July 27, 2011

Insight Pausing And Retrying Messages Causing Slow File Open?

If you are experiencing delays in opening Solid Edge files from Insight that is evident by frequent “pausing and retrying” messages in the Solid Edge session, then consider enabling SQL snapshots.  By enabling snapshots on the SQL databases you can reduce the pausing and retrying messages and greatly improve your Solid Edge open performance from Insight.  Here’s how to enable SQL snapshots:

During off hours, on the SQL Server launch SQL Server Management Studio:

Select the SharePoint content database to apply snapshots to i.e. WSS_Content, right click-> Tasks -> Take Offline.  This may take several minutes to complete:

Open a New Query window:

Enter the following SQL Query where <database name> is the name of the database taken offline in the previous step:

Execute the query:

Select the database again, right click-> Tasks -> Bring Online:

Repeat the steps above for any additional Insight/SharePoint databases being used.

This should resolve the pausing and retrying  issue and improve open performance.

You can verify if the change has successfully been made by running the following SQL Query:
SELECT sd.is_read_committed_snapshot_on FROM sys.databases AS sd WHERE sd.[name] = '<database name>';
 The value returned by this query should be “1” if snapshot was successfully turned on.  Otherwise the value will be “0” indicating snapshot is off:

You can turn snapshot back off by repeating the steps above but running the ALTER DATABASE query with OFF instead of ON:

July 13, 2011

Improve Solid Edge Performance by 95% On Windows 7 By Configuring Anti-Virus

I have seen instances with customers where the anti-virus software on Windows 7 is negatively impacting Solid Edge performance.  By making a few simple anti-virus configuration changes you can greatly improve your Solid Edge open and save performance.

For one customer, saving unmanaged Solid Edge files to his local hard drive was taking 90 seconds to complete.  After making these anti-virus configuration changes the Solid Edge file saves took 5 seconds.  For another customer Insight uploads were taking 600 seconds to complete.  After the anti-virus changes, the uploads took 30 seconds.  Two real world instances where configuring anti-virus improved Solid Edge performance by a whopping 95%.

Of course it should go without saying that the changes to your anti-virus configuration outlined below need to be reviewed by your company’s IT security experts.

For both unmanaged and managed Solid Edge exclude the following folders and all files underneath:
%ProgramFiles%\Solid Edge <version #>
%APPDATA%\Unigraphics Solutions
If also running Insight or Solid Edge Embedded Client  (SEEC):
All http traffic to and from the server(s) and the client
If also running SEEC and Teamcenter exclude the additional folders and all files underneath:
The above list assumes that the software and its various options are installed to the default locations.  If you have changed any of the default locations i.e. Insight cache location etc then you will need to modify your anti-virus exclusions appropriately.

And don’t forget to make these changes where appropriate to both your clients and servers.

To be clear it is not all anti-virus software on Windows 7 that I have seen have such a dramatic impact on Solid Edge performance.  There are several anti-virus software packages that seem to more negatively impact Solid Edge performance than others but I’m not going to call those vendors out by name in this post.  Regardless, whatever anti-virus software you run, making these configurations changes should still improve your Solid Edge open and save performance to some degree.

And for those of you are experiencing overall poor Windows 7 performance as a whole, not just with Solid Edge, perhaps you should consider temporarily disabling anti-virus and testing your Windows 7 performance without anti-virus in the mix.  You might find that your anti-virus is negatively impacting your overall performance as a whole and not just with Solid Edge.

Check out my previous post on tweaking Windows 7 for improved Solid Edge and Windows 7 performance.

July 12, 2011

Fixing Slow Insight Performance in Windows 7

Windows 7 has introduced a whole slew of issues centering around network performance.  One particular area that Insight customers on Windows 7 have noticed is that Insight is slow to generate and display a list of files and folders in the various dialogs that displays file lists i.e. Open, Parts Library etc.
There is a known issue with Windows 7 and SharePoint WebDAV performance.  SharePoint performance issues obviously in turn affect Insight’s performance.  The culprit is Internet Explorer.  The fix is quick and simple, turn off IE’s automatic proxy settings detection.

Here are the steps for turning off IE’s automatic proxy settings detection:

In Internet Explorer, open the "Tools" menu, click "Internet Options".

Select the Connections tab.

Click the "LAN Settings" button.

Uncheck the "Automatically detect settings" box.

Click "OK".

Click "OK".

    For more on this particular issue check out this Microsoft Technet discussion.

    I will be writing additional posts on Windows 7 network performance issues with Solid Edge so stay tuned.

    UPDATE: Just to clarify, even though this post focuses on Insight, you should make this tweak for Windows 7 regardless, even if you use unmanaged Solid Edge as the tweak improves *all* WebDAV performance.

