E-licencer version

Not sure if this is the best form for this request for help - forgive me if I am in the wrong place. I have filled out a request for support form and sent it to Steinberg, but, having had previous experience of Steinberg Support, I thought I would run the problem past some of my fellow users as well.

I am Director of Performing Arts at a School in the UK. We have 30 licences for 5 essential, and around 16 licences for 6, 6 artist, 4 and 4 studio (mixture with upgrades etc.).

I have a testbed system running under Win 8. Using both V6 and V4 I was experiencing problems with the e licencer software that came with 4 and 6 - Cubase would simply not function properly - no error messages- eventually I would get DCOM errors from the elicencer software. Suspect the (regular) calls to the elicencer were unsuccessful - hence Cubase’s erratic behaviour. Looked on the Steinberg forums and spotted several posts that suggested that under Win 8 the best approach was to upgrade the elicencer software to the latest version ( Did so; however now the new version of the elicencer refuses to recognise either of the dongles (for both 4 and 6). The dongles are fine - they have the licences on them - I can happily see the licences on my macbook - elicencer ( The USB ports are fine - noise when inserted and memory sticks work OK.

I would very grateful if someone who knows much more about this than me could suggest a fully working version of the elicencer software for win 8 and perhaps direct me to it. As you can imagine the thought of 16 systems demonstrating erratic failures all at the same time is not attractive in a teaching environment.

Sometimes I think the user community pays a high price for Steinberg’s software security when compared to other suppliers’s solutions.

Many thanks to anyone who takes the time to read this and offer any help.

Best Regards


The only problems I have experienced under Win 8 is that in some cases the elicenser needs to be run once after installation with full administrator rights to allow it to write to the install folder, win 8 is more paranoid about this than even Win 7, otherwise no problems encountered under win 8, 64 or 32 bit.

To perform the admin run simply press the windows key on the keyboard, type “eli”, click on the elicenser icon with the right button of your mouse and choose “run as administrator” from the option strip at the bottom of the screen.

“Sometimes I think the user community pays a high price for Steinberg’s software security when compared to other suppliers’s solutions.”

The other comparable solutions used in music software are iLok and Pace and if you find the eLicenser to be painful, just wait until you run into problems with those 2, they are scarily badly implemented. The other alternative of challenge and response appears to make sense until you realise that every install ad re-install requires a new C-R session, in that case your 54 separate installs would require quite an interesting amount of your time.

Hi, Many thanks for getting back to me.

I tried forcing the elicencer software to run as administrator - unfortunately it made no difference. It simply does not ‘see’ the Cubase 4 and 6 dongles at all - even though they are ‘aglow’ in the USB ports. I think I will just try other versions of the elicencer software and hopefully I will find a version that works.

Apologies if my remark re. Steinberg Software protection seemed a little churlish - perhaps borne from frustration - I would much rather be teaching a group harmony than fiddling with software copy protection systems. As a comparison, Logic in education is a simple site licence cost (not expensive) and no copy protection thereafter. However I do prefer Cubase for education.

Once again thank you for taking the time to respond.



Are these problems on identical hardware? could this be something as simple as the good old USB power issue ? Have you tried using a powered USB hub (just as a test to eliminate that possibility).

Some motherboards have 3 different USB controllers, one hooked up to the main chipset, and 2 separate external ones, the specs and behaviour of those differs so it pays to test the offending dongle on all available ports just to see if there is a compatibility issue. They are also sometimes set up differently in BIOS for some reason by the MB manufacturer, so it pays to take a quick peek into the BIOS settings to remove legacy USB support etc., not just for this problem but also to avoid other USB problems in the future. .

The elicensers have slightly higher power requirements than memory sticks for instance and on laptop computers the power that an USB port is allowed to send out is artificially limited by some manufacturers to conserve battery life, I have had problems related to those USB ports although your problems do sound more like a software issue.

You are not going to have much luck running Logic on Win8

Hi, thanks for your suggestions.

I seem to have managed to get the elicencer to recognise my dongles again via a systems upgrade to Win 8. I can now get into Cubase again. I checked the upgrades that seemed appropriate and installed them. I am left wondering why I could initially use v4 and 6 without any problems on the system and then suddenly could not due to the crashing elicencer issue. Was Win 8 changed by M/S without my knowledge?? Perhaps the best approach is to configure a fully working system and pull the ethernet plug out?

The Mac fraternity may hold incidents such as this as evidence of the superiority of the Mac platform - but my experience is that just as many issues can occur with Logic on Mac as with Cubase on PC; I have 15 iMacs for Logic/GBand. In fact my most stable environment to date for students has been Cubase 4.5.2 on XP professional - no internet connection (of course).

Many thanks for your help and support. I think I shall leave the Steinberg support request open - to see how long it takes them to get back to me; 2 days and counting. If I have around 50 licences and receive zero support (my past experience) what chance does anyone else. We shall see; I’ve always rated Yamaha as an organisation - have bought lots of instruments and educational ‘stuff’ over the years.



This is what I do, trying to be as independent as possible from whatever may change via OS-updates.

These automatic upgrades were a problem on Windows XP because the system installed feature upgrades that you did not necessarily want but since Vista the problematic and more controversial updates have been made optional, so leaving the automatic updates on has not been as problematic as it used to be since only security, driver and system upgrades are installed by default and “feature” upgrades are optional and have to be chosen manually anyway.