22 Replies Latest reply on Apr 15, 2016 8:20 PM by Rick Stockton

    Disappearing dialog boxes

    Steven Ducotey

      We just recently upgraded to version 2012.  The problem that I'm having is, randomly when you open a dialog box the dialog box will disappear.  The problem is the dialog box is still opened somewhere and is waiting for input.  No matter what I do I can't find the dialog box and need to force a shutdown of Solidworks to get past this problem.  This of course results in lost work.  Is this a known issue or is it something that is unique to me?


      Thanks for any help.

        • Re: Disappearing dialog boxes
          Wayne Tiffany

          Are you some of the time hooked up to a second monitor?  Maybe a laptop that is docked part of the time?  The dialogs could be on that other monitor.


          If not you may want to try renaming the current user SW key to rebuild from the LM key.  That should reinitialize all those locations.



          • Re: Disappearing dialog boxes
            Jerry Steiger



            Are you sure that you have to shut down SolidWorks? I've had problems like this, often with add-ins, where I just had to use the Windows-m key to minimize all the windows, leaving the dialog box patiently waiting for its answer.


            Jerry Steiger

            • Re: Disappearing dialog boxes
              Kelvin Lamport

              Which dialog boxes disappear?

                • Re: Disappearing dialog boxes
                  Steven Ducotey

                  Thanks for the thoughts.  I've waited for it to happen again before I responded.  This is what I know.

                  1.  I am using a laptop and it does have an external monitor that is off most of the time.  However, since Wayne's response I've kept the external monitor on to see if the dialog box would appear on it.  I just had this problem again and the dialog box doesn't didn't show up on the external monitor.

                  2.  I've tried everything, minimizing and switching windows but the dialog box is gone.  You can see the dialog box open but then it closes and it makes Solidworks go behind another application that you have open such as Outlook.  Once the dialog box disappears I can't even minimize Solidworks.  The dialog box is definitely waiting for an answer.

                  3.  I'll need to pay more attention, but I think it is mostly dialog boxes related to Simulation.


                  The odd thing is it doesn't do it very often.  Once every couple of days or so.  You just don't know when it is going to happen.  Basically impossible to reproduce.


                  Thanks.  Steve

                    • Re: Disappearing dialog boxes
                      Stefan Olsson

                      Sorry I'm a bit late to this party. This behavior didn't start for me until just a few weeks ago when I updated to SW2012SP5, (on Win7-x64).


                      Steven Ducotey and Stott Barwick are describing exactly what I am seeing. For me, it happens randomly with different dialogs. I see it most often with the 'Hide Specified Display States' dialog, (probably becase I use that tool a lot). Once the dialog disappears, any click within the SW interface results in a 'ding'. For the most part, keystrokes still work so it is usually possible to Ctl-S to save my work, etc. - although I have noticed that keystrokes also stop working after a while. None of this is reproducible. It happens seemingly at random. I can't say that I have noticed it when working with drawings. For me, it seems to be exclusive to assemblies.


                      My SW box is one of three computers hooked up to a single monitor via KVM switch, (so, no hidden dialogs 'between the cracks' of separate monitors here). Have been set up like this since SW2009 with no issues like this one - until the recent update to SP5.


                      I have (9) Add-ins showing in the Add-in Dialog. All of them are unchecked on startup. The only one I toggle on/off during a session is 'Photoview 360' when rendering, (yes, this behavior has happened while in the add-ins dialog too).


                      @Jerry Steiger: The Win-M key combo doesn't help me in this situation. You had my hopes up there for a sec!


                      There is one semi-workaround that I have been using:

                      - Do not save your work

                      - Press CTL-ALT-DEL

                      - Choose 'Log Off'

                      - Focus switches back to SW and you will be asked to save your work

                      - Click 'Cancel' in the SW dialog

                      - Click 'Cancel' again to stop logging off.


                      This gets rid of the phantom dialog and returns the interface to your control. Be aware, if you have other applications running, the logoff process may close them for you! If you save your SW work first, this procedure will log you off. In that instance, you may be better off killing the SW process in the task manager, (AFTER saving your work!).


                      Also, in my experience, this is a temporary fix. Once the issue pops up, (which happens to me dozens of times a day - ugh..), it won't be long before it happens again. Re-booting helps for a while but this has wasted a LOT of productive time for me! Sure hope SW2013 clears it up.




