Information for Network Administrators

Terminology: Floating-License = Network License.

About Network Installations

Product key settings for a Network License are different to those settings for a Standalone License. Please tell us at the time you buy MechDesigner that you would like a Network License.

A network installation requires more set-up at your end.

You (or the Network Administrator) install a small program CMServer (CopyMinder Server) on a server as a service.

These are important points regarding CMServer communications:

The Client machines (MechDesigner users) must be able to communicate with CMServer for protection checks. The CMServer manages how many clients can use MechDesigner at the same time.
CMServer must be able to communicate, over the internet, with the CopyMinder databases for regular checks. You must make sure this is possible, even when the Network Administrator is logged out after installing the CMServer program.

Running protected programs (network installations with CMServer.exe)

There are two aspects to consider. The connection from the clients running the protected software to the machine running CMServer.exe and the connection from CMServer.exe to the CopyMinder webservers.

Network Clients

The client (workstations) computers running protected programs must be able to connect to CMServer across the local network, at the IP address and port you configure when installing / starting CMServer. Please see also Auto-detection of CMServer by network clients below


CMServer must be able to connect to the CopyMinder servers (holding the database of Product-Keys), exactly as described in the section on standalone installations. Additionally, it must be able to receive communication from the network clients (workstations) on the IP address and port it has been configured to listen on. Your firewall(s) must allow both TCP and UDP traffic through to CMServer.

CMServer includes a small utility which it launches and attempts to automatically configure the Windows firewall to allow this.

Auto-detection of CMServer by network clients

Clients auto-detect CMServer by performing a multicast on whichever port you configured CMServer to listen on. Your firewall(s) must not block traffic destined for this address/port, or auto-detection will not work.

tog_minusInstall MechDesigner and CopyMinder Network Server (CMServer.exe)

1.Before you start the network installation, please take a written note of the directories for any previous trial or full Installations of MechDesigner in C:/Program Files/PSMotion/MD...

You may need to recreate these directories after you complete the Network Installation.

2.Once you have taken a note of the paths, please uninstall the previous versions of MechDesigner.
3.Delete existing CopyMinder product keys for Trial or Standalone installation. Delete the path C:ProgramData/HW

This may have CopyMinder data for other Trial or Standalone Licenses, which may confuse the new Network Installation.

Netowrk Installation Schematic

Client Side

Server Side


Download the latest MechDesigner application ZIP file from our website. It is typically called 'MD-PRO64-ZZ-Y-ZZZ.ZIP'.

Install MechDesigner on one Client Machine

If necessary see Install Standalone Professional Installation for more details.

Extract the installation file and double-click the EXE file to start the installation wizard.

The installation has the normal installation steps: Next, Next Next, Install...Finish.

The installation directory must have Read & Write access to the Server

In this help, we call the installation directory: (installdir).



1.Create a directory on your Server

We call this directory (CMServer).

CMServer must have write access to the folder in which you will find, after you run CMServer, the file.
CMServer must have internet access during and after the Network Administrator has logged off, after this installation is complete.
2.Copy Files

Cut and Paste from (installdir) to (CMServer)

3.Run CMServer.

You will see the CMServer Configuration dialog.

You should see an entry in the products list: MD32_0_0 -


Start-up Modes

Select the mode when you have decided how you want to run CMServer. We recommend a 'Windows Service'.

Some things to consider regarding this choice:

An Application requires there to be a user logged in on the machine for it to run. This may not always be the case on server machines. If you choose to run CMServer as an application and want to have it start automatically when the user logs in, then create a shortcut to CMServer in that user's Start-up start menu folder which gives the applicable command-line parameters to make CMServer start automatically. Generally, we do not recommend this option.
A Service starts automatically when the machine starts and does not require a user to be logged in for it to run. This is now the most common way of running a background task on Windows®.

Which method you choose depends on particular requirements. Running CMServer as an application may be the ideal choice initially, while setting up the system, switching to running it as a service after everything is set-up correctly.

Network Configuration.

Nearly always, use Automatic.

Custom mode allows you to manually specify the IP address and port that the CMServer will listen on. If your machine has only one IP address then this is pre-selected for you and cannot be changed. You will choose a port number which the server will listen for connections on. Choose one from the list and keep a note of it in case you need to configure your firewall(s) later on.


