Moving the SOLIDWORKS PDM Archive Server Yourself? Start Here

Article by Francisco Guzman on Oct 19, 2019

Moving the SOLIDWORKS PDM archive server yourself? The first thing to do is to read through and understand the server move process documented in the official SOLIDWORKS PDM Installation guide. It is highly recommended to do this before the server move. Should you come up with questions after reading the installation guide, please contact us before you move any SOLIDWORKS PDM server component.

In the SOLIDWORKS PDM 2019 Installation Guide, search for "Moving Server Components to Another System". Note: You can change the year number of the link in your web browser to view the year you're interested in.

Important items before you get started

  1. Check system requirements and ensure that the infrastructure is appropriate for the move.
    2. Virtual Machines
  2. Regarding how to perform the archive server move, read, and understand the process in the guide above. The guide is your best friend – but don’t hesitate to call us if you need clarification on what you need to do.
  3. Perform a backup of your PDM system before making any changes.
  4. Copy archives to the new archive server drive before you have booked to move it. Then copy the delta on the day of. This helps minimize downtime.
    1. If you choose to use Windows “Copy and Paste” or if you like to use a different tool such as Robocopy or FastCopy, that will be your prerogative. Just ensure that file integrity is not compromised during the copy. Even better, if you can also attain a log of the copy performed from the tool you would use, it can be useful. Especially if you would have to troubleshoot an issue.
    2. If you have virtual machines and can simply detach and reattach the drive to the new machine, just ensure that read/write rights are set correctly in the new server machine.
  5. Is the new archive server going to be named the same?
    1. If so, great! No need to make changes for your users or database tables. Just ensure that DNS resolves the name of your archive server to the correct IP address. Some client’s DNS cache may be old and would need that refreshed with a restart. Also, please be sure to disconnect the old server machine to avoid server name conflicts.
    2. If you are not keeping the name of the server machine the same:
      1. Do not forget to update the registry keys of your client machines.
      2. Do not forget to update the “Archive Servers” SQL table.
      3. If this is the main archive server, do not forget to update the “SystemInfo” SQL table.
      4. Also, do not forget to update the “Source Server Address” in the replication settings.
      5. The above are in the guide. Items “i” through “iv” listed here should not be news to you if you have read the guide. If it is, stop and call us. Let’s clear things up.
  6. Using active directory? Ensure that you have added the AD group for EPDM users to your new archive server settings. The instructions are in the guide, search for “Active Directory”.
  7. Stop the old “SOLIDWORKS PDM Archive Server Service” in the old server machine.
  8. After the server move is done, check that everything works.
    1. Create a vault view on the new archive server. Log in. See green folders? Great!
    2. Add a file, can you check it in? Great!
    3. If this is a replicated environment, log into a client that is part of another archive server. Can you get the latest version of the file you added? Great! Replication works.
    4. If a-b failed or you have other issues, call us.
  9. Test #7 from a client that is part of the new archive server.

Now, let’s talk about something…

Thinking of creating a new replicated server, replicating the files, then decommissioning the old archive server? We do not recommend this method for a server move. It is true that it is useful if you wish to minimize downtime – and this process can work well if done right. However, the original documented process outlined above can also be relatively quick. If you are still thinking of taking this route, here some of the many pitfalls of this process that you should be aware of.

  1. This process is nowhere outlined in the guide. As far as official steps go, you will be on your own.
  2. Deleted files that were deleted by deleting the folder where they were contained, will never be replicated. You may need to read the last sentence again. This means you may be waiting in vain if wondering why the last 10% or so of files are not replicating. Please restore or destroy such deleted files prior to replication.
  3. If you have chosen to only replicate certain files in the replication settings of replicated archive servers, you may cause archives to be missing forever when decommissioning the old server.
  4. Is the archive server you are moving the main archive server? Be extra cautions decommissioning of the old main server. You may find yourself in a disaster recovery scenario. Deleting the main replicated vault removes the vault altogether!

Also, don’t forget that you can hire one of our PDM Services Experts to do this for you. Send us an email to if you would like us to connect you with our services team.

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About Francisco Guzman

Francisco Guzman is the PDM Technical Support Lead at GoEngineer, and is pursuing his degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Utah. In addition to providing guidance and support to SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS PDM customers, Francisco also provides support for DriveWorks design automation. He won the world-wide DriveWorks reseller CPD contest as the best DriveWorks AE for 2015. For fun, he designs, 3D-Prints, builds and races custom first-person-view (FPV) racing drone frames.

View all posts by Francisco Guzman


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