What Happens to the Toolbox Database when Upgrading

Installation & Upgrade: Troubleshooting

TITLE: What Happens to the Toolbox Database when Upgrading
DATE: 04/28/13
SUBJECT: Administration, Installation, Upgrade
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this article is to describe the process by which Solidworks upgrades the Toolbox database file (SwBrowser.mdb).


While performing an upgrade the user is prompted with the option to either upgrade their toolbox data or to create a new folder for the new installation. The default Toolbox location is “C:\SolidWorks Data”; however it is always best practice to rename the folder to “SolidWorks Data 20xx” in order to keep your information organized for the future. It is also Good practice to make a copy of this folder as a backup in the event there is a problem with the installation.

Option 1 - The user opts to create a new toolbox folder


In this case a new folder will be created and revised to become “SolidWorks Data (2)”; however this should be renamed to reflect the revision year of that installation. The new “SwBrowser.mdb” file is located within this new folder. The previous installation’s data is not deleted.

At times the new installation’s default toolbox data is not updated to point to the new “SolidWorks Data” folder. This can be revised from the Solidworks System Options window.


Option 2 – The user opts to upgrade the existing toolbox


You will notice that when you opt to upgrade your existing Solidworks installation the toolbox installation folder remains pointed to the default location  “C:\SolidWorks Data”. This location should have been renamed to reflect the year of the installation you are upgrading (ie. “SolidWorks Data 2011”). This folder contains the “SWBrowser.mdb” file which will be upgraded to the newer version.  It is important to note that after the upgrade the folder containing the newer version of the toolbox data will remain in a folder named 2011. You will have to manually change the name and repoint Solidworks to the correct folder. The Installation Manager will prompt you with a warning saying that if you continue with the installation your Toolbox and Hole Wizard will not be compatible with previous versions of Solidworks. Alternatively, you can change the toolbox installation location by clicking on change; however this will create a second folder with the newer database file as in option 1 above.


 The Installaon Manager will prompt the execution of the “UpdateBrowser.exe” file and upgrade the “SwBrowser.mdb” database file.

In the event that some error during the database conversion has caused corruption to the database the user still has the chance to recover his customizations by completing the following these steps:When you browse to the location of the SwBrowser.mdb you will discover a copy of the old SwBrowser.mdb is saved in the same toolbox directory. This backup copy is renamed to “SwBrowser.mdbold”.

  1. Delete the corrupted copy on SwBrowser.mdb from the toolbox folder
  2. Rename the file SwBrowser.mdbold to SwBrowser.mdb.
  3. Manually update the database using the tool UpdateBrowserData >SolidWorks installation directory>Toolboxdata utilities



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