Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Setting up an Aladdin HASP license server

In my last licensing blog post, I wrote about how AnywhereUSB devices could be used to virtualize physical license servers with USB copy protection dongles. In this post, I’ll show you how to setup an Aladdin HASP license server from scratch. Nothing about it isn’t difficult, but the entire process is unintuitive. There are two nearly indistinguishable types of HASP keys, and you’ll need different types of installers for each. And you launch the installer from the monitoring component. So obvious. And the great thing about licensing is, you have no choice! You either figure out how the licensing application works, or you don’t use the software.

To begin, you’ll need three bits of software.
  • Digi AnywhereUSB drivers
    These will install the virtual USB controllers on your server and install the AnywhereUSB management console. If you’re installing the HASP license server on a physical server with USB ports, you obviously don’t need to install this.

  • Aladdin Monitor
    This is a management console for your HASP devices. It shows you what devices are connected, whether the HASP services have started, and the clients that have checked out licenses (for HASP HL keys). It is also the installer for the HASP HL Service. How obvious! The user interface for the Aladdin Monitor is among the worst ever produced (up there with BMW iDrive and SAP).

    You can download the Aladdin monitor installer (aksmon32_setup) here.

  • Aladdin HASP4 server
    The Aladdin HASP4 server acts as an intermediary between Aladdin HASP4 protected applications and the Aladdin HASP4 dongle

    You can download the Aladdin HASP4 server installer (lmsetup.exe) here.
To begin, install the AnywhereUSB drivers. I’ll describe how to install these drivers in a later blog post.
Next, install the Aladdin Monitor by performing the following steps.
  1. Extract the aksmon32_setup.exe file from the package to the destination server.
  2. Run the aksmon32_setup.exe installer.
  3. Unless you are a German speaker, select U.S. English then click OK. Perhaps Aladdin HASP makes more sense if you select German (UPDATE: according to a German reader, no. It isn't any more intuitive in Deutsch).

    Aladdin HASP Monitor installer: select language

  4. At the Welcome screen, click Next.
    Aladdin HASP Monitor installer: welcome screen

  5. At the License Agreement screen, sign away your rights by clicking I agree then clicking Next.

    Aladdin HASP Monitor installer: license agreement screen

  6. At the Destination Location screen, click Next.

    Aladdin HASP Monitor installer: destination installation screen

  7. The installer will ask you if you want to keep a backup. This backup is completely useless, but we’ll select Yes anyway. Click Next.

    Aladdin HASP Monitor installer: backup request screen

  8. Click Next to start the installation of the Aladdin Monitor.

    Aladdin HASP Monitor installer: ready to install screen

  9. Once the installation has completed, click Finish to exit the installer.

    Aladdin HASP Monitor installer: installation complete screen

  10. The Aladdin Monitor is now available in the Start Menu.

    Aladdin HASP monitor link in Start Menu
That was boring! Now time to install the Aladdin HASP HL-Service. You have to do this from within the Aladdin Monitor. How intuitive! Let's begin before you fall asleep.
  1. Open the AKS Monitor application
    (Start > Programs > Aladdin > Monitor > AKS Monitor)

    Aladdin Monitor

  2. Click Services > Hardlock > Install HL Service

    Aladdin Monitor: Install HL-Server Service

  3. A prompt will appear.
    Click OK to accept.
    Aladdin monitor: confirmation of Hardlock service installation

  4. Now it’s time to make sure the HASP HL service automatically restarts if it crashes (a license service crashing? Surely not!).
    Open the Computer Management console (Start > Run > compmgmt.msc)

  5. Select the Services node in the left-hand pane

  6. Select the HL-Server service.
    Aladdin monitor: checking the service start settings

  7. Right-click on the HL-Server service and click Properties.

    Aladdin monitor: checking the service start settings

  8. On the Recovery tab, change the First failure, Second failure and Subsequent failures reponses to Restart the Service.

    Aladdin monitor: setting the HL-Service to restart automatically

  9. Click OK to close the properties window.

  10. Close the Computer Management console.

  11. In the AKS Monitor, click Services > Hardlock > Start HL-Server Service. This will cause the HL-Server service to rescan the network for Aladdin dongles.

    Aladdin monitor: starting the HL-Server

  12. Once the scan is complete, an HL-Server will appear under the HL-Server folder.

    Aladdin monitor: looking at the HL-Server node

  13. Expanding the server node will show all the Aladdin dongles connected to the server. In this case, there is a single Aladdin dongle with the module address of 6903.

    Aladdin monitor: an Hardlock dongle has appeared!
  14. Close the Aladdin Monitor.
Okay, we’re nearly there. If we plug in an Aladdin HASP HL dongle, it will work. Now we need to install the software to support Aladdin HASP4 dongles! To do this, perform the following steps.
  1. Extract the lmsetup.exe file from the package to the destination server.
  2. Run the lmsetup.exe installer.
  3. Select U.S. English then click OK.

    clip_image002[13]

  4. At the Welcome screen, click Next.

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  5. At the End User License Agreement screen, click I accept the license agreement then click Install.

    clip_image006[8]

  6. At the Installation Type screen, select Service (nhsrvice.exe) then click Next.
    Installing it as an application is utterly stupid and would require you to login to start the license service.

    clip_image008[8]

  7. A the Choose Destination Location screen, click Next.

    clip_image010[8]

  8. A the Select Program Manager Group, click Next.

    clip_image012[8]

  9. At the Device Driver Installation screen, click Next.

    This screen will appear even if the appropriate driver is present on the server. Good work guys!

    clip_image014[8]

  10. If a Driver Installation error message appears, click OK to continue.
    This behaviour is by design and expected.

    clip_image016[9]

  11. On the HASP License Manager screen, select Yes then click Finish to complete the installation.

    clip_image018[7]

  12. Now, time to make sure the service automatically restarts when it crashes.

    Open the Computer Management console
    (Start > Run > compmgmt.msc)
  13. Select the Services node in the left-hand pane
  14. Select the HASP Loader service.

    clip_image020

  15. Right-click on the HASP Loader service and click Properties.

    clip_image022

  16. On the Recovery tab, change the First failure, Second failure and Subsequent failures reponses to Restart the Service.

    clip_image024

  17. Click OK to close the properties window.
  18. Close the Computer Management console.
  19. Open the AKS Monitor application
    (Start > Programs > Aladdin > Monitor > AKS Monitor)
  20. The server name will appear under the HASP License Manager server.

    clip_image026

  21. Close the Aladdin Monitor.
Woo, finally done! Now all you need to do is point your HASP clients at your HASP server! Maybe I’ll write a post on that.

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