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"Preconditioning Failed" becomes "STAR has stopped working"

"Preconditioning Failed" becomes "STAR has stopped working"

"Preconditioning Failed" becomes "STAR has stopped working"

I'm trying to simulate a model with the purpose of finding fastener loads. I've run into the preconditioning failed/check boundary conditions error. So I've tried using this (http://files.goengineer.com/docs/support/Simulatio...) to fix it, as those steps have worked in the past. But now the study stops with a windows error stating STAR has stopped working.
I tried the folder changing and ensured permissions, also disabled hyperthreading (as indicated here: https://forum.solidworks.com/thread/37817 and here: http://www.eng-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=263914) to no avail.

I've checked and rechecked loads and constraints and connectors again and again. Even running with a global bonded condition and no connectors I still run into the STAR issue. The moment I attempt to introduce a no penetration condition or then connectors I then get the preconditioning failed error.

Anyone have guidance as to what else I could check? I've run analyses of this type before, and even larger/more involved. It seems like something has changed but I have no idea what.

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