License problems

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Please keep the license email in case of a need to re-install.

Below we refer to a file called license.dat or with your name in it, like "Harry Potter-license.dat", say. YOU MAY NOT SEE the .dat in the file name. This difference arises from your Windows settings and is not a problem.

In this case, still follow the instructions. The ".dat" will be there but hidden by Windows. If you do not see the .dat, do not add it please.


Where's my license? I paid for the product but I've heard nothing

We sometimes have trouble delivering emails to our buyers because of over-active spam filters or zealous server administrators (we understand their problems!). Sometimes emails bounce back - this helps because we know we have to take other steps. Sometimes they don't, and the first we know of the problem is a frustrated enquiry from a buyer.

When you buy, you will have seen a web page telling you that we were sending you a test email, and to expect your license to follow within one business day. If that email did not arrive, please check your spam filter or junk folder in case it was caught there. If it is not, you will need to give us another email address to try, and you may need to add the following address to your email software or spam filter's "friends" or "whitelist":

custserve at topicscape dot com    (please change this to the usual email address format)

If you did receive the test email, but the license has not come, there are several possibilities:

  • It is in your spam filter. When you placed your order, we recommended that you add email customer service to your email whitelist or 'friends' filter.
  • Your ISP, company or college email server may reject emails with attachments. We do not spam nor will we give your email address to anyone else, so please send us an email from another email address so that we can re-send the license email and perhaps avoid the blocking. Your email server may reject emails with any kind of attachments (our license is a .dat file). We have often delivered licenses to educational establishments and had that happen.
  • Your own email software may sideline emails with attachments.
  • You may not have waited one business day - please allow for the fact that we are in Hong Kong (GMT -8 hours) so your Friday afternoon would be Friday night here. Also public holdays vary from those in USA or Europe.

Please check all of these. If all fails, you can Skype our Project Manager (Skype:roy.grubb) Monday - Friday during office hours, Hong Kong time (GMT+8).

When I open the license file, I just see a load of junk. How do I copy it into Topicscape?

There's no need to open it. Your license file is the one attached to the email that you should have received within one business day of buying Topicscape. It will be a file with your name on it, called something like, "Harry Potter-license" (if it is called "Harry Potter-license.dat", that's OK, it's just a different Windows setting). If it is called something like HarryPotterlicense_dat.zip, then your email service (Gmail does this, see below) has compressed the file and you need to decompress it to extract Harry Potter-license.dat which will be inside that.

Then you need to load the license. Here's how:

First, make sure there is no other license file on the desktop, then open the email and copy or drag the attachment to the desktop on your computer.

Start > All programs > Topicscape > Topicscape Pro License Loader.

If you have difficulty with the license loading automatically

Please try manually as follows:

  • Delete or move elsewhere any existing file on your Desktop called xxxxxxx-license.dat or xxxxxxx-license.
  • Open the email again and copy, download or drag the attachment to the desktop on your computer.
  • Rename it by removing your name and the dash so you end up with a file called just license or license.dat
  • Now right-click on that, select Properties from the context menu and check that at the foot of the the Properties panel, the Attributes: checkbox captioned "Read-only" does not have a tick in it. If it does, click on this box to remove the tick. (Some email software makes attachments into read-only files).
  • Finally, find the "bin" folder where Topicscape is installed: If you accepted the standard locations during installation, this will be: C:\Program Files\Topicscape\bin
  • Open Windows Explorer, and at the top in the box captioned "Address", paste or key in "C:\Program Files\Topicscape\bin" (without the quotes). Then drag the license.dat file from your desktop to the folder you just opened.
  • Open Topicscape. You should see your name and email address on the left side of the 'Scape, in place of the 30-days trial message.

There appears to be a problem with the license file that you emailed me.

"When I load the license, Topicscape won't open. I can see Topicscape.exe briefly in the Task Manager but it disappears from there after a few seconds and no Topicscape windows or buttons ever appear on the desktop. Removing the file and trying to start Topicscape generates an error message that files are missing or corrupt.

Missing or corrupted.jpg

Removing the file from the bin directory and reinstalling repairs the program but puts it back in trial mode. [Some customers reported that they saw the message "Failed to load core DLLs." etc. instead.]

