The only reason to check a document out is to modify it and then check it back in. That way, no two people can modify the same document at the same time. You shouldn't need to check anything out to just make a copy of it to another machine.
SolidWorks PDM does not use MSDE 2000. It's built on SQL Server Express for PDM Standard and SQL Server Standard for PDM Professional.
I guess you mean "check out" when you said "open"
but anyway, as long as no one owns the file you "check out", then you can save (checkin) over it