eLicenser failing since 26th July

I bought and installed Cubase 8.5 in March, used without problems since…until July 26th, where opening Cubase was met with a popup “No valid License found. The program will quit now.”.

I checked these forums and the Steinberg knowledge base and saw suggestions to upgrade the eLicenser. By this time, a brand new version of the eLicenser software had just been released (eLicenser Control Version So I downloaded and installed, didn’t help my problem). I have also since attempted a full uninstall (also did check for lingering files each time) and reinstalled.

I’m running Windows7 64bit. It’s quite up-to-date, in fact I believe I installed a wad of new security updates since last using Cubase.

In Device Manager > Other devices > eLicenser > Properties > Device Status:

“The drivers for this device are not installed. (Code 28)
The system cannot find the file specified.
To find a driver for this device, click Update Driver.”

After (re)installing the latest eLicenser Control, even pointing Update Drivers to Windows\System32\ (where SYNSOACC.dll exists) fails to update the driver, with the message:

“Windows found driver software for you device but encountered an error while attempting to install it.
The system cannot find the file specified.
If you know the manufacturer of your device, you can visit its website and check the support section for driver software.”

Any help would be much appreciated, this is hurting creativity!

I should add that we’ve tested the eLicenser dongle on a Mac that has Cubase 8.5 installed and it worked (Cubase loaded) - so the dongle is working.

With further investigation, I have found an eLicenser log that coincides with the (old version) eLicenser failure I first saw (I know this because of the datetime at which file created AND the file uses the old log filename format (which does not contain the date/time), here’s a snippet which suggests something on Steinberg/eLicenser’s end went horribly wrong:

<some previous log info, redacted>
LCCPOSActions::deserializeACLicenseDescription()-> l_ErrorCode: 0
LCCPOSActions::deserializeACLicenseDescription()-> l_Type: 0
LCCPOSActions::deserializeACLicenseDescription()-> l_OutputLength: 124
-> LCCProcessSolveActivationCodeToLicenseDescription ended
THREAD SWITCH!!! Entered thread: 1FB8
-> LCCProcessLicensePushActivationCode started
LCCMBActions::performGeoLocationCheck()-> inActivationCode:
LCCMBActions::performGeoLocationCheck()-> l_TargetDeviceSerialNumber:

I have gone through a complete uninstall again on a new admin account. I found no difference doing that.

I subsequently worked around the ‘SYSTEM’ permission restrictions and forcibly deleted the long-lingering files:


After doing that and reinstalling the eLicenser Control Center:

  • Cubase still fails to start, with popup ‘No valid license found. The program will quit now’,
  • Device Manager > eLicenser is still flagged as disabled/faulty.
  • Attempts to update driver for eLicenser (pointing to Windows\System32) now finds nothing at all.
  • eLicenser Control Center is still vacant of any Licenses, attempting to add one using Activation code yields the same ‘no eLicenser found’ display.

How old is your USB-eLicenser? I would recommend contacting Steinberg Support through your MySteinberg if possible.

I worked out the problem myself, support could only offer me the advice to try installing with admin permissions.

It turned out that, probably due to recent Windows 7 security updates, the eLicenser Control Center software seems to be incapable of installing the files necessary for driving the eLicenser, after rendering the once existing files incapable of driving. So the advice to remove the files left me without any files, and since the new installer has no option to export the actual drivers nor did Steinberg offer them via support - I had to grab the files from another Windows install and then point ‘Update drivers…’ to them.