Registration issue

I’ve sought for this and couldn’t find it, but I may have missed something, so a pointer to the solution if there is already one would do me. I boot two Macs, one at home, one at work, from the same external HD, which I carry back and forth between places. This ensures that settings, preferences, and above all the state of all my projects are identical on both machines. However, I notice that every time I start Scrivener (which is on that external disk like all my other software) on the other Mac from the one I’ve just been using, I get a screen telling me that my registration details are now being submitted and in a moment I’ll be registered. Again. This is not a major hassle, but it is a minor irritation. Anyone know what the problem is?


Activation is based on hardware, but if you are booting from an external hard drive then each time you switch machines, the hardware is different, so the activation is invalidated and it needs to be re-activated. There’s no real way around this, I’m afraid. You will run out of activations eventually, too (although we can reset that for you no problem). It would be better if you could install and register Scrivener on the local machine, but if you are booting from the external drive that’s not really possible.

All the best,

Hi Keith,

Thanks for the clarification. Hmm. I shall experiment a bit. Perhaps something clever will occur to me.


Programatically select the activation folder based on hardware address.

I have a thread that describes how one could do this somewhere.

Hi Jaysen,

Thanks: found your thread ([url]], right?). There’s a rather gentler suggestion at the end of it involving rooSwitch. Scrivener has changed a bit since April 2010, however (as, I imagine, has rooSwitch); do you or Keith think this or something like it will still work?


Jaysen is much more of an expert in this field than I am, so I will defer to him on rooSwitch, but I can tell you that Scrivener’s registration and activation system hasn’t fundamentally changed since then, so should still be open to whatever solution was proposed. Let me know how you get on.

I an one of those idiots who likes to make rounder wheels. Which is my way of say that i do everything the hard way and I can’t comment on rooswitch. So give it a whirl and see if it works.

Either way make backups FIRST. As some have found out, making the backup after the system is trashed doesn’t help that much.

Ok, rooSwitch has done the trick. I have created two profiles, one for the iMac at work, one for the MacBook at home (entitled, plausibly enough, “iMac” and “MacBook”). I have removed the usual rooSwitch suspects from each—preference files and the like—and replaced them with the MindVision folder from Application Support containing the 6.5 KB validation file for each computer. When I switch computers, I open Scrivener not directly from the dock, but via the appropriate profile in rooSwitch, and all my registration issues are solved: Scrivener starts directly as though I had never used it on any other piece of hardware. Thanks to Jaysen for pointing me towards the solution. :smiley:

Fantastic! This is really good to know, too, so that we can point other users in this direction if it comes up again. Thanks Jaysen!