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Old June 4th, 2010, 10:27 PM   #1
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Do you cringe every time you update Cineform? I do.

I'm interested in seeing if other users are having the same difficulties I'm having. I recently upgraded to Version 5 last week, qualifying for a free upgrade to NeoScene. For now, let's ignore all the hoops Cineform makes you jump through to actually get, install, and activate an upgrade. By following the instructions Cineform provided in the emails with the serial number and activation codes, I managed to get the V5 upgrade installed in about an hour total, including time spent swearing at the computer.

Today, I received a notice that a new upgrade was available, less than a week after installing the V5 upgrade, so I followed the instructions once more, downloaded the upgrade, uninstalled (but did NOT deactivate) the previous version, installed the new version, sent off for the new activation code, and tried to activate it. The problem is, NeoScene keeps coming up with the OLD serial number, regardless of what I try, and will not let me activate the new version.

I've tried typing in the new serial number in the activation box with the new activation key. No dice. I uninstalled, reinstalled, and tried again. No luck. I uninstalled through Windows 7. No luck. I even tried deactivating the previous software serial number, which appeared to work because I got an email from Cineform saying it had been deactivated.

Anyhow, every time I try installing the new version, it still pops up the old (now deactivated) serial number. I can't figure out where it is getting that number. It's either embedded somehow in the downloaded Cineform install file or in the registry somewhere. The short of it is, it's 10:20 PM, I have a project I need to be working on, and I can't do it because Cineform's upgrade path has hosed the process and locked me out.

What's your opinion of Cineform's upgrade process? Personally, I think it's confusing and abusive. I've paid for the software. I shouldn't have to crawl through barbed wire under machine gun fire to get a free upgrade I'm entitled to. And I certainly don't think I should expect a 50-50 chance of screwing up my editing computer just by trying to install the latest version. I understand Cineform needs to protect its intellectual properties, but things are ridiculous as they stand right now. As frequently as Cineform seems to come up with a new release, you'd think they would idiot-proof and ironclad the upgrade process (and I freely admit I'm an idiot).

Anyhow, I'm stuck doing nothing while waiting for Cineform to respond to my email asking for help.

I know -- file a trouble ticket. Lot of good that does me right now.

Martin
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Old June 4th, 2010, 11:34 PM   #2
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99% of the time someone simply uses an old serial number or old system code from an old software install. When support helps you, you will won't to smack yourself in the forehead once you see the simple error. But 1% of the time it is the failure of the activation system (sometimes it goes off-line, or the activation email is lost to spam) but support can solve these issue quickly. Agreed this system could be more automated, removing the human error that generates most of the frustration. Unfortunately that comes at an expense, more cost to in the software and less time developing video features -- we are always looking for a licensing system that is both cost effective and easy.

Now to help you. The serial number is not that important, the licensing on your machine doesn't use it -- it is simply a receipt for your purchase (and is only used on our end.) To activate visit Activate and follow the instructions, basically:

1). Install your new software.
2) Launch Activate.exe (from the start -> Programs -> CineForm -> NeoXX menu) to get you new System Code (xxxx-xxxx)
3) Fill out the web page (Activate) with you stats and your new serial number.
4) Get you email with you activation code, cut-n-paste that into Activate.exe, along with your correctly spelled name (a surprising failure point), it works ever time I do it (100s if not 1000s on times.)

If you do fall into the 1% case, add your trial is going expire over the weekend, there is still a solution. Uninstall NeoScene and install NeoHD, you will get 15-day trial of that, which is a super-set of NeoScene (no downside,) then on Monday support can help you.

P.S. we only do major releases every 18 months or so, we call those "upgrades", yet we do free "updates" every few weeks. Once you've activated, those free updates have no licensing issue at all, install without fear.
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Old June 5th, 2010, 02:07 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Catt View Post
Today, I received a notice that a new upgrade was available, less than a week after installing the V5 upgrade, so I followed the instructions once more, downloaded the upgrade, uninstalled (but did NOT deactivate) the previous version, installed the new version, sent off for the new activation code, and tried to activate it. The problem is, NeoScene keeps coming up with the OLD serial number, regardless of what I try, and will not let me activate the new version.
I can see that you are having a frustrating time with the updates, but I'm not sure I'm totally clear on your situation.
From your post it looks like you:
1) successfully installed the v. 5 UPGRADE a week or so ago
2) now you are trying to install the latest v.5 UPDATE
If that is the case then you do not need any serial number or activation code.
You simply download the latest update, uninstall your current v 5
Double click on the latest update file and it should install & work immediately.
Typically the entire uninstall/new update install procedure should take about 60-90 seconds total and should require no contact or activation routine with Cineform.
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Old June 5th, 2010, 12:15 PM   #4
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Yeah, I don't think you're supposed to deactivate when you do the dot updates, so therefore I don't think you need a new activation code -- I least I never have. And I would never consider updating in the middle of a project anyway for just the reasons you describe.

