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Understanding Low System Resource and Memory Situations in SolidWorks

Brent McDavid Principal Technical Support Engineer DS SolidWorks Corp.

Have you seen any of these before?

Why talk about this topic?

As complexity of Models and size of data sets continue to grow, many users are finding themselves outstripping current Operating System and hardware limits while using SolidWorks. Give attendees better understanding of error messages/cues related to common low resource conditions in SolidWorks. Understanding the reason Why these dialogs appear will help you locate any possible system bottlenecks and make adjustments if needed to become more productive with SolidWorks.

Table of Contents
1. 2. System Resource Notification Unable to Obtain Required Memory

4. 5.

You are critically low...depleted...exceeded...your desktop application resources

Out of Memory initializing Hole Wizard Save DWG: Not enough storage available.

System Resource Notification

Introduced in SolidWorks 2010 Displays in Lower right hand corner of SolidWorks Can appear on x64 and x32 Versions of SolidWorks Common conditions that invoke this warning in SolidWorks: 1) Running Low on Physical RAM See Knowledge Base S-048684 See Knowledge Base S-048683 2)Running out of GDI Objects See Knowledge base S-044594 See Knowledge base S-030814

System Resource Notification: Running out of Physical RAM?

How to determine?

Look for Available Physical Memory: < 100 MB is not good Quickest method? Performance Tab in Task Manager This is ok for amount of measuring Physical RAM remaining Can be found in other areas Resource Monitor (Windows 7) Reliability and Performance Monitor (Vista) Performance Monitor (XP/Vista/Win 7) Process Explorer http://live.sysinternals.com/procexp.exe System Information

System Resource Notification: GDI objects

GDI Objects: What are they?

Windows Resource representing graphical elements in the User Interface 10,000 per process limit in Windows XP, Vista, 7
32 and 64 bit

How do they impact SolidWorks?

Each document in new window consumes GDI Resources.

System Resource Notification: GDI objects depleted?

How to identify?

Use Task Manager or Process Explorer to monitor GDI Objects for the sldworks.exe process
Task Manager is also ok to use for GDI tracking


Example 1: Investigating behavior due to lack of GDI resources

See \examples\system resource notification\out of gdi resources\out of gdi resources.wmv

Example 2: Running out of Physical RAM

See \examples\system resource notification\out of physical ram\out of physical ram.wmv

Possible Solutions: Out of RAM?

Lack of Physical RAM?

64 bit-Get more RAM Close out of other memory intensive programs Close documents you no longer need Consider reducing amount of data used in SW
Use Lightweight assemblies Speedpak

Possible Solutions: Out of GDI Resources?

Hitting GDI Limit?

Open fewer documents in separate windows

Look at how many individual documents are open when issue occurs?
Do you open and close many parts from a parent assembly?
Open Assembly -> GDI objects allocated Open part from Assembly -> GDI objects allocated Close Part -> GDI objects not released -> SPR 581924

Microsoft has a workaround to increase per process GDI Limit


Max 65,536 Increase in small increments if absolutely needed


Note: If you feel that this warning is unwarranted for the amount of documents and applications you are running or are not comfortable making system registry changes, please document the issue with SolidWorks RX and submit the issue to your Local SolidWorks Support Professional.

Unable to Obtain Memory

Occurs when SolidWorks is attempting to allocate a block of memory and there is not enough room within the Virtual Address Space for SolidWorks to satisfy the request. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555223 http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366778(VS.85).aspx S-020994 S-044155 S-038387

Most common with Large Assembly/Complex Part work using 32 bit SolidWorks during Saves, Opens, and intense graphical operations
Can also occur with 64 or 32 bit SolidWorks if there is insufficient Physical RAM + Page file (exceeding commit charge). Very Rare with 64 bit Solution: Add more RAM or increase Page file size

Virtual Memory Limits from SolidWorks process Perspective 32 bit SolidWorks

32 bit SolidWorks with /3GB switch

64 bit SolidWorks

/3GB Switch not ideal long term solution



Default 32 Bit Windows




32 Bit Windows with /3GB switch



https://forum.solidworks.com/community/administration/ha rdware_and_os/blog/2010/11/24/the-case-against-usingthe-3gb-switch-on-32-bit-windows

Identifying per process Addressable Virtual Memory Limit 32 bit

How do you know the configured Virtual Memory limit? 2 GB or 3GB or something in between (UserVA) XP Vista/Win 7 cmd: bcdedit

Troubleshoot Unable to Obtain Memory 32 bit

Please Do NOT rely on Task Manager
How to identify?
Use Process Explorer , add a column -> Process Memory ->Virtual Size Monitor Virtual Size of Sldworks.exe process OR Use Performance Monitor
Track Process->Virtual Bytes for sldworks.exe


Example: Open a lot of data and use tools to visually see and understand virtual address space limit.
See \examples\unable to obtain required memory\unable to obtain required memory.wmv

Possible Solutions, Unable to Obtain Memory on 32 bit

Move to 64 bit /3GB Switch

Not recommended long term Use as last resort only Use /Userva to give memory back to Kernel

64 bit Virtual Memory limit?

