I have the same issues here, with about 30 people on our system. We find that the option "always work with latest version" causes more than 7/8 of our problems. Do you have this option on in the PDM admin tool? Can you turn it off to see if this helps with your crashing during the get latest operation?
My first thoughts would be that maybe you have network stability issues or your installation is corrupt. Can you try connecting to the network from a different location in the office or maybe try from Wifi or VPN.
If that doesn't make a difference - completely uninstall SolidWorks and PDM and reinstall. Check everything in clear cache then completely remove the local view before you uninstall.
About check of instability of network - I will agree with Paul Wyndman, about reinstallation I think it isn't necessary to hurry.
This situation is well familiar to me, but today I have practically forgotten about it.
I can't give definite answer that needs to be done, but I can list that was done by me.
Perhaps, something from this will be superfluous, but can to someone it will help.
Can do this coincidence, and can and isn't present, but at that time when there were mistakes - too was 2017SP5.
Now 2018sp2. Win7. I can't claim that it has solved a problem.
First, except RX there is a sense to look at the Administration PDM log-s (on clients and the server), the SQL Server and Windows log-s.
Secondly - it is necessary to check and adjust antivirus and firewall soft on clients.
Settings of an antivirus and firewall are in general a separate subject - it is desirable to turn off all automatic checks, only what is necessary - manually.
I have all folders and processes connected with Solidworks and PDM and SQL - are added to exceptions.
Also in exceptions all Local views.
All files of *.exe in these folders are ready for start with the rights of the administrator.
In all vaults on tab Safety - the current user is added.
Perhaps it seems to someone superfluous, but of my experience - I do so.
Besides, all Windows applications / processes which are in the PDM context menu - I add to exceptions of an antivirus and start with the rights of the administrator. And of course in exceptions - Explorer.exe.
Now, as for instability of add-n in SolidWorks (it can be Toolbox, PDM, etc.). The first that can be tried is to register the corresponding *.dll - how to register dll - information much - it is possible in a command line, I make easier - it is necessary to open the required *.dll file in SolidWorks.
As a rule, after that there are no problems with add-n (reset perhaps is required).
About slow loading of models - probable causes (from my practice):
- incorrectly adjusted variables - for example - except / instead of Custom Property - Custom Properties;
- nonexistent (remote) vaults on the server and local views on clients (including Registry);
- a problem with work of service of notifications (in vault SQL Server base - in tables in the tables dbo.BroadcastEvent and dbo.DocumentActionInfo - there shouldn't be records);
- problems with Lists (for cards) in Administration PDM (if the SQL lists are used);
- old versions of Aplications in Administration PDM (if updates were carried out);
- nonexistent users in lists of mailing of notifications in WorkFlows;
- problems with SNL Server (to check by means of SOLIDWORKS PDM Connectivity test);
and there is a lot of another (it only what has remembered now)
And still - problems 10 times less if domain users are used.
The network has to work ideally. Problems can be also from SQL Server.
And still, at slow loading and failures - to check setting up the Menu of all users and groups and also control on the Explorer tabs, Addition of files and the Preview. I don't know as at others - at me their resets is frequent.
E_EDM_DATABASE_LINK_FAILURE / ConisioAdmin.exe + EdmServer.exe
Question: on the client and the server there is antivirus + firewall? exceptions and ports are set up?