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[Updated this entry, DEC 2018]

[Updated this entry, JUL 2019]

[Updated this entry, SEP 2019]

[Updated this entry, SEP 2020]

[Added video, MAY 2021]

[Added videos, JUN 2021]

[Added videos, AUG 2021]

 

Don't like reading?

Here are videos to explain the basics:

 

[Example of a license activation]

 

[or]

 

Activating licenses is usually painless. But if it isn't, read on. This is an attempt to describe the necessary steps, depending on the different user cases.

 

1. General

Assuming that you DID receive your license after placing your order (you did not? Read this) you now have your ticket URL. But on the attempt to activate your license ticket you may get to see the error message 

PHP_GET_NOLICENSEFIRMCODE_HEADLINE

PHP_GET_NOLICENSEFIRMCODE_TEXT

The most likely cause of this error is that you haven't yet installed the latest CodeMeter runtime version (7.21a at the time of this writing). This was released in June 2021, and it is included in the Steel Beasts 4.265 installer.

Remedy: Install SB Pro PE 4.265. Or, if you want or must run an older version, download and install the latest CodeMeter runtime from here.

[Section removed]

 

You may now experience one of several obstacles (or none, as is still the case for the majority of all users):

 

a) You activated the license but you still get an error message when trying to start Steel Beasts

Chances are, the firmware of your CodeMeter stick is outdated.

[Help video to go here]

Start the CodeMeter Control Center, look for the button with the circular arrow on the right side of the window (somewhere in the middle), click it, and follow the on-screen instructions. CodeMeter sticks with serial number 1-xxxxxxx should in the end have a firmware version 1.18 (as of the time of this writing), newer CM sticks with serial number 2-xxxxxxx should have firmware 2.04. Serial numbers 3-xxxxxxx can have an even higher firmware version number.

If you're reading version 1.19, you have selected a virtual CM stick, not your physical one

 

b) You want to activate a single license, but there is no immediately apparent way to do so

Chances are, you're using the old and outdated MS Edge, or, more likely these days, the security settings of your browser prevent it. See below for details.

 

c) You want to activate multiple licenses and get an error message about an "unsatisfied constraint"

Chances are, you have ordered both a secondary license and an upgrade license. The upgrade license must be applied first - remove the checkmark from the "SECONDARY" entry, activate the "UPGRADE", then activate the remaining license.

Or maybe you ordered an upgrade from a version that you don't have (0x18080001). Contact Sales (at eSimGames.com) to untangle the situation.

 

 

d) You want to activate a single upgrade license and get an error message about an "unsatisfied constraint" with error code 0x18080003

You probably have a first generation CodeMeter stick from a purchase made in 2006 or 2007. Please contact Sales (at) eSimGames.com for remedy.

 

e) A combination of the above

You'll have to work yourself through the individual issues one after another. If in doubt, start with the firmware upgrade.

 

f) Windows 10

Download and install the CodeMeter runtime 7.21a (you may need to select it from a menu there).

[Section removed]

 

 

2. Browser

a) Choice

For conceptual reasons, the Lynx browser does not support any modern web technology; therefore, don't use it to activate your license.

[Section removed]

 

b) Security

At the moment the direct activation of licenses requires Websocket connections (pretty much any modern browser), or ActiveX (MS Internet Explorer), or Java (the fallback line; note that JavaScript is something else entirely, and whoever chose the name is probably the most successful internet troll of the last 50 years). Since CodeMeter runtime version 5.10a this is no longer necessary (provided, again, that you have an up to date web browser that supports websocket connections (pretty much any)).

