Activation Troubleshooting

The Problem is Always a Simple Error

Keep it Simple

Missed something simple

Please visit the Activation page for a quick guide to activating your Manifold license. If something unexpected happens during activation, DO NOT PERSIST. Instead, GET HELP using free installation and activation support.

Manifold provides free installation and activation support for current products. Please see the Activation Support page for information on contacting tech support for priority assistance with any serial number or activation question. No tech support token is required for activation questions using the given procedure. Activation questions for Runtime licenses or License Server installations require a developer level support token.

Check your Serial Number

Before proceeding, please check the status of the serial number you are attempting to use on the Status Page. This page will report the product authorized by that serial number and how many activations are left on that serial number.

  • Note the product authorized by that serial number: Is that the same product you are trying to activate? For example, a 7x serial number will not authorize a Release 8.00 license. A 32-bit serial number will not allow a 64-bit Manifold System installation to run in 64-bit mode. If the Manifold System product name does not include "x64" it is not a 64-bit serial number.
  • If a serial number is invalid, that usually indicates a typographical error. Please make sure to copy and paste the serial number from the original serial number email message.
  • If you have used up all of your activations you'll have to get more by paying for a new serial number, an upgrade or the Extra Activation Keys product. The least expensive way of getting more activations may be to purchase an upgrade, such as the Upgrade to x64 product or an upgrade to a higher edition. For example, if you have Personal Edition you can upgrade to Personal Edition x64 for a low fee. That gets a fresh serial number and five more activations. Or, you could upgrade from Personal Edition to Professional Edition. An upgrade may be purchased at any time. Another option is the $100 Extra Activation Keys product that may be purchased for the current edition of Manifold once per year beginning one year after your serial number has been issued. See the Additional Activation Keys page for details.
  • If a serial number has been revoked, that usually indicates it has been traded in on an upgrade, such as an upgrade to a newer Manifold product or to a higher Manifold edition such as a Professional serial number being upgraded to Enterprise. Locate the serial number obtained by upgrade and use that serial number instead. If you didn't keep track of the upgrade you might be able to recover it using the Extended Key Recovery Service product if available on the Manifold Online Store.
  • Very Important: - Users should not rush to purchase upgrades or additional keys on the assumption their serial numbers are out of activations. If an activation doesn't work, the usual problem is a typo in the serial number or other really simple errors like those listed below. Before doing anything else, please first check the status of the serial number you are attempting to use on the Status Page.

Simple Errors

Simple errors cause activation problems. These are easy to fix by carefully applying the activation instructions. In case of any difficulty with activation, consider the following to eliminate the most common errors:

