Authored ByDon Dickinson
This article describes the most common errors seen regarding a Black USB key license, including what to do when prompted for a license code. This article does not apply to Red USB key, Green USB key, or softkey licenses.
- Network licenses
- License code request
- License lights up but cannot open Opticstudio
- Single user license is not recognized or does not light up
- OpticStudio loses connection to the USB key
- Gathering more information
- Getting help
Occasionally, problems arise with your Black USB key license. Some of the most common errors what the Zemax Support team sees have been compiled here. If you are experiencing an error with your Black USB key, follow the steps outlined below. If you are still having trouble, navigate to the Getting help section of this article for instructions on contacting the Zemax Support team.
Note: Before continuing this article, you should be certain that you have a Black USB key license. Your license serial number will be between 22000 and 40999 and look as pictured below (if a single-user license attached to your machine).
If the Black USB key is attached to a remote server, rather than plugged into your own computer, then you do not need to install the Sentinel USB key driver software. As such, this article will not be useful to you unless you get a prompt for a License Code. Instead, see the appropriate article below, based on your license type.
- For Black USB key licenses (5-digit key serial number, such as 22000-40999): All troubleshooting for clients connecting to a Black USB key is covered in the article: Installing OpticStudio with a Black USB network hardkey.
- For Red USB key and softkey licenses (key serial number with the format LXXXXXX): To configure OpticStudio to use these license types, refer to the "Installing on the Client" section of How to configure the keyserver and clients for OpticStudio network licenses.
The first time you run OpticStudio, you may be prompted for a license code to authorize launch of the software as below. If you see the License Code Entry dialog box, your copy of OpticStudio is correctly installed, and the key is working properly. Refer to the article "How to request an Opticstudio license code" for steps to request a license code.
If you instead see a request for a "New key" or "Activation code", that does not apply to physical USB keys. If you cannot launch Opticstudio, the license may not be working or need configuration. If the USB license lights up, move to the License lights up but cannot open Opticstudio section of this article. If it does not, move to the Single user license is not recognized or does not light up section.
This section applies if your license lights up when plugged in and you do see the license at the bottom of the "View license" or "License Information" page of the Zemax License Manager, but it says "no key found" when trying to launch Opticstudio.
- First, verify you are using a Zemax license and not one for other software. All Zemax Black USB licenses will have the license number engraved on them. Black keys should be numbers 22000 to 40999. For example, the pictured license is 29966. If it does not have this number, it is not a Zemax license (or it is a license from 2006 or earlier, which is no longer supported with Zemax and Opticstudio 2009 or later). Locate your Zemax license and try again.
- Second, make sure that Opticstudio is not asking for a "license code" as above. If it does request a code, you need to obtain that before the software will launch.
- Last, try selecting the "Use Black USB key" button or checkbox in the Zemax License Manager to force Opticstudio to select the USB as the default license rather than any other license. Often that is all that is required to make it work.
If you still cannot get it working, move to the Gathering Information section below to get some diagnostics information which will help the Zemax support team troubleshoot the issue for you.
This section applies to Black USB licenses that are plugged into the machine where Opticstudio is installed. If you see a message stating "Cannot find Zemax key" (shown above), and you do not see the license listed at the bottom of the "View license" or "License Information" page of the Zemax License Manager, this means the USB key is not plugged in, the USB port is not functioning, the drivers are not installed properly, or the key itself is malfunctioning. If the key is not lit with a green light at the end, follow these steps to troubleshoot the issue.
Before trying a reinstall of the drivers below, try the following steps
- First, verify you are using a Zemax license and not one for other software. All Zemax Black USB licenses will have the license number engraved on them. For example, the pictured license is 29966. If it does not have this number, it is not a Zemax license (or it is a license from 2006 or earlier, which is no longer supported with Zemax and Opticstudio versions 2009 or newer). Locate your Zemax license and try again.
- Once you verified the license is a Zemax key, restart the computer. If you have just installed Opticstudio, often it can take a restart for the driver to complete installation. Check if the key lights up after restarting.
- If it still does not light up, try plugging the license key into all other USB ports on your computer. Sometimes one USB port will have stopped working or does not have the proper Windows drivers. We recommend p;lugging it directly into the computer rather than a USB port on a USB hub, laptop docking station, monitor or keyboard. If the key lights up on another port, it should be ready to use.
If none of the above resolves the issue, move on to Method 1 to check and reinstall the driver.
Normally, the USB key driver is automatically installed with OpticStudio (OpticStudio 15 SP2 and newer). If, for some reason, it is not, the following procedure will install the latest driver.
- Unplug the USB key from the computer
- Either download the key driver software from this direct link, or visit the Zemax Downloads page. The Sentinel System Driver for Black USB keys is located in the "Resource Files" section.
- Launch the downloaded file and accept the default settings. If it gives any error messages, make note of them, and proceed to Method 2.
- If you get no errors, plug the USB key back in. Verify the green light turns on. If it does not, proceed to Method 2.
If, after installing the latest key driver, OpticStudio will still not recognize the USB key, there may have been an error with the key driver installation. To remedy this, you will need to uninstall and reinstall the key driver. To do this, follow the steps below.
- Log onto the machine with a user account with Administrator privileges.
- Unplug the USB key from your computer.
- Check if your Windows system type is 32-bit or 64-bit. Note: OpticStudio 16 and higher requires 64-bit Windows. If you have one of these OpticStudio versions, skip to Step 4 and follow the 64-bit instructions.
- To check whether you have a 32- or 64-bit Windows system, follow these steps:
- If you are on Windows 7, open Start...Control Panel...System.
- If you have Windows 8.1 or 10, <right-click> the Windows Start button and select System from the menu.
- Note the "System type" listed here.