And this is just me, but while I always download the updates as soon as I find out about them, I let them sit uninstalled on a nice external drive until I can find a good time to risk the install, and I always wait a few days to read the feedback here; sometimes you may want to skip or avoid a particular update altogether. While I have no control over the fact that my plumbing will always go out at the beginning of a holiday weekend, I can control when I install updates and always do so on a Monday when I know support will be there to help me if the need arises.
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Old June 6th, 2010, 09:30 AM   #5
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The only time I've needed new activation codes was when I originally bought NeoScene and then upgraded to NeoHD. The little incremental upgrades like the latest version have never needed or asked for a new activation code.
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Old June 6th, 2010, 02:46 PM   #6
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I agree: my mistake was to go for a new serial number and activation code. The problem is, I was following the instructions on the web site, which says to go and get an activation code.

Call it a misunderstanding between Upgrade and Update. The reason I went for the update, even though I was in the middle of a project, is that the only reason I could see for Cineform to come out with an update so soon was to correct some problems that they discovered in V5.

Well, the good news from this whole mess is that I've learned the serial number really doesn't matter, that the important thing is the hardware signature and the activation key.

Now, to see if I have this straight, here's the process for a Windows UPDATE to NeoScene:
1: Download the update file.
2: Uninstall but DO NOT deactivate your current version, using the Uninstall utility from the Cineform Start menu.
3: Install the new version from the update file.
4: The software should run as installed, with no activation required.

Does this sound right? If so, I'd suggest Cineform list the four steps pretty much as they are above. I don't think it's put as succinctly anywhere on their site.

Martin
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Old June 7th, 2010, 09:39 AM   #7
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Yes, I made the serial number and activation mistake too at first. The update instructions are not very clear on the Cineform site.
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Old June 7th, 2010, 01:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Catt View Post
Now, to see if I have this straight, here's the process for a Windows UPDATE to NeoScene:
1: Download the update file.
2: Uninstall but DO NOT deactivate your current version, using the Uninstall utility from the Cineform Start menu.
3: Install the new version from the update file.
4: The software should run as installed, with no activation required.

Does this sound right? If so, I'd suggest Cineform list the four steps pretty much as they are above. I don't think it's put as succinctly anywhere on their site.

Martin
Absolutely correct
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Old June 8th, 2010, 08:17 AM   #9
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Colin, re your original post, I couldn't agree more. In order to avoid any more of this horror, I have downloaded the Neo player to play back saved files, and am not doing any more Cineform, at least for the moment. I have also printed out four copies of this thread and planted them all over the place in case I ever attempt to reinstate what I used to have, Prospect HD.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 01:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Catt View Post
Now, to see if I have this straight, here's the process for a Windows UPDATE to NeoScene:
1: Download the update file.
2: Uninstall but DO NOT deactivate your current version, using the Uninstall utility from the Cineform Start menu.
3: Install the new version from the update file.
4: The software should run as installed, with no activation required.

Does this sound right? If so, I'd suggest Cineform list the four steps pretty much as they are above. I don't think it's put as succinctly anywhere on their site.
They do, in every email they send you with the download link. Here's the latest one I got:

Quote:
1.Uninstall the previous version of NEO 4K prior to installing the new version, but do NOT deactivate.

2.Download and install the new version of NEO 4K

3.Your NEO 4K activation should be properly recognized once installed.
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Old June 10th, 2010, 08:41 PM   #11
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Adam:
Whenever I come across two apparently conflicting sets of instructions, I go with the one that is the newest, i.e. the one that pops up when I go to download. Think about it -- I'm downloading an update that is supposed to correct issues with the old version, so in the lack of anything that says "Ignore the following instructions," I'm going to go with what appears to be the most current instructions.

It's a case of too many apparent options, and I picked the wrong one.

Martin
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