If you’ve ever taken a class in SOLIDWORKS Electrical or gone through an implementation, chances are you’ve been told to Archive Environment REGULARLY. This is your backup – your “Eek! The server crashed and we need to get everything back up and running on another machine STAT!” safety, and based on how things are going this year, if I were you, I would not take any chances. Considering all of the metadata and data that SOLIDWORKS Electrical stores, the fact that we are able to package everything up neatly into a single file with Archive Environment is pretty impressive, but the problem (up until now) has always been remembering to do it. Yes – the program will remind us to do it at any interval we choose, but only IF we open the application, so what can we do?
Let’s automate it… with Task Scheduler!
Before we get ahead of ourselves, I should note that this is a feature exclusive to SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2021. Since PR1 is out, I get the fun of showing you guys how it works BEFORE SP0 is released! SUCH FUN!
OK so first things first, let’s take a look at the magical application that the SOLIDWORKS Electrical fairies (developers) have gifted us with that will make this work: ewenvironmentarchiver.exe. For a typical installation, this application is located at “C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SOLIDWORKS Electrical\bin\EwEnvironmentArchiver”. The first thing we want to do is open this application and change the Output folder to somewhere safe.
If User rights management is activated in SOLIDWORKS Electrical, we will also want to login as a user with credentials that allow them to Archive Environment.
We can also choose what we want to archive under Archive mode, and I chose to un-check the box next to Open log file. Once we specify these settings, we can move on to the next step: setting up Task Scheduler!
Task Scheduler can be found from the Start Menu under Programs > Windows Administrative Tools, or by simply searching for it from the search bar. Once we have it open, we can create a new folder by Right-clicking Task Scheduler Library, selecting New Folder… , and entering a name. I created a folder called SOLIDWORKS just for the sake of organization.
The next step is to select our folder and click Create Basic Task… (on the right under Actions). Give this a name and click Next > .
Now we get to pick how often we run the task. This will depend on how often your company uses SOLIDWORKS Electrical and how much storage space you have. I chose Daily and selected Next.
This allows us to choose a time when we want to perform the task. For this step, I would recommend choosing a time when you won’t be actively using the program and when there isn’t an overwhelming amount of activity on the server already. I set the start time to 11:00 PM and clicked Next.
It’s action time! Under “What action do you want the task to perform?” we want to select Start a program and click Next.
From here, we need to click Browse next to Program/script and then navigate over to our application (typically “C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SOLIDWORKS Electrical\bin\EwEnvironmentArchiver”) and select Open.
Next to Add arguments (optional): we want to type “runwithlastoption” and then select Next.
Now all we have to do is click Finish … and we’re done!
Here’s a video of it in action:
Of course, all of our backup files can be found at the location specified at the beginning of this process (the Output folder), so if you’re ever in a bind, you can always restore your work from there.
Thanks for following along! I hope this helps a ton of you out. I know this is a game-changer for me. Happy designing!