Oct 18 2008

Because Nuance won’t; How to install Dragon Naturally Speaking 9 on Vista 64

dragon-yea-thumb1 Because Nuance won't; How to install Dragon Naturally Speaking 9 on Vista 64A couple weeks ago, I posted an article about Nuance and the fact it has completely ignored the customers with Windows 64 bit operating systems. Periodically, I’ve been checking this ‘Knowledge base’ article to see if there’s any progress, and mostly it’s in vain.

From the Nuance website:




** Update as of September 2008 **
Support for 64-bit operating systems is a common request from Dragon customers. As you may know, 64-bit operating systems represent a relatively small percentage of the operating system market, but that market segment is growing rapidly. Users of 64-bit operating systems know firsthand that many programs on the market do not support that operating environment at this point. Products like Dragon are especially complex to support in this kind of environment. We are committed to supporting Windows Vista 64 in the future, but we have not announced the date.

** Update as of Dec 25th 2008 **

Nuance is NOT going to issue an update for v9 for Dragon NaturallySpeaking. The only update will be issued for Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 for those users registered with Vista 64.

** Update January 2009 **




** Update March 2009 **
A new version of Dragon NaturallySpeaking has been released [v10] it supports 64-bit processing. Upgrades are free for those you already owned v9.5 and have versions ‘standard’ and above. Free upgrades are NOT provided for ‘essentials’ suite.


When I posted my article I received a response from several people, but the most important was from Peter Mahoney, vice president and general manager of Nuance. His response was eloquent and politically correct, but his response did not address the problem at hand; why would he?

The company’s mistakes equates to his paycheck and the stockholders best interests. That’s why I feel this document is so important, it has the potential to cost Nuance thousands of dollars in lost revenue because information is being provided to the public on how to install a product that was not originally designed for it.

And as Mr. Mahoney should understand, sometimes products you create and their original intentions are not always what they’re used for and are not always deployed in the manner in which they were designed.  There are plenty of applications that were only designed for Windows 95 but to present day those applications are still functioning just fine. Do the original companies support those applications in the new offering systems?

No, but it doesn’t change the fact the applications are still working and can still be installed with minor changes [if any].

They haven’t made any progress  and I don’t see as their going to put any effort into it because they believe they can charge you for the next version that will actually support a 64-bit operating system.

It wasn’t until the customers with  64-bit operating systems started complaining that they even bothered to put a notice that Dragon Naturally Speaking was not compatible. The article clearly states that Dragon Naturally Speaking 9 can not be installed on Vista 64 [you can use Dragon Naturally Speaking on 64 bit systems only as a 32 OS]- yeah. Whatever… it’s what they want to say to avoid the conversation of incompatibility and short sightedness.

A conspiracy theorist could say this was by design, but only they could answer that question.

My initial article offered some information on how to do this, but seeing as how Nuance is not going to offer support to their Vista 64 customers, I figured I inform everyone how I did it and maybe it will get you by until Nuance can produce a version of Dragon Naturally Speaking that’s purely compatible.






These instructions are provided as is. Nuance has clearly stated they don’t recommend, nor support, Dragon Naturally Speaking 9 on Vista 64. This information is provided for the average user that knows how to use a mouse and can read. If you don’t have these qualifications, please stop here. Tech Side Stories website, the TSS Crew, nor any related parties responsible for any problems/issues you may incur by installing the software. TSS is not and will not provide any form support. The document is provided as is and if you are not comfortable with these steps, please stop.

Addendum [1/2/2009]:
This process will not damage your system. This process only removes the installation requirements from the MSI. The rest of the installation is normal from Nuance. This will not damage your system and if you don’t like it, it can be uninstalled with no issue. I’ve done this multiple times.


Follow these Steps:




Copying the Files…

First, you’ll need a copy all of the files for Dragon Naturally Speaking 9 or 9.5 [including the second & third discs].

Place the disc in the drive; make sure it works.

Create a ‘DNSTEMP’ folder to place the temporary files on your PC somewhere. Copy all the files from the Dragon Naturally Speaking 9 installation CD to your ‘DNSTEMP‘.

Make sure you get the SEA.CAB file to avoid ‘error 1311- file not found during installation’.

