Troubleshooting Bentley Water & Sewer GEMS Installations

One of the most finicky and problematic software products that I’ve ever had to install has to be the from the engineering software publisher, Bentley.  If this software breaks and it needs an uninstall reinstall, it can be a real pain.  Fortunately, once its installed correctly it is pretty much problem free.

The root of most issues with regards to installation of these packages is Bentley’s software development ideology and the lack of support for “mixed software architecture environments” meaning – computers that have both x86 and x64 software running on them.  Water and Sewer GEMS have prerequisites as far as needing to match destination software’s (Microstation, Autocad, etc) processor architecture compatibility.  On top of this, the GEMS products rely on Microsoft Access Database Engines to store design data, so its going to also matter if your Microsoft Office is 32 or 64-bit.

Fortunately most installations of Windows today are 64-bit.  So that’s not too much to worry about.  In my office we only use 64-bit software products (when available) However there’s a situation with regards to our MS Office for other compatibility reasons, that we need to use 32-bit.  So here’s the problem: 64-bit Windows + 64-bit CAD software + 32-bit MS Office = NO GEMS PRODUCTS FOR AUTOCAD!!! So frustrating!

The easiest thing to do is uninstall GEMS products, and then uninstall the following:

  • Microsoft Office Products
  • Outlook
  • Any Additional Office Products
  • MS Access Databases (there may be more than one installed)

Once you’ve removed all these products from your machine you can then go ahead and reinstall the Bentley GEMS products, and they should finally generate the required shortcuts to access associated programs via Autodesesk Autocad software packages.  But wait!  There’s more!  Once you’ve done this don’t forget that you also need to reinstall all the Microsoft products that you’ve uninstalled from your computer.  After this is done make sure you restart your computer and check the Bentley software again to make sure its still functioning.

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