4.Click the Start button in the CMServer Configuration dialog.

CMServer performs a protection check - over the internet - with the CopyMinder database servers.

Now  - Enter the MechDesigner Product Key we have emailed to you.

Then, another check is made with the CopyMinder database to find the key we have bought for you.

IMPORTANT: ONLY do a Manual Installation under exceptional circumstance. Y

You lose all of the advantages of the internet checks.

If you are asked to obtain an 'Activation Code' for a Manual Installation, then you do not have internet permissions from the CMServer path

Do not do a Manual Installation .... Do not request an 'Activation Code'

Why? It is much better to automatically make the connection to the CopyMinder database. PSMotion will be able to add licenses as needed for training, extend the expiry date, ...

Make sure the CMServer path has internet access, and the firewall does not stop the access to the CopyMinder database.

Put these CopyMinder IP addresses on your Firewall white-list.



When all protection checks are complete the server will either become operational as an application (if you chose that mode of operation), or it will install and start itself as a service.


When CMServer is running, you can run MechDesigner on client-machines (workstations).

The first time you run MechDesigner on each client-machine, you must specify the installation you want. You will see three options:

Configure as a standalone program
Configure as a trial
Configure as a network client

Select Configure as a Network Client


In most cases MechDesigner will automatically detect the presence of the CopyMinder Network Server and the details are filled in as: IPADDRESS:PORT, e.g.

Click OK.

If the server details do not show in the text box, then it is possible that:

CMServer is not running


a firewall is blocking communication between the client and server machines.

It is possible to manually specify the IP address and port to use.

However, it is better to resolve the problem that caused the auto-detection to fail.

If it is a problem now, then it will be a problem later.

Things to note

CMServer and the clients use separate copies of the file.
The server and machine you choose to install CMServer must have internet access.
CMServer will terminate if it fails its protection checks. This will also stop MechDesigner running on the client-machines. You must restart CMServer.

Try to find out why it failed its protection check.  Usually, the problem is a Firewall, Virus-checker, or Path-Permission. See Network Firewall checks

For example, if you install CMServer as an Administrator, it is possible that CMServer does not have permission to check over the internet, after you logout.

tog_minusThe CopyMinder Network Server...

The CMServer Viewer

See also: CMServer /viewer

When CMServer is running as an application... will display the CMServer Viewer.

This utility displays the status of the CopyMinder Network Server, the products it is serving and the network users currently connected to it. A CMServer icon will show in the notification area of the task-bar on the computer running CMServer.

The utility can also be used to force a particular product to access the CopyMinder server in order to update settings that may have changed. This is usually a more convenient way of getting an update than restarting the CopyMinder Network Server. To force a protection update, select the product to update from the list of products being served and select Server > Update Product.

You can also open the server's log-file from this utility by going to Server > Show Logfile. The log-file records important events during the running of the server and is used from time to time to help diagnose problems.

When CMServer is running as a service... will not display the CMServer Viewer because services cannot display Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs).

However, you can still use the CMServer Viewer by running CMServer.exe /viewer command-line parameter (you need the 'space' before '/viewer'. (see below)

Command-Line Parameters

CMServer can accept several command-line parameters which control its behaviour.

Note: Please put in a 'space' before adding a command-line parameter

These command-line parameters are:


Configures CMServer to install/run as a service.


Configures CMServer to run as an application.


Quiet mode. Only displays errors.


Uninstalls the CMServer service.


Just display the CMServer Viewer.


Just open CMServer's logfile.


Sets the IP address on which CMServer accepts connections (replace IPADDRESS with your chosen IP address).


Sets the port on which CMServer listens for connections (replace PORT with your chosen port number).


Displays a help window documenting these command-line parameters.


Like most server software, CMServer accepts incoming connections by 'listening' on an IP address and port. If the machine running CMServer also has a firewall (including Windows® firewall and also third party firewall software), then the firewall software is explicitly told to let the incoming connections to get through to CMServer. Similarly, if a firewall exists on a machine between the server machine (the one running CMServer) and the client machines then this must be configured, too.

CMServer will in most cases reconfigure the firewall automatically. You may accept this, or choose to manually configure the firewall.

Reconfigure Firewall


Failure to correctly configure your firewall(s) could result in the CopyMinder Server being inaccessible by client machines.

