TPM 1.2 versus TPM 2.0 to meet authorization requirements

Cubase 12 successfully ran for a couple of weeks on my AMD 15h (pre-ryzen) motherboard. The motherboard supports TPM 1.2. However, both the TPM 1.2 and the TPM 2.0 hardware modules fit on the motherboard. There is also a Coreboot BIOS available that supports TPM 2.0. But I have not yet attempted to compile Coreboot with TPM 2.0 for the motherboard to find out if the combination will work to properly allow Cubase authorization. Most telling, Cubase worked as anticipated on the hardware during the trial period. So, the problem appears to be that apparently the authorization software won’t allow Cubase to work. Even though it is capable of working on the hardware. The motherboard definitely supports TPM 1.2. But TPM 2.0 support may or may not be reasonably achievable. Does anyone know if there is a technical impasse reason why the authorization software will not work with TPM 1.2? Also, is there a free or low cost Steinberg product that will allow me to test if the TPM 1.2 module will be sufficient for authorization? And if not, then thereafter to test if Coreboot BIOS with TPM 2.0 upgrade is sufficient? Thanks, Tim

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Just in case, I reviewed my Amazon orders, and the specifications of the motherboard for the system I have my Cubase running on.

While I have TPM headers, I have no TPM module installed on my desktop, and Cubase seems to be running without issue. I only fully converted from the e-licenser about 3 months ago and had no problems.

Maybe Steinberg might have mentioned that TPM was not a requirement in the last 20 emails that went back and forth about the subject. I have the eLicenser from earlier versions of Cubase and WaveLab. Wait a minute … maybe it is the difference between Cloud based authorization versus off-line authorization. I think it may not be required for Cloud based authorization. My studio computer is generally off-line. For off-line authorization, I think that’s where the local TPM module becomes a requirement. Thanks, Tim

Hmm this is an odd one.

My previous had no tpm, and no way to add it, (hence I could not update to Win 11).

I was running Cubase and Nuendo etc. with no issues. 11 using elc and 12 using sam.

I’m on a new machine now which has tpm 2.x but honestly, I’ve never heard that any of the SB licensing stuff requires tpm of any kind.

From an email to me from steinberg.de, on Wednesday, January 31, 2024:

"License Management
Steinberg Licensing (account based)

Windows 11 product compatibility
Please note that the official Windows 11 system requirements have increased and require e.g. an available and active Trusted Platform Module 2.0!

Operating systems (Windows) 64-bit Windows 11 Version 22H2 (or higher), 64-bit Windows 10 Version 22H2 (or higher)"

And from the web site:

Steinberg program releases [that] still support eLicenser technology

Steinberg Licensing was introduced in January 2022 to replace the old eLicenser-based license management.

The transition to Steinberg was completed in November 2023. Since then, all current Steinberg products are using Steinberg Licensing.

The following list shows the last releases of the most important Steinberg software that are still compatible with the eLicenser-based license technology.

Last release with eLicenser support
Cubase Pro 11
WaveLab Pro 11.1

I also asked about downgrading to Cubase Pro 11 or WaveLab Pro 11. And I didn’t get a clear answer. So I have been trying to figure out how to test if either the TPM 1.2 module would work. Or if the TPM 2.0 module can be made to work via a custom BIOS update.

Equivalent current generation hardware is around $7500 or more. Which, for me, makes ProTools the next best option at $30 per month.

I’ve already tested both latest releases of ProTools and Cubase on the older hardware. Both work. So, it seems to be exclusively an issue of the new licensing restrictions, that may force me to switch to ProTools. I’m looking for an option to stay with Cubase and WaveLab, since I already have years of familiarity with them.

