Using the SOLIDWORKS CAD Admin Dashboard to track, review and troubleshoot machines– Part 3

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Using the SOLIDWORKS CAD Admin Dashboard to track, review and troubleshoot machines– Part 3

Welcome to Part 3 of the Using the SOLIDWORKS CAD Admin Dashboard to track, review and troubleshoot machines blog series. A comment we hear often from CAD Administrators is that they have one engineer who complains about crashing all the time. Sometimes it is very difficult to tell if there really is a stability problem. We all know that a crash as a critical time makes it feel like the program "crashes all the time". The CAD Admin Dashboard can show you each machine's SOLIDWORKS sessions for the last 60 days and help you identify if a user is crashing just once in a while or really all the time. For each recorded session we provide some details like which version of SOLIDWORKS was running. Here we see the details of a user that is "crashing all the time"

SolidWorks

As you can see in this session, SOLIDWORKS did not actually crash; maybe the user was getting frustrated and killed SolidWorks.

Below is an example of an actual crash.

SolidWorks

With this information we can determine from a real crash or if the user ended SolidWorks.

So what can we do with this information to determine crashing issues? To start, the CAD Admin Dashboard collects a lot of information on the computer's details and configurations.

We can such information as:

  • Memory
  • Graphics card model & driver
  • History of SOLIDWORKS & Graphics card driver updates

In the example below, 1 user is constantly crashing. Looking at the available information, we can see right away that there is a flag notifying that there is an issue with the machine details.

SolidWorks

If we hover over the icon, it will tell us that it is low memory. We can now look down at the machine specifics to tell us further information.

SolidWorks

Here we can see that the computer is running with only 4 Gb of memory..this can obviously be a major contributor.

We also see that the graphics driver is not running a certified SOLIDWORKS driver; this can also be a factor.

If you look at the History column, in this case there is no history. System that have updated SOLIDWORKS , Drivers, Etc. will have an information icon that will list changes in the environment. This can be a good tool to troubleshoot issues. Below is a user that has just begun having stability issues. If we take a look at the history, we see that the graphics driver was currently updated (in which it shows that it is not a support driver.)

SolidWorks

This would be the first issue to look for. Update the driver to see if it resolves the issues.

Here we see that SOLIDWORKS was updated from 2014 SP0 to SP1 (while also running 2013 SP4)

SolidWorks

Is this around the time that the user started experiencing issues?

There is usually always a reason why SOLIDWORKS crashes. From the Dashboard information, it makes it a lot easier to narrow down the cause of the crash.

To make things even easier for an admin, you can also set flags for certain triggers.

Just like the systems options, you may want a heads up when someone starts having a lot of killed or crashed sessions of SolidWorks. But the first question you need to answer is "what is your definition of 'a lot'?" Determining a threshold may vary in each company. It may just depend on how much you are stressing SOLIDWORKS and your hardware. The threshold is defined by the percentage of "Normal" sessions. A threshold of 75 means that 75% of the time the machines are running fine and they have a 25% crashed or killed rate. Note that the crash percentage is cumulative and reflects successful sessions vs. killed and crashed sessions.

SolidWorks

The CAD Admin dashboard can be a powerful and helpful tool in determining various users' issues.

Please check back to the CATI Blog as the Dedicated Support Team will continue posting our series of articles that goes further into the details of each section of Using the SOLIDWORKS CAD Admin Dashboard to track, review and troubleshoot machines. All of these articles will be stored in the category of Daily Dose…..of SOLIDWORKS Support and links to each article with their release date are listed below:

Blake Cokinis, CSWE
Computer Aided Technology, Inc.