That said, here's some general browser configuration advice (for license activations):

  • If you're an experienced web browser user you could try and adjust your security settings to allow the execution of both JavaScript and Java
  • You might try the Internet Explorer, and be it just for ticket activations. In the Extras menu | Internet Options entry | Security tab you could add the WebDepot to the list of "trusted sites". Assuming that the trusted sites have less strict security settings, visiting the ticket page should now either work without much further ado, or you would get a rather inconspicuous whitish-yellow pop-up bar at the top or bottom of the window asking you for permission to open the active content of the page. Confirm this if you trust us (...and you pretty much have to, given that you installed our software already, and used your credit card in our web store).
  • If you can't follow the suggested solutions above, you will need to use the Offline Activation (see below)

 

3. Offline Activation

 

This is the last option and a surefire method as long as you may upload and download files with your browser. Even old Netscape browsers should be able to do that (those with the blue wooden steering wheel icon that looked dated already in the 1990s). It's a reliable method, but less convenient than the direct license transfer. Also, we recommend that you seek eSim Games' support staff assistance, and send us your license request file by email, along with your license ticket URL (and be it just that you can shift all blame on us, along with the responsibility to fix it).

 

The offline activation method must be prepared.

  1. Start the CodeMeter Control Center. At the bottom of the window, half-left, there is a single button for a wizard program to handle license updates. You want to create a license request - so just follow through the wizard until you have a file named xxxxxxx.WibuCmRaC; save it to your desktop or a place that you can remember.
  2. Then send that file to eSim support staff, along with your license ticket code. If you don't want that: You may of course directly visit the web depot page. In the lower right corner of the window is a button for the "Offline Activation". Click it. You'll get prompted for the location of the *RaC file that you created before (see above). By uploading it you start the activation process. You will get prompted to save a new file xxxxxxx.WibuCmRaU - save it to your desktop (or some other place of your liking, as long as you know where to find it).
  3. Saving this file is important! It will transfer the license information into the virtual CodeMeter stick; without it you can't start SB Pro PE. Also, you don't get a second try (in which case you'd need to contact eSim Games, anyway - please have your license ticket code ready).
  4. Once that the file is stored you just need to double-click it and confirm that you, indeed, want to transfer the license. Done.
  5. If you want, you can use the wizard program of the CodeMeter Control Center again (this time, select that you want to apply a license update). It's more cumbersome than a simple double-click ... but hey, some people like wizards.

 

That should be it, really. If you still encounter trouble it's best to contact me by email. In that case you can speed up the process by including the CmDustResult.log file. (In the Start Menu | CodeMeter | Tools program folder is a tool named "CmDUST" run it. It will open a Windows Explorer window at the end containing the log file. Attach it to your email to me, please).

 

 

I feel generally confused by this WebDepot web page. What am I supposed to do?

Fear naught!

On the following page I will explain the WebDepot page in pictures. But check out the awesome help video #3 above.

 

 

I heard about this "Firmware upgrade". Why is it necessary, and how is it done?

On the following page I will explain the CodeMeter Control Center application, covering this and similar topics.

[Another help video to go here.]

 

The WebAdmin! What is it good for?

On the following page I will show some examples what can be done with it.

[Help video might follow.]

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  • 1 year later...
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[Updated this entry, JUL 2019]

[Updated this entry, JUN 2021]

 

Occasionally the activation fails with the error code 0x18080001. In 2014 these errors went away within an hour or so.

Please accept my most sincere apologies!

[Section removed]

 

If you get this 0x18080001 error in or after 2019, chances are something else is wrong and it's not on the server side. In that case, please contact us (Sales (at eSimGames.com)), ideally with a prepared CmDust-Results.log file (see the end of the previous post), and your license ticket URL.

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[Updated this entry, JUL 2019]

[Updated this entry, JUN 2021]

[Updated this entry, OCT 2021]

 

Before activating your license with the Chrome web browser, please make sure to have installed the latest CodeMeter runtime version (which is currently 7.30a).

[Section removed]

 

Steel Beasts 4.267 already includes CodeMeter runtime 7.30 (not "a"), which is sufficient; but you can always download the latest from Wibu Systems, if necessary.

