Hardware-locked Keys for your Ebooks

To prevent end users from distributing their key to others or to avoid fraudulent purchases, you can configure the publication or ebook to work with hardware-locked keys. In that case, the key issued to a registered user will be based on a unique system ID that depends on the user’s computer hardware. The key will consequently only work on the user’s computer and it becomes useless if it is shared with other persons.

Generated keys depend on the user’s computer, so if users change their computer, reformat their disk (due to a crash), change the motherboard of their computer, the system ID will be different. In this case, the key won’t work again: you will have to issue a new registration key to your users or provide them with an easy way to get a new one, or use the deactivation feature.

How to configure your ebook to use hardware-locked keys

Enable or disable the use of hardware-locked keys thanks to the properties of the certificate.

Online activation uses hardware-locked keys internally by default.

Customizing the way the unique system ID is computed

To compute the unique system ID, the publication uses one or several properties of hardware components like serial numbers, features… You can decide which properties should be used by clicking Advanced Options in the Security page of HTML Executable:

The following window will appear:

  • Use the HD serial number: this serial number is based on the volume ID that gets assigned to the main hard disk when it is formatted in Windows. Default for all projects made before HTML Executable 3.6.

  • Use the Manufacturer-allocated serial number: the publication determines the manufacturer-allocated number of the disk on which its EXE file is located if this disk is a USB device (useful only if you are making a portable publication) or of the first hard disk available (C: partition).

Warning: some disks or USB sticks do not have a manufacturer serial number. In order to find out whether this is the case or not, you can use the Disk Information tool that comes with HTML Executable: in HTML Executable, click and choose the Tools / Disk Information menu.

  • Use CPU ID and info: the publication retrieves some specifications of the CPU.

  • Use combination: CPU ID and info + Manufacturer-allocated serial number.

  • Use MAC address: MAC address of the computer’s network card if available.

  • Use a custom script: this function is for advanced users only. Please contact the technical support team if you want to use a custom solution.

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