How to Configure the SOLIDWORKS PDM Local HOSTS file to Resolve Server Name

How to Configure the SOLIDWORKS PDM Local HOSTS file to resolve the Server Name

By default, SOLIDWORKS PDM client is set to connect using the server name. DNS lookup will resolve the IP address and communicate with the server. In most environments, the DNS server configuration will resolve quickly and not cause issues. 


If the DNS server cannot resolve the IP address or there is latency, VPN for example, clients may experience: 

    • Delay when logging in 
    • Poor performance while navigating or adding files 
    • Failed replication 


To resolve unexpected PDM connection behavior, MLC CAD Systems PDM technical support may advise you to bypass the DNS lookup by editing the local Windows Hosts file to add the server IP. 


NOTE: Always consult your IT group prior to making any changes to the Hosts file. 

How to edit the local hosts file and add the PDM server IP

NOTE: Local Windows Administrator permissions are required.


1. Locate Notepad in the Start Menu search or the C:\Windows\System32 folder.  Right click and choose ‘Run as Administrator’

2. In Notepad, select File > Open.  Change the file type to ‘All Files and navigate to and open the ‘hosts’ file (default location is C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc) 

3. Below the last commented-out line (the last line which starts with #), add a new line for each required server with the IP address, a TAB space, then PDM server name 


For example: MyDatabaseServerName MyArchiveServerName 


NOTE: If the archive and the database are hosted on the same server, then only one line is required. 

4. Save and close the hosts file. 

5. Flush the DNS cache for the local computer to recognize changes to the file. 

    • Open a command prompt (Start > Type ‘cmd’ and click Command Prompt)
    • Type: ipconfig /flushdns 
    • Press Enter 

Once complete, the DNS lookup should be bypassed, and the server hostname resolved directly using the IP address. You can use the PDM Connectivity Test Tool to ensure the connection works as expected.  

Technical Support

If you have any questions or experience unexpected behavior, feel free to reach out to MLC CAD Systems technical support

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