When a computer is unstable and consistently crashes, many people turn to the software that is running on it as the root cause of the crashing issue. Many do not realize that stability problems lie much deeper.
With today’s demanding applications, one being SolidWorks, vulnerabilities can be exposed in a computer’s stability much more abruptly than if someone were running just Internet Explorer and Word all day.
This is where the computer’s BIOS comes in. The BIOS of the computer controls all low-level functionality of a computer’s internal components, and is initialized on computer boot up. Just as it is important to upgrade your hardware drivers in your computer (Videocard, chipset, etc…you ARE doing this, aren’t you?) the BIOS is equally, if not MORE important in keeping up to date. Motherboard manufacturers constantly make improvements to the BIOS programs that run their products, and periodically release updates to address bugs and issues that occur in the motherboards themselves.
Further to this, video card manufacturers (namely nVidia and ATI) also release BIOS updates to their video card offerings. In the same way the computer’s main BIOS controls the motherboard, video card BIOS’s control low-level settings on the video card that are also initialized on computer startup.
I always find it surprising when I visit customer sites and see computers that have BIOS’s that are years out of date. I have had many instances where simply updating these outdated components, has improved SolidWorks and application performance dramatically, practically eliminating crashing issues. If you find your computer crashing consistently, consider contacting your IT Department and have them perform these steps. Any experienced computer tech should have no problem doing this (not for the faint of heart).
As a matter of fact, if I am building a new system, the first thing I do after the system is built is update BIOS components with the latest versions available from the motherboard manufacturer’s website. After a fresh install of Windows, I ALWAYS install all latest hardware drivers also. This is crucially important. Although Windows comes with a large array of built-in drivers, they are never optimized for best performance. You will only get high-performance, certified and tested drivers from the manufacturer’s website. The most important drivers that are a MUST to update are your video card driver (make sure to get the SolidWorks certified driver from SolidWorks, if that is what you are running) and the motherboard’s chipset drivers.
I am always happy to answer any questions you may have on the above, or anything else computer related. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org