Best practices for a successful PADS Flow installation

Document created by andrew_audova on Jan 5, 2012Last modified by andrew_audova on Feb 28, 2012
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Following is a list of best practices for a successful PADS Flow installation.

If you are looking for help with the complete PADS Flow installation process, refer to the Managing Mentor Graphics Systems Software manual, in the release_documents folder in the download

Licensing setup

The PADS Flow installation automatically selects products to install based on which license(s) are detected (if any). The licensing configuration can be run during the early stages of the installation, but the flow is a little different depending on the version:

  • PADS9.3 and newer:
    • The installation will inform you whether or not licensing needs to be configured, and if it does will guide you through the process (including the installation of hardware key drivers if applicable).

  • PADS9.2.1 and older:
    • Every installation takes you through the licensing configuration, which may be redundant. To understand whether or not you really need to configure licensing:  
      • If you get to the product selection dialog and no products are selected (nor are there any key icons next to products), that's an indication that the licensing needs to be configured.
    • Note: The hardware key drivers can be installed from the main menu (autorun.exe) by clicking the FLEXid Drivers link

  • For more details on configuring licensing in the PADS Flow installation, watch a demo (WMV format) or the other documents in the Licensing and Installation area.


Permission requirements

  • The PADS Flow software must be installed by a user with administrator permissions.

    • If you don't have administrator permissions, consult your local I.T. or help desk to have a user with administrator permissions perform the installation.


  • If you will run the PADS Flow software without administrator permissions:

    • Before the installation: Have the administrator set the SDD_USELOCALENV = USER system variable/value.
      • The SDD_USELOCALENV variable allows users without administrator permissions to run both the PADS applications and the Configurator (to switch between versions).
    • After the installation:
      • A user with administrator permissions must add write permissions for users on both the C:\PADS Projects (or equivalent) and C:\MentorGraphics directories.
      • Each individual user will need to login and run the Configurator before they will be able to launch PADS.
        • Start Menu > Mentor Graphics SDD > MGC SDD Configurator

Installation (target) location

  • Install all PADS Flow releases to the same target location

    • A common location also makes the installing of update (patch) releases much easier - you always install to the exact same location, regardless of base or update release.
    • C:\MentorGraphics is both the default and the recommended location.
    • A common installation location enables the use of the Configurator to switch between versions                                                                                                              
      • Start Menu > Mentor Graphics SDD > MGC SDD Configurator
    • For insight into problems that can arise as a result of installing to different target locations, refer to Script error and incorrect WDIR after installing a new release or switching releases with the Configurator

  • Avoid target locations with spaces or special characters

    • For example: C:\Program Files or C:\Program Files(x86).
    • While these may be default locations for Windows programs in  general, from time to time they cause PADS Flow pre or post installation  scripts to fail.


Installing update (patch) releases

  • Update releases are incremental, and require that the base installation has already been installed to the target installation location.

    • For Example: PADS9.3.1 Update 2 is an update to the full (base) release PADS9.3.1.
    • Update releases will always have "Update" in the release name. For example PADS 9.3.1 Update 2.
    • You only need to install the most recent Update release. For example: Update 3 also contains all the functionality delivered with the Update releases 1 and 2.
    • Always install Update releases to the same target location as the full (base) release. Recommended location: C:\MentorGraphics


Installation order

  • When installing multiple PADS Flow releases

    • Always install the full (base) release before any update releases.

    • Install releases from oldest to newest.


Other versions of PADS on the machine

  • Is it necessary to remove older versions of PADS before installing a newer version?

    • For production versions of PADS, this is not a requirement.

      • You can maintain multiple versions of PADS Flow software on your machine (PADS2005 SPac2 and above), and use the Configurator to switch between versions.

        • Exception for Beta versions - Always uninstall the older Beta version (if applicable) before installing the newer one.

        • Refer to the Installation (target) location section above for more details on maintaining multiple versions.
        • Configurator shortcut location: Start Menu > Mentor Graphics SDD > MGC SDD Configurator
    • If you want to maintain only one version of PADS on your machine at a time:

      • Order is not important. You can either:

        • Uninstall older version(s) before installing the newer version. Or,

        • Wait to uninstall older version(s) until after you have installed and configured the newer version of PADS.

Batch installations

  • For details on how to perform a batch installation in the PADS Flow, refer to the "Performing a Batch Installation" chapter in the Managing Mentor Graphics Systems Software manual.

    • If creating a batch script for users running PADS on  Windows 7 (or Vista) machines with User Account Control (UAC) enabled:                                                                                                                            
      • To avoid problems with the EULA showing up when it shouldn't, or  multiple UAC prompts, consider a wrapper VBscript which first elevates  the UAC and then runs the batch script.
      • Refer to the sample VBscript in PADS Flow installation is very slow to start for a suitable wrapper script.


Speeding up the install (or uninstall)

  • If the first installation (or UAC) prompt is very slow to appear:

    • Starting with PADS9.3 the PADS Flow installation is a single (bundle) executable, ~1.5GB in size. This can result in a longer than expected delay between the double-clicking of the installation executable, and the first dialog appearing, as the installation files have to be unpacked. Tips to reduce the delay:
      • Make sure you have unzipped the download (.zip) file, and are running the installation executable from the unzipped directory location (not from within the zip file itself).
      • Run the installation executable from, and install to, a directory location that resides on a local hard disk.
      • For Windows 7 and Vista users with the User Account Control (UAC) turned on:                                             
  • If the installation is slow in general:

    • Make sure you're only selecting the products that you have licenses for.                                                                      
      • Refer to the above Licensing Setup section for more details.
    • Consider closing any unnecessary applications while the installation is running. Or, reboot your machine before running the installation.