Network Installation: More Details

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Network Installation: More Details

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 your server, and run it as a service.

These are important points regarding CMServer communications:

The Client machines (MechDesigner users) must be able to communicate with CMServer , on your server, 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 (run by a third-part called Microcosm Ltd) 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 connections with communications to consider. The connection from the clients running the protected software to the server/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_plusInstall 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 <Install Directory>

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


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

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 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®.

The method you choose depends on particular requirements. You may run CMServer as an Application while you set-up the system, and switch to a Windows Service after everything is workings 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 the 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. cmServer-sucess

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

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

5.Now  - Enter the MechDesigner Product Key

Another check is made with the CopyMinder database to find the Product-Key.

IMPORTANT: ONLY do a Manual Installation under exceptional circumstance.

You lose all of the advantages of automatic 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 -

STOP- 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. with the IPADDRESS:PORT.


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...

tog_minusRoaming licenses

tog_minusIs CMServer Running?

tog_minusUsing CMServer Viewer