FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Click here for ROCKEY4 Technical/Troubleshooting FAQ
Click here for NetROCKEY4 Technical/Troubleshooting FAQ

This FAQ or frequently asked questions section will help you resolve some questions you or your customers may run into when using ROCKEY4 Software Protection products. We have listed the questions and the answers here for your reference.

1. What is the developer's kit or evaluation kit?

The Developer's Kit or DK is a preset package we send to developers for the purpose of evaluation. It includes one Developer's Guide, SDK CD-ROM, and DEMO ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 dongles. The only difference between these DEMO dongles and the commercial dongles is that their passwords are publicly known. When the user decides to purchase and use ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 after evaluation, we will provide ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 dongles with secure and unique passwords.

2. What is the purpose of the ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 purchase code?

The purchase code is intended for order management. You should use it if you need to reorder dongles with the same passwords as your previous order. This Purchase Code is unique for all of ROCKEY's customers.

3. Can another customer purchase ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 dongles with the same password as mine?

ROCKEY's manufacturing process guarantees that each ROCKEY4 dongle is unique. The Hardware Identifier (HID) is a globally unique serial number that is burned into each dongle and cannot be changed by anyone, including the manufacturer. Passwords are specific to a customer and cannot be duplicated for another customer. It is our mission to protect the assets of our customers and we will requre separate security agreement with our customers if required.

4. Is the ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 password secure enough?

Yes, it is very secure. The ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 password is actually a set of four individual passwords that authorize two security levels. The two Basic passwords authorize read-only access to the dongle. Read and Write access is authorized only with the combination of the Basic and Advanced password sets. The Advanced password set is meant for the developer and should not appear in the software that goes to the end user.

5. How easy is it to crack a ROCKEY Dongle?

Each Dongle has 4 16-bit passwords. If a hacker wants to crack the dongle by exhaustion, the number of possible combinations is 264. If one computation takes 10-20 seconds, it would take 58 years to try every combination.

6. What are "same-number" ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4s?

"Same-number" ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 dongles are a set of dongles that have the same passwords. There will be a Purchase Code that corresponds to the "same-number" dongles. Most of our customers have all their respective dongles share the same password, so that they only need to compile their programs once before distribution.

7. What if I forget my password(s)?

The simplest way is to order new dongles with new passwords. Another way is to provide proof that you are the legitimate holder of the purchase code. Only the legitimate purchase code holder may obtain the passwords from ROCKEY.

8. Will the parallel port ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 dongle conflict with my printer?

ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 operates the parallel port through the device driver, and uses error correction technology at the communication protocol level. Therefore, it is compatible with most printers. However, there are a few models of printers that receive a large amount of current or electricity when powered off. This can cause a voltage shortfall to the dongle and result in a communication problem with the dongle driver. This problem can be easily solved by turning on the printer or removing the printer cable from the dongle.

9. How do I improve the compatibility of ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4?

  • The older version of the ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 drivers only supported normal printing modes. The newer version support normal, EPP and ECP modes. Be sure you are using the latest version of our driver. You may download the driver from our downloads section here. Another solution to this problem would be to simply switch to the USB version of the ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 dongle. There is no extra programming required to switch to USB.

  • The compatibility of the LPT dongle and printer may be enhanced by setting the port in the CMOS or BIOS setup to EPP or ECP. An example using the AWARD system BIOS is given below:

    "Reboot the computer, press the DEL key to enter CMOS Setup. Select the menu option "INTEGRATED PERIPHERALS". Then use either PAGEUP or PAGEDOWN key to change the "Parallel Port Mode" option."

10. There is a kind of device in the marketplace that emulates a dongle. What is the principle of such device? Does ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 have any countermeasures?

There are emulation programs that record all of the port accesses between the dongle and the driver. The emulation software then attempts to replicate the accesses after the dongle is removed. ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 has built in countermeasure for this sort of emulation. Lower layer communications between the dongle, driver and application is encoded. There is also "random noise" applied to the protocol communications so that any information recorded by the emulation program will be invalid from session to session. In addition, emulation software of this type will not work with USB devices. You may implement your own countermeasures to enhance this protection. The judicious use of seed code protection methods will make such attacks very difficult to implement successfully.

11. Can the data sharing device share ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4?

It is quite easy to prevent data sharing devices from doing this. Just generate a random number when the program starts, and write this number in a specific address in the ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 dongle, then check for the number in that specified address when the program is running or executing to see if it is the same number you have written. If another computer is also running the program during this period, and is using the same dongle, another random number would have been written to this address.

12. Will the performance of my application be adversely affected by a complex ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 algorithm?

No. According to the results of our tests, the performance difference between the simplest algorithm and the most complex is within a dozen milliseconds. You will not notice any difference as long as you do not call the algorithm too frequent.