Firewall Checklist

Your firewall(s) must allow both TCP and UDP traffic through to CMServer.
Your firewall(s) must allow CMServer to accept incoming connections on the IP Address and Port that you chose when setting up CMServer.
Clients auto-detect CMServer by performing a multicast broadcast to and whichever port you configured CMServer to listen on. Your firewall(s) must not block traffic destined for this address/port, or auto-detection will not work.


CMServer maintains its own log-file in which it records various important events during its execution. While the server is running, all events are recorded to this file rather than being displayed on-screen. The most common reason to view the log-file is to start diagnosing a problem.

You can view the log-file by running CMServer.exe with the /logfile command-line parameter. Alternatively, you can access it from the CMServer Viewer's menu.

The logfile is actually stored on disk in the 'All Users' profile under the CMServer/<DID> directory (<DID> is PSMotion's Developer ID (contact us separately for this)).

Managing the CMServer Service

If CMServer is installed as a 'service', you can control it through Windows® Services Management like other services. Once CMServer has been installed you will see the services in the Services console. From here, you can see the status of the service (that is: is it running or stopped?) or you can stop or start the service as required. To un-install the service, run CMServer.exe with the /u command-line parameter.

Add/Remove Products
If CMServer must serve a new software product, then the .cm file for that product can be placed in the CMServer directory and CMInstall can be run, even while the server is running. However, repeat steps 3-5 described in Installing the CopyMinder Network Server above before CMServer will let network users use that product.
To remove a product from CMServer then stop CMServer first.

tog_minusRoaming Licences

With a network installation, you may want the flexibility of taking a copy of your software off-site for a period of time.

CopyMinder addresses this requirement by means of Roaming Licences. These are licences that are temporarily borrowed from their 'maximum simultaneous network users' count for a product key.

PSMotion specify limits on how many and for how long network users can be used for roaming.

The Network Administrator can provide us with an email address and we will email a password for the Network Administrator so that he can log-in to the Network Administrator's page, which enables them to control roaming users.

Within the limits we specify, the Network Administrator can control his/her roaming users via a CopyMinder web page ( or This web page is protected by means of the Network Administrator's password that we provide.

CMServer-NetWorkLicense Roaming

The system will provide you with a product key for each roaming user. The end-user can use this product key to install a time-limited stand-alone copy of our software on a machine. When the time limit is reached, the roaming licence is automatically returned to the pool.

It should be remembered that changes the Network Administrator makes on the web site only change the CopyMinder Network Server the next time that it accesses the CopyMinder server for a protection update. Similarly, when a roaming licence expires, it only gets returned to the CopyMinder Network Server on the next web access.

tog_minusIs CMServer Running?

If CMServer is installed as a service, it can be controlled through Windows Services Management like any other service. Once Copyminder has been installed you will see the service in the Services console. The service is entitled CMServer. From here you can see the status of the service (i.e. running or stopped) or you can stop or start the services as required.

CMServer-Windows-Service Management-Console

tog_minusUsing CMServer Viewer

CMServer Viewer is utility that displays the status of the CopyMinder Network Server, the products it is serving and the network users currently connected to it. If CMServer is running as a service (which it will in all instances after being installed) you can start CMViewer by running the CMServer.exe /viewer' command-line parameter in a command prompt window. Make sure you have navigated to correct directory for CMServer before running the command.


The CMSever Viewer dialog will display, and show:

showing the applications available
the number of users currently logged onto each application
maximum number of licences that are available for each application.

You can click on the product to see the users that are logged onto the application.



Licence manager says that licences are all in use but they are not?

This can happen if the software has not shutdown properly for whatever reason. if possible check each PC to ensure that the software is no longer running as a process using the Windows Task Manager. If this is not the problem then you can release all licences by restarting the licence manager.  To do this, stop CMServer using Windows Services Management. To restart it, right click on the CMServer.exe file and select Run as Administrator.

General Errors

Whenever you get an error related to CopyMinder you can find descriptions of the error numbers in the CopyMinder Knowledge-base which can be accessed at .


Tutorials and Reference Help Files for MechDesigner and MotionDesigner 14.2 + © Machine, Cam, Mechanism, and Motion Design Software by PSMotion Ltd