Older Computer with Cubase 5

hello, my name is Reg B
i purchased an older computer with Cubase 5 installed. i was told at the time of purchase that all programs were licensed to the computer.
when Cubase is “run” there is a square message box that states the elicenser usb dongle must be connected.
I’d like to get it working. any ideas

Hello Reg,

welcome to the forum.
Cubase 5 indeed requires a USB eLicenser to run, i.e. the license is not stored on the computer but on the dongle (and registered in your Steinberg user account). I fear you need to contact the seller of the computer and ask for a license transfer.

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Is there any other way?
The owner sold the recording studio years ago and i believe this machine has sat for the last 10 years. That usb dongle is surely lost… even if i could find the original owner.
Besides that, it’s running window 7
Where would you find a Cubase 5 that would run on win7 h prem?
any other ideas? thanks

The owner to whom the license is registered must make a request for a Zero Downtime License

They will receive an activation for the license on the USB key, which can be used on a new USB Elicenser.

that’s a lot of ifs

You can install and try Reaper out which will probably run on the older machine. Thier license is $60US – although they give you a 60 day free trial and the software remains fully functional after that but with a nag screen on start up. Otherwise you’ll have to chase up the USB licenser and the last owner.

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I’ve contacted the guy ipif and asked if he would know where the usb dongle is or could give me the original owners info. kow fc🤞

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Does anyone recognize these as potential elicensers?
These were found at the studio.

No, unfortunately not. iLok is a different protection system, e.g. used by lots of third-party plugins. I don’t know the left one.

Here’s some further information on the USB eLicensers including a photo showing the four models produced over the years:

Well, i hope maybe it’s a copy.
I’ll take a look at it later

That would be illegal, though. :wink:
eLicensers can’t be copied easily. It’s only possible to move licenses from one to another (original) eLicenser.

The left one is an older version of iLok.

Hey Reg B, not to be a killjoy, and perhaps you already knew this, but whoever told you that all the programs were licensed to the computer was mistaken for likely 90%+ of the licenses on that computer. Most licenses, particularly pro audio licenses, are licensed to a human being, not to a computer. So whoever was the original license owner of each relevant individual software license on that computer needs to do a proper license transfer to your name. Which will be a very big pain in the neck to be honest. Given the time frame involved from what you describe, and the amount of hassle involved, I hate to break it to you, but you are likely facing a very uphill battle getting those licenses properly transferred over to you.

Each license, BTW, is governed by the various user agreements that each software publisher/developer has, so the parameters and procedures of how those licenses can be transferred to you may vary widely, thus giving you an even bigger headache, depending on how many licenses need to be transferred to you.

My suggestion is to reach out to the prior owner of the studio and try to get the proper license transfers initiated, but if that is not possible, then perhaps you can negotiate a partial refund from the seller. Maybe to help make up some of the lost value that you thought you were getting, and they clearly didn’t know or explain properly how license transfers actually work.

If you can’t get the licenses transferred to you from the original owner(s), then I suggest you start from scratch. That computer running Windows 7 will no longer receive security updates, so you may want to see if you can upgrade it to Windows 10, which BTW, is being phased out by Microsoft, so that computer is likely at a dead end in the near future, unless you take it completely offline OR decide to make the jump to Linux, which would resurrect that computer for likely several more years. That’s a totally different kind of discussion though, way beyond this thread.

Reaper was mentioned in one reply to you, and it’s a great DAW for a very reasonable price. Also, Steinberg is currently running a special deal on Cubase, and you might want to take advantage of that - Save 30% on Cubase 13 + premium partner products | Steinberg

There are of course many other DAWs out there, including free or open source DAWs, that are very powerful, including Ardour and others.

Wish you the best of luck! And sorry you weren’t given correct information about your DAW from the person you bought it from! That really sucks! I hope you can at least get some partial refund, and maybe if you’re lucky, you can actually get the licenses transferred over to your name.

Just a thought.

Cubase has since version 12 been running on a dongle free activation system.
Cubase eLcc dongles with a licence will run Cubase 11 and backwards which would include v5.

As Current Cubase users no longer need the dongle for current Cubase you may find, dongles with licences for various versions come up for sale on eBay.

If you only want a short term licence just to try out the software for a couple of months I have a solution, purchased off eBay. Message me direct if interested .