1 2 Previous Next 48 Replies Latest reply on Sep 23, 2009 3:24 PM by Anne_SK1

    FYI - Activation Servers

    maniac9999 Level 1
      Just thought I'd post a little FYI for anyone out there looking for another reason to upgrade to RoboHelp 7.

      Last week, we reinstalled two licenses of RH X5.02, but weren't able to activate either one. When I called Support on Tuesday, 7/22 (since activation over the Internet doesn't seem to work for X5), they said "call back on Thursday." I did, then they said the activation servers are still down, probably until sometime this week. They gave me a link to a patch, which I can use in the interim.

      Me: Are the activation servers for version 7 working?
      Adobe: Yes, they're working fine.
      Me: and the servers for version 5 are not?
      Adobe: That's correct.

      It's understandable, I guess, since 5 is an older product and they no longer provide support plans for it.

        • 1. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
          X5 is no longer activated by a server so you will wait a long time.

          Phone the appropriate number from this page.


          I believe they have a means of providing a code for you. If they claim otherwise, please post back and let me know.

          Just because they no longer support it does not mean you are not entitled to use it.

          • 2. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
            Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
            Here's what you need to get X5 running.


            You might like to point the support people to it. :-)

            • 3. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
              What about X4? I've spent hours on the phone now since last Thursday trying to get my very legitimate copy of X4 activated. I'm beyond frustrated. They have no answer other than "call back in a couple of days"...

              They have a fixed exe for x5, but not for X4. Makes a person want to go looking for less than reputable answers...

              You would think there was something they can do. Registry entry, fixed exe, SOMETHING. I'm on a deadline and my client is not amused that I can't do the work that they are paying me for...

              Any help would be appreciated,
              • 4. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
                Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                Don't know. I'll let you know if I can find anything. Meantime, are you using the phone numbers on the page I linked to above or something else?

                • 5. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
                  a1z2s3x4 Level 1
                  I used both the phone number on the page you supplied and the one for activation that is provided by the software when you select "phone activation".

                  I've been through at least a dozen customer service people and activation team members. Not to sound crass, but communication with each one of them has been difficult due to language barriers. It appears they are reading from a script most of the time, too, since every conversation goes the same way.....
                  • 6. Re: FYI - Activation Servers

                    Originally posted by: Peter Grainge
                    X5 is no longer activated by a server so you will wait a long time.

                    Phone the appropriate number from this page.


                    I believe they have a means of providing a code for you. If they claim otherwise, please post back and let me know.

                    Just because they no longer support it does not mean you are not entitled to use it.


                    I'd like to echo a1z2s3x4's post from earlier today. I'm also trying to activate version 4.1 and have met with no success.

                    I've tried the 866-772-3623 number for assistance with an activation code and, while everyone I've dealt with has been professional and courteous, they haven't been able to provide me with a code.

                    If you can point me in another direction for a solution or offer any other assistance, that would be greatly appreciated.

                    - Chris
                    • 7. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
                      Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                      I am trying to find out if there is anything similar for X4. However, you will have to be patient as we are all on different continents.

                      • 8. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
                        Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                        I have established that it should be possible to activate X4 by phone but I don't know why you are encountering so much trouble with that.

                        I have contacted someone else but they are out of office today so you will have to bear with me.

                        • 9. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
                          a1z2s3x4 Level 1
                          Well, today's daily activation phone call was a little different. The customer service rep took my product install ID and said that he was escalating my case to his supervisor, who would email me the X4 activation number. I hope he comes through for me because my grace period ended this morning and now I can't access robohelp at all.


                          ps. Mr Grainge, thank you for helping to track down an avenue for activation. If you hear anything, please continue to post here as you have been doing.
                          • 10. FYI - Activation Servers
                            a1z2s3x4 Level 1
                            Wow. I left the house to do some work outside. I just came back in to hear an almost completely unintelligible message being left on my answering machine. The only words I can make out are "when update we call you back"... I am assuming the rest of the message wasn't good news. There was a phone number left, but I can't make it out....This is getting ridiculous. Over a week...
                            • 11. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
                              I'm also trying to get X4 activated since over 10 days now.

                              Today again I called up the India number from the above link and the care guy replied me that the activation servers are not up at this moment and it will take another month to be completely ready and up ... that's too much time. Is there any alternative at all??
                              • 12. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
                                Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                                As soon as I hear from my contact, I will post to this thread.

                                • 13. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
                                  Level 1
                                  Hello a1z2s3x4, Chris, and ankit79,

                                  Our legacy eHelp/Macromedia activation server cluster was brought down to multiple issues that did not fit within our corporate policies. I do apologize for any inconvenience that this has caused. We are currently attempting to transfer this server cluster to a much more suitable location. I do not currently have an estimated time frame for when this process should be completed. Once this server is back up and running, activations will only be processed via phone as the internet activation access will be removed.

