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Can't Find Serial Number for pcAnywhere 12.5

Created: 02 Oct 2012 • Updated: 12 Oct 2012 | 7 comments
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I checked the box, manual, disk, installed software Help, and cannot find the serial number.  Where is this located?

Once it is found, and I have version 12.5.0 Build 442, can I enter that serial number in to download SP4?

Is SP4 the same as version 12.5.5 Build 1086?  If so, why introduce another descriptor SP4, that does not appear anywhere else?  Why didn't they just call it Build 1086 or 12.5.5?



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Gary Karasik's picture


It is my understanding that a serial number comes only with pcAnywhere Corporate, and I believe you have to buy a minimum of five copies.

Once you have a serial number, then yes you can download the full version of SP4 via FileConnect.

As far as your questions about SP4 and version 12.5.5, I don't know for sure. I *believe* they are the same. I haven't upgraded to SP4 because 1) you have to upgrade all clients everywhere at once as none of the old clients will talk to any of the new clients; and 2) you can no longer keep a single copy of your client files and use that everywhere. Under SP4 clients files are tied to the specific machijne on which they're created, and they won't work on other machines. Don't believe any stories you hear about being able to export/import the clients. I tried but never could get that to work, nor could I get any useful tech support.

SP4 has no new features and some major drawbacks. As many of us have, you might want to at least consider staying where you are for the time being. With a fully patched SP3 and some reasonable precautions, you're really pretty safe.

Symantec is a mystery wrapped in a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in bacon.


Michael1's picture

Thanks for the help, Gary.

I have the retail versions, so it sounds like I can't download SP4 then.  So I would have to buy all new copies?

I wanted to clarify, if I have a SP4 Remote reaching out to an SP3 Host, they will not communicate?  I really hope that's not the case.  I have a lot of Hosts out there.


Gary Karasik's picture

Correct on both counts, so far as I understand. I was told that you have to buy a Corporate version to get a serial number, and you must buy a minimum of five copies; and correct also that SP4 won't connect to SP3 hosts.


Michael1's picture

This is a nighmare! 

I have never seen a software company sell you something with the same version number on the box (12.5), that was completely incompatible with prior versions, and even the current version number (12.5).  Are you kidding me?  Who's running this company?

Talk about sticking it to the customer.

I've been less and less satisfied with pcAnywhere, especially after Windows 7 came out.  The performance over internet VPNs dropped to "unusable", compared to pcAnywhere running on XP.  I wonder if they are just getting ready to kill the product off.


Gary Karasik's picture

I suspect they'd like to kill it off but for some reason feel they can't. There are lots of competing productsout there now, but there are also lots of us stuck on pcAnywhere. I will upgrade if/when they get a working export/import utility so I can move my Remote files. Otherwise, I'll just stick with SP3.


CPUjohn's picture

I can help you understand the process, this has been my RETAIL version experience.

1)  Retail versions of 12.5 do not have serial numbers, but you can get a temporary serial number from Customer Support by emailing a copy of the receipt of a purchased copy to them.

2) Download 12.5.5 SP4 upgrade/installation file from their downloads site (only accessible once you get the temporary serial number).

3) You can use that generic 12.5.5 SP4 file on all of your installations (it is a full blown version, as well as an upgrade). 

4) This upgrade will ENCRYPT all connection files on the machine you upgrade so that they cannot be copied off one computer to another, so be sure you make copies before you upgrade if you are sharing a common directory of connectors.  

5) Also, once upgraded, the newly upgraded computer can only communicate with machines that have been upgraded, so keep a system un-upgraded until you have brought all machines current (or if you use virtual machines, keep one not-upgraded).

6) Be aware that sometimes something happens (especially on Pre-12.1 versions) that this upgrade sometimes doesn't work right.  Reboot the computer completely after the upgrade and test connecting to it.   I have not figured out why, but I have had some systems that had to be completely uninstalled and reinstalled, and recreate all connections from scratch as they don't come up reliably.

I have also experieced some systems that will not allow reconnection until the PCanywhere host service is restarted (from another working system). There may be a delayed start issue that I haven't quite figured out yet.


Fox Lake, IL

ICHCB's picture

CPU John has a good understanding of what to expect  +1  the email to contact customer support is

pcanywhere @ symantec dot com

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