IT Routine Updates

We update the Windows desktop and laptop computers in this order:

  • Windows Update - Run the "Windows Update" program.
    • Do not install any new graphics drivers.  The NVIDIA drivers are a bit finiky sometimes and so it is best to stick with the current working ones.
    • Uninstall Silverlight if it is installed.
    • SQL server (do install updates for the client though, because our CAM software depends on it, but uninstall the server if it's there)
  • Windows Defender periodically turns its system tray icon from green to orange because it wants to do a scan. If that happens, have it run a scan.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader - Run check for updates from within Acrobat Reader.  If needed, install it from
  • Java - From control pannel run the Java control panel and check for updates.
  • Flash Player - Provided with Google Chrome.
  • Tortoise SVN - Right click on the Windows background, select TortoiseSVN, select about, and then check for updates.  If it says there is an update, go to the downloads page and download and install the correct version.  The 2012 desktop computers are 64 bit and the rest are 32 bit.  Install all of the components including the "command line client tools".
  • Google Chrome - install it for all users from the admin account.  Use the Alternate (offline) Google Chrome installer (Windows). In Chrome properties, on the shortcut tab, add ' -incognito' to the target executable.  To access the Chrome properties, right click on the Chrome icon on the task bar and then right click on Google Chrome under Tasks.  Then select properities.
  • Firefox - Uninstall it if it is installed- I think this has been uninstalled from all of the computers
  • PDF Creator - Uninstall if it is installed - I think this has been uninstalled from all of the computers
  • SolidWorks - Carefully follow these directions to avoid problems with the hole tool and other tools.
    • Uninstall old version (2012-2013 Academic) of SolidWorks
    • Reboot the computer.
    • Delete leftover files and folders:
      • Windows 7
        • Delete any and all copies of "C:\SolidWorks Data" folder and other copies of it such as "C:\SolidWorks Data (2)".
        • Delete the "C:\Program Files\SolidWorks Corp" folder.
        • Delete the "C:\ProgramData\SOLIDWORKS" folder if it exists.
        • Do not delete the "C:\ProgramData\SOLIDWORKS Electrical" folder.  When I did this, I ended up getting a "solidworks electrical is unable to connect to the sql server installation" error message from the SolidWorks Installation Manager and could not figure out how to fix it other than deselecting the "Electrical" component.  I messed this up on the Dec 30, 2016 installation of SolidWorks 2016 on FRC971-2016-1 and FRCS971-2016-4.
      • Windows 10 - thanks to Stephan Massalt for creating this list Dec 2017.
        • C:\Program Files\SolidWorks Corp -> not on Win10 machines
        • C:\ProgramData\SOLIDWORKS + DassaultSystemes
        • Do not delete "C:\ProgramData\SOLIDWORKS Electrical" if you find it.  Stephan did not find it on the Win 10 machines - If present, keep it on the Win7 Machines! But there where some without it and installed ok.
        • It is optional to clean up these:
          • C:\USers\root & team\AppData\Local\Temp\SOLIDWORKS + DassaultSystemes
          • C:\USers\root & team\AppData\Local\SolidWorks + DassaultSystemes
          • C:\USers\root & team\AppData\Local\Temp\SOLIDWORKS + DassaultSystemes
          • C:\USers\root & team\AppData\Local\Roaming\SOLIDWORKS + DassaultSystemes
    • Install new version (2017-2018 Academic Version).
      • Download from website or on a robotics team computer, browse to "\\frc971-2015-4\SolidWorks 2016-2017\SOLIDWORKS Downloads"
      • Select
        • "Individual (on this computer)" and then "Next"
        • Select and enter the key provided by Wyn in the "3D Design"/SOLIDWORKS Standard, Professional, Premium or SolidNetWork License" serial number boxes.
        • Deselect "Technical Communication"/"SOLIDWORKS Composer" if selected
        • Next screen
        • Deselect "Electrical Design"/"SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic" if selected
        • Nothing else should be selected.
        • Click on "Next" and if asked, say it is "OK" to remove the Composer and Electrical Schematic serial number from the computer.  The next screen will show that these features will be installed:
          • SOLIDWORKS
          • eDrawings
          • SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation
          • SOLIDWORKS Plastics
          • Deselect(!) SOLIDWORKS Electrical ------ Click on the change menu and deselect this option.  We don't use it and it loads a Microsoft SQL server which might make SolidWorks run slower.
          • SOLIDWORKS Composer Player
          • SOLIDWORKS Visualize
          • SOLIDWORKS Simulation
          • SOLIDWORKS Motion 
        • Check the "I accept the terms of the SOLIDWORKS" license Agreement box and click on "Install Now".
        • It will take 10's of minutes to install and will use 8 GB of disk space.
    • Run the software to validate the installation key.
      • If asked, say "Yes" to the "Menu customization has changed in this version, do you want to use the new menu customization which will lose any of your personal changes." question.
      • If asked, say "Yes" to the "The definition of the buttons on the default CommandManager tabs has changed in this new version. Do you want to update the default tabs with the new buttons?" question.
      • If asked, say "No" to the "HSMWorks has changed licensing method.  ... Would you like to update your license now?" question.
      • If asked, say "Yes" to the "Some folder specified in the file locations for document templates do not exit, do you want them to be removed from the list?" question.
      • If asked, configure Solidworks to use inch-pound-second and ANSI.
    • The next two items are optional for non team computes.
      • Install FRC971 customizations by double clicking on C:\Users\team\Desktop\frc971\201\trunk\cad\971 Solidworks Templates\frc971_2018_swsettings.sldreg with SolidWorks closed.  The frc971_2018_keyboardOnly_swsettings.sldreg file can be run on none team or team member computers such as work computers.
      • Fix the iconShell bug by running the root_configuration_tasks.ps1 script as decribed in the New Systems Installation section below.
    • On the machines that have HSM (used for generating CAM paths for the CNC Router), update it by going the website with instructions on the upgrade.  Here are some notes on updating an existing installation.  When a new update is available, an update notification will appear in the Autodesk Desktop App.  Please download and install the update package.  Before installing an update there is no need to uninstall a previous HSMWorks release; but if you prefer to do so, you can uninstall the relevant release in Programs and Features in Windows Control Panel by accessing “View installed updates”.

