Activation problems - suddenly internet connection needed

I have several Steinberg products now with the new licensing system. I installed WaveLab Pro 11.1 on three machines and one is not connected to the internet (Win 10 Pro). Everything worked fine until yesterday. WL Pro suddenly didn’t run anymore on this machine - nothing had changed. I had to open internet connectivity, and was forced to to an update for the Activation manager, which hung etc. Everything was rectified after a restart and WL started again - now fully licensed.
I started WL for recording something and this fiddling with activation mess brought me out of the creative situation. Something that never happened before with Steinberg products.
It looks like Steinberg has silently implemented a mechanism to re-validate an activation from time to time, which would be the opposite of what they promised. If true, it would be not a good sign concerning trust. I can see with Nuendo 12 on a Mac the message “signing in” or something coming up too - this machine is connected to the internet.
What is the situation with all this?

Not that I know.
BTW, I know that the next Steinberg Activation Manager will make fewer connections to the Internet.

It continues to be a mess. Too bad Steinberg did not fully test it before implementing it. I sometimes wonder if Steinberg understands how important WL is to all of us on a daily basis or whether they think we are all “home hobbyist” who can afford to have things not work everyday???

Oh wait - does this mean the Activation Manager has to make “fewer connections” to allow the activation to work, but it needs to connect? Then it would be just some deceiving wording we had in the past. It was clearly stated the activations being permanently active - internet connections were described as are only necessary to activate once.

As I understand things, once activated, you don’t need an internet connection to run (you can try). But if there is an internet connection, sometimes there is access to it (why, I ignore).

This is what was communicated. Therefore I was suprised the activation was inactive, while it worked the day before without any problems. This PC was not on the Internet and WL refused to start. Only after re-establishing the internet connection I was able to use WL again, as described above.
IMO this shouldn’t be necessary - there was no change in hardware or anything else.
A clarification from other Steinberg guys about what is going on in this regards would be very appreciated.

I guess it’s checking for updates and changes from time to time.
But there is no connection needed to run the software.
I tested it with my laptop.
From time to time, I have worked in different places with no Wi-Fi available.

In my case WL refused to run out of the blue. There was a msg. to start Activation Manager or alike and this doesn’t work of course - no internet. It all really killed a creative situation here.
I have no WiFi running (for security reasons), but instead Gigabit Ethernet.

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Just to add to this … every time I launch the current version of WL the start up screen tells me it’s connecting to SAM and ‘signing in’. In other words, it looks like it’s making a quasi dongle call via internet. Personally, I would like the option of retaining the dongle.

No. Already mentioned, it checks the license locally.
License Manager holds the licenses for more than one product, if applicable.
That’s why it is there.

I am aware that this is how it is supposed to work. But I have a license for Nuendo on the same machine … on launch it only goes to ‘checking licenses …’ and goes directly to the initialization stage. Super fast. This is definitely not what I (and evidently others) are seeing on WL launch. If it says it’s ‘signing in’ … what’s it signing into?

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I’m just going to wade in and have a rant here (sorry!)

I often don’t agree with you Thomas but in this instance I think it’s impossible not to.

It seems to me, and I’m waiting for confirmation, that the latest version of the Activation Manager breaks compatibility with W11 and the elicenser. Now that’s pretty bad and shows that the testing regime at Steinberg is woeful, but if you look at how that happened I think the possibilities are much worse than that. Basically a timebomb waiting to happen (IMO!)

The Steinberg Download Assistant AUTOMATICALLY and without asking updates the Activation Manager if an update is available. In this instance it updated to one that breaks something that you can fortunately ‘work around’, but what if the next one disables running W11 altogether, or has some other similar BUG

I see no way to ‘downgrade’ to the earlier version of SAM so if that happens you’re stuck without the software - unless you roll back your entire system to an earlier version AND DO NOT RUN SDA.
Not to worry, Steinberg support will sort you out…what ? in several months ?

Dunno who thought automatically updating the activation software was an good idea - with no way to roll back or opt out ? When it’s Steinberg it’s doubly bad considering how buggy it has become in recent years.

We were promised that the new licensing system would be much more solid and reliable…yeah right.

(end of rant!)

