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jcon707

Unable to contact license server

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Hello, I'm having a problem reaching the licensing server and updating. I have also ran FRST and MB-Check, attached is the log. I also uninstalled and reinstalled to try and resolve the problem with no luck. Below is the only error I get.

image.png.64cd017d7aeabdf9263565f7985e018c.png

I am able to access keystone.mwbsys.com.

 

Please assist.

 

Thanks,

Jon

mb-check-results.zip

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***This is an automated reply***

Hi,

Thanks for posting in the Malwarebytes 3 Help forum.

 

If you are having technical issues with our Windows product, please do the following: 

Spoiler

If you haven't done so already, please run these two tools and then attach the logs in your next reply:

NOTE: The tools and the information obtained is safe and not harmful to your privacy or your computer, please allow the programs to run if blocked by your system.

  • Farbar Recovery Scan Tool (FRST)
    1. Download FRST and save it to your desktop
      Note: You need to run the version compatible with your system. You can check here if you're not sure if your computer is 32-bit or 64-bit
    2. Double-click to run FRST and when the tool opens click "Yes" to the disclaimer
    3. Press the "Scan" button
    4. This will produce two files in the same location (directory) as FRST: FRST.txt and Addition.txt
      • Leave the log files in the current location, they will be automatically collected by mb-check once you complete the next set of instructions
  • MB-Check
    1. Download MB-Check and save to your desktop
    2. Double-click to run MB-Check and within a few second the command window will open, press "Enter" to accept the EULA then click "OK" 
    3. This will produce one log file on your desktop: mb-check-results.zip
      • This file will include the FRST logs generated from the previous set of instructions
      • Attach this file to your forum post by clicking on the "Drag files here to attach, or choose files..." or simply drag the file to the attachment area

One of our experts will be able to assist you shortly.

 

If you are having licensing issues, please do the following: 

Spoiler

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Please contact our support team at https://support.malwarebytes.com/community/consumer/pages/contact-us to get help

If you need help looking up your license details, please head here: https://support.malwarebytes.com/docs/DOC-1264 

 

Thanks in advance for your patience.

-The Malwarebytes Forum Team

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Thanks. Something is causing our connection to the keystone site to timeout, although I don't see anything on the machine that would do that. Can you try activating in Safe Mode with Networking?

Edited by dcollins

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After uninstalling MBAM Premium and then reinstalling MBAM (using mbam-setup-3.4.4.2398), I seem to have the exact same problem.

So I uninstalled MBAM again, using mb-clean-3.1.0.1035 and then reinstalled (using mbam-setup-3.4.4.2398), but the problem persists.

The file mb-clean-results.txt is attached to this forum post. It seems to indicate no major problems except that "Failed to open Postreboot file R:\Temp\postreboot.txt", which is presumably because the TEMP folder is a RAMdisk which is destroyed at reboot.

So, at present, MBAM is stuck in Trial Mode and each Activation attempt produces this consistently repeated nagging error (is there some way to switch this off?):

---------------------------
Network Settings
---------------------------
Unable to contact license server. Check your network settings or contact your system administrator for help.
---------------------------
I've checked the network settings and run the Network troubleshooter, but nothing seemed to be wrong or got fixed.

Going to https://keystone.mwbsys.com produces "OK" at that webpage.

Just in case, I manually assigned mbamtray.exe and mbam.exe Admin status (I did both because I am unsure which one is trying to access the keystone site) and added them to the Allow list in the Windows Firewall Control list. This made no difference and the error persists.

OS is Win10-64 Pro v1607.

Any ideas as to how to fix this would be welcome.

Thanks in advance.

 

mb-clean-results.txt

Edited by Slartibartfarst
Minor corrections.

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Storing your temp files on a RAMdisk might cause issues since the installer will also store temporary versions of extracted files there to replace existing versions on reboot.  It's also possible that it's being caused by the older installer (the current version is 3.4.5 and there's also a new beta, version 3.5 which was recently made available) as the previous versions' installers did have some known issues which were fixed in the recent releases.

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Ah, thanks for that response @exile360. Yes, thanks, I am well aware of the risks in using a RAMdisk to hold TEMP where proggie developers have taken the professionally inadvisable shortcut of using TEMP for holding essential carryover files inbetween reboots, in installers.  Cleanmgr and CCleaner, etc. can have fun with those. TEMP is called "TEMP" for a reason. I always take care to install MBAM with C:\TEMP set, having discovered that the MBAM installs generally fail when using a RAMdisk TEMP, apparently for the above reason.

