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Saturday, February 11, 2012

A little more insight about installing and uninstalling Autodesk software

I've gotten a couple of tweets and blog comments about my last post regarding uninstalling software.

I got question as to why not just use the license transfer utility.
If you click start, programs, Autodesk, choose your product, then click the Portable License Utility (PLU) program, you'll actually find a neat little tool.
Here's what it does. It will take the activated serial number of your software program, then ask you to log into your Autodesk subscription account. It will then extract the serial number from your computer and store it online in your account. Thus, you have deactivated the registered and activated license on that computer, rendering it unusable or as a viewer. You then go to the new computer, install the same software and open the PLU program. It will ask you for the serial number and product code, log you into the online system and then activate the software on the new computer.

The Portable License Utility software still requires you to uninstall software (if you want) on the old computer and install it on the new computer. It's great if you want to be able to use your one license on multiple computers by easily allowing you to move your activation code/serial number around on multiple computers.

Well, what if you have Building Design Suite Premium on one computer and Revit Architecture Suite on another computer. Can you use the PLU and take the Revit Architecture license from Building Design Suite and use it to activate Revit Architecture on the other machine with Revit Architecture Suite. Of course not.

Wouldn't it be great to install Navisworks Manage on each computer, export the Building Design Suite Ultimate license and use it for Navisworks on another machine. Of course it would, but you can't do that.

Steve tweeted me a question about whether we're using Network versions of the software. Building Design Suite Ultimate is $2275 for the network activation. We only have standalone licenses in our office as everyone uses their own license full time. Even if we did have network licences, you still have to uninstall and reinstall software if you're moving computers and software.

Here's a question I've come across from my previous life. What if you have Revit Architecture Suite on 10 computers as standalone licenses and buy a network license of Building Design Suite Ultimate. Can you just install the networked version of Navisworks Manage on each computer that has the standalone software? What about if you wanted to install the standalone Revit Suite and then install the wonderful one click option of the Building Design Suite Network version. Anyone have success with this issue?

Even if you have all network licenses of your software, you still have to fully uninstall and reinstall the software if there are any changes. If you have a standalone license of a product or suite and then convert it to a network version, you again have to fully uninstall everything and reinstall it as the network version.

Lastly, to the question I got of "you know, it might be easier to keep them on there or have different ghost images to flash onto the systems." There are issues with having multiple product versions of the software on a single workstation. If you're on subscription, you can log into subscription center to request prior version usage. Having ghost images is a great idea, but if various users have different products, say Photoshop, Veo or IES GAIA, you'd still have to reinstall those products. Ghost images also don't account for service packs and Microsoft updates.

I guess this part below is if you aren't upgrading a new version and want to add a prior version to a computer. Please note that it does say "If you have your original software and serial number of your previous version, which has been kept on subscription, install software as you normally would. Note: You will be limited to the number of seats you already own." Maybe this is just if you buy Revit Architecture Suite 2012 and then get a project that requires Revit Arch 2010 and you were only using AutoCAD previously.


Previous Version: Getting Started

Autodesk Subscription customers may now use previous versions up to three releases back* from the latest product release up to the total number of licenses of the product currently under Subscription.

Eligible Product List (PDF) Previous Version licenses are available only for products listed in this document.

This is available to both stand-alone and network licenses on Subscription. To review the licenses on your subscription, please refer to yourCoverage Report.

To use a previous version, please select the license deployment that applies to you and click the Continue button.

Stand-alone license
Network license

If you have your original software and serial number of your previous version, which has been kept on subscription, install software as you normally would. Note: You will be limited to the number of seats you already own.

Use of previous versions is governed by your Subscription Terms and Conditions.

Previous Version FAQ Frequently asked questions about the Previous Version benefit for Subscription customers.

Uh, Autodesk, the Eligible Product List link refers to 2011 products and not 2012 products. Maybe someone wants to update the PDF.

Subscription Help

Previous Version: Stand-alone licenses

Please select one of the following as it applies to you.

I need a license/serial number.
I need additional seats and already have a serial number.
I need to install and activate my CD or DVD.
I need a CD or DVD.

What may not be clear is that when you get the new version of a program, can you just keep the prior version on the same computer? It appears that the answer is yes, but it's very unclear in Autodesk FAQ on the subject http://download.autodesk.com/us/subctr/pdfs/previous_versions/faq/PV_FAQ_eng.pdf, if you can just leave it on there or have to request the prior use serial number. I've read the document 3 times trying to figure out the nuances of it and it's ambiguous. If you go off subscription, then you can only have one version (typically the most current) on your machine. You can't install a prior version on a different machine. It looks like you can run the current and prior version on the same machine at the same time. I was always led to believe that if you installed the prior version, you couldn't run the current version. Of course, with Revit, since you can't save backwards, and if you're working on multiple projects with different versions, you'd need to have multiple versions of Revit on your machine.

Autodesk should rewrite the document to make it crystal clear so the compliance department doesn't come knocking on your door.

Autodesk, if I have Revit Architecture Suite 2012 on my computer and then on April 16th, install Revit Architecture Suite 2013 on the same computer, do I have to request a previous version serial number for the 2012 version or do I just register and activate the 2013 version, keeping the 2012 version on there with no issues? Would I have to uninstall Revit 2009 if I happened to have that version on the same machine? What if my hard drive dies and I want to install 2011, 2012 and 2013 on a new machine? What exactly do I have to do then? Does the Portable License utility work for the prior versions in case I want to upgrade to a new computer?

OK. I hope we're all more confused about this then before. I certainly am.


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