13. What is a USB port? What are its advantages?

USB stands for Universal Serial Bus. Now it is a very common interface standard and is already implemented in many devices. Please visit www.usb.org for more details. Its advantages include plug and play capabilities, hot-swap support and high transfer rate. It can support up to 127 USB devices connected through extensions. USB eliminates conflict problems with printers and other peripheral devices.

14. I used the parallel port ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 to protect my application. Now I would like to change to the USB model. Do I need to modify my application?

No. They are fully compatible, other than the requirement that you install the USB drivers. The USB device will prompt you, automatically, to install the driver.

15. Why does my screen display an unknown device after I plug in the USB ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4?

It may be caused by interference or bad contact points. Try unplugging the device and then plugging it in again.

16. My computer has a USB port and I am using Windows 98/98SE. Why is the USB device not listed in the device manager?

It is possible that the USB support option inside the BIOS has been disabled. You can enable USB support in the CMOS functions menu when your computer is booting up.

17. How do I update ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 software?

If you are using or testing ROCKEY products, we will send our updates to you when there are any. You may also download the latest development packages and updates from our downloads section here.

18. The system cannot find the parallel port ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4, why?

There are 4 possible causes for this:

A: The printer attached to ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 is powered off.

If a printer or any other peripheral device is attached to the parallel port ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4, you should turn the power of that device on. ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 dongles require a voltage of about 2.2 volts, and this power is supplied by the mainboard through the parallel port so if a peripheral device is attached to the ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 dongle, the dongle may not receive enough power to be activated.

B: ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 does not support the parallel mode.

The diversity of computers leads to many different parallel modes, ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 dongles support most modes, but for some special modes it is possible that the system cannot find ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4, or ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 dongles do not work well with them. What you need to do is change the parallel modes, eg. set the port mode in the CMOS setup to ECP. If the operating system is Windows NT/2000, you may have to reinstall the system after you have changed the parallel port modes.

C: The drivers are not properly installed.

ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 requires the installation of drivers, so the settings of drivers may affect the operation of ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4. There are 4 options when installing the drivers: "Install ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 parallel driver", "Install ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 USB driver", "Detect-print-busy mode" and "Not-detect-print-busy mode", we suggest users to choose "Install ROCKEY parallel driver", "Install ROCKEY USB driver", and "Detect-print-busy mode". In Windows NT/2000 only the administrator has the privilege to install drivers.

D: ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 is not compatible with other devices.

The parallel port was not designed to connect many devices at the same time, and in theory only one device can be attached to the parallel port at any one time. With the users in mind, ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 was designed to allow the standard devices, such as printers and scanners, to attach to it, but we cannot guarantee that ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 is compatible with all these devices. Unplug the device attached to ROCKEY/NetROCKEY to see if it is a compatibility problem.

19. The system cannot find the USB ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4, why?

Perhaps the drivers are not properly installed. Please refer to solution C for Question 18.

The indicator LED may help you to find the reason for this. If the indicator is bright all the time, it indicates that the dongle works well; if it blinks once every second, it indicates that the drivers are not properly installed or something is wrong with the USB port, or the dongle is defective. If the indicator is not bright and the system prompts "Found USB Device", it indicates the dongle is defective, otherwise there is a bad connection or something is wrong with the USB port. 

To check the USB port: when you first attach ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 to the computer the system should prompt "Found USB Device" and install the drivers for it, otherwise the USB port might have problem, which is usually caused by incorrect installation of the drivers for the USB controller or the USB function is disabled in CMOS setup, or there is a hardware failure in the USB port of the mainboard. You should test the USB port with another USB device, such as a USB mouse.

20. How to prevent LPT/Parallel ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 from accidental damage?

Because the parallel or LPT port ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 works between the computer and peripheral device, it is affected by both of them. The number one cause for ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 damage is because of over-voltage. In order to avoid damage by this, you should make sure that the ground wire is connected to the ground, and it is also connected to the computer casing. When you connect the devices together, you should turn off the power in advance. If you cannot connect the ground wire to the ground, then you should turn off the power and unplug the power plugs in advance to avoid power operation problems.

21. Why can't I find a specific dongle when I attach them to the same parallel port?

When users have several applications protected with different ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4s, they may cascade these dongles together. In most cases there is no problem for them to work together, but sometimes when you try to use one application you are given the message "Can not find ROCKEY".

When system sends its request to ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4, a value will be returned to specify the next operation. If several dongles are cascaded, every dongle will receive the request and respond to it, so it is possible the return signals interfered one another, making the system confused, thus make it cannot recognize the dongle.

22. After a period of time the dongle does not work, why?

If restarting the computer solves this problem, it indicates that you did not set a value for p3 and p4 when you wrote the program. So after a period of time it returns the error "Too many dongles opened", and you cannot open it again. Set a value, such as "0", to p3 and p4 to resolve this problem. If restarting your computer does not resolve the problem, then some of the possibilities are: the dongle is defective, your computer is infected with a virus, the parallel port settings have been changed, some other device is attached to the ROCKEY4/NetROCKEY4 dongle, or the system has been reinstalled.




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