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Plaxis Hardlock Driver Download: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

Plaxis is a software suite for geotechnical and geo-environmental engineering. It allows users to perform finite element analysis of soil and rock deformation, groundwater flow, heat transfer, and more. Plaxis supports two types of licensing: flexible licensing and hardware lock (HWL) licensing. Flexible licensing uses a cloud-based service to manage the licenses, while HWL licensing uses a physical USB dongle to activate the software.


If you have a HWL license for Plaxis, you will need to install the Plaxis Hardlock Driver on your computer. This driver allows the software to communicate with the USB dongle and verify your license. In this article, we will show you how to download and install the Plaxis Hardlock Driver for Windows in a few simple steps.

Step 1: Go to the Bentley Software Downloads page

The Plaxis Hardlock Driver can be downloaded from the Bentley Software Downloads page. You will need to log in with your Bentley account to access the download page.

Step 2: Find the Plaxis Hardlock Driver under the PLAXIS 2D 2023 or PLAXIS 3D 2023 section

On the download page, you can find the Plaxis Hardlock Driver under the PLAXIS 2D 2023 or PLAXIS 3D 2023 section. These are the latest versions of Plaxis that support flexible licensing instead of HWL. However, they also include the Plaxis Hardlock Driver for users who still have a HWL license. You can choose either version to download the driver, as they are identical.

Step 3: Download and run the Plaxis Hardlock Driver installer

Once you have found the Plaxis Hardlock Driver, click on the download button to save it on your computer. The file name should be something like "PlaxisHardlockDriver_8.32.5.40.exe". After downloading, run the installer and follow the instructions on the screen. You may need to restart your computer after the installation is complete.

Step 4: Plug in your USB dongle and launch Plaxis

After installing the Plaxis Hardlock Driver, you can plug in your USB dongle to any available USB port on your computer. Make sure that the dongle is recognized by your system and that the LED light on it is on. Then, launch Plaxis and enjoy using the software with your HWL license.

Troubleshooting tips

If you encounter any problems with the Plaxis Hardlock Driver, here are some tips that may help you:

  • Make sure that you have downloaded and installed the latest version of the driver from the Bentley Software Downloads page. Older versions may not be compatible with newer versions of Plaxis or Windows.

  • Make sure that your USB dongle is not damaged or corrupted. You can test it on another computer or contact Bentley Support for assistance.

  • Make sure that your computer meets the minimum system requirements for running Plaxis. You can check them on the Bentley website.

  • If you have updated your Windows operating system recently, you may need to reinstall the Plaxis Hardlock Driver. Sometimes, Windows updates can overwrite or interfere with existing drivers.

  • If you have multiple USB devices connected to your computer, try unplugging some of them or using a different USB port for your dongle. Sometimes, USB devices can conflict with each other or overload the power supply.

  • If none of these tips work, you may want to consider switching to flexible licensing instead of HWL. Flexible licensing offers more convenience and security for using Plaxis. You can learn more about flexible licensing and how to upgrade from HWL on the Bentley website.

We hope that this article has helped you download and install the Plaxis Hardlock Driver for Windows. If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment below or contact Bentley Support.


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