FAQ - CRYPTO-BOX Parallel / Serial

I have an older CRYPTO-BOX version with a 25pin LPT (Parallel Port) connector. But the device is not recognized under my new computer/new Windows version.

Disclaimer: Development and support for the CRYPTO-BOX parallel port models was discontinued in 2004. MARX provides absolutely no warranty/guarantee that the instructions and procedures described below will work. Under no circumstances shall MARX be liable for special, indirect, incidental or consequential damages or lost profits, lost revenues or lost savings!

If you are an end-user, and you have received the CRYPTO-BOX Parallel dongle together with a protected software, you may ask the software vendor for an upgrade, e.g. to the USB version of the CRYPTO-BOX.

If you are the software vendor, consider upgrading to the latest CRYPTO-BOX USB port variants which provide full support of current and future operating systems and PC hardware. We are happy to assist you - contact us.

Important notes on using the CRYPTO-BOX Parallel models

  • The CRYPTO-BOX Parallel does NOT support 64 Bit systems! Please consider to switch to one of the recent CRYPTO-BOX models for the USB port which includes support for the latest and future environments, or install a 32Bit Windows version.
  • This guide assumes that you are using a CRYPTO-BOX 560/NET (CBN) or CRYPTO-BOX Versa (CBV). If you do not know which CRYPTO-BOX parallel port version you have or if you do not get the CRYPTO-BOX running with the CBN/CBV driver, first check the topic "How to detect the CRYPTO-BOX Parallel model" below.
  • The driver for the most recent CRYPTO-BOX models for the LPT port (CRYPTO-BOX 560/NET and Versa, see below for more details) supports only 32Bit Windows systems and was released in 2002. To obtain these drivers, download the CBN/CBV Driver  (ATTENTION: Use the file and the end of the "Driver and Diagnostic Tools" section - the downloaded file is named cbsetup.zip - not CBUSetup, this is for the USB models only!)
  • The latest officially supported Windows version for the CRYPTO-BOX Parallel models is Windows XP. The CBN/CBV driver should also work on newer 32Bit Windows versions (including Windows 10), but this was only tested briefly and cannot be guaranteed.
  • USB to parallel adapters will NOT work in general! You will need a physical LPT port on your computer or a PCI LPT card (see below).
  • The most recent computers do not have LPT ports anymore. We recommend to check out older business class computers from brand manufacturers, for instance older Dell or Fujitsu Desktop computers with first or second generation Core i3/i5 processors (i3-2xxx or i5-2xxx). In most cases, these systems still have an LPT port or at least a pin header on the mainboard which can be extended with an LPT port ribbon cable and socket (IMPORTANT: Do not forget to switch on LPT support in BIOS).
  • If you do not have a physical LPT port (always recommended!), a PCI LPT extension card could be a solution. Our latest CBN/CBV driver  (CBSetup) supports PCI LPT cards: MARX has successfully tested cards with MOSchip and Oxford Semiconductors OX840 chipset.
  • If you want to use Windows in a virtual machine with the CRYPTO-BOX: There are no experiences with that! But perhaps this link may help (in German):


How to detect the CRYPTO-BOX Parallel model

Please follow this guide if you do not know which CRYPTO-BOX Parallel version you have.
First of all, your CRYPTO-BOX Parallel should look like that:

  • If your model looks different (has a larger/longer silver or black case): These models were made for DOS and will work up to Windows 98 only, Windows NT/2000/XP or higher are not supported!
  • If the device looks like the picture above (case may be also black, green, red, blue or transparent): Open the case by pulling out the two screws half, then carefully open the case by lifting up the upper or lower plastic cover.
  • If the conductor board looks like one of these pictures:

    then you have a CRYPTO-BOX 560/Net or Versa. In that case please use CBSetup for CBN/CBV driver installation as described above.
  • If the CRYPTO-BOX conductor board looks like this:

    (on the main processor stays "CB5/9", there may be also only two instead of 3 chips), it is a CRYPTO-BOX CB9 or CB5. In that case, please use these drivers (Not CBSetup!) for installation on Windows (32-bit versions only)
    IMPORTANT: The drivers for the CB5/CB9 do not support PCI LPT cards! You need a physical LPT port directly on the mainboard of the computer.
  • If the conductor board layout is slightly different and the largest chip is marked with "CBC", it is a CRYPTO-BOX CBC. In that case, please use the same drivers as for CB5 and CB9.
  • If the conductor board looks completely different and contains only one chip in dual inline (DIL) packaging, it is an older model with support for DOS up to Windows 98 only - Windows NT/2000/XP and higher are not supported in that case!


My computer does not have a LPT port anymore. Can I use a USB-to-LPT adapter for my CRYPTO-BOX Parallel?

The CRYPTO-BOX Parallel requires an native LPT port on the mainboard or a compatible extention card. USB-to-LPT adapter will not work with this CRYPTO-BOX variant!

If you are an end-user, please contact the software manufacturer for an update. Or check this topic for more details on what you can try to get the CRYPTO-BOX Parallel working on your computer.

If you are a MARX customer (software vendor), please consider to switch to one of the recent CRYPTO-BOX models for the USB port which includes support for the latest and future environments.

I have implemented the CRYPTO-BOX Parallel into my software some time ago. Is it possible to replace the CRYPTO-BOX Parallel with the USB model without the need to modify my software?

The CRYPTO-BOX Parallel was supported by an older API version (MARX Programming Interface - MPI). Support for this interface was discontinued in 2005. To replace the CRYPTO-BOX Parallel with a newer model, an update of the software is required:

  • If AutoCrypt was used, you just need to protect your software again with AutoCrypt as part of our latest Protection Kit and use it together with the CRYPTO-BOX SC, XS or Versa model
  • If the protection was implemented with API into the source code, we recommend to switch to our latest Smarx API. We are glad to support you and to make you an offer for updating your protection scheme and adapting it to the Smarx API - just contact us.

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