I’m typing this up with, what may be, a broken thumb. As it turns out, it’s the thumb I use most on my spacebar, so it’s wreaking havoc not being able to use it. You never understand how much you depend on something until you can’t use it. I digress, again, though.

Today, we’re going to discuss installing SolidWorks. I was tempted to skip over it as it’s been discussed innumerable times in the forums, but what the hell. Nothing like a refresher course, right? There aren’t too many things to remember when it comes to installing SolidWorks, especially if it’s a  brand new, stand alone install. For those, it’s pretty much throw in the DVD and follow the prompts. You may want to change a default location here or there or, perhaps, not install something that’s included, but that’s about it. Ok, that may be over-simplifying it. There are still occurrences of Anti-virus software screwing things up, as well as other glitches, but those are all few and far between.

If it’s a networked seat, you’ll want to be sure that you know the name of the license server. You should also know the network location of Toolbox, because, if you’re using Toolbox in a multi-user environment, you have put it on the network, right? Right? Ideally, your CAD Administrator or IT department has set up an admin image and you won’t have to worry about any of this. If they haven’t, get them to do it. It’ll make life easier for everyone.

The fun stuff, now. You’ve got the newest version in your sweaty palms and you want to install it. Now. Do you need to keep the old version? If the answer is yes, you’ll want to set up a separate destination folder on your hard drive (C:\SolidWorks 20xx). You don’t want to be installing the newer version of Toolbox over the old one. It’ll cause you pain and agony, the likes of which you’ve never seen. (Could I be any more melodramatic today?) Many people run 2, 3 or even 4 versions of SolidWorks on their machines. More often than not, it’s to accomodate customer’s needs. Don’t let anyone tell you that it can’t be done. There will be the occasional hiccup running multiple versions, but you’ll be fine most of the time.

If you’re going to just be working with the newest version, there’s some recommended steps you’ll want to take. First, go to Start->All Programs->SolidWorks->SolidWorks 20xx->SolidWorks Tools->Copy Settings Wizard and run it. This will create a reg file of your settings so you don’t have to recreate the environment you’re used to. Do the usual add/remove program thing and get rid of SolidWorks. Open up Windows Explorer and do a search for SolidWorks. Be sure to include hidden files and folders. When SolidWorks installs, it dumps some stuff into C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data, which is, generally, a hidden folder. You’ll want to delete any SolidWorks folders on your hard drive, except for ones you created to hold models/assemblies/drawings. Still with me? Good. Now, this next step is not for the faint of heart. If you’re uncomfortable messing around in your registry files, skip down to the next paragraph. Go to Start->Run and type in regedit then hit  ‘ok’. This will open up the registry editor. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software and delete the any SolidWorks related folders. This may include eDrawings, Dassault Systemes, COSMOS, etc. Do the same in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE. You can also download a cleaning utility, such as ccleaner, to further check the registry and remove dangling .dlls. At this point, you can follow one of two paths. You can reboot or not reboot. I’ve heard various theories on both. Personally, I don’t reboot. More to the point, I tend to forget to reboot. Nonetheless, I haven’t had any issues by not rebooting. Go ahead and install SolidWorks.

If you created a registry file, run the copy settings wizard and select ‘Restore settings’. You should be all set now with a perfect, no issue install of SolidWorks. I’ll pause while you laugh…

The above info is, to the best of my knowledge, the best way to do a clean install of SolidWorks. Individual results may vary. Side effects may include swearing, keyboard hammering, pulsating forehead viens, burst blood vessels or heavy drinking.



    • http://WWW.BARRY-WEHMILLER.COM Rod_Uding

      Jeff, could you put this whole series into a PDF that we could download? I always seem be looking constantly for this kind of information.

    • JeffMirisola

      It's all part of a presentation I'm working on, Rod. Once it's cleaned up, I'll probably post it.

