Software Installation Tips
Having trouble installing Solidworks or AutoCad?
Use this checklist.
Make sure you activate your installation of Windows
Why is this important?
If your installation is not genuine or if it's not activated, you won't receive system updates from Microsoft.
Go to your system's properties.
Click on the Start menu Windows button, right click on "Computer", select Properties.
Click on "Activate".
You should see a "Genuine Microsoft" logo when it's successful.
Instructions from Microsoft for Windows 7 activation.
Windows 8 activation is somewhat more complicated. Search around for instructions or try these
Make sure all security updates are installed.
Note: This is different from anti-virus updates.
Why is this important?
Sometimes system updates improving functionality are included as Security Updates.
Try these instructions from Microsoft to install system updates.
To see if you have Windows 7 Service Pack 1 do this:
Go to System Properties
Under the Windows Edition, heading, look for "Service Pack 1".
If it's not listed, then you need to install updates.
Click on Windows Update in the lower left side of the screen.
Click on "Check for Updates"
You will have to do this several times, even after you reboot.
Keep doing this until no more updates show up.
Install all optional Windows Updates
When you install optional updates, there will be some additional important security updates to install.
I normally do this when I first install an operating system.
Install the latest Microsoft .Net Framework.
In order for Solidworks and AutoCad to work, you need to have the latest Microsoft .Net Framework software installed.
This should show up in the "Optional Updates".
To check which .net version you have, open Internet Explorer and visit: http://smallestdotnet.com/
Update your video driver.
This can usually be done through Windows Update. Sometimes you need to visit the manufacture website of the video card maker and download the latest driver there.
I once ran into a problem whereby the video card driver that came with the OS conflicted with some Windows C++ libraries. Updating the video driver fixed the problems and I re-installed AutoCad.
Do not download and install at the same time.
Download first and make sure it finishes downloading without errors. After it finishes, then click on the setup.exe file to initiate installation.
Install Microsoft 2005 C++ redist
Install Microsoft 2010 C++ redist
These are usually required and are installed as prerequisites. Sometimes the installer in the download doesn't work.
Install 3rd party software for AutoCad
Search for a folder called "3rd Party".
These are prerequisites to install the software.
Sometimes they don't install correctly but in order to troubleshoot, try installing each one to see if one of them fails. This might give you an indication why your installation is failing.
Install the latest DirectX driver from Microsoft.
As of this writing it was version 11.
Usually you can get the updates using Windows Update, but this link has downloads.
Completely uninstall software and all related components.
If AutoCad or Solidworks fails after several attempts and following all of the above, try the following:
Uninstall everything that might have been included such as viewers.
Look in "Uninstall Software" on Windows uninstall anything with Solidworks or AutoCad in the name.
Look in the system registry for anything related to AutoCad or Solidworks and delete those entries.
If you don't know what I mean by this, then it's probably a good idea to skip this step.
Otherwise, go to start - run, type in regedit. Search for AutoCad and Solidworks.
Use CCleaner to clean-up the registry if you do not want to use Regedit.
Check your windows firewall and check your anti-virus software
The most common problem is your Windows firewall or AV software is blocking something
Don't give up.
It once took me 3-4 days of troubleshooting to finally install AutoCad with success.
Search google and forums to get ideas.
If you finally decide to give up, give me a ring or send me a message. I'll try to bail you out. But I might get angry if you don't attempt some troubleshooting on your own. So please try to figure it out on your own first, then call me when you're out of ideas.