It was only mb-clean that was run using RAMdisk TEMP.

With C:\TEMP set, I shall try to remove MBAM via mb-clean and then reinstall the newer prototype version(s) you referred to. I'll see what luck I have there. Will report back here on the result, as this seems to be a pretty common problem, so any experience of a workaround or fix could  potentially be useful knowledge input for others on this forum.

/RANT ON:

I'm pretty phlegmatic when things go wrong with software, but, such inadvisable shortcuts notwithstanding, I am becoming somewhat fed up with the recurring installation/update problems with MBAM over what has now become an extended period of well over a year, and when it does install successfully it's a major RAM hog and there's nothing subtle about its "background" activity and resource consumption either. It demands attention, but I usually have more rewarding/useful things to expend my cognitive surplus on. Despite its potential, it's rather becoming nothing but trouble.

/RANT OFF 

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Can you please provide the following logs so we can see what's going on when trying to activate? Thanks! Of note, you shouldn't need to run anything as admin either.

  1. Download and run the Malwarebytes Support Tool
  2. Accept the EULA and click Advanced Options
  3. Click Gather Logs and once the process is done, upload the zip file it creates on your desktop named mbst-grab-results.zip

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I'm not sure I want to attach that file here, in an open forum, there's a lot of secondary confidential data in those files in the .ZIP

I also used the MBAM Support Tool to Clean uninstall and then download/reinstall MBAM.
It did the Clean OK, but interestingly, on trying to downlad a copy of the latest version of MBAM, it gave this error:
---------------------------
Installation Error
---------------------------
Malwarebytes for Windows could not be downloaded due to a network problem.
---------------------------
OK   
---------------------------

This rather begins to look like it could be a Win10 OS problem, rather than a problem with MBAM.

Edited by Slartibartfarst
Update.

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17 minutes ago, Slartibartfarst said:

there's a lot of secondary confidential data in those files in the .ZIP

There is really no confidential data in those files (aside from perhaps your logged in user name)  What info in there makes you believe its confidential?

Can you go and download the MB3 Program from this link:

Download the Latest MB3 v3.4.5.2467 CU 1.0.342 from ->>RIGHT HERE<<-

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Privacy/Security:

  • Apologies @Master Blaster, but when I wrote the statement:
    "I'm not sure I want to attach that file here, in an open forum, there's a lot of secondary confidential data in those files in the .ZIP"
     - I was intentionally addressing myself in response to @dcollins' helpful/constructive comment:
     "3. Click Gather Logs and once the process is done, upload the zip file it creates on your desktop named mbst-grab-results.zip "
  • That is, I had faithfully followed the 3 steps suggested, but held off on sending the attachment of the .ZIP file (for the reasons stated).
  • I don't wish to appear rude, but I was not actually intending to engage in an aside forum discussion regarding my reasoning for that.
     

Download the Latest MB3 v3.4.5.2467 CU 1.0.342:

  • Many thanks for providing the link for download.
  • I had already downloaded and installed that version, following @exile360's helpful comment (i.e., the implication that the later version might have had the problem fixed). In fact MBAM v3.4.5.2467 seemed to make no difference and the "Unable to contact license server" problem apparently persists across versions. Before I had time to report back here on the result, @dcollins had posted his helpful/constructive comment. Thus, when I followed the steps indicated and then additionally used the MBAM Support Tool to Clean uninstall and then download/reinstall MBAM, it was MBAM v3.4.5.2467 that was expunged and that the Tool itself also failed to download a new copy of - i.e., similar to the "Unable to contact license server" problem.

That last point was why I wrote: "This rather begins to look like it could be a Win10 OS problem, rather than a problem with MBAM."

That is, what we now would seem to know is that:

  • The error: Successive recent/current versions of the MBAM proggy consistently/repeatedly report the error on Activation:
    "Unable to contact license server. Check your network settings or contact your system administrator for help."
  • May be a common error: A separate proggy - The MBAM Support Tool reports the error that:
    "Malwarebytes for Windows could not be downloaded due to a network problem."
  • Potential weak links are working OK: My browsers - I tried 2 -  go to https://keystone.mwbsys.com (the URL for the Activation server) and produce "OK" at that webpage - thus, neither the browsers nor the firewall/router were inhibiting the communication.
  • The Win10 OS network settings seem to check out OK:
    "I've checked the network settings and run the Network troubleshooter, but nothing seemed to be wrong or got fixed."

