Autodesk Software is complicated. When one thinks that one is installing a single application, the reality is that there are at least four or five other applications and services being installed at the same time. Multiply this number a few more times when you are installing a Suite of products.
So what can go wrong? Almost everything! From a technical perspective, between Microsoft Windows updates, anti-virus software, Windows User Account Controls, and malware from shady websites (that you weren’t supposed to visit at work), it is a miracle that one is able to install anything at all.
So if you want to have a relatively trouble-free installation please, please check-off every item in the list below:
- Disable Anti-Virus Software: If you read the Autodesk Trouble-shooting documentation, you will see a few lines in there that tells you something to this effect. This site lists methods for disabling Anti-virus for various software vendors: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/114351/how-to-temporarily-disable-your-anti-virus-firewall-and-anti-malware-programs/
- Disable Windows User Account Controls (UAC): Most people haven’t heard about this functionality in windows. However, this little champ is responsible for not letting that mischievous piece of malware install itself on your computer from that cheeky site you visited the last time you felt like goofing off at work. However, this zealot is also responsible for not allowing legitimate software to be installed. So every Readme.txt file (that you didn’t read) tells you that you will need to disable the Windows UAC before you begin. For most people (read: non-corporate workstations) it is as simple as going to the control panel and pulling a slider down. One has to make sure that a reboot is done before proceeding. This is the simple process of disabling windows UAC: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/disable-user-account-control-uac-the-easy-way-on-windows-vista/ However, I recently encountered a corporate workstation where this would not work. Thankfully, I found this (albeit complicated) method that did the trick: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/4820/how-to-really-completely-disable-uac-on-windows-7/
- Install all ( I mean ALL) windows updates: Setting windows updates to ‘Automatic’ is not sufficient. You will have to pro-actively check for updates at least a couple of times to make sure that you have everything. We cannot count the number of installations that have failed or software that has crashed because windows updates weren’t installed. These types of crashes are the hardest to diagnose. So, if you just brought a spanking new computer with top-notch hardware, you are bound to crash if you don’t have the latest windows updates. Again, reboot after all the updates have been installed and make sure that you clear your temp folders before installing your Autodesk software.
- Make sure that the software is able to download application content from the internet: How? Disable antivirus! (See #1) Windows firewalls usually does not block Autodesk content, but I have seen a few firms with restrictive group policies preventing the download of content the user needs to work with the software.
- Install the software as a windows ADMINISTRATOR: A Power User does not cut it, sorry. This is especially true because windows and a lot of corporate IT policies restricts access to the c:Program Data folder where a lot of the content and configuration settings are stored. If the installer is not able to write to this folder, you basically have a car with no air in its wheels or fuel in its tank.
I could go on and on….
6. Make sure that you download the software (version and flavor) that you actually own.
7. Make sure that you are not running Windows XP.
8. Make sure you have a 64-bit Windows when installing 64-bit software – fyi: almost all of them are 64-bit these days.
9. Make sure you have space in your hard disk to install the software.
But I think this pretty much covers the basics. Sadly, these are the issues that take up days and days of your time when trying to install software and it might be worth paying attention to these tips before attempting to install.
Needless to say, Step #0 that most of us ignore is this: Read the instructions!