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SOLIDWORKS Crash Troubleshooting Guide (Part 2 of 3)

Article by John Lee, CSWP created/updated October 5, 2018

Part 2 of our SOLIDWORKS Crash Troubleshooting Guide includes recommendations for graphics cards and utilizing SOLIDWORKS Rx. Catch up on part 1 of the guide.

  1. Ensure that your graphics driver is certified.  This does not mean the latest driver.  The latest driver is not necessarily the greatest!  You can prevent automatic updates of the driver per this article.  If your graphics card is not in the list of cards with certified drivers, then you may wish to download the latest driver from the manufacturer’s website.
  2. Try a SOLIDWORKS Rx Reliability Report and Reboot Check.
  3. Try running SOLIDWORKS in the two different RX safe modes to rule out the graphics card or SOLIDWORKS settings as the cause of the issue.  Close SOLIDWORKS prior to commencing safe mode testing.  If running in OpenGL mode (uses central processing unit [CPU] instead of graphics processing unit [GPU]) and SOLIDWORKS does not crash, then it indicates an issue with whatever graphics card/chip (a.k.a. Display Adapter) or its driver that SOLIDWORKS is normally using.
  4. What graphics hardware is SOLIDWORKS normally trying to use?
    • You can find that out in SOLIDWORKS Rx->Diagnostics tab->Card Model.  Is it trying to use the Intel or equivalent basic chip, and yet you know you have something more SOLIDWORKS-capable such as Nvidia or AMD hardware in the computer?
    • If Intel is being used instead of the high-performance hardware, check your graphics card settings.  For Nvidia graphics processors, to access the control panel: right-click on desktop->NVIDIA Control Panel->Manage 3D Settings.  Check which graphics processor is set under Global or program-specific settings, and change if necessary.
    • We do not recommend disabling your basic graphics processor in Windows Control Panel->Device Manager, lest it lead to unforseen consequences (to reference a certain video game)!  If your graphics card/chip Control Panel doesn’t match closely to the images below, fear not…there may be other ways to set your computer to use the high-performance card.  Keep reading for details…
      SOLIDWORKS Crash Troubleshooting Selecting graphics processor in Nvidia Control Panel

      Selecting graphics processor in Nvidia Control Panel

      Selecting graphics processor in AMD FirePro Advanced Settings

      Selecting graphics processor in AMD FirePro Advanced Settings

  5. If using a workstation with multiple monitors, and Nvidia Control Panel (or AMD equivalent) cannot be used to select which graphics processor to use, confirm which monitor is connected to which video port on the computer.  If one of those ports is the motherboard (likely running an Intel or equivalent basic graphics processor), that may explain the crashing.  Try minimizing all apps (Windows+D), right-click on your desktop, and choose Display Settings.  Check which display is set as your main display.  If the main display is the one connected to the motherboard, try changing that setting so that the other monitor is the main, or try swapping the connections to the video ports if the plug style will allow that.  Once the main display is the one connected to your high performance graphics port (Nvidia or AMD), re-test in SOLIDWORKS Rx to confirm that the high performance graphics processor is the one being used by SOLIDWORKS.
  6. If using a single monitor, to which graphics port is it connected on the computer?  For workstations, the Nvidia or AMD port is recommended, otherwise if plugged into the motherboard then it will likely limit graphics processing to the basic processor on that board, instead of the high-performance processor on the installed graphics card.  For laptops, the port(s) will likely allow either processor to be used, and Nvidia/AMD control panel software should be used to select which processor.
  7. If using an AMD FirePro Graphics Card, review this article

If the problem persists, check out part 3 of our SOLIDWORKS Crash Troubleshooting Guide.  Subscribe to our blog to receive daily tips and tricks via email.

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John Lee, CSWP

John Lee is inherently lazy in that he prefers to work smarter - not harder. A CSWP with over a decade of experience using SOLIDWORKS and a background in mechanical design, John has used SOLIDWORKS in various industries requiring design for injection molding, sheet metal, weldments and structural steel.

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