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Old 02-25-2014, 09:34 AM
BR Rundfunk BR Rundfunk is offline
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Default Old iLok 1 killed by software update

I'd like to share a really annoying problem I encountered when updating our PT HD rigs to 10.3.8. Hopefully this post might save someone else a lot of time and mental sanity...

We have more than 20 Pro Tools HD Mac Pro Machines which I service. (and they're running great for 6 years now)
Since iLok introduced their new License Manager Software I have had two iLoks that were obviously killed by software update.

1st one was dead after I moved a new license from the account onto it (with the License Manager on a laptop connected to the internet). Everything seemed to have worked. But the Pro Tools system was afterwards unable to recognize any of the licenses on that iLok. I checked back on the laptop - no, all licensed are there!

Tried the "repair" function, uninstalled and installed iLok drivers, cleaned up system, the usual stuff… But to no avail. The iLok remained dead. Tried an iLok from a sister system - worked. Aha! So it really was the iLok itself.

I solved the issue using a spare V2 iLok that I transferred the licenses to using the iLok Manager. Now the system worked fine again and all licenses were there.

Strange. But then the same thing happened again some weeks later with another system after updating PT 10.3.4 to 10.3.8. !
Restart: no licenses found anymore! The iLok became a zombie just like the other one.
This time I tried to involve iLok support (we have Zero Downtime…) and they finally suggested trying a different iLok - well, I had figured that out before too… Luckily we had another iLok 1 lying in the drawer, so like before I transferred the licenses to an other iLok and presto: problem solved.

The bottom line: two iLoks of 25 were killed by software update!
I wrote all this to iLok support and asked them to replace the two dead iLoks - which they refused. (Thus I am currently canceling several ZDT renewals...)

I don't know why this happened and apparently neither does iLok-support. The only interesting fact might be that the iLoks in question had very low serial numbers (last four digits only). Maybe that's got anything to do with the issue.

So, if you have a very old iLok you should better go and get a spare one and pray everytime you update your software. (or maybe try some anti-zombie voodoo?)

I had really come to like iLok (as it just worked) - but this wasn't fun.
(But don't ask me about Waves' new license cloud either…)

Chris
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Old 02-26-2014, 06:20 AM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
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Default Re: Old iLok 1 killed by software update

What software update are you saying caused the problem - OSX, PT or Ilok License Manager? None of those had anything to do with your problems. You obviously had a couple of iLoks that were on their way to failing and that just happened to have occurred when you did whatever software update you did. Electronics fail in mysterious ways, especially with something as relatively fragile as an iLok. Probably a latent failure due to esd zapping the iLok contacts. You can have an esd event and never feel it (like you would in winter and it's dry and you touch something and feel a zap or see a spark) or even see the effects on something without a microscope.

The fact that your iLoks are as old as they are just makes it more than likely to fail in the way I mention. I'm an EE by schooling so am very familiar with these sorts of things.

As far as Waves cloud licensing - I'm not using that but I have the licensing residing on my computer. No problems there and no cloud worries either.
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Old 02-27-2014, 03:35 AM
BR Rundfunk BR Rundfunk is offline
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Default Re: Old iLok 1 killed by software update

No, it's clearly the software update responsible for "killing" the iLoks! In one case, as I described, it was the PT 10.3.8 update and in the other it was moving a license to the iLok.
The iLok is not dead in the sense that it has a hardware failure. It can be seen as USB device and it clearly works when used with the iLok License manager. Otherwise I wouldn't have been able to move the licenses from the zombie-iLok, right?
In the 10 years I am supporting our systems I only had one dead iLok hardware-wise (apart from two that were clearly mistreated and broke)

The point I wanted to make is, that a simple software update can render your studio useless and there is no going back other than having a spare iLok at hand. (not that these things are cheap, eh?)

Chris
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:11 AM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
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Default Re: Old iLok 1 killed by software update

Quote:
Originally Posted by BR Rundfunk View Post
No, it's clearly the software update responsible for "killing" the iLoks! In one case, as I described, it was the PT 10.3.8 update and in the other it was moving a license to the iLok.
The iLok is not dead in the sense that it has a hardware failure. It can be seen as USB device and it clearly works when used with the iLok License manager. Otherwise I wouldn't have been able to move the licenses from the zombie-iLok, right?
In the 10 years I am supporting our systems I only had one dead iLok hardware-wise (apart from two that were clearly mistreated and broke)

The point I wanted to make is, that a simple software update can render your studio useless and there is no going back other than having a spare iLok at hand. (not that these things are cheap, eh?)

Chris
You're missing the point I was trying to make - software update wouldn't kill an iLok like you say. You have or had an iLok that was on the verge of totally being dead. Intermittents can be maddening to deal with, hardware can break in the most mysterious ways. But then again don't trust me - I'm only an electronics design engineer who also makes music - what do I know?
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