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

Article by Justin Williams updated December 8, 2020

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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;
    • 192.168.1.xxx     MyDbServerName
    • 192.168.1.xxx     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.