How to Configure the SOLIDWORKS PDM Local HOSTS file to resolve the Server Name

Article by Justin Williams updated December 8, 2020


By default, the SOLIDWORKS PDM client is set to use server name, which via DNS lookup will resolve the IP number and communicate with the server.  In a perfect world, the DNS server configuration will resolve quickly and not cause any issues, but this isn’t always possible in certain environments, for example, while using a VPN.

Slow lookup may result in the following symptoms within PDM:

  • Delay when logging in
  • General poor performance while navigating or adding files
  • Replication Failing

Occasionally a PDM support technician may advise you to bypass the DNS lookup, by editing the local HOSTS file and adding the server IP.

NOTE: Users should always consult their local IT Professional ahead of making any of these changes

How to edit the local hosts file and add the server IP

NOTE: Local Windows Administrator credentials are required

  • Using the Administrator account run Notepad;
Run Notepad

Run Notepad

  • File > Open
    • Change the setting to look for All Files (defaults to *.txt)
      • Navigate to and Open the hosts file;
HOSTS File Location

HOSTS File Location

Default location is C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\Etc\
  • Underneath the comment section (any line that begins with #) add a new line for each required server with the IP Number and the server name and a tab space in between.  For example;
    •     MyDbServerName
    •     MyArchiveServerName

      SOLIDWORKS PDM Hosts File

      Hosts File

NOTE: If the archive and the DB server are hosted on the same machine, only one line is required.

  • Save and close the hosts file.

Once complete, the DNS lookup should be bypassed and the hostname resolved directly using the IP.  Once complete, I would recommend running the connectivity tool to ensure the connection works as expected, or complete a ping test.

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Justin Williams

Justin Williams is a Data Management Applications Expert based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.