CAD can be demanding on your computer. Technical problems are not uncommon. Whenever you have a question, it can be difficult to give the support person a complete description of what's happening and how your computer is set up. A support technician might contact you repeatedly, asking a different question each time:
- What is your operating system version?
- Software versions?
- Hardware drivers?
- Disk space?
- and so forth -- and requesting ever more information and files.
All this is important to the support person, but you often don't have the answers. SolidWorks has addressed this issue with a utility called SolidWorks Rx. SolidWorks Rx is designed to reduce the burden on the user when technical questions arise and provide the support person with more complete information.
At the bottom of the diagnostics page are two safe modes. Choosing the first ignores the graphics card driver and starts SolidWorks in Software OpenGL mode for the next SolidWorks session. This can help rule out a graphics card issue. If this safe mode resolves the issue, you'll know your problem is related to your card and can get a new driver or replace the old video card.
The other safe mode is Ignore Tools/Options Setting for the next session. This uses the out-of-the-box settings for SolidWorks and turns off all add-ins. If this safe mode resolves the issue, you might need to fix a SolidWorks setting or an add-in product.
Use the Safe Modes to:
- Determine if your problem is with your graphics card driver (see http://www.solidworks.com/sw/support/videocardtesting.html).
- Determine if your problems are with an add-in or Tools/Options setting.
If your problem does not occur with one of the safe modes set, you can narrow the problem to one of thoses three areas.
The first phase of SolidWorks Rx looks for common issues that arise concerning computer configuration and setup, and then reports its findings. This diagnostics section reports common settings and recommends improvements for things such as video drivers, disk space, and RAM.
Review this information to see if it lists items that you should address. Once you address those issues, click the Reload Results button to reload the diagnostics.
The system maintenance page contains functions that clean up the temporary files that SolidWorks uses. It also will run checkdisk and defragment your hard drive. Choose the options you want and press the Start maintenance button to run the selected tasks.
If the problem isn't fixed by system maintenance tasks or the diagnostic doesn't point out a setup issue, the next step is to look at capturing information about your system; record the steps used, and add the related SolidWorks files, then put the entire package into one ZIP file you can send to the support person.
For this procedure, use the Problem Capture page. The problem capture phase consists of three steps: record the issue, describe and categorize the issue, and package the support and optional SolidWorks documents. The user interface is simple and has quick tips to assist you with each step. The intelligent interface also knows when you've completed each step and when you should proceed to the next one.
Use Section B to start SolidWorks and record the steps that lead to the computer problem. A video of the SolidWorks session is encoded into a WMV (Windows Media Video) file you can replay in Windows Media Player v7 or later. The idea is to capture the problem so the support person can watch what happened. The old adage "A picture is worth a thousand words" definitely applies here. The video file is one of the most effective method to communicate the issue to tech support.
Use Section A to describe and categorize the issue. This information supplements the video. The more information you can provide, the easier it is for the support person to find an answer.
Section C is used to package the issue and optionally include SolidWorks documents. SolidWorks Rx remembers the last set of documents that were opened and adds them to the Add Files list. You can add or remove files from this list. You can also include other files that might be helpful, such as Microsoft Word documents or screen shots, to the final package. The Add Files dialog box also can find and add external file references for assemblies and drawings. The software packages the SolidWorks documents into a Files directory within the ZIP file.
Files and Logs
Additional files needed to reproduce the issue as well as any logs created in SolidWorks will be displayed here. You can also add additional files using the Add Files button. These files and logs help the support engineer understand more about your environment and issues.
There is an Add-In tab that allows other applications or shortcuts to be added to the SolidWorks Rx Add-In tab. Just select the Browse button and select the application, files, shortcut, etc. that you want listed within the tab.
When you have a question or issues with an application, the support person can't see what you're doing, how your computer is set up, or the files in question. Use SolidWorks Rx to run preventative diagnostics and to package the system and SolidWorks files so the technician can better address your problem with minimal effort on your part.