I just installed a new LAK (License Activation Key) and now LISTSERV is claiming that I don’t have a valid key, e.g.,

3 Apr 2017 13:06:59 >>> Error X'00C80025' loading license data <<<

3 Apr 2017 13:06:59 -> Severity: Severe error

3 Apr 2017 13:06:59 -> Facility: License control

3 Apr 2017 13:06:59 -> Abstract: No license available, cannot start


>>> Error in license data: option "I S T S E R V - W I N N T - I N T E L

                      U N I T S" unknown <<<

3 Apr 2017 13:08:26 >>> Error X'00C80015' loading license data <<<

3 Apr 2017 13:08:26  -> Severity: Severe error

3 Apr 2017 13:08:26  -> Facility: License control

3 Apr 2017 13:08:26  -> Abstract: Syntax error in license data

The first error indicates that the license.merge file was not placed in the correct directory. Consult the material at the beginning of the LAK for platform-specific instructions on where this file should go.

The second error indicates a syntax error in the LAK itself. Generally this is caused by mistyping the LAK material by hand, or by attempting to change any aspect of the LAK from its original settings.

As it happens, the second error above was actually generated on Windows by a valid LAK, but the LAK was saved in UNICODE format rather than straight ASCII format. LISTSERV requires that the license.merge file be a straight ASCII file with no imbedded formatting commands, so it is particularly important on Windows machines to ensure that you use Notepad (or some other ASCII text editor) rather than Write or WordPad to edit a LAK file, and that you ensure that you save the file in Text format rather than UNICODE format.

If you have trouble with the evaluation LAK when cutting and pasting it into a text editor and saving it, you should try downloading the license.merge file from ftp.lsoft.com in text mode instead.

Under Windows, if you create license.merge with the Notepad application, it will save the file as license.merge.txt, which LISTSERV will not be able to find. If you do use Notepad to create your license.merge file, please be aware that you will have to rename the file after saving it.

You can avoid this problem by enclosing the name of the file in double quotes, i.e., when you are prompted for the filename in the "Save as" dialog box, enter "license.merge" (you must use the double quote marks!) and press the OK/Save button. Your file will be saved as license.merge and not as license.merge.txt.

Please note that there are other reasons why a LAK may not "take", even when it is installed in the correct directory. Among these are:

If you are trying to migrate LISTSERV to a different supported operating system (e.g., from unix to Windows or vice versa), your old LAK will not work on the new machine.  You must contact the L-Soft sales department to arrange for a LAK that matches your new operating system.

If you have received a LAK with an expiration date and your system clock is set incorrectly (that is, set so that the date is later than the expiration date in the LAK), the LAK will not be accepted since as far as LISTSERV can tell, it has expired. (This may sound obvious but we have had people write in who were actually not aware that their clocks were set to some date in 2025.)