Upgrading SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard

Article by GoEngineer on May 31, 2018

To upgrade SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard to a newer version there are 4 steps that will need to be followed:

  • Upgrade the SOLIDWORKS PDM server installation
  • Upgrade the SolidNetWork License (SNL) Manager
  • Upgrade the database to the new version
  • Upgrade the SOLIDWORKS PDM clients

Before Starting the Upgrade

  • Check-in all files and verify no users are working in the vault. Have each user log-off the vault (right-click SOLIDWORKS PDM icon on the right side of the task bar and choose “log off.”)
  • Back up. Back up the following before upgrading: SQL Server, file vault databases, Archive server settings, and a complete back up of the file vault archives; refer to the Installation Guide: SOLIDWORKS PDM, ‘Backing up and Restoring File Vaults’.
  • Confirm the installation media files are available either as a DVD or a full download. The installation data set can be downloaded from:
  • Make sure to use 7-zip to extract the files:
  • Have access to the sa password, the server name, and the vault’s admin password.
  • Temporarily disable anything that might hinder a proper installation: User Account Control (UAC), Antivirus, Window’s Smart Screen Filter, etc… Your IT department will need to be involved in order to better understand how to disable these.

During the Upgrade

Upgrading the Solid Network License (SNL) Manager and PDM Server

If the SNL Manager is located on the same server as the SOLIDWORKS PDM server installation these may upgraded simultaneously; otherwise, each will need to upgrade each separately. If this is the case, upgrade the SNL manager first, and then proceed to upgrade the SOLIDWORKS PDM server.

Locate the installation media files (either extracted files or in DVD). In order to access the installation manager, launch ‘setup.exe’ found at the root folder in the installation media. Under ‘Server products’, select SOLIDWORKS PDM Server and Solid Network License Manager (if upgrading them both simultaneously) and press next.


The Installation Manager will check the serial numbers in most cases preloading the existing serial number(s) and move through the Serial Number step automatically. It will also perform a system check and move onto the Summary Screen.


Before Installing, verify the features that need to be upgraded are checked. Change these features by selecting ‘change’.

  1. Make sure to select the right Server Product: in this case: Standard.
  2. For most installations the Archive Server and the Database Server are on the same physical machine, however this is not required.
  3. Confirm the listed SQL server name is correct and enter the sa password.
    Note: Make sure to select ‘Use an existing SQL Server Express database’ (as shown below).

Select ‘Back to Summary’ to continue with the installation. In the summary window, accept the terms and conditions and click ‘Install’. The manager will finish the installation.

Upgrade the Database

After upgrading the SOLIDWORKS PDM Server the vault databases will still need to be upgraded using the Upgrade wizard application. To launch it, browse to the installation media folder and locate the <Installation Media Root folder>\SWPDMServer\Upgrade subfolder. Right-click on ‘Upgrade.exe’ and choose ‘Run as Administrator’.

  1. Upon launching the dialog window of the Upgrade Wizard setup, a new window will appear with a list of steps that should have been completed before upgrading. Verify the steps listed have been completed and select ‘Next’ to continue.
  2. Select from the drop down or type in the name of the SQL server (e.g. <server name>\<instance name>) and select ‘Next’ to continue.
  3. Accept the license agreement.
  4. Enter the password for the SQL sa account and click ‘Log In’.
  5. Select the check boxes for all vaults that need to be upgraded, and click ‘Next’.
At this point there is still an opportunity to go back and make any necessary changes; to continue choose ‘Next’ a second time and the upgrade process will begin.
  1. When the process is over, a confirmation (or failed notification) for each vault upgraded successfully will appear. Click ‘Finish’ to exit.

Upgrade SOLIDWORKS PDM Clients

  1. Using the installation media files (either extracted files or in DVD), launch ‘exe’ located at the root folder in the installation media to access the installation manager.
  2. After selecting ‘Individual (on this computer)’, click ‘next’.
  3. In the ‘Summary’ screen, under ‘Products’, select ‘Change’.
  1. In the ‘Product Selection’ screen, select both the ‘SOLIDWORSK PDM Client’ checkbox and ‘eDrawings’ and select ‘Back to Summary’.
  1. Back in the ‘Summary’ screen, open the SOLIDWORKS PDM Options by selecting ‘change’.

Select ‘SOLIDWORKS PDM standard’ from the ‘Select Your PDM Product’ section and choose the Client type from under the ‘Select your PDM Client Type’ section. Proceed to finalize the installation.

At this point SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard will be upgraded and ready to use.

About GoEngineer

GoEngineer delivers software, technology and expertise that enable companies to unlock design innovation and deliver better products faster. With more than 35 years' experience and tens of thousands of customers in high tech, medical, machine design, energy and other industries, GoEngineer provides best-in-class design solutions from SOLIDWORKS CAD, Stratasys 3D printing, Creaform & Artec 3D scanning, CAMWorks, PLM, Altair, and more

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