At the very least do not allow the SDA to autoupdate anything ! - and allow the downloading of earlier versions of the SAM on the steinberg website…and somebody please take a look at the testing regimes

(Sorry PG I know this isn’t your fault but please pass the message on)

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Did you try rebooting?

of course !

I must say - I do love the way PG keeps dropping in here and offering beginner suggestions like “rebooting” when it is VERY clear that ALL the Steinberg licensing tools like Activation Manager, Download Manager and the totally useless “e-Licenser” software (that of course reinstalls itself AFTER one has already migrated to SAM) are woefully broken.

Over here - I have WL 11.1 is still working fine - and I intend to stay there since I will not go near any of these tools - especially Download Manager because I am completely sick of uninstalling the eLicenser package for the 11th time.

Until this software is completely redone - there is really no point in even trying to get updates since it appears that almost everyone is headed for their own version of disaster for what should be the simple task of a software update.

Best to just stay on whatever version works for you without hassle and wait for Steinberg to get their act together.


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VP - I’m not saying I totally disagree with the broad thrust of your post but just to flag that you can download and install W11.1.2 without going near the Download Assistant (which is wise !)

I believe most of the issues you talk about are out of PGs control - so if you download via the web hopefully you can sidestep some of the problems. It seems a shame to miss out on the various fixes and improvements that PG has made.

Maybe @PG1 can confirm if W11.1.2 works ok with the older Steinberg Activation Manager ( ?

I also suspect you’ll be waiting a very long time to wait for “Steinberg to get their act together” :slight_smile:

They should be a hotfix for SAM next week.

Dr. Strangelove

Yes - I realize that one can wander around the Steinberg site and snag the latest installers AND go manual - which is great if you know where to look and have the time to do so.

But judging by PGs post - 11.1.20 does NOT work with SAM - whether manually installed or not.

My issue is really with Steinberg and their relentless promotion of this cool new licensing scheme and especially using their useless download manager and other tools to supposedly make our lives easier. Judging by the raft of posts here listing endless problems - I am guessing almost no one does their installs “manually” anymore and gets trapped by these tools not working.

And then to have PG chiming in as if we are children asking if we actually know what we are doing makes me feel even more annoyed.

Thomas (and a few others) have stated it best - activation and licensing should never, ever be in the forefront of anything. They should be innocuous, invisible and just work.

If Steinberg cannot meet these criteria - we should return to the dongle - which BTW (in all my years of using Steinberg products) did actually meet these criteria I just listed.



again, I agree with lots of what you are saying,- I just trying to help by showing you that you can ‘bypass’ the Download Assistant

Rest assured (that in my testing) W11.1.2 works with the latest SAM - it’s just there are some bugs in SAM that once you know about you will be able to work around and it’s most likely you won’t actually be affected.

NONE of this licensing shambles is PGs fault - and yes, it can be annoying to be told to reboot - although often that fixes some of the SB bugs :slight_smile: - but remember PG is trying to help. His participation in this forum adds HUGE value to Wavelab as a product (in my opinion).

Personally I’m with you, have zero problem with the dongle, never had. All the way from the Atari days, the parallel printer dongle etc etc. iLok working beautifully too. BUT I think we need to be realistic, the dongle isn’t coming back. I feel we need to provide as much positive feedback as possible to get the licensing to work for us.

The relented on the horrendous monthly check-in (or whatever it was) and hopefully we can get to a much better place. It’s odd, we are made to feel like an irritation to SB HQ - but we should be on the same side.

In summary - yes it should just ‘work’ :slight_smile:

“NONE of this licensing shambles is PGs fault”

To be clear - I think PG is brilliant and welcome any and all of his insights when it comes to solving WL specific issues etc.

That said - he is the architect of this product and (presumably) knows it AND all its code better than anyone - which he should be communicating with the grade 10 programmers who created the Activation Manager and Download Manager.

He should also be the defacto final approval to confirm that licensing schemes (whether dongle or SAM) actually work correctly with each WL release and be able to confirm that via testing.

Clearly, there is a wide gap in where PGs involvement with a typical WL release ends and Steinberg licensing begins. It also appears that PG has about as much insight into this as you or I. Which is sad.

Sadder still - How does a 11.1.2 actually get out into the world without anyone at SB HQ hitting any of these activation speed bumps that users are seeing?