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ZincT

Migrating to new PC using USB switch

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So I have built my new PC and I am in the process of migrating to it. It is going to take a fair while due to the time available to do this and the sheer number of music production, video editing, office and other apps I have installed. It's actually a useful way to decide which apps I use the most and make it to the new PC. I want to keep the old PC as a fully functional workhorse during the move so I need to keep it "as is" for the time being.

To make it easier to switch between the two PCs during the migration I have a USB switch (2 PCs plus 4 USB in) and I have my Logitech Unifying  receiver connected to it for sharing the mouse/keyboard, Arturia Keylab Essential and AXE I/O. My monitor allows switching between two HDMI inputs. This is all working fine and I can easily switch between them. 

I have an 1Tb M.2 NVME drive on the old PC with a lot of audio libraries (e.g. 570Gb of Komplete/Kontakt instruments). For now I have this drive plus a couple of others mapped as network drives on the new PC. I am slowly installing software I use a lot on the new PC and so far have been able to point the programs to their data installed on the mapped drives. 
The one outlier at the moment is Native Instruments stuff, some of which refuses to see the mapped drives although Kontakt libraries that need full Kontakt work fine with data stored on the mapped drive. My workaround for the Kontakt Player libraries is to re-install them on the new PC (I can "relocate" them later once I move all drives to the new PC) . I tried using a symlink for Kontakt Player libraries data but this didn't work. It looks like Kontakt Player libraries have to have their data installed on a local drive.

I have one question which is related to my iLok software. I am allowed to install the software that uses iLok on my new machine so long as I only use it on one machine at a time.
However, I am unsure whether it is safe to switch an iLok USB key (I have a v2 model)  between the two PCs using a USB switch i.e. is there any danger of corruption of data on the key? As far as I can see, so long as I eject the key on one PC before switching to the other it should be safe (like taking a key out of one PC and inserting it in another). The other option I have on some of the software at least is to install the iLok license on the hard drive.

Just weighing up my options and wondering if any of you guys have had any experience of doing this with an iLok key.

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I have never used the iLok key, always just the soft iLok License Manager.

My products allow 2 iLok activations, and I have never seen that limited to one at a time. Just my 2 cents...

Good luck with your PC project. I just set up a new laptop bought mainly for travel and away from home office use, not as a DAW. But I want to take my toys with me so I had to narrow the list down to stuff I actually use, and would fit on a 250GB SSD. Still was a lot of time downloading, installing and activating that much, LOL, so I feel ya!

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, abacab said:

I have never used the iLok key, always just the soft iLok License Manager.

My products allow 2 iLok activations, and I have never seen that limited to one at a time. Just my 2 cents...

Good luck with your PC project. I just set up a new laptop bought mainly for travel and away from home office use, not as a DAW. But I want to take my toys with me so I had to narrow the list down to stuff I actually use, and would fit on a 250GB SSD. Still was a lot of time downloading, installing and activating that much, LOL, so I feel ya!

Thanks abacab.

Yes it's certainly a good exercise to try and only install things that I am likely to use (and make a list of stuff to go on the KVR Sell & Buy Forum). It was also useful to try re-installing SPlat and CbB from scratch as I still use many of the SPlat additions within CbB. I have to say that it seems to have worked just fine. I am working my way through all of my Sonar/CbB projects and any plugins which are flagged as missing are the ones I install next, assuming the project is worth keeping, lol (some of my early projects were a little basic :) !

The thing I'm not sure about is whether iLok License Manager on the new PC will let me install the licenses to the hard drive there and whether these will coexist with licenses installed on the iLok key on the old PC. Maybe I will have to move some licenses to the hard drive on the old PC as well although I'm sure that some must be installed to the USB iLok key (e.g. Antares Harmony Engine Evo). That's why I keep coming back to the idea of using the iLok key in the USB switch but I will wait a little bit longer before I do anything I might regret.  When Antares came out with the new UI for Autotune they moved to a non iLok solution for protection (Codemeter) and in a conversation I had with them recently about Harmony Engine Evo they mentioned that a new version would be out soon using the updated UI so I imagine they might also move that to use Codemeter protection.  Also, looking through my 129 iLok activations most of the things I still use offer the hard drive option. The others will be going on the KVR list ;)

 

Edited by ZincT

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1 hour ago, ZincT said:

 Also, looking through my 129 iLok activations

 

Wowza!!! 🙃

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I installed a Sonivox bundle and used software iLok.

First install of iLok and Sonivox on win 8.1 went ok.

Second install of iLok and Sonivox on win 7 also went ok. iLok was aware of the the first install and activation. It gave the option to activate a second time. Then grayed out the activations indicating there was no more activation possible.