                  • Re: Disappearing dialog boxes
                    Stott Barwick

                    I have had this same issue and this is the info that I have gleaned from the issue:


                    1. This has happened to me since SolidWorks 2011 and is also happening in 2012.
                    2. I'm using Windows 7 64 bit.
                    3. I have two monitors on a desktop machine always hooked up.
                    4. I can go a few days and it never happens or it may happen several times a day.
                    5. The dialog boxes open for a second or two and without selecting or touching anything they appear to close gracefully. They fade out like they have been closed on purpose.
                    6. I cannot locate them anywhere on my desktop and they do not show up in the ALT TAB selections.
                    7. I cannot select anything else in SolidWorks unless I have something else open I can CTRL TAB to the other file.
                    8. It happens to me most often when I am in a drawing and access a view's [Drawing View Properties] dialog box.
                    9. It has happened (just now) when I went to delete a view by highlighting the view and pressing the keyboard Delete button. The [Confirm Delete] dialog box appeared normally for a second or two and then closed gracefully, at least visually it was graceful.
                    10. It may have happened to me on other dialog boxes in the past but I am not sure.


                    Some "workarounds" that usually work for me or I should say recovery methods:


                    1. If I have another document open I can usually CTRL TAB to it and then save that file, then switch back to the original file and CTRL S to save it. This will sometimes free it up. If I don't restart SolidWorks it seems to happen pretty quickly again. This does not always work.
                    2. This last time that it happened I only had one file open but I was able to CTRL S to save and I didn't loose my work.
                    3. It seems that if sometimes you monkey around by switching windows, open task manager, etc. and then come back to it, it will allow you to CTRL S for save but nothing else.


                    I have wondered in the past if it may have something to do with my mouse/keyboard drivers? I have a logitech wireless mouse/keyboard combo. Thinking about it, I should check for the latest drivers.

                    I have also wondered if it may be the video card drivers? They are Nvidia Quadro 5000s and they are the latest drivers. One monitor hooked up to each.

                      • Re: Disappearing dialog boxes
                        Stott Barwick

                        I just had this happen again.


                        I updated my mouse driver but it still happened. It didn't require a restart, but I will now.


                        This time I paid closer attention to how I could save the file:

                        1. Only one drawing open.
                        2. It happened on the view's [Confirm Delete] dialog box.
                        3. SolidWorks would not let me do anything, it gives you the rejected *bing* sound if you click anywhere. I could not CTRL S to save.
                        4. I right clicked on the SolidWorks icon in the task bar and selected [Close]. It didn't close SolidWorks but then I was able to CTRL S and it saved the file. But still no other control in SolidWorks.
                        5. Had to go to task manager to close it.
                        6. Reopened and confirmed that my work was saved. It was.


                        Other info:

                        1. CTRL F to access drop down menus does not work.
                        2. The task pane on the left is still displaying Section View information.


                        Steven, I hope that this may at least help you save your work if it happens again.

                        • Re: Disappearing dialog boxes
                          John Sweeney

                          Hi Guys,


                          This is very strange and I can't think of anything that would cause a dialog to visibly show up in one location and then move off screen.  Our code does have logic that will try to reposition dialogs on the visible portion of your desktop when an event, such as laptop undock, occurs.  Is anything changing on your desktop when the dialog disappears?


                          Do you have any other unique conditions on your machines (ie: any addins loaded, any hardware devices such as 3D mouse/spaceball, etc. etc.)?  Are your dual monitors configured with the main monitor on the left and the secondary monitor to the right?  Are your monitors different sizes/resolutions?  If one monitor is very tall, then there is actually dead space on your desktop because your desktop area is the sum total of all your vertical and all your horizontal resolutions (depending on how they are stacked/aligned).  For example, if your monitors were laid out in the shape of an "L" with a very tall monitor on the left and a typical monitor on the right, then you would have some dead space in the top-right of your desktop area where a window could be "lost".  If you force your monitors to  have the same resolution (or close to the same resolution to get rid as much dead space as possible) do you see the "lost" dialog?


                          My best suggestion to get out of the problem when it occurs is to hit the ESC key after the dialog disappears.  If the dialog is still the active window, then hitting ESC should close it.  If that doesn't work, try activating SolidWorks from the desktop bar so it is the active application and again hit the ESC key.



                            • Re: Disappearing dialog boxes
                              Stott Barwick



                              In my case I really don't think it is moving off screen, but I could be wrong. The dialog box behaves like it has been closed. It does the fade out animation, it doesn't instantly disappear or sweep across the screen. Nothing else on the monitors change.


                              The only SolidWorks addins I have are Toolbox and PDM Workgroup running. A standard logitech wireless keyboard and mouse combo no special hardware. Two Nvidia Quadros running, one for each monitor with the same hookups. The monitors are identical in both hardware and setup, same orientation and resolution. The main monitor is on the left.


                              I think I have tried the ESC key in the past but I will pay close attention next time and do it immediately after it happens.


                              We have another computer that is identical other than it has one video card and a Microsoft keyboard with a wired Logitech mouse and it has never displayed this behavior. SolidWorks is also set up with the same settings from the same settings file.



