What is SOLIDWORKS RX
SOLIDWORKS RX helps you to diagnose and understand how your current hardware and OS environment will impact on the use of SOLIDWORKS, it can also provide recommendations for improvements, as well as help you to capture and communicate technical support issues with a three-step problem capture wizard.
The name “SOLIDWORKS RX” is an analogy to the medical diagnostic process, in which a patient visits a doctor, the doctor checks vitals signs and collects samples then uses this information to diagnose the problem and prescribe medication, or provide instructions to the patient. SOLIDWORKS RX is an additional troubleshooting software that aims to do the same with SOLIDWORKS, by allowing users to simply and easily create logs, video and send files to technical support, making it an invaluable troubleshooting tool for users.
SOLIDWORKS RX, is downloaded along with SOLIDWORKS and can be found as a separate application is the windows search bar
Using SOLIDWORKS RX
After starting SOLIDWORKS RX users are taken to an overview of the variety of functions, SOLIDWORKS RX can carry out (stored in tabs), on the home page, these are:
- System management
- Problem capture
- Files and Logs
The home page also allows users to open SOLIDWORKS in safe mode. This is useful when SOLIDWORKS will not start or when using you notice irregular behaviour in the software. There are 2 different options of safe modes available to users.
- “Click here to launch SOLIDWORKS in Software openGL mode”: This opens SOLIDWORKS while bypassing the graphics card drivers and processors. Useful in situations where graphics cards/drivers are an issue.
- “Click here to launch SOLIDWORKS while bypassing the Tools/Options settings”: This opens SOLIDWORKS while bypassing custom settings for the session. This is useful if irregular behaviour is being caused by a system setting.
The diagnostic tab of the SOLIDWORKS RX application shows the status of test that SOLIDWORKS RX runs in the background. These test include checking the graphics card and displaying graphics card driver information, analysing write access and disk as well as as showing the amount of RAM to the user
in the example of above we can see how SOLIDWORKS RX indicating what has passed the diagnostic test and potential issues, such as not using a up to date driver ( a very common issue).
System Maintenance Tab
The System maintenance tab provides an easy and simple way to maintain clean back up and temporary directories, cleaning out these directories regularly can help prevent performance degradation. In this tab users can perform system maintenance immediately or schedule them. Users can clean the:
- SOLIDWORKS back up directory
- SOLIDWORKS temporary directory
- Windows temporary directory
- Temporary internet files
- Temporary files in SOLIDWORKS data folders
users also have the option run the checkdisk command in order to scan through your hard drive and fix issues and run Microsoft Defragmenter in order to optimise storage on the hard drive.
The problem capture tab, is used for troubleshooting issue of SOLIDWORKS with technical support. The Problem capture tool is able to generate zip file which include useful information that tech support can use to trouble shoot SOLIDWORKS issues as well as the ability to create video detailing workflow. When opening the tab, SOLIDWORKS will immediately begin to generate these troubleshooting files.
the SOLIDWROKS RX reality tab provides users with information of SOLIDWORKS sessions that have been terminated in the last 60 days. It displays termination with the following system:
- Blue are normal terminations
- Orange are terminated by the user
- Red are unexpected terminations
For crash events, the reality tab will display a call stack, along with how many times that stack appeared in the last 60 days. The Reliability tab also displays Windows events for the five minutes preceding each crash, including session termination and installation events.
The benchmark tab in the SOLIDWORKS RX menu allows users to asses (and compare) their hardwares capability to run SOLIDWORKS. Important things to note before running a test are:
- Computer must be rebooted before running a test
- The test can take up to 50 minutes (dependent on system configurations)
- Other applications cannot be used during the test.
No that before running the test it is important users make sure that they are using a certified graphics card and driver which can be found here. The SOLIDWORKS benchmarks measure machine performance in 6 areas in regards to SOLIDWORKS:
- Processor: This score is used to judge the speed of your CPU with CPU based activities such as rebuilding or creating drawings. Note that SOLIDWORKS is a feature dependent software so it relies on just CPU so multiple cores will not improve this score. As many other operations use the CPU, improving CPU score will have a large carry over to other scores.
