The instructions that follow explain how to install OrCAD/Allegro v17.4 software products for the student program. Be sure to follow the instructions presented in this instruction guide as you download and install your OrCAD/Allegro products. While the OrCAD/Allegro license file you received from EMA includes instructions for a manual installation, the instructions presented in this guide automate the installation process, which generally achieves a more effective installation.  

Preparing for Installation

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

  • Save your license files – EMA includes your license file with your software delivery. You may have optionally received a control file that enables you to selectively install a sub-set of OrCAD/Allegro products. If so, also save the control file in the same directory folder as your license file.  
  • Identify the host name of your local workstation – You need to verify the hostname of the machine where your license files are saved. Students typically save this on their local PC. You can identify your hostname by entering hostname into your Command Prompt window. (An example is provided in the screen image below.)

  • 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. 

Define Your Cadence Download Preferences

The steps that follow assume you have already created your Cadence account, you have access to the Cadence download web page, and you have completed the preliminary tasks to prepare for installation that are listed above.

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, open the URL:  Click the three parallel line icon (hamburger icon) if necessary to view the menu list, and then select the menu options:  Software > Download Software. (See call-out numbers 2 and 3 in the screen image that follows.)

    Graphical user interface, text, application, chat or text message 
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    Note: 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: notice the several links located 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. Follow the online instructions presented to install Download Manager. Click the Next button to proceed to the next page of the installation wizard.

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

Download & Install OrCAD/Allegro Products Using Download Manager

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 automatically launches. Launch Download Manager, if it is not already active.

    You can launch Download Manager and "Run as administrator" from your Windows Start menu. The option to Run as administrator is available from your right-mouse pop-up menu.

  2. Scroll to OrCAD and Allegro that is listed in the far left column.

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

  4. Click the INSTALL link to initiate the automated download and installation process. Installation automatically begins when the download is complete.

  5. Follow the online instructions presented.

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

  7. 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
  8. Browse to select the OrCAD/Allegro installation directory and working directory. 
    • Installation Directory: When you accept the default directory suggested, the installation is completed without overwriting the previous version. Acceptance of the suggested installation directory facilitates troubleshooting that may occur at a future time.
    • 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.

  9. (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. The 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. EMA emailed a control file to you as an attachment that accompanied your OrCAD/Allegro student license file. The control file enables you to install only the products for which you have a license.

  10. Click Next to continue.

  11. (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.

  12. Select a licensing option to specify the “Input License Details.” As a student, it is suggested you select the radio option, "Install License Server locally on you own PC.
  13. 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.  
  14. Click the Ellipsis button (3 dots) and browse to select the path to your license file. This is the license file EMA emailed to you and you saved on your PC.

  15. Click the Install button.
    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.

  16. When installation of the base OrCAD/Allegro 17.4 products is complete, 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. Minor corrections to the software operation are referred to as hotfix updates. After the installation of your base release OrCAD/Allegro applications are complete as described above, you need to install the latest hotfix updates from Download Manager.


If you update your installation immediately after installation, the Download Manager windows is still open. However, if you install the updates at a later time you can easily re-open Download Manager from your Windows Start menu with the selection of Cadence > Download Manager.




  1. Scroll to OrCAD and Allegro. Select the application version you installed, then click the UPDATE link that is located in the far left column.

    As the update progresses, the a status line displays that indicates the status of the update download and installation.

  2. Follow the online instructions presented to automatically install the hotfixes. Installation begins immediately after the download is complete.

    Note: During the installation process, you may be prompted to verify and enter your host name. You can quickly identify the host name of your PC by opening a Command Prompt window and then entering hostname into the command line. Or you can enter localhost as your host name if the license resides on the same computer as the installation.


Updating an OrCAD/Allegro License File

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

  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 field setting in this dialog. Click Next to continue.

    Note: You can easily verify your hostname by entering hostname into a Command Prompt window.

  5. Follow the remaining instructions presented to complete the procedure.


If a licensing error occurs, complete the following:

  • Restart your machine and 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.  

Additional Troubleshooting Instructions 

If the licensing server software installed on your local PC fails to start or restart, complete these additional steps.  

  1. Open the LMTOOLS Utility either directly from the file path:  
    Or you can open LMTOOLS by opening your Windows Start menu and selecting Cadence > LMTools.

    Note: LMTOOLS is a graphical user interface that allows you to administer settings of your license server software, installed on your local student PC. This utility is provided by Flexera Software. LMTOOLS is automatically installed with the Cadence License Manager.

    Note: LMTOOLS is a graphical user interface that allows you to administer settings of your license server software, which is install on your local student PC. This utility is provided by Flexera Software. LMTOOLS is automatically installed with the Cadence License Manager.

  2. Open the Start/Stop/Reread tab and select 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.