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What do you do when Explorer crashes?  No matter what you do, it won't respond to mouse clicks, the windows white out and all you get is the spinning circle.  Other applications are still working, it is only Windows itself that has failed.  Restarting your computer is the simple answer, but what if you've got something critical running?  The answer is to restart Windows without restarting your PC.


1) Save what work you can and quit what you don't need in case this trick doesn't work.

2) Invoke Task Manager by either using CTRL-ALT-DEL or right-clicking on the task bar and choosing Task Manager from the menu.

3) From the Task Manager window, click on the Processes tab and find explorer.exe (NOT iexplore.exe) in the list of processes. Highlight it and click End Process.

4) After killing the explorer.exe process, click on the Applications tab and then click on the New Task... button.

5) In the Create New Task button, type in C:\Windows\explorer.exe. Click on the browse button to make sure you're pointing to the right file. Then click Open and then OK.


Windows Explorer should now reload and give you control of your computer back. If it doesn't work, that means you probably cannot get around restarting your computer.


Even if this does regain control of your PC, reboot as soon as it is convenient as there could be underlying problems.

What does this license error message mean?


There are two messages which regularly we get asked to explain.  They are similar, but refer to different areas of licensing, and have different solutions.



FLEXlm version of the vendor daemon is too old


This means that the tool you are trying to run requires a newer version of software on your license server.


You can check which version you are running with the command "lmutil lmstat".  It should show v11.11 for BOTH lmgrd and mgcld.


If the version you are running is not the latest (v11.11), then update it using the instructions in technote mg66951.



License server does not support this version of this feature


This means that your license file does not include the correct version of license to run this version of the tool.


The version number appears as the 4th entry on each INCREMENT line in your license file:


     INCREMENT wgascentl2 mgcld <version> <expiry_date>


For example the license below has the version 2014.120:


     INCREMENT wgascentl2 mgcld 2014.120 31-mar-2015 ...


If you have a current support contract, ensure that you are using the latest license file available from Supportnet.  This should have a license with a newer version number.


If you do not have a support contract, you will be restricted to older versions of software.  For example, a license with version 2012.120 will only enable you to use software released in 2012 and earlier.  To use later versions, please contact Mentor Graphics Support.

With the vacation season approaching fast, can I recommend some interesting articles on Mentor's blog pages.


Alternatively, you could take a look while waiting for software to load (as this is the Licensing / Installation community!)


The range of topics never ceases to amaze me. Recent topics have included:


  • Turning on a red signal - which is normal practice in USA, but illegal in the UK.
  • Internet connected ECG monitors - probably required by any passengers in a car making an illegal turn.
  • Wireless recharging of electric busses - safer for everyone on the road.
  • How to heat your home office for 8p (14 cents) a day - if it is too dangerous to go out.


Take a look at   I'm sure there will be something that will interest you.

Licenses have both an expiry date and a version number.  The expiry date is easy to read, but what about the version number?


The version number (sometimes referred to by Mentor as the “Exact Access Date”) determines which version of the product you are allowed to use.  If you have a support contract in place when a version of software is released will you be able to use it.


The version number appears as the 4th entry on an INCREMENT line in your license file:


INCREMENT msimviewer mgcld <version> <expiry_date>


For example the license below has version 2014.050:


INCREMENT msimviewer mgcld 2014.050 31-may-2015 ...


Recent releases and the relevant expiry dates are listed below.


The table also includes the version of FlexNet (license server software) which is required for the release.



Software VersionVersion NumberFlexNet version







If you cannot run the latest Questa / Modelsim because of the version number in your license file, please contact Mentor Graphics support.

The HeartBleed bug has been in the news this week, so this week’s tip is to remind users to change their Supportnet and Community passwords.


Changing your Supportnet / Community password


In Supportnet, select “Edit My Profile” in the left navigation menu (above your product list).


At the bottom of the next page, you will be able to change your password.


Changing your Community password


If you are only registered as a Community user, logout of the Community, then select “Login” and “Forgot/Change your password”.  Set your new password in the next window.

One of the first questions to ask when investigating performance issues is “Which license server is the tool looking at?”


Very often, the answer is “It’s looking at the right server, but it’s checking it a number of times for each license”.


On Windows, Mentor tools typically look for licenses in five locations:



  • MGLS_LICENSE_FILE environment variable
  • MGLS_LICENSE_FILE registry value
  • LM_LICENSE_FILE environment variable
  • LM_LICENSE_FILE registry value
  • C:\flexlm\license.dat



(On Linux / Unix only the environment variables are used.)


If your license server is listed in both the environment variables and both registry values – then the server can be checked four times for every license request!


Some tools check a number of licenses to determine what options are available, so if you do not have that license, you are getting the same “No license here” answer four times.  (If a license server is listed multiple times in an environment variable – it can be checked even more often.)



Each license server only needs to be listed once.  If a server is listed more than once, remove the duplicate entries.

The MGLS_LICENSE_FILE variable / registry value is only used by Mentor tools, whereas the LM_LICENSE_FILE settings are used by all tools that use FlexNet.  (If you only want Mentor tools to check Mentor license servers, define the Mentor license server in MGLS_LICENSE_FILE, and set MGLS_LICENSE_SEARCH=1 to stop them checking LM_LICENSE_FILE.)


How to make the changes


The Mentor Licensing Utility provides a simple method of editing your license variables.

Use it to remove any duplicate entries.  In the example below, the two highlighted entries can be removed.




Describing a problem (or a solution) is often much easier using a picture.


Windows 7 contains a screenshot tool I use almost every day.  "Snipping Tool" is now available in the Accessories program group:




In the picture above, I have highlighted what I want the reader to look at using a "red pen" before copying and pasting the picture into my document or e-mail.