                                  This server issue should not impact Adobe RoboHelp 6 or 7 as they are using the traditional Adobe activation servers. Products that are impacted by this change are all legacy eHelp applications that use activation and any Macromedia branded eHelp product. This includes the RoboHelp line (X5 and older), RoboDemo, older releases of RoboScreen Capture, etc. As stated above, there is a patch available for RoboHelp X5 to bypass activation. Once you install this patch, RoboHelp X5 should no longer prompt for activation.

                                  I understand that this is inconvenient, but the only solution for the other products effected would be to upgrade to a newer version.

                                  Thank you,

                                  Bobby Walker
                                  Adobe Systems Incorporated
                                  • 14. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
                                    a1z2s3x4 Level 1

                                    Thanks foir your reply. I understand the issues with the activation servers. However, I feel I must quote the Adobe Activation FAQ....

                                    Will Macromedia use activation to force me to upgrade? No, Macromedia will not use activation as a tool to force people to upgrade. Activation is merely an anti-piracy tool, nothing else.

                                    Contrary to your FAQ, this seems to be exactly what is happening. (Of course, Macromedia is no more. But, Adobe has left this verbiage in the activation FAQ). There are other things that could be done in the meantime. I am stuck with Robohelp X4 and Robodemo 4 and I cannot get them activated during this server outage. I am losing hundreds of dollars/day because I cannot perform work that a client has requested of me. Internally to Adobe, there should be the technical expertise to either provide a patched EXE or provide whatever registry entry is required to activate this software. Adobe has all the power here and I have none, but I'll say it anyway...waiting for an indefinite amount of time is not acceptable.

                                    How about a free upgrade to X5 so that I and others can use the available patched EXE? It can't be a temporary X5 license, because once I update my client's help files, they will need X5 to work on them in the future. That would help me with Robohelp, but I'm not sure how I will be able to activate Robodemo...

                                    • 15. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
                                      a1z2s3x4 Level 1
                                      <crickets chirping>........

                                      Can anyone point me to a X5 trial download?

                                      • 16. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
                                        RoboWizard Level 4
                                        Hi Chris

                                        You're kidding, right? X5 Trial download? I think places like Adobe probably trash any trial download of older software once newer software becomes available for purchase.

                                        Cheers... Rick
                                        • 17. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
                                          a1z2s3x4 Level 1
                                          Well, I figured it was worth a shot... :)

                                          • 18. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
                                            Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                            Is this because you cannot get X4 activated but there is a patch for X5?

                                            If it is, then get on to Customer Service and don't take any nonsense. Insist you want X4 activated or an acceptable alternative. They should know what to do.

                                            • 19. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
                                              a1z2s3x4 Level 1
                                              Yes, that is why I'm looking for an X5 trial. Not exactly "kosher", but what's guy to do?

                                              I'm such a softy. I guess I'll call them for the 15th time and see what being more firm will get me...

                                              • 20. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
                                                MergeThis Level 4

                                                Just verifying that the X5 activation instructions at that Adobe KB location work perfectly. One of our writers got a new machine and had no problem getting back to work in RH.

                                                • 21. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
                                                  Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                                  You don't need to go in via the backdoor. They have procedures in place.

                                                  • 22. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
                                                    a1z2s3x4 Level 1
                                                    Well, Adobe finally came through and offered a free upgrade to X5 since the activation servers are down indefinitely. It took an insanely long time to resolve, but in the end, they came through. Thought I'd let everyone know in case they are in the same boat as me...

                                                    • 23. Re: FYI - Activation Servers

                                                      I got the same deal on free RoboHelp5 and with the advice here was able to install the 501 and 502 patches and forego activation.


                                                      BUT, I was actually trying to restore my ability to use RoboScreenCapture which I purchased stand alone from eHelp. Adobe's Customer Support offered to give me RH5 claiming that it contained a Screen Capture tool—wrong! I still can't use RoboScreen Capture because it's trying to activate independently against eHelp's old servers.


                                                      I'm trying to force them to give me RoboHelp6 or higher since 6 was the first version that supplies Screen Capture. Or I'll just resort to software piracy.


                                                      As for their support, it's obvious that Adobe has merged way too many companies and products for them to properly support them without far greater investment in their support division. By all means outsource support if it will save you money...but use the savings to improve the quality!

