Possible to backup activation?

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HansDelbruck
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Possible to backup activation?

Post by HansDelbruck » Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:26 pm

I just had a HD die on me so I had to get a new HD and totally re-install Windows and all my software including Acemoney. Fortunately I constantly keep a back up copy of all important software like my acemoney data file so I was able to get back fairly quickly.

But during the recovery process I noticed something that worried me. I installed an old program that I had paid for a long long time ago and during install it had to activate to verify that I had a legit paid license. It failed because the company is no longer in existence, so the activation got no response from the server which no longer exists. Not a big deal for this program because it was very old and I should really have replaced it long ago and it had no data file or anything that I had information in that I could no longer access.

So next I reinstalled acemoney and it too had to activate. No problem because I do have a legit paid license and Mechcad still exists.
But due to the previous program problem, and then acemoney needing to activate before it would work, I got to thinking ... what would happen if, at some point in the future, Mechcad no longer exists (unlikely but things happen)? It would try to activate and get no response so it would not allow me to open my money files. This would indeed be a problem since I would have years of past transactions that I would no longer be able to see.

So I would like to ask the question ... how would a person resolve this? There would be no one from Mechcad to ask at that time since it would not be here.
Is there a way for me to "back up" my activation (file?) or something so that if this happened I could install the program fresh, restore my activation, then open my old acemoney file and be back where I was?

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RLebeau
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Re: Possible to backup activation?

Post by RLebeau » Tue Feb 04, 2020 1:44 pm

In the folder where you have AceMoney installed (typically "C:\Program Files\AceMoney" or "C:\Program Files (x86)\AceMoney"), there are 2 scripts, "SaveSettings.bat" and "RestoreSettings.bat". Run "SaveSettings.bat" and it will export AceMoney's settings from the Windows Registry to an "AceMoneySettings.reg" file, and make a copy of the "%APPDATA%\MechCAD\AceMoney\config.ini" file. The .reg file will contain your license. Back up those 2 files. Later on, if you need to, place the 2 files back into the installation folder and then run "RestoreSettings.bat" to import the files.

Alternatively, if you still have the email containing your license when you purchased AceMoney, you can simply enter the license directly into AceMoney after reinstalling it (Help menu > Register AceMoney). There is no online activation for AceMoney.
Remy Lebeau
Lebeau Software

User of AceMoney since 2004.

HansDelbruck
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Re: Possible to backup activation?

Post by HansDelbruck » Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:39 pm

RLebeau wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 1:44 pm
...snip... There is no online activation for AceMoney.
Are you sure? I could have sworn that when I just reinstalled, I put in my license code and it activated online? Although I was doing a bunch of software at once so I could be mistaken, but I really thought I saw it do that.

Because I do have my original email with the license code and I have it backed up.

HansDelbruck
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Re: Possible to backup activation?

Post by HansDelbruck » Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:03 pm

I uninstalled Acemoney, cleared any reg entries I could find, cleaned my PC of any files relating to it so could do as clean an install as possible and tried to install and paste my serial number in. It failed with the attached failure. Also my firewall log had an entry in there of stopping acemoney.exe from going out to some IP address; presumably the one that validates the activation.

So unless I am doing something wrong it definitely does go online to validate your activation.
-
That said I am going to retry again using the backup method you recommended and see if that works.
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RLebeau
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Re: Possible to backup activation?

Post by RLebeau » Wed Feb 05, 2020 3:18 pm

HansDelbruck wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:03 pm
So unless I am doing something wrong it definitely does go online to validate your activation.
Interested, I don't remember it always being that way. Maybe it was added in recent years. I hope the backup+restore still works then, I haven't had to re-test it on a long time.
Remy Lebeau
Lebeau Software

User of AceMoney since 2004.

HansDelbruck
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Re: Possible to backup activation?

Post by HansDelbruck » Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:43 am

So I tried again to test - I went to a different PC in my house and did a clean fresh install of Acemoney. I Put in my serial number and again it tried to go online to "activate" and failed. I have a firewall blocking it to simulate getting no reply from the Mechcad website because in this example it would not exist.
Then I copied over the config.ini and I did the registry backup as you described. It *appears* to have worked. When I click on "about" it says that this version is registered to me with my correct name and everything and the file seems to be able to be worked with fine.

However there is one caveat. If I look in the registry on the old PC where I usually have it installed there is a registry key that says "Serial Number" and it has my serial number. That PC is Windows 7. On the new PC that I am testing it on that key does not exist. That PC is Windows 10 if that matters.

I don't know if that missing key matters or not, but it makes me uncomfortable that it is not there. Unless this is because it used to be there in older version of Acemoney and is a leftover because I updated to newer versions over the years ... and so if you do a new install it does not create that key anymore. Or if this is a minor difference with the fact that it is a different Windows version (10 as opposed to 7).
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RLebeau
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Re: Possible to backup activation?

Post by RLebeau » Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:36 pm

HansDelbruck wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:43 am
Then I copied over the config.ini and I did the registry backup as you described. It *appears* to have worked. When I click on "about" it says that this version is registered to me with my correct name and everything and the file seems to be able to be worked with fine.
Then you are good to go.
HansDelbruck wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:43 am
However there is one caveat. If I look in the registry on the old PC where I usually have it installed there is a registry key that says "Serial Number" and it has my serial number. That PC is Windows 7. On the new PC that I am testing it on that key does not exist. That PC is Windows 10 if that matters.
The serial number can be found in both the Registry and in the config.ini file. So AceMoney could be reading it from the .ini file if it is not found in the Registry.

Also, AceMoney is a 32-bit application, and I'm guessing your new PC is a 64-bit system, right? Was your old PC 32-bit or 64-bit? You might be looking in the wrong Registry key for the serial number, due to Registry Virtualization for 32-bit apps. Or, maybe you simply didn't refresh the Registry Editor after importing the settings.

Either way, if AceMoney's UI shows it is registered, then the serial number is somewhere that AceMoney can find it. That is all that matters.
HansDelbruck wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:43 am
I don't know if that missing key matters or not, but it makes me uncomfortable that it is not there. Unless this is because it used to be there in older version of Acemoney and is a leftover because I updated to newer versions over the years ... and so if you do a new install it does not create that key anymore.
Maybe. I couldn't tell you for sure without testing it myself and digging into how it works.
HansDelbruck wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:43 am
Or if this is a minor difference with the fact that it is a different Windows version (10 as opposed to 7).
It is not related to the Windows version (well 32-bit vs 64-bit, maybe, but certainly not 7 vs 10).
Remy Lebeau
Lebeau Software

User of AceMoney since 2004.

HansDelbruck
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Re: Possible to backup activation?

Post by HansDelbruck » Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:28 am

Appears as though it is working so that is great.
Thank you for all your help. Very much appreciated.

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