How to capture a screenshot of a menu


If you want a picture of a menu (like the one above), select "New":


Then press ESC, open the menu and then press CTRL+PrtSc (Ctrl, then Print Screen).  Then drag around the area you want to capture.



Finally, if you like a challenge, how did I generate a screenshot of the Snipping Tool menu?

What is the mgc.pkginfo file?


The mgc.pkginfo file contains the cross-reference information which describes what "atomic" licenses are included in "composite" features.


When does it need to be updated?


The mgc.pkginfo file needs to be updated when product bundling changes in a new release, and you want to use the new license in an older version of software.




Let me look at a example as a way to describe this in more detail:


Last year, Expedition introduced a "dual" license which enables either Design Capture or DxDesigner to be run.  The new license is called "wgdxd_c".


This "wgdxd_c" composite contains both "wgdsncap" (for Design Capture) and "viewdraw" (for DxDesigner).  The composite license "wgdxd_c" is then checked out when either tool requests a license.


The latest release of software already knows about this new license (because the mgc.pkginfo file supplied with that release contains the information) but what about older software releases?


If you want to use the new "wgdxd_c" license with older releases of software, you will need to update your old software tree with a new version of mgc.pkginfo.


How do I update mgc.pkginfo?


Technote MG504224 contains an automated method of updating the file, and a link to the latest file along with a manual method (if you prefer that method).

I have noticed a recent increase in the number of customers asking for their latest authorization codes (licenses) - so this week's "Tip of the Week" is a reminder.


Licenses for your site are available from Supportnet via the "My Licenses" link in the left navigation bar:




If you subscribe to the SupportPro Newsletter, they are also available from the "Find It Fast" menu:




Finally, if you prefer video, there is a video on the Community site that shows you how to download your authorization codes:

I have just discovered a single Windows command which combines the functionality of ping and tracert.


The "pathping" tool tests every node along the way over a period of time, so you get more than a snapshot result.


The command is:


pathping  target_name


More information can be found at:

If you get a message such as:


error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory


how do you know what Linux package to load?


When installing the Linux operating system, there are many "optional packages" (often known as RPMs) that can be installed.  Requirements change, so a new software installation can require a file that you have not previously installed. 


How can you find out which bundle to install?


The "yum" utility has a "whatprovides" option to answer this question.


yum whatprovides <file>


So in the example above, you should use the command:


# yum whatprovides

Loaded plugins: refresh-packagekit, rhnplugin

*Note* Red Hat Network repositories are not listed below. You must run this command as root to access RHN repositories.

libXp-1.0.0-15.1.el6.i686 : X.Org X11 libXp runtime library

Repo        : installed

Matched from:

Other       : Provides-match:



You can then install the libXp-1.0.0-15.1.el6.i686 package.

I have always found the Windows %PATH% variable difficult to read.  There are normally multiple lines and the ";" separator is difficult to see.


It turns out I am not alone; yesterday a colleague sent me the following command to report the contents of that variable (or any other) from a DOS window in a simple to read format.


     echo %PATH:;=&echo.%


I predict this command will be appearing on a post-it-note near your screen very soon!

Two weeks ago, my colleague posted a tip of the week about how to combine licenses from two software vendors into one license file.  This week I will look at how to use two licenses from the same vendor - but created for different server IDs.


Background Information:


  • If you have two sets of licenses for one server, they can only be combined into one license file if the SERVER IDs are the same.
  • Only one instance of a vendor daemon (the Mentor daemon is "mgcld") can run on one machine.


This means that if you have two sets of licenses for the same daemon, but created for different IDs (for example a MacAddress and a Hardware Key) then:


  • They cannot be combined into one license file (because the server IDs are different).
  • You cannot run two servers (because only one "mgcld" can run at any time).



How to use both sets of licenses:


If your license server machine is running Windows, then by following the instructions below, you can use both sets of licenses.  Note - this will not work for other operating systems.  (The instructions below assume you already know how to set up a license server using lmtools.)


1) Create a folder to contain all the licenses, and save each license as a separate file with a .lic extension.  For example:


C:\Licenses\modelsim.lic - this file contains:


SERVER put_server_name_here 001234567890 1717

DAEMON mgcld path_to_mgcld

INCREMENT msimhdlsim mgcld 2013.120 31-dec-2013 ...


C:\Licenses\pads.lic - this file contains:


SERVER put_server_name_here FLEXID=9-87654321 1717

DAEMON mgcld path_to_mgcld

INCREMENT padses_c mgcld 2013.090 30-sep-2013 ...


2) Edit the licenses so that they contain the name of your server, and the location of the vendor daemon.  (The SERVER and DAEMON lines will be the same for each license, apart from the server ID which must not be changed.)  So in the example above:


C:\Licenses\modelsim.lic - after changes:


SERVER my_pc 001234567890 1717

DAEMON mgcld C:\MentorGraphics\Licensing\mgcld.exe

INCREMENT msimhdlsim mgcld 2013.120 31-dec-2013 ...


C:\Licenses\pads.lic - after changes:


SERVER my_pc FLEXID=9-87654321 1717

DAEMON mgcld C:\MentorGraphics\Licensing\mgcld.exe

INCREMENT padses_c mgcld 2013.090 30-sep-2013 ...


3) In the "Config Services" tab within "lmtools", in the box entitled "Path to the license file" - enter the folder name containing the licenses, instead of the path to a license file.  So in the example above:


Path to the license file = C:\Licenses


4) Check "Use Services", and "Save Service" as usual, then start the server in the "Start/Stop/Reread" tab.


Your license server should now show that both sets of licenses are available.