Question about license mechanism

ElektroStudios

New Member
Hi.

This question is about the Home License.

If I understood good, NTLite provides 5 activation spots. Well, I would like to know whether an activated spot can be deactivated, so I can do pseudo-unlimited activations on different virtual machines within the same 5 spots, by removing license spots of deleted virtual machines. Just like the StarDock's company license mechanism does, they give you 3 activation spots for their software products, but the activations spots "renew" automatically when you attemp to apply more than 3 licenses, so, all the time you only have 3 machines activated...

I hope you can understand what I mean, sorry if I did not explained it good.
 
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nuhi

NTLite developer
Staff member
Hi,

since NTLite supports offline operation, which I bet StarDock doesn't fully or that method would not work, there are no infinite activations.
That said, if you preserve the VM hardware info, all you need is one for it - license survives OS reinstalls.
And when you need the reactivations, if not too often, those 5 activations can be reset.
 

ElektroStudios

New Member
Thank you for answer.

That are bad news for me, because I spend much time and attempts in trial-and-errors. See, I would like to be able to activate NTLite to do live component removal in a virtual machine, then delete that virtual machine (then remove/disable the NTLite license for that machine), then create a new virtual machine and repeat this procedure until I can get the resulting O.S configuration that I really want. But you said "if not too often".

Please do not misunderstand me, I do not intend to discuss which company has a better activation mechanism and/or activation policies, I just put StarDock as an example because I'm a customer of their products then I commented about how their activation mechanism works to try ask this question.

But unfortunately, NTLite has an unfair limitation in the activation mechanism, since as you can see, there can not be any malicious intention in what I would like to do, as long as the license on those machines are deactivated.

Anyway I'm very interested in having NTLite v1.7.1.x with its features unlocked and also I'm waiting for the release of the v1.8, so I will buy a Home License very soon regardless of this limitation. I just want to be sure about how the activation works, so now I can try to do things differently to avoid performing "unnecessary" activations (to avoid asking for a reset) knowing the facts that you have explained to me.

EDIT: if you read this and can/will answer me: could you share a estimation of the release date of v1.8?, do you think it could be released before December ends?.

Thanks again for your answer.
 
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nuhi

NTLite developer
Staff member
Closest to that is the NTLite Business License, which has a portable license and would cover your requirements. But it's more expensive for that reason, compensating for the potential loss of internal sharing.

It is long considered to have an online license, which would have those deactivations, it's just not requested so often as the current model is working very good, regardless what people guess the experience is like.

Let me give you my opinion for the online license, mainly to refresh it for myself as well.

- may require the same machine to deactivate for increased security.
What if you forget to do so before reinstalling the OS and lose the user data (license file).
Happened to me with Calman (color calibration software). They give you 3 deactivations, 1 activation. Then you need to contact them and request a reset. It's also very expensive software so I feel the tension each time on OS reinstall and have put in place reminders what I need to do before reinstalling.
So a perfect system for the user is deactivations and activation from any machine, as long as there is only one active.
I see those in a few of the apps I use.
However, Sandboxie few months ago warned me that I activated from hundreds of machines and invalidated my key, regardless that they allow activation/deactivation.

- OS reinstalls should not count, and many do, especially with online licenses.

- for software producers, if deactivating from any machine, which is a must in my opinion, it's the same as sharing the license with more people, just don't run it at the same time.
And since this tool has a short active usage time, that license model is not fair. Same reason why there is no full trial mode.
Of course regardless who I trust, I would gladly give the tool for free and open the Patreon account - but, that would be only a fraction of normal sales and I would not be able to do it full time. Projecting from my experience with nLite (2004->2008), free tool ran with donations and having even more users.

- user needs to be online to run the tool activated with an online license, and this tool sometimes is supposed to be used offline, especially if there is an issue with the OS and cannot get online.
For this it should require online access one a day...a week... we are then stretching the problem above and making it even easier to share the license.


On the other hand, all you need to adapt to the current model:
- run the tool mainly from one machine, as it can edit images for other machines. In other words if you already know what that VM is supposed to be configured with, and reinstall so many of them, pre-configure an image before deploying it. Also it's a cleaner method.

- another option is to have up to 5 machines and accumulate your multiple activations into the same file and use the tool from a network share (that's how I do it).
Yes, the activation file can accumulate activations for this reason, just make sure the same license.dat file is in place when adding a new machine. Then backup for both in one file, or keep the tool on a difference location which survives reinstalls.


v1.8 release date is not fixed. Added features are not date-limited by the version release, but by the Changelog listing date of that feature.
v1.8 will be switched to the stable branch when enough of new features are added to be considered a bigger update and then waited enough for newly introduced bugs to be ironed out.
 

ElektroStudios

New Member
I understand your point of view and I'm with you, because let's say you log one activation and deactivation on the same day from the same end-user, in many applications that could be considered as a normal behavior (like installing it in a virtual machine and uninstalling it), for example with the StarDock products because those are theming tools for the daily usage, but as you said NTLite is a kind of product that has a short active usage time, so allowing unlimited deactivations would be very dangerous, I didn't took that into account when asking for it, but I see now that you have reason.

I just bought NTLite. Have a nice day!.
 
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pmikep

Active Member
That said, if you preserve the VM hardware info, all you need is one for it - license survives OS reinstalls.
While this is true in general, I tried to 'Lite an OS on my VM the other day. I got a message that I needed to Activate NTLite.

Maybe I goofed up somewhere (it's been a few months since I last used that VM). But it could also be that I updated VBox to the latest dot revision. And I updated the accompanying Guest Additons too.

