How to salvage data from a SOLIDWORKS File Corruption

Article by John Lee, CSWE updated November 13, 2023

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Greetings, SOLIDWORKS user! Having trouble opening your part? Suffering from SOLIDWORKS file corruption?

Sometimes a corrupt SOLIDWORKS file starts misbehaving or refuses to open, and yet the cause is unknown. Symptoms can vary, but the usual basic troubleshooting steps do not resolve the issue, such as opening the file from a colleague’s computer, restarting the computer this way, or resetting the SOLIDWORKS part of the Windows registry this way. Sometimes, the root cause is corruption in the assembly file or the template from which it was created.

A common cause of SOLIDWORKS file corruption is opening and saving the file over the network.

Any loss of network connectivity during a save (also referred to as packet losses), while SOLIDWORKS is rebuilding the code of the file, can corrupt the file.

The best practice to avoid packet loss during save is to work from a local drive and then copy to the network as a backup, which is how SOLIDWORKS PDM is designed to work.  In a properly configured PDM system, users benefit from the speed of saving locally and the security of storing revisions in a shared vault.

Tips for recovering from SOLIDWORKS file corruption

So, what to do if your SOLIDWORKS file already appears to be corrupt?  There may still be a way to salvage the data, so might as well give it a try.  Here are some tricks:

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John Lee, CSWE

John Lee is inherently lazy in that he prefers to work smarter - not harder. A CSWE with fifteen years 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.