IMPORTANT TIP – SolidWorks SNL: How to avoid downtime when upgrading!

Article by Andrew Lidstone, CSWE updated April 19, 2011


If you have a SoildWorks network installation your SolidWorks SolidNetwork License (SNL) server may be installed on a computer in a server room somewhere, it may seem simpler to use an RDP (remote) connection when you need to make changes or upgrade your SNL server to the latest version, rather than having to work from the actual computer, especially if the server is far away or hard to access.  However it is very important to never use an RDP connection when working with the SNL server, but instead to always make any upgrades or activations from the actual machine where the SNL server is installed.

Trying to activate the SNL server via remote desktop will change the Computer ID information sent to SolidWorks during the activation process.  The Computer ID is a unique code that the SNL server generates when it is installed.  When you tell the installation to activate that code is sent to the SolidWorks Activation Centre for authorization.  Only one computer at a time can be activated for a network serial number so if the Computer ID does not match the current activation you will receive a message saying “Activation Count Exceeded” even though technically it’s the same machine.

To resolve this issue you will need to contact your reseller’s licensing support to have them deactivate the old Computer ID so that the new one will be activated.  But it’s best to avoid the problem completely by always working on the physical computer when making any changes to your SNL server installation so to minimize the risk of having your license server offline and users unable to use SolidWorks until it’s resolved.

Making major hardware or operating system changes to the computer where the SNL server is installed will also result in a change to the Computer ID.  Therefore before making any such changes to the computer, you should transfer the license back to the SolidWorks activation server through the SNL Administrator which frees up the activation for the new Computer ID.

By being aware of the above issues and situations, the possibility of license server downtime is reduced significantly during an upgrade.


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Andrew Lidstone, CSWE

Andrew Lidstone is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Application Engineer specializing in Data Management systems. He has been working in the SOLIDWORKS reseller channel since 2010 helping clients get the most from their CAD tools.