Alignex Blog

Creating and Deploying an Admin Image: Part 1

Mike Strand on October 19, 2015 at 8:59 AM


Whenever multiple installations of SOLIDWORKS need to happen, an admin image is a good idea. It can be a huge timesaver. It evens allows you to customize which software is installed, as well as specify certain settings per group or per machine. Read on for step-by-step instructions on creating an admin image before deployment.

Step 1:  Launch the Installation Manager by running Setup.exe. Find setup.exe by downloading the latest service pack from the Customer Portal.


Step 2: Select Administrative Image. Then select create a new image using default settings.

Step 3: Enter the serial number for SOLIDWORKS. Enter any other products if equipped. Choose Next.

Step 4: Select the products to download for the image by clicking Change on the Products tab. Then read and accept the terms.

Step 5: Choose download location in the Download Options. Then Select Download and Create Image. We recommend that the final location be a shared drive that each client machine can access.


Step 6: Administrative Image Creation is Complete. Uncheck “Show me how…” unless desired and click Customize Image. Here is when we can adjust the installation settings. The option editor will open.

Note: The option editor is located in the folder where the Admin Image was created.

Step 7: Here it’s common to add groups of machines and machines within those groups with unique settings. This allows for customized deployment of certain settings (per group or machine) later on. 


Step 8: Next the options are available for adjustment. With the group highlighted click the pencil icon to access options. Choose desired products to deploy for the new group or machine.


Step 9: Select options:

  • Upgrade existing version (Choose Create a New Major Version to keep the old SOLIDWORKS version files). Use current settings OR use exported settings to maintain existing settings. (See section at end of Part 1).
  • For auto activation click New.


Step 10: Enter Admin Email Address and click OK.

Note: Choose Administration Options. Select Run the installation as a different user if users don’t have admin rights to their computers.

Disabling UAC (windows notification settings) is required for any install type.

Step 11: Uncheck any tools to remove them from the install under Software to Install.

Step 12: To find existing Toolbox click Browse and locate the SOLIDWORKS Data folder at the shared location.

*Note on Toolbox: If doing an update or upgrade this may overwrite any existing toolbox files on client computers. Consider saving a copy of individual and shared toolboxes in a new location before that. Toolbox data includes everything from pre-loaded hardware and hole sizes to customized properties and parts. Making sure this is backed-up can save a lot of headache later on. The default location for toolbox data is the root of the local disk in a folder called SOLIDWORKS Data, usually located on the client machine is Local Disk C: > SOLIDWORKS Data.


Using personalized settings: When it’s preferable to install using customized settings (rather than default), such as a custom appearance or unique toolbar settings within SOLIDWORKS – follow these steps:

*Note: If a settings.sldreg file already exists skip steps (A-D).

A) From SolidWorks Home page click settings on the main toolbar and select Save/Restore Settings.

B) When the Copy Settings Wizard opens, click Next.

C) Enter a known save location (so it can easily be found later), select desired options and click Finish.

D) Click OK to finish.

E) From the Admin Image Options Editor, select Use a settings file from Copy Wizard and click Browse to find file from steps above.

F) Browse to the previous settings.sldreg file and click Open.

After completing the options edit, the administrative image is now ready to deploy. Watch Creating and Deploying an Admin Image: Part 2 to see our step-by-step guide. If you have any questions or comments about the process, please send them to

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