                                • Re: Disappearing dialog boxes
                                  Rodney Peterson

                                  I have this same problem with SW 2011 sp4.   Initially about 6 months ago when I started using dual monitors for the first time I had no problems as this other person.  But recently I had to disconnect one of my monitors and then when I reconnected it I have a similar problem. 


                                  My problem is this, when I edit the value of a dimension the small edit window and if I accidentally click off the window some how(fat fingered is my best description) the edit value window goes away but solidworks thinks it's still open and I cannot do anything in SW.  Infact when I mouse click anywhere in the SW window my computer gives me a "ding" response like hey, something is open here.


                                  I will try and "pay more attention" to and reply with what I find.


                                  I am also having problems where all my secondary windows that open from solidworks like "file open, edit dim. value, options and so on

                                  they always open in the monitor that solidworks is not running in by default.  this is annoying and I haven't figured this out either.



                                    • Re: Disappearing dialog boxes
                                      Rodney Peterson

                                      ok, I have managed to solve my problem but I cannot say which thing I did was the cure.  I will list what I did and maybe you can

                                      try and see if you get good results.


                                      In my Nvidia control panel I did the following:


                                      • under display, adjust desktop size and position I selected "use nvidia scaling".
                                      • under "set up multiple displays" I change my primary screen from one to the other and back.

                                      good luck.

                                      • Re: Disappearing dialog boxes
                                        John Sweeney

                                        Hi Rodney,



                                        Rodney Peterson wrote:


                                        I am also having problems where all my secondary windows that open from solidworks like "file open, edit dim. value, options and so on they always open in the monitor that solidworks is not running in by default.  this is annoying and I haven't figured this out either.

                                        For the large majority of dialogs, once you move it, then it should open in that same position the next time.  Do you see this happening on each dialog open, or only when you restart SolidWorks? Can you try this... Click File-Open and move the dialog to a specific position on one of your monitors.  Now close it and reopen it again with File-Open.... does it remember the location?


                                        For your dimension edit dialog issue... this should be a modal dialog which means it should stay on top of your SolidWorks window and block most operations.  Can you repro it every time? A video may help us understand this issue as I can't repro it with some basic testing.


                                        Can you also give me the details of your monitor layout?  Is monitor #1 on left and is the main monitor, or is it some other combination?



                                      • Re: Disappearing dialog boxes
                                        John Sweeney

                                        Hi Stott,

                                        The next time a dialog does this, can you take a screen shot of your desktop as-is and post it to the forum?  I'm most curious to see what is enabled/disabled in the SolidWorks UI.


                                        When you see this happen with the drawing view properties dialog, if you hit the ESC key, do you see a warning dialog that says "The current operation cannot be interupted or the document is not accessible at this time"?  I can get this warning by bringing up the dialog and simply clicking outside it to deactivate it, and then hit ESC.


                                        Since I have not seen this issue and haven't heard anyone else mention it, I'm looking for things unique about your workflow/setup.  The only thing that jumps out at me is having two graphic cards for only two monitors.  Are these old quadro cards that only support a single monitor each or is there another reason you're using two cards?  Are they the same cards used by the other workstation you mentioned which doesn't see the problem?  I have two cards on my machine that drive three monitors but I don't see the problem.



                                          • Re: Disappearing dialog boxes
                                            James Bach

                                            My situation . . .

                                            New Dell M6600 engineering-grade LT w/ Win7 64-bit running SW2012.

                                            Desk environment: 3 screens (internal LT LCD, external LCD on DVI port, external LCD on USB port feeding DisplayLink DVI adapter).

                                            Generally operate SW2012 on external LCD on DVI port.


                                            My problem is when I'm on-the-road (like this very moment) in which I am running SW2012 on the internal LT LCD . . . no external monitors.

                                            The two situations in which I've been 'trapped' . . .

                                               - deleteing a Extruded Cut

                                               - doing a SaveAs


                                            Clicking anywhere in the SW window causes a "Ding" tone, indicating that the window is no longer active . . . that there is a modal dialog box someplace.  This dialog box does not appear on the desktop (i.e. closing all app windows), nor is it an icon on the TaskBar, nor is it findable on the Alt-Tab (task switcher), nor is it available in Task Manager . . . you simply can NOT find the dialog box.


                                            Until I started reading this thread I was going into Task Manager and manually killing-off SW . . . which would bring-up a dialog box (the one you get when closing SW with an open file that has been edited and not saved) asking me if I wanted to save/discard my changes. 


                                            Now, when I get the "Ding" I hit the ESC key a couple of times, and SW seems to come-back, and I can once again manipulate my drawing.


                                            Please make the following changes to SW's modal dialog boxes . . .


                                            1) Make them appear on the SAME screen/monitor that SolidWorks is open on.

