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Installation Tips
Windows Support PC Requirements Moving to a new PC

Installing your HydroCAD system

The current HydroCAD-10.2 release will run on most Windows-based computers.  If you have an earlier version of HydroCAD, an update is required for full compatibility with the latest operating systems.

1) Download the "setup" program according to the details in your download email.  Using a recent download will ensure that you have the latest release available.

Tip: If you wish to install on a computer that doesn't have internet access, you can download the setup program on a different computer and move the setup file using a flash drive or other removable media.

2) Run the setup program and follow the on-screen instructions to install HydroCAD on a local drive on the PC where the software will be used.  If the setup program fails to run, your antivirus software or system policies may be blocking the setup program.

Important: Do not install the software on a server.  It must be installed on the local PC of the intended user.  With HydroCAD 10.2 your license is automatically shared between multiple installations.  For earlier versions please read about license pooling.

3) When setup is complete, start HydroCAD and review the on-line Tutorial, which will run automatically.

Note that all network and license management capabilities are included in the standard installation program.  No separate software is required for these applications.

HydroCAD should not be run in Windows "Compatibility mode".  HydroCAD is designed to run as a native application on all supported Windows platforms.  Using "Compatibility mode" can cause hard-to-diagnose problems and should never be used!  To verify your settings, right-click the HydroCAD icon and check the Compatibility tab.

Installing an update

Any program updates should be installed with the standard installation procedure described here.  The update should be installed to the same location as your previous version of HydroCAD.  Program settings and user data files are not altered by the installation process.

1) Updates should always be installed to the same folder as your current installation.  Although the SETUP program will allow you to install to a different folder, this is not recommended, since the previous installation will become inactive.

2) A PC can only have a single active version of HydroCAD at any given time.  Whenever you want to change versions (up or down), we recommend that you always install to the same folder as your current installation.  This will make your previous data files immediately available, and avoid any confusion about file locations.

3) You normally do not need to uninstall before installing a new version.  Uninstall is recommended only when upgrading from HydroCAD 6.00.  You do not need to uninstall when upgrading from any other release.

Removing HydroCAD

HydroCAD can be removed by using Add/Remove programs on the Windows control panel.  All user settings and data files are preserved during an uninstall.  Only the original HydroCAD program and data files are removed.

Administrators' tip: You can perform a silent uninstall by using the "undeploy" program located in the HydroCAD program folder together with the /silent option.  Note that all user settings and data files are preserved during an uninstall.

What if I want to revert to an earlier version?

Just install the earlier version to the same folder as your current installation.  You do not need to uninstall your current program.  (See details in previous section.)

Installing on a network

HydroCAD must always be installed on the individual PC's where it will used.  However, you may share your license(s) subject to the terms of the License Agreement

File Sharing

There are several types of files that you may want to share between multiple HydroCAD installations.  For project files, just place the file in a shared folder.  Other files, such as custom rainfalls or chamber definitions, can be shared by placing them in the same folder as the project(s) that use them.  No special setup is required, since HydroCAD always looks in the current project folder for these custom files.  However, if you want to share data files that are used by projects in different folders, you can setup shared data files.

Increasing your node capacity

Starting with HydroCAD 10.2, your license will be automatically updated whenever you increase the number of users or nodes.  For earlier versions, start HydroCAD and enter your revised serial number on the Settings|Serial Number screen in place of the old number.  Unless you are also installing a newer version of HydroCAD, you don't need to re-install the software - just enter the new serial number.

Moving to a new PC

For details on moving your HydroCAD installation to a new PC, please click here.

Installation problems

bulletIf setup fails to run without displaying an error message:
bulletRight-click the setup file and select Properties.  If you see a "Blocked" message at the bottom of the General tab, click the adjacent "Unblock" button.
bulletYour antivirus software may be blocking the setup program.  Disable your antivirus software before running setup.
bulletMake sure your %temp% folder allows executables to run.  If the folder has been configured to block executables the setup program will fail.  If necessary you can specify a different folder by running setup with the /temp switch, such as setup /temp "C:\My Folder".
bulletIf you get a "Corrupt file" message when running setup, your setup file is damaged.  Download the program again.
bulletIf setup starts, but you get an "access denied" message when you click "I do", uninstall any previous HydroCAD installation and manually delete the ProgramFiles/HydroCAD folder.
bulletIf you see "Microsoft .NET not found" or "RegAsm.exe not found" this indicates that the setup program was not able to locate the REGASM.EXE file in any of the standard .NET installation folders.  This error has been reported in Citrix environments where the .NET installation folders were not available to the HydroCAD setup program.
bulletIf you get an "insufficient rights" message, please contact your system administrator for assistance.  You must have "administrator" rights in order to run the setup program.

Technical note: The setup program tests for admin rights by attempting to write to the HKLM section of the registry.  If the program reports "insufficient rights", you don't have full admin rights, or a Windows "policy" is in effect that blocks write access to HKLM.

bulletIf you have trouble running HydroCAD please read about possible startup problems.

Admin tips

(1) If you are preparing a script for automatic installation on multiple computers, you may use setup /silent to perform a silent installation on each PC.  If AutoCAD is present, the /silent option will automatically select the most recent version of AutoCAD for watershed import.

(2a) If you want to preset the license code for a specific user (thus avoiding manual entry) you can place the code in the following registry key as a string value.  This will allow HydroCAD 10.2 to start without prompting for the license code.


To protect the confidentially of your license code, this value will be automatically encrypted the first time that user runs HydroCAD.  When setting up additional PC's, always use the original unencrypted license code.  The encrypted code will not work on any other PC.

(2b) Starting with HydroCAD 10.2-2e, if you want to preset the license code for all users, you can place the license code in the following registry key as a string value.  This will override the license code for all users, allowing them to run HydroCAD without prompting for a license code.

    HKLM\Software\HydroCAD\License  (for 32-bit systems)

    HKLM\Software\WOW6432Node\HydroCAD\License  (for 64-bit systems)

(3) If you want to install the HydroCAD Sampler on multiple computers (such as a computer lab) you can preset the same registry key (as describe in steps 2a or 2b above) to "Sampler" (without the quotes).  This will cause the software to skip the initial startup prompt.

(4) If your are using a software policy that prevents .exe files from running in the %temp% folder, you can specify a different folder by running setup with the /temp switch, such as setup /temp "C:\My Folder".

(5) For proper operation of the HydroCAD license manager, each user should have a unique, recognizable Windows user name.  The license manager will automatically track and report usage based on this user name.

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