If the license.dat file is marked as "read-only" the symptoms you describe can appear. If your email software is Outlook, open this folder: C:\Program Files\Topicscape\bin. Then right-click on license.dat and select Properties. Down the bottom of the Properties panel there is a section captioned "Attributes". Is the Read-only checkbox ticked? If not, you will need to contact us, but we think it will be. If it is, please do this:

  • Un-install Topicscape Pro,
  • Re-install Topicscape Pro but do not start it,
  • Load the license file to C:\Program Files\Topicscape\bin as before,
  • Right-click on license.dat and select Properties,
  • Down the bottom of the Properties panel, click on the Read-only checkbox until the tick has disappeared,
  • Click OK.

If this fails, uninstall Topicscape, install it again, and check that you are using license for the proper version. Vsn. 1 Pro licenses do not work with vsn. 2 Pro and vice versa.

I'm using Gmail, and don't see a file named according to your description in the email

Gmail takes steps to protect you from viruses and this makes it a little complicated. All very worthy but it does make things a nuisance for the regular guys sometimes.

  1. Assuming you're accessing mail.google.com in your browser and looking at the Inbox, you should see a paperclip image at the right-hand end of the line for our license email to you.
  2. Double-click on that email and just above Reply   Forward, you should see
Your Name-license.dat
9K   Download
  1. Click on the Download link. You should see a panel with the title "File Download".
  2. Click Save. You should see a file picker with the title "Save As".
  3. Click on Desktop at the left, then click Save.
  4. For safety, Gmail wraps attachment files in a compressed file so you should now have a file called YourNamelicense_dat.zip" on your desktop.
  5. Double-click on that. What you see next depends on how your Windows installation is set up. You should either see a folder with a file called "Your Name-license.dat" in it, or the window of some kind of Zip-handling software showing that file.
  6. Drag that file to the desktop, and you should be able to follow our usual instructions to install from that point on.

I get a message "Failed to load Core DLLs. Please re-install Topicscape". What next?

There are several possibilities:

Wrong license file

"I installed my license.dat file and now I can't start Topicscape because of this."

This message will appear in a variety of circumstances, all relating to a mismatch of the license.dat file and the version of Topicscape being opened. For example: A version 1 license being loaded into version 2, a full license into a Beta version, a Lite license or even a TopicGrazer license being loaded into Pro.

Once this problem appears, you will have to remove the license.dat file, uninstall Topicscape, re-install it, and double check that you have put the correct license version on the desktop before loading it again.

You can uninstall Topicscape via an item in the Start menu:

Start > All programs > Topicscape Pro 2 > Uninstall 3D Topicscape Personal Edition 2

or you can use the Windows Control Panel item for uninstalling software.

You do not need to touch your files in the My Topicscapes folder.

Then re-install Topicscape and apply the correct license file as described in the license email.

Read-only license file

If the license.dat file is marked as "read-only" the symptoms you describe can appear. If your email software is Outlook, open this folder: C:\Program Files\Topicscape\bin. Then right-click on license.dat and select Properties. Down the bottom of the Properties panel there is a section captioned "Attributes". Is the Read-only checkbox ticked? If not, you will need to contact us, but we think it will be. If it is, please do this:

  • Un-install Topicscape Pro (see previous section),
  • Re-install Topicscape Pro but do not start it,
  • Load the license file to C:\Program Files\Topicscape\bin as before,
  • Rename it as license.dat,
  • Right-click on license.dat and select Properties,
  • Down the bottom of the Properties panel, click on the Read-only checkbox until the tick has disappeared,
  • Click OK.

If this fails, uninstall Topicscape, install it again, and check that you are using license for the proper version. Vsn. 1 Pro licenses do not work with vsn. 2 Pro and vice versa.

MAPI32.dll problem

There is a critical Microsoft Windows system file called MAPI32.dll which is installed or replaced by some software other than Microsoft's. You may have installed some other software since the last time you ran Topicscape successfully, and it may have affected MAPI32.dll.

Microsoft's solution is this:

  • Close all open programs.
  • In the C:\Windows\system32 folder, locate the Mapi32.dll file. Rename this file "Mapi32.old."
  • Click Start, click Run, type fixmapi.exe, and then click OK.
  • Restart the computer.
  • If the technical details interest you, Microsoft has provided information about problems of this type here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/913557/en-us. The message they give is hidden by Topicscape, and you have seen a Topicscape message instead ("Failed to load Core DLLs", etc.), but the underlying cause will be the same.
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