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File Reference Aggravation

Question asked by Jim Sculley on Oct 12, 2010

I'm bringing a large number of files into Enterprise PDM and many assemblies have bad and/or missing references due to folders being moved, renamed, etc. over the past ten years.  I have had an annoying, recurring problem with file references that I cannot figure out.  The process goes like this:

 

I right click an assembly in Windows Explorere and select Check In.  The check-in dialog shows me any missing or bad references.  I make note of these and cancel the check in operation.  I then go to SolidWorks and select File...Open, choose the assembly and click the References button.  I can then replace any bad or missing references, open the assembly and save it.  It is now 'repaired' and ready for check-in.  Every now and then however, there is a problem with this procedure.  I've grabben some screen shots of an example.  Here is the initial check in:

checkin.png

According to this, the 'PLAIN WASHER.SLDPRT' file referenced by the assembly is not the correct copy of the file.  It is looking for a copy outside the vault.

 

Sidenote:  This is a common problem when users 'Pack and Go' an assembly, open it, and then open a different assembly that also contains some of the items in the Pack and Go assembly. (Dear SolidWorks: USE ABSOLUTE PATHS TO AVOID THIS MESS).

 

The next step is to correct the bad references.  The References dialog looks like this:

filerefs.png

At this point I know I'm going to have a problem.  According to this dialog, the 'PLAIN WASHER.SLDPRT' file will be loaded from 'C:\_EPDM\blah\blah\blah\'.  This can't be correct, because if it were loaded from there the check-in dialog would not have complained that the file was 'Outside SolidWorks EPDM'.  Since the reference appears to be correct, I make no changes and proceed to open the assembly.  I right click on the 'PLAIN WASHER' component in the feature tree and look at the 'Component Properties' dialog:

 

compprops.png

As you can see, the 'PLAIN WASHER' file was loaded from a location completely different from the one listed in the References dialog.

 

The problem can be resolved a couple of ways.  If I load the 'PLAIN WASHER' model (from the correct location) before opening the assembly, the assembly will use the correct version.  Or, if I simply restart SW, and repeat the File...Open...References steps above, the dialog will show the actual reference (matching the Component Properties dialog), whcih can then be replaced.

 

Clearly SolidWorks is suffering from some sort of occasional disconnect between the References dialog and the actual references used.  The problem wouldn't be so annoying if I wasn't cleaning up references for hundreded of assemblies.

 

If anyone knows the cause of this strange behavior so I can avoid it, I would appreciate a reply.

 

 

Also, I should note that I do not have any entries in the Referenced Documents category in the File Locations system options.

 

Jim S.

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