ALSO, if your using Dragon NaturallySpeaking Medical, the SEA.CAB is listed as ENU.CAB; so copy that file and copy it [duplicating it] and rename it to SEA.CAB.

Change the Attributes..

swdbcmdl_thumb Because Nuance won't; How to install Dragon Naturally Speaking 9 on Vista 64Change the file attributes to remove the ‘READ ONLY‘ flag from the files.

When Files are copied from the CD to a HD the file attributes ‘read only’ are carried over. The installation MSI can’t be changes if it’s READ ONLY – it has to be changed- it can be changed and if you can’t change it – it’s your security keeping you from doing so…

Make a copy of the original Dragon Naturally Speaking MSI.




Download a copy of ORCA…

You’ll need a copy of Orca.

Orca is a free program that will allow you to modify the MSI [Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9.msi] installer for Dragon Naturally Speaking 9 [or any other MSI]. Orca can be downloaded from here:

down_icon_thumb Because Nuance won't; How to install Dragon Naturally Speaking 9 on Vista 64 Download link:

Download and install the program. It’ll place a right-click  option in the context menu of Windows Explorer, so you’d actually select the MSI and right click to open with Orca. OR Open Orca and open the MSI file.

» Again, don’t modify the original file; modify the copy- modify the copy of the original MSI file.




Modifying the MSI file…

Using Orca, open the ‘DNSTEMP‘ folder where all the Dragon Naturally Speaking 9 files were copied to.

In the MSI, locate and completely remove the ‘LaunchCondition‘ folder; just remove the whole thing;  that’s what I did.

jzzmt1k3_thumb Because Nuance won't; How to install Dragon Naturally Speaking 9 on Vista 64 Save [File/Save] the new MSI installer with the original name [Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9.msi].




Running the modified Dragon NaturallySpeaking installer…

pm2s11w2_thumb Because Nuance won't; How to install Dragon Naturally Speaking 9 on Vista 64 Now there are no installation conditions and the installer will be  allowed to finish; run the Dragon Naturally Speaking installer.

It should be business as usual.

The installation should be competed without incident.

Before starting Dragon Naturally Speaking, you need to go to the program files folder for Dragon Naturally Speaking and find the AUDIO.EXE file [C:Program Files (x86)NuanceNaturallySpeaking9Program].




After the installation completes…

0zlb51sg_thumb Because Nuance won't; How to install Dragon Naturally Speaking 9 on Vista 64 Open the context menu [the context menu is when you right-click on the/a file and choose properties] and properties, then set this program to run as WinXP; this is so you can set the audio functions and setup the microphone.

If you try to run Dragon Naturally Speaking you’ll get this message. It’s directly related to the ‘Audio.exe’ file.

For some reason with Windows Vista the microphone volume is very low.

l2ntem3c_thumb Because Nuance won't; How to install Dragon Naturally Speaking 9 on Vista 64 You need to go into the control panel, sound options, input options and use the microphone boost option; I set mine to 20 dB. The recognition of the software seems to be working exceptionally well.


Update on AUDIO error [Pete Howell]: If Dragon v9.5 continues to say you have no sound system, which isn’t true..

1. Run audio.exe from the installation folder Program Files (x86)NuanceNaturallySpeaking9Programaudio.exe

2. Go through the steps and if it complains about the sound to noise ratio, just ignore it. An Audio.wav file will be created X:ProgramDataNuanceNaturallySpeaking9UsersYOURUSERNAMEcurrentvoice_container OR use mine.

3. Copy the audio.wav file that was created to UsersYOURUSERNAMEAppDataRoamingNuanceNaturallySpeaking9

Dragon will see the audio.wav file and assume you completed the audio setup wizard.

Update on error 1722:
If you’re the victim of the unlucky error 1722, one of the other users suggested running the SETUP EXE and that will cure this problem.



Once you’ve made all the changes that required and are listed above you should be able to use Dragon Naturally Speaking just fine, as you would have with a normal Windows 32 bit Operating System.

If your having issues/errors, make sure you have a valid input device on your system. A input device is required to train/adjust the software.

Which version of Dragon NaturallySpeaking are you using?

View Results

loading Because Nuance won't; How to install Dragon Naturally Speaking 9 on Vista 64 Loading ...

In conclusion I want to take the time to extend my sincerest thanks to Nuance for providing absolutely no insight or support on how to make this a reality. The company’s official website has not provided a community support forum, otherwise I would’ve posted this information there.