  • Check the serial number - Check the status of the serial number you are attempting to use on the Status Page. This page will report the product authorized by that serial number and how many activations are left on that serial number. If a serial number is invalid, that usually indicates a typographical error. Please make sure to copy and paste the serial number from the original serial number email message. Don't use a version of the serial number that may have been edited by word processing software that automatically does "smart" editing to change the characters used for hyphens or which makes any other changes.
  • Typographical or other errors in serial number - Copy and paste the serial number from the original serial number email. Doing so will avoid typos and errors caused by brain fades. For example, do not change the serial number in any way. Do not add spaces or change any characters in any way. Do not change upper case to lower case or vice versa. Do not delete hyphens or add letters or numbers. Do not change any characters in any way. Do not attempt to use altered versions of a serial number, for example, a "masked" version from some other Manifold installation that has "X" characters replacing part of the serial number to prevent theft. Tech tip: this paragraph should not apply if you have checked the serial number as recommended by the bullet above, right?
  • Wrong serial number - Make sure your serial number is for the product you are trying to activate. You can't activate a Release 8.00 license with a Release 7x serial number. You can't activate a Manifold System installation using the serial number for an extension. You can't run a 64-bit license in 64-bit mode with a 32-bit serial number. When you check your serial number, if the Manifold System product name that is reported does not include "x64" it is not a 64-bit serial number. As noted above, if a serial number is reported as revoked on the status page it cannot be used for activation.
  • Wrong installation file - The Product Downloads page provides two installation files for Manifold, a 32-bit installation and a 64-bit installation. You cannot run the 64-bit installation in 64-bit mode with a 32-bit serial number. If you have activated a 64-bit Manifold installation using a 32-bit serial number, it will run in 32-bit mode only.
  • Microsoft requirements not installed - All Manifold products require Microsoft .NET and Radian requires Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable. If required Microsoft components are not installed the product cannot be activated. The Requirements page has links to Microsoft downloads.
  • Wrong system date - Your system date must be accurate. Manifold will not accept serial numbers or Activation keys if the system date is not reasonably accurate.
  • No Activation key - A serial number will work by itself for 30 days after the date of issue. After that, you must get an Activation key as well.
  • Trying to activate a 30 Day Lease - A Lease is limited to the first 30 days of operation and cannot be activated for extended, permanent use beyond the initial 30 day term of the Lease. A serial number for a 30 Day Lease cannot be used to activate the license for permanent use. Note that as with all Manifold licenses, no activation is required for full use of the product during the initial 30 days of the license.
  • Wrong machine - A serial number and Activation key pair are good for one machine and one machine only. You can't use a serial number and Activation key on a different machine. A variation on this error is, contrary to instructions and your license, trying to install a Manifold license in an unsupported or unlicensed environment, such as virtual machines, emulators and so on. See the Activation Frequently Asked Questions page.
  • Expired Activation key - An Activation key is good for one machine for 72 hours only. When you get an Activation key, use it within 72 hours. If you ever need to re-install Manifold on the same machine, you cannot re-use an Activation key obtained more than 72 hours previously. You'll need to get a new Activation key.
  • Activation keys all used up - This is a sales issue, not a tech issue. A serial number can get five activations, which is plenty for most people if they install on only one machine as the license allows. If all of the activations have been used up, you'll need to procure a new license. See the Activation Frequently Asked Questions page.
  • Same key every 24 hours - You must wait at least 24 hours before getting a different Activation key for the same serial number. This is to discourage piracy and to save people from accidentally using up their Activation keys.
  • Network access problems - Manifold operates multiple, redundant activation servers worldwide to assure activation is available. If your computer is not connected directly to the web or if there is a network problem such as a proxy server or firewall blocking access, you may not be able to use the Get Activation Key via the Web button to automatically fetch an Activation Key. In that case, please read the Activation Keys and Serial Numbers help topic to learn how to use Manual Activation to obtain an Activation key. Almost always the problem is something in your network that prevents Manifold from getting through to the servers. Using Manual Activation bypasses such problems.
  • Not Administrator - You must be logged in as the Administrator account in Windows 7 or Windows Vista and must have true Administrator privileges in Windows 2008 or 2003, XP and 2000. Perplexed that Manifold says you aren't Administrator in Windows 7 or Vista when you think you are? See the Administrator Login page.
  • Unsupported Hardware or Software - Manifold is licensed and supported for use only with computer configurations as described in the Requirements page. It's not going to install on your Android telephone or your Linux-based coffee machine. Ignoring the Requirements page's admonitions against emulators, virtual machines and other unsupported environments may also cause trouble. If you do that you are on your own with no support.
  • Non-default or Hacked Windows Installations - When installing or activating Manifold, you must have a standard Windows installation in operation. Some registry "protectors," third party uninstall programs, network supervisors and other "value added" supervisory programs running on top of Windows may interfere with the installation and/or activation process. Temporarily turn off third party virus programs as well. Manifold software and these instructions assume you are running an unmodified Windows installation as shipped by Microsoft. If your organization's IT department has installed special software on your computer to prevent you from installing software, that may prevent you from installing or activating Manifold as well.

For even more detail, see the Activation Frequently Asked Questions page for a comprehensive list of questions and answers.

Getting Assistance with Activation

All serial number and activation questions are handled by email.

If the tips in the above list do not help, the fastest way to solve any activation problem is to read and apply the instructions in the Activation Keys and Serial Numbers help topic. This topic also provides more detailed troubleshooting information within an extensive FAQ. Even though tech support responds very rapidly to activation questions it is still much faster to carefully read even a long topic to get the answer right away.

Please see the Activation Support page for information on contacting tech support for priority assistance with any serial number or activation question. No tech support token is required for activation questions using the given procedure. Activation questions for Runtime licenses or License Server installations require a developer level support token.

For general information on technical support for Manifold System, please see the main Support page.

Very Important: A license for a Manifold product provides only five activations. The provision of either a free additional activation key every year or the availability of a paid Extra Activation Keys product is a voluntary marketing promotion by Manifold that is provided at the sole and exclusive option of Manifold and which may be withdrawn at any time for any reason or for no reason or for any licensee. By way of example and not limitation, the voluntary provision of free additional activations or availability of paid extra activations will be rescinded for those licensees who do not cooperate with published procedures, such as the tech support process or limitations on that process. Manifold would like to provide additional benefits to responsible users and will take measures to protect responsible users from higher costs imposed by irresponsible users.


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