Why did my Machine ID change?


The CompactDesigner/CompactControl Machine ID uniquely identifies the computer the software is installed on, based on several criteria to uniquely identify the computer

For internal node locked installations:

  • Network card ID (MAC Address)
  • Hard Disk Drive label (serial number)
  • Time of installation
  • Time of most recent run

For dongle-based installations:

  • Dongle serial number
  • Time of installation
  • Time of most recent run

Dongles are only used with CompactControl/CompactDesigner version 5 and later.

The machine ID will also be changed if the user attempts to run the software with the clock set to a time that appears to be before the time of installation, or "before" the previous run of the software. These situations may be an indication that a user has tried to manipulate the validity of a time-limited license, or if the clock has been set to an incorrect time.

Note that the system will accept up to 90 minutes time correction, which should account for normal clock adjustments, and for daylight saving time changes.

Structure of the Machine ID

The Machine ID is 10 characters long, consisting of characters '0' .. '9' and 'A' .. 'Z'. The machine ID can be seen as consisting of 5 groups of 2 characters each:


DF: CompactControl/CompactDesigner version 5 ('DE' is version 4, 'DC' is version 3)
nn: Dependent on network card ID/dongle ID
dd: Dependent on disk ID, or 'DD' if it is a dongle ID. 'AB' if no disk present
xx: Dependent on installation time, time of most recent run, etc.

If the software is reinstalled on the same computer, or if a clock change (more then 90 minutes), nn and dd will be the same, while xx will change.

If a network card is change, nn (and xx) will change.

For a computer with more than one network card, the first network card will be used to generate the machine ID.

Example IDs

DC32A4BF33 Typical Machine ID for CompactControl/CompactDesigner version 3.x

DF32A4BF33 Typical Machine ID for CompactControl/CompactDesigner version 5

DF32A4DD33 Typical Machine ID for a dongle, set for CompactControl/CompactDesigner version 5

Example changed IDs

Occasionally, the user may see the Machine ID change unexpectedly, rendering the license key invalid.

DF32A4BF33 changed to DF4212BF43

(note 'BF' unchanged)

Network card was changed, or new network card configuration has been set. A typical example of this would be if a laptop computer is installed when connected to a docking station, and then disconnected (the network card is no longer present).

DF32A4BF33 changed to DF42A44312

(note 'A4' unchanged)

Disk ID changed. Either because the physical disk was changed, reformatted, or otherwise modified.

DF32A4BF33 changed to DFD3A4BF93

(note 'A4BF' unchanged)

Time changed or attempted tamper with time-limited license.

DF129ADD67 changed to DF32A4BF33

(note 'DD' changed to 'BF')

This indicates that a dongle is no longer present (the first ID is from a dongle, the second ID is from the actual computer).