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Understanding the HydroCAD User Count

What is the User Count?

When you run HydroCAD, it maintains a count of the number of people currently using the program. Each time you start the program, a message such as "USER 1 OF 2" appears in the upper portion of the screen. The first number (1) is your current user number, and the second (2) is the number of user licenses you have installed on this system.

For each HydroCAD license you purchase, a separate serial number is issued. A single-user license will have one serial number, which is entered in the HydroCAD settings screen. If you purchase additional licenses, and elect to use them on a network installation, the additional serial numbers are entered in the extra serial number fields on the settings screen. Entering additional serial numbers will cause the second value in the "USER" message to be incremented accordingly.

What happens when I reach the licensed user count?

You will not be allowed to enter the program if the maximum number of users has already been reached.  One person will have to exit from the program before you will be able to run HydroCAD.  (For HydroCAD 5.00 and earlier, see notes below.)

For further details read about license pooling.

The following sections apply only to HydroCAD 5.00 and earlier, which do not maintain a "live" user count.

What happens when I reach the licensed user count? (pre 5.01)

Prior to HydroCAD 5.01, the following message will appear when you reach the maximum user count:

    The maximum number of users already appears to be using HydroCAD!
    If this is incorrect you may override the user count...

Unless you're sure the user count is invalid (as described below), you should not override the count. Instead, wait until someone else has left the program.

Under Windows, you may be attempting to run a second instance of HydroCAD. Unless you actually have a multi-user license, do not override this warning! Doing so will trigger a user count violation as described below.

How is the user count maintained? (pre 5.01)

Each time you start HydroCAD, the user count is incremented, and each time you leave, the count is decremented. Failing to exit HydroCAD properly will prevent the user count from being reduced and will leave an invalid count. This will "eat up" one of your user counts, and may deny others access to the program. To prevent this (and ensure that all data is properly saved), you should not reboot your computer or turn off the power until HydroCAD has been stopped.

What if I exceed a valid user count? (pre 5.01)

As each person leaves the program, the user count is decremented. If this results in a count less than zero, it is certain that the number of licensed users was exceeded. If this occurs, HydroCAD will save your project data and force you to reboot the machine. When you next run HydroCAD, you will have to reenter your settings, including the HydroCAD serial number(s).

How do I reset an invalid user count? (pre 5.01)

To reset the user count, the exact number of licensed users must enter the program at the same time, overriding the warning message if necessary. (Since HydroCAD tracks only the number of users, it doesn't matter which specific users access the program.) As each user leaves, the count will be decremented back to zero.

HydroCAD 5.01 (and higher) avoids these complications by maintaining a "live" user count that is accurate at all times.  Users of earlier versions will appreciate the simplicity of the new implementation, and are urged to update their software.
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