How to unregister a computer you no longer own?


#1

I recently tried to install SU Pro 2016 on a PC after completely switching from Macs to PCs. I get an error saying too many PCs installed. Problem is, I wiped and sold my Macs. What do I do?


#2

Contact Customer Service at Trimble if you got your licence from them, or the reseller if you didn’t buy direct. Explain the situation, and they should be able to help.

Here’s a link I found in another post on the forum for contacting Trimble:
https://help.sketchup.com/en/contact/customer-support

Did you uninstall SU from the Macs you sold? Or just wipe the lot to a factory fresh OS?


#3

I wiped the Macs.

It would seem like the reasonable thing to do is what Adobe does: Just confirm there are already 2 devices which have ‘checked in’ and give the user the ability to ‘de-register’ them.


#4

When you do a proper uninstall, the software contacts Trimble and lets them know to remove that computer from their list.


#5

Sounds a good idea, but I don’t think SU de-registration works that way. Trimble or the reseller need to intervene manually, as I understand it (though I haven’t had to do it myself, fortunately)


#6

We do have this ability.

Help (menu) > License… > Remove License…

But you do it BEFORE you uninstall SketchUp, or “wipe” the storage (and dispose of the machine.)


There is an entire chapter in the SketchUp online User Guide dedicated to license issues and facts:

It “blows my mind” how few people read this information before attempting to license or de-license SketchUp.


#8

You shouldn’t have to read instructions of how to uninstall a software. If uninstalling requires software specific instructions it’s poorly designed in the first place.


#10

Yes sir I did read it thoroughly (and always do.)

I’m expressing an opinion. Not trolling. I’m sorry you don’t agree, but this is your right.
But I also have the right not to agree with you, (or Christina is this case.)

It is a public forum, where we all have the right to have our say.

I just do not think the system is all that bad.


#11

Strangely, I agree with almost all the contrary opinions given above. John McC’s early post about contacting customer service is the only path forward once the machine is already dead or wiped. And although Dan is right that people who install software should read the material to know what they are getting into, sketch3d_de is also right that attitude keeps many people from doing so. It would indeed be nice if a customer could deregister a computer themselves, though that opens a couple of issues: it would imply that SU must have an internet connection to run and must always “call home”, since otherwise there is no way to assure that a “dead” computer hasn’t simply been disconnected from the internet, and it would have to be done carefully to avoid potential issues with hackers and abuse. Feasible, just not trivial. It would seem logical that the uninstaller should inform Trimble that the copy is no longer in use, but that doesn’t address the question of what to do when the computer dies or if a user thinks that a full wipe will clear all entanglements. And, wrapping up, given that there is a solution available from Customer Service, like Dan I don’t think the existing system is all that bad.


#12

Dan,

As I reread your posts in this thread, I find that unlike others who gave me advise I found helpful and actually used, you have contributed exactly zero to solving my problem.

Instead you disparage.

That is the definition of a post troll.


#13

I gave gave quite clear advice (for all readers) to read the chapter in the online manual on Licensing. And I helpfully gave the links, so no one need go searching for the chapter.

This thread is not just about you, sir. It is also about other readers, learning from your mistake, so that they do not make the same one.

I did not disparage you personally nor specifically. It was a offhand observation which comes from my many years dealing with software issues, and repeatedly seeing people suffer this same mistake with SketchUp. And the comment is true.

So you made a mistake. No Big Deal. It’s not the end of the world. Just learn from it (ie, refer to the manual before doing important things like installing, uninstalling or migrating licenses to new computers.) And just move on, and stop making me your “whippin’ boy.”


#14

@slbaumgartner

I respectfully disagree.

Creating a much friendly registration system is actually a simple thought exercise, and one which many other programmers have successfully completed.

Here’s the psedocode:

  1. SU launches and checks to see if it has a locally registered license. If it does, it goes ahead and runs. If an internet connection exists it checks to see if the unique machine ID is stored in the SU database. If not, the user is notified this machine is no longer registered and proceeds to step 4.

  2. If no local license exists, it checks for an internet connection and if not found and the trial term is over, it quits.

  3. Assuming an internet connection, it asks user for license credentials. User enters them.

  4. SU checks to verify credentials are valid and if so then checks SU online registration database to see how many computers are registered. If 1 or less are registered then SU increased counter by 1 and stores machine identifying info.