Optional Software

  • Cygwin.  Install the base packages.  Add in the following with the initial install or go back and add them in later.  Uset the default location of C:\\Cygwin and use install from the web.  Use  At the end of the install, unselect "Create icon on Desktop".  If this is a new install of Cygwin, start the X11 server from Star/Cygwin-X/XWin-Server and add the X11 firewall exception when prompted.
    • Net: openssh
    • Shells: tcsh
    • web: wget & wput
    • For x11, this Cygwin X11 page says to install: xorg-server, xinit, xorg-docs, xlaunch, & xterm 
    • Ruby

New System Windows 7 OS Install and Configuration

Follow these steps to set up and configure a Windows 7 computer for the team.  Michael has a hard disk with many of the installers on it to speed the install.

  • Name the computer something like FRC971-2016-5 and put it in the workgroup "HOME".  See the system design page to select a computer name.
  • Windows 7:  Preferably install the 64 Bit OS if there is 2 GB or more of RAM on the computer.
    • During the install, make the default user "root".
    • Install the many windows updates.
    • Add a user "team" with the "jacks" icon.
    • Control Panel
      • Folder Options/View
        • Select: Show hidden files, floder, and drive
        • Deselect: Hide extensions for known file types
      • AutoPlay: deselect "Use AutoPlay for all media and devices" to turn off autoplay.
      • Indexing Options: Turn it off.  Use the "Modify" button (lower left of panel), click on "Show all locations" and deselect all of them.
    • Install Microsoft Security Essentials
    • Configure Windows Update to download updates and ask about installing them.  When properly configured, there will be a "! Shut Down" option that will install updates.
      • Run "gpedit.msc" to start the "Local Group Policy Editor"
      • In the left frame, go to AdministrativeTemplates/WindowsComponents/WindowsUpdate
      • Set the "Configure Automatic Updates" option to "3 - Auto download and notify for install" 
  • gvim: Use the gvim74.exe executable installer or whatever is the current version.
  • Tortoise SVN:  See the notes above.  Go to the downloads page and download and install the correct version.
    • To prevent storing user passwords, uncomment the lines "store-passwords=no" and store-plantext-passwords (they are near the bottom of the file) in the C:\Users\team\AppData\Roaming\Subversion\servers file.  Run %appdata%\Subversion\ will open this folder directly.  This StackOverFlow question for some more information on this.  Also view the SVN book here.
  • Acrobat Reader: Local install (see notes above) or from the Enteprise Download site.
  • Google Chrome:   - install it for all users from the admin account.  Use the Alternate (offline) Google Chrome installer (Windows).  Set default "On startup" pages to be and  Do the same for Internet Explorer.
  • SolidWorks: Once installed, login an validate the license.
    • Use regedit to keep TortoiseSVN from hanging when checking in SolidWorks parts and assemblies.
      • Rename HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SldAssem.Document\shellex\IconHandler to IconHandler_doNotUse_SVN_Broken_Schuh
      • Rename HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SldPart.Document\shellex\IconHandler to IconHandler_doNotUse_SVN_Broken_Schuh
      • Rename HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SldDraw.Document\shellex\IconHandler to IconHandler_doNotUse_SVN_Broken_Schuh
  • Cygwin: See the optional install notes above.
  • Skip Java unless the machine will be used for researching Bimba parts.  According to Brian, this is this is the only reason we use Java.  I am not sure where Java is used on that site though.  The Bimba site might have changed and no longer require Java.  Jan 2, 2014.
  • Desktop Cleanup:  Delete all of the icons except the SolidWorks one on the root desktop that showed up from installing software.
  • Logon as "team" and download the team repository to the "team" "Desktop" and use the default "frc971" name.  No need to get all of the files from the seasons two prior to the current one.  Use "files and folders" and "update to revision" to restrict what is downloaded and get more.

Windows 7 Powershell script to automate installing software

This is an attempt to build a Windows Powershell script to install software and check out the team SVN repository.

  • Run "powershell Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned" in a root owned cmd.exe window to get around the not signed error message.
  • Check out
    #   PowerShell ISE as administrator and running.
    #    Set-ExecutionPolicy -Force Unrestricted
    #    C:\users\team\Desktop\NewComputerConfiguration\root_configuration_tasks.ps1
    #  or from a thumb disk with
    #    E:\NewComputerConfiguration\root_configuration_tasks.ps1
    #    Set-ExecutionPolicy -Force Restricted
    #   From running PowerShell ISE as team, run the following to set up the folder options.  Ignore the SolidWorks error.
    #     C:\users\team\Desktop\NewComputerConfiguration\root_configuration_tasks.ps1
    #  or from a thumb disk with:
    #     E:\NewComputerConfiguration\root_configuration_tasks.ps1
    #  Check out the SVN repository with: 
    #  or from a thumb disk with:
    #     E:\NewComputerConfiguration\svn_checkout.ps1 

January 2, 2014

The 2011 desktops updated per above on Dec 14, 2013. -- Dave