So I wonder if updates to VBox break Activation?
 

nuhi

NTLite developer
Staff member
While this is true in general, I tried to 'Lite an OS on my VM the other day. I got a message that I needed to Activate NTLite.

Maybe I goofed up somewhere (it's been a few months since I last used that VM). But it could also be that I updated VBox to the latest dot revision. And I updated the accompanying Guest Additons too.

So I wonder if updates to VBox break Activation?
Make sure the MAC address of the NIC is the same, and any kind of VM cloning is regenerating disk serial.
Other than that, updating drivers alone should not change the underlying hardware info unless they designed it as such.
If you see that repeat, let me know and I'll focus on checking it in detail.
 

Kasual

Well-Known Member
- another option is to have up to 5 machines and accumulate your multiple activations into the same file and use the tool from a network share (that's how I do it).
Yes, the activation file can accumulate activations for this reason, just make sure the same license.dat file is in place when adding a new machine. Then backup for both in one file, or keep the tool on a difference location which survives reinstalls.
This is great news for me, i wasn't aware of this NTLite feature(?).
 

pmikep

Active Member
I'm too dumb to understand this. Are you saying that I can run NTLite from a virtualbox shared folder and it will allow 5 different VBox's to run live using only one Activation?
 

Kasual

Well-Known Member
Are you saying that I can run NTLite from a virtualbox shared folder and it will allow 5 different VBox's to run live using only one Activation?
I think that is possible for the Business license.

What you can do is:

Setup a machine (local network accessible) and install NTLite.
Set the NTLite folder as shared (don't activate there but you can do it).
Run NTLite from every client machine (up to 5 machines as home user) and activate one at a time then you will be all set, no matter how many times you format the 5 client machines, there you won't need reactivation as all the 5 activations allowed are already in the license.dat file in the host machine.

You can make a backup of the license.dat and settings.xml in a safe place (external drive).
 

pmikep

Active Member
Ah, okay.

Instead of using a network share with one instance of NTLite on it, I create write-thru drives for a D drive for each of my VM's and put an instance of NTLite on each. That way, each D: drive persists, even after I overwrite C: on any machine.

So kind of the same thing - perhaps more work my way.
 

pmikep

Active Member
Okay, I played around more with my previously licensed NTLite in a VirtualBox. I guess I'm not totally understanding licensing.

First, when I start up the previously licensed version of NTLite, I do NOT get the splash window about "You need to activate." Which is what I got when I tried an older version of NTLite on that machine.

So, because I didn't get the Splash screen, I thought that that version was still activated, with the understanding that I wouldn't be able t use new features.

But when I try to work on a Live install, I get a message that I need to reactivate.

So then Live is a "Premium" feature that only works for a year?

(My About on the VBox instance says "Free (limited, non-commercial))

(It's not a big deal about Activating it. I have 4 more to go for another month. But thought I would ask.)
 

pmikep

Active Member
Thanks. I read - and reread - the page. It's late, I'm tired, and maybe I missed it.

I see the quote you're citing. I don't see where it says that Live is a Premium feature. Rather, I take it to mean "a regular licensed feature."

From the page:

Your license never expires for the purchased feature set. (Emphasis mine.) Included are also any new premium features for a year starting from the first activation (beta included).
To unlock new premium features added after that year, you can renew the license at a 50% discount for another year – choice is yours if you see something interesting in the changelogs, anytime.
Renewals append a year from the day of activated upgrade, plus any remainder from the previous license, and resets the activation count.
As an example, a premium feature can be a new component removal, Windows version support or a new functionality of the tool.
I'm not seeing where Life is a new component removal, new Windows version support, etc.

I don't have a problem if that's the way it is. It might help to spell it out for dummies like me.
 

Clanger

Well-Known Member
You can LIve edit on any machine that is licensed whether you renew each year or not. Renewing is just to keep up with premium feratures(removals). Yep, its just a regular licensed feature.
 
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Kasual

Well-Known Member
Okay, I played around more with my previously licensed NTLite in a VirtualBox. I guess I'm not totally understanding licensing.

So, because I didn't get the Splash screen, I thought that that version was still activated, with the understanding that I wouldn't be able t use new features.

But when I try to work on a Live install, I get a message that I need to reactivate.
Don't worry about it, you understood licensing very well, same situation today and already reported issue.
How you got there?
I got there after 2 components removal in live wanted to remove more, running in a laptop.
 

nuhi

NTLite developer
Staff member
pmikep, when the tool prompts to reactivate, then the hardware changed.
With Virtualbox that's easy to achieve, as it even generates new disk serials on cloning it.

Premium features on the Windows version that was working when you bought it plus a year, will always work, if not let me know.
Are you using your renewed key? It is not expired, you can contact me directly if there are private details.

Kasual, your license expired on 09/08/2018, Win10 1809 final support premium features refresh was on 09/18/2018, that's a different situation and bad luck - expect an email.
 

pmikep

Active Member
So a strange problem today with licensing.

I have spent the day trying to get some KB's to install via WSUS Offline Updater. Windows would report that it couldn't "complete the updates" and would try to roll back. But really, Windows went into a loop, where, after booting, it would give me the same message and the hard drive would run for a long time as if Windows was really trying to roll back.

I got tired of this after a while and interrupted the process to boot into Win7 on another partition and restore a working image of Win8.1 into the partition that had failed.

For most of the day I never had a problem using NTLite after doing that. But one time, I got a message that I needed to Activate NTLite.

What?

I ran a chkdsk on my Data partition. No errors found. But after that, NTLite was back to its normal licensed self.
 

nuhi

NTLite developer
Staff member
Hm, could it be a disabled network card in the meantime, disks being switched, restored image containing NTLite with older/newer license activation...
 
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