So, one question to ask might be: What special certification protocol or handshaking might be expected/used by the two proggies referred to, when they go to https://keystone.mwbsys.com ? (Clearly they would seem to be not getting whatever protocol they expected.)

@dcollins makes the comment above:
"Something is causing our connection to the keystone site to timeout, although I don't see anything on the machine that would do that. Can you try activating in Safe Mode with Networking?"

 

So. it looks as though I should maybe try "activating in Safe Mode with Networking".

Meanwhile, could someone on this forum please tell me how to check whatever certificates may be necessitated when the above two proggies are trying to access MBAM servers for Activation and/or MBAM file download?

Thanks in advance.

Edited by Slartibartfarst
Minor corrections.

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Thanks for that additional information... you could always send the logs to @dcollins in a PM (private message) and he could continue to help you diagnose your issue.

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You can check your certificates by going to the website listed above (https://keystone.mwbsys.com). If this page loads ok, then you have the proper certificates for Malwarebytes.

If you don't want to post the logs publicly, that's understandable. While none of the information should be personally identifiable, some people don't like posting it. If you feel more comfortable, you could message the logs to me directly by clicking my name and choosing message. If you don't want to do that, I'd recommend using the Support Tool to create a new support ticket which will put you in touch with one of our support staff as well

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So, sorry for the late reply, I was on vacation. I am not able to activate in safe mode either. What should I try next?

Thanks,

Jon

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Thanks for collective help so far. I see that the author who initiated this thread is back.

I have provided the file requested to @dcollinsvia PM, with the message:

_________________________________________

Thanks for your response per discussion: Unable to contact license server - Malwarebytes 3 Support Forum - Malwarebytes Forums - <https://forums.malwarebytes.com/topic/226996-unable-to-contact-license-server/?tab=comments&_fromLogin=1>

Please see the attached file: 2018-05-04 mbst-grab-results.zip

Though you wrote, "While none of the information should be personally identifiable...", some of the files do in fact contain UserIDs, which are personally identifiable. I have tried to remove such references as I could find. Please note that maintaining privacy and/or security is important for both me and my work.

I have looked through the logs and other files in the .ZIP file and cannot discern anything untoward. I would be very interested to know:

  • (a) whether you find some clues in those files and what those clues are;
  • (b) under what conditions MBAM and the Clean Tool are likely to give an error indicating that they are "Unable to contact license server".

Thanks again.

___________________________

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I'll let the Support guys respond via the rest, but specifically via question (b) it could be anything from an issue preventing it from connecting to the server such as a software firewall, proxy configuration, DNS issue, HOSTS file block, problem with a corrupted/missing configuration file where the license server info is stored (it's dynamic in case it is ever changed so that they can roll out new settings with database updates rather than having it hardcoded), an ISP issue where they are routing it through a slow/broken server causing it to fail to reach/respond, or it could even be an issue where your provider/ISP is blocking it either deliberately or by mistake for some reason (if for example they have the server blacklisted or restrict access to certain parts of the web, something that happens in some countries).  The logs help to at least give clues as to some of the possible issues that may occur locally on the system which could be causing it, including checking many of the network settings, HOSTS file entries, as well as Malwarebytes' own configuration files/settings.

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Many thanks for the personal message from @dcollins. I have copied it below, followed by the solution to my MBAM problem - which I found by trial-and-error. I did say I would feedback the outcome of anything I tried, so that this forum could perhaps learn from it.

___________________________________

@dcollins wrote:

Problem: Unable to contact license server.
Sent May 12 

Something is definitely blocking access to keystone.mwbsys.com on your machine, so I find it strange you can access the website without issue. Can you try in safe mode with networking?
___________________________________
 
SOLUTION:
I use WFC (Windows Firewall Control).  The usual WFC profile setting is "Medium Filtering (recommended)". I set this to "Low Filtering", and the problem with MBAM went away. Sheesh. As simple as that. And I can see why that worked. This could probably be a common MBAM problem and solution for anyone using WFC.
I did not then need to bother trying using safe mode with networking.
 
Thanks for your assistance.
    S.
Edited by Slartibartfarst

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Thanks for the info, now that Malwarebytes own WFC (refer to the info here as well as here) I'll be sure to make the team aware of it so that they might hopefully adjust how Malwarebytes is handled by default accordingly to eliminate this issue.

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