Siemens Industry Online Support
Siemens AG
Entry type: FAQ Entry ID: 23174341, Entry date: 02/20/2012

How can you keep SIMATIC license files working and avoid loss of authorization?

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Authorizations and License Keys from Siemens for the SIMATIC software are copy protected and can only be managed with a SIMATIC handling program (see table). In the original, the keys are supplied exclusively on commercially available yellow and red floppy disks with individual ID features (ID:KHE and Lic. No.). This ID is also to be found for the authorizations and license keys that are displayed in the handling program so that they can be assigned to their original floppy disks in each case. Normally the handling program supplied with the software or on the floppy disk is best suited in each case. In an emergency, it might help to install the latest version concerned (exception: DOS and Windows authorizations). Please also refer here to the installation instructions regarding the system requirements that are included with software requiring authorizations and licenses.

A difference is made between the following license procedures:

  • MS-DOS authorization (DOS authorization)
  • Windows authorization (authorization)
  • Windows License Key ([Floating/Single/Rental/Upgrade] License Key)
Procedure Optimum handling program ID ID format
    In the handling program On floppy disk (numerical)
DOS authorization Authors.exe Serial number ID:KHE (tw.without) separated with '-'
Authorization AuthorsW Serial number ID:KHE 10 digits
License Key ALM
(Automation License Manager)
License number Lic. No. 20 digits

General requirements
In the case of Windows NT, 2000 and XP, you need Administrator or at least standard user rights and access rights to the target drive and to the source drive. For this we recommend internal floppy disk drives.

The table below gives a few instructions for handling authorizations and license keys in order to avoid the loss of license files.

No. Instructions for handling authorizations and license keys
1 Please save the authorizations and license keys before formatting, compressing or restoring the drive or before installing a new operating system.
  • You must transfer the authorizations from the hard disk back onto the authorization floppy disk.
  • You can save the license keys on the original floppy disk or on USB sticks, for example.
2 When you uninstall, install, move or upgrade keys, you should first close all the background applications visible in the taskbar. Optimization and encryption programs must not affect authorizations and license keys and must not be able to repair them. This applies in particular for
  • Anti-virus programs; scanning functions like Autoprotect should be disabled at least temporarily.
  • Defragmenting of hard disks.
  • Scandisk up to Windows 2000, Checkdisk for Windows XP.
  • Repartitioning of the hard disk / partition.
  • Compressing and restoring.
3 Please also save the authorizations and license keys before you use optimization programs or reload a hard disk backup.
4 Authorizations and license keys
  • Do not work on compressed drives. In the case of compressed drives (DBLSPACE, for example), you must install the authorization on the associated host drive.
  • Only work within internal networks (LAN).
  • Never work on read-only media (CD-ROM, for example).

When installing authorizations and license keys, the data is stored in the hidden system directory "AX NF ZZ" of the drive concerned. You must not change the directory's attributes, move the folder or delete the files.

5 If a hard disk backup contains a copy of an authorization, there is the risk that reloading the backup data will overwrite the authorizations that are still valid and thus destroy them. To prevent loss of authorizations through overwriting you must either remove the authorizations before creating a backup or exclude them from the backup.
6 You can copy the files on the authorization floppy disk. However, you cannot use the copies for authorization. For that you need the original authorization floppy disk.
7 The authorization creates a cluster on the target drive, which might be marked as "defective". You must not "repair" this cluster.
8 You can only ever install one authorization of a version on one and the same drive.
9 You can no longer use AuthorsW to uninstall defective authorizations. This might block the installation of new authorizations.
10 When upgrading you should always follow the instructions provided with the software or the instructions given in the Help of the tools used in each case.
11 When you complete the work on your computer, always shut down your PC via the Windows system (via "Start > Turn Off Computer). Never just switch off the computer.
Security information
In order to protect technical infrastructures, systems, machines and networks against cyber threats, it is necessary to implement – and continuously maintain – a holistic, state-of-the-art IT security concept. Siemens’ products and solutions constitute one element of such a concept. For more information about cyber security, please visit
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