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Running AutoCAD R14 in XP Pro 64

Windows XP 64 & AutoCAD R14If you're like me and the old AutoCAD R14 still does everything you need from a 2D drafting package, but you've upgraded your system to Windows XP Professional x64, you've probably found that when you try to install AutoCAD from the original installation disk, you get one of the following the error messages (depending on how you try to run the setup program):

The program or feature "\??\F:\SETUP.EXE" cannot start or run due to incompatibility with 64-bit versions of Windows. Please contact the software vendor to ask if a 64-bit Windows compatible version is available.


The image file F:\setup.exe is valid, but is for a machine type other than the current machine.

Have no fear. There's a very simple way to get AutoCAD R14 to run on your machine, so long as you have access to a 32 bit system somewhere. I found an Autodesk discussion forum on Running R14 on Vista. An entry by a guy going by
was very helpful, but has some information for Vista that isn't relevant to XP x64. Somebody going by wjohn posted information on how to get matchprop to work. Since you have to search a long thread to find that information, I decided to condense it down here into a simple blog entry.

First, here's a quick summary of the simple fix:

  1. Install AutoCAD R14 onto a 32 bit system.
  2. Copy 'Program Files\Mechanical' from 32 bit system into a new 'Program Files (x86)\Mechanical' on your 64 bit system.
  3. Copy any necessary files from 'Windows' of 32 bit system to 'Program Files (x86)\Mechanical' on 64 bit system (you'll know which files from the error messages you get when trying to run 'acad.exe').
  4. To get matchprop to work:
    1. Once AutoCAD's running, type the command 'appload'.
    2. Click on the 'File' button.
    3. Change the 'Files of type' dropdown menu to 'ARX (*.arx)'.
    4. Navigate to the directory that AutoCAD is installed in, and double click on 'match.arx'.
    5. Click on 'Load' in the 'Load AutoLISP, ADS, and ARX Files' dialog box.

Now, for those wanting more detail...

Jambuch discovered that the setup.exe file is 16 bit, so there's no way to run it on your 64 bit system. The solution is to simply install AutoCAD onto a 32 bit system, and then copy all the necessary files to the 64 bit system. If your 64 bit system is a new computer (which it probably is), you just copy the files from your old computer. If you don't have a 32 bit system, go find a friend who will let you use their computer. By default, AutoCAD gets installed into 'Program Files\Mechanical.' Copy the entire 'Mechanical' folder into a new 'Mechanical' folder in 'Program Files (x86)' on your 64 bit system.

When you try to run 'acad.exe,' you'll probably still get errors. This is because the AutoCAD setup program installs additional files into your 'Windows' directory, and adds the appropriate entries to the registry. You don't need to worry about editing the registry on your 64 bit system. Simply copy all the necessary files from the 'Windows' directory of the 32 bit system into the 'Program Files (x86)\Mechanical' directory of the 64 bit system. On my computer, the only two missing files were 'heidi3.dll' and 'gdifont3.hdi,' and they were both in the 'Windows\System 32' directory. I had already installed several programs by the time I got around to installing AutoCAD, including a 3D drafting program, so I'm not sure if there would be any other missing files on other systems, but the error messages you get when trying to run 'acad.exe' will let you know which specific files you need.

If you know what you're doing with the registry, you could copy those missing files into your 'Windows\System 32' directory and make the appropriate registry entries. That would be the proper way to do it, but it's not really necessary, and you risk making your computer unusable if you don't know what you're doing.

In that Autodesk forum I mentioned above, there was some discussion of replacing a file called 'SH31W32.dll' if you're trying to run AutoCAD R14 on Vista. I didn't have to do that for my XP Pro x64 installation.

Once I thought I had everything up and running, I tried using matchprop and got an error message that it was an unknown command. After reloading it following the directions I've outlined above, it worked just fine.

I haven't done much work on the new system, yet, but if I find anything else that needs to be done, I'll be sure to update this entry.

Updated 2009-09-10 to include information on matchprop. So far, other than that, I haven't had any problems.

Update 2012-01-25 - Well, there were a few more bugs than what I'd noticed originally, but commenters seem to have left some good solutions below. Additionally, as I pointed out in a comment below, work finally saw fit to buy me a copy of AutoCAD LT 2011, so I no longer have any real motivation to fix the bugs for AutoCAD R14. I'll leave any more solutions up to commenters.


That's cool that there is a work around. There are so many programs that don't work with XP64 on my desktop at home. I'll be switching to Windows 7 once it is out. I ran a beta version on my laptop and liked it much better than Vista.

