How to Backup Your SOLIDWORKS PDM System

Article by TriMech Solutions, LLC updated February 17, 2022


So, you’ve finally made the investment and have a SOLIDWORKS PDM system in place at your company. What now? To ensure that you can always have access to your intellectual property, you need to set up a backup for your system to ensure it is safe.

In the world we live in of virtual machines, isn’t just doing a snapshot enough? Well…not really. So, let’s get started so that you can have a full SOLIDWORKS PDM system backup ready in case you ever need it.


First off, what are the components of SOLIDWORKS PDM? To have PDM fully functioning, you need to have SQL installed, the SOLIDWORKS PDM Database Server installed, and the Archiver Server installed. However, to fully backup your SQL databases, you need to install Microsoft’s SQL Management Studio. This program does not automatically install, so please be sure to go to the Microsoft website and get the latest version.



Two Methods of Backup

With everything installed, you are now ready to go. Let’s start with the SQL databases. There are two ways to do backups:

  1. One is to do an on-demand backup;
  2. The other is to schedule the backup as part of a maintenance plan.

On-demand PDM backup

Open the SQL Management Studio, use your login, and expand Databases for the on-demand option. Right mouse click on the vault name, pick Tasks > Back Up. This will start a dialog box to select the full backup option. Make sure to do this for all vaults, as well as the ConisioMasterDb.



Scheduled PDM Backup

For the scheduled backup, expand Management, right mouse click on Maintenance Plans > Maintenance Plan Wizard. This will allow you to pick back-up as an option, and you can schedule it at the frequency you desire. How frequently? That depends on how much data you generate in a day. If a failure occurs that requires you to restore a backup, any work done after the backup will be lost.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Backup Maintenance Plan

SOLIDWORKS PDM Backup Maintenance Plan

Now that we have the SQL databases backed up, let’s move on to the Archive Server. There are two parts to this backup. The first is the settings for the server itself, i.e., the style of date, language, etc. To do this, open the Archiver Server Configuration tool, go to Tools > Backup Settings. Here, you can pick one vault or all vaults and do a one-time-only or set a schedule. If you apply a password, make sure it is noted in your essential documents, as you will need it to restore the settings.



The second part of the Archive Server is the location of all the files stored in the Archive Server, also known as the Root Folder. These folders start with the vault name, and inside are folders 0-F. Generally, the device that IT uses to backup your network drives is used to back these folders up. SOLIDWORKS does not provide a tool to schedule a backup of these.

Conclusion and final notes

That’s it! Now your vault is appropriately backed up. I have a few final notes for you. Please make sure to do your backups at similar times; this means don’t do your SQL on Friday and your Archives on Saturday. The same day, similar times. Also, please make sure that you regularly check to ensure that the backups are occurring and work! If you do this, you will save yourself a headache if an emergency ever arises.

Need help with your SOLIDWORKS PDM Backups?

Rely on Javelin to maintain and protect your data with Javelin’s SOLIDWORKS PDM Administration Services »

Take the worry and hassle out of SOLIDWORKS Data Management maintenance and administration by adding a PDM Expert to your team. Ensure that your system is properly maintained by a qualified administrator who can be responsible for daily maintenance tasks and configuration changes. Reduce your IT overhead and free up your time to focus on projects.

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TriMech Solutions, LLC

TriMech provides thousands of engineering teams with 3D design and rapid prototyping solutions that work hand-in-hand, from sketch to manufacturing. Javelin became a subsidiary of TriMech Solutions LLC in 2021.