How to Manage SOLIDWORKS Activation CID Issues

This article will discuss what a Computer Identifier (CID) is, how it is generated, and solutions to common warning & error messages due to it changing.

What is a CID?

A CID is an algorithmically generated hash code by SOLIDWORKS activation using a combination of system identifiers such as the machine's MAC address and system hardware addresses for the motherboard and hard drive.

What causes a CID to change?

  • MAC Address Change
    • By default, most VMs automatically create a new MAC address when they are powered off and back on again.
  • Hardware Changes
    • Adding hard drives or RAM
    • Swapping out devices, drives, etc.
  • OS Changes
    • Upgrading from Windows 10 to 11, for example
  • Parallels on Mac
    • If run within the Mac OS and booted directly to Windows, this will create two CIDs for the machine.
  • VM Migration
    • The hash on VMs utilizes part of the VM configuration and also hardware from the host machine.

Note: Any IP address changes do not affect this.

Example behaviors due to a CID change

There are three typical messages where there is a CID issue with SOLIDWORKS.

  • SOLIDWORKS Startup | “Failed to obtain…”
“Failed to obtain…”
  • SOLIDWORKS Startup | “The current computer identifier (0) does not match…”
“The current computer identifier (0) does not match…”
  • SOLIDWORKS Activation | During activation or re-activation
    • This is one cause of this message, but this message can also show if you have SOLIDWORKS installed and activated on another machine.
Activation transaction failed.


CID change behavior solutions

These are the typical solutions for each CID issue with SOLIDWORKS discussed above.

  • SOLIDWORKS Startup | “Failed to obtain…”
    • Ensure the FlexNet license service is running.
      • Go to Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools > Services.
      • Ensure that these two services, FlexNet Licensing Service and FlexNet Licensing Service 64, are running.
  • Check for missing or faulty hardware.
    • Open System Information: Search for “System Information” in the Windows search, then select to open.
    • Then, expand Components > Problem Devices in the tree on the left-hand side.  If anything is listed here, work with your IT department to resolve it.
  • Repair SOLIDWORKS.
    • After completing the repair operation successfully, follow these steps to perform activation:
      • Go to C:\ProgramData\FLEXnet and rename the FlexNet folder to something like FlexNet_old.
      • By default, the ProgramData folder is a hidden folder. Either you can go to Folder Options and select the Show hidden folders option, or you can directly enter C:\ProgramData\ on the address bar in Windows File Explorer to access this folder.
      • Try again to activate the SOLIDWORKS software.
  • SOLIDWORKS Startup | “The current computer identifier (0) does not match…”
    • With this error, the system is in a state that is not repairable by the user.  You will have to contact your VAR so they can help resolve this issue between your machine and the activation server.
  • SOLIDWORKS Activation | During activation or re-activation
    • For this message, you must contact your VAR to determine if a CID change caused it or if it is due to another machine already being activated with this serial number.

For any of the steps that require CADimensions to assist you, please submit a case and let us know what you have changed and how we can assist you!

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