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Starship Krupa

iLok machine activation blown out (also Waves, but fixed that)

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I feel compelled to post this because I've long been someone who mentions that he's never had any trouble with iLok's local drive activation. This is no longer the case, and the failure is pretty spectacular.

Thanks to the kindness of a forumite, I have migrated all of my iLok licenses to a physical iLok on my main system.

On my laptop, however, I activated them to the local system. This is despite the fact that said forumite was extra kind and gave me not one but two iLok II's. I just didn't want to have a dongle sticking out of a USB port on the laptop.

Today, while trying to chase down an issue with clicks and pops, I turned off both my hardwire and my wi-fi adaptors and restarted Cakewalk.

Both iLok and Waves threw dialogs during scan saying that there must have been some change to my system and that they couldn't load the plug-ins.

I re-enabled my network adaptor and checked Waves Central and iLok Manager and sure enough, the licenses were shown as being activated to a system that was unavailable. Waves' support FAQ gave me a recipe for disabling all but one of the network adaptors and trying again, and that seems to have solved the issue.

No go with iLok, so I had no choice but to try the new integrated reset request feature in iLok Manager. There are 28 licenses from 8 different companies currently in limboland. I've not tried the built-in reset request feature yet, so we'll see how it goes.

I'm giving some thought to using a small USB extension cable to attach the spare iLok to the notebook in case of future "hardware changes" that really aren't.

Not much harm here; if I want to get full functionality from my laptop all I have to do is stick the iLok from my main DAW in, but if this had happened while I wasn't at home, I'd have been dead in the water, waiting for these companies to reset the licenses. Some of my bread and butter synths are iLok'd, such as my collection of AIR instruments. AIR is not known for excellence in customer service. In the past, when I bork't a system by replacing the system drive, it took me days to get a reset from them.

I had thought that iLok used a key on the hard drive somehow, but it's apparently also tied to the network adaptors, and subject to having the system ID change if you turn them off. So if you're thinking of trying that old suggestion to disable network interfaces while you're DAW'ing, tread lightly and maybe carry a physical iLok stick.

I'll report back on the results of the reset request. If it works, it's a very good advancement for iLok, but if it doesn't, I'll be chasing down AIR/Sonivox via their "support" forum at KVR.

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7 minutes ago, Starship Krupa said:

I activated them to the local system

This is exactly the reason why I dislike more and more all authorizations bound to the local system! Today it is a very negative point to me, if a software uses something like this. I prefer plugins/software with real offline authorization, like an offline key, a file, a registry entry. This has also the advantage that the software is still installable if a provider should say goodbye! 😉

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I have a harmony program that requires Ilok. I haven't used the program since I changed machines - many moons ago. I just don't need more hassles.

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Posted (edited)

I have a Waves USB (serves as a dongle) and an iLok dongle - both for my laptop. Happy camper.  


Years ago I had a similar experience with Waves when turning off my wireless card or some such thing because I was trying to eliminate crackles and pops and there were suggestions to turn off the wireless card.  When I did so I messed up my Waves licenses on my machine.

Learned at that time if I added a USB drive and associated my Waves licenses to that I would not have an issue with doing anything to my PC (such as the wireless card) or changing my PC altogether.  Just seemed prudent.  Never looked back.

By the way, I’ve had great support anytime I’ve needed it from Waves. I remember in that incident they worked with me to get things back and running.
 

Edited by lawajava
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5 minutes ago, rfssongs said:

I just don't need more hassles.

Nor do I. The problem for me is that a large swath of my most-used plug-ins are iLok licensed. XPand!2, Hybrid 3, Vacuum Pro, Boom, Exponential R4 and Nimbus to name a few. I use at least one of them in every project. My Meldaproduction reverbs can just about touch the Exponential ones, but only just about. To get synths that do what the AIR ones do, I'd have to spend a bunch more money and learn my way around the newer synths, which would likely be more resource-hungry than these.

So iLok is an unavoidable fact of my digital audio life if I want to use my favorite tools. All I can do is be aware of the gotchas and try to avoid them as best I can.

I also had the USB stick I was keeping my Wave licenses on go sideways a few days ago and did the once a year reset on the lost activations. When it rains, it pours.

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So what I’m hearing is live with the crackles and pops and just call it Lofi haha

I learned my lessons and moved everything to usb ilok dongle.  This way I can replace the dongle via zero downtime.

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38 minutes ago, kevin H said:

So what I’m hearing is live with the crackles and pops and just call it Lofi haha

I learned my lessons and moved everything to usb ilok dongle.  This way I can replace the dongle via zero downtime.

