The "FIPS compliance mode" security policy setting will break the online and offline activation in NovaBACKUP PC/Server/Business Essentials software. This can happen either during installation OR after being installed and changing keys/changing from trial mode to registered, etc.. This is a .NET related error.
See the end of this KB article for a potential resolution.
If "FIPS compliance mode" is ENABLED in the Local Security Policies area of “gpedit.msc” it will cause NovaBACKUP SMB activation to fail. The "FIPS compliance mode" is DISABLED by default in all editions of Windows.
"FIPS compliance mode" is required by certain entities as so can be part of a system wide policy that is forced/enacted on machines and may not be easy to disable, you should at least be able to see if it is enabled.
When you Enable the "FIPS compliance mode" setting it will
A. force offline activation every time even if you have internet connection and all firewalls disabled, and
B. will produce a blank Hardware Key which produces in the end an error message “Activation failed because of unknown reason.”
This probably affects all recent versions of NovaBACKUP that utilize .NET Framework 3.51. This policy edit breaks something in the way that .NET Framework is used by NovaBACKUP for activation.
Confirming if FIPS is enabled
Here are all of the screen shots that make this issue occur, all I did was enable that policy setting and simply attempt to activate NovaBACKUP v17.1.804 (or newer) with a license key (this license key that you see in the screen shots is not valid so do not attempt to utilize that key):
The work-around for this is to disable "FIPS compliance mode" in the policy settings of for the PC(s) with NovaBACKUP on them. It is possible that the mode can be re-enabled on the machine after installing and activating NovaBACKUP for which this article was written to work-around.
Another potential resolution is to contact NovaStor Online Sales to discuss obtaining a "Perpetual" license key so you can perform an offline activation.
US: NovaStor Online Sales (email@example.com +1.805.435.0067) handles email promotions, subscription changes, account changes and change of address, online purchasing, and returns.