Updating VectorWorks 2008

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Much of this information is the same as the information for updating VectorWorks 12, but there are a few differences, so we figured it would be easier for VW 2008 users for there to be a separate page.

The biggest difference in the 2008 updaters is that each updater is service pack specific. For example, if you download and run the Service Pack 1 updater, it will install SP1. If you want to update to SP2, you have to download and run the Service Pack 2 updater. (Previous VectorWorks updaters would always update you to the latest release no matter what, even if you were running an old updater executable.)


Before Updating

Internet Connectivity

The updater requires an open connection to the Internet. If you're behind a firewall and cannot relax the restrictions for the updater, it won't work.

Make Back-ups of Changed Files

The VectorWorks 2008 updater will over-write all of the files in the target folder, and the only files that it will back-up before doing this are the workspaces. So the first step is to determine what files in your existing installation you have modified, and to make back-ups of those files.

In the event that you do not remember exactly when you installed the version that you already have, you can look for the InstallerLog.txt file in your VectorWorks folder. This file was created by the installer, so its date is the date of the last installation.



Then you can do a Spotlight search for all files modified since that date.




Then you can do a search for all files modified since that date.


Any files that you created yourself are safe, but any files that were created originally by the previous NNA installer or updater are going to be over-written when you run the new updater. So make a copy of these files. (When in doubt, make back-ups first, ask questions later.)

Check the Name of the Executable(s)

On both Windows and Macintosh, the updater will not work if the executable has been renamed. So the name of the executable has to be "VectorWorks2008.exe" (Windows) or "VectorWorks 2008.app" (Macintosh). Macintosh users who are not using the "Show all file extensions" preference in Finder should make sure that the executable is named simply "VectorWorks 2008". Windows users who have the Explorer preference "Hide extensions for known file types" checked should have an executable named "VectorWorks2008".

Download the Updater

The updaters can be downloaded from NNA. Note that you can update to Service Pack 1, 2, or 3, depending on which updater you download.

Turn Off Sleep Mode

The updater can fail, especially on the Mac, if sleep mode kicks in during the update process. So just disable it until after the updater has finished.

Decompress the Updater

On the Mac, the updater is a disk image file (dmg), so you can just double-click the downloaded file, and it will mount the disk image (if it didn't mount automatically after downloading). Then you can run the updater by double-clicking the "Update VectorWorks" file within the disk image.

On Windows, the updater is packaged as a zip file, which you have to unzip yourself. So use your favorite unzipping utility to extract the files to your favorite destination, such as a folder on your desktop. Note that you DO have to extract the files -- if you try to run the updater from within the zip archive, it will fail. Also, there is a folder structure within the archive that must be preserved when you extract the files. If you use something like WinZip, and you simply select all of the files and drag them to a destination folder, this will flatten the folder structure, and you'll have nothing but loose files in the destination folder, with no sub-folders. This will cause the updater to fail. After extracting the files, make sure that the destination folder has a "UpdateVectorWorks2008.exe" file in it, and "Parts" folder. The "Parts" folder should contain the following files (for SP3):

  • 1300_76681_88670_Com_eng.zip
  • 1300_76681_88670_Com_stu.zip
  • 1300_76681_88670_Win_eng.zip
  • 1300_76681_88670_Win_stu.zip

Run the Updater

Now you're ready to run the updater.

The instructions in the updater are pretty self-explanatory, except that the Read Me file pertains to full installations, not updates. So disregard it.

When prompted for a folder, make sure to select the folder containing the version of VectorWorks you wish to update.



The most common updater problem on the Macintosh is that the updater sometimes quits when you're browsing for the folder to update. The exact cause of this problem has not been determined, but it appears that sometimes the folder browser mechanism chokes on something it doesn't like when scanning the folders on the hard-drive, to populate the folder/file list in the dialog box. Sometimes repairing disk permissions fixes this problem, but not always. In this event, try this:

  • In Finder, drag the VectorWorks folder to be updated into the lower portion of the sidebar.
  • Run the updater, and when it asks you for the folder to update, choose the VectorWorks folder by clicking the link in the sidebar.
  • After updating, you can remove the sidebar link.

If that doesn't work, try this:

  • Move the VectorWorks folder that needs to be updated to some other location on the hard-drive. For example, the VectorWorks folder might be in the Applications folder. So drag it to the Desktop. If it's already on the Desktop, move it to the Applications folder. Or move it to the root of the hard-drive.
  • Point the updater to the folder in its new location.
  • After updating, move the folder back to its original location.


The most common problem on Windows is with having the wrong version of QuickTime installed, or with having a corrupt installation of QuickTime. This will not make the updater fail, but VectorWorks will fail to launch after the update. To fix this, run the QuickTime installer, in the Support folder inside the zip that you downloaded. If that doesn't work, try uninstalling QuickTime, and then re-running the QuickTime installer.

If there isn't any QuickTime installer in the zip that you donwloaded, you can get the latest QT from Apple.

After Updating

Restore the files that you have modified to their respective locations in the VectorWorks folder.

Save the updater (if you're not tight on disk space) in case you have to use it again.

Charles 20:06, 4 May 2008 (EDT)

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