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FARO® Knowledge Base

License Key and Activation Information for FARO Software

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Most FARO software requires a license key to open and use it. As part of your FARO software purchase, you receive a key, which appears on a sticker on the front, back, or inside of the software package or on the CD. The key provides secure access to FARO software.

Shipping Packages with Product/License Keys

TIP: Always keep a copy of the key. You will need it when you renew your warranty or upgrade your software. You cannot get it from the software.

You can find all the details of the complete FARO software license agreement (EULA) in the appendices of the software User Manuals. Click here for more information.

This articles provides an overview of keys and how they work. Understanding this makes it easier to install and upgrade your FARO software. See these sections to learn more.

License Keys and Dongles

When you purchase FARO software, the Sales Agent discusses options to provide license keys to your FARO software. You can choose to use a USB dongle or to type the alphanumeric key when prompted by the software. Here are the differences between the two options.

  1. Dongles are also called portlocks, hard locks, HLs, USB dongles, or USB license sticks. They look like a memory stick that you insert into the USB port on a computer. They are meant to be mobile, enabling you to install and run FARO software on more than one computer. A dongle usually stores only one set of keys, unless it is a network dongle, which can store several key sets. The keys appear on the dongle packaging, either outside or inside. On some dongles, the key is eched on the back of the dongle. 
    Dongle or PortLock     DongleWithLicenseKeyOnBack.png
    TIP: Attach the dongle to your computer before you open FARO software. This enables the computer to supply the key to the software as it is loading.
  2. Alphanumeric keys are also called product keys, license codes, soft locks, or SLs. You type them in when prompted by the software. This makes them specific to a particular computer and not interchangeable with other computers. Keys appears either on the back or inside of the software packaging, or on the software CD.

    With each alphanumeric key you get three activations. Three activations is the standard in the software industry. A key activation is a count of the times you use a particular key to run FARO software on different computers or hard disks. Activations are meant to enable you to work if a computer or hard disk fails. For example, when you initially install the software on a computer or hard disk, you use one activation. If that computer becomes unusable for some reason, such as the hard drive fails, the second activation enables you to install the software on a second computer or hard disk. This leaves you one more activation in case you need it. If you no longer plan to run FARO software on a computer or hard disk, you can contact FARO Support to transfer and reactivate your key on a different computer. This removes the activation from the original computer so that you cannot run FARO software on it. If you use up all three activations and need more, contact FARO Support. Agents will work with you to determine your needs. Activations only apply to alphanumeric keys. They do not apply to dongles.

If you need to switch from an alphanumeric key to a dongle or the reverse, contact FARO Support.

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When to Activate Keys

There are times when you must activate your keys before you can run FARO software. Take care not to confuse activating a key with a key activation. Activating a key is an action that you perform to get access to run the software and to update your license with purchases you make after your initial software purchase. For example, if after you purchase FARO Software you purchase an additional export translator or App, when you activate your key it expands to include the new translator and App. Thereafter, each time you upgrade your software the process includes your additional purchases.

The first time you install FARO software on a new computer or hard disk, you must always activate the alphanumeric key. However, when you initially receive and use a dongle, the key is already activated for the latest software version. There is no need to activate it.

When it is time to upgrade your software, the software version number determines if you must activate the key. This applies to both dongles and alphanumeric keys. Software version numbers have four parts separated by decimal points (.). The first two decimal places designate a major release. Major releases include new features, enhancements, fixes, and patches. The third and fourth decimal places designate a patch release. A patch release primarily includes bug fixes, but can include enhancements. The fourth decimal place may not always appear in the version number.

Major and Patch Releases

Only major releases require you to activate your key. You do not have to do this for a patch release within the same major release series. Here is an some examples.

  • When you are running CAM2 Measure 10.5.x.x and are upgrading to 10.6.x.x, you must have an up-to-date warranty and you must activate your key. This is a major release.
  • When you are running SCENE and are upgrading to, you do not need an up-to-date warranty and you do not need to activate your key. This is a patch release.