  5. If 2 are already registered then SU declares so and asks user to choose 1 of 3 options: A. Quit. B. Please go to other machine and deregister one. C. Deregister ALL so that you can then register this one.

  6. If option C is chosen, then a person’s User/Pass is requested and if successful, all machines are now deregistered and the user may now register this one.

There are a number of variants on this scheme. For instance it may not be necessary to enter full credentials if you have a valid local license when reregistering, just enter your user/pass. Also, the program can periodically check for the valid internet license when the program is being used if it sees there’s no internet connection at the start.


#16

In my opinion Dan’s advice was right on the mark and hopefully helps others.

Julia is also correct - maybe Trimble can improve their install and uninstall user experience.

I would hope that Trimble would modify their installers. At the start of a Windows install they could in the very least add a notification about “Run As Administrator”. Hopefully they could detect whether the user chose “Run As Administrator” and notify the user and possibly stop the installation.

During an uninstall they certainly do jump to their website and ask the reasons why the user uninstalled. Perhaps they could during the uninstall simply ask if the user wants to remove their license. In some cases the user doesn’t because they want to uninstall and then install a new update.

Regardless, Trimble really ought to study all the use cases.


#17

It isn’t clear to me that your suggestion addresses the points I raised. But I’m not here to argue - I have no real dog in this fight - so I’ll just move on.


#18

Lastly, I’m in the same situation as many of us. I’ve used SU since it was invented by @Last. I’ve written plugins, created large scale design projects (see Hyperloop at blog.chipp.com) and have purchased and licensed every version ever made. I’ve made some successful (and some say less than successful) videos for SU on YouTube and have over 2000 followers.

And like many of us old timers, I don’t bother with the manual anymore. So berating users for not reading the manual, while not just poor form, is rather a useless endeavor. The fact is, we just enjoy using SU because of its extreme ease of use and if we wanted to read manuals, we would instead buy Maya or some other more complex program.


#19

I am actually not against this idea Chipp. I think it is a good one.

They were not “the case” of the OP.

However yes an “online license management portal” to allow the users to control their licenses would really be nifty.

I always vote for letting the customer “have things their way”.

+1 from me.

No, of course not. :rolling_eyes:

But I myself removed my SketchUp license from a notebook that was being taken out of town. I did it specifically just in case of theft, or anything like hd crash etc. (I decided, since I only use it as a test machine, that I would no longer leave the license on it active. I’ll just activate it whenever I need to run tests on that machine, and immediately remove the license, as the machine is often away being used by someone else.)


#20

Perhaps I misread your post. I thought you were making the point that allowing users to manage their own registrations was fought with problems. If that wasn’t your point, then my apologies.

I was just pointing out how easily others have solved the same problem.


#21

Yes Dan, you make a good point about it not being in my original post. It was unfair of me to have brought that up. My apologies.


#23

I don’t understand you. How can they block internet access when the program needs internet access to determine that 2 licenses are already in use?

If what you’re saying is to always block internet access when launching and using “de-registered” programs, then that’s a quite silly proposition, as using a computer program these days without the Internet ever turned on is not a feasible use case (and certainly is true for SU where you need internet to access Google Warehouse and Extensions). Furthermore, it’s assumed you would have to enter the correct username/password in order to use option C, which would require one to have more access than just license and activation information-- one would also need to have a user’s personal credentials-- not something I’d think one would want to give out.

That seems like a lot more trouble than just searching for a hacked copy on the Internet.

Furthermore, if you think the scheme is a bad idea, than you probably also think ADOBE stupid, as this is their exact license scheme.


#24

I should mention, as one who has sold and even written software protection schemes, the goal of software protection should be to dissuade casual users from unlicensed use of ones program. Unscrupulous people can always find cracked versions and steal them. That fight you can never win.

So, the issues a development company has to balance is the inconvenience to loyal paying customers vs the fight to keep pirates at bay. Hardware dongle vendors, like VRay, have chosen the most draconian model possible. One where if you lose your dongle, have it stolen, or it stops working, you’re without your software for days at a time, which can be very disruptive to a professional practice. It’s THE primary reason I don’t own VRay.

A quick Google Search shows over 186,000 links to “SketchUp Pro hack” with the second being “Google SketchUp Pro 2017 Crack License Key Is Here [Latest].” This tells me thieves who have no respect for IP are already winning this game-- sadly at the expense of loyal, paying customers. This is why Adobe and others have gone to more automated registration and de-registration processes which handle 90% of customer use cases.