That requires an annual cost for the cover though doesn't it?

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Posted (edited)

I have the zero downtime.  I did have an iLok dongle go bad at one point.  I had a spare new iLok in a drawer. I was up and running quickly because of the zero downtime.

I have a lot of licenses on iLok. I couldn’t imagine having to track down all those. The zero downtime is the only way that makes sense for my case.  It’s a small annual charge.

As long as on the topic, I had a hard disk crash once as well that wiped out everything. Glad I had Acronis backing everything up. I restored from that backup with no issues once I bought a new hard drive.

Edited by lawajava

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13 minutes ago, MusicMan said:

That requires an annual cost for the cover though doesn't it?

Ya, as lawajava said it’s a small charge but worth it if you have a lot of licenses.

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46 minutes ago, kevin H said:

Ya, as lawajava said it’s a small charge but worth it if you have a lot of licenses.

Sounds a lot like WUP 🤔😉

I do get the peace of mind, but I can't help but think it's a case of legitimate paying customer's of software being penalized and charged further for software they already paid for which I don't like.

I Googled to see what they annual charge was currently and stumbled across this old, but likely still current and somewhat humorous take explaining the costs and process even with Zero Downtime 🤣

https://www.reddit.com/r/WeAreTheMusicMakers/comments/tw594/your_ilok_zero_downtime_and_you_a_primer

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9 hours ago, marled said:

This is exactly the reason why I dislike more and more all authorizations bound to the local system! Today it is a very negative point to me, if a software uses something like this. I prefer plugins/software with real offline authorization, like an offline key, a file, a registry entry. This has also the advantage that the software is still installable if a provider should say goodbye! 😉

I go everyday thinking about this.

Right now Reaper, Fabfilter, Ana 2 (Sonic Academy), work great but I need more variety, lol.

I have lots of ilok licenses but I fear one day I won't be able to use them. 

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1 hour ago, Last Call said:

Right now Reaper, Fabfilter, Ana 2 (Sonic Academy), work great but I need more variety, lol.

List of plugin companies that support offline activation - Effects Forum - KVR Audio

In addition to their list of plugin providers with real offline activation:

  • Acon Digital
  • Audio Assault
  • Black Rooster
  • Boz Digital
  • Dymai Sound
  • eaReckon
  • GForce
  • JoeySturgis
  • Kuassa
  • MeldaProduction
  • Rayzoon
  • Soundevice Digital
  • SoundSpot
  • TBProAudio
  • ToneEmpire

You see there are some! It's a pity that PSP turned iLok, because before the would also have been on this list (some older plugins of them are still).

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1 hour ago, marled said:

List of plugin companies that support offline activation - Effects Forum - KVR Audio

In addition to their list of plugin providers with real offline activation:

  • Acon Digital
  • Audio Assault
  • Black Rooster
  • Boz Digital
  • Dymai Sound
  • eaReckon
  • GForce
  • JoeySturgis
  • Kuassa
  • MeldaProduction
  • Rayzoon
  • Soundevice Digital
  • SoundSpot
  • TBProAudio
  • ToneEmpire

You see there are some! It's a pity that PSP turned iLok, because before the would also have been on this list (some older plugins of them are still).

Too bad the OP is banned. Lol. I see lots of banned users there. What's going on over there? Lol

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 I learned the hard way to go with the physical iLok. 

I usually avoid developers who use iLok. VSL is the exception.

Licensing is #1 on my list before buying.

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 Very disturbing to read this thread. I’ve done various BIOS and other system-type updates to my laptops and not yet encountered a problem like this with machine based ilock. OTOH I have had such issues with Melodyne licensing, which fortunately are easily fixable. 

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Posted (edited)

I use local machine activation for my iLok licenses. Got bitten once when I upgraded my hardware. Always de-authorize your licenses from your machine before doing any upgrades. Then all you have to do is activate them on your "new" machine.

But I didn't, so then I had to email each publisher to request a soft reset on my iLok activations, because the "old" computer was no longer accessible to do so myself...

Similar thing happened with Waves when I removed a network adapter they had linked my local activations to somehow. Burned my once-a-year "get out of jail free" card with Waves on that one. I now use a USB stick for my Waves licenses. But I'll be danged if I'll pay for an iLok dongle.

 

Edited by abacab

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12 hours ago, marled said:

It's a pity that PSP turned iLok

Yes it was. I never bought another product from them.

To their credit, I can still use the plugins I have previously purchased from them.

