24 Replies Latest reply on Jul 14, 2015 11:02 AM by paulc77798541


    PolarPaul Newcomer



      I downloaded an e-book from lulu.com yesterday.  It was an .acsm file, which forced me to install Adobe Digital Editions 2.0 in order to view.  I installed it without authorizing and browsed the book for a few minutes then turned off the program.  Later I returned to read it but there was a message about some licence key being broken or something, with E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12 in the error message.  I tried to authorize ADE to see if it would help, but it gave me a message saying "Digital Editions encountered an error on the activation server", with the familiar E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12 code.


      I tried removing the book from the library and reimporting it, but now it won't even do that without the same error message.  I've tried deleting the .acsm file and redownloading it, unistalling ADE and reinstalling it, made sure the firewall allows acces to the internet, and keep getting the same message.  I'm running on Vista.  It works with DRM-free .pdf's I have, but I can't download any of the sample books on Adobe's website to test further because the server doesn't respond.


      Any ideas?

        • 1. Re: E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12
          PolarPaul Newcomer

          I finally was able to download a .acsm file from Adobe's sample books page.  It evokes the same error message.  No progress.


          Also, I attempted to see if I could view the file on my phone instead of my computer, but seeing as how the first (and only) time I opened the book ADE was not registered, and therefore rights were limited to that one device, it won't let me view it because of that whole DRM thing.

          • 2. Re: E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12
            Frustrated in AZ Champion

            I'm going to take a guess here, based on the process you said you went

            through.  Here's hoping it's helpful.


            I suspect that the copy of ADE you downloaded is not going to let you

            register it with Adobe.  This happens sometimes when the various

            ebooksellers try to give you a link to a download address, and the software

            you download isn't 'legit' for one reason or another.  Ebooksellers and

            others who want to put a link out there should be going to Adobe to get the

            right link.  Some don't.


            Next up, Digital Editions works only on Windows and Macs.  It does not work

            - or load - on Android devices such as a smartphone.  I've seen a couple of

            postings to the forum that say they have a file on their smartdevice that

            looks like Digital Editions - sometimes complete with the DE logo.  They're

            bogus in the sense that they are not code from Adobe.


            My suggestion is go use your computer's utilities to copy the ebook you

            downloaded to a safe place, and then deinstall the copy of Digital Editions

            you loaded.  Then, go to the Adobe website, create an Adobe ID that's

            separate from the one you've used already, and download a fresh copy of the

            software.  BTW: ADE creates a small ID file for each ebook it downloads and

            appends it to the ebook.  To make things easy, make up an Adobe ID instead

            of using your email address.  That way, if you change email addresses,

            you'll still be able to get to your ebooks.


            When you deinstall ADE, there may be some scraps hanging around.  Use your

            computer's utilities to delete the Digital Editions folder and all of its

            entries.  Look to see that your registry files have been purged as well: if

            you're a Windows user, you can use the Add/Delete Programs utility in the

            Control Panel to do this.



            Good luck - and report back



            • 3. Re: E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12
              PolarPaul Newcomer

              I uninstalled ADE and ran CCleaner to clean up the registry before going over folders and deleting the stragglers.  Then I rebooted for good measure, redownloaded the ADE installer from the Adobe website, reinstalled, created a new Adobe ID and...and the same error message came up   I'm wondering if the problem could be from Adobe's side of things, something wrong with the activation server or something.  I won't even try importing without activation.


              BTW, I have an iPhone and I used Bluefire for the attempt.


              Good try, though.

              • 4. Re: E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12
                Derek Leng Newcomer

                I noticed that you are running on Windows Vista which ADE 2.0 does NOT officially support. Have you tried any other Windows platform like Windows XP or Windows 7?

                • 5. Re: E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12
                  PolarPaul Newcomer

                  Unfortunately Vista's all I got.  That could very well be the problem.

                  • 6. Re: E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12
                    Frustrated in AZ Champion

                    Now that we have additional information in the conversation....