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  • 1 year later...
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[Updated this entry, OCT 2021]

 

The error code 0x18080001 can have a multitude of reasons I just learned about. Please contact me by email, so I can identify why you, specifically, get that error. There is no "one size fits all" answer here.

 

We tried to collect the most popular reasons in the "0x18080001" Youtube video above, but there's still a small but non-zero chance that your case might be different.

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I have SB PE v3.0.28 installed on a Win7 partition.  I also have a Win10 partition.  I want to keep the Win7 install and install 4.0 and the updated dongle software under Win10.  In principle, is there any known reason I cannot do so?  I was hoping to buy the $40 license for the Win10 installation.  Is there any known reason such an arrangement will keep me from using the dongle in Win7 and also under Win10?  Thanks.

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[Updated this entry, OCT 2021]

On 8/12/2016 at 11:04 PM, spudweasel said:

I was hoping to buy the $40 license for the Win10 installation.  Is there any known reason such an arrangement will keep me from using the dongle in Win7 and also under Win10?

 

It will work.

If the two Steel Beasts installations do not use a shared folder (and with two parallel WIndows versions this shouldn't be the case) then there will be no problem. The CodeMeter license management is also independent of the operating system/Windows version.

 

Note that since Q2/2021 the latest CodeMeter runtime no longer supports Windows 7. At the moment the Steel Beasts installer comes with both a current version (7.30) and the last one that still works with Windows 7 (7.21?). We will maintain this practice while it's still feasible without much contortions - but we give no guarantees.

Windows 7 is obsolete, unsupported, and no longer safe to use on the internet. Really, it's time to let go.

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  • 2 years later...
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[Updated JUL 2019]

[Updated OCT 2021]

 

  1. The latest CM runtime, never a mistake to update that, is version 7.30a, and can be found here.
  2. Have you returned to your old license ticket, and activated the permanent license? Some people seem to assume that the license is already installed on the CM stick, but we send them empty to avoid arguments about license replacements if the stick goes missing. So you would need to
    1. plug in your CM stick
    2. revisit your license ticket
    3. click the link, and then click the picture with the CM stick, on the right, then activate
  3. If in doubt, send me an email. I can offer more specific advice if I know your email address, so I can look up your ticket's status, which often gives me a clue already about what may have happened.
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The WebDepot page

 

So you have received your first license ticket email from the eSim Games web store (or it took us such a long time to release that pathetic little "terrain patch" that you no longer remember how it's done), and you wonder what to do next. The email will contain this weird looking web link: AB1DE-PO3UZ-L5KS7-9D86B (not an actual license code).

You clicked that link and see this (probably not in German, though):

 

spacer.png

 

The following text assumes that you are about to activate a "classic license" for the first time, so your license ticket will contain two items - a time-based license valid for a month, and the permanent license that will go on your CodeMeter USB stick, once that it has arrived in the mail.

 

You probably want to activate your one-month license immediately. That way you can play Steel Beasts right away while you wait for the mail from us to arrive. So, click that picture on the left because you're about to activate a "CmACT" license. This will bring you to the following page:

 

spacer.png

 

In the meantime the button for the license activation has become bigger, turned orange, and is basically impossible to miss. If you're not seeing one you probably haven't installed Steel Beasts yet or your browser settings the the choice of your browser prevent a license activation (see page 1). Usually you just click "Activate my license(s) now" and you're done after a few seconds. In a few weeks your CodeMeter USB stick will appear in your mail. Plug it in. Click that cryptic license ticket url again, you arrive on the same WebDepot page, now you click the image on the right (that looks surprisingly similar to the CodeMeter USB stick that you plugged into your computer a few seconds ago. The activation procedure is just the same, except that the license will this time be stored in your CodeMeter USB stick, where it is very safe, unless you lose it/it gets stolen/destroyed by physical violence, a raging fire, a chewing dog, gun blast, or a cosmic gamma ray burst from the collapse of a neutron star in close proximity to the solar system.