    July 11, 2011

    Enabling Automatic File and Folder Name Completion in the DOS Command Prompt

    This is one of those simple little tweaks that just comes in handy if you’re a system administrator and have to spend any amount of time working with DOS command prompts.  Not many people are aware that the DOS command prompt has automatic file and folder name completion capabilities.  Unfortunately for some strange reason auto completion is turned off by default. 

    To enable auto completion on an individual command prompt window, use the /f switch.  In the Start -> Search box type “cmd /f:on”.   Now you can use Ctrl-F for automatic file name completion and Ctrl-D for automatic folder name completion in the individual command prompt window.

    To enable automatic name completion all of the time for all DOS command prompt windows without having to type the /f switch simply modify the following registry keys:
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Command Processor]

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Command Processor]
    For you convenience a registry file with the above tweaks can be downloaded here.

    Using these registry keys you can also change the default key strokes used for auto completion.  By default Ctrl-F or hexadecimal value 06 is used for the file name completion; Ctrl-D or hex value 04 is for folder completion.  Simply change the hex values to whatever key stroke combination you would rather use.  For a list of hexadecimal values look here.

    July 08, 2011

    Better Lighting...For Your Computer

    F.lux is a handy utility to automatically adjust the color of your display based on the time of day, geographical location and ambient lighting conditions. 

    When configuring f.lux the trick is to set the monitor screen color to look like the pages of a book under your ambient environment.  It took me a while before I realized this tip.

    F.lux is a simple utility with a very limited focus on what it does but it does it well.  Once you get used to having f.lux on your systems you’ll be lost without it.  Try it for a few days and then turn it off... you’ll notice the difference.

    Go ahead and install f.lux today... your eyes will thank you.

    Get f.lux here.

    July 07, 2011

    Opening AutoCAD .dxf Files In a Single Instance of Solid Edge

    Yesterday’s post covered  how to hack the Windows registry so that AutoCAD .dwg files always open in a single instance of Solid Edge.  Logically following up from that is opening .dxf files into a single instance of Solid Edge.

    It doesn’t take much of a leap to figure out that from yesterdays post you simply have to change the registry entries from .dwg to .dxf.  But for those that like things as simple as possible, here is the .dxf version of the hack:



    And to make it simpler still, the downloadable registry file to add the entries automatically.

    And yes I fully appreciate this post could be considered a cop out on publishing an entirely new useful tip but it is what it is ;-)

    July 06, 2011

    Opening AutoCAD .dwg Files Into a Single Instance of Solid Edge

    I keep seeing this question come up, “Associating .dwg files with Solid Edge launches multiple instances of Solid Edge.  Is there a way to open the .dwg files into a single instance of Solid Edge?”

    As it turns out there is.  GTAC Solutions Center article # 002-7002894 covers this very question.  You will need a WebKey account to access this article.

    This is a Windows Explorer issue not a Solid Edge issue per se.  By tweaking the Windows Explorer registry we can make the .dwg files open into a single instance of Solid Edge.  Add or modify the following registry entries:





    If you are not comfortable working in the registry then download this registry file and simply double-click to add the entries automatically.

    Anybody have other Solid Edge registry tweaks they care to share?

    July 01, 2011

    Tweak and Optimize Windows 7 with GIGATweaker

    Out of the box (OOTB) most software comes preconfigured between a mix of functionality and performance.  Windows 7 is no different.  There are plenty of tweaks you can make to Windows 7 to improve and optimize the overall performance.  Unfortunately most of those tweaks are either registry hacks or command line utilities.   

    GIGATweaker is a free tool that combines many of the common Win 7 tweaks into a simple easy to use interface.  And to add icing to the cake, GIGATweaker is completely portable so you can load it onto your support USB or Dropbox account and take it with you to every machine you need to tweak.

    GIGATweaker offers a lot of tweaks.  Some are fluff like changing the Windows registered user information.  Others are real meat and potatoes like disabling and deleting unnecessary programs from the Autostart list or increasing the size of the L2 Cache.

    There are too many tweaks to cover in any single post but some you might want to look at include:

    • Visual Effects – set to best performance.

    • Force unloading unused DLLs from memory

    • If you use a third-party ZIP archive tool (7-Zip anyone?) turn off browsing archives 

    • Increase the L2 cache and file system caching memory size

    • Disable recent shares in Network Places

    • Remove unnecessary performance robbing Autostart programs such as Adobe Reader

    GIGATweaker can be downloaded from http://7room.net/gigatweaker/.

    Anybody got any other tweaking tools you'd recommend?