                    Yes, the issue could be the Adobe server.  I think the only thing to do now

                    is for you to try to open a Chat session with Adobe support, share this

                    information (the more complete the better) and see where you go from

                    there.  Adobe employees don't frequent this forum often, and when they do,

                    they're not able to do anything about issues other than give advice.  You

                    may have to be tenacious with the Chat, however: folks have reported that

                    the Adobe person may not know anything about ADE or may tell you it's not

                    supported via Chat - or at all since it's free.  That's a pile of bovine



                    I'm glad also that you are using Bluefire for the Android device.  I'm not

                    an expert by any means, but that's the choice I'd make (if I wanted to get

                    another pair of glasses so I could read the small screen....). 



                    • 7. Re: E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12
                      PolarPaul Newcomer

                      If it doesn't officially support Vista, I'd say that's most likely the problem, not the Server.  I can't see Adobe letting a server problem like this go for so long.  What's ironic is that, while it doesn't support Vista, if you go to the installation instructions it says "for Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7" Although come to think of it, the instructions may have been for ADE 1.7.


                      I found information other users may find useful.  Apparently it's possible to rick-click on the installer to get into the Properties.  Under the general tab at the bottom there's an Unblock button that fixes the problem...at least for some people.  Not me, though.  That button is completely non-existent.  However there's a Compatibility tab where you can choose to run as if it were Windows XP.  Did nothing for me even after the whole uninstall-cleanup-reboot dance but, again, someone else might find this useful.


                      What I don't understand is how there were no problems at all the first time I ran ADE and leafed through an e-book.  This gives me hope.


                      The quest continues...

                      • 8. Re: E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12
                        PolarPaul Newcomer

                        So I found a version of Adobe Digital Editions 1.7.2 online, installed it and immediately authorized it with my Adobe ID.  Adobe sucks for not having any legacy versions on their website, especially since an operating system is longer supported, but at least it works now.  I had to request a new .acsm file from the publisher, but everything seems fine now and I can finally enjoy my e-book.


                        So if ever a software company doesn't provide you with what you need to make their product work, go behind their back.  Lesson learned.

                        • 9. Re: E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12
                          web_4.0 Newcomer

                          same problem here; i am using multiple libraries and i cannot revert the ADE version on this machine (office workstation)

                          • 10. Re: E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12
                            Frustrated in AZ Champion

                            Keep in mind that ADE is a stand-alone program and was never designed to be

                            run on a network.  So if you're trying to use the network as a gateway to

                            the Internet, you could be experiencing some issues because of some

                            incompatibilities or settings in software.



                            • 11. Re: E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12
                              teddlib Newcomer

                              I have now corrected this error!!

                              at last....

                              I was advised that if you open Adobe Digital Editions and then press “Ctrl + Shift key and the d key” at the same time a pop up box will appear “ Erase computer authorisation” if you click the button on the right “ Erase Authorisation”.

                              Then the first time you use Adobe Digital Editions, you will be asked to authorise the software with your ID. Should you not receive this prompt, click ‘Help’ and ‘Authorise this Computer’

                              And it worked!!!

                              • 12. Re: E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12
                                cdeviney Newcomer

                                It worked for me too!


                                Thank you for posting!!!



                                I have now corrected this error!!

                                at last....

                                I was advised that if you open Adobe Digital Editions and then press “Ctrl + Shift key and the d key” at the same time a pop up box will appear “ Erase computer authorisation” if you click the button on the right “ Erase Authorisation”.

                                Then the first time you use Adobe Digital Editions, you will be asked to authorise the software with your ID. Should you not receive this prompt, click ‘Help’ and ‘Authorise this Computer’

                                And it worked!!!"

                                • 13. Re: E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12
                                  fatboy_SRK Newcomer

                                  From: students.universityreaders.com


                                  If you have received the error message "E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY" or "E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12" - what do you do?

                                  Solution: Deauthorize and reauthorize Adobe Digital Editions.

