CAD Design Software - Hardware Key License Support




bullet A damaged Dongle Key will be replaced with a replacement charge upon receipt of the damaged Dongle Key and replacement fee.  
bullet Hardware keys (dongles) are for USA use only and may not be taken out, sold/shipped or used outside of the USA.
bullet Dongle Keys may be used for UNIT-based license only. Hardware Dongle Keys cannot be used or sold for Network (server) based licensing.

bullet There will be no replacement for a Dongle Key that has been lost, stolen, etc.  A new software license must be purchased.

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How it works:

bullet Very Important!! • Do not plug the dongle into your machine before installing the dongle driver. Plugging in the dongle can cause an automatic search for driver files. The driver files found by an automatic search might not be compatible with FlexNet ID dongle.

Download the Dongle Key Drivers

When moving the hardware key to another workstation loaded with CAD Design Software, use the CDS.PWD file that was issued, install the hardware key drivers and follow the instructions for either USB or Parallel key. 

  • Match the CDS.PWD with the hardware key
  • Open the CDS.PWD with Notepad 
  • Locate the HOSTID=FLEXID= line
  • Look on the face of the key FLEXID=
  • Match the key with the PWD
  • You can leave the CDS.PWD on the workstation(s)

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Download and Install the Dongle Key Drivers


bullet Very Important!! • Do not plug the dongle into your machine before installing the dongle driver. Plugging in the dongle can cause an automatic search for driver files. The driver files found by an automatic search might not be compatible with FlexNet ID dongle.


Download the hardware key drivers below:


  • Note: Consider the following information about the Aladdin HASP dongles:

  • FLEXID 9 dongles on all Windows platforms use the SRM driver (version 5.86).

  • On a Windows 64-bit machine, only one Aladdin HASP dongle is detected even when multiple dongles are attached to the machine. This is a known limitation of the HASP HL APIs that are used by the FlexNet licensing software.

  • The Aladdin HASP dongle does not support Remote Desktop Connection for applications built with Windows 32-bit toolkits. This is a known limitation of the HASP APIs that are used by the FlexNet licensing software.


>>This is a Hardware Driver Installation.<<

This installer must run under Administrator or a user with Full Permissions.

  1. Double click FLEXID_Dongle_Driver_Installer.exe.

  2. In the FLEXID_Dongle_Driver_Installer - InstallShield wizard, click Next.

  3. Select the dongle drivers to be installed;

    1. Click to clear the check boxes for drivers that you do not want to install.

    2. Only select the Flexid 9 Drivers check box:


  4. Click Next.

  5. Click Next to confirm correct drivers have been selected.

    1. Note, this may take a few minutes to complete. If the user has Firewall Protection software (i.e. McAfee, Symantec, etc), the driver installer may request permissions for the Executable to access the internet or to open a port. You must allow the permissions to proceed and complete installation.

  6. Click Finish and then Restart is Required.

  7. If you chose not to restart in step 6, you must restart the machine to complete the process.



After installation and a computer restart: Insert the USB dongle key into a free USB slot on the back of the computer. Windows will “Find new hardware” and then install the drivers. 

  • Install CAD Design Software on the workstation(s).

  • CAD Design Software will issue the user a license file that is coded to the dongle key’s serial number. 

  • This file is named CDS.PWD. Keep a copy of this file in a safe place. 

  • The CDS.PWD file must be placed in the \ACAD sub-directory of the CAD Design Software product installation directory.   

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Troubleshooting dongle license
  • VERIFY that there are no duplicate CDS.PWD files on the system.

  • VERIFY that the CDS.PWD file is stored in the \software\ACAD\ sub-directory.

  • VERIFY that the CDS.PWD file does not have a double file extension (i.e.  CDS.PWD.PWD)

  • VERIFY you are using the correct CDS.PWD that relates to the serial number on the key (See Above)

  • "Cannot Find aksusb.sys" or other missing files from installation. This may occur because of an installation problem (usually due to security on a computer). Running the Installation EXE again with the proper permissions will solve this issue. Pick Modify during the installation.

  • System clock has been set back -VERIFY that system clock is set to the proper date and time. A system file has been changed so it is 24 hours or more in advance. This will cause a security error with the license program. It assumes that the user has modified the system clock to avoid a "Time-Lock" license. This might be a system error or accidentally done by the user. First step is to check the BIOS clock settings. In most cases, this will resolve the problem. Refer to your motherboard user manual for information on BIOS settings. 

  • If you get an error message that reads: The hostid of this system does not match the hostid specified in the license file. This error means that the computer cannot find the hardware (dongle key). The most common reason is the drivers were not installed correctly by the Windows Operating System. Possible reasons could be that there are securities preventing the installation of the hardware drivers, user does not have full rights or the key is not recognized because it is plugged into a USB port that does not properly respond.
  • Install the driver files before plugging the dongle in to your machine.
  • Do not allow Windows Update to install later versions of the dongle drivers. Such an update leads to
    unpredictable behavior of the dongles with FlexNet licensing software.
  • The dongle driver cannot be removed using FLEXID_Dongle_Driver_Installer.exe.

Flex ID Driver Clean-Up

If existing dongle drivers were installed using the older installer FLEXIdInstaller.exe rather than the current installer, you may use the cleanup utility FLEXidCleanUtility.exe to uninstall them.

Alternatively, you may use the Add or Remove Programs from the Control Panel to accomplish this.

If existing drivers were installed using the installer FLEXId_Dongle_Driver_Installer.exe, then this cleanup utility is not needed.

  1. Remove the hardware key from the computer.

  2. Use the Add/Remove Programs in the Windows Control Panel and remove the 'Macrovision FLEXid Drivers' or 'Sentinel System Driver'

  3. Download the Clean Up Utility (Download)

  4. Run the EXE and follow the prompts to remove the drivers.

  5. Restart the Computer

  6. Download this new Set of Drivers (See the Download Section) and restart the computer

  7. Plug in the key

  8. Run the software

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