SysCAD Installation Instructions

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Latest SysCAD Version: 21 September 2021 - SysCAD 9.3 Build 139.29552

Related Links: Upgrading Projects, SysCAD Installation Tests, Licensing, OS and Software Requirements


SysCAD is a 32 bit Windows application that can used with most Microsoft Windows 32bit and 64bit operating systems including Windows 8.x and Windows 10. Windows 10 is recommended. SysCAD is not supported on Windows 7 since Microsoft for Windows 7 has ended. Please see OS and Software Requirements page for more detail.

The SysCAD full installation file (SysCAD9.3InstallBuildXXX.yyyyy.exe) can be obtained from the SysCAD downloads page ( using your company username and password. See Downloading SysCAD Software and Updates for more information.


  1. The SysCAD download website is not the same as the basecamp file sharing site. See File Transfers (Basecamp).
  2. The two separate sites (SysCAD download and File Transfer) have different username and password.

New SysCAD Installation


  • Once installed the user requires full rights to the installed SysCADxxx folder for all files and sub-folders. This is required for a number of reasons, including ability to open example and tutorial projects; use the distributed database; add customised add-ons; access software license; etc.
  • If you have downloaded the installation file as a compressed file (zip file) then you first need to extract this to a temporary folder.
  • Administrator or Local Administrator rights are required to install SysCAD, register SysCAD files and install the Crypkey licensing service software.
  • If you are not an Administrator, it is NOT always sufficient to use "Run as Administrator" for the install program because this install in turn calls other installation programs which would not not be executed as Administrator.

Run the installation file (example "SysCAD9.3InstallBuild138.25446.exe"), following the on-screen instructions.

The full installation performs the following steps:

  1. Install SysCAD files (including SysCAD application, library files, example/tutorial projects and utilities)
  2. Install the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable Package (vcredist_x86.exe or vc_redist.x86.exe for Build137 and later)
  3. Update registry for SysCAD OPC and COM interfaces (regall_direct.cmd).
  4. Install the SysCAD Reaction Editor (used for editing reaction files in SysCAD)
  5. Install Crypkey Licensing Service (setupex.exe)

The install will create a desktop shortcut for SysCAD and add SysCAD to the Start menu.

The default location for the SysCAD installation is C:\SysCADxxx (eg, SysCAD138). The sub folders BaseFiles, Bin, Examples, License, Setup and Tutorial are created. Please refer to SysCAD Files for more information.

Steps 2 through 5 are from independent installs that are available in \syscadxxx\setup folders installed during step 1. They can be installed, re-installed or repaired independently from the relevant folders in \syscadxxx\setup.

Once the installation is finished you may like to perform some basic tests to ensure that SysCAD has been installed correctly. Please refer to SysCAD Installation Tests for a list of some basic checks.

Additional Installs Required

  1. It is strongly recommended that Notepad++ is installed. A copy of the install for this text editor is included in the \SysCADxxx\Setup folder. Notepad++ is primarily used for editing SysCAD PGM and MP files. Please refer to Using Notepad++ for more information on installation instructions.
  2. If you are using a network license, the "SysCAD License Server" will need to have been configured. See Network Software License.
  3. If you do not have Microsoft .Net Framework 4.5 or newer installed, you need to download and install this. It is required by the Reaction Editor.


Once installed, SysCAD needs a valid license. This may be a USB License Key or a software key. Please refer to Licensing and Getting Started for more information.

Re-installing SysCAD

When upgrading to new Build numbers, for example from Build 137 to Build 138 (or from Build 136 to Build 137), it is strongly recommended that a full install to a separate folder is used so that the different Builds can be used "side by side". For first use of a new Build number do not simply unzip an update for the new Build to the bin folder of the old Build. For notes on upgrading projects between Builds see Upgrading Builds.

SysCAD can be installed "on top" of an existing installation when using the same Build number. It is not necessary to uninstall SysCAD first. The new installation will not corrupt existing licenses, but in some cases you may need to check in SysCAD that the license location is pointing at the correct folder.

You can install the new Build over an existing Build, it is not necessary to install to a new location. When installing to the same location it is recommended that you first:

  • "Tidy up" the tutorial and example projects (\SysCADxxx\Examples and \SysCADxxx\Tutorial folders) by backing up, renaming or deleting these folders before installing. (If you don't you may get a confusing mixture of old and new files in the projects.)
  • "Tidy up" the BaseFiles which has symbols, etc (\SysCADxxx\BaseFiles folder) by deleting this folder before installing. Any user files are stored in \SysCADxxx\BaseFilesUser folder.
  • You can retain a version of the previous Build by renaming the bin folder before installing (this is optional). For example, if you are upgrading to Build 138.25446 and your current Build is 138.23980 you can rename the folder "Bin138_23980" to retain the older version.

Note: Because the full SysCAD install calls the install for Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables and these are likely already install it may ask if you wish to repair the install. You can skip or cancel this step or allow the "repair".

SysCAD Script or Silent Install

The normal method for installing SysCAD is described above, but it is possible to install SysCAD as part of a command script. This method is typically only implemented by IT. There is a silent install option for SysCAD using command line option "/VerySilent". IMPORTANT: When using /VerySilent the third party tools used are not installed, so the script needs to install these components as shown in the example. The components that need to be installed are described above.

Example cmd script:

@echo off
cd %~d0%~p0
Echo "Installing SysCAD"
Rem /? will provide further information
Rem /LOG="FileName" is optional and is used to generate an installation log file.
Rem /DIR="Path\Filename" is optional and is used to set the target installation location (if not set then default is used)
SysCAD9.3InstallBuild138.25446.exe /VerySilent /LOG="FileName" /DIR="Path\Filename"

Echo "Installing VC Redist"
Rem /norestart is optional
vc_redist.x86.exe /q:a /norestart
Echo "Installing Reaction Editor"
msiexec.exe /i "SysCADReactionEditor1.3.msi" /quiet
Echo "Installing Crypkey"
"Path\setupex.exe" \q

Echo Update registry for SysCAD OPC and COM interfaces

Rem Notepad++ does not offer a silent install option
Echo "Installing Notepad++"

Echo "Install script completed"

SysCAD Updates

It is seldom necessary to run a full install for minor updates, for example going from Build 138.xxxxx to Build 138.yyyyy. Instead, an update of the SysCAD program files can simply be unzipped:

  1. The SysCAD update file ( can be obtained by downloading it from the SysCAD downloads page (
  2. Ensure SysCAD is closed (and any application that might be referencing SysCAD using COM).
  3. Unzip the update file into the SysCADxxx\bin folder, replacing all previous files.

There are also updates for BaseFiles, Example projects, etc that can be downloaded and unzipped in a similar way.

Using Multiple SysCAD Builds

If a user needs to use than one version of the same Build of SysCAD on their computer, then the following is recommended:

  • Create a new sub-folder called binXXXXX in the SysCAD Build folder so that you have multiple bin folders side by side within the same Build. Unzip the update file for the additional build into this new folder.
  • This new version of the Build will use the same base files and license as the current build.

If a user needs to use more than one Build of SysCAD on their computer, then the following is recommended:

  • Install the new Build to a separate location, for example \SysCAD139_27436, so that the two Builds are independent and side by side.
  • This new Build will NOT share the same base files, examples, etc as the current build.
  • For a shared software license you may need to check the settings for the license location.

If COM Automation or OPC is used, then it needs to know which version of SysCAD to open. To force a particular build to be used, run the RegAll.cmd file in the corresponding bin folder.