Key Recovery Services

Can Lost Keys Ever Be Found?

Increase Your Chances of Recovery

Hang onto that serial number

Losing valuable keys (whether those keys are for your car, for your safe or for your Manifold license) is a major pain in the neck: keys are no good as a security measure if they are easy to duplicate.

Trying to recover genuinely secure keys is frustrating and annoying and there is no guarantee of recovery. To avoid the frustrations of the process, please make a second effort at finding your keys. The Serial Number email message that delivered your keys to you might still be on your email server. Make a second effort to find it.

If you cannot find your serial number even with a second effort, if you can provide basic information there is good chance - no guarantees, but a good chance - that it can be recovered if you follow instructions carefully.

Please read this page carefully before ordering Key Recovery Service products to avoid wasting the service fees charged. In addition, please read the entire Activation Keys and Serial Numbers help topic to make sure you are not wasting money to no good purpose, for example, by paying for the recovery of a serial number email for a serial number that has already been used up or has been revoked.

Email Addresses Must Work Correctly

The service sends the recovered serial number to you by email. If anti-spam or any other problems (your mailbox is over quota, etc.) prevent you from receiving that email, the service fee charged will have been wasted.

TURN OFF ALL ANTI-SPAM MEASURES IF YOU USE A KEY RECOVERY SERVICE

For a sample list of problems in your email system that may prevent you from receiving emails from Manifold, see the Email Problems page. Note that since a Limited Key Recovery service sends any notices only to your email address of record, and will not change that email address, if there are any problems that prevent you from receiving Manifold emails at your email address of record you will have to correct those problems without any assistance from Manifold (Manifold does not provide email system debugging consultation for free) so the email address of record will allow you to receive and read email messages from Manifold.

If you have reception problems with your email address of record and you cannot correct those problems, you have two options to deal with that situation:The first option is to purchase an Extended Key Recovery service product to allow you to switch the email address to a correctly functioning email account such as a Google gmail account. The second option is to simply place a new order at full price for whatever product you want and giving a Google gmail account as the email address to use. That may end up costing less than paying for series of Limited or Extended recovery products that one after another get wasted because of reception problems in your email system or because keys cannot be recovered.

General Information

Manifold System serial numbers are in general not recoverable. That is why serial number emails repeatedly advise users to make sure to save serial numbers, using text such as:DO NOT LOSE THESE SERIAL NUMBERS. IF YOU LOSE THESE SERIAL NUMBERS, THEY CANNOT BE RECOVERED.

Under some circumstances it might be possible to recover and to resend a serial number. The process is much more difficult if the original email address used to place the order is no longer available. In that case, much more supplementary information must be provided to have a chance of recovery. To provide the lowest possible cost key recovery services given the above constraints, two Key Recovery Service products are available:

  • Limited Key Recovery - Priced at $45 this product orders an attempted recovery and resending of the serial number email to the original email address used to order Manifold. Use this service when you still have the ability to receive mail at the exact email address used for the original order. Successful recovery is not guaranteed and may not happen.
  • Extended Key Recovery - Priced at $95 this product orders an attempted recovery and resending of the serial number email in cases where the email address has changed from the original email address used to order Manifold. This service product will require provision of supplementary information about the original order. If successful, a serial number email will be sent to a new email address. Use this service if you no longer can receive mail at the exact email address used for the original order. Successful recovery is not guaranteed and may not happen.

There are significant restrictions on the use of key recovery services that require careful and attentive customer cooperation in the process if the recovery is to succeed and the serial numbers obtained will be useful:

