Crystal $&#*(& deployment problem finally solved

This is for DotNetDave McMasters who said – “hey if you figure that one out…”

The problem

I have had a very annoying problem with a Crystal Deployment. I did find, 2 years ago, thanks to the Wrox Crystal book and then FINALLY Crystal put the info up on their own website, how to deploy the product to clients. The trick is getting your license key into the appropriate spot in the setup project.

My app was not installing properly though. The license key goes into the registry inside of Local Machine about 5 keys in from Software/Crystal Decisions. It was only building a few of the keys and not getting down to the keycodes at all.

I could never solve it so luckily, I was just doing a deployment here and there and just went on to the box myself over pcanywhere and cut & paste the reg key. Not a useful solution but a band-aid. However I had to get around the problem and could never find any solutions anywhere.

So then I tried to just export the keys from the registry and import them but the license info still wouldn’t go in.

The solution

I had copied and pasted my license keycode from the VS.NET help area and it had not pasted in properly! Doi! Once someone who was monitoring the HOL’s where I went to hunt down the Crystal person who was supposed to be there found this problem (we remoted into my development machine at home) everything was fixed. He had me copy & paste right from the original registration email I had received (and still had!) from Crystal.

The explanation

The crux of the problem was that I had messed up my license when I inserted it into my setup project. But my stupid (“I give up I’ll do this nonsense instead“) band-aid solution with the registry would NEVER have worked becuase obviously Crystal has to protect themselves from people copying the license info around. I had a legal license, but still… The license info in my computer’s registry was encrypted. When I run the set up package on my client machiens, it gets encrypted there, too. So that’s why you can’t (and shouldn’t be able to) just export and import the registry keys.

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