Frequently Asked Questions
For more frequently asked questions about Product Activation, view a PDF.
1. What is product activation?
Product activation is a software-based licence management technology used by many Autodesk® products. It is a secure, easy process that allows users who have purchased legitimate software licences to run the Autodesk software. The process verifies that the serial number is valid and that the software has been activated only on eligible computers. Product activation does not change the way the software works for licensed users. It is similar to activation mechanisms previously used in Autodesk products but improves security and licence management.
2. What happens during product activation?
Product activation takes place the first time you run your Autodesk software. You transmit the product serial number, a “request code”, and your registration data to Autodesk, where the serial number is validated and an activation code created and returned to your computer to enable your software. Activation is quick and easy; most users will experience it only once.
3. Do I require an activation code for each software seat (licence)?
Yes. Each and every software seat (except those managed with a network licence server) requires a unique activation code regardless of how it is deployed. You cannot use an activation code from one machine on another machine.
Please note that the activation process can be highly automated, especially if you purchase multi-seat stand-alone licences and deploy them using the Deployment Wizard.
4. How does product activation work?
An activation request includes the product information (such as product name, serial number, and product version number) and a request code. The request code is displayed next to the serial number in the Register Today screen. This code identifies each activation request and contains no other information about the product or hardware. It consists of a machine ID and a set of values such as the type and date of the request.
The machine ID is a randomly computed 64-bit value, which cannot be used to identify the make or model of your computer or any of its components. The make or model of the computer or its components cannot be determined from the Machine ID. It simply ensures that the software is not activated on any ineligible computers. You send your activation request to Autodesk through a secure Internet connection or by email. If the request is valid, you receive an activation code and your product is immediately available for use.
5. What if I use more than one computer to do my work? How many activations are permitted per licence?
Autodesk recognises you may sometimes need to operate the software when you are away from your usual work location, for example, while working from home. To accommodate this need, product activation lets you install and activate stand-alone software on a second computer owned or controlled by you. Note that the software may be used by only one person and that only one of the two copies may be used at a time. Consult your Autodesk Software Licence Agreement for complete details about using the software on a second computer.
6. I usually buy multiple copies of Autodesk software, but use just one of the CD serial numbers for all the installations. Will this deployment method work with product activation?
No. For these situations, Autodesk recommends purchasing a multiseat stand-alone licence. You then receive a single CD and a single serial number good for a specified number of licensed computers. See your reseller for details.
7. What if I want to use the software on a new computer?
If you upgrade or replace your computer, you can simply transfer your licence using the Portable Licence Utility, or, in many cases, you will be able to re-activate your software on the new computer.
8. I reformat my hard drive often. What impact does activation have in this situation?
You may need to reactivate your software licence if you reformat your primary boot disk, although reactivation can be avoided. The Autodesk Stand-Alone Licensing Guide (available in the help system) outlines a few simple steps that help prevent reactivation when you reformat the hard drive.
9. What common changes can trigger the need for reactivation?
The following activities can prompt a reactivation:
- Significantly changing the primary boot disk
- Tampering with the activation services or the software licence files
- Modifying the system date or time properties on a computer that has a time-limited software licence
- Reinstalling your operating system
10. Does the activation process ever send data to Autodesk after I activate my product?
No. No data is transmitted unless reactivation of your software licence is required. If your software licence becomes invalid, re-activation will be required.
11. I use a network licence server (FLEXlm®) to manage my Autodesk software licences. How does product activation affect my licences?
Product activation only applies to stand-alone and multiseat stand-alone licences. Network licences are not affected in any way by product activation. Network licences require a licence file which you get by using the Network Licence Activation utility.