How to find a Corrupt SOLIDWORKS Component

Article by Joe Medeiros, CSWE updated April 29, 2020


If you find that a SOLIDWORKS Component in your assembly or drawing has become corrupted, there are a couple of common causes for a file corruption:

  1. A SOLIDWORKS file became truncated while being saved. This can occur when the drive the file is being saved to becomes suddenly unavailable, or the system crashes.
  2. A SOLIDWORKS file was being copied to or from a network drive and the network drive suddenly became unavailable during the process. In this scenario the file in the target location may have been corrupted.

Usually a user will receive an indication that the file is corrupt when they try to open it, but if the corrupted file is in an open top level document, such as an assembly or drawing, there may not be any indication of a corruption until the top-level document is saved.

When there is a corrupt file, a user will receive a message that indicates that the file cannot be opened or saved and to contact their SOLIDWORKS reseller. In a top level document, though, there is no indication whether it is the top-level document or a referenced document that is corrupt. So how do we find the corrupt file? This does require a process of elimination.

Identifying a corrupt SOLIDWORKS file

The first step is to open the top-level document and then to set Advanced from the Configuration pull-down as shown in the figure below:

Setting Advanced for SOLIDWORKS Configuration

Setting Advanced for Configuration

After clicking on Open, in the ensuing dialog box, select ‘New configuration showing assembly structure only’ and provide a name for the new configuration, i.e. Troubleshooting. This will suppress all components referenced in the assembly.

SOLIDWORKS Configure Document

Configure Document

Once the assembly is open, starting from the top of the FeatureManager, unsuppress each component, one at a time, until you get a warning about not be able to load the component. This will be the corrupt file. If the issue is with a sub-assembly, you may need to open each sub-assembly, from the Open dialog box using Advanced mode for Configurations.

Solving the corruption problem

Now that you have identified the corrupt component, send it your SOLIDWORKS reseller, who will confirm that the component is corrupt and will then send it to DS SOLIDWORKS support, so that they can attempt to repair it.

For the most part, DS SOLIDWORKS support can repair corrupt files, but this can take some time and there is a chance that the file cannot be repaired. If a back-up or an earlier version of the file exists, using and/or updating this file may provide the fastest resolution. For simple parts then recreating part may be the fastest solution.

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Joe Medeiros, CSWE

Joe Medeiros is a SOLIDWORKS and PDM Certified Expert. He has been helping SOLIDWORKS users with training, mentoring and implementations since 1998. He combines industry experience with a thorough understanding of SOLIDWORKS products to assist customers in being successful. He shares his experience and expertise through blogs; one of which has been incorporated into the SOLIDWORKS Essentials training manual.