Thanks,
Tim

I’m just thinking through the logic on this. If Steinberg intended to make the new licensing system dependent on TPM, they would have to advise all users buying or upgrading to Cubase / Nuendo V12 or 13 that they either have to:
have a 9th gen or later Intel machine (or whatever the AMD equivalent is) or
buy (or build) a new computer or
buy a TPM module to install in the header of their current older machine.
Look what happens on this forum when a new version is released. Just imagine what it would be like if many people had to buy new hardware just to run the new version! Pitchforks and angry mobs come to mind.
Since none of this has happened I think it’s safe to say that the latest licensing model does not require TPM (of any version).
We ran Cubase and Nuendo V12 and Wavelab V11.2 on 6th gen Intel harware (with no TPM) for at least a year before we upgraded machines. There were no licensing (or any other) issues.
We tested Cubase / Nuendo V13 on one of those same 6th gen machines (licensed, not trial) before moving into production. Again, no TPM module and the licensing worked as expected.

From: Offline: Generate a request file

I remember now why this came up. I tried offline activation and it would not complete. I think the [Continue] button (below) would not enable (stayed gray, would not go blue).

And that’s where the discussion with Steinberg started. How do I activate offline? The subject went off into TPM, and I think, not by my doing.

So you are suggesting that, if I try again, the right way. Some how, the [Continue] button will become active. I’m all for that solution. I just wish I knew what it was. I guess some people have more talent than others. But, after all these years, I’m okay with that.

I’ll keep trying.

Thanks,
Tim

Here is a clip from the email I sent to Steinberg about the offline activation process not working (from 1/31/2024):

  1. Selecting the file I generated on the off-line computer:

image

  1. I wait. But Generate and Save does not become un-grayed. The other option on this
    same screen that still works is the back arrow in the upper left. Back up and try again,
    same result.

I mean, what did I miss?

Here was Steinberg’s response:

“Hi, Tim
The grace period check function will not be applicable in the offline activation procedure.
Here is an article with a video on the exact process. After reviewing this let me know if you
are still having trouble:

Offline-Activation
I am sorry for the headache,
Tim”

Maybe I didn’t have all of my facts exactly correct. But it did remind me of Janis Joplin: If I just try a little harder.

Tim

Maybe I see another possibility. Maybe the process had to be run on the internet enabled computer. I was running it on the offline computer. But then, that’s not what the instructions say. The instructions seem to say run it on the offline computer (see below). So I am still stumped.

  • Connect the removable storage device on which you’ve stored the installers to the offline computer.
  • Install the Steinberg Activation Manager and open it.
  • Click on the gray “Yes, start offline activation” button.
    Alternatively, click on the profile icon in the top right corner to open the account menu and select “Offline Activation…”.
    (The computer must be offline, and you need to be logged out to see these options.)
  • Click “Continue”, and then click on “Generate Request”.

What does it mean that “The computer must be offline” and at the same time “you need to be logged out to see these options”?

Problem still not solved, 22 days later. But not a total loss. Thanks for the empathy: “sorry for the headache”.

Tim

Windows 11 itself, officially requires tpm. (Although it can be installed without, using various methods).

In all that I read above, that is the only thing relevant here.

Neither sam or elc require tpm. Windows 11 does.

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I now get it that Cubase has nothing to do with TPM, when run on Windows 10 22H2. And even though tech support refused to clarify that.

The original question to Steinberg tech support started out as simple as can be. The Generate and Save button did not seem to be enabled. The responses from Steinberg tech support and licensing ran off course in avoidance over what should have been a simple matter.

I don’t believe there was any mention of TPM in those first few emails to tech support. I knew almost nothing about TPM before the emails to Steinberg over this last 3 weeks.

The original question was why is the Generate and Save button grayed out during the offline activation process? And yet without getting an answer, eventually wound up on the subject of TPM requirements. And they allowed it to go there, never answering the original question.

In the same time frame, I installed Windows 10 and 22H2 update, ProTools, DaVinice Resolve, OBS Studio, and others. All up and running. And I also set up the 40G networking to the distributed cluster. Among all of those successes, only Steinberg tech support would not answer a simple question that was specific to their own process.

After repeatedly avoiding answering, Steinberg tech support then several times recommended that I post the question(s) to the forum. They specifically and repeatedly suggested posting to the developers forum, which apparently is also largely inactive. In the Cubase forum, in one day, you all cleared up the confusion that tech support fomented over 3 weeks.

I want to thank all of you in the forum for taking your time to help clarify what had become a hugely confusing situation.

Steinberg, good job on VST. I’m switching to ProTools.

Tim Reago