  • Customers must follow instructions accurately in a timely manner to utilize these services without wasting the fees charged. If you are not completely familiar with the previous Manifold order for which a serial number email is to be recovered or if you are unable to understand and apply the instructions in this page, please obtain assistance from a more knowledgeable colleague before ordering either of these two products.
  • Key recovery services are one time services. If you need to recover a serial number email again you will have to purchase a key recovery service again. If you provide inaccurate information when using a key recovery service product, the recovery will fail and your fee will be used up. If the email address used for any reason does not allow Manifold's emails to get through to you the recovery will fail and your fee will be used up. To try again with corrected information or to try again after making any corrections to your email system, you will need to purchase another key recovery service product. It is very costly to process attempted key recovery so prices have been set assuming customers provide accurate information and are able to receive emails that are sent to them.
  • Key recovery products are available at the cited prices via credit card purchases on the Online Store, in the Services category of the product list. Key recovery services are not available by wire transfer or any other method of payment.
  • Key recovery when successful will recover the lost serial number but that does not guarantee that the recovered serial number has not been used up with no remaining activations. When people lose a serial number they often also lose track of whether it has been used up as well.If a serial number has no activations remaining you will not be able to use it to activate a license. However, it still may be useful to you.For example, you might be able to buy additional activations for that serial number or you may be able to trade in that serial number for upgrade credit to get a lower price on a new, higher level license. In that case it doesn't matter that all activations have been used up since you can still trade in a "used up" serial number for upgrade credit.
  • Key recovery when successful will recover the lost serial number but that does not guarantee that the recovered serial number has not been revoked, for example, by being traded in for upgrade credit to get a better price on some other product. See the discussion below regarding invalid serial numbers.
  • Key recovery when successful will recover the lost serial number, but the message text that provides the serial number will use whatever text is used for current Manifold licenses. Therefore, the installation and activation procedures described may be significantly different than those required for very old releases.

It usually does not make sense to spend money on key recovery for inexpensive licenses of very old Manifold releases if the objective is to use the license on a modern Windows machine. Older Manifold products are much more limited than current products and they might not even be supported in current versions of Windows. There also may be significant inconvenience to working with an obsolete product when the rest of the user community is working with a current release. Manifold products are generally so low cost that considering the cost of labor for a GIS professional working for an organization it is usually much less costly to simply acquire a new, modern license than to chase around trying to bring a very old license back to life.

Limited Key Recovery $45

This service product orders an attempted recovery and resending of the last Manifold serial number email sent to the given email address. If the given email address is no longer valid or no serial number email has previously been sent to that email address, the key recovery will fail and the $45 fee will not be refunded - it will be retained as a service fee for the labor involved in the recovery attempt. Successful recovery is not guaranteed and may not happen. Order this product when you know for sure the exact email address that was used to order Manifold System and you still can receive email at that email address. Please read this page carefully before ordering this product to avoid wasting the service fee.

Instructions for Limited Key Recovery

  1. Visit the Manifold Online Store and add a Limited Key Recovery product to the cart.
  2. Proceed to check out.
  3. In the Check Out page, make sure to use the exact email address that was used for the original serial number email to be recovered.
  4. Check your order carefully before submitting to avoid typographic errors and then place the order.

When the order is processed (up to three business days), a serial number email for the most recent Manifold System product ordered using the email address provided will be reconstructed and re-sent to that email address. If there is no exact match to the email address used for any previous Manifold System order, then processing ends and the $45 fee will be used up to no good purpose. If that happens you will receive an email sent to the given email address informing you that the recovery attempt has failed.

Limited Key Recovery attempts that fail usually do so because the email address given is not the exact email address that was used for that order. The problem is usually that the customer does not remember the correct email address and tries the wrong email address. In that case, the customer could always try again with a different email address (for an additional $45 fee). However, in cases where the email address cannot be remembered with certainty it may be less costly to simply use the Extended Key Recovery service for a single $95 fee instead of taking the chance of using multiple $45 fees.

Extended Key Recovery $95

This service product orders an attempted recovery and resending of a Manifold serial number email sent to thecustomer, based upon supplementary information provided regarding the original order for Manifold products. This service product is only available for licenses acquired through credit card payment on the Online Store or that were prepaid by wire transfer. If the given current email address is not longer valid or no serial number email has previously been sent that corresponds to the supplied supplementary information, the key recovery will fail and the $95 fee will not be refunded - it will be retained as a service fee for the labor involved in the recovery attempt. Successful recovery is not guaranteed and may not happen. Please read this page carefully before ordering this product to avoid wasting the service fee.

Instructions for Extended Key Recovery

  1. Visit the Manifold Online Store and add an Extended Key Recovery product to the cart.
  2. Proceed to check out.
  3. In the Check Out page, make sure to use your current email address so Sales can contact you.
  4. Check your order carefully before submitting to avoid typographic errors and then place the order.

When the order is processed (up to three business days), Sales will contact you by email to send you a form letter with information you must supply. If you can supply accurate information, it may be possible to unambiguously identify the order associated with the serial number you wish to recover, to identify you as the licensee and to increase the chances of a successful recovery for you. Inaccurate information will cause a recovery attempt to fail. If you do not have some of the information requested, do not guess. It is better not to have some points of information than to provide inaccurate information.

