Here is an issue that causes major problems for me. Sometimes I forget and I will rename a part and the assembly will no longer link to that part. How can I rename a part while at the same time update the link in the assembly mode.
Rename the part while your assembly is open. I mean within the open the assembly, open that part and simply do a save as new name.
For other older files, you can click on references after you single click on assembly file (don't open it) and change/fix the references for the renamed files.
Also check under Tools > Options > Message/Warnings that you don't have a message set to off which suggest for missing part. If yes then click that off. Now next time when you open the assemblies, SW would prompt you for missing files and and you can browse for them.
I know the renaming with assembly open will fix it but I sometimes forget and rename in the folder manually and loose everything. Even when I browse for the updated part the mates will fail and I have to reasemble again
When you realize this has happened, can you close the assembly, rename the file back to the original name, open the assembly, and then rename the file?
I'm not sure I've seen the problem of the mates for a renamed part replacing itself under another name. It seems like such parts usually don't lose the mates, but I don't do it often enough to really know. When I replace a part with a different part, I can often replace the mates during the replacement process, although I do find the user interface confusing. If I end up not being able to fix the mates there, I can usually repair them pretty easily after the replacement is finished. I don't think I have ever had to delete them and remate the part.
You can renae the file via windows explorer by finding the file and right clicking and choose SolidWorks, rename. This will be the same as using SolidWorks Explorer to do it and it will update where used as well.
Retrieving data ...