It’s always exciting to install a new version of SOLIDWORKS and start diving into the new features and exploring new functionality. Rarely, though, is an upgrade completely without surprises.
Many upgrade issues can be directly attributed to incorrect File Location paths. For instance, the path to your Design Library may be “C:\ProgramData\SolidWorks\SolidWorks 2014\Design Library”, but in reality, you’d like to start using the new 2015 Design Library located at “C:\ProgramData\SolidWorks\SolidWorks 2015\Design Library”. An example of an incorrect Design Library file path is shown in the following image (the image was captured from an installation of SOLIDWORKS 2015).
You may think SOLIDWORKS should update all of your paths automatically, and the fact that it does not may seem like a “bug”. However, many paths are left as is on purpose. Why? Because you may very well have custom templates (or materials, weldment profiles, or any other number of items) that you would like to continue using.
The paths can easily be changed by clicking the Tools menu > Options, and selecting the File Locations category. Granted, changing one or two paths is not bad, but there are currently over 40 paths listed in File Locations. Thankfully, there is a much easier way to ensure most of your paths are updated to the proper version folders. It involves the Copy Settings Wizard, found in the SOLIDWORKS Tools folder in the SOLIDWORKS program listing (via the Windows Start button). A portion of the Copy Settings Wizard is shown below.
Use your Copy Settings Wizard to save out your current settings, then open the file using Notepad. Use the Replace command to search for the string “C:\\ProgramData\\SolidWorks\\SolidWorks 2014″ (minus the quotes), and have it replace that string with “C:\\ProgramData\\SolidWorks\\SolidWorks 2015″. It’s important that you don’t search for the year by itself, as there are other paths that may need the year left as is. The double backslashes are important, because that is how paths are written in the registry. The Replace command should start finding strings of text, an example of which is shown in the following image.
There may be other paths that need replacing too. For instance, it is common to have multiple installation folders if a complete uninstall is not performed first. Check your Program Files folder to see if you have multiple occurrences of the SolidWorks Corp folder. If you see SolidWorks Corp and SolidWorks Corp(2), chances are SolidWorks Corp(2) is the most recent installation folder. If some of your File Location paths are still pointing to SolidWorks Corp, use Replace to make them point to SolidWorks Corp(2). Please note that your installation paths (and file paths in general) may differ slightly from those displayed in this article.
Once you are done editing the file, save it with a different name. For instance, if you originally saved the file as MySettings-2015Original.sldreg, save your modified version as MySettings-2015Modified.sldreg. That way, if something goes wrong, you can fall back on your original settings. Speaking of which, you will need to use the Copy Settings Wizard to read your newly modified settings file back into the registry. The actual steps for writing (and subsequently reading) the .sldreg file out of (and into) the registry using the Copy Settings Wizard have not been expanded on in this article. The steps should be self-evident once you open the wizard.
An important note: if you do have a SolidWorks Corp(2) folder, consider performing a complete uninstall of SOLIDWORKS, deleting the folders, then reinstalling. During the uninstall operation, there is an option for performing advanced uninstall functions, such as deleting folders and registry settings. Secondly, while installing SOLIDWORKS, consider appending the release year to the installation folder. In other words, if installing SOLIDWORKS 2015, change the install folder from C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp, to C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp 2015. In this way, you will always know what version an installation folder is for, even when running multiple versions simultaneously.