Trouble Shooting Solidworks Crashing When Placing a Sketch
Tips and Tricks • Mark Deng • 5 September 2018
I have recently come across a few times that customers’ Solidworks crash when placing a simple sketch. After resolving those issues, it appears to me that this problem is typically related to customer’s graphics card.
If your Solidworks keeps crashing when placing a simple sketch, here are some settings you should check.
1. Check if you are running Solidworks with a supported graphics card.
To to this, you can launch the Solidworks Rx tool, and go to “diagnostics”. You will find the graphics card information including the card model as well as the driver version.
If you are seeing the Card Model as: Intel(R) HD Graphics xxxx, this meaning that you are using a integrated graphics card that sitting on the motherboard.
Solidworks has a minimum requirement for hardware specifications, and a supported secondary graphics is needed. To look up the certified graphics card information, please visit this site: https://www.solidworks.com/sw/support/videocardtesting.html
If you do have a secondary graphics card and it is not showing in the Rx Diagnostics, you will need to check the followings:
a) In your Device Manager, is there a secondary graphic card showing up?
If there is no secondary graphics card showing, please contact your IT to confirm.
b) If the Device Manager is showing a secondary graphic card, please check if you are plugging your monitor into the HDMI port on your work station. Once the HDMI port is used, Solidworks will be forced to run on the on-board integrated graphics card instead of the secondary graphics card. To resolve the issue, please connect your monitor to the Display Port instead of the HDMI ports.
c) If you have confirmed that there is a secondary graphics card and the HDMI port is not in use, but the Rx Diagnostics is still showing the Intel (R) HD graphic xxxx, you will need to configure the graphics card control panel. I will use the NVIDIA control panel as an example here:
You will need to make sure that Solidworks is set to be using either the global setting (Auto-select: NVIDIA GPU) or High-performance NVIDIA processor.
After checking the above settings, Solidworks RX diagnostics should show the correct graphics card and your Solidworks will stop crashing when placing a sketch.
2. If you do not have a secondary graphics card, you can use the Open GL option to bypass the graphics card.
To do this, launch Solidworks without opening any files, and go to Options. You will find the “Use software OpenGL” option under “System Option” > “Performance”. Once this option is checked, Solidworks will run purely on CPU, and it will bypass GPU.
Now opening a new file and creating a sketch, you will find Solidworks is not crashing anymore.
However, when Solidworks is running on OpenGL mode, files slow performance and if you are going to work on large assembles, perform complex simulations and/or renderings, Solidworks will likely to be very laggy.
This is why Solidworks recommends customers to have a certified graphics card to run Solidworks.
PS: When purchasing a graphics card, please check if the card model is on the certified list. Some graphics card could be very expensive but will not work with Solidworks, for instance gaming cards.
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