8 TB limit per process limit will not be a concern for some time Most likely will be more concerned about System Commit Charge and Available Physical Memory for 64 bit users

System Committed memory Limit = Physical Memory + page file

You are critically low...depleted...exceeded...your desktop application resources

Implemented in 2009 sp2

There are two conditions that could possibly generate this message (S048746) 1. Desktop Heap exhaustion Most likely with XP 32 bit and Vista 32 bit SP0


Failure to generate a resource in SW allocated from Desktop Heap possible on both 64 bit and 32 bit OS all versions.
S-048746: USER Object allocation limit Most unlikely but possible on 32 bit and more likely on 64 bit for any OS. (http://msdn.microsoft.com/enus/library/ms725486(VS.85).aspx)

See S-032171 for possible solutions

Desktop Heap

This should indicate that your system is running out of desktop heap, which is a reserved portion of memory used to create windows, menus, icons, etc. This can happen if you have many other applications open or a lot of SolidWorks documents open. You can simulate this by opening up a a lot of IE windows or tabs and try to use any other Windows Application and if you notice Windows and menus not appearing, you have run out of desktop heap.



Desktop Heap Exhaustion

Interactive Desktop Windows XP 32-bit Windows Server 2003 32-bit Windows Server 2003 64-bit Windows Vista/Windows Server 2008 32-bit Windows Vista/Windows Server 2008 64-bit Windows 7 32-bit Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2 64-bit 3 MB 3 MB

Realistically should only be a problem with Windows XP 32 bit Microsoft recognized this was becoming a problem and increased the heap size substantially with Vista SP1 and Windows 7 Can start approx 9 sessions of SW at the same time in Win 7 32 bit

20 MB

12 MB

20 MB

12 MB 20 MB


Desktop Heap
Desktop Heap would most likely be a concern in this Windows Session


32 bit Example Use Testlimit tool to deplete desktop heap and see the behavior in Windows and SolidWorks.
See \examples\desktop resources\desktop heap\desktop_heap_dheapmon.wmv

64 bit Example Running out of User Objects

See \examples\desktop resources\user objects\user object limit\user object limit.wmv


Desktop Heap Recap

32 Bit

XP bottleneck will most likely be desktop heap

Rare: Vista sp1 and beyond bottleneck will be user object limit
Rare: All OSs bottleneck will be user object limit

64 bit

Microsoft does have workaround to increase user object limit per process


Increase in small increments if absolutely needed


Note: If you feel that this warning is unwarranted for the amount of documents and applications you are running or are not comfortable making registry changes, please document the issue with SolidWorks RX and submit the issue to your Local SolidWorks Support Professional.

Out of memory initializing hole wizard

S-019494 MS access db components need a large block of contiguous memory to initialize the hole wizard db. Use Vmmap from sysinternals.com to verify


Validate using VMMap

Out of memory initializing hole wizard Solutions


1. Go to 64-bit or use the 3GB switch if 64 bit is not an option.

2. Use hole-wizard first so that it is initialized and it will be ready for future use even after larger data sets are opened.

Save DWG error

This happens when there is not enough resources, in most cases not enough free memory within the Sldworks process to load slddwgu.dll and perform the dwg export.

DWG Export requires a large block of contiguous memory

Warnings added in 2009 sp4

Save DWG error Solutions

Use 64 bit 32 bit

Save and close out of SolidWorks and restart Session

As of today, 3 limiting factors

Physical RAM

Virtual Address Size on 32 bit

Desktop Resources (mainly GDI and Desktop Heap)

10 years from now this could change


http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms724515(v=VS.85).aspx http://blogs.technet.com/b/markrussinovich/archive/2010/03/31/3322423.aspx http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555223 http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366778(VS.85).aspx http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms725486(VS.85).aspx http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ntdebugging/archive/2007/01/04/desktop-heap-overview.aspx