I recently reorganized all of our Solidworks files. Previously they were all in one large windows explorer folder, consisting of approximately 3400 files (parts, assembly, and their corresponding drawings). I realized that this is not a good thing to do and I moved the files into a number of folders. I put the first 250 part numbers in one folder along with the drawings associated with those parts. I made another folder for the next 250 part numbers and their drawings and continued this until all the part and assembly files had been moved. I did this thinking that I could open the upper level assemblies, tell Solidworks where to find the parts, and save the assembly redefining the file paths within the assembly document.
It appeared as though this did not redefine the file paths in the assembly document and I had to browse for the files each time I tried to open the assemblies. Next, I went to the Solidworks system options and added all of the new folders I had created under file locations - referenced documents. Then I went to external references under the Solidworks system options and checked the box that says search file locations for external references. This works for me and I am able to open up the assemblies and Solidworks finds all of the files within the assembly, although it seems to be slightly slower in opening them then it used to be.
The problem I have happens when I tried to check some of the assemblies into PDM. When I check the assembly in and it is "searching" it takes a very long time. For example, an assembly with 8 different simple parts and drawings took 20 minutes to "search." I made the assumption that this is happening because it is having trouble finding all the different files within the different folders. Does anyone have any ideas on how to solve this problem?
We have been keeping two copies of a lot of the part files. The parts and weldments that need to be sent to vendors to order we have been checking in to PDM to keep them under revision control. But we've been working out of the windows explorer folders on a day to day basis for a couple different reasons. We purchased PDM after we had created most of these parts so it would be very time consuming to check in every one of these files. We also keep changing things too often to be checking them in and out of PDM all of the time.
I know that this is a messy way of doing it, but I am having trouble thinking of a better way to do it. I would appreciate any comments on this situation. Thank you in advance for your help.