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Licensing and Installation

23 Posts authored by: andrew_audova

VX releases (for example: PADS VX.1.1) set very few environment variables as compared to pre-VX releases (PADS 9.5 and earlier). The only environment variables that get set are the MGLS_LICENSE_FILE and WDIR_<release>. For more details refer to Tip of the Week: Setting the WDIR in VX releases.

As a result of this change, any script that depends on the SDD_HOME (or similar) environment variable should use the 'mglaunch.exe' wrapper program to launch under the new Mentor command shell (SDD_HOME is available in this environment). Another alternative is to alter the paths in the script to no longer depend on the variable (i.e. use full paths).

Sample command using 'mglaunch.exe' (%SDD_HOME% path will resolve):

mglaunch.exe "C:\scripts\myMentorScript.bat"

Now that VX releases can run side-by-side, it can be tricky to determine the active/current release. For example, if you double-click a .pcb which version of Xpedition or PADS Layout will it launch in?


Further below are a couple of different scripts that can be used to report the currently configured SDD release (see sample screenshot below).



Script Option #1:


This script determines the current release based on the "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\<executable>\eProductDesigner" registry string.


Instructions: Copy the lines further below into a file that end with ".bat", and double-click to run.


BEGIN script contents (copy content BELOW this line):


echo off


set DXKEY="HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\viewdraw.exe" /v eProductDesigner

set EXPKEY="HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\ExpeditionPCB.exe" /v eProductDesigner

set PADSKEY="HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\powerpcb.exe" /v eProductDesigner

set PADSPROKEY="HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\ExpeditionPE.exe" /v eProductDesigner




  for /f "skip=2 tokens=1,2,3" %%A in ('reg query %DXKEY%') do msg * "Currently configured release is %%C"

  goto end





  for /f "skip=2 tokens=1,2,3" %%A in ('reg query %EXPKEY%') do msg * "Currently configured release is %%C"

  goto end





  for /f "skip=2 tokens=1,2,3" %%A in ('reg query %PADSKEY%') do msg * "Currently configured release is %%C"

  goto end






  for /f "skip=2 tokens=1,2,3" %%A in ('reg query %PADSPROKEY%') do msg * "Currently configured release is %%C"

  goto end


msg * "No current SDD configuration found!"




END script contents (copy content ABOVE this line)



Script Option #2:


This script determines the current release based on the file association for .pcb (can be configured for other file extensions on the "set extension=" line in the script).


Note: This script assumes the target install folder is one level deep, for example: 'C:\MentorGraphics'. If you've installed 2 or more levels deep, for example: 'C:\Program Files\MentorGraphics', simply increment the "E" in "%%E" near the end of the last line in the script, one letter for each additional level. For example: %%E for one-level deep (C:\MentorGraphics), %%F for 2 levels deep (C:\Program Files\MentorGraphics), and so on...


Instructions: Copy the lines further below into a file that end with ".bat", and double-click to run.


BEGIN script contents (copy content BELOW this line):


echo off

:### set the extension type to check for. Some examples:

:  .pcb for Xpedition or PADS Layout.

:  .prj for xDX Designer.

:  .sch for PADS Logic


set extension=.pcb


for /f "tokens=1,2 delims==" %%A in ('assoc %extension%') do for /f "tokens=1-6 delims=\" %%C in ('ftype %%B') do msg * "Currently configured release is %%E"


END script contents (copy content ABOVE this line)

One of the benefits of "VX" releases is they can run side-by-side. This means there is no longer a requirement to "switch" releases like there was with PADS 9.5 and earlier. Both PADS VX.0 and PADS VX.1 releases can co-exist in the Start Menu*, and you can even run programs from both versions at the same time!


The only time you might want to run the Release Switcher is to:

  • Set the "active" release for the purpose of file associations (for Ex: when you double-click a .pcb which release of PADS Layout does it open), and
  • Do what the Configurator used to do at pre-VX releases - reregister DLLs, define WDIR, recreate Start Menu shortcuts, and run other similar tasks in the event of an application crash or other unexpected behavior.

For more details on the 'Release Switcher' refer to TechNote MG586150 on SupportNet.


* Start Menu locations for PADS VX.0 and PADS VX.1:



     Start Menu > Mentor Graphics PCB > PADS VX.0 (32-bit)



     Start Menu > PADS VX.1 (32-bit)

The Server Services tab in Mentor License Utility v3.0, provides quick access to almost every corner of your Mentor Graphics (mgcld daemon) license manager service.


  • Lmgrd.exe/Mgcld.exe version, TCP port and process ID info.
  • Open license, log and Options files
  • Restart service, reread, lmstat, lmdiag and other functions.


For more details, refer to page 35 in the MLU Users Manual (attached).


To download a copy of the Mentor License Utility v3.0 from SupportNet, click here.



If you are tracking and maintaining licenses for multiple license servers and/or users, remembering which server or user has which HostID can be a challenge. The Mentor License Utility (MLU) provides a facility to create an ‘Alias’ for any given HostID.


