If anyone wants to download a FREE tool I built to extract files from our 2017 PDM Workgroup vault (maybe it will work with older vaults) just message me and I'll send you a link to download it. It's freeware and runs on Windows. Here is a screenshot of the user interface:
All it really does is create a batch file and run it for you to extract your files to a folder of your choosing (or you can choose manual mode and run the batch file yourself). It has several options. By default it automatically extracts the latest revision of all file types from the vault. As seen on the image you can check an option to download all revisions too.
I wrote this for our vault and it worked great for our needs, which was to extract all revisions of all files from the projects folder in our vault, but we didn't care about obsolete files. unVault should find any files in the obsolete folder and copy them, but I'm not sure how it will arrange them in the PUT folder. I installed it on our vault server (2012 r2) and it worked through 145,000 files in under 4 hours. We picked the files we wanted to extract, selected a folder to put them in, chose our options, and let it run. Saved us so much time. We are now working out of the extracted folder with Solidworks 2018 SP3.
Of course, you might be thinking "I don't want to wait 4 hours to see if this is going to work for me". You don't have to. Just interrupt the scanning process by hitting the escape key and only copy a small sample of files, and then later you can pick up where you left off if you decide to copy all of your files by checking the Newer option.
Please understand, this is a rough tool (freeware) and not a refined finished product. I tried to test and idiot proof it as much as possible but I'm sure someone could break or misuse it if they tried hard enough. It's a simple tool that, if used simply, it will simply work. All it does is copy files, your original vault files are not changed in any way.
The Readme.txt file and the tool tips that show when you hover over the options explain everything about how the tool works. If you have any other questions, want to tell me about a bug or problem, or if unVault doesn't work the way you want and want to contact me about making it work for you, please message me and I'll see what I can do. The download link points to a zip file; download, extract, install, use, then use Add/Remove programs to uninstall.
I'm doing this to help others in the community who, like us, just want to get the files out into a folder and have no simple way to extract the files. I'm aware there is an un-compiled program out there that is available for migrations (I'm sure it works much better too), but we aren't doing a migration and we don't want to have to pay a VAR to get this done. I've already written this program. I don't see why I can't share it with others. I've already used it and uninstalled it, and I'll probably never use it again. Seems a waste to spend the time I did on it and never have a use for it again. So, I polished it up a bit, gave it some options, tested, and shared. I hope it helps you too.