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How to Switch out a Network License File (and not screw everything up!)

Michael ChappelJanuary 20th, 2021

It is that time of year again, that dreaded moment when your license files are about to expire (or already expired! Yikes!) and you have to try to figure out how to swap out your license file while dozens or even hundreds of users and their productivity depend on you not accidentally taking everyone offline. No pressure, but, you are going to want to make sure you get it right.

That is where we come in. Just follow our handy dandy guide, and we'll have you up and running with no fuss, in no time, with no errors. Just the way you like. Alright, let's dive in!

In order to swap out your license file you have two options:

Swap the License file without stopping the Server

This method will work for you provided you are not looking to upgrade version years of Autodesk Products. Or if you are planning to add seats mid version year and you already have the latest version of the Network License Manager.

Here is how to get it done:

  1. Find the folder with the currently used license file.
    • Typically these are stored here: C:\Autodesk\Network License Manager
  2. Name the new license file the same as the old one.
  3. Copy and Replace the file, overwriting the in-use license file.
  4. Open LMTools and the Stop/Start/ReRead Tab.
  5. Click "ReRead License File
  6. "You're done!

Swap the license file after taking the Server Offline

This is necessary if you want to gain access to any new version of Autodesk Products as they will require the updated Network License Manager. Autodesk always releases an updated License Manager with each version year of their software.
Quick Tip: User machines only check in with the license server about once every 30 minutes. If you run through this process even at a moderate pace, you should be able to finish in under 10 minutes (and the actual time the server is down will probably be under a minute), meaning most users will not even notice it happened. Should their session time out, they'll simply be prompted to save their work and close.
Here is how to make it happen:
  1. Download the latest version from here. (link is always up to date)
  2. Uninstall the current Network License Manager.
  3. Install the newly downloaded Network License Manager.
  4. Open LMTools.
  5. Go to the Stop/Start/ReRead Tab.
    • Click "Stop Server"
  6. Go to the Config Services Tab.
    1. Browse to the path for the new license file, LMGRD and Debug Log files.
      • Typically these are located here: C:\Autodesk\Network License Manager
    2. If they are already filled out correctly, just click browse and open on each.
    3. Click "Save Service"
  7. Go to the Stop/Start/ReRead Tab.
    1. Click "Start Server".
    2. Wait for "Server Start Successful to be displayed in the status bar at the bottom.
  8. Check to make sure your server is up.
    1. Go to the "Server Status" Tab and click "Perform Status Enquiry".
    2. Look for lines that say "License Server UP (Master) and "adskflex: UP" followed by the version number of the license manager. See Image here)
  9. You're done!

Final Thoughts

Lastly, the most important thing to remember is: Don't Panic. A lot of people end up getting themselves in an even bigger mess when things start to get messy. Make a backup of your current license file before you get started, and in the absolute WORST case scenario, simply stop the service, uninstall the license manager, download a fresh copy from here, install and follow the normal set up instructions to get you back up and running. Starting from scratch is often much faster than trying to hunt down exactly what is causing your current error.

We hope this empowers all of you to get out there and switch some license files without fear! But of course, we'll always be here to catch you if something goes awry.


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