Once the HostID alias has been created, any licenses that are downloaded or separated for the HostID using MLU, will be copied into a separate “By_Alias” folder, and the name of the license file will be the alias name. In addition, any time the HostID is referenced in the license file, or in any ‘install license’ dialogs, the alias name will appear in parenthesis next to the HostID.


For some examples of where you will see the alias name for a HostID, and to learn how to create a HostID Alias, refer to pages 69-75 in the MLU Users Manual (attached).


To download a copy of the Mentor License Utility v3.0 from SupportNet, click here.

The Configurator has been discontinued in all VX releases, replaced by the 'Registrator' and 'Release Switcher' programs. Here are the main points to know about on the topic of switching between PCB VX releases (for example: EE VX.1 and PADS VX.0):

  • The 'Release Switcher' is available in the Start Menu at the following location:
    • Mentor Graphics PCB Admin Utilities > The MGC PCB Release Switcher
  • VX releases support "side-by-side" registration, which means you no longer need to switch between releases like you did with the Configurator, for pre-VX versions.
    • There are a couple of exceptions when running the 'Release Switcher' is required, in order to define which VX release is the "active" release:
      • Automation
      • File Associations (for ex: double-clicking a .pcb to open Xpedition and the design in one action)
  • When you first run the 'Release Switcher', it may not know about all of the releases on your system, especially if they are in different install targets. The 'Release Switcher' learns, and in turn populates the list, as you 'Browse' to different releases.
  • In the 'Release Switcher, when browsing for the 'Release', navigate to the product root folder that is under the installation target.
    • Example target locations for releases installed to the default and recommended 'C:\MentorGraphics' target:
      • C:\MentorGraphics\7.9.5EE
      • C:\MentorGraphics\EEVX.1.1
      • C:\MentorGraphics\PADSVX.1
  • Do not attempt to use the 'Configurator' to configure a VX release, or to switch releases.
  • Use the 'Release Switcher' to switch releases, even pre-VX releases (for example, EE 7.9.5 or PADS 9.5).
    • Also works for releases in completely different root target locations (with the Configurator you had to run "Configurator -clean" every time you switched).
  • The Release Switcher is essentially a 'wrapper' program. It sub-invokes the 'Registrator' for any VX releases, and the 'Configurator' for pre-VX releases.

If you ever need to figure out what the command line is for a sub-invoked or child process, here are some tips:


1). Enable the "Command Line" column in Task Manager


This is a simple and effective way to grab the command line if, A) you know the process name you're looking for, and B) the process sticks around long enough for you to capture the command line info. Unfortunately, no Copy and Paste is available, and the parent->child hierarchy is not shown.



2). Process Explorer - A great freeware tool from Microsoft. It's Task Manager on steroids!


Process Explorer includes a command line field similar to Task Manager, but adds the process hierarchy so you can quickly identify a parent process and one or more of its children. Right-click (or double-click) on the desired process and select "Properties", and the command line information (can be copied!) is available from the "Image" tab.


One drawback with Process Explorer, is when a sub-invoked (child) process only runs for a short while. If you're not quick enough you won't be able to grab the process info! For these cases consider Process Monitor (#3 below).



3). Process Monitor - Another great freeware tool from Microsoft. It's Process Explorer plus a whole lot more!


Process Monitor is a utility that logs process, file system, registry, and network activity. It's not for the faint of heart, but can be extremely useful in troubleshooting very difficult application problems or crashes. When it comes to capturing the command line of a sub-invoked process, it's a champ! Not only can you capture the process hierarchy, but since it's a logging tool you can grab (and copy) the command line info even if the process runs for only a split-second.


Follow the screen-shots with directions below:



After clicking the "Show Process Tree" icon:


The first time the Registrator runs (during the VX install) it prompts for the local WDIR folder location, and the value entered is stored into the WDIR_<product_root> environment variable. For example, PADS VX product root is "PADSVX.1.1" and therefore the variable name is WDIR_PADSVX_1_1 (replace periods/full-stops with underscores). The value of this variable becomes the "WDIR" once the applications launch (see TechNote MG586180 on SupportNet for more details).

When the Registrator next runs (launched from the Start Menu or via the Release Switcher) the WDIR prompt is populated based on the WDIR_<product name> environment variable. If you change the value, the variable is updated. Do NOT attempt to update the WDIR environment variable in the system area, as it will be over-written by the WDIR_<product_root> environment variable (e.g. WDIR_PADSVX_1 for PADS VX.1) as soon as the application launches.

While you can edit the WDIR_<product_root> environment variable in the system area , the recommended way to change the WDIR is to run the Release Switcher or Registrator.

Refer to the screen-shot below to see the relationship between the WDIR_<product root> variable and the WDIR prompt in the Registrator.



Related TechNotes:


Setting (and silencing) the WDIR variable (on SupportNet)

VX installation did not set environment variables, is this expected?

What's new in Mentor License Utility (MLU) v3.0?

MLU version 3.0 (BETA) introduces many new and exciting functions. To name just a few:

  • Install licenses directly from SupportNet
    • From within the main MLU program but also from a new system tray applet!
    • Schedule a new license check (automated, runs in the system tray) for every 1, 3, 6, or 12 months!
    • See further below for screen-shot and demos
  • New "Server Services" tab for quick access to license manager info (mgcld daemon only)
  • New "Install Licenses" tab for quick access to license install and downloads


See further below for sample screen-shots.


