17 Replies Latest reply on Nov 21, 2014 10:43 AM by Adrian Velazquez

    Remote Desktop to SolidWorks PC problems

    Seth Renigar

      I am being asked to remote into a workstation at one of our other locations to do some work remotely.  I have to remote in to gain access to their server.  I realize that this is not an optimal scenario.  But this is just a temporary workaround to get a few things done there.

       

      I am working with our IT person in the remote facility to setup a brand new CAD workstation.  We have run into several issues during our testing phase.  At first, it appeared like everything was going fairly smoothly, for a few hours.  Then, the screen refreshes began getting slower and slower.  I logged off the remote computer, rebooted my local computer, and then reconnected.  However, the issue didn't get any better.

       

      I looked at the device manager of the remote machine to see what kind of video card it had.  All it said was "Standard VGA Graphics Adaptor".  I confirmed with the IT guy and he said it actually had a AMD FirePro V5900 in it.  So, I asked him to load the certified drivers for it.  He complied but said he had a lot of problems getting them loaded (not sure what that means exactly).  Now, when I look in the device manager, it shows an "ATI FirePro V (FireGL V) Graphics Adaptor" with the correct driver for this machine installed.  I haven't even got to do any more testing yet tho.  The next time I started SolidWorks on the remote machine, I got the following error.

      Software OpenGL.jpg

      The Software OpenGL is turned on and shaded out.  I've done some research on this and tried a couple suggested fixes for this.  But none have worked yet.  Would running SolidWorks remotely force the Software OpenGL to turn on?  I can't see why it would since it it using the hardware of the remote machine, and only projecting the image through remote desktop.  But I'm not positive.

       

      Also, now when you open SolidWorks, it takes like 2 minute to open.  And, I've noticed several other things stalling badly, during what little I was testing it.  For example:

      1. I open the System Options.  But every time I go to close it, it will take minutes to close.  The System Options window goes away quickly.  But the Options button on the toolbar appears to "stay" depressed for several minutes.  It does this every time I open then close system options.
      2. In the system options, whenever I click Hole Wizard/Toolbox on the left, again, everything freezes for several minutes and I eventually get the message following message:
        1. Database Setup Error.jpg
        2. I have confirmed the correct path and the presence of the toolbox database.
      3. Finally, whenever I try to close SolidWorks with the "X" in the upper right, the "X" appears to stay depressed for several minutes before finally closing SolidWorks.

       

      I'm not sure if the Software OpenGL being turned on would have any effect on these 3 stalling problems.  But I'm staying open until I can correct it.

       

      So, with all these crazy symptoms, can anyone attempt to troubleshoot and give me something to try?  I'll take anything.  I'm at a loss.  Just shoot me your ideas.

        • Re: Remote Desktop to SolidWorks PC problems
          Alin Vargatu

          This is a limitation of remote desktop. There is no way to disable the forced software OpenGL option in SolidWorks.

            • Re: Remote Desktop to SolidWorks PC problems
              Seth Renigar

              Alin,

               

              I'm having a hard time understanding this.  Nor can I find this documented anywhere.

               

              I'm running SolidWorks "on" the remote machine.  Shouldn't SolidWorks still use hardware OpenGL on the remote machine, if the workstation is capable?  I can't wrap my brain around why remote desktop would have any bearing on that in this scenario.  Remote desktop is basically just projecting the graphical image of whats on the screen of the remote machine to my machine.  I realize it would be a little laggy due to this.  But remote desktop is not processing the 3D graphics.  Could you please clarify?

               

              I'm not doubting you.  I'm just trying to understand better.

            • Re: Remote Desktop to SolidWorks PC problems
              Alin Vargatu

              Also, as per Knowledgebase: "Remote usage of SolidWorks is not tested or supported. The high computational demands of SolidWorks usually trigger the customer to purchase workstations for each user. Running under a Terminal server with multiple sessions of SolidWorks is likely to exceed the server resources and will generate slow response times as video instructions will need to be processed through software OpenGL and the network will be part of the communication link."

                • Re: Remote Desktop to SolidWorks PC problems
                  Seth Renigar

                  Alin,

                   

                  Ok, now I've seen it documented.  But I'm still having a hard time understanding why....

                   

                  Oh well.  I guess I don't "need" to understand everything...  I guess I'll just have to accept it. 

                    • Re: Remote Desktop to SolidWorks PC problems
                      Alin Vargatu

                      Seth, I would like to know "why" myself. I assume that the remote machine can send the images directly through you, without displaying them on the screen, so they are not computed by the GPU.

                       

                      Anyone else knows how this works?

                        • Re: Remote Desktop to SolidWorks PC problems
                          Seth Renigar

                          Alin,

                           

                          That actually sounds logical and makes sense, whether tru or not.

                           

                          I wonder if there is a Remote Dektop type solution that utilizes the remote GPU "before" relaying the screen image...  I looked at a couple (including Anna's suggestion of LogMeIn).  But neither one of them specify this functionality.

                            • Re: Remote Desktop to SolidWorks PC problems
                              Alin Vargatu

                              I am wondering if Bomgar or GoToMeeting do. Not really remote desktop, but...

