I recently had an email come in from a customer in Cincinnati, OH. He got an error when opening a SOLIDWORKS file. It seems that the file had some sort of corruption. This could have been due to network connectivity, over zealous anti-virus, or some other root problem. Either way, he needed a backup. Of course, you should be able to go to the IT or IS department and ask for the file off of yesterday’s tape 🙂 ………Another option, if SOLIDWORKS is setup correctly, is to go to your last saved iteration. SOLIDWORKS has a couple tools that can help “cover our butts” when something goes wrong.
I introduce the “SOLIDWORKS Protection Plan”:
1. Auto-recover – If you enable this feature, SOLIDWORKS will auto-save at set intervals to a temporary location. These auto-saves are used if SOLIDWORKS crashes. After a crash, open SOLIDWORKS, if there are files that SOLIDWORKS can recover it will prompt you in the Task Pane. This works well if you had just a few documents open at the time of the crash. If you have a lot of documents open it is less effective. This is all automated and you have little control over it. One of the nice things is being able to set the auto-save interval to a set amount of changes (adding or editing features, adding or editing sketches, anything that causes SOLIDWORKS to rebuild the model). This may better suit your needs than having it save at a set time interval.
2. Backup – If you enable this feature, SOLIDWORKS will save a backup file in the backup folder every time you save the file. For example, if I save the file as “G:\Engineering\box.sldprt”, SOLIDWORKS will also save “backup of box.sldprt” in my TempSWBackupDirectory above (this is triggered on the second save of every file, not the first). This would help if the original saved file became corrupted or didn’t save properly. However, the real power comes in setting a “Number of backup copies per document”. If you enable this and set the number to 3, SOLIDWORKS will save up to 3 iterations of the file, one for each time you save the document. For example, if I save the file as “G:\Engineering\box.sldprt”, SOLIDWORKS will also save “Backup (1) of box.sldprt” in my TempSWBackupDirectory (Again, this is triggered on the second save of every file, not the first). Then, when I save my box file again to “G:\Engineering\box.sldprt”, SOLIDWORKS will save the second iteration, “Backup (2) of box.sldprt” in my TempSWBackupDirectory. Now I have control of how many iterations of my design are stored locally on my machine. Keep in mind, these aren’t to be confused with revisions. They are just iterative saves during the design process. If you use this feature, I suggest checking the box next to “Remove backups older than” and set the time for 7-15 days. You don’t want this function to fill up your hard drive (and it will, fast!) if you don’t put some controls on it.