It’s only by the perseverance of everyday users and the insight of advanced users was this ability achieved. And for the Vice President and General manager of Nuance, Mr. Mahoney, your comments made about Dragon ‘…The work required to support 64-bit operating systems for this kind of application is not trivial.’; but it is- it was, it’s fairly simple and the problem with dealing with individuals who have an IQ greater than that of a pencil eraser is that it’s going to present you with a problem because you can’t spout the same pointless rhetoric to those individuals, because the answer is not going to be valid and it’s not going to be acceptable.

To everyone, do you think this is wrong for me to provide this information or do you think Nuance should have changed their installer and updated the AUDIO.exe file? Please let me know your comments.

Have a nice day and as a ending note; this entire document was created with Dragon Naturally Speaking 9.5 on Vista 64 [excluding screenshots].  I hope you find this information as useful as I did.

Hope this helps.



L. Henry Jr.


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  • Crystal Fenton

    Right on!! Thank goodness for people like you!! I had paid alot of money for DNS 8 and 9, so I was really mad when I found I couldn’t download it on my new computor. Again thank you so much!


    • Allen

      I have bought this $99 dragon 11 and I have spent too much time trying to load it it complains that I do not have multimedia and I do i have a brand new computer it plays song digitally and I have to speaker connected to it I have Logitech web cam and it works fine but this things says I have no multimedia what is he talking about can any body help me i have a AMD quad computer and it is really very fast what is going on here Please let me know
      My email address is Almorod@comcast.net Thanks a lot

  • sirslur

    I love the way you put words together. You are a poet.

  • Considering that most of the software package you are going to purchase for Dragon Naturally Speaking is going to be over $100 – this is going to save people hundreds if not thousands [legal version $1200] – Yeah. This is big news.

  • SEA.CAB is included with the installation CD that I have. I would make sure the file is there and if it is, recopy it. Maybe it's messed up.

    Hope this helps.

    Email/IM: NapoleonAG.TSS@Gmail.com
    Website: http://www.TechSideStories.com

    • netta

      I am having problems with the sea.cab.

  • Joe

    I followed your instructions and the Install Wizard requires a Serial Code.

    The problem is Sony say that the bundled pack I bought doesn’t ask for a serial code to install. Sony ICD-SX68DR9, it is a Sony Voice recorder that is compatable with the Nuance program, Dragon Naturally Speaking. The program is Naturally Speaking9 recording edition.

    Nuance charges $19.95 per incident for a phone call, and Office Depot where I bought the bundle doesn’t know if the bundle typically comes with a Serial Code.

    There is NOT a serial code on the white envelopes that the program disks are in, and I can’t find a serial code anywhere else.

    Any ideas? Please help I really want to use this set up to start a journal. Kinda personally important to me, I cant keep track of my thoughts as I try and type them out or write them down.



  • Yes sir. Your right the instructions and screenshot show where the install code is required. All versions I have ever used have a serial number. And rightfully so, with software packages from $100 to $1200, it makes sense to do so… 🙂

    In all honesty, I can’t help you with the serial number issue. My post is directed at enabling the installation of Dragon Naturally Speaking.

    If you have the installation discs, the serial number is probably close by…


    Email/IM: NapoleonAG.TSS@Gmail.com

  • Joe

    Well I think I found them buy installing the program with the Install.exe rather than the .msi.

    It gave me an Install Code but Nuances site says it is not a legitimate SC.

    During install I get a error message towards the end of install. The message is:

    Error 1311.Source file not found:
    C:Users\Joe\Desktop\DNSTEMP\SEA.cab. Verify that file exists and you can access it.

    It then give me an option to retry(DOES NOT WORK) or to cancel installation.

    Any ideas?


  • Joe


    Sorry bout the caps…

  • Joe

    Sorry about the Caps on my last post I was very excited to get the program working. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the help!

  • Thanks to:
    Thank you very much for your article on the subject and for the instructions. I noticed that you have mentioned Dragon 9.0 and 9.5. Would the instructions given work for Dragon 10 preferred? I have Windows Vista Business 64 bits.

    I will appreciate your response.

    With Regards
    Pratap Chudasama

    LoginClinic, Inc.