Hardware key not found

Last Published: April 25, 2020

Solution or Workaround

This error message is displayed when starting the international distribution of Atlas GIS only:

Hardware key not found

If you have received this error message and you are a domestic user, please contact the Desktop Order Center at 1-800-447-9778 and let them know you have received an international copy.


Atlas GIS checks for the existence of a hardware key when you start the program. If the key is not found when the program starts, the program displays an error and fails to start. A key that is not properly connected may not be seen by Atlas GIS.

The purpose of this key is to protect your software from illegal copying.


Before using Atlas GIS for Windows, you must first make sure that the hardware key is properly connected to one of the parallel ports on your computer.

The hardware key can be attached to any parallel printer port on your computer. If you experience any difficulties with the hardware key, here are some things to check:

- If a printer is connected through a hardware key, make sure the printer is on.

- If you are using another software application that also requires a hardware key, so the keys are piggy-backed, make sure the Atlas GIS key is directly on the parallel port.

If the key still cannot be detected, it is possible that the key is bad. If this is the case, please contact your local distributor for a replacement key.


If you remove the hardware key while Atlas GIS is running, the program will display a dialog box asking whether you want to save the current project file:

- If you click Yes, the project file will be saved and the program will exit.

- If you click No, the program will simply exit and you will loose any changes to your project file.

- If you replace the hardware key and click Cancel, the program will resume.

Article ID:000001580

  • Legacy Products

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