      Jeff

    • Pingback: SolidWorks Crashes and Slowdowns, Part 3 | Jeff’s Tool Shed

    • bigmikeo

      I have a toolbox question.
      We were running 08 on two machines with toolbox out on the network. Other guy has computer problems so we reinstall XP on his machine and install 09 at the same time. We created another toolbox location on the network. When he opened the project he was working on it updated all his parts to 09. All o.k. so far. When I open my assembly, totally different project and folder, it tells me all my PEM hardware from the toolbox is from a future version! At this point I'm then forced to update rather wait to see what “problems” the other guy may have with 09. How could we not have had this problem?

    • JeffMirisola

      Mike,
      While the toolbox locations may have been separate, the existing assemblies would have been pulling from the old location. If he'd done a 'save as' and updated the references to save the toolbox parts to a new location, you probably would have been ok.
      For what it's worth, '09 has been a much more stable release for many (individual results may vary).

      Jeff

    • bigmikeo

      Sounds like that would have worked. We usually wait for SP1 and then install. SP3 seams to be doing well, there are a couple of issues but all is well, thanks for the info.

    • http://www.hawleywood.com/ Josh

      Great article! I'm about to do a clean networked seat install of newest SolidWorks on our 2008 Server. Have printed this out and will keep it close-by the extra keyboard and 6-pack.


      Josh

    • JeffMirisola

      Josh,
      Thanks! One of my goals of this blog is to help other users out. Sounds like I've accomplished that with you.
      Good luck with your install!

      Jeff

    • http://www.solarandthermal.com/(3)product/1.system/1.aeg/311_(semi-trans).htm Paul

      “… my knowledge, the best way to do a clean install of SolidWorks. Individual results may vary. Side effects may include swearing, keyboard hammering, pulsating forehead veins, burst blood vessels or heavy drinking.”

      This is too good a quote to pass up! It's a pity the developers at SolidWorks are kept in glass bubbles and never allowed to hear such customer feedback… I wonder why?

      I'm still using 2005 because I can't stand the 2009 UI, I hear it's like new Micro$oft Office UI which I never adopted. I just retired the 2000 Pro in favor of OpenOffice. I wonder if SW is paying attention?

    • JeffMirisola

      Actually, Paul, they aren't completely unaware. I know this because I've actually spoken to a couple of them in person. There is a thought process that occurs in substantial changes, like the UI. They look at what other programs are doing and get input from other departments and users.
      I remember when the UI changed, and was lost for a week or so. Now, I love it. I don't have any toolbars cluttering up my graphics area. Between the command manager and my SpacePilot, I have all the tools I need at my fingertips.
      You should see if you can get a hold of a demo copy and give it a test drive. Who knows, you might like it.

      Jeff

    • Dave Lees

      I am still amazed after all these years that Solidworks is still the hardest piece of software I know of to install. Why doesn't Solidworks give options, advice and then for example do all you listed above. i.e. clear out old versions, maintain existing folder locations etc, how difficult can it be.

    • JeffMirisola

      Honestly, Dave, I don't know why. I could hazard a guess or two, but I'd probably be way off the mark.

    • http://www.solarandthermal.com/(3)product/1.system/1.aeg/311_(semi-trans).htm Paul

      It's a back-door to keep users from “stealing” the license. Paranoia, nothing less. If you need to have a VAR do the install, you're less likely to take a copy home…

      God forbid your kids _design_ something without paying for support or feeding the VAR network… Or worse, you might do a little freelance after hours… sacrilege!

    • http://www.solarandthermal.com/(3)product/1.system/1.aeg/311_(semi-trans).htm Paul

      Hey Jeff,

      If was just something I saw It wouldn't have rated a comment… I did play with 2009 and I hate it. Newer does not always equal better. And in this case the new UI contributes to code bloat. Why doesn't 2009 run significantly cleaner than my 2005 used to on a machine with 1/2 the RAM 1/2 the memory, 1/10th the video…???

      The s'ware is their football and they're going to dictate what game we have to play. This is why I'm looking at CoCreate to replace it.