For download and more details (including videos) refer to the following TechNote on SupportNet:



Install Licenses (main) tab:



Install licenses from SupportNet:



Server Services tab:



Client Environment tab (was the default display in MLU v2.x):



MLU Updater (system tray applet):



New licenses on SupportNet have been found and are ready for installation:


Now that PADS VX.0 is available for download on SupportNet, here are some key links to determine if your license file will run the release, and what else you need to know to get up and running successfully:


Which PADS Flow release am I entitled to use?


Download the latest copy of your site's license file (on SupportNet)


PADS VX.0: Learn more about licensing and infrastructure changes (on SupportNet)


PADS Installation and Licensing FAQ  (on SupportNet)

With the PADS VX release just around the corner, now is the time to download your most current license file from SupportNet, to check and make sure it will support the new release:


SupportNet license file download page


Which PADS Flow release am I entitled to use?


If your support contract has lapsed and you would like to run the PADS VX release once available, please contact your local Mentor or Distributor sales office to find out how to get back on support.



If you're looking for information on any of the following PADS Flow installation and licensing topics, click on over to the PADS Install and Licensing page!


  • Important licensing changes in the latest release
  • How to install the PADS Flow software
  • Best practices for the installation
  • Installation and licensing changes and transitions
  • Configuring licensing (for the PADS user and the license server administrator)
  • Common PADS licensing problems



If you're navigating from the main 'Licensing and Installation' page....


For those of you who are new to Linux, or maybe looking to add some new commands to your system admin toolbox, check out the following article from our friends at, filled with examples and more!


50 Most Frequently Used UNIX/Linux Commands (With Examples)


In the event that you run into a fatal application error (not licensing) with your SDD application on Windows, here are some tips and tricks on how to try and fix it:


First run the Configurator:


Run the following command (adjust the 'C:\MentorGraphics' path if you installed to a non-default location):





If that doesn't resolve the problem, add a '-clean' to the procedure:


Run commands:


C:\MentorGraphics\win32\configurator.exe -clean




Next stop (if fatal error persists), Configurator '-clean' and reinstall the Microsoft C/C++ VS Redistributable:


Run commands:


C:\MentorGraphics\win32\configurator.exe -clean


C:\MentorGraphics\win32\vcredist_x86.exe (select the option to 'Uninstall')


(Reboot if prompted)


C:\MentorGraphics\win32\vcredist_x86.exe (to install)





If the problem persists, other things to try:


- Check to make sure there are no old/invalid paths in the user or system-defined PATH environment variable. For example, paths to SDD releases other than the current release.


- Create a new WDIR folder, and change the first entry in the WDIR environment variable to the new location.



I hope that helps. If not, best to open a new Service Request on SupportNet.


Have a safe and great New Year everyone!




A few weeks ago we showed you a handy shortcut to quickly access the environment variables on your machine:


Tip of the Week: Directly Access Environment Variables With a Shortcut.


This week we'll explore a related topic of how to change the environment for a single program session on Windows, via a simple batch script.


Two examples of why you might want to tailor the environment for a single session, each followed by a sample two-line script:


Example #1:

You want to change the MGLS_LICENSE_FILE to point to a different license server (1717@MyDxDserver) when you launch only DxDesigner, and have all your other Mentor applications use the current value that is stored in the environment variable.

Batch script example (make sure the file ends in ".bat" otherwise it won't execute when you run it):


set MGLS_LICENSE_FILE=1717@MyDxDserver
start C:\MentorGraphics\9.5PADS\SDD_HOME\wv\win32\bin\viewdraw.exe


When you double-click on the .bat (batch) file the MGLS_LICENSE_FILE environment variable gets changed to 1717@MyDxDserver but ONLY for DxDesigner. No other applications are affected by this change.



- The "start" keyword means the DOS window goes away as soon as the application appears. You can remove the keyword but then the prompt stays up until you close the application.
- To get the path to "viewdraw.exe" you can right click on the DxDesigner shortcut and copy and paste the "target" field.
- If you want the script to work regardless of which version you are configured for, you can reference the %SDD_HOME% environment variable instead of using an absolute path. In this case you would substitute the second line with "start  %SDD_HOME%\wv\win32\bin\viewdraw.exe". In the 2nd example below we use the %SDD_HOME%.


Example #2:

You're running into a DLL conflict between DxDesigner and an application from another software vendor. You want to reduce the PATH variable used by DxDesigner to only the system values plus the required Mentor Graphics folders, while keeping the PATH value the same for all other applications.


Batch script example (make sure the file ends in ".bat" otherwise it won't execute when you run it):


set PATH=%SDD_HOME%\common\win32\bin;%SDD_HOME%\common\win32\lib;%SystemRoot%\system32;%SystemRoot%;%SystemRoot%\System32\Wbem;%MGC_HOME%/bin;%MGC_HOME%/lib

start %SDD_HOME%\wv\win32\bin\viewdraw.exe