In all likelihood, if you are using a computer in your school's computer or CAD lab,  MicroStation V8i will already be installed. However, should you want or need to use MicroStation on your personal Windows-based computer it will be necessary to install the MicroStation V8i software and activate its license.

 NOTE: MicroStation V8i runs on computers equipped with either the Microsoft Windows XP or the Windows Vista operating system. It will not run as a native application on an Apple Macintosh computer under Mac OS X operating system.  MicroStation V8i has been shown to run on an Intel-based Macintosh using the Mac OS X Boot Camp utility, however, this has only been tested by MicroStation users but not by Bentley.


Please contact your instructor or school IT department (site administrator) for information on how to obtain the installation files.  In addition you must have the proper Site Activation Key which is assigned to your school for student use only.  This is necessary to validate your copy of MicroStation V8i after installation. For the license activation process you must be connected to the internet.

The two most common methods of software delivery are to:

  • Download it from a location on your school network as provided by your site administrator or instructor
  • Install it from a CDROM provided by your school or instructor


The files required to install MicroStation V8i are:

  • pdba#######en.exe - Prerequisite pack installation
  • ms########en.exe - MicroStation main installation
    where "########" is the version number of each installation

Whether you download or install directly from the CD you will need to ensure you install the prerequisite pack first. The prerequisite pack installs a variety of Microsoft components required to operate MicroStation in the Windows operating system.

The following are the steps you must follow to install each software package:

Installing the Pre-Requisite Pack

1. Download each of the files and save them to a convenient place you will remember.

NOTE: If the installation files are located on a CD it is highly recommended you copy the files from the CD to your computer before you begin the installation process.

2. The first file that must be installed is the prerequisite pack. Open the file with the prefix "pbda."

The following steps are similar to most windows based installation processes.

3. On the Welcome screen, select Next.

You are prompted for the location to create the installation files.

4. If you have a preference as to where the installation files will be saved change folder location, otherwise leave it as is and select Next.

There may be a several minute wait as the files are extracted to the installation folder. A dialog appears showing a list of the prerequisites that must be installed.

5. Select Install.

This process will take a few minutes.

6. When the prerequisites installation is complete, click Ok.

The Pre-Requisites are installed. MicroStation itself can now be installed.

Installing MicroStation V8i

At this point you are ready to install MicroStation itself.

1. Double click the file with the prefix "ms."

You are prompted for the location to create the installation files.

2. If you have a preference as to where the installation files will be saved change folder location, otherwise leave it as is and select Next.

The Welcome screen appears.

3. Select Next.

The License Agreement screen appears.

4. You should read and accept the terms of the license agreement, then click "I accept the terms in the License Agreement" and click Install.

The MicroStation installation process proceeds for a few minutes. After it has completed you are prompted to run the Product Activation Wizard.

5. Click the checkbox for launching the product activation wizard, then click Finish.

The Product Activation Wizard appears, ready for you to validate your installation of MicroStation, the subject of the next section.


Installing MicroStation on a student's computer requires a special Site Activation Key provided by your school.  This activation key is always validated against "", Bentley''s primary license server which is accessed via the internet. 

NOTE: If you do not have a Site Activation Key please contact your professor, or your school's IT deparment for this important information.  Without it you will not be able to run MicroStation V8i for more than 30 days before it reverts to "demo" mode. 

Procedure for an account hosted by Bentley's Hosted SELECT Server

When you run the Product Activation Wizard immediately after installation you are prompted to identify the type of SELECT server your Site Activation Key will be activated against. You must choose the hosted (Bentley) SELECT Server option.

1. When the Product Activation Wizard appears, select the first option:

       "SELECT subscriber activating against a hosted (Bentley) SELECT Server"

2. Click Next.

You are prompted only for your Site Activation Key.

3. Enter the value you were provided into the Site Activation Key field.

Note how the Server Name is automatically set to "" when you
are activating against the hosted server.

4. Click Next.

5. Confirm the Server Name ( and Site Activation key information then click Finish to complete the Activation process.

At this point, you can run MicroStation without interruption. You can run up to 30 days disconnected from the internet. After that, MicroStation reverts to running for only 15 minutes before it shuts down. Reconnection to the internet will reactivate your copy of MicroStation.


If, during the installation process you skip the product activation step, you can always run it again from within MicroStation V8i:

1. Start the program MicroStation V8i (in Classic Start menu mode: Start menu > Programs > Bentley > MicroStation V8i > Bentley MicroStation V8i)

If you are past the 30 day disconnected mode and in the demo mode, you can still access the License Manager (Product Activation Wizard) during the 15 minute demo period.

2. Open any design file or create a new one and open it.

The purpose of this step is to get into the MicroStation design environment.

3. Once in MicroStation V8i, select Utilities menu > License Management...

The License Management Tool dialog appears.

4. From the License Management Tool dialog select Tools menu > Product Activation Wizard

5. Resume the product activation process described in the previous section above.


For more information please contact the Be Careers Network at