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solidworks crashes when trying to load large assembly

Question asked by Dominic Greco on Dec 11, 2020

Solidworks 2018 SP5  / PDM Standard, on a desktop computer running Windows 10


Out of the blue Solidworks started crashing while trying to load an assembly. On Wednesday it was working all morning and then in the afternoon when I would go to load the same assembly I was working on in the morning, it would crash.


At first I thought it was an issue with the PDM server. But others in my group were able to load the same assembly without an issue. So this problem is only occuring on my computer!  And when I say "crash" I mean SW throws me right out. No crash report screen or anything.


I was online with our IT guy and he uninstalled the Windows Update that was loaded 30 minutes before this happened. That didn't help. He also checked out our PDM server and freed up some space just in case this was the cause. No joy there either.


I finally reached out to our VAR and was on the phone with a tech for at least two hours. Other than finding a reference to a feature in a part that wasn't used, we could not find the root of the problem. We could get the assembly to load. But only if I load this one sub-assembly that once contained the external reference (I have since removed it but it still persists). From the windows diagnostic software he was using, he believes it to be a problem GDI issue (Something about how windows interacts with it....?) 


My VAR took a snapshop of the system and got a copy of the large assembly. And I'm supposed to hear back from them after the gurus at SW look it over.


I recently discovered that my problematic assembly isn't the only large assembly I cannot open. There are several on our server that give me the same reaction. And I checked and they don't share a commmon part!


Has anyone else experienced with kind of crashing after a Windows Update? COuld this have something to do with an newly installed Firewall on our network? I find that sort of odd because I can open up smaller assemblies without an issue.