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27.7.15

Where the [BLEEP] Did My Download Options Go?!

Back in March, Autodesk rolled out it's new subscription management site manage.autodesk.com. From a user interface perspective, it is a much more logical layout and you can actually search for products now.

There are many improvements, but one of the things that annoys the ever-lovin' stuffin' outta me is that the download options are more difficult to find for some products. The website encourages people to use the "Install Now" feature for many products.

I'm not a fan of the "Install Now" option for several reasons. When using this option, the install downloads files as it goes. For products with smaller installation media, that's not a problem, but some products are kinda big. The Install Now option requires you to be connected to the internet for the duration of the install and stay logged into your Autodesk account. If something fails or your connection times out, you need to start over.

The best way to download Autodesk products is with the Download Now tool. You can also use the Browser Download, which uses your web browser's download manager rather than the Akamai one (Akamai is the third party web delivery service that manages Autodesk downloads). Both of these options pull the entire installation package to your hard drive.

For some products, you can find the additional download options in the More Options menu.

However, many products don't have those options. Grr. To find them, you have to dig a little deeper.

Scroll alllllllll the way to the bottom of your products listing. You will see a button that says Download Products.

This will bring you to an interface that looks more like the old subscription site. From here, you will be able to find the Download Now or Browser Download option for your product.

More tips for downloading your product install files:

  •  Make sure you get all pieces. (Turn off your web browser’s pop-up blocker temporarily to ensure you download all the files). 
  • Pay attention to the name of the file. If you see that the name of the exe ends with 001_003, that means your are looking at one of three separate downloads needed.
  • If you grabbed the correct files, you will see “dlm” as part of the name. That stands for download manager.  You will see "dlm" in both the Download Now and Browser Download obtained files. If you wee "wi" in the file name, that means you have the web installer which contains a portion of the files you need. If you try to run the Setup.exe from a "wi" folder, you will receive a Communication Failure message. 
  • Save all the needed files to a directory on your hard drive. These are the files that will be extracted and used to start the deployment. (In the “old days” these would have come on a CD).
  • After all pieces are downloaded using Download Now option, the exe will try to self-extract. Your computer’s settings may prevent EXEs from automatically running, in which case you will need to browse to the folder where you saved it and double click. If you used Browser Download, you always need to double-click the exe to get the extraction started.
Have fun downloading!