Information for the original order that will be requested for Extended Key Recovery:

  • Date of original order
  • Manifold System product
  • User name
  • Email address
  • Shipping address
  • Telephone number
  • Credit card type (if a credit card was used)
  • Last four digits of credit card
  • Expiration date of credit card
  • Name on credit card
  • Date and amount of wire transfer (if paid by wire transfer)
  • Billing address
  • Masked serial number (from Help - About, if available)

You must reply to Sales within 3 business days with the information requested for the extended key recovery service to be successful. If the recovery attempt is successful, a serial number email for the recovered order will be reconstructed and re-sent to your current email address. If the recovery attempt is not successful the $95 fee will be used up to no good purpose. If that happens you will receive an email sent to your current email address informing you that the recovery attempt has failed.

Multiple Orders or Multiple Serial Numbers

If successful, both key recovery services will find and recover the serial number email associated with the most recent order that matches the information given in the key recovery service. If multiple products were ordered in that most recent order, the serial number email will contain the serial numbers for all of those products like the original serial number email did.

  • The Limited Key Recovery service recovers the most recent order for the given email address for any Manifold products with a serial number and reports all serial numbers for that order.
  • The Extended Key Recovery service allows you to specify the Manifold product sought as part of the information provided and will recover the most recent order (normally the order on the date given, if a date can be given) for that specific Manifold product. If you do not specify a Manifold product, the recovery will try to find the most recent order for any Manifold products with a serial number and reports all serial numbers for that order.
  • Important: Keep in mind that tech support products and extensions also use serial numbers. If you order a Limited Key Recovery service product and your most recent Manifold order was for a Standard Tech Support incident, that will be the serial number email that is recovered and sent. If you intended to try to recover the serial number email for an order of Manifold System, such as a Manifold System Universal Edition license, that preceded your order of a Standard Tech Support incident, then use the Extended Key Recovery service product.

The above considerations should be kept in mind when planning a key recovery strategy to make best use of service fees. For example, suppose someone has placed three separate orders for Manifold products: one for Manifold Professional Edition, a subsequent order for Business Tools and then a final order for Surface Tools. Suppose the customer still has the Business Tools and Surface Tools serial numbers but the original Professional Edition serial number has been lost.

In that case, the customer should use the Extended Key Recovery service to obtain the Professional Edition serial number. Using the Limited Key Recovery service would be a mistake, because that service if successful will resend only the last order's serial number, which in this case would be a serial number for Surface Tools and would not be the serial number sought for Professional Edition.

In contrast, suppose a customer has placed only one order, to acquire both Manifold Professional Edition and the Option Pack in a single order. In that case, using the Limited Key Recovery service (if the exact email address is still being used) is a good choice because if successful it will recover and resend all of the serial numbers for that order.

Upgrades

If you have ever traded in a Manifold System serial number for upgrade credit, the serial number that was traded in has been revoked and is no longer licensed for use. For example, if you originally licensed Manifold System Professional and then you trade in your serial number for an upgrade credit to obtain an Enterprise license at a lower price, the Professional serial number has been revoked. It has been traded in for the new Enterprise serial number. The old serial number is no longer licensed for use. If you make the mistake of using the Extended Key Recovery service to recover the old Professional serial number, you might be able to get that old serial number but you will not be able to use it.

Likewise, trading in a 32-bit license to obtain a 64-bit Manifold license at a discount will revoke the old serial number to provide a new 64-bit serial number.

Note that free upgrades (if ever granted in a special marketing promotion) cannot in general be recovered using Limited Key Recovery because there is no order associated with the new serial number. It may be possible to recover such free upgrade serial numbers using Extended Key Recovery, but the odds are poor for such recovery.

Invalid Serial Numbers

A serial number can be invalid if it has been revoked because it was used to authorize an upgrade, or for nonpayment or other reasons or if it may no longer have any activations available if many installations have been made using it. Do not make the mistake of using key recovery services to recover a serial number that has been revoked or has been used up.

For example, suppose John, an amoral grad student, orders Manifold for his university department and then decides to share the serial number with his personal friends. Too late John realizes that was a really stupid move since all available activations were instantly used up by his friends. But John has installed his license for his own use so he doesn't care that the license the university paid for has now been stripped of further value. Too bad for the university.

