APEX20KE devices are obsolete, WIndows XP is not supported...but unfortunately, I need to build the pof / sof file to reverse engineer the design. The error I keep getting is "Error: Current license file does not support the EP20K300EQC240-2X device", even though I generated the web license file using my NIC id. The error occurs at the Fitter stage.
It does need a license, contrary to what is advertised. When I had reported the error, the XP machine had absolutely no Quartus license. The design was not compiling, as described in the original complaint. Then, I generated a companion license from the Intel Self Service Licensing Center (I included the XP Machine's NIC ID). I copied the license locally on to the XP machine, and pointed the Quartus 9.0sp license to the same. It worked right away.
Intel / Altera needs to fix this issue, or simply state on their website that a license IS ACTUALLY required. But that's asking too much, isn't it?
If you buy a fixed NIC ID license for a single machine from Intel / Altera, they still allow you to use the Quartus tool on two other machines (like having a home, desk and lab machine, all being used to work on the same design). The Intel Self Service Licensing Center generates the appropriate license.dat file when you provide the NIC IDs for these companion machines. You can read the documentation on their website about companion licensing.