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Network License troubleshooting techniques

Matthew Fisher

Summary

This article reviews various troubleshooting techniques, both client-side and server-side, for common issues related to users who cannot obtain a license, or communicate to the SolidNetWork License Manager Server (SNL server).

The Article is outlined to proceed from the most common cause of the issue to special cases and outlines what can be done on both the client and server sides to test the cause.

 

Adding the server to the SolidNetWork License Manager Client

The first thing a client should check is whether or not the SNL server hosting their desired licenses has been added to the Server List tab of their SolidNetWork License Manager Client. Please reference our guide on adding a server to the Server List tab if you to not see the server on the list.

Internet Connection Ping Test

If there are any network issues that are stopping client machines from communicating to the server, or the server computer is down, the following error will appear:

 

node_not_responding.png

 

To verify if there is a connection between the two computers you can run a cmd ping test. This test can be done on either the server computer or the client's computer.

1) Browse to All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt.

2) Type “ping <ServerName>” or “Ping <server IP address>,” if you are on the client's computer. If you are on the server computer type “ping <ClientName>” or “Ping <Client computer IP address>,” then hit Enter.

Depending on your ability to communicate to the server you will receive one of the following messages:

passing_cmd_test_pc2.png

failed_cmd_test_pc1.png

If the test fails, verify that the server computer and client computer are connected to the same network. 

Checking Firewall Ports (server node down error)

If you can communicate to the server, but the same server node error appears; the next thing to check would be the Windows and Anti-Virus Firewalls active on the server and the client computer. SOLIDWORKS uses the ports 25734 and 25735 for the SNL server to communicate to a client's machine. If either of these ports is blocked on the server computers firewall users cannot obtain a license despite having a connection to the server.

This test is recommended to first be done on the server computer, then the clients.

1) Open the Windows Control Panel > System Security > Windows Firewall

2) Click the link to "Turn Windows Firewall on or off" and toggle all settings to off

3) Open any Anti-Virus programs that you have on the computer and verify if they have their own Firewall's that need to be disabled as well

4) On the client machine, open the SolidNetWork License Manager Client and click the License Usage tab. If licenses appear, continue to step 5, if not disable the Windows and Anti-Virus Firewall's on the Client computer and check the License Usage tab again. 

If the licenses still do not appear after disabling the Firewalls on both computers, then the Firewall is not the cause of the problem and both of the firewalls can be re-enabled and you can continue to the next troubleshooting test.

5) On the server computer navigate back to the Windows Firewall screen and click the link to "Advanced Settings." For the Anti-Viruses Firewall, you will need to navigate to that software's firewall exception settings.

6) Add a new Inbound rule for the TCP ports 25734 and 25735. Once the new rule is saved, then re-enable the firewalls and verify that you can still see licenses on the License Usage tab on the client's computer. This will in most cases cure the issue. Repeat the steps for a new outbound rule on the Client computer if the licenses still do not appear. 

Checking Firewall Ports using Telnet

If taking down the firewall cannot be done there is a way to check if a port is being blocked using the Telnet communication test. This test uses the command prompt to check if one computer can communicate to another using a specified firewall port.

1) Press the Windows Start button

2) Open Control Panel > Programs and Features

3) Select Turn Windows Features on or off and enable Telnet Client.

4) Browse to All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt.

5) Type “telnet <ServerName> 25734” or “telnet <Server IP address> 25734”.

6) Press Enter.

If the command prompt returns any errors then this also can indicate that the firewall ports are blocking the user's communication to the server. Please refer to the steps outlined in the above section "Checking Firewall Ports (server node down error)" on how to unblock the ports.

Checking the Window services (error 72) - Server computer only

Often shown as the following error when a user attempts to launch SOLIDWORKS:

 

72_error_snl.png

 

SOLIDWORKS requires that the two Windows Services "FlexNet Licensing Service" and "SolidWorks Licensing Service" are set to Automatic and are running so licenses can be properly distributed. If either of these services is off then users can have difficulties obtaining licenses from the server.

1) Open the Windows Control Panel > System Security > Administrative Tools and open the program Services

2) Look for the services "FlexNet Licensing Service" and "SolidWorks Licensing Service."

3) Right-click on the service name and click properties. The following Window should appear:

services_pic_3.png

4) Set the Startup type to be Automatic and Start to change the Service Status to Running. Click Apply and OK to close the window.

5) On the Client's machine open the SolidNetWork License Manager Client and click the License Usage tab to see if the issue has been resolved. If licenses appear then the client should be able to obtain licenses properly.

Renaming the FlexNet Folder

If a user switches from a standalone, trial, or evaluation license to a network license there is a possibility that the FlexNet Folder can become corrupt and cause issues obtaining a license from the SNL server.

Renaming the FlexNet Folder can also repair the error message "Empty Response Received From The Activation Server," or if the user is asked to activate the license each time SOLIDWORKS or the SNL server is opened. 

Please reference our guide on repairing the Empty Response Received From the Activation Server for the steps to locate and rename your FlexNet folder.

SOLIDWORKS Standard is newer than your license version error

Even if a user can communicate to the server, see licenses in their license usage tab, and the firewalls do not block the required ports the can still encounter the following error:

 

upgrade_server_error.png

 

This is because the SNL server needs to be the same edition or older than whatever version of SOLIDWORKS the user is opening. If the server is still running on the 2017 edition, and a user attempts to launch SOLIDWORKS 2018, the SNL server will not issue them a license because of the mismatch in editions. A 2018 edition will issue licenses properly if SOLIDWORKS 2017 or older is opened, however.

The steps to upgrade a server is similar to installing the server, you will just be asked to upgrade instead of creating a new installation. Here is a link to our guide on installing a SOLIDWORKS 2018 SNL server for a reference.

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