Later on, Jane also orders Manifold for her department using a credit card and happily goes on to use Manifold in epidemiological studies that help save many lives in developing countries. Jane is a decent and diligent person and she makes sure to give all details to her department's admin staff which (of course) promptly loses them. A year later, both John and Jane are no longer with the university and no one can find the machines on which they used Manifold. Jake, a new IT manager, wants to use Manifold but he can't find any serial numbers to installManifold. He orders a Limited Key Recovery using John's email address (being the IT manager he can make use of the old email address). That's a mistake, because the service will find and return a serial number that has been used up and which is now useless.

The right strategy would be to recover the serial number for Jane's order by using either Jane's email address with the Limited Key Recovery service or by using the Extended Key Recovery service based upon date of the order and other information.

Email Problems

It is the customer's responsibility when originally ordering Manifold to provide an email address to which a serial number may be emailed and which is able to receive email messages sent by Manifold key servers. Over time, emails which might have originally been able to receive email from Manifold key servers might no longer have the ability to do so. There are many reasons why that might happen, for example perhaps as a result of the email address being designated as inactive or over quota by the ISP or possibly as a result of the use of new anti-spam technology not previously used.

Given the curse of spam under which we all suffer, customers will sometimes inadvertently provide email addresses that are not able to receive email sent by Manifold key servers due to customer or ISP use of anti-spam technology. Keep in mind that no anti-spam technology is perfect: any anti-spam technology risks filtering out desired email.

A classic example is the "confirmation" anti-spam technology used by some ISPs. This technology "challenges" any email sent to the customer. For example, if a Manifold key server sends a serial number email to a customer who usesthis type of technology, the anti-spam software will intercept the email and will send a message back to the server's originating email address saying something like "To prove you are not a spammer, please click on the link below and follow the instructions to confirm you are a real person." However, a Manifold key server is not a person, it is a machine, and it cannot click on such links and follow their instructions to confirm the message is not spam.

If you or your ISP use such anti-spam technology, you will not be able to receive emails sent to you by Manifold key servers and thus you will not receive your serial number email. It may be the case that a customer ordered Manifold years ago before spam became such a problem and has since lost his or her serial number. Now, in modern times when spam is much worse than it was years ago, that customer may have begun using anti-spam technology that was not previously used. In such cases, even though the original serial number email was received years ago it might well be that the customer's new anti-spam technology will now block email messages sent by Manifold key servers. If so, that will prevent the customer from successfully using a key recovery service.

TURN OFF ALL ANTI-SPAM MEASURES IF YOU USE THE KEY RECOVERY SERVICE

By ordering a key recovery service product, you agree that you are paying for one attempt to resend the serial number email to you. If anti-spam measures or any other measures taken by you or your ISP or if any other failure of Internet prevents the serial number email sent by Manifold key servers from reaching you, you agree that any such failure is at your expense. If the serial number must be recovered and resent a second time because the first re-sending was not received by you, you agree to pay a second recovery fee.

Note that anti-spam measures are not the only problems that affect email reception: other problems include mailboxes being over quota (with inbound messages rejected by the ISP), forwarding to new addresses that doesn't work, temporary "out of office" messages and relaying that's been set and forgotten to be unset, accidental deletions of legitimate email while clearing out spam from one's inbox and so forth. Please do not order key recovery services except for an email account you use regularly that you know is in good order. When you do order key recovery services, please take special care during the next three business days when deleting lots of emails from your inbox to avoid accidentally deleting any emails sent to you by the key recovery service.

Note:Users will at times assume that if they can receive ordinary mail from sales@manifold.net in reply to their messages then there cannot be any problems with their email reception. Unfortunately, that is not at all true. Many anti-spam technologies are context sensitive and may pass email from one address or domain and not from others, such as the different addresses used by Manifold key servers. In particular, some anti-spam technologies are smart enough to recognize that an incoming message is a reply to a message sent out by the user, so they will pass such messages while rejecting other messages from the very same domain or email address.

Users will at times assume that Manifold Sales has access to their serial number emails or that the key servers can be instructed to send an email to Manifold Sales for possible manual forwarding to the user. That is not the case. Serial number emails are generated and sent directly from the Manifold key servers and, to assure privacy for users, cannot be read by Manifold Sales.

For a sample list of problems in your email system that may prevent you from receiving emails from Manifold, see the Email Problems page. Note that since a Limited Key Recovery service sends any notices only to your email address of record, and will not change that email address, if there are any problems that prevent you from receiving Manifold emails at your email address of record you will have to correct those problems without any assistance from Manifold (Manifold does not provide email system debugging consultation for free) so the email address of record will allow you to receive and read email messages from Manifold.