 

14 hours ago, MusicMan said:

Sounds a lot like WUP 🤔😉

Worse!! 

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<taps wood> I've yet to have any problems with iLok (since 2007 IIRC) that were not user error and were user corrected.

I spend the $30/year for their protection plan and I have a spare iLok on hand for just that purpose.

Was that $30/year wasted? Here I quote the movie Heist in an exchange between Gene Hackman and Sam Rockwell:

GH-You ever cheat on a woman? Something, stand her up, step out on her?
SR-What?
GH-Ever do that?
SR-Yeah.
GH-Did you have an excuse?
SR-Yeah.
GH-What if she didn't ask? Was your alibi a waste of time?

 

 

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32 minutes ago, Bapu said:

I've yet to have any problems with iLok (since 2007 IIRC) that were not user error and were user corrected.

I spend the $30/year for their protection plan and I have a spare iLok on hand for just that purpose.

Eduardo, with the number of plug-ins you have, two iLoks and $30 a year is pocket lint! Having the physical iLok is most definitely the way to go with systems that don't travel, and I must thank you again for your kindness. Before that, I had an iLok 1, which was not compatible with my Exponential Audio reverbs.

I need to get a small USB extension cable so that I can just use my second iLok2 on the laptop. An iLok is too nice a thing to risk injuring sticking out of a laptop.

So: for those following the saga, it's been just over 24 hours after stranding 20 iLok licenses by merely disabling the network adapters on my laptop.

The reset score so far has surprising results. Most of them have been reset. I did the original reset request through the new option in iLok Manager. PACE keeps you notified via email each time a company resets your license(s), so I have a timeline for how quickly each company responded. Also, the first email they send has a table of all of the licenses and manufacturers, with contact information. InMusic's (AIR, SONiVOX) and UVI's entries showed no email, only a website link, so I decided to contact them directly, via email in the case of InMusic, and a web form at UVI. This was going on the theory that if no email were shown, then iLok Manager wouldn't know how to contact them.

The absolute winner is Vienna Symphonic Library, who reset all of my VSL licenses in a matter of hours right from the iLok Manager request. Next was Softube, then UVI in the wee hours of the morning. Upon waking up, I found that InMusic had issued the reset pretty much upon start of their business day. then Soundtoys, then Eventide.

The surprise poor performers are iZotope, who still haven't reset my Exponential Audio licenses. Surprisingly good performance from InMusic, although I helped out by emailing them directly with all the information they needed. The email address I used was softwaresales@inmusicbrands.com.  Way better than expected. In the past, I tried contacting them via their websites, and it didn't work. I suspect that trying to use the support forms on the old AiR and SONiVOX sites is like trying to use them on the old Cakewalk, Inc. site. Nobody on the other end.

Tip: when I contacted InMusic (and UVI) directly, I gave them all of the original activation codes as well as the old iLok location ID of the laptop, and I'm sure that helped speed things up. If you're storing locally, I strongly recommend keeping these available, although they should theoretically be able to be gleaned from iLok Manager on another computer in case of complete system failure. Still, easier if you can just copy and paste them from a document.

So, overall, I'm sore about how merely disabling my network adapters bork't both iLok and Waves. That's just sloppy (and scary). I prefer local license storage on the laptop because less crap to haul around and this is making me trust it less. The laptop does have an SD card slot, so I'll look into using that, moving the Waves licenses to an SD card if I can. On the other hand, both companies' recovery solutions got almost everything back in under 24 hours. I suspect that if I contacted iZotope directly as I did with InMusic that they'd get me the reset pretty quickly, although I'm tempted to wait a bit longer just to test the system. Maybe it's an excuse to get more cozy with MTurboReverble and MReverbMB, which do actually rival the Exponential stuff.

As long as nobody gets pissy about doing the resets, I guess I'm okay with the iLok recovery process, although it does seem to rely on the companies involved still being around to reset your licenses. What happens when a company goes under and then iLok arbitrarily decides to give your computer a new location ID? No reset, no recovery? I'm not against the iLok dongle in principle, it's just part of whatever method companies choose for licensing. Of course I prefer the Meldaproduction and A|A|S type licensing, but that's not my business decision to make.

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17 minutes ago, Starship Krupa said:

I'm not against the iLok dongle in principle,

I am.

I don't want to pay someone else for the ability to use what I already bought. That makes no sense to me. So I won't buy from companies that use iLok. If iLok worked to prevent thievery, these programs wouldn't already be cracked.

Just to be clear, I harbor no ill will to anyone who uses iLok. To each his own.

Pace will never get another penny of mine!

 

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