Today I received my set of 2004 SP0 CDs and launched right into installing it to replace the Pre-Release 1 version which I've been running alongside 2003.
I should have read the "Read This First" sheet more carefully to recognize that 2004 SP0 is NOT to be installed as an upgrade to the2004 Beta or Pre-Release.
However, since I made the mistake of attempting an upgrade, let me describe the results:
- The Windows Installer routines seemed painfully slow - probably just a coincidence.
- The upgrade installation simply hung after making some progress.
- I logged off and back on to find the Installer still running and my Windows "Active Desktop" went bonkers - needing restoration which couldn't be performed with the Installer in progress.
- After using Task Manager (in Windows 2000 Pro) to manually "kill" the Installer-based processes, I reset the computer and found the Installer to still be alive and kicking with the Active Desktop continuing to be in trouble.
- I then shutdown the computer and used Safe Mode to allow me to easily delete the *.MSI file, the SolidWorks 2004 installation files directory and the 2004 Pre-Release files/directories.
- Rebooting normally and installing a "new" copy of 2004 then proceeded without a problem...
(I understand that there's a utility available (via the SolidWorks website) named "Remove2004pr2.exe". I don't know if it would have done anything to remove the Pre-Release 1, but I certainly wasn't going to try to get the Pre-Release 2 files for an update and then run the utility!)
Anyway, the point of all of this is that I think the SolidWorks 2004 SP0 CD #1 should include more detailed installation directions for the user to read on the computer screen, if desired, during (or before) the beginning of the Windows Installer's procedures.
The difficulty with an upgrade to an earlier version of 2004 may not have been recognized soon enough to allow for the inclusion of the "removal" utility as part of the production CDs.
I often wonder if the developers spend enough time performing "real world" installations on systems with multiple versions of SolidWorks running side by side - including Beta and/or Pre-Release? I suspect that too often the installations are standalone. It's so easy in a non-production environment to simply wipe the slate clean and reinstall.
While I should have taken more time to carefully plan the installation, I'd say that all too often the SolidWorks setup program misses opportunities to present useful prompts to the user within the on screen dialog boxes.
Per O. Hoel