Your computer has a malfunction? The CodeMeter (and with it, the Steel Beasts license) will probably survive it.

You need to reinstall Windows? The CodeMeter USB stick (and with it, the Steel Beasts license) doesn't care.

You need to set up a local license server (with Linux - because, reasons)? Sure, go ahead.

You want to run Steel Beasts in a virtual machine? The CodeMeter USB stick supports that, too. (The virtual CmContainer however does not (!))

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The CodeMeter Control Center

 

What is it good for?

It shows you the connected CmContainers ("CmContainers" are both the virtual CmACT devices, and physical CodeMeter USB stick(s)).

 

spacer.png

 

Physical USB sticks can be recognized by their serial code 1-, 2-, or 3- followed by a seven-digit number.

Virtual CmACT license containers that contain licenses start their serial code with 128-xxxxxxx

Empty virtual CmACT containers can be identified by serial code 32767-xxxxxxx

 

When selecting one (left, top) you get to see the firmware version number (center, center), and next to it, if it's a physical CodeMeter USB stick, the button (circular arrow) to update the firmware:

 

spacer.png

 

 

 

If a CmACT license is recognized but invalid, you may attempt to repair it. In that case (I don't have a screenshot for it) the Wibu Support team assured me that a button would appear to, well, repair it.

 

spacer.png

 

 

 

From the CodeMeter Control Center you can also start the license update wizard (center, bottom) which generates the license request file that you would need for the offline activation (see page 1):

 

spacer.png

 

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The CodeMeter WebAdmin

 

What is it, how do I open it?

The WebAdmin is a browser based interface to read data from your CmContainers (both virtual CmACT containers and CodeMeter USB sticks), and/or to configure certain services. Also, problems with runaway PC clocks can be mitigated here. Right-click the CodeMeter tray icon (yes ... Wibu Systems is blueballing us) and select "WebAdmin", or click the button from the CodeMeter Control Center (see previous post). Your first page may look similar to this:

 

spacer.png

SB Pro PE 4.1 will have the product code 11111.

 

The WebAdmin lets you set up your PC as a local license server. Other computers in your LAN could then use Steel Beasts license(s) that are available but currently not in use. This would be most useful if you purchased "secondary licenses" to play with friends and family:

 

spacer.png

 

 

The WebAdmin can also be useful for more exotic problems. Recently a license would not activate on the WebDepot page with the infamous 0x18080001 error because, get ready for this, the PC's clock was set to some time in March 2119. (If your CMOS battery is low your PC clock may be seriously off (in both directions), and if it's off "too much" (and I assure you, the tolerated difference between PC clock and certified time server is chosen very generously) the license transfer to your stick will be denied. Here's the place where you can update the time in your CodeMeter stick. It does not solve the problem with your CMOS battery, or the Windows system time in general:

 

spacer.png

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  • 3 weeks later...
3 hours ago, Badcat said:

I was thinking of changing out my CPU, will that create a problem with my yearly license? (no usb stick)

See, in theory swap of CPU should not invalidate  your time-based license. But there is still possibility, that swap of CPU will lead to  re-installation of  Windows; this should not happen normally,  but it may happen... So it would not hurt if you contact Ssnake and coordinate some contingency plan.

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Sometimes it happens that during a license activation the WebDepot web page tries to send the update data, but the browser's settings prevent a proper transfer or a subtle prompt to permit the transfer is overlooked. In which case our server will create and store a license update file that I can retrieve, and then pass on by email.

If that isn't "it", we'd have to investigate a bit deeper.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi,

 

Sorry to have to ask after all the good info above but i can't seem to activate or run latest version (just installed 4.360 00 today) of the software?

 

Been through the above steps etc. and WebAdmin says clearly i have licenses applicable etc.

 

See image below.

 

Help appreciated v much.

 

Thanks.

SB Pro PE License Problem.jpg

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