- To check whether you have a 32- or 64-bit Windows system, follow these steps:
- Visit the Opticstudio Downloads page and open the "Resource Files" section. Download the "SSD Cleanup utility" that matches either the 32- bit or 64-bit type of Windows you found in Step 3.
- Open the .zip file you downloaded, then open the "SSDCLEANUPXXX.exe" utility inside. You will get the window below.
- Type the letter 'Y' (as shown) and hit the Enter / return key to start the cleanup. It will take about one minute.
- Restart the computer.
- Either download the key driver software from this direct link, or visit the Opticstudio Downloads page. The Sentinel System driver is located in the "Resource Files" section.
- Launch the downloaded file and accept the default settings. If it gives any error messages, make note of them, and proceed to Method 3.
- If you get no errors, plug the USB key back in. Verify the green light turns on. If it does not, proceed to Method 3.
If the Sentinel Key Driver above gives an error and fails to install, you can use the manual install method outlined below.
- Plug the Black USB key in.
- Download the driver files from this link, and open "Sentinel_Key_Driver_manual.exe." Click the "Extract" button, and it will extract the files to "C:\Sentinel_Key_Driver_manual."
- Open the Windows Device Manager by searching for the word "Device" in the Start Menu's search box.
- The key should be listed in "Other Devices" as "Sentinel Hardware Key" or "Safenet Sentinel". If you do not see either of these items, then then this may have failed. Move to Getting help to request help from Zemax support.
- Using your right mouse button, click on Safenet Sentinel or Sentinel Hardware Key, and click "Update driver software". Alternatively, you can right-click and select Properties...Update Driver...
- Select "Browse my computer for driver software".
- Pick the folder to find the drivers:
- If you downloaded and opened the file in Step 1, browse to "C:\Sentinel_Key_Driver_manual."
- If you have previously installed the Sentinel key driver, you can browse to "C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\SafeNet Sentinel\Sentinel System Driver."
- Click Next. You should get “Windows has successfully updated the driver” and the green light on the key should light up. In your Device Manager, you should also have "Safenet Sentinel Hardware Key" listed in the USB controllers section (shown below). If this is the case, launch OpticStudio again to verify the key is working.
If you get any errors during the installation process, make note of them. Also, <double-click> on the "Sentinel" device to bring up it's properties to see the specific error. Take a screenshot or note down the error. Proceed to Method 4.
If you continue to receive the "Cannot find Zemax key" message or if the driver installation fails, then there may be a hardware fault with the key or with your computer's hardware. The easy way to identify where the problem lies is to install OpticStudio on a second machine. If the same problem occurs on both machines, the USB key is faulty and should be returned for replacement. If it works on one machine but not the other, see the Gathering more information section below to gather license details and contact Zemax support.
This section applies if your USB key usually works, but OpticStudio sometimes reports an error message saying that it cannot locate the license key.
First, we recommend plugging the USB key directly into the computer itself. Doing so will avoid problems with hardware like external USB hubs, LCD monitors or other devices with built in USB ports.
Second, If changing the port the USB directly does not apply or help, you can ensure the USB ports are not set to enable "selective suspend". To check this, as shown in the screen shot below, go to Control Panel...Power Options...Edit Plan Settings and click "Change advanced power settings." Then expand the USB Settings and USB Selective Suspend settings, and set to "disabled". Note: This only applies to Windows 7 and below. Note: If you are running on a Mac using a VM like Parallels, you must ensure this is the case both for the OSX and your Windows installation.
If you continue to lose connection to the USB key, there may be a hardware fault with the key or with your computer's hardware. The easy way to identify where the problem lies is to install OpticStudio on a second machine. If the same message occurs on both machines, the key is faulty and should be returned for replacement.
If it works on one machine but not the other, go to Gathering more information section below to contact Zemax support.
If you cannot get your Black USB key working, you can use the Sentinel Advanced Medic to gather information on your problem. To do so:
- Plug in the USB key.
- Download the Sentinel Advanced Medic from this link.
- Open the file "Sentinel_medic_1.3.exe" you downloaded. Click OK, then EXTRACT. It will by default extract to "C:\sentinel_medic_1.3," and launch the Sentinel Medic application automatically.
- Check the Enable logging.
- Start the diagnostic test by clicking Troubleshoot.
- You may need to press an "Acknowledge" button repeatedly, until it changes to a "Done" button, and you see "Successfully generated System log file" (see the below screen shot for a completed diagnostics run).
Once it is done, please take a screenshot of the diagnostcs test results window (the screenshot above is what we are looking for). Also make sure to save the log file. This file is called "Sentinellog.txt" and is located in the folder the Sentinel Medic extracted to. The default folder is "C:\sentinel_medic_1.3."
Proceed to the Getting help section below to summarize all the items needed when contacting support.
If your issue is not resolved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and send us as much of the following information you can.
- The release date or version of Zemax Opticstudio you are using
- The license serial number printed on the key (such as 22000)
- Whether the USB key is lit up with a green light
- Whether or not the key works in another machine (if possible).
- Any error messages when launching OpticStudio or when plugging in the USB key.
- A screenshot of the Windows Device Manager with the USB key plugged in.
- A screenshot of the Sentinel Advanced Medic test results.
- The Sentinellog.txt file from the Sentinel Advanced Medic test.
- A summary of any troubleshooting steps you have taken, and any error messages received while installing the driver.
This will provide us with all the information we'll need to quickly diagnose the problem, or escalate the case as needed.
This article is intended to address issues with Black USB dongle licenses only, and does not apply to Red USB, Green USB, or softkey licenses. This article covers the most common problems and outlines steps for rectifying these errors that should be followed in chronological order. If you have worked through every step and are still experiencing trouble with your Black USB key, navigate to the Getting Help section of this article for instructions on contacting Zemax Support.