3ds Max Licensing Problem And Solution

I have been trying to transfer 3ds Max 2010 licenses from a couple of old computers to new ones. Autodesk introduced the License Transfer Utility in its 2010 release. Just about everything you need to know about transferring licenses is explained in this very well made 15 minute Autodesk video.

Just one small problem. I couldn’t find the link to the License Transfer Utility on the 3ds Max installations on both the old computers.

So I went ahead and installed 3ds Max on the new computers and tried activating them. I got a message saying that I had reached my activation limit and was asked to fill out a Customer Service Request form to get an activation code.

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I assume someone at Autodesk would manually study my activation history and check that I am not trying to do something funny. So I filled out the activation form and after a day I got an an activation code.

And then I got stumped. I couldn’t find a place to enter the activation code. You see, when you start 3ds Max and get the message saying that your trial has expired or whatever, you are asked to enter your serial number and product key. There is no place to enter the activation code on that window. All you can do is click Activate. After you do that the software connects to Autodesk servers and if you have reached your activation limit you will see the window above which doesn’t have a place to enter the activation code either. So now we have a situation where someone at Autodesk has allowed you to do another activation and has given you an activation code but you cannot enter it.

I was given the solution to this peculiar problem during a phone conversation with Autodesk Licensing. The simple but non-obvious solution is to disconnect your computer from the internet. When the software doesn’t find a connection to the internet it assumes that you have an activation code and gives you a form to enter it. As far as I remember there is no mention about this in any of the windows that the software pops up. So if you are facing the same problem as me, now you know.

As regards why the License Transfer Utility didn’t show up in both my 3ds Max installations, which caused all this in the first place, I still don’t know the reason for that. Autodesk Licensing tells me that the License Transfer Utility is not an optional component and is always installed. So if any of you can shed light on this please leave a comment.