I was pondering the benefits associated with our new HID interface option available to CodeMeter users; when I realized that I didn’t know how to put my own personal CmDongle into HID mode. After reviewing the steps found in the CodeMeter User Manual, I was able to successfully make the change.
Before showing the "HOW," let me remind everyone about the "WHY."
One of the major objections end users have against traditional dongles is the hassle involved in keeping the device drivers current.
Wibu-Systems answered this objection with the very first "driver-less" dongle to hit the market. Wibu-Systems developed a patented method that allowed the operating system (Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.) to see the dongle as a "Mass Storage Device (MSD)." All modern operating systems have kernel level drivers that know what to do with MSD hardware.
This feature has served the market very well for several years. However, never a company to rest on past laurels, Wibu-Systems recently announced that CodeMeter USB sticks can now be set to appear as Human Interface Devices (HID) as well as MSD. This means the CmStick no longer appears as a detachable memory device but integrates as a USB input device; just like a keyboard or mouse does. Every CmStick with a Serial Number in the 2-xxx format can be switched at will between either interface. One requirement is that the CmStick is updated to firmware 2.02 or higher. The second requirement is that CodeMeter RunTime 5.0 is installed on the target system.
By design, CmStick/M and CmCards do not support the HID interface and are restricted to the MSD interface: For the CmStick/M, MSD is used to address the flash memory. Card interfaces in general do not support the HID interface.
The biggest advantage of the HID interface vs. the MSD interface is that CmSticks no longer appear as memory sticks or thumb drives. In some network environments detachable memory devices are forbidden. It always took a special white paper and lots of red tape to explain that a CmStick is not really a memory device to administrators with such restrictions. Now that a CmStick can appear as a simple HID device, this concern has been eliminated.
If you would like a downloadable copy of the MSD to HID instructions for either you or your end users, please download the instructions PDF here.
John Poulson has worked in the software protection industry since 1988 and has been with Wibu-Systems since 2000. He is an expert in license authentication best practices and deep powder skiing.