One of the reasons for using the now default, NON-Optional Windows
Installer method for SolidWorks is to allow for rolling back to the
previous Service Pack.
As far as I'm concerned, it's far easier and faster to just reinstall
the program and then apply any SPs needed to update to the desired
Anyway, in order for the WI rollback to function, there needs to be
disk space clogged up with all the files required by SolidWorks to
restore itself to the previous service pack. This is accomplished, as
far as I can see, by the automatic creation of a new sub-directory for
the SP under the Windows "Program Files" directory where SolidWorks is
installed by default. (For example: The initial install would be to
"Program Files\SolidWorks" and the first Service Pack then adds files
to "Program Files\SolidWorks(2)"
Aside from wasting disk space just for the possibilty of a rollback
that is (in my view) better accomplished by other means, the creation
of incremental sub-directories introduces an awkward convention for
With multiple versions of SolidWorks installed, it can really get
confusing, for example, 2003 could be in "Program Files\SolidWorks",
2004 could be in "Program Files\SolidWorks(2)" and a 2004 service pack
could add "Program Files\SolidWorks(3)"
I've always prefered to avoid installation to the default "Program
Files" location and typically place SolidWorks in dedicated
directories on a drive (or partition) separate from the Windows O/S.
For example, D:\SolidWorks 2003 and D:\SolidWorks 2004 are where I
currently have both versions available side-by-side.
It seems that avoiding the default installation location has the added
benefit of preventing the Windows Installer from gobbling up disk
space with the prior revision's backup files during service pack
Maybe it's just a coincidence but, while using a dedicated
installation directory naming procedure, I have NOT found it necessary
to deal with any undesired backups or automatically created program
Per O. Hoel
- posted 18 years ago