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ARCHIVED: At IU, using ArcGIS, how do I correct the error "Hostname entered is invalid"?

You may see the following error message when trying to update the license manager using ArcGIS Desktop Administrator or when attempting to open the ArcGIS application at Indiana University:

Hostname entered is invalid. Please enter a valid hostname.

This error message means your computer cannot access the necessary license service, whether you are using the GIS Central License Service or running your own local license service, with or without a sentinel key.

Note: You must have administrative rights to your computer to make the changes described below to address this problem.

Instructions for the Central License Service

  1. On some IU campuses, adding the full name of the server can resolve server recognition issues. In ArcGIS Desktop Administrator, under License Manager, change the license manager name to .

  2. Confirm that you are connected to the IU network. If you are off site, connect using an IU VPN.

  3. Verify that you can see one of the Esri license servers:

    1. Open a Windows command prompt. From the Start menu, select All Programs or Programs, then Accessories, and then Command Prompt.

    2. In the window that opens, at the prompt, enter: ping
    3. This will test the connection between your computer and the backup Esri server (esri2). You should see a reply from If all ping requests time out, your computer may not be able to see the server and therefore will not be able to use the central license services. This is probably caused by a network connection issue that must be resolved with your department's local support provider (LSP). Ask your network administrator to confirm that your computer is registered on the IU network and that your computer's firewall is not blocking the connection.

Instructions for a sentinel key

If you see the error message "Hostname entered is invalid" while using a sentinel key to run a local license manager, try the following:

  1. Confirm that the sentinel key is installed and working properly. From the Start menu, select Programs, then ArcGIS, then License Manager, and then Display Hardware Key status. You should see the message, "The Sentinel driver is installed and running", along with the key number. If it is not running, try unplugging and replugging the sentinel key into the USB port. You may also try installing the Sentinel Protection Installer.

  2. Confirm that the ArcGIS license service is running. If you have plugged in the sentinel key after your computer was turned on, you will need to manually start the license service.

    1. From the Start menu, right-click My Computer, and then select Manage.

    2. Double-click Services and Applications, and then double-click Services.

    3. Select the ArcGIS License Manager, and click Start or Restart. If you do not see this service listed, the license manager may be either uninstalled or corrupt.
This is document atsq in domain all.
Last modified on October 17, 2013.

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