How to attach to a different SOLIDWORKS PDM Archive Server Location

Article by Andrew Lidstone, CSWE updated February 12, 2020


Whether its because the SOLIDWORKS PDM archives have been migrated to a new server, or you are working in a different office than usual and need to connect through a replicated Archive Server, it may be necessary to modify which Archive Server your PDM Vault View is attached to.

This can be done very easily through the Windows Registry.  The change can be applied without needing to check in any files beforehand and without losing any work.

The first step is to determine how the Vault View on the client computer was originally set up.  There are two possible ways the vault view might have been attached, either using the default “For all users on this computer” or “Only for me

Select Attach Location

Select Attach Location

Depending on which Attach type was used, the server information will be stored in different locations in the Windows Registry.

If you don’t know which Attach type was used originally, first check the location used by the default, “For all users on this computer” option.

If “For all users on this computer” was used:

This option creates registry entries for the SOLIDWORKS PDM Archive Server information in these two locations:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\SolidWorks\Applications\PDMWorks Enterprise\Databases\VAULTNAME


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\SolidWorks\Applications\PDMWorks Enterprise\Databases\VAULTNAME

The string value “ServerLoc” contains the Archive Server computer name.  To attach to the new server, this value must be changed in BOTH of the locations listed above.  If the value in the WOW6432Node section of the registry is not updated, there will be errors with some applications when trying to browse into the vault view.

ServerLoc Registry String

ServerLoc Registry String

Once the change is made, exit the PDM Client software and log back in again.  The view will immediately begin using the new server name.

If you do not see the vault name listed under “Databases”, then the view was set up using the “Only me” Attach Type.

If “Only me” was used:

This option creates registry entries for the server information in these two locations:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Solidworks\Applications\PDMWorks Enterprise\Vaults\VAULTNAME


HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\SolidWorks\Applications\PDMWorks Enterprise\Vaults\VAULTNAME

Again, the string value “ServerLoc” contains the Archive Server computer name.  Modify the string, in BOTH locations, with the new server name, then exit the PDM Client software and log in again to begin using the new Archive Server.

ServerLoc Archive Server Name

ServerLoc Archive Server Name

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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.