I have different plugins on the two and can switch between win 7 and 8.1 or have CbB active at the same time in both. But they are not synced or anything i use the mobility of my chair to place myself in front of the one i fancy to jam with.

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Apparently, ZT has some old plugins that MUST be installed on a hardware iLok.

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1 hour ago, abacab said:

Apparently, ZT has some old plugins that MUST be installed on a hardware iLok.

Looking through the list in a bit more detail, I don't think there will be many where the license can't be put on the SSD. So I'm going to see how many I can install without using the USB iLok key. 

I have just installed all of my izotope plugins (MPS3) and they quite happily installed their iLok licences on the SSD. 

I did notice a few other licences that say 1 of 1 activations. Hopefully that doesn't mean what I think it does. 

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11 hours ago, ZincT said:

I did notice a few other licences that say 1 of 1 activations. Hopefully that doesn't mean what I think it does. 

Unfortunately it does.

I'm not sure it was greyed out but it had the column saying 0 of 2 activations. It then changed to 1 of 2 and lastly 2 of 2.

Seems you have to use a usb dongle for that.

With usb i recommend you take it out of the pc only when the pc is powered off. To be on the safe side. When putting it in it doesn't matter as much. A switch would probably do fine by bearing that in mind.

The problem is late writings to the usb file system. If something writes to the usb at the same time you remove it, it will be destroyed. I was a bit hasty one time and there was no way to recover the files on it because the whole filesystem was a mess and nonexisting for recovery software.

 

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Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, Kurre said:

Unfortunately it does.

I'm not sure it was greyed out but it had the column saying 0 of 2 activations. It then changed to 1 of 2 and lastly 2 of 2.

Seems you have to use a usb dongle for that.

With usb i recommend you take it out of the pc only when the pc is powered off. To be on the safe side. When putting it in it doesn't matter as much. A switch would probably do fine by bearing that in mind.

The problem is late writings to the usb file system. If something writes to the usb at the same time you remove it, it will be destroyed. I was a bit hasty one time and there was no way to recover the files on it because the whole filesystem was a mess and nonexisting for recovery software.

 

Thanks Kurre.

I am aware of the late writing issue with USB drives although write caching can be disabled on a per drive basis. Anyway I have got into the habit of soft ejecting them before removing as that ensures that any delayed writes are completed. You can do that from the notifications area and that also works for the iLok key by right clicking on the USB key icon and then selecting "Eject iLok".  That would be a nuisance to do and easily forgotten though when switching between PCs with the USB switch.

I also have an e-licenser dongle for Cubase Pro which doesn't show up in the notifications area or Explorer so I will need to investigate further how to safely switch that.

The items showing a single activation in order of most used are:

1. SynchroArts Vocalign Pro - Use this all the time but once used on an existing project it doesn't need to be available as it has done its work so I could just move the license to the new PC

2. Harmony Engine Evo - Use this all the time - hope Antares update it soon with new UI and Codemeter protection

3. Exponential Audio (R4, Nimbus and Excalibur) - hardly used these so could just move them to the new PC and lose them on the old

4. EW Hollywood Orchestra - used this a lot when I first got it so have a lot of old project which use it but have since replaced with others - move to new PC

5. Zynaptiq Subspace - a freebie - move to new PC

Also wondering whether I can move any of these to a Cloud activation as both PCs are connected online.

Edited by ZincT

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Kurre said:

The problem is late writings to the usb file system. If something writes to the usb at the same time you remove it, it will be destroyed. I was a bit hasty one time and there was no way to recover the files on it because the whole filesystem was a mess and nonexisting for recovery software.

 

I did that to USB hard drive once, and the partition disappeared. I was lucky to find some partition recovery tools (not file recovery) that recovered the partition table with all files  still intact.

But it probably depends on what exactly gets zapped with that last write. The keyword here is that I was lucky!

Your advice to power off is the safest method, followed by ejecting the USB drive with the "safely remove hardware and eject media" icon in the task bar notification  area. If that doesn't work because the drive shows in use  try this: if it shows up in disk management, you can offline it there and then online it again. Afterwards it should allow the eject command to work and say "safely removed".

It would probably be wise to do this methodically when switching between PCs using the USB switch, if there is storage attached to it.

Edited by abacab

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Antares have just updated AVOX 4 and it has the new Codemeter activation as I had hoped 👍

So Harmony Engine is now installed, activated and working on both PCs.

Anyone who owns any of the modules from AVOX 4 can transfer their license to Codemeter from their account and download the new AVOX 4.2 installers here

https://www.antarestech.com/software-download/#download/86 

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