Microsoft KB Archive/102172

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Windows NT Does Not Support Hardware Keys ("Dongles")

Article ID: 102172

Article Last Modified on 11/1/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.1

This article was previously published under Q102172


Some MS-DOS-based applications require that you plug hardware keys into an LPT port for copy-protection purposes. These hardware keys (sometimes called "dongles") are not supported with Windows NT.


Hardware keys usually require a device driver that has direct access to hardware. Software vendors who use hardware keys need to write a special MS-DOS-based device driver and a virtual device driver (VDD) to allow their applications to run with Windows NT.

The following products require such drivers:

  • Micro Focus COBOL uses a hardware key and does not have device drivers available at this time to support Windows NT.
  • Tango Schematic
  • Tango PCB (printed circuit board)
  • Tango Route
  • Clarity fails under Windows NT 3.51 because it cannot locate the hardware key.

The listed products are manufactured by vendors independent of Microsoft; we make no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding their performance or reliability.

Additional query words: prodnt

Keywords: kb3rdparty KB102172