Version 5.2a of PowerPCB is not supported on Windows 7. Unfortunately the Windows OS has changed to the point that old software like v5.2a will not run on it. You will need to acquire an XP machine to run on, or reinstate your support contract so you can move up to the current version of PADS.
The software seems to run fine in compatability mode, but it is in demo. The problem is with the licensing. Can a license be generated that does not use the dongle, but rather some other enviromental variable that powerPCB can access under windows 7?
check the log file in lmtools which can give more info about the licensing
One of the advantages of being on a current support contract is the ability rehost your license to a different hostid or flexid. But even if you were on support, Windows 7 is still an unsupported platform for v5.2.
If you need to stay at this old version of the tool, your best bet is to locate a Windows XP machine and install the tool there.
One thing you could try is creating an XP virtual machine, hosted on your Windows 7 OS. I do not know if your parallel port key ID would be recognized in this scenario but I think it's worth a try.
This is a bit on the frustrating side,... but what can I do. Using the XP route is a possibility (painful one), but it is frustrating in that I have other dongle licensed software and am having no problems on windows 7 with those,.... So I am trying to use the licensing tools to figure out exactly where the problem is and I need a basic understanding of how the license scheme works. The log files are nonexistent and the diagnostic features in lmtools have information that I believe is tied to an registry variable,... but I am not sure. Is there a document that explains the method in which PowerPCB (ver 5.2a) checks for a valid license on startup? What is pcls_ok?
Just for some basic background,... I'm and end user, not a IT professional and the dongle licensing is a black box that I have never really understood. Any help for this novice is much appreciated.
We don't have a document specifically for this tool that describes its behavior for getting a license, but it's pretty straight forward in that it looks at the license search path (defined by environment variables typically) and then depending on what it find there either reads a file or sends a request to a license server on the tcp port that is defined for it (for example, if it finds 1717@licserver it will attempt to communicate with the machine called licserver on port 1717).
The pcls_ok tool is very useful as it relates to the above, because when you open it you can see the license search path in the bottom part of the application. There are 5 things it shows you:
Value of the MGLS_LICENSE_FILE environment variable
Value of the MGLS_LICENSE_FILE registry value
Value of the LM_LICENSE_FILE environment variable
Value of the LM_LICENSE_FILE registry variable
Value of the default license file (where it will look if none of the above are defined)
Note that the registry values are typically ignored if the environment variables are set. The tool will evaluate both environment variables, but you only need to have one of them defined. We typically recomend that for Mentor stuff you set the MGLS_LICENSE_FILE one to avoid any possibility of a collision between our stuff and another vendors stuff that might be using LM_LICENSE_FILE.
The other handy thing that pcls_ok does is let you test your license environment to make sure it's working. If you enter the name of a license you have in the Feature box and hit Apply, it will tell you if the fetaure can be checked out or not. A successful checkout tells you that your license path is OK.
I hope this helps.
Mentor Graphics Customer Support