Yeah, I'm glad I got AutoCAD to work. A license for AutoCAD LT is $1000. The only two programs I've had major problems with are Acrobat and COSMOS Works (the finite element analysis program that we use at work). I broke down and bought a new version of Acrobat, but COSMOS Works is a bit more expensive and something you don't just go out and buy on a whim. Plus, work just bought me a license for NEi Nastran, which is a much more powerful FEA tool than COSMOS (unfortunately, it's less user friendly, and I only have a couple weeks experience with it). So, I guess I haven't come out too bad from the switch. Still, if anyone knows how to get COSMOS Works 2004 to run with SolidWorks 2005 on XP Pro x64, let me know.

It still baffles me that they don't have a compatibility mode; check the box to run in 32bit mode....

Does this work for AutoCAD 2008? I just purchased a new Laptop that runs on 64 bit. Please help I have a deadline to meet and dont know how to get past this problem!!!!!


ok, I did this workaround and im ohhhhhhhhhh so close to having it running, problem is when i fire up acad r14 I get a "Fatal Error: Heap Error" and then it closes down and tells me "Error handler re-entered. Exiting now", thoughts? I am trying to run this on Windows 7 Ultimate, 64bit


Has anyone been able to run Softdesk 8 with acad r14 in windows 7 64 Bit?


Hello acad r14 in windows 7 64 Bit
I found your site searching for 64 bit and autocad R14,
anyway I got it working using your suggestions.
I got my installed copy from w2000 and all the files you mentioned work but one,the "SH31W32.dll".
I found one on one of the blogs that works.
Here is the link
Autocad R14 and Windows 7 home premium 64 bit
copied the files to "program files(X86)"in the Autocad directory
When I had build 7100 RC copy of 7 I tried the XP Mode but autocad didn't work that good in it so when I bought W7 I got the home premium with no XP mode.

I got a new computer with Windows 7. I got Acad R14 to work, but can't get Softdesk 8 to work. Does anybody know a trick?

acad r14 working ok in windows 7 64bit, but same problem how to get softdesk 8 working, have tryed a lot of things but nothing any help would be great thanks

acad r14 is working in windows 7 64bits, except for "Format"...Text Style... get the fatal error message... another curiosity is Dimension Styles (dialouge box) won't open unless I start at Multiline or Point Style and work my way up to Dimension Style...
What's the trick to getting Text Style dialouge box to open?

have a new laptop with Windows7, which my computer guy chnaged to a 34bit in order to laod Autocad14. It's still not compatible, any suggestions?

Hi guys, I used the tips from this page to get my old AutoCAD running... enjoy


acad r14 working ok in windows 7 64bit, but same problem how to get softdesk 8 working, have tryed a lot of things but nothing any help would be great thanks

We finally bought some Win7 computers at work, so I've now gotten some experience on the OS. There's actually a really handy way to run XP software, albeit not the most elegant. Install XP mode. It adds a virtual machine to your computer that runs Windows XP. It seems just like a separate computer running in its own Window, although you can still access all the drives on the computer. We used it for some legacy software that we have that was buggy in Windows 7. If installing a Virtual PC sounds a bit intimidating, don't worry. It all installs pretty much automatically, and is very easy to use. Here's the link from Microsoft to download it, along with instructions. I guess it's also worth mentioning that it's free.


when i fire up acad r14 I get a "Fatal Error: Heap Error" and then it closes down and tells me "Error handler re-entered. Exiting now", thoughts? I am trying to run this on Windows 7 Home Premium, 64bit

Please how do I go about loading Auto Cad 14 into 64 I have changed my computer. Previously had a 32

hey jeff,
i have acadr-14 trying to get it to work , keeps say heap error and incapatable tried right click on incapatable issue still no help can u help please.

One Addendum, I followed the instructions and was still getting errors on the gdifont3.hdi and heidi3.dll. So I changed permissions on the "C:\Program Files\autocad R14" folder to allow all Users and Amdinistrators to have full control of all files, and subfolders. Now it works great. Thanks for the help!

Very helpful. Thanks for putting this in one place. Works great except: 1- HELP does not work at all, and 2- MTEXT works only partially, with a warning that stacked fractions are not supported due to not finding {BE6C82A1-BFB2-11cf-A644-00608CF2ECDF} in the registry. I went so far as to copy reg settings related to this key from my old 32bit machine to my new win7 x64, plus copied ADRESC.DLL to the system32 folder and used regsvr32 to register it. But alas, I still get the warning. I can certainly live with this situation, but after getting this far, I can't just give up...

I should have mentioned that once I started using AutoCAD more, I ran into the same stacked fraction problem that you did. I just ignored it, since we dimension everything with decimals. I wouldn't have noticed if there was a problem with help or not. I haven't used the help in AutoCAD since my first year learning how to use it.

I don't think I'll ever find solutions to those problems. Work finally saw fit to get me a copy of AutoCAD LT 2011, so that's what I'm using now. There are a few things about it that irritate me, but a few improvements as well. I'm just glad my high school drafting teacher taught us the typed commands instead of using the GUI.

