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evdjj3j
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Old January 16th, 2016, 04:24 PM
The developers should add the ability for the installer to detect an already licensed install when doing an update so that upgrading the software does not trigger demo mode and require reactivation.
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Farling
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Old January 17th, 2016, 10:47 AM
It doesn't normally enter demo mode when updating HeroLab.

If you are referring to updating WIndows 10, then this appears to be primarily affecting users who choose to be on the "fast track" of Windows 10 updates. It is a problem with Windows 10 changing some internal data which causes the HL license to become invalid. (A search of the forums will find the responses to other users who have requested this in the past.)
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evdjj3j
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Old January 18th, 2016, 06:29 AM
I have to reactivate my license every time Hero Lab updates. Even if yours doesn't go into demo mode my request is still genuine, the installer should check to see if it was already activated. The last two or three times I have updated I've been stuck in demo mode all weekend since they don't do activation on the weekend. I've wasted a lot of money on this software that I wish I could have back for it not to work 50% of the time I need it to. The horrible DRM is why I steered someone inquiring about character software to PCGen last week on Facebook. I understand the need for DRM, but it could be a lot better, starting with checking if the software is activated during an update. It's 10:30 Monday morning and they still have not responded to my request, do they not start working until noon?
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Farling
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Old January 18th, 2016, 10:12 AM
Have you raised a question at support@wolflair.com about this? They may be able to help you resolve your PCs problem.
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liz
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Old January 18th, 2016, 11:39 AM
Hi @evdjj3j, we're actually already working on a change to the licensing system that will help users like you on the Windows insider program.

Now to answer some questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by evdjj3j View Post
The last two or three times I have updated I've been stuck in demo mode all weekend since they don't do activation on the weekend. I've wasted a lot of money on this software that I wish I could have back for it not to work 50% of the time I need it to.
I looked at our support system, and it looks like the 3 of the 4 license reassignment requests you submitted in the past five months were all submitted on Saturday or Sunday. As we're a small company with only one full-time support staff member, I'd recommend opening up Hero Lab before the weekend. That way if there's a reassignment, we can get you back up and running before your game. Of course, that's not ideal and by no means a long-term solution. But it will help things until the update I mentioned above gets released.

Quote:
Originally Posted by evdjj3j View Post
The horrible DRM is why I steered someone inquiring about character software to PCGen last week on Facebook. I understand the need for DRM, but it could be a lot better, starting with checking if the software is activated during an update.
I'm sorry to hear that. There are tens of thousands of gamers actively using Hero Lab at their regular gaming sessions every week, and the number of people running into issues like the ones you've encountered are very low. However, given the fact that this has shown up over the past few months on game days, I can understand how this is a big issue for you and your games.

Quote:
Originally Posted by evdjj3j View Post
It's 10:30 Monday morning and they still have not responded to my request, do they not start working until noon?
Well, I've been working since 8:30 am Pacific. Our one tech support staff member has been replying to users emails, and I'm sure he'll get yours soon.
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evdjj3j
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Old January 18th, 2016, 01:24 PM
I am no longer part of the Windows Insider program, that is not what triggered demo mode. Demo mode was triggered because it has been less that 120 days since the last time I upgraded, my last request was Oct 13th. I'm interested in what changes are being made to the DRM. I'm hoping that it checks during the upgrade for a valid license and doesn't ask to phone home if a valid license is found?
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liz
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Old January 18th, 2016, 02:08 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by evdjj3j View Post
Demo mode was triggered because it has been less that 120 days since the last time I upgraded, my last request was Oct 13th.
That's not how the licensing system works. We actually have a description of our licensing system on our website: http://www.wolflair.com/index.php?co...censing_basics.