                                                      • 24. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
                                                        Piyush_B Adobe Employee





                                                        I understand that you want to use RoboScreenCapture but can’t use it as is trying to activate via old eHelp’s servers. May you please provide me with your customer id or order number so that I may forward your query further.



                                                        Thanks and regards


                                                        • 25. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
                                                          AlwaysThinkin Level 1

                                                          Hi Piyush,

                                                          My Adobe Customer Number is 1136-35441 and the case number is 180871417. I opened the case about 8 weeks ago. I was told that RoboScreenCapture cannot be activated because the servers don't exist. I was given RoboHelp5 and I was told that it has a Screen Capture tool. It does not have a Screen Capture tool. I would like a licensed copy of RoboHelp6 or later since my research shows that it is the first version with a Screen Capture tool.


                                                          Thank you,

                                                          Luke Cushanick

                                                          • 26. Re: FYI - Activation Servers

                                                            Excuse me for bringing this up again, but my coworker--who isn't in today--said she did as instructed in the TechNote, and rebooted, but still gets the activation dialog when she tries to use RH X5. It was recently reinstalled after she was upgraded to a newer machine, still running XP.


                                                            I'm trying to help her with this. Referring to the TechNote below,

                                                            --1) On the Adobe download page referred to in the TechNote, I don't see the 5.0.1 patch explicitly listed. There is a 501 file under the download for Word 2003 Support Update. Is that the one?


                                                            --2) Does step 3 of the Tech Note refer to the .exes of the 501 and 502 patches? If not, then what? I downloaded and saved the patches when they were issued, and I don't see a Robohtml.exe or a Robohelp.exe among them.  I have a RHO_x501.exe and a RHO13_x502.exe.




                                                            Turn off activation with RoboHelp X5.

                                                            Due to activation issues with Adobe RoboHelp X5, the following may be completed to turn off activation with RoboHelp X5.

                                                            1. Install RoboHelp X5.
                                                            2. Install Patch X501 and X502 from the following link: http://www.adobe.com/support/robohelp/downloads.html
                                                            3. Download RoboHelp.exe and RoboHTML.exe and replace the installed versions with the downloaded versions. The installed versions are in <Install Directory of X5>/RoboHELP/RoboHelp.exe and <Install Directory of X5>/RoboHTML/RoboHTML.exe respectively.
                                                            4. You now will be able to run Adobe RoboHelp X5 without any activation.
                                                            • 27. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
                                                              RoboColum(n) Level 5

                                                              The need to activate - or lack ot it - is covered here.


                                                              Read the RoboColum(n) for mutterings on RoboHelp, Technical Communication Suite and technical communication.

                                                              • 28. Re: FYI - Activation Servers

                                                                Hi Colum,


                                                                In step 3 above, I downloaded the two exes to the desktop, and ran Robohelp.exe. An error message indicated that vxdbms.dll is not found and I need to reinstall. However, the file is actually located appropriately in the original installations for RoboHelp and RoboHelp HTML.


                                                                Because the downloads are intended to install over the original (RHx5.02), I assume it isn't necessary to remove the originals, correct?


                                                                What's amiss?


                                                                Thank you,


                                                                • 29. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
                                                                  Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                                                  Did you save the exe files to the two locations in Program Files replacing the previous copies?


                                                                  See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                                                                  • 30. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
                                                                    Silkie12 Level 1

                                                                    Hi Peter,


                                                                    Glad that you are still with the forum! It's been a few years since I've worked in RH and read your valuable help.


                                                                    I'm up and running now, and thanks for checking back with me personally.


                                                                    Words are slippery, and the instructions for downloading and updating 5.01 & 2 and then re-installing the exe's took some poking around by our team. It was a challenge to find the 5.01/5.02 updates. The exe downloads were clear, but someone here finally understood to literally save the exe's at the appropriate levels, not save them somewhere and try to run them, which was the first thought that came to mind. So we're good to go and all is working now.


                                                                    Thanks again, and best regards,



                                                                    • 31. Re: FYI - Activation Servers

                                                                      I am in the same boat- I have Robohelp X4.1 and need to replace my laptop (now 5+ years old).  After 6 hours on the phone with a  dozen different support reps in India, here is a synopsis of my case:


                                                                      1.  At least four support reps told me I needed to "update".  There is no update, of course.  I would have to buy a fresh copy off the street for $999.  That would also violate Adobe's activation policy, effectively reverting my license to subscription software that expires whenever they feel like deactivating subscription servers.


                                                                      2.  I finally reached a "supervisor" (supposedly) in Robohelp support that provided me with a link to download X5.


                                                                      3.  I was unable to download the file, and immediately responded in my open case that I was unable to do so (unable to get secured access to the file)


                                                                      4.  Although I even got a call back from the "supervisor" about a week ago now, promising to resolve the problem, Adobe has still, 16 days later, refused to provide me with access to download the file.