                                • Re: Remote Desktop to SolidWorks PC problems
                                  Richard Bremmer

                                  HP offers a solution for this, you can use it for free if you have a workstation from the Z series or elitebook (doesn't work (edit1:) for free on 8710w). Its called HP Remote Graphics Software and works pretty good in a LAN:

                                  http://www.hp.com/united-states/campaigns/workstations/remote-graphics-software.html

                                    • Re: Remote Desktop to SolidWorks PC problems
                                      Seth Renigar

                                      Richard,

                                       

                                      THIS SOUNDS GOOD!!!!  It might actually be the ticket.  According to the overview, it will work with other hardware besides the Z series, even non-HP hardware.  You just have to pay for a license.  However, they offer a 60 day free trial which should be long enough for me to do what I need it to do.  Plus, if it does work well, we will know in the future that we need to just buy it, if we have to do this sort of thing again (actually more like "when").

                                       

                                      Now comes the hurdle.  Getting our IT dept. to approve this.... 

                                       

                                      Thank you Richard.  If I can get them to let me install this, I will let everyone know how it works.

                                        • Re: Remote Desktop to SolidWorks PC problems
                                          Alin Vargatu

                                          Seth, please keep us updated with your tests.

                                            • Re: Remote Desktop to SolidWorks PC problems
                                              Seth Renigar

                                              Argh....  I've already started battling the IT gremlins...  Not sure if they are gonna approv it or not.... 

                                              • Re: Remote Desktop to SolidWorks PC problems
                                                Seth Renigar

                                                Ok, I have finally had a chance to test the HP Remote Graphics Software.  I am happy to report that the software does exactly what it advertises. When working remotely, you do actually get real time 3D graphics that are being processed by the remote machine. It is many, many times faster than using Remote Desktop in 3D applications because of this.

                                                 

                                                However, it appears that bandwidth still comes into play.  We only have a T3 connection here with several hundred users.  And it is a slow T3 at that.  Therefore, in my situation, this doesn't make working this way very feasible for long term use.  If you have limited bandwidth, working via HP Remote Graphics Software would still be great for working on a few files here and there, if needed though.

                                                 

                                                After this testing, I feel confident that with faster bandwidth, using HP Remote Graphics Software would be just like sitting behind the remote machine.  So this is one piece of software to "keep under your hat"...

                                                The only thing I didn't like about HP Remote Graphics Software is that it only allows you to use the maximum resolution that the remote machine is capable of.  This makes sense since the remote machine is processing the graphics.  This shouldn't really be much of an issue for many users.  In my case though, I am using a 30" monitor set to 2560 x 1600.  The remote machine is using a 20" monitor not capable of anywhere near this resolution.  So, the Remote Graphics software runs on my screen in a smaller Window that can not be maximized to my monitor.  Not a huge drawback.  But something to consider.

                                                So, in conclusion, if you ever find a need to run SolidWorks on a remote machine (or any 3D application), I highly recommend this HP Remote Graphics Software.  As a matter of fact, I would even recommend using this software over Remote Desktop for any application, even non-3D.  Since I have the slow bandwidth issue, I could easily tell that simply navigating around in Windows was significantly faster as well.

                                                Great call on this Richard.....

                                • Re: Remote Desktop to SolidWorks PC problems
                                  Anna Wood

                                  You may have better luck with using LogMeIn instead of RDP.

                                   

                                  It will still be painfully slow and a dog for performance.

                                   

                                  Cheers,

                                   

                                  Anna

                                    • Re: Remote Desktop to SolidWorks PC problems
                                      Keith Parker

                                      Been looking into this, trying to Remote Desktop from iMacs to Solidworks PC.  Very good 'Microsoft Remote Desktop' app (amazing!) but, as per the above, came up against the Software OpenGL issue.  What Alin wrote is correct but I've found a workaround that will work for me.  If Solidworks is running on the PC host and you take over the PC with the same login, everything is as it is in the host - i.e. the OpenGL status is unchanged.  If SW is not running, it goes to OpenGL mode when the RD session starts.  Getting it all to work with many people is going to be a pain, but worth it for far superior performance.  All this done on LAN, so there is minimal lag, etc.  Now going to try the new wireless 3D-Connexion device on the host PC so anyone can use it around the office when RD-ing.  Should be no problems - will try to update on this.

                                       

                                       

                                      Cheers, Keith

                                    • Re: Remote Desktop to SolidWorks PC problems
                                      Adam Harte-Maxwell

                                      Something else to investigate - the AMD FirePro RG220 is certified for PCoIP use by SolidWorks. I personally have had no experience with this technology as of yet, but I had a customer recently inquire about it as they are investigating it for possible use by remote or travelling engineering staff. Consultation with a SW TSE confirmed this.

                                       

                                      On a side note, as others may be wondering - nVidia's latest VGX technology is a much newer technology and according to a SolidWorks graphics developer, they do not expect to have a certified VGX device for quite some time.

                                       

                                      It's intriguing to see how "remote" utilization and virtualization has evolved and is becoming more popular since it enables powerful desktops/servers to be accessed from any machine, from essentially anywhere where you have a good Internet connection. An obvious limitation regardless of solution or product utilized, is it's highly dependent on the quality and bandwidth of the Internet connection, which we all know can fluctuate during a session and the "time of day" can be a factor as network loading varies.

                                      And good luck trying to use from a hotel or airport connection - probably be fine to check in on the status of an analysis or rendering...