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How To Relocate Vault Archive Folders To Another Drive

If you are running out of drive space for your PDM Archive Server, you can relocate some, or all, of your archive folders to another drive. We will present two options for performing this operation, both of which have pros and cons, which we will mention as we go along. 


Watch the video on how to Relocate Vault Folders on the Archive Server here.


It is highly recommended to read the entire article prior to beginning this process to ensure that you are fully aware of the steps involved and are able to plan accordingly. 


All archive data folders should be backed up prior to completing this operation, including the SQL database as a precaution. 


This process can take anywhere from a few minutes to many hours depending on the amount of data in your vault, so it is important to plan the process appropriately to avoid interference with normal working hours. 


It is critical to ensure that all users are logged out of PDM and that no one attempts to log in or perform check-in, check-out, or other operations on files while this process is being completed. 

Vault Data Storage Basics

If you examine your Archive Server data folders you will see 16 folders named 0-9 and A-F in the root of your vault data folder. These 16 folders correspond to a set of registry entries that tell the Archive Server where to look on the physical disk for the appropriate archive subset. As files are added to the vault, the Archive Server distributes them across these 16 folders, allowing us to distribute this data across up to 16 storage locations in roughly 6.25% increments. In most cases, it is preferable to keep the archive folders in a single location for simplicity, but if you are limited in the ability to add capacity to existing drives you can distribute the load across multiple logical drives. 


For the examples presented in this article, we will be using a vault that I have creatively named “PDM Vault”. I have chosen to store my PDM data in a folder that has also been quite uniquely named “C:\PDM Vault Data\”. In order to view the folder structure for this vault I can look in “C:\PDM Vault Data\PDM Vault” and the following folder structure can be observed:

SOLIDWORKS Vault Data Storage Basics

Ensure All Users Are Logged Out of the PDM Vault

The first step that needs to be completed is to ask all PDM users to log out of the vault. In order to verify whether all users have indeed logged out you can use the “SOLIDWORKS SolidNetWork License Manager” application to review license usage. 


Click on the “License Usage” tab and under the “Product” dropdown menu, select each of the applicable PDM licenses and ensure that there are no licenses listed as in use (you should also find that the total number of licenses is equal to the total number of free licenses). 

SOLIDWORKS Ensure All Users Are Logged Out of the PDM Vault

Disable Login to the PDM Vault

  1. Open the “Administration” tool 
  2. Right-click on the name of the vault you wish to relocate the archive files for 
  3. Select “Properties” and, if prompted, log in to the Vault with an administrator account 
  4. Click the “Block Log-ins” button and confirm that the “Block status:” field says “Log-ins are blocked”
Disable Login to the PDM Vault ​

Log on to the Archive Server

You should perform the following steps while logged in to the Archive Server either locally or via a remote session. 

Option 1: Use the “Archive Server Configuration” Relocate tool

The first option is to use the built-in “Relocate” tool to move the archive folders to a new location. This is the simplest option for less experienced users but it does not provide as much control or feedback as performing the manual steps in Option 2. 


1. From the Start menu, start typing “Archive Server Configuration” and click on the “Archive Server Configuration” app when it is found

Archiver Server Configuration

2. If the “Archive Server Configuration” app does not display, find the icon displayed in the image below in the Task Tray, then left-click on it and select “Open…”

Archiver Server Configuration Icon
Archiver Server Configuration

3. Expand the “Archives” folder and right-click on the vault name you wish to relocate archive folders for and select “Relocate”

SOLIDWORKS PDM Archive Server Relocate

4. You can either change the existing path to move all of the archive folders, or you can add an additional location to split the data between multiple locations 


          a. To move all of the folders: Type the new path name or click the “…” button to browse to the new drive/folder location

File Vault Relocation

          b. To split the data across multiple locations: 


                    i. Click the “Add” button and type the new path name or click the “…” button to browse to the new drive/folder location 

                    Note: You can have up to 16 “Archive Locations” in this list 


                    ii. For each of the “Archive Locations” listed, click on the Path name and drag the “Size:” slider as desired 

                    Note: The indicator “light” will show red if the “Total Size” does not equal 100% and you will not be able to continue until it is green

How To Relocate Vault Archive Folders To Another Drive

5. Click “OK” and then when prompted to confirm that there are no users accessing this file vault, click “OK” again to proceed with the relocation

Accessing The Vault

6. During the operation you will see a progress bar indicating the status of each archive folder transfer:

Relocating Files

7. Once the operation is complete the “File vault relocation” window will close but you will not see any other messages 

Option 2: Use the “Archive Server Configuration” Relocate tool

If you prefer to have more direct control over the process you can perform the same operation by manually editing the associated registry keys and then moving the folder structure to match the registry entries. This method does require more manual input but it can also be scripted using .reg files and batch or PowerShell scripts for moving folders.  


Note that the changes made to the registry are read by the Archive Server on demand so that is why it is vital that no users be working in the vault during the time that these changes are being made. 

Step 1: Update Registry Entries

1. Open “Registry Editor” 


a. Click on the Windows button and type “Registry Editor” 


b. Right-click on the “Registry Editor” application and select “Run as administrator” 


c. Browse to the following key (replace <Vault Name> with the name of your PDM Vault): “Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\SolidWorks\Applications\PDMWorks Enterprise\ArchiveServer\Vaults\<Vault           Name>\Archive Table” 


d. Edit all of the “ArchiveTable#” values to reflect the desired target location 

Registry Editor - 1


Registry Editor - 2

Step 2: Move Folders

1. Open a command prompt with Administrator rights 

          a. Click on the Windows button and type “Command Prompt” 

          b. Right-click on the “Command Prompt” application and select “Run as administrator” 


2. Use the “robocopy” command to copy the folders to the new location: 
Syntax: robocopy <source folder> <destination folder> /mir 

Example: robocopy “C:\PDM Vault Data\PDM Vault” “D:\PDM Vault Data\PDM Vault” /mir 


3. Verify that the files have been copied correctly to the new location before deleting the files in the original location 


Note: If you choose to spread the data files across multiple locations you will need to copy the individual archive folders (“0”, “1”, “2”, “A”, “B”, “C”, etc.) to the desired locations to match the locations specified in the registry. 

Enable log in to the PDM Vault

In the PDM Administration tool, click on the “Permit Log-ins” button and verify that the “Block status:” field says “Log-ins are permitted”.

Enable Login to the PDM Vault

We hope you found this information valuable! If you have any follow-up questions and are an MLC CAD Systems customer, please contact support below.

Technical Support

Get help from our team by Calling us at 800-364-1652 x 2. You can also get assistance by clicking the Technical Support button or the Email Our Experts button below. 

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