Standalone licenses, trusted storage, and the boot sector

Following up on my post the other day about resetting standalone licenses, here’s some more technical information I on dug up on standalone licenses. I did get some conflicting info from people, particularly about the boot sector.

One person told me that all standalone licenses were written to the boot sector, but a lot of the technical documentation I found said just that trial licenses went on the boot sector.

  • Standalone licenses are encrypted and stored in trusted storage. Trial licenses are standalone licenses that are located on the boot sector (track 0 of the hard drive).
  • Trusted Storage is an encrypted file created by FLEXnet when an application standalone license is activated or a trial license is created for the first time. By default, the trusted storage file is created in the following folder and will have a name similar to
  • Deleting the file file force system to re-create the trusted storage file.
  • The trial anchors can be removed from trusted storage by deleting the trusted storage file itself. The trial anchors can only be removed from the machine by reformatting the drive.

Resetting standalone license activations

Sometimes you may be forced to zap your standalone licenses so you can start over with a clean slate. For example, you might not be able to activate your new license because somehow the licenses were corrupted. Or maybe you had a blue-screen crash during installation and then you used a reg cleaner to further muddy the waters. Or maybe the software asks you for activation every time you start the product.

In those types of scenarios, as a last resort, you can reset your standalone licenses by zapping the and files.

I suggest you rename the file or move it, rather than simply deleting it.
However, you will have to re-activate all standalone Autodesk products installed on the computer.

On Vista or Windows 7:


On Windows XP:

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\FLEXnet\
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\FLEXnet\

I include the file because your Autodesk software will reuse that file if it cannot find the file. And if that backup file is corrupted too, well then…

Tech notes on standalone licensing

On the train in to work, I spent a little time getting familiar with Standalone licensing. I found a couple of ways to get the there is no interactive license available to run Softimage error:

  • Corrupt or missing ProductInformation.pit
    In %TEMP%\SoftimageLicense.log, you’ll see an entry that mentions the Product Information Table File. For example:

    VendorError=24 [Unable to locate the Product Information Table File]
  • Softimage cannot start the FLEXnet Licensing Service.
    Softimage tries to start this service at startup, and if it cannot start the service (for example, if the service is deactivated), you’ll see this in %TEMP%\SoftimageLicense.log:

    VendorError=101 [The license cannot be accessed/loaded/opened]

    By default, the service is set to start Manual, but you can change that to Automatic and Softimage will still get a license.