Here's some key excerpts (though I encourage you to read what else is on the webpage):

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hero Lab website
When you purchase Hero Lab, you are issued a unique license number. This license number can be used to unlock the product on a SINGLE device of your choice - this can be a computer running Windows or OS X, or an iPad. Completing the licensing wizard within Hero Lab binds the product to the device on which the license is installed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hero Lab website
Hero Lab uses a few key pieces of information to establish the "identity" of your device. This information is configured when the operating system is installed on your device. No identifying information about you or your device ever leaves your device. The identifying information of your device is distilled down into a short string of characters that "uniquely" reflects your device. This short string is transmitted to our server. It is impossible to reverse the operation and determine any identifying information about your system from the short string, so your privacy is secure.

In general, there are only three conditions under which the identity of your device should change:
  1. Installing a new operating system will change your device's identity. This is the same as switching to a new device or re-installing the same operating system after re-formatting your hard drive.
  2. Upgrading your current operating system will often change the identity. (This does NOT include automatic updates and service packs.)
  3. Editing system information that should never be modified after operating system installation can sometimes trigger an identity change. This can occur if you use various hacked versions of games.

Quote:
Originally Posted by evdjj3j View Post
I'm interested in what changes are being made to the DRM. I'm hoping that it checks during the upgrade for a valid license and doesn't ask to phone home if a valid license is found?
As you'll note above, the system already does this and it works the vast majority of the time. Unfortunately, Microsoft changed some things with Windows 10, which has been causing some people to go into demo mode after new builds. This is not affecting everyone (I have Windows 10 and it works fine for me), but it sounds like you may be one of the unlucky few.

As to what exactly is being changed in the update that I mentioned, one of the developers would need to chime in (I will point them to this thread).
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Togainu
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Old January 18th, 2016, 02:08 PM
The upgrade/update you are referring to is from Hero Lab itself I presume or actual windows? Just to clarify that part first.

If so that normally shouldn't invalidate the license in place (generally a reactivate will just work without an early reassignment request). If that isn't working. My best bet would be that either your license is being used by more than one machine (which is possible if an update asks you to reactivate licenses. whether it is knowingly or by accident). The other option can have several causes.

If you are certain that your license isn't being used by more machines. It is best to contact support and try to figure out why the software update is invalidating your license.

As for the windows part issues as Liz has stated Windows 10 (assuming you currently are on w10. seeing you haven't actually stated what OS you are on. Which is actually rather useful information to have) is causing certain issues for certain people at the moment.

Last edited by Togainu; January 18th, 2016 at 02:13 PM.
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Colen
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Old January 18th, 2016, 02:16 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by evdjj3j View Post
I am no longer part of the Windows Insider program, that is not what triggered demo mode. Demo mode was triggered because it has been less that 120 days since the last time I upgraded, my last request was Oct 13th. I'm interested in what changes are being made to the DRM. I'm hoping that it checks during the upgrade for a valid license and doesn't ask to phone home if a valid license is found?
You'll still need to reactivate your license after upgrading Hero Lab - your license keyfile is tied to a specific version of HL, so a license for an older versions won't work with a newer version. What we're changing is the way Hero Lab identifies your machine - we'll be making it more reliable, so it's less likely to think that your computer has "changed".

The current methods we use to detect a computer change used to work well, but as Liz mentioned, Microsoft messed with things in Windows 10 and now they mis-detect a new computer after certain things (for example, upgrading to a new build of windows, which MS now releases every few months). The changes will mean that this no longer occurs.

If you need to contact us for early reassignment every time you update Hero Lab, that means something is wrong - in the vast majority of these cases, it turns out that someone has been using the same Hero Lab license number on two computers. Our tech support staff tries to catch these when they occur, but we don't always spot them, but if it's a problem you're having regularly, please flag it to our support staff (support@wolflair.com) and they'll try to get things figured out.

Hope this helps!
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evdjj3j
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Old February 5th, 2016, 12:45 PM
I tried to use Hero Lab again and once again I'm stuck in demo mode. I tried using it on Thursday like was suggested by support personnel as a fix so I could get my license out of demo mode on a weekday, but that does not seem to work either. It's almost 5 PM on Friday and the license has not been unlocked.
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