    • JeffMirisola

      I'm not sure what you mean, Paul. Your VAR doesn't have to do the install, and it is very possible to have a second copy at home. It's part of the 80/20 rule. If you have a machine at home that will run SW, and your employer allows it, it is legal…so long as you're doing work related stuff…or teaching your kids.

    • http://www.solarandthermal.com/(3)product/1.system/1.aeg/311_(semi-trans).htm Paul

      Jeff,
      Did you read the OP?
      ——–
      I am still amazed after all these years that Solidworks is still the hardest piece of software I know of to install. Why doesn't Solidworks give options, advice and then for example do all you listed above. i.e. clear out old versions, maintain existing folder locations etc, how difficult can it be.
      ———
      OK, so the grammar isn't perfect, but the meaning is crystal clear.

      I never said the VAR *has* to do the install, but the out of the box install is pretty far from complete! For those of us that don't enjoy installing software anymore, SW is a cluster-fu##.

      Why don't you explain how & why 2009 broke my install of 2005? There was no reason for it! I had to go all the way back to the admin install to get 2005 to work again. And then I had to reset all the pointers to my drawing templates, my part templates, assembly templates, materials, etc… There were settings under documents and system that subtly changed…

      Either you're a VAR and are defending your turf, or are in the IT department and defending your turf, or have free and unlimited access to a VAR or an IT person and you don't give rats a$$, or perhaps you are simply unaware of the reality. Care to tell us which?

    • JeffMirisola

      Paul,
      I was responding directly to your statement “…If you need to have a VAR do the install…”.
      I can't explain why the '09 install broke your '05 install. I've run multiple installs before without problems, including right now as I'm running '09 & '10 Beta. Did you direct the install of '09 to a different folder or just let SolidWorks install to its default directories? Sadly, there is a lot of 'tribal' knowledge out there regarding installation, be it stand alone, admin or multiple versions. It was partly why I wrote this series.
      I'm not a VAR or in IT and am completely aware of reality. I was an AE for a VAR and, as CAD Admin, I suppose I'm sort of IT, but I'm a user first and foremost. What I do have is 12 years of dealing with the good and bad, coupled with the experience of being an AE. I'm well aware of issues people have with installing SolidWorks, and I've seen my fair share as well.
      For what it's worth, the installation of 2010 was the cleanest and fastest I've seen in a few years.

    • http://www.solarandthermal.com/(3)product/1.system/1.aeg/311_(semi-trans).htm Paul

      Well, since I am looking to replace my 2005, is 2010 any better than 2009? In the context of my … issues(I was going to say complaints)?

      One and only one question — Will 2010 find and use my templates for slddwg etc., because I don't want or need to go through all that migration again for a lousy upgrade?

    • JeffMirisola

      That question I can't answer just yet, Paul. I just installed 2010 beta yesterday and haven't had much time to play with it. I can tell you that my 2009 install is unaffected though.
      Assuming that you don't clean your registry, 2010 will find your templates. If you are planning on a clean install, run the registry wizard first. That way, you can reinstall your settings.

      Jeff

    • JeffMirisola

      Honestly, Dave, I don't know why. I could hazard a guess or two, but I'd probably be way off the mark.

    • http://www.solarandthermal.com/(3)product/1.system/1.aeg/311_(semi-trans).htm Paul

      Hey Jeff,

      If was just something I saw It wouldn't have rated a comment… I did play with 2009 and I hate it. Newer does not always equal better. And in this case the new UI contributes to code bloat. Why doesn't 2009 run significantly cleaner than my 2005 used to on a machine with 1/2 the RAM 1/2 the memory, 1/10th the video…???

      The s'ware is their football and they're going to dictate what game we have to play. This is why I'm looking at CoCreate to replace it.