                                                                      I don't believe that Adobe does not have the wherewithal to provide simple access to a file download.  I don't know what game Adobe is playing now, but the end result is that they are refusing to honor my perpetual license.  Caveat Emptor!

                                                                      • 32. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
                                                                        Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                                                        The background here is that after Adobe took over Macromedia, they identified a security issue with the old activation servers. What they decided to do was provide replacement exes for X5 users, the idea being that you install X5, apply the patches and then install the replacement exes that do not need to be activated. See http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/403/kb403696.html


                                                                        For users of earlier versions they agreed to upgrade them to X5 without charge as you have a right to that license and it is Adobe policy not to use the need for activation to force an upgrade. Contact Customer Support as I have indicated earlier in this thread and don't accept anything to the contrary.


                                                                        Let us know how you get on.


                                                                        See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                                                                        • 33. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
                                                                          NRothschild Level 1
                                                                          Contact Customer Support as I have indicated earlier in this thread and don't accept anything to the contrary.


                                                                          Thank you for your reply, Peter.  As I indicated above, I spent 3 hours talking to 6 different people in support before I got to someone agreeing to provide me with X5.  That person was apparently unable to get me secured access to the ftp link to that download file.


                                                                          After several days passed, I spent another (documented) 3 hours just to get back in contact with that person.  That included 30 minutes arguing with a customer support rep who repeated over and over "Neil, I would never refuse to allow you to speak to a supervisor", as I repeated over and over "well, then turn me over to a supervisor".  It was truly Orwellian.


                                                                          He did finally pass me on, and after another hour on hold as I was booted around, I did talk to that supervisor, who asked for 24-48 hours to get things working for me.  He also told me to just communicate via the support portal, rather than spend all that time trying to contact him by phone.  Well, that was over a week ago, and he has never responded to my support portal queries.  He did call me on July 10th, telling me that "he was working on it".


                                                                          Now, what do I have to do to get someone in support to help me in an expeditious manner?  I have exhausted all the usual procedures.  Do I need to get the phone number of the CEO?  Do I need to send him a certified letter?  What do I do?

                                                                          • 34. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
                                                                            Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                                                            Sorry, a glass of wine too many with Sunday lunch. I had it in mind you had not got as far as getting them to agree to give you X5 so that you could install that and then follow the Knowledge Base article.


                                                                            I don't have contacts in the right area any more so I will have to go through someone else. Because of time zone differences it will take a little while to find out what is going on. Do you have any call references or names? You can send them to me via my site if you prefer not to publish them here.


                                                                            See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                                                                            • 35. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
                                                                              NRothschild Level 1

                                                                              Thanks, Peter!  You have private email, including my case#, Adobe ID and contact I have been "working" with.

                                                                              • 36. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
                                                                                NRothschild Level 1

                                                                                Update:  Thanks to Peter's gracious assistance I have my copy of X5 installed and working.

                                                                                • 37. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
                                                                                  Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                                                                  Glad to have helped.


                                                                                  See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                                                                                  • 38. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
                                                                                    marjoriem Level 1

                                                                                    Mike / Midlo,


                                                                                    I am also stumped by the apparent lack of an X501 patch on the site.  I found an answer from Peter Grainge for you and I here:



                                                                                    I'm going to download the X501 and the X502 patches, and follow the rest of the directions.  I will post again if I encounter problems.




                                                                                    Dec 18, 2008 11:24 AM  in response to: Jaco_Too
                                                                                    Re: Activation code request

                                                                                    No Adobe are not trying to force you to upgrade.


                                                                                    Both updates are on the page the link takes you to. 5.01 can be found under Word 2003 Support Update. Hover over the link and look on the status bar of your browser, you will see it is linking to the 5.01 update.


                                                                                    Then go and download the other files and when you have installed those, RH will not prompt you to activate.

                                                                                    • 39. Re: FYI - Activation Servers
                                                                                      marjoriem Level 1

                                                                                      Linda / Silkie12,


                                                                                      I am getting ready to install the X501 patch and then the X502 patch on my laptop.


                                                                                      I am assuming that they are both for RoboHelp Office, and not just RoboHelp for Word or RoboHelp HTML.  This is because I specifically selected and downloaded the X501 patch labeled for RoboHelp Office (and not the one labeled for RoboHelp Word), and the X502 patch does not differentiate between "for Word" and "HTML."


                                                                                      I need to know the correct directory where I should copy these patches so that they work.


                                                                                      Thank you,

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