Friday, November 27, 2009

Upgrading Comsol 3.5a from a non-administrator Win7 account.

I ran into a problem installing the Comsol 3.5a hotfix to my installation of Comsol Multiphysics.

Basically, the symptoms are the following:

I followed the online instructions for installing the hotfix:

  • Download the update35a2_win64.jar file
  • Move it in to the COMSOL35a\updates directory
  • Run Programs > COMSOL 3.5a > Tools > Install COMSOL Update from the start menu using “Run as Administrator”.

I then ran Comsol to check the version number. But to my frustration it always displayed version instead of the updated

However, Comsol running from an admin account would display the correct version number

I tried copying Users\<username>\.comsol\ver35a\preferences.ini from the admin account to the standard account, but it kept getting replaced with the old version of the file upon launching Comsol in the standard account.

The solution I found was the following:

  • Temporarily give my non-admin standard account admin privileges by going to Control Panel > User Accounts and Family Safety > User Accounts > Change your account type
  • Run the update install tool using “Run as Administrator” and choosing the now-admin “standard” account
  • This is very important - run Comsol once using “Run as Administrator” and choosing the now-admin “standard” account
  • Close Comsol and take away admin privileges from the “standard” account

Running the update program from an admin account is pretty standard, but I think the key is then to run the program once using admin privileges.

I guess the update program only stages the changes so that the next run of Comsol can execute the changes. Or something like that.

This fix works for me. Good luck!

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