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Online licensing woes March 8, 2014

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Tech tips, Tools.

Oh, woe is me. I have once again had a fatal error on my hard drive and lost a SDL Trados license. The first time my hard drive died and I couldn’t return the license, but Paul Filkin, SDL’s awesome online go-to guru, was able to free up another license for me.

This time I kept getting a Blue Screen of Death within a minute of booting up. My computer tech had the computer for two weeks and was unable to replicate the error in their office, so I was able to return the license. A month later during the Windows Upgrade the problem returned. I tried to return the license in Safe Mode with Networking (by trying to return the license and then deactivating it offline), but their system wanted nothing to do with that. I tweeted the SDL folks, but did not receive a response. I didn’t want to bother Paul again. I figure once is ok, but twice is pushing it.

At the moment I am reformatting the computer and hoping the problem does not happen again. In the meantime I have Studio 2011 and Trados 2009 on my laptop and will migrate on the desktop to MemoQ, which does not rely on online licensing and can process Studio files. I may or may not upgrade to Studio 2014. What are your opinions of the new version of Studio? Is it worth upgrading? Inquiring minds want to know.



1. clairecoxtranslations - March 8, 2014

I had similar problems after my desktop hard drive died (graphics card burned out – couldn’t keep it going long enough to return the licence!). I contacted SDL by e-mail but despite responding to acknowledge receipt and update my e-mail address ( oh and try to sell me Studio 2014!) they didn’t respond to manually reset my licence. I happened to comment about this on a ProZ forum entry to another person struggling with a similar problem (how to contact SDL – I went via Live chat which eventually gave me an e-mail link) and finally an SDL staff member told me I could force a return in cases where the hard drive was no longer accessible. This is what she said:

“The Live Chat is normally occupied during UK office hours and for any issue with installing or licensing your software, please always go first to our Solution Finder on http://kb.sdl.com/?cid=23&tab=sf.

I know that it does not work at the moment, but that’s the normal place to go.

I checked your account and for your type of license you can use the “Self-Service” tool. This is explained in KB article #4295 (http://kb.sdl.com/#tab:homeTab:crumb:7:artId:4295).”

This did work for me, although I haven’t yet re-installed Trados on my laptop – but the licence is certainly showing on the system as available again. I have the Freelance OPLys lience, so I don’t know whether this is only an option for thar kind of licence – worth a shot at any rate.

As for Studio 2014, I am tempted, but having just bought two new computers, am biding my time. The course I recently attended suggested it would be worthwhile – need to do some more work first!
Good luck!

Jill (@bonnjill) - March 8, 2014

Thanks, Claire! I will give that a try. This tip could be invaluable! I’m going to install all my important software tomorrow. Luckily this weekend I had no work lined up.

2. Kevin Lossner (@GermanENTrans) - March 9, 2014

I thought you gave up on the Dark Side a while ago. Sure, upgrade to 2014 and you can watch in amazement as it installs vintage resources going back to 2005 and beyond. I keep mine on a VM, because I got tired of having my system trashed by Trados.

Jill (@bonnjill) - March 10, 2014

I had, but then one of my clients required Studio, and it was just easier… I still prefer working in MemoQ.

3. Regine Traduction - March 9, 2014

Studio 2014 is very similar to 2011, maybe just a little bit faster. I have no problem with it.

4. Riccardo Schiaffino (@RSchiaffino) - March 9, 2014

Studio 2014:
Pros – 1) virtual merge (really nice) 2) generally speedier 3) APIs, which permit other companies to offer additional functionality via OpenExchange add-ins (the Xbench add-in, currently in public beta) is really useful

Cons – 1) the ribbon, 2) the fact that they put the filter on the ribbon, 3) the fact that you cannot customize the ribbon

5. Emma Goldsmith - March 10, 2014

Hi Jill,

While tweeting to SDL people and being rescued by Paul Filkin is a pretty reliable way of sorting out license issues, the correct way to reset a lost license it is to:

1. Go to http://kb.sdl.com/ and click on the solution finder tab.
2. Click Licensing problems>I use SDL Trados Studio… 2011 or 2014> I need to have my license reset.
3. Fill in the online form and SDL will probably contact you within one working day (although the form officially says 3 days).

Some people have problems seeing the online form. Firefox is the fail-safe browser to get it displayed.

Re: whether it’s worth upgrading to 2014. I’d say, yes, it’s worth it. Things you may enjoy in the new version:
1. Auto concordance when no match is found
2. More and better OpenExchange apps
3. Comments added in Studio are (at last) retained in Word files
4. Quickmerge of files whenever you want
5. Improved file analysis features
6. More options for locked segments, filter display and shortcuts

For more details, have a read of my blog post on the new Studio 2014 for old hands: http://signsandsymptomsoftranslation.com/2013/10/09/studio-2014-part-2/

Hope reformatting your disk works for you, Jill, and that your machine starts running smoothly again. Time lost through these issues is every translator’s nightmare.

Jill (@bonnjill) - March 10, 2014

Thanks!!! I am installing Office at the moment. This will be step two!

6. Jacqueline J - April 19, 2014

I know it has been a while, but I actually really like Studio 2014. I used to use 2007 and briefly used Studio 2011, but think Studio 2014 is quite reliable. I have not figured out all features, but so far, so good.

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