How and where to download and install SDL Trados Studio: risk management basics

I’ve read some great comments on Twitter, ProZ and elsewhere about SDL Trados Studio 2014 SP2, which came out last week. Most people seem to be delighted with the new features and found the upgrading process easy. A few users have had problems installing the new version. Was I too hasty when I recommended installing the latest version immediately?

My experience

I’ve downloaded and installed several beta builds and the final release in the last couple of months, without a single hiccup.

Other users’ experience

Most users are reporting a smooth transition to SP2, although some people have had problems.

What can you do to make sure the download/installation process goes well for you?

Here are some tips to avoid taking unnecessary risks:

  1. Only upgrade between projects. This may seem obvious, but if you’ve got a big job on, you’ll be tempted to upgrade when you’re half way through. Don’t. Don’t upgrade against a deadline. Don’t upgrade when you’ve got half a translation in Trados.
  2. Create a Restore Point. Before you upgrade to SP2 (and this applies to other software too), create a Windows System Restore Point, so you can revert to an earlier system state should disaster strike. In the Windows search box, enter “Create a restore point” and follow the instructions.Create a restore point
  3. Keep the .exe file from your current Studio version on your machine. If necessary, you can uninstall the new version from your Control Panel and roll back to the previous one.
  4. Only download SP2 from your MySDL account. Some people think that versions on Softonic and elsewhere are legal. They’re not. They’re illegal and may harm your computer.Download
  5. Only use the license key in your MySDL account. If you’re using a dodgy license key, deactivate it and use a valid key from your own account. Otherwise, you may get locked out. A valid activation key starts with “151”. To check your key, go to Help > Product Activation > Show activation code.
    Other tell-tale signs of dubious copies and license keys are a combination of this error message: “Value was either too large or too small for int16″ and a “BigBird” Active License. (To see your license type, go to Help>Product Activation.)
    Pirated copies have a knock-on effect for legitimate users too. In this case, SDL developers spent time investigating bug reports, only to find that cracked code was the culprit in some cases.
  6. Listen and ask. Keep your ear to the ground on Twitter, TWUsers and ProZ. Ulrike Walter-Lipow asked straight out on Twitter and got useful feedback immediately.tweet
  7. Play safe. Follow Shai Nave’s advice. Wait for a few weeks until a Cumulative Update is released. (I don’t share this view; the new features are too good to wait around for.)

If you run into problems

Don’t post a comment here! SDL provides free support for download, installation and license issues.

If you get a specific error message, you may be able to browse for the error in the SDL Knowledge Base or troubleshoot it in the Solution Finder. Fill in the form you come to at the end of the Solution Finder if you haven’t solved your problem.

But if you’ve followed these basic risk management tips, the chances are you won’t trip up with Trados.

Image attribution: © ulldellebre –
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6 Responses to How and where to download and install SDL Trados Studio: risk management basics

  1. Pingback: Looking for pirated Trados? | Signs & Symptoms of Translation

  2. Pingback: SDL Trados Studio 2014 SP2: goodbye Java! | Signs & Symptoms of Translation

  3. To my defense :), I also wrote that it is generally safe to upgrade to SP2 right away, certainly for those who don’t mind being “early adopters” (but not mid-project, as you recommended). My recommendation to wait was given for those with a more conservative approach that don’t want or cannot deal with possible minor quirks and bugs — that for them might cause great incontinence — and prefer to play if safe.

    In the last couple of days I helped a few colleagues upgrade, and in the vast majority of cases everything went smoothly. No issues whatsoever.
    The only installation error I got (Package ‘Suite repair utility’ could not be installed. Error number: -1) was in a system that was incrementally upgraded over time from Studio 2009 to Studio 2014 SP1, and the solution for this error is readily available in SDL Knowledge base article #4948

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