                                                When I'm running on my 3-screen desk environment, w/ SolidWorks running on screen 2, the dialog boxes open on screen 1 . . . very annoying.

                                                When running my LT in stand-alone mode (no external monitors) certain dialog boxes open in never-never land (invisible, not findable).


                                            2) Make them produce an icon on the TaskBar (and thus in Alt-Tab switcher), so that the user can select it and do a "Move" operation to be able to use cursor arrows to haphazardly move the dialog onto the currently-active screen.  This is probably moot if you implement #1 correctly.


                                            Thanx for listening.

                                              • Re: Disappearing dialog boxes
                                                James Bach

                                                I was playing-around with the video driver properties for my Dell M6600 lap-top . . . if you Right Mouse Button (RMB) over the desktop you can select "nView Properties", which brings-up a dialog box for "nView Desktop Manager" . . . select the "Windows" tab . . . there are several interesting options to change which (hopefully) will prevent SolidWorks from dopely opening dialog boxes on screens that don't exist . . .


                                                "Window control:

                                                      Prevent windows from opening off-screen": ENABLE (checked)


                                                "Dialog box repositioning:

                                                      Reposition dialog boxes on": Move to application display

                                                      Center dialog box on display": ENABLE (checked)


                                                I don't have much experience under my belt with these settings, but, it was nice to see that as I moved Solid Works from screen to screen to screen (yes, I have 3 screens), that whenever I'd open the "Options" dialog box it smartly opened in the center of the screen on which SW was active . . . not on some other screen . . . and not floating half-out in space with no sight of the titlebar area (i.e. can't drag it) nor the OK or CANCEL buttons (as I'd seen so many other times in the past).


                                                So, if you have an nVidia graphics system you might have a way to solve SolidWorks' poor programming related to the opening of dialog boxes.



                                              • Re: Disappearing dialog boxes
                                                Dianna Palermo

                                                Hi John, Having the same problem of disappearing dialog boxes on 36 classroom lab computers. Annoying, yes!  Solidworks 2011. Running your tutorial, Special Types of Models > Blocks. In today's case, we reach the step to open the Properties window and it blinks open briefly. The has happened before while running other tutorials - most notably when trying to open the dialog box to fill in the blanks in the "Drawing" tutorial. None of these desktop computers have ever had another monitor on them. All have Nvidia Quadro FX 580 and WIndows 7. All drivers up to date. I've tried the ideas for nView Desktop Manager as well a nVidia Control Panel. Other ideas?


                                                solidworks - properties window opens and disappears.png

                                                  • Re: Disappearing dialog boxes
                                                    John Sweeney

                                                    Hi Dianna,

                                                    It is certainly unusual to have 36 machines all showing the same odd behavior.   By any chance did you push out the same registry settings to all the machines?  Even then, I would not expect a registry setting to make the dialog show itself briefly and then disappear.  It almost sounds like you're running out of resources (handles) but this would not happen on all the machines at the same operation.

                                                    You mention that you have the "latest drivers" for the Nvidia cards.  Is the driver a certified version by SolidWorks?  The latest driver from the vendor site is not always the version we support.  The quickest way to check would be to run "SolidWorks Rx" from "Start-All Programs-SolidWorks 2011- SolidWorks Tools".  From the "Diagnostics" tab, run the analysis to verify the status of your graphics driver and a bunch of other stuff.


                                                    If that all looks good then you could try a registry trick.  The registry key below can be renamed and it will rebuild itself.  It will cause all your dialogs to show up at the default location instead of trying to remember where you last placed them.   Try renaming the reg key below to "DialogsHold".


                                                         HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Sofware\SolidWorks\SolidWorks 2011\User Interface\Dialogs


                                                    Do this by closing SolidWorks and then running the "Regedit" program from the system Start bar and right-click on the key shown above and select "Rename".  Note - be careful in the registry.  If you're not comfortable messing around with the OS settings, then we can try checking the actual values to see if they look incorrect.


                                                    Let us know if that helps,


                                          • Re: Disappearing dialog boxes
                                            Chris Schoener

                                            Dialogue box not visible


                                            The problem:

                                            The dialogue box is either to the right or the left of the main display (monitor). So you cannot see (hit esc. key to exit for now)


                                            To fix it:

                                            1. Temporarily change the monitor setup settings so that your extended display is to the opposite side it’s currently on (apply).

                                            2.open the SolidWorks file, do what you did last and you didn’t see the dialogue box. If you see it move to the other screen (probably same as that SW in on). Save the file and close.

                                            3. change the monitor setup settings back so that your extended display is where it was before (apply).

                                            4. Now it should be fixed, so open the file and try it again.


                                            Or the Nview option that James suggests works if you have it.