Reinstalling DriveWorks

Article by Jim Peltier, CSWE updated October 14, 2017


The process for reinstalling SOLIDWORKS properly can be quite involved, requiring the removal of prerequisite components, registry keys, folder locations, etc. The procedure for reinstalling DriveWorks is comparatively simple, but requires more planning than does SOLIDWORKS. Let’s take a closer look at what is involved.

Be sure to read through the whole procedure before beginning Step 1

Step 0: Repair or Reinstall?

Before you begin, consider whether a full reinstall is necessary. A Repair of your installation might suffice and could save some time. To do this,

  1. Go to Windows Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs, and find DriveWorks.
  2. Then click Change.
  3. You may need to stop some services (see step 5 below).
  4. Then, you can select Repair from the dialog window:
DriveWorks Maintenance Reinstalling DriveWorks

DriveWorks Maintenance

If a Repair has been ruled out, or attempted without success, then proceed to the next step

Step 1: Backup

Before doing anything, you want to make backups of you work. This is assuming you don’t want to redo your work. Most of the Project and Group files are not stored in the DriveWorks installation folder, so they should be left intact by the uninstall. If you are using DriveWorks Live, then you will need to take a copy of your “C:\ProgramData\DriveWorks\15\Live\Themes” folder (your specific folder location may vary – especially in regards to the “15” sub-folder, which will correspond to the version of DriveWorks you are reinstalling). If in doubt, make a backup copy of it!

This section of the DriveWorks help file will provide more detailed information about the folder locations of DriveWorks Live.

Step 2: Confirm You Have the Installation Files

If you have the installation files for your version of DriveWorks: Great! If not, then now would be a good time to download them from the DriveWorks Portal.

Step 3: Take Note of Pro Server Setup (If Applicable)

If you are making use of the DriveWorks Pro Server, you might want to take a quick minute or two to check the settings before you go much further. Launch the DriveWorks Pro Server Configuration utility and take screenshots of each of the tabs – especially the details for the SQL Server connection. There’s a 95% chance that you know what these are and it won’t be a problem for you, but there’s a 5% chance that you might be mistaken and get a nasty surprise when you can’t reconnect to your SQL server with the proper permissions.

Now would also be a good time to let your colleagues know what you’re doing. You know, in case they are planning on using DriveWorks in the immediate future, these next few steps may cause them some disruption.

Step 4: Check Plug-Ins / Add-ins

Before going any further, it is probably a good idea to double-check that you don’t have any DriveWorks Plug-ins or Add-ins installed and running. Launch DriveWorks Administrator and go into the Settings, and select Plugin Settings. Click here for more information about plugin settings. If you are using any of them, select them from the list and click the Settings button for more detailed information.

A Typical List of DriveWorks Plug-ins

Step 5: Shut Everything Down

If you’re using DriveWorks Solo, you can skip this step. If you are using DriveWorks Pro, this means that you may need to shut down the DriveWorks Pro Server. To do this, go to Windows Services (search for Services and run). Then, find DriveWorks Pro Server in the list and Stop the service:

(Unrelated services hidden for clarity)

(Unrelated services hidden for clarity)

You may see other DriveWorks Services running. Feel free to stop them as well – except for the License Server (I’ll get to that in the next step). Keep the Services window open for convenience, since we will come back to it momentarily.

It might also be handy while you’re in this dialogue window to right-click on the DriveWorks Pro Server item and choose Properties, then click on the “Log On” tab and take note if this is to be used by a different user account.

Step 6: Return Your Licenses

Launch the DriveWorks License Manager utility. I’d take a screenshot of this as well. Pick on the first item in the list and choose the “View License” button. Copy & Paste the Product Code to a text document (through Notepad, Word, or any word processing utility of your choice). Click the “Return License” button. Repeat for all the items in the list. Be sure to check all the tabs in the License Manager.

This step is mandatory if you are reinstalling DriveWorks on a new computer, and it is still recommended if you are installing it on the same computer. The licenses are not transferred off automatically during the uninstall process.

After the licenses have all been returned, switch back to Windows Services and Stop the DriveWorks License Server if applicable.

Step 7: Get Permissions

No, I don’t mean ask your boss for permission (although that would probably be a good idea). I mean get permission from your computer. Do you pass the same 3-step test for permissions as you need to installing SOLIDWORKS?

  1. You need Local Admin Rights
  2. You need to disable User Account Control (UAC)
  3. You need to (temporarily) disable your Anti-Virus Software

Step 8: Uninstall DriveWorks

Finally! Let’s go to Windows Control Panel and uninstall DriveWorks.

Control Panel

Control Panel

Step 9: Prerequisite Software

Often times, issues with corrupt prerequisite software cause issues with SOLIDWORKS. This is why when SOLIDWORKS is being reinstalled, we recommend performing a reinstall of prerequisite software. Of particular interest to us here is Microsoft .NET Framework. DriveWorks will reinstall the version it needs (check here for details of DriveWorks Administrator), which means if you are reinstalling to fix certain behaviour, consider that it may be caused by .NET Framework, and you may need to reinstall or repair this as well.

Step 10: Reinstall

Installing DriveWorks should be easy now! You’ve probably done it before, and you already have the installation files handy from Step 2, you can copy & paste all your serial numbers from Step 6, and you have all the necessary permissions from Step 7! You should also be able to restore your projects and add-ins and reconnect to your SQL server, reconfigure your Pro Server, and get Live back up and running using the screenshots and backups from the other steps as well.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact your DriveWorks Reseller.

Related Links

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Jim Peltier, CSWE

Jim has been using SolidWorks since 2001, and has spent most of that time working in the design of industrial automated manufacturing equipment. He has been working as an Applications Expert at Javelin Technologies in Oakville, Ontario since July 2012 and is a Certified SolidWorks Expert (CSWE).