Troubleshooting SolidWorks Online Licensing
New to SolidWorks 2018, Online Licensing offers users the flexibility of accessing SolidWorks licenses through online MySolidWorks profiles. An administrative portal on MySolidWorks gives designated users the ability to assign seats of SolidWorks to members of their team. While this option is a huge step forward, in comparison to machine activation/deactivation using the modify install, implementation of online licensing companywide has uncovered many issues that have yet to be solved by SolidWorks upon their first release. This blog will hopefully ease a headache when running into errors, while trying to convert workstations over to online licensing for daily use. For help with using the administrative portal, switching serial numbers to online licensing, and for general procedural directions using online profiles in SolidWorks please reference the link at the end of this blog.
After following the procedure to make the switch from machine to online activation in the administrative portal on MySolidWorks, SolidWorks will require two startups before recognizing that online licensing is attached to the serial number. The first startup, after going through the standard machine activation wizard, should bring up the prompt seen in Figure 1 and the second should bring up the login screen seen in Figure 2. In this process, a bit in the SolidWorks registry is being toggled which controls the licensing type. We have run into issues where SolidWorks gets stuck on machine activation and continues to launch the activation wizard as opposed to the login screen. In this case, the SolidWorks registry will need to be manually toggled to online activation. The steps below will show how to carry out this process.
Figure 1: Serial Number Set to Online Licensing Error
Figure 2: SolidWorks Login Screen
Manually setting online licensing in the data registry
1. Launch the redgit.exe by either searching it in the search dialog (older operating systems) or using the RUN command and typing regedit in the open bar (Windows 10)
Figure 3: Run Command
2. Expand the HKEY_CURRENT_USER and continue to expand Software -> SolidWorks -> Licenses -> Online
Figure 4: Registry Editor Online Licensing
3. Double click on SOLIDWORKS to set the bit from 0 to 1. The set bits in this registry mean that online licensing is enabled for that specific program.
4. Re-open SolidWorks and verify that the login screen appears instead of the activation wizard.
When someone logs into a profile that is already being used by another station the message shown in Figure 5 should appear. This message should indicate which computer that the profile is currently being used on and provide the option to force them off.
Figure 5: In Use Profile Message
If yes is selected the other user typically has a few minutes before a message appears which prompts them to save before booting them off; however, if for some reason this message doesn’t appear and instead the error message below does (see Figure 6), then follow the below procedure to delete FLEXnet files and fix this issue.
Figure 6: License Limit Exceeded
Deleting FLEXnet files
1. Go to your C: Drive in your file explorer and select your View tab and then Options on the top right
Figure 7: C:Drive & Options
2. Navigate to the View tab in the folder options pop up and select the Show hidden file, folders, and drives bubble
Figure 8: Show Hidden Files
3. Press okay and select the hidden ProgramData folder that now appears on your C-Drive. In that folder then select the FLEXnet folder.
Figure 9: FLEXnet Data & SW_D Files
4. Remove all files that have an SW_D prefix. If any of these files fail to delete, you will need to open task manager and end any SW tasks (some may even be running in the background processes) until it lets you do so.
The logout/login process has been the most difficult to work with especially with multiple users and workstations. The process of logging out, as seen in Figure 10, has one major flaw being that it is difficult to achieve without physically being in SolidWorks. If you exit out of SolidWorks without logging out (or someone boots you off), SolidWorks automatically retains your login information upon opening (i.e. no login portal). Some issues that the profile retention can cause is, one, accidentally retaining a profile that no longer has a seat of SolidWorks, which brings up the error message seen in Figure 11, and two not wanting to boot someone off who is in the middle of a project with that profile. Before learning the procedure seen below, which walks through manually deleting the login file, we tried using both the modify install login and resetting the SolidWorks registry which both were ineffective. The solution provided is the best option to clear the current profile and bring up the login screen upon re-opening SolidWorks.
Figure 10: Logout Profile in SolidWorks
Figure 11: No License Assigned to Profile Error
Manually Deleting Retained Profile Information from SolidWorks
1. Navigate to your C:Drive and select Users -> [User Name] -> AppData -> Local ->SolidWorks -> Credentials (note: AppData is a hidden folder, go to options and the view tab as seen in the previous example to show hidden folders)
Figure 12: App Data Hidden Folder
Figure 13: UD File
2. Delete the 'ud.xml' file
3. Open SolidWorks and verify that the login screen appears; hence, the profile is no longer retained
Resource for Setting up Online Licensing
I hope this blog helps with the integration of online licensing for your company needs. We look forward to a new release from SolidWorks in hopes that some of these issues are resolved, but, for the time being, feel free to try out these troubleshooting tips.