- Graphics: this score quantifies how responsive zooming, panning and rotating a model is. This indicates how the performance is.
- Input/output: This test measures the read and write speed of your computers hard drive, quantifying how long it takes to save and open files on your computer. Note that this test does not account for network speed or data managements systems.
- Pealview graphics performance : only available if your graphics card supports real view mode graphics, similar to the graphics test, this test will see how responsive SOLIDWORKS is while real view mode is enabled. real view mode is highly dependent on graphics card, so this score can be greatly improved with a suitable graphics card.
- Rendering (optional): This score is only available if your computer has Photoview 360 and this test will measure the speed its takes your machine to generate a render. Note that rendering does use multiple cores, so have multiple cores will improve this score.
- Simulation (optional): Only available if simulation is installed on your machine, this test measures the time needed to run a static analysis design study. Like rendering, simulation does also take advantage of multiple cores.
Creating an RX File
Should the technical support require that a file is sent to SOLIDWORKS support engineer, it must be done through SOLIDWORLKS RX. Despite this being a common need from users, during technical support, there is not a lot of information covering how to do this, so this section of this blog will cover the process of sending over RX files
Step 1: Capture
As mentioned earlier, when SOLIDWORKS RX is started and the problem capture tab is selected, it will automatically begin gathering the appropriate technical support files and logs (it is crucial users do not interrupt this process). After this Users have 2 options, they can include extended logging data and/or record video. Note that the option to include extended logging data will add time to the file gathering processes and produce a large file so will only be recommended by a support engineer if they suspect a CPU issue. The option to record a video is the far more common and recommended option.
After selecting the record video option, SOLIDWORKS RX will prompt the users to either use their current SOLIDWORKS session or restart SOLIDWORKS, it is recommended to restart the session and repeat the workflow carried out that led to the issue. After this dismiss the record window (as this will obstruct the recording). After the recording is finished, open the window and select the finish recording option, after which the window will notify users that, SOLIDWORKS must be shut down (though it will give you a chance to save any documents). Note that only the last 5 minutes of video will be saved. Users can see if the video was successful, if when they look at the “video” file in the Zip file contents (under the package section) there is a file size.
Step 2: Package Files
The second stage of the process is to add any additional files (only if they are relevant in addressing the issue) and zipping the files. The former can be done by selecting the Add files option and the later can be done by selecting the Package files Now option. Note SOLIDWORKS RX will automatically add any files open during the recording stage of the video. After all the appropriate files have been selected, select the package files now option to save the zip file, ensuring the default name of the zip file is not changed.
After step 2 it is recommended to, select the “Continue to Step 3” option, in order to provide support engineers with as much detail of the workflow as possible. After which users will be presented with a window asking for a summary of the issue and a description. Note support engineers will need this or a video in order to understand the issue, though both give a much clearer idea of the issue.
Another common issue with users are graphics card and drivers. SOLIDWORKS RX offers a solution to ensure users have the appropriate hardware and drivers. SOLIDWORKS Rx makes this process easy. In the diagnostic tab of SOLIDWORKS RX follow the link for card/driver combinations, here on this page users can select their hardware setup to see if their graphic cards are certified and what drivers have been tested. In this example we will be demonstrating this with the NVIDIA Quadro P620. In order to fill to complete this process it is important to know your current driver and hardware, this can be done by either:
- Open the Run window (windows key and R) and type “dxdiag”. This will bring up the DirectX diagnostic tool, which will display information on your system, graphics card and driver.
- Open the device manager from the windows start menu, this will display, and by opening the properties of that device you can see all the appropriate drivers.
After specifying your hardware, the website will specify recommended drivers along with their functionality and link to to download the driver from their developer’s website. From here users can download the specific driver onto their machine as seen below with the NVIDIA P620 example (Please ensure that the option for a clean installation is selected, to ensure that the existing driver is replaced)