I managed to get AutoCADD R14 working AOK (mostly) on my new 64-bit Windows 7 computer. I was successful using the procedure above which recommended loading new copies of heidi3.dll, gdifont3.dll and SH31W32.dll.
All was good until recently. Suddenly I cannot load ACAD14 due to a HEAP ERROR. I remember someone mentioned somewhere that a new copy of OE122.exe (Object Enabler) might be necessary to escape the heal errors.

The Autodesk site offers information on OE122 but does not provide a way to download it. Can someone help by sharing it with me. It was originally freeware so there should be nol proprietary problem with doing so.

Thanks...Joe W...

Which are Serial Number and
CD Key for auto cad R14?


If you have a legal copy of AutoCAD, that information should be available with your documentation.

Follow-up on my earlier post:

Request to Bill:

Bill, more careful reading of the entire forum allowed me to find your post concerning "permissions". I got excited that that might be my problem. I tried your suggestoin but found the
Windows procedure confusing. I blundered my way through it and believe I asccomplished the objective. It does not fix my problem (though I admit I did not restart my system and when I complete this message I surely will!). Are you willing to go to regular e-mail and talk me through the procedure to guarantee I am doing it right? Thanks...Joe W...

In answer to Leslie's question (July 28, 2010 11:17 AM)
To get Dim style (DDIM) and Text style (STYLE) to work, you must load two ARX files. From the AutoCAD prompt, type:
ARX L acadapp.arx
ARX L acmted.arx
You only have to do this once. The files should be in your AutoCAD install folder.

Also, I have not been able to get the full geometry engine working with AC14 in WIN7x64. As a partial fix, in your TEMPLATE file, you should set PELLIPSE to 1 (and save it). Otherwise offsetting an ellipse will crash AutoCAD. When importing geometry from another program, the safest option is to save as R12 compatible. That avoids this problem (but of course any ellipses will become polylines, and probably other simplifications).

We have 6 Engineers using AutoCAD R14 on Win7x64, works fine except as noted above.

What would you charge to get Softdesk 8 (plumbing and HVAC) to run on AutoCAD 2013?

Sorry, but I don't know exactly how to help you on that, and don't have the time right now to figure it out.

The more Windows 7 change, the more they will continue being exactly the same lol :

I know this is an old post but anyone who is running through this procedure and still getting the HEAP ERROR message -- go to your AUTOCAD Directory and remove or remark the **sh31w32.dll** which you should have copied into your SYSTEM or SYSTEM32 folder already - this will remove the HEAP ERROR message...

if you can getautocad r14 and softdesk 8 to install on windows 7 CD, then your have way home.

Make sure to do all your updates for softdesk 8 first 8.01 & 8.02. the down load the zip file that this guy talks about;


then do the following

Alright, now do you have AutoCAD installed on a 32-bit, Windows XP system already? Go copy it from C:/Program Files/. It’s the folder named “AutoCAD R14″.

Put it on a flash drive, and copy it to C:/Program Files/ (NOT Program Files 86x).

Now, copy the files out of the .zip file I gave you at the beginning, and put them in the AutoCAD R14 folder on your 64-bit machine.

Right-click on the file called “acad”, go to Properties>Compatibility. Set it to run in compatibility mode for Windows XP Service Pack 3, and check the box that makes it run as Administrator.

Hit OK and double-click “acad”.

then place those same files in the directory of softdesk 8. that should work.

good luck.

I think it will work on windows 8 if only i can get the install disk to work.

have got cad r14 to work by copying the program from another computer, and the doing the zip file thing mentioned before.

good luck

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My blog site is in the very same area of interest as yours and my users would
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Trying to install on a Win7 64bit system. ACADR14 seems to work after following instructions here, but SDSK8 will not launch. Any ideas anyone?

I notice that the AEC Tools are not initializing, no SDSK menus or commands.

I just installed R14 on Win 7 64. Everything is fine, but doesn't work with images (external references). trying to use any of image commands I got: autocad r14 "unknown command image".
I will appreciate any help. Regards. Tomasz

To work with raster references it is necessary to load manually (appload command) ism.arx file (and run it of course).

I drop a leave a response whenever I appreciate a article
on a website or if I have something to add to the discussion.
Usually it's a result of the passion displayed in
the article I read. And after this article Jeff's Lunchbreak:
Running AutoCAD R14 in XP Pro 64. I was actually moved enough
to drop a leave a responsea response :-P I actually do have 2 questions for you if it's
okay. Is it simply me or do some of these remarks
come across like they are coming from brain dead visitors?
:-P And, if you are posting at other online sites, I would like
to keep up with anything new you have to post.

Would you make a list the complete urls of your communal pages like your twitter feed,
Facebook page or linkedin profile?

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