    • http://www.solarandthermal.com/(3)product/1.system/1.aeg/311_(semi-trans).htm Paul

      It's a back-door to keep users from “stealing” the license. Paranoia, nothing less. If you need to have a VAR do the install, you're less likely to take a copy home…

      God forbid your kids _design_ something without paying for support or feeding the VAR network… Or worse, you might do a little freelance after hours… sacrilege!

    • http://www.solarandthermal.com/(3)product/1.system/1.aeg/311_(semi-trans).htm Paul

      Hey Jeff,

      If was just something I saw It wouldn't have rated a comment… I did play with 2009 and I hate it. Newer does not always equal better. And in this case the new UI contributes to code bloat. Why doesn't 2009 run significantly cleaner than my 2005 used to on a machine with 1/2 the RAM 1/2 the memory, 1/10th the video…???

      The s'ware is their football and they're going to dictate what game we have to play. This is why I'm looking at CoCreate to replace it.

    • JeffMirisola

      I'm not sure what you mean, Paul. Your VAR doesn't have to do the install, and it is very possible to have a second copy at home. It's part of the 80/20 rule. If you have a machine at home that will run SW, and your employer allows it, it is legal…so long as you're doing work related stuff…or teaching your kids.

    • http://www.solarandthermal.com/(3)product/1.system/1.aeg/311_(semi-trans).htm Paul

      Jeff,
      Did you read the OP?
      ——–
      I am still amazed after all these years that Solidworks is still the hardest piece of software I know of to install. Why doesn't Solidworks give options, advice and then for example do all you listed above. i.e. clear out old versions, maintain existing folder locations etc, how difficult can it be.
      ———
      OK, so the grammar isn't perfect, but the meaning is crystal clear.

      I never said the VAR *has* to do the install, but the out of the box install is pretty far from complete! For those of us that don't enjoy installing software anymore, SW is a cluster-fu##.

      Why don't you explain how & why 2009 broke my install of 2005? There was no reason for it! I had to go all the way back to the admin install to get 2005 to work again. And then I had to reset all the pointers to my drawing templates, my part templates, assembly templates, materials, etc… There were settings under documents and system that subtly changed…

      Either you're a VAR and are defending your turf, or are in the IT department and defending your turf, or have free and unlimited access to a VAR or an IT person and you don't give rats a$$, or perhaps you are simply unaware of the reality. Care to tell us which?

    • JeffMirisola

      Paul,
      I was responding directly to your statement “…If you need to have a VAR do the install…”.
      I can't explain why the '09 install broke your '05 install. I've run multiple installs before without problems, including right now as I'm running '09 & '10 Beta. Did you direct the install of '09 to a different folder or just let SolidWorks install to its default directories? Sadly, there is a lot of 'tribal' knowledge out there regarding installation, be it stand alone, admin or multiple versions. It was partly why I wrote this series.
      I'm not a VAR or in IT and am completely aware of reality. I was an AE for a VAR and, as CAD Admin, I suppose I'm sort of IT, but I'm a user first and foremost. What I do have is 12 years of dealing with the good and bad, coupled with the experience of being an AE. I'm well aware of issues people have with installing SolidWorks, and I've seen my fair share as well.
      For what it's worth, the installation of 2010 was the cleanest and fastest I've seen in a few years.

    • http://www.solarandthermal.com/(3)product/1.system/1.aeg/311_(semi-trans).htm Paul

      Well, since I am looking to replace my 2005, is 2010 any better than 2009? In the context of my … issues(I was going to say complaints)?

      One and only one question — Will 2010 find and use my templates for slddwg etc., because I don't want or need to go through all that migration again for a lousy upgrade?

    • JeffMirisola

      That question I can't answer just yet, Paul. I just installed 2010 beta yesterday and haven't had much time to play with it. I can tell you that my 2009 install is unaffected though.
      Assuming that you don't clean your registry, 2010 will find your templates. If you are planning on a clean install, run the registry wizard first. That way, you can reinstall your settings.

      Jeff

    • Pingback: SolidWorks blog » Píše Jeff Mirisola “Padá vám Solidworks?” (série ?lánk?)