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How to "repair" a license

Read: 922 Comments: 2 Rating: 13

Here are two licensing-related questions received by the Doctor Web support service.

  1. My little grandson made my PC power off abruptly, and then it started to freeze. Then the system was "restored". A message appeared on the screen saying my Dr.Web serial number could not be found. I clicked on the spider, and scanning got underway. A message indicated that I have 58 days left on my license. But in September I renewed my license, and it was supposed to go until September 8, 2018. What went wrong? And how do I fix it?

  2. I had a PC that was supposed to run Dr.Web for four years, and the machine broke down. If I replace the motherboard, I won't be able to use the same anti-virus license. And I can’t transfer it to another computer even if I specify the same user and license. Manufacturers must like this—people will buy their product more often, but it's not good for me because under my license, the anti-virus would have run for another three years.

For starters, let's explain why many software developers use complex license activation routines that aren't particularly user friendly.

It's all about piracy. Companies don't want to lose profits, which is what would happen if users started installing illegal software copies free of charge. And, obviously, despite all the license agreements they make with users, software developers can't find out that someone somewhere installed their program in violation of the EULA terms. Their only option is to scan networks in search of their software installations or demand that a connection to their server be established for their software to be installed. But in reality that’s not possible. No one will allow a stranger to come in and scan the computers in their network, and Internet access may not exist or it may be blocked due to security requirements.

But information security software doesn't exist on its own. It needs to use up-to-date information about the latest threats. Anti-virus companies don't collect information about users, but they have their query statistics—if for no other reason than to know how many customers they have and where they live for marketing purposes. When an anti-virus contacts an update server, it transmits some information about itself. For example, it includes its version because different versions may use different virus database and software module builds. The relayed data also includes the maximum number of computers on which the anti-virus can be installed under the current license.

That's why anti-virus companies don't have to resort to draconian measures, link licenses to certain system hardware parameters, demand another registration to transfer an anti-virus to a different computer and so on. As long as the number of running anti-virus copies doesn't exceed the maximum number allowed under the license, users have nothing to worry about.

Your computer broke down, but you still have your anti-virus license? Feel free to install it on a new PC, and the anti-virus will run until the license expires.

By the way, a license period doesn't start when the anti-virus is purchased but rather when the license is activated, i.e., from the date you entered your serial number during installation or on the Activation Wizard page. That's why you can purchase a license beforehand—it won't "go bad”.

Of course, a serial number should be kept safe, but if it gets lost, there is a way to recover it. That's the reason users are required to provide some information to activate their licenses. This data can later be used to recover the license.

Important! When activating a license, provide valid information. Otherwise, in a couple of years, you won't be able to recall the gibberish you entered in the activation form.

Of course, if a PC is wiped clean and the operating system is installed from scratch, the license information will be erased. It can also be lost if a hard drive fails or if someone decides to clean the system of "useless" folders (thinking that since they don't use the directories, it’s okay to delete them).

If, after a clean installation, the anti-virus can't detect the key file (e.g., because the hard drive has been formatted), and you can't provide the license information, the program can run in trial mode for some time.


Dr.Web recommends

If you are the actual owner of a valid license, you can always contact our support service. We'll help you recover your license and set up Dr.Web properly.

But! Don't just hand out your serial number or key file left and right. It may be hard to believe, but many people who’ve acquired a license in violation of the licensing agreement contact us, too.

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