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Perforce Windows Service Fails to Start: Invalid Server IP

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On a Windows machine with more than one network interface card (NIC), I see the Perforce service failing to start. When I check the Perforce log, I see a message like this:

Perforce server error:
	Licensing error -- invalid server IP address.


The Host IP Address Does Not Match the License

Confirm that the IP address in the license file matches at least one of the IP address on the server.

The license file is located in the Perforce server root directory. On 32-bit and 64-bit Windows systems the default location is:

C:\Program Files\Perforce\license

If running 32-bit versions of Perforce on 64-bit systems, then the default location is:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Perforce\license

If none of the server interfaces has an IP address matching the address in the file, then you need to obtain a new license file. Contact for more information on updating your Perforce license file.

Note: Changing the IP address by editing the license file will not work, as the license file uses a checksum digest to prevent tampering.

The Host IP Address Matches the License

If the Network Interface Card (NIC) is assigned an IP address by way of DHCP, or the Windows system is on a domain, the NIC initialization might be delayed. Windows will verify a single network interface has started before declaring the network to be in a running state. Because the NIC initialization is delayed, the local loopback network interface can trigger a network active signal. The NIC can have a self-assigned IP address which is unlikely to match the IP address located in the Perforce license file.

To confirm the problem, look in the Windows system event log for entries like this:

Source=DHCP, Type=Warning, EventID=1003: Your computer was not able to 
renew its address from the network (from the DHCP Server) for the Network 
Card with network address 001143D97C73.  The following error occurred: The 
semaphore timeout period has expired. . Your computer will continue to try 
and obtain an address on its own from the network address (DHCP) server.

Source=NETLOGON, Type=Error, EventID=5719: This computer was not able to 
set up a secure session with a domain controller in domain INTERNAL due to 
the following: There are currently no logon servers available to service 
the logon request. This may lead to authentication problems. Make sure 
that this computer is connected to the network. If the problem persists, 
please contact your domain administrator. 

Source=DHCP, Type=Warning, EventID=1007: Your computer has automatically 
configured the IP address for the Network Card with network address 
001143D87C73.  The IP address being used is

Source=Service Control Manager, Type=Error, EventID 7022: The Perforce 
service hung on starting.
Source=Service Control Manager, Type=Error, EventID 7034: The Perforce 
service terminated unexpectedly.  It has done this 1 time(s).

For more information on how to access the Windows system event log:

How to view and manage event logs in Event Viewer in Windows XP

Windows 7 - Open Event Viewer

Right now the only known workaround is to configure the Perforce Windows Service to restart if startup fails:

  1. Select the Windows "Start" menu.

  2. Right-click on "My Computer" and select the "Manage" menu item. The Computer Management utility is started.

  3. Double-click on "Services and Applications".

  4. Double-click on "Services". You will now see a list of available Windows services.

  5. Scroll down until you see the "Perforce" service. Right-click on the Perforce service and select the "Properties" menu item. This will display the dialog for the Perforce service.

  6. Click on the the "Recovery" tab to display the Perforce service recovery options.

  7. Next to the "First failure" label there is a drop-down menu. Select "Restart the Service".

  8. Click the "OK" button to save the recovery option.

  9. Close the "Computer Management" window.

The Perforce service will now attempt to restart if the initial startup fails.

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