Will not accept serial number

Every time I open the program it tells me that the serial number is incorrect. Not sure what to do. Also; it is very slow to respond to typing and mouse commands. Will not open drop down menus.

I had a crazy thing happen to me, where a line in my hosts file cause Scrivener to tell me that my license was blocked. I have not idea what is causing your problem because you are not giving detailed error messages etc. but there are just a few places Scrivener is writing things to you system that can cause it to deny your license. Assuming you have a legitimate and legal license, make sure your hosts file does not contain anything that might be considered pirate hacks, I’m not saying that they are, just that it could be considered by Scrivener that they could be.

If you don’t know where your hosts file is located and how to check or edit it, let me know - but like I said this might not be related to your problem. Post more details if you still need help.

Scrivener has to connect to the Internet to talk to the third-party servers that provide license verification and application activation. Once common tactic used by malware and hacked programs is to use bogus HOSTS entries to prevent the computer from contacting those servers and realizing that the same code is being used in hundreds of activations around the world. It isn’t Scrivener that is looking in your HOSTS file, it was Scrivener trying to do a DNS lookup of the server name and coming back with an invalid entry (thanks to the entry in the HOSTS file, which affects every DNS lookup) that was causing your error. Scrivener couldn’t validate you had a valid license.

That is not entirely correct, but it does not matter. The point is that Scrivener does not work if you have problems with your hosts file or if there are other things preventing it from doing what ever it wants to do. A valid license should allow you to run the software, no matter what, but Scrivener does not follow this logic, (like most other more professional systems do) - and in fact stops you from using the software if it can not validate you / your computer. You are in other words considered guilty of pirating until proven innocent by a verification process.

The problems with Scrivener is that this is not clearly stated as a condition for the software when you buy it, and it does not state clearly what the conditions are and what is required of your computer and you for this verification to work properly.

There are many things like firewall and other things that can prevent this process from working, and you are considered a pirate in most of these situations. Your license is even reported to be blocked as pirated on default when ever something is not exactly the way Scrivener wants it to be.

In what way am I wrong? You’re trying to claim that Scrivener…

First, check out what eSellerate has to say, as that’s the licensing framework Scrivener uses:


Go ahead and use whichever method you like to show what happens. I’m willing to bet, using standard Windows forensic techniques like Sysmon’s Process Explorer, that you’re going to find that Scrivener does not access HOSTS or snoop on your firewall settings or any of the “other things…it wants to do” that you claim.

I know from first-hand experience that once you finish the licensing process completely, you can mess with your HOSTS file, disable your firewall, take your machine off the network entirely, and Scrivener doesn’t care – it knows it has a valid license and it will start right up and let you get to your writing. I do hard-core IT networking and application administration for a living and I am constantly tinkering with, testing, and generally messing my systems up and straightening them back up for fun and profit.

Esellerate isn’t some weird, little-known vendor. They’re pretty well-known. Other “more professional” systems either are trivially easy to crack and pirate (Microsoft’s keygen system is regularly abused, but for the most part, they only really care if you’re selling pirated copies or have pirated licenses on your business network, and even then in the latter case the first action is to force you to pay-up the difference) or horrendously complex with buggy license servers you have to run and maintain. eSellerate is a pretty golden mean between those two extremes of licensing, all things considered, provided you don’t have cracked software on your system that is trying to keep itself from calling home.

To complete the licensing, it’s not enough to pay and get the code and enter it. You must then let the system use the Internet to contact eSellerate’s servers and validate the license. If you’ve messed up your firewall, don’t have your Internet connection running, or have a bad HOSTS file entry that prevents proper DNS lookup to the eSellerate servers, well then yeah – your licensing will not be validated, and depending on how and why it fails, Scrivener may be told your license is a bad license. But that isn’t Scrivener’s fault, it isn’t eSellerate’s fault (because they DO tell you that the licensing requires Internet validation), and it’s not bad design.

Moral of the story: don’t play with cracked software before you try to buy the real thing. Or if you must do so, do it in a VM that you can wipe.

The large number or misunderstandings that arise on this forum (and I’m sure in most other forums as well) could mostly be avoided if people read more to understand as opposed to reading to reply.

Just ignore that I said you are wrong, if you really wanted to understand what is wrong, you would apply yourself to find out and see it on your own initiative, but you respond like a tornado in stead. Microsoft does not shut down Microsoft Windows 8 if they do not receive the correct responds to a license registration type of communication. They post a big message in the lower corner because shutting down a software when legal licenses are issued would not be acceptable. This is from a legal point of view (and legal points of view are based in what is fair), so unless you are a lawyer also, please let us not get in to that as well :wink: :wink: but Scrivener shuts it down regardless - and that is the moral of the story - and what separates the professionals from the not so professionals. It is actually not even legal in many countries and Scrivener that is sold all over the world could be breaking the law by doing this if you stretch it all the way out.

But you are not a lawyer, and I am also not a lawyer, although I have operated a software company for 20 years, i do not know enough about this to have a debate. The point is just that it is not a good policy to for example shut down software after verifying that a license is legit, just because it might be stolen.