Very Important: The tips offered regarding email problems in this page are NOT an offer to provide free support for email problems. Manifold does NOT in any way provide technical assistance or support for resolving your email problems. See the comments in the Email Problems page.

Support

The objective of a Key Recovery service is to provide the lowest possible cost way of recovering a lost serial number so there is no tech support bundled in as part of the price of the service. If you have any questions of any kind regarding a Key Recovery order those will require a tech support token for each question. See the Contacting Tech Support page for info on contacting tech support.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • I'm having trouble receiving email from the key servers. Can Manifold Sales get my serial number for me and send it to me? - No, as discussed just two paragraphs above. If you missed that you are not reading this page with the careful attention required to utilize key recovery service products efficiently.
  • I don't remember, or, I don't have any information about when our Manifold license was obtained, who ordered it, what email address was used or any of that stuff. How can I get a serial number? - By buying a fresh license at the regular price. If you do not have the information required to use the Extended Key Recovery service, the detective work required to help you find all that missing information would end up being so expensive that it would be much cheaper to simply buy a new license. That's why there is no "super duper extended" key recovery service beyond the Extended Key Recovery service: any such service would end up costing more than simply buying a fresh license.
  • My partner and I have split and I no longer have the serial number or required information. Can you send me the serial number? - No.
  • Our former employee left the company and neglected to tell anyone the serial numbers and other information. What can we do? - If you have the information required by one of the two Key Recovery services you can use the appropriate service. If you do not have that necessary information you must acquire new licenses.
  • If I lose the serial number a second time, do I have to buy another Key Recovery product to get it again?Do I get a discount? - Yes, you must buy the product again and no, you do not get a discount a second time around. It takes just as much effort the second time around as it does the first time.
  • Is there any guarantee I can get in advance that the service will work, before I order the service? - No. It takes as much effort to see if the service will succeed as it does to actually do it.
  • I accidentally made a typographic error when entering information (email address, etc.) for a Key Recovery. Can I cancel the service? - No, since order processing begins instantly.
  • Why is this process so annoying and difficult? - Because the person who had care of the serial number lost it, even though Manifold did its best to get that person to refrain from carelessness with phrases such as DO NOT LOSE THESE SERIAL NUMBERS and other repeated exhortations. You can see from the serial number email text below that somebody would have to be exceptionally inattentive not to get the message that serial numbers should be saved in a safe place and not be lost. As for the cost of breaking the "lock" to recover the serial number, keep in mind a lock is no good if anyone can break it easily or cobble up a key for it at will. If you have a strong lock and lose the key for it then you will encounter effort and expense to deal with the loss of the key.
  • I don't understand any of this. I'm not technical, I just inherited this. Can I get tech support to do all of this for me? - No, not for free from Manifold. If a careful and intelligent reading of the information and instructions on this page do not assist you, then you should enlist a more technical colleague or hire a consultant with appropriate skills to assist you with your software procurement, installation and GIS work.
  • Why didn't anyone warn me I shouldn't lose my serial number? - Serial number emails do warn users in the strongest possible terms not to lose their serial numbers. Every serial number email includes the following "can't miss this" text just before the serial numbers.

Sample Serial Number Email Text

You may be called upon to calm down a colleague who is angry that "no one warned" him or her not to lose their serial number. We sure hope you do not have the misfortune of working with some welfare-state loser who thinks his or her negligence is always everybody else's problem, but just in case they are not a total jerk they may calm down when reminded that in this case the negligence is entirely theirs. The following text appears in all serial number emails just before the serial number. If that doesn't do the trick, what could?

PLEASE SAVE YOUR SERIAL NUMBERS
-------------------------------

DO NOT LOSE THESE SERIAL NUMBERS. IF YOU LOSE THESE SERIAL NUMBERS, THEY CANNOT BE RECOVERED.

If you lose these serial numbers, you will lose the ability to permanently install or to use the products they authorize, you will lose the ability to re-install your products or to move them to a new machine should you ever need to do so in the future and you will lose any ability to take advantage of future upgrade offers that require a Manifold serial number.

Do not expect that after using a serial number once you can safely lose it. Serial numbers are stored in Manifold products in encrypted form and cannot be recovered from the software installation: you will need these original serial numbers, so DO NOT LOSE THESE SERIAL NUMBERS.

PRINT OUT A COPY OF THIS EMAIL AND SAVE IT IN A SAFE PLACE.


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