Nick Birkett-Smith

Hotfix for SolidWorks Student Design Kit expiry problem "This limited life version of SolidWorks has expired"

Discussion created by Nick Birkett-Smith Employee on Jan 7, 2014
Latest reply on Jan 17, 2014 by Nick Birkett-Smith


The expiry issue for new downloads of the SolidWorks Student Design Kit has been corrected - meaning the hotfix does not need to be applied if the software was downloaded on 15th January 2014 or later.


For students who downloaded and installed the SolidWorks Student Design Kit before 15th January 2014 and are having problems with premature expiry of the software, please install the hotfix following the instructions below.


If you are still having problems with premature expiry of the software after installing the hotfix, please email to receive further instructions for an alternative solution.


Hotfix details (only necessary if software downloaded before 15th January 2014)

We are aware of an issue where those users of the SolidWorks Student Design Kit (SDK) 2013-2014 who should still be entitled to use it, are seeing the following error message when launching SolidWorks after December 31 2013.


We apologize for any inconvenience this problem has caused, and have developed a hotfix to correct it.

Hotfix pre-requisites

  • You have installed SolidWorks Student Design Kit 2013-2014 (this hotfix will not work with earlier versions of the SolidWorks Student Design Kit).
  • Your actual Student Design Kit expiry date has not elapsed - this is either 365 days from receiving your serial number or December 31 2014, whichever comes first.

Hotfix installation instructions

1. Prepare you computer for hotfix installation

Verify in the Task Manager that sldworks.exe and sldworks_fs.exe processes aren’t running. To do this, open your Task Manager by pressing “Ctrl + Alt + Delete” at the same time and select Start Task Manager. You will then see the window below.


Next select the 2nd tab in the Task Manager labeled Processes


If either of the processes listed above are still running then select it and click “End Process”.

2. Determine your SolidWorks version and service pack

To do this, open your Windows Control Panel from the Start Menu, select the "Programs and Features" item, then locate SolidWorks in the list of programs. Make a note of the version and service pack number, then close the Control Panel window without making any changes.

Control Panel.png

SolidWorks 2013 [x64 Edition] SP02 = Version:2013, Service pack:02

SolidWorks 2013 [x64 Edition] SP03 = Version:2013, Service pack:03

3. Download and unzip the hotfix

Choose the correct hotfix version from the bottom of this forum post. It is important you download the correct version or it will not install.

After downloading it, unzip the contents of the .zip file - this will be a single .exe file.

4. Run the hotfix

Double-click on the hotfix sw201x_SP0x-SDK_HotFix.exe. A WinZip Self-Extractor should appear. Click “Unzip”.


A pop-up will appear confirming that the files have been extracted. Click “OK”.


A User Account Control pop-up will appear. Click “Yes”.

If the hotfix has been installed correctly you will see the message: "Your product(s) have been successfully patched."

SolidWorks Student Design Kit (SDK) 2013-2014 will now open and run properly.

Hotfix removal instructions

The hotfix must be removed before installing any newer versions of the SDK or Student Edition in the future.

Before removing the HotFix, please be sure to close any running sessions of SolidWorks.

Open your Windows Control Panel from the Start Menu, select the "Programs and Features" item, then locate the item SolidWorks Hotfix 752978 and click Uninstall.


Hotfix troubleshooting and FAQ

Error: None of the products defined in this hotfix are installed. Your system has not been modified.

It is likely you have downloaded the wrong hotfix version. Please double-check step 2 and 3 above

Error: Failed to patch a required Product

It is likely that sldworks.exe and/or sldworks_fs.exe are still running - this blocks the hotfix installation. Please double-check step 1 above.


I get the expiry error in the SolidWorks Student Design Kit 2012-2013 version, why is no hotfix available for that version?

UPDATED: In most cases the SolidWorks SDK 2012-2013 version correctly expired on 31 December 2013. The hotfix is not intended to extend that expiry date. Some schools have an extended SDK 2012-2013 license. If this applies to your school please email for further instructions.


Is it necessary to install the hotfix on new installations of SolidWorks Student Design Kit 2013-2014 or is the hotfix already included in new downloads?

UPDATED: If the software was downloaded on 15th January 2014 or later then the hotfix is not required. Please refer to the note in the red box at the top of this forum post.


How do I get more help with installing the hotfix?

If you encounter any problems with the installation of the hotfix please report them at: