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Hardware Licence Dongles

The USB hardware licence dongle (as shown in Figure 1) is a small hardware device that plugs into a USB port on a host computer to provide licence information to our software.



Figure 1


Our dongles are based on an advanced microprocessor smart chip which has been certified by EAL4+ and ITSEC.

Installing and Using

The dongles register with the operating system as an HID (Human Interface Device).  The generic HID drivers will be installed when the dongle is first inserted.   As they require no external device driver during installation, this minimises the common technical issues which surround the use of hardware licences.  Once the HID device driver has been registered, simply inserting the USB dongle into a spare USB port prior to launching the application will allow the software to launch in a registered state.



You may have issues with the dongle being detected if you use a non-powered USB hub.  In this situation, the USB device may not get the required voltage to operate correctly.  Either use a powered USB hub or ensure you plug the dongle into a socket connected directly to the motherboard.  Please wait until the dongle LED stops flashing before you run any of our software otherwise the dongle may not be detected.

Upgrading Licences on a USB Dongle

Our USB dongles can be remotely updated and have the capability of storing licence information for numerous products and modules.  If you already own, or have purchased a licence update, new product or additional Blade modules, these updates can be added to an existing dongle.

 To update your dongle, you will need three things:

  1. Valid Digital Detective USB Licence Dongle (Figure 2)
  2. Digital Detective Dongle Manager Software
  3. Valid Dongle Update File (*.DDUpd) for your specific dongle

Obtaining the Dongle Manager Software

To upgrade your dongle, we will email you with the latest download link for our Licence Manager as well as a Dongle Update File.  This file can only be used once and will only upgrade the dongle it has been generated for.  Each dongle is uniquely identified by an electronic ID number (Dongle ID) which is hard coded into the device (cannot be changed) and a serial number which is etched onto the outside of the metal contacts.  The Licence Manager (as shown in Figure 2) can be used to review the licence information stored in the dongle and allows you to copy this information to the clipboard. 

The software can also update the Dongle with a valid Dongle Update File (*.DDUpd).  The Dongle Update file will be emailed to you as and when required (e.g. when additional modules or products are purchased). 


Figure 2

Once you have installed the software, please follow the instructions below to update the dongle.  When updating the USB dongle, it is extremely important that the dongle is not removed from your system (or the system powered down) as this could result in the hardware being damaged. 

Procedure for Updating a USB Dongle

To update the dongle, please follow the following instructions:

  • Run the Licence Manager software
  • Insert the USB dongle you wish to update
  • Click on the USB Dongle ID in the Installed Licences list
  • Make sure you have a corresponding update file (e.g. 0xFA85FB4C.DDUpd)



It is extremely important that during the update process the dongle is not removed and that the system power remains on.  If these instructions are not adhered to, there is a likelihood that the device will be permanently damaged!


Click on ‘Update Dongle’ and select the corresponding Update File (as shown in Figure 3).  In this example, we are updating a dongle with the ID: 0xFA85FB4C.


Figure 3

When you select the appropriate update file, you will see a warning message (Figure 4) asking you if you wish to continue and update the Dongle.  Click ‘Yes’ if you wish to apply the update to your dongle.


Figure 4

The Licence Manager will then update the licence information on the dongle and will display a message to show this has been successfully completed.  The update process should take no longer than 5 seconds.  Once the message has been displayed to inform you the update was successful, the Licence Manager will reload the dongle and display the new licence information.

You may now close the Licence Manager and remove the USB dongle if you wish.

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