[SOLVED] Licensing - A really serious bug or design flaw ?

In a recent post The most serious bug a piece of software can exhibit - Dorico - Steinberg Forums I described what I experienced with Dorico

On June 14th 2017 I purchased a Dorico 1 license, a crossgrade from Sibelius, and I received a box and a USB-licenser. I never installed anything on any computer since Dorico 1 didn’t jave the features I need (Chord Symbol) as I’m a jazz musician.

On March 10th, 2019, I purchased a Dorico 2 upgrade and received an email containing an activation code

I immediately installed Dorico 2 and made sure to follow the procedure required so I wouldn’t have to use the USB licenser. I had to enter 2 activation codes, the one of Dorico 1 and then the one of Dorico 2 if I remember well. But I did’nt have to install Dorico 1.

I then started to use Dorico for the 1st time, Dorico2 I mean, without ever using the USB licenser, my laptop was always online

A few weeks ago, Windows 10 got upgraded from 1803 to 1903. Then I tried to work offline and eLicenser complained I didn’t have a license

Daniel kindly sent me a trial activation code so I could continue my work. I installed it and everything worked perfectly offline and later online when back home. It still works and will until November 2019. The is a side problem: when working offline the VST engine crashes when Dorico is started, but I’m not prevented to notate music. just to play it back

In his private message containing the trial code, Daniel told me to use the MySteingber reactivation process to obtain a new activation code. I did so, but then experienced problem, basically getting a message that there is no valid license on my eLicenser.

So I contacted Steinberg support about this, and the reply I got is that there is no way I can get a code for the eLicenser and that I must use the USB licenser.

But this is something I don’t want to do, because my laptop has only 2 USB ports which are already used to plug USB keys, one storing sound data like Dorico and other software Sound Libraries , and one to plug other devices, printer, external disk, external keyboard, or a USB key allowing to be connected to the Internet through wireless phone networks.

I insist on the fact that I’ve been using Dorico from March to August 2019 without ever using a USB licenser., The only events were : a Windows 10 1903 upgrade happened, I worked offline for the first time, I installed the trial activation code Daniel sent me

What can I do to be able to use Dorico with no USB licenser ? If there is no way, then Dorico is of no use to me, despite I like it a lot and I’ve been able to create music sheets that would have required much more painful work to create using Sibelius

For me there is a major flaw somewhere , if all of a sudden one is required to use the USB licenser after having worked without it for months.

What can I do then ?

After insisting with Steinberg Support, apparently there is a way, although it is a bit tortuous and multi-step
I’ll report success if that works.

After most Windows updates that cause problems, the first step is to open the eLicencer Control Center as Administrator and run the Maintenance routine.

He said on the thread he linked that he tried that, to no avail.

I always reinstall the eLicencer Control Center after a major update. And the Yamaha USB Driver since I’m using a Steinberg interface. This always works for me.

That’s not my problem … it’s just that I never had to use the USB licenser, I worked using the eLicenser only for months, I now I’m required to use the USB licenser which I don’t want for good reasons.

The eLicenser window now shows that that my Dorico licence is tied to the USB licenser. reinstalling the eLicenser won’t solve that.

How can a licence become all of a sudden attached with the USB licenser when there has been no action from me asking for that …

There has to be something you’re not telling us. If you haven’t had cause to use the USB licenser, why was it ever plugged into your computer? If your license magically teleported itself from your computer to your usb licenser, how come it landed on your usb licenser and not someone else’s? Joking aside, I suspect this is one for customer support…

Although it’s technically impossible to move a license from a USB-eLicenser back to the Soft-eLicenser, there are always in the end solutions to these problems. Please continue to work with our support team, who will help you through to this problem’s conclusion, and if for whatever reason you’re unhappy with the resolution, please contact me directly by email (at d dot spreadbury at steinberg dot de) and I will follow up with our support team.

Honestly, I have no memory of having plugged the USB licenser. I even don’t know where it is. When problem arose all of a sudden I was away from home without it ! it’s when I reinstalled and ran the eLicenser with an Internet connection to run the maintenance, solve the problem I reported in another post, that I noticed USB licenser was shown in the eLicenser window and Dorico Pro 2 licence attached with it. Did’nt pay attention at that time, but now I worled with Customer Support I understand what that means even if I wonder how it happened


BTW I really like all the top features of Dorico, players, layouts, flows. That allowed me to create music sheets very rapidly, it would have taken much more time with Sibelius, i.e. creating many files and copying things across

To anyone who may know the answer:

If one orders a Dorico Package including a USB eLicenser, does the license come pre-installed on the USB eLicenser?

I ask this because I wonder if the OP was using a demo license that ran out so that the only license available was the one pre-installed on the USB eLicenser, but I do not know enough about Steinberg procedures to say (although that doesn’t stop me from speculating :slight_smile: )

No, the license doesn’t come pre-installed on the USB-eLicenser. The USB-eLicenser is blank, so you can just stick it away in a drawer and not worry about it until such time you actually need it. Or give it as a snack to a hungry and undiscerning pet.


(So much for my theory. :blush: )

I have no pet, but I can’t get hold of my USB eLicenser: I found the Dorico 1 box containing 2 CDs and a hole where most likely was placed the USB eLicenser although it seems a bit small for the images I saw on the Internet for it. I also scanned all the USB keys stored in my dedicated plastic box, no luck yet.

2 questions then

  1. Customer support said that working offline requires to use a USB-eLicenser, is that right ? If so, that’s a major constraint

  2. If I can’t get hold on my USB eLicenser, the one containing the Dorico 2 license and which shows up in the eLicenser window, which Customer Support says is needed to solve the issue, would buying another USB eLicenser be a way to proceed, ie transfer the license to it and then work with Customer Support to apply the tortuous process it described.

Honestly, this Licensing technology seens to be a serious PITA. I understand Steinberg/Yamaha need to protect their assets, but that shouldn’t be such a heavy very German technology :slight_smile: (which most likely is not adapted to HW evolution, i.e less and less plugs on portable machines).

No. I use the ‘soft’ e-licenser and Dorico works fine without internet connection. As I understand it, the two licence types are identical in functionality, except that one is stored on your computer (and therefore cannot move**), and the other is stored on a portable physical device, so you can use Dorico on any computer where the USB stick is.

** Obviously, you can transfer your licence to another computer if you upgrade your hardware, but you can’t do that every week.

Well, I spent two days full time to find the USB-eLicenser which came with Dorico 1, not far from becoming crazy
I finally found it: plugged into a backside USB port of my docking station, itself located under the KVM switch connecting docking station and my recording dedicated XI-Machine. It was totally unvisible at the back and hidden by the many cablesrunning between KVM siwtch, docking station and XI-Machine.

Bottom line: I’m a complete idiot: No doubt I plugged the USB-eLicenser when installing Dorico (2 in fact) and then I completely forgot about it. So when going away I had no doubt I could use Dorico on my laptop without anything else connected. Of course problems popped up which I interpreted very stupidly, confirning the fact that users are always more idiotic than what software engineers may think.

I sincerely apologize for that, i.e. stupidly complaining in this forum and wasting the time of everyone who helped me.

You’re not the first person to be frustrated by the eLicenser, and I’m sorry to say you won’t be the last, either.

the issue is that when dealing with the eLicenser for the first time, it’s quite hard to gauge all the consequences of doing this or that.
May be it should be very strongly recommended to use the soft eLicenser first until you need otherwise and you really understand the issues.

Anyway, once bitten twice shy !

And congratulations for the Dorico 3 release … I was just spending time on notating upright bass fingerings by hand over printed staffs
Dorico 3 will likely be the perfect tool for that.