Upgrading to the NEW 2012 SolidWorks Toolbox

Article by Scott Durksen, CSWE, last updated on February 27, 2012

In SolidWorks 2012, the Toolbox has been restructured to improve performance and to be more accommodating for customizations.  All of the component information is now stored in the individual part files rather than in one large Microsoft Access database file.  You can now add folders, rename files and modify fasteners directly within the default standards.

Because of these changes, the manual update procedure from previous versions has been modified for network-based toolboxes.  If you are using a standalone toolbox (ie you are using the default C:\SolidWorks Data folder), upgrading your SolidWorks program to 2012 will automatically upgrade the toolbox.

However for those with a shared toolbox on a server, here is our preferred method for upgrading the toolbox to the 2012 version.

  1. Copy the 2011 or older version of SolidWorks Data to a designated folder on a clients desktop that has SW2012 installed.  Ensure that this folder has read/write access.
  2. Launch SolidWorks 2012 and go to Tools > Options > System Options tab > Hole Wizard/Toolbox
  3. Under “Hole Wizard and Toolbox folder:”, browse to and select the toolbox folder on the desktop.  An error will say that this is not the “expected version”.  Click OK.
  4. Again browse and select the same folder and notice the path has now been updated.
  5. Close and open the Options again to verify the path is retained.
  6. Run a repair of SolidWorks as illustrated here: http://www.javelin-tech.com/blog/2011/07/repairing-sw/ (in step 7, you only need to have SolidWorks 2012 SPX.X selected).
  7. The toolbox folder on the desktop will now be updated and can be copied back to the shared location.  Within this folder, there is a file called ToolboxVersion.dat that can be opened with Notepad to verify the version.


Alternate Approach:

If you prefer to use the UpdateBrowserData.exe utility as in previous versions (see http://www.javelin-tech.com/blog/2011/12/tb-dbase-wrong-version/), please be aware that there is an additional step after running this process as the part files also need to be updated.

  1. Make a copy of your previous toolbox folder for backup purposes
  2. Update the legacy Microsoft Database file as per the instructions on this blog post.
  3. Point the SW2012 Hole Wizard/Toolbox options to your previous toolbox folder as per steps 2-3.  You should not see the “unexpected version” error.
  4. Verify the path is updated to the previous toolbox folder
  5. Browse to your SolidWorks 2012 installation folder (typically C:\Program Files\SolidWorks Corp\SolidWorks)
  6. Right-click on “sldtoolboxupdater.exe” and choose to “Run as administrator”
  7. Click the Process button to begin the update (if there is a standard missing that you wish installed, click the “SolidWorks/Toolbox installation media location” and choose your installation source fileset)

Scott Durksen, CSWE

Scott is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer and is based in our Dartmouth, Nova Scotia office.

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