The instructions that follow explain how to install OrCAD/Allegro v17.4 software products using Cadence Download Manager. These instructions support stand-alone workstations as well as network licensing. 

Sections included in this Installation Guide include: 

Preparing for Installation

Define Your Download Preferences

Download & Install Download Manager

Download & Install OrCAD/Allegro 17.4 Products

Download & Install Hotfix Updates

Update Your Product Licensing After Installation

Note: If you choose to use a dongle as your Cadence OrCAD/Allegro product license and locking method, attach the dongle to the USB port of your computer after the installation of your software is complete and you are ready to reboot your computer. Although, you may receive a License Manager error during the installation, the error is expected and typically is resolved after you complete your installation and reboot your system.

Preparing for Installation

Be sure to complete the following tasks before you begin installation of your OrCAD/Allegro products. 

  • Save your license file  EMA includes your license file with your software delivery. You may optionally receive a control file that enables you to selectively install a subset of OrCAD/Allegro products. If so, save that control file with your license file.
  • Identify the Hostname of your server or local workstation – You need to verify the hostname of the server or workstation where your License Manager is installed. You can identify this by entering Hostname into a Command Prompt window.
  • Verify you have a USB port available (optional) – a USB port is necessary only if you plan to use a USB Flex ID key (dongle) for your product license and locking method. 
  • Temporarily disable your security software – Active security software may interfere with the installation files; it is recommended you disable security software before installation.  
  • Verify you have Administrative rights – Admin rights are needed to conduct the installation of License Manager and recommended for the installation of OrCAD/Allegro software products. 

Note: If you already have License Manager installed, it will be uninstalled during the installation process to enable the installation of the most recent version of License Manager.

Define Your Cadence Support Download Preferences

The first time you access the Cadence software download webpage, you are prompted to specify your download preferences.

  1. To access the Cadence Online Support (COS) software download webpage of the Cadence website URL:  Select the menu options:  Software > Download Software.

    Note: You may need to first click the three parallel line (hamburger) icon to display the drop-down menu list. The links and menus available from the Cadence Support webpage may appear differently when you use a different browser or a different browser window width.  

  2. To specify your Download Method, select Complete Media Images and then select Windows as your operating system as shown in the screen image above.

  3. Select SPB for Preferred Releases.

  4. If necessary, scroll down the page to view the lower part of the page. 

  5. Select I Agree and Save.  The "Latest Releases" for the last 90 days display in the center of the window.

Download & Install Download Manager

When you view the Cadence software download page, (URL: there are several links along the top border of the page. 

  1. Click to select: DOWNLOAD ASSISTANTS > Download Manager. The "Using Cadence Download Manager" webpage opens.

  2.  Click the Download button to automatically download Download Manager.

  3. After the download is complete, click the DownloadManager.exe file and select Show in folder from your right mouse pop-up menu.

  4. Click the file with your right mouse button and select Run as administrator from the pop-up menu.

    The Download Manager InstallShield Wizard automatically launches.

  5. Click the Next button to progress to the next page of the installation wizard.

  6. Click to check the selection box for Launch Download Manager now. Then click the Finish button.

Download & Install OrCAD/Allegro 17.4 Products

Now that you have the Cadence Download Manager installed, you are ready to download and install your OrCAD/Allegro products from Download Manager. 

  1. If you are immediately continuing from the above instructions, Download Manager is already active. If Download Manager is not already active, however, launch it now and Run as administrator.

    Note: One way you can launch Download Manager and "Run as administrator" is by selecting Download Manager from your Windows Start menu as shown in the above image.  The option to Run as administrator is available from your right-mouse pop-up menu.

    The Download Manager lists releases you can download and install in the far left column.

  2. Use the vertical scroll bar to navigate the OrCAD and Allegro that is show in the above screen image.

  3. Click the version drop-down arrow and select the product version you want to download and install.

  4. Click INSTALL to initiate the download and install process.

    Note: The download process may take a couple of hours. A status line indicates the progress of the download.

