashy SolidWorks.
            •   Keep up to date with Windows Update
            •   Don’t be a “system tray geek”
How to MAINTAIN a system that runs
Solidworks without crashing
       •   General System Maintenance
            •   Get system maintenance software: defrag once a week, virus scan emails
            •   Clear out temporary file locations every week (example: C:\Documents and
                Settings\matt\Local Settings\Temp)
            •   Clear temp files (~$filename.sldprt)
            •   Reboot your computer daily

       •   SolidWorks installation rules of thumb
            •   Turn off anti virus before installing or applying a service pack!
            •   Exit out of all other applications before installing or applying a service pack
            •   If you have made any system changes or installed other software, reboot before
                installing
            •   Uninstall previous versions which will not be used if possible (also clear registry
                – you may want to get help from tech support or your IT people before messing
                with the registry)
            •   Remember to back up things that you use before uninstalling, such as hotkey
                file, library / feature palette / Toolbox data, macros, doc / table / bom templates,
                formats, favorites, blocks, Options settings (“Copy Options Wizard”), etc.
How to work with Solidworks without
crashing
      •   Work locally if you can
           •   Network problems contribute to a high percentage of SW crashes
           •   Novell in particular seems problematic
           •   Working locally improves both speed and access issues
           •   A simple PDM system can help with this

      •   Keep SolidWorks up to date
           •   If you work on SW 2001+ when most users have gone to SW 2004, support is
               going to have a hard time helping you - being conservative about upgrading
               software is prudent, but lagging too far behind can also cause problems
           •   It is generally prudent to lag 2-3 service packs on new versions, and 2 weeks
               on new service packs.
           •   Don’t “upgrade” an installation between versions, instead do a completely new
               installation of the software
General Comments

     •   If you crash more than once a day, you need help.
     •   I actually follow most of these recommendations, and I crash as
         little as once a month, and as much as twice a week
          •   Using local files, surfaces, complex shapes, plastics and sheetmetal design,
              some small assemblies

     •   If these recommendations seem overly restrictive, treat them as a
         starting point, and loosen them up when you have the crash
         problem under control

								
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