                                  For Adobe Digital Editions (Windows PC and Mac)

                                  • De-authorize Adobe Digital Editions (from library view, CTRL+SHIFT+D or CMD+SHIFT+D).
                                  • If you have previously downloaded your book to another computer, please use the same Adobe ID when authorizing subsequent devices.

                                  For Bluefire Reader (iOS and Android mobile devices)

                                  • Click "Info" at bottom right of Bluefire Reader.
                                  • Click "Deauthorize" and confirm.
                                  • Click "Authorize" and enter your Adobe ID credentials.
                                  • After following the above steps, please try downloading and opening your book again.
                                  • Verify that your computer has access to the internet. If it does, check any proxy, firewall, or antivirus settings that may be preventing Adobe Digital Editions from accessing the internet.
                                  • 14. Re: E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12
                                    hongjic62736015 Newcomer


                                    Thank you so much for the posting. However, I attempted to erase the authorization, but it told me that it's unable to erase the authorization at the time, even though I entered the correct password. I have tried multiple times. But it's still not working. I don't why. Is there any other procedure that I have to follow in order to be able to de-authorize the Adobe Digital Editions?



                                    • 15. Re: E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12
                                      shreya Pioneer

                                      If due to some reason, you are unable to deauthorize ADE, follow the below steps:


                                      Mac: Navigate to /Users//Library/Application Support/Adobe/Digital Editions and drag the activation.dat file to the trash.

                                      ADE will be deauthorized now.

                                      Now Authorize ADE again.




                                      Choose Start > Run.

                                      In the Open text box, type regedit and then press Enter. The Registry Editor opens.

                                      In the left pane of the Registry Editor, locate the following registry key:


                                      Right-click the Adept key and choose Delete.

                                      In the Confirm Key Delete dialog, click OK.



                                      Your authorization will be deleted.

                                      ADE will be deauthorized now.

                                      Now Authorize ADE again.

                                      • 16. Re: E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12
                                        arrisb80648718 Newcomer

                                        Hello, I found this error " E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12"   in my desktop computer (Win 7). This error happened after two or three months I did not open the digital editions.

                                        I tried, uninstalling and installing the ADE, reloading the .ACSM file. The one that worked was "deauthorize computer" as showed above “Ctrl + Shift key and the d key” and then authorized it again and loading the .ACSM


                                        I think ADE is far from being a good tool.




                                        • 17. Re: E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12
                                          shreya Pioneer



                                          Please download the latest ADE


                                          Some of the crashes have been fixed in this release.


                                          Thanks for being the part of product improvement.

                                          • 18. Re: E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12
                                            Lori@TLC Newcomer

                                            THANK YOU! This did the trick (on Windows, going to the start menu, then run, then regedit, etc.)

                                            • 19. Re: E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12
                                              claus2015 Newcomer

                                              hello Shreya


                                              we followed your instructions (regedit) but didn't work. we have the newest version. when deleting the regedit entry it says "not all keys could have been deleted (nicht alle angegebenen Werte können gelöscht werden).


                                              Please we need help.

                                              thanks claus




                                              edit: code


                                              • 20. Re: E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12
                                                shreya Pioneer

                                                Ok, follow below steps:


                                                1. Uninstall ADE


                                                2. Please download the latest ADE



                                                3. Launch ADE


                                                4. Help -> Erase authorization.

                                                    ADE will be deauhorized.


                                                5.  Now again AUTHORIZE ADE

                                                      Help-> authorize computer.


                                                Error will be fixed !!

                                                • 21. Re: E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12
                                                  claus2015 Newcomer

                                                  thank you for your help.


                                                  didn't work. it says: authorization cannot be deleted. Try later.


                                                  what next?




                                                  • 22. Re: E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12
                                                    amitj82170006 Newcomer

                                                    Excellent, this worked for me. Removed the key from registry as mentioned and all good.

                                                    • 23. Re: E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12
                                                      shreya Pioneer

                                                      Please ensure that you are deauthorizing on latest ADE

                                                      • 24. Re: E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12
                                                        paulc77798541 Newcomer

                                                        This worked for me too.