  5.  Review and accept the License Agreement. Click the Next button to continue.

  6. Select a radio option to specify access-permission to the software you are installing.
    Options include:
    • Only for me (Recommended)
    • Anyone who uses this computer  
  7. Browse to select the OrCAD/Allegro installation directory and working directory. 
    1. Installation Directory: When you accept the default directory suggested, the installation is completed without overwriting the previous installation version. Acceptance of the suggested installation directory facilitates troubleshooting that may occur at a future time.  
    2. Working/Home directory: The Working Directory is separate from the Installation Directory. It is a location where projects and libraries are stored. This folder is left untouched during uninstallation. You can accept the suggested working directory or specify an alternate location.
  8. (Optional step) Click the Custom Installation button if you want to install only the specific OrCAD/Allegro products you are licensed to access. By default, all OrCAD/Allegro products are installed with only the products specifically licensed to you activated. This custom installation improves the efficient use of your computer resources because the products that lack licensing are excluded from the installation.

    When you install the custom installation, you receive a prompt asking for the path to your control file. The control file is an EMA provided-file that enables you to install only the products for which you have a license.
  9. Click Next to continue.
  10. (Optional Step) If you are installing Capture CIS you may be asked to select the appropriate Footprint Viewer for Capture CIS. PCB Editor is recommended. Your selection may be edited at a future time if necessary. Accept the default directory for the libraries and click Next.

  11. Select a licensing option to specify the “Input License Details.” You may choose to either connect to an existing license server or install a new license server, (recommended selection).
    1. Install License Server— (Default Selection) When you select this option, the updated License Manager is installed before your OrCAD/Allegro 17.4 products are automatically installed.

      Click the Ellipsis button (three dots) and browse to select the path to your license file. This is the license file verified in Preparing for Installation.

    2. Connect to Existing Server — When you select this option rather than the recommended default option, you are prompted to set the CDS_LIC_FILE environment variable. Enter the address of the license server. The address may be 5280@hostname for example.
  12.  Click the Install button.
    The license settings you selected are applied and the installation of License Manager begins. If you chose to install License Manager, the installation of License Manager begins. This may take a few minutes to complete.

    The installation of your OrCAD/Allegro 17.4 products automatically begins after your licensing settings are applied. The status bar in the lower part of the window indicates the progress of your installation.

  13.  Click the Finish button.

Download & Install the Latest Hotfixes

Cadence software products are released to the public as either a major base release or hotfix update. The base release is typically software upgrades where there are significant software advances. Ongoing corrections and feature updates between base releases are referred to as hotfix updates.  After you complete the installation of a base release OrCAD/Allegro application, you need to install the available hotfix updates from Download Manager. This ensures your installation includes the latest features and fixes. 

  1. Click the version number drop-down arrow and select the software version that matches your installation. Then click UPDATE to initiate the download and install your hotfix.

  2. Complete the online instructions presented.

Update Your Product Licensing After Installation

The “Cadence License Server Configuration Utility” is used to update your licensing for OrCAD/Allegro products after you modify your purchase of OrCAD/ products or services you are licensed to use. 


If your updated license file is on a dongle, be sure the Cadence licensing dongle is plugged into your computer before you begin. Only one licensing dongle may be plugged into your computer at a time.

  1. Open your Windows Start menu and select Cadence > License Server Configuration Utility to launch the utility.
    The License Server Configuration Utility may also be opened from the following path:

  2. Click the Browse button to select and enter the absolute path to your license file.
  3. Click the Next button to continue.
  4. Set the Host Name field to your machine name if the field does not automatically populate. Do not modify any other setting. Click Next to continue.
    Note: You can easily verify your hostname by entering hostname into the Command Prompt.
  5. Follow the remaining online instructions presented to update the configuration of your product licensing. 



If a licensing error occurs, complete the following:

  • Restart your machine (with the dongle plugged in if you are using one)
  • Try to check out the software again.
  • Capture a screen image of the error message generated, so that you can forward it to EMA Technical Support.
  • Forward your license.dat file and debug.log files, (located in the directory:  C:\cadence\licensemanager) to EMA Technical Support.


If your licensing server application fails to start or restart complete these additional steps. 

  1. Open the LMTools Utility directly from the file path: C:\Cadence\LicenseManager
    Alternatively, you may also open your Windows Start menu and select Cadence > LMTools.

  2. Open the Start/Stop/Reread tab and click the Stop Server button.
  3. Wait 5 seconds.
    Note: If you receive an error message that states, "Unable to Stop Server" it is still important to continue with these steps.
  4.  Click the Start Server button.
  5. Try to open your software again.