When you activate your license for the latest software version, you can still use the same dongle or alphanumeric key with earlier versions of the same software.

Ways to Activate Keys

There are two ways you can activate keys: automatically or manually. The state of your FARO software warranty, the date of the software release, your internet connection, your corporate standards for firewall and virus protection, and whether you are using a network license server determines if it is best to activate automatically or manually.

Installation and upgrade articles in this knowledge base contain step-by-step instructions for how to automatically or manually activate keys.


Under these conditions, activate your key automatically. 

  • When you have an up-to-date warranty
  • When the date of the software release falls within the term of your warranty, for example, when software is released on June 1, 2016 and your warranty expires on December 31, 2016
  • When the computer that runs FARO software has a reliable and continuous internet connection
  • When corporate firewalls and virus protection do not block the processes that activate licenses
  • When you are not using a network license server
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Under these conditions, activate your key manually.

  • When you do not have an up-to-date warranty, and you have just renewed it
  • When the computer that runs FARO software does not have a reliable and continuous internet connection, but you can use another computer to access the internet and send email
  • When corporate firewalls and virus protection block the processes that activate licenses
  • When you are using a network license server

Tools Used to Activate Licenses

Licensing and processes used to activate keys use two software packages: the SafeNet Sentinel HASP license driver and FARO Remote Update System (RUS). These tools are included when you install FARO software and are upgraded when you upgrade the software.

  • The HASP driver provides safe access to the license keys stored on your dongle or to the key you type in the software. The driver software is stored on your computer's hard drive at the root of the install folder for your FARO software.
  • FARO RUS communicates with FARO, either automatically or manually, to check if your keys are eligible for the latest software upgrades and if there are updates to your license for additional FARO product purchases. It applies the necessary changes the the keys. You can access RUS from the FARO software start menu. The RUS executable is stored on your computer's hard drive at the root of the install folder for your FARO software. 

If you activate your license automatically, you rarely interact with the HASP driver and RUS. If you activate manually or do troubleshooting, you use both the driver and RUS. Articles in this knowledge base contain step-by-step instructions for using the HASP driver and RUS.

Keeping Warranties Up to Date

A one-year Manufacturer's Standard Warranty comes with your initial purchase of FARO software. After the first year, it is a best practice to renew your warranty to keep it up to date. This gives you quick and easy access to the latest software upgrades and enables you to automatically activate keys. If your warranty is out of date, you can only get access to major software upgrades after you renew your warranty. Once the warranty is renewed, you can download and install the latest software updates and manually activate your keys. This applies to dongles and alphanumeric keys.

For information about warranties, click one of these links.

Network License Keys and Servers

System administrators can create a network license server to make a pool of keys available to client computers running FARO software. Keys are hosted on the license server and are shared with client computers over a network. The FARO software package need only be installed on client computers. On the server, administrators can add, manage, and activate FARO keys using the Sentinel SafeNet Admin Control Center, the Sentinel SafeNet HASP license driver, and the FARO Remote Update System (RUS). Once these tools are installed and configured on the server and client computers are set up, when FARO software runs on a client computer, it searches the network for an available key. If one is found, the client computer uses that key for the duration of the application session. When the software is closed, the key is released and becomes available for other client computers running FARO software.

On the license server, you manually activate keys when you upgrade from one major release to the next. You cannot automatically activate keys.

If setting up a network license server works best for you, when you purchase FARO software, ask for network alphanumeric key or a dongle. You can purchase 1 to 50 concurrences for either the network alphanumeric key or dongle. A concurrence is equivalent to a software seat, which can be used by any client computer on your internal network or a remote computer on your network.

  • If you chose a network alphanumeric key, you type it when prompted and it is tied to that specific server. An alphanumeric key must be transferred to be moved to another server. Only a FARO Support Agent can transfer alphanumeric keys.
  • If you choose a network dongle, keys are not tied to a specific server and can be moved by ejecting the dongle and inserting it into another computer. Network dongles may be inserted into any computer that has the HASP driver and RUS installed.

Click here for details about setting up a network license server.

See Also



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