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Knowledgebase: Licensing
Activation Fails
Posted by Matthew Yetter, Last modified by Matthew Yetter on 15 June 2017 11:23 AM

If Web Activation gives you an activation code and the activation then fails when entering that code into ZBrush, please do the following:

 

Windows Users

  1. Close ZBrush.
  2. You must be logged into the computer as an administrator when installing and activating ZBrush.  If your computer is a personal computer, this is already the case but if it is a company computer that you have to log into when you start using the computer then you probably are a regular user and will need to get your IT manager to reinstall ZBrush and activate it for you.
  3. Check your system clock at the lower right corner of your screen.  Make sure that it shows the correct date, including year.  Time of day doesn't matter but if the date is wrong then the activation will always fail.
  4. Disable any antivirus software that you might have running.  Many such programs are designed to prevent the kind of file writing that takes place during activation.  Antivirus software is not perfect.  If it was, it wouldn't give you an option to disable or suspend it.  All antivirus software does have this option.
  5. Right-click the desktop shortcut for ZBrush and choose "Run As Administrator" from the context menu. Windows will then give you a User Account Control pop-up asking if it is okay to do that.  Confirm to launch ZBrush with the elevated permissions. 
    • If you are not an administrator on this computer, that option will not be available.  Please go back to step 2.
    • If you do not get the pop-up message from User Account Control then someone has changed the UAC settings to block its pop-ups.  That doesn't disable UAC; it only suppresses its warning messages.  The problem is that without that message you can't give Windows permission to do what you just asked it to do and that means that ZBrush launches without the elevated permissions.  Close ZBrush again and follow these instructions before returning to do step 5 again.
    • It's important to note that Run as Administrator is necessary even though you are logged into the computer as an administrator.  Windows separates user permissions from program permissions.  Even though you are an administrator, individual programs do not have that privilege level unless you specifically grant it to them.  Run as Administrator grants a one-time elevation to this permission level, which will help resolve most activation issues.  The next time you launch ZBrush it will launch with normal permissions, which is fine.
  6. Go through Web Activation again to generate a replacement activation code.  Once an activation code has failed, it will always fail.  You must create a new activation code for the steps that you have followed here to work.  However, the Web Activation system will recognize that this is the same machine that you have already generated an activation code for and will generate a replacement code without deducting another activation from your serial number.
  7. The new activation code should now be accepted by ZBrush.
  8. If the above steps still fail then the problem is most likely a faulty installation of ZBrush.  In that unlikely event, you will need to uninstall ZBrush and delete its folder.  Temporarily disable your antivirus software before installing ZBrush again.  Then return to step 5 of these instructions and proceed from there.

 

Mac Users

  1. Close ZBrush.
  2. In a Finder window, go to Applications and select (but do not open) the ZBrush OSX 4R8 folder.
  3. Press Cmd+I to get info on the folder.
  4. A window will open.  At the top it should say ZBrush OSX 4R8 and have a folder icon.  If it does not, close it and return to step 2.
  5. At the bottom of the window, make sure that the Sharing and Permissions section is expanded.  If it's not, click on its title to expand it.
  6. Click the padlock icon that will be visible at the lower right corner of the window.  You will be asked for your admin name and password.
  7. You will now have the ability to modify user group permissions.  Next to the Everyone user group, click and change the setting to "Read Only."
  8. Click the gear icon beneath the user list and choose the option to "Apply to Enclosed Items."  Click OK when asked.
  9. Change the Everyone user group back to "Read & Write."
  10. Apply to Enclosed Items again.
  11. Click the padlock to lock permissions and then close the window.
  12. Ensure that your system clock is set to today's date, including year.  Time of day doesn't matter but if the date is wrong then the activation will always fail.
  13. Disable any antivirus software that you might have running.  Many such programs are designed to prevent the kind of file writing that takes place during activation.  Antivirus software is not perfect.  If it was, it wouldn't give you an option to disable or suspend it.  All antivirus software does have this option.
  14. Launch ZBrush.
  15. Go through Web Activation again to generate a replacement activation code.  Once an activation code has failed, it will always fail.  You must create a new activation code for the steps that you have followed here to work.  However, the Web Activation system will recognize that this is the same machine that you have already generated an activation code for and will generate a replacement code without deducting another activation from your serial number.
  16. The new activation code should now be accepted by ZBrush.
  17. If the above steps still fail then the problem is most likely a faulty installation of ZBrush.  In that unlikely event, you will need to uninstall ZBrush and delete its folder.  Temporarily disable your antivirus software before installing ZBrush again.  Then return to step 14 of these instructions and proceed from there.

Special note for Mac users:  On rare occasions, when you enter the activation code into ZBrush and press Return, nothing happens.  If that is the case, click the button to cancel activation, which will take you back to the splash screen.  DO NOT start a new Web or Phone Activation.  Just click the "Enter Activation Code" button on that screen, which will take you back to the same window that you just exited out of.  Paste the code again and press Return.  This time, it should proceed properly.