I have devised, for your computing pleasure, a batch file that kills your hung (zombie) license without reqiring user interaction. I crafted this for Windows NT users, but maybe it can be adopted for Unix as well. It first checks to see if ANSYS is running. If it is, the routine exits without burying the license. This prevents accidentally killing an active ANSYS session, so you can feel free to place a shortcut to the batch anywhere convenient. If ANSYS is not running, it uses the name of the current user to parse the appropriate CID (ansys client ID) for use with the ELMADMIN bury function. If it doesn't find a CID for you (i.e. your license is free already) it exits. Hence it's very user friendly and completely safe.
It uses an NT Resource Kit utility, TLIST.EXE, to verify if ANSYS is running. Due to Microsoft's license policy on this material, you will have to obtain that on your own. The nice part about that is Microsoft's license for that material allows it to be installed on all machines on a LAN belonging to a single company. Chances are your IT department already has it, so they don't need to buy you a license.
Alternatively, the batch could be restructured without the "ANSYS running" check so that it would always kill your license, hung or not, and you would just have to be careful to not use it unless you really intend to bury the license. If you were to accidentally do that, you would probably have a minute or three to realize your error and save your database before ANSYS aborted. A simple way to implement this is provided in the batch file by activating one line.
To install this utility, just place BURYME.BAT and TLIST.EXE in any directory that is part of your path statement, like C:\WINNT.
To run it, just type BURYME on a command line (at the DOS prompt), or make a shortcut to the batch file anywhere you like. I've got one in my system tray, along with another for Interactive and for Display.
If ANSYS is rampantly writing warnings (like if you tried to LSREAD without all of the appropriate elements or nodes selected) and you want to regain control, simply hold down the CTRL key while right-clicking on the taskbar icon for the ANSYS output window. A context sensitive menu will pop-up (and stay up) allowing you to close the output window, effectively terminating your ANSYS session. Then you can use BURYME.BAT to get right back to work.
I'm glad to see a few of you are enjoying my utility. I've tweaked it just a bit, so it may be more attractive to those who don't want to bother with TLIST.EXE. I've also added commentary so you can see the progress as it executes.
To bypass the safety feature that requires TLIST.EXE, you have two options.
Option 1 is a temporary bypass and option 2 is a permanent bypass.
1. Use the command line switch /nike, i.e. C:\BURYME.BAT /NIKE
2. Edit the file and change line 10 from "REM goto :justdoit" to "goto :justdoit"
The script now requires that TLIST.EXE be in your Windows root directory, usually C:\WINNT or C:\WINDOWS.
You can find your windows root by typing ECHO %WINDIR% at a command prompt.