AIMMS Knowledge Base Article – KB000041


Problems with AIMMS on docking station


Different type of problems, such as sudden blank screen, can occur while using AIMMS on a laptop in a docking station.


When your laptop is connected to your docking station, sometimes AIMMS works, but often after a short time erroneous behavior occurs such as the screen suddenly turning blank.


AIMMS uses the Sentinel driver to locate the hardware key. When these drivers are installed, whether you actually have a hardware dongle attached or not, the drivers will query the parallel part of the laptop and for some laptop docking station combinations the querying of the parallel part conflicts with the communication between laptop and docking station and results in the erroneous behavior.


In case you are using a nodelock protection you can remove all sentinel driver versions completely from your laptop. To do so, you should run the following program from SafeNet:


This program removes all Sentinel entries from your laptop. Note that it can also remove older AIMMS installations (e.g. AIMMS 3.5).
In case you are using a parallel dongle you can best exchange this for a nodelock license and uninstall the sentinel drivers as explained above, or alternatively exchange it for a USB dongle and use the steps described below.
In case you are using a USB hardware dongle, you should manually switch off the parallel port query in the sentinel driver. To do so you should open the file setupsysdriver.exe (probably located in C:\Program Files\Common Files\SafeNet Sentinel\Sentinel System Driver) and click Configure Driver. A new screen will be opened with two different lines. The line for the USB port is always of port type ‘USB’, the line that should be switched off can be of different port types, for example ‘ECP’ or ‘IBM AT’. Edit the line that corresponds to the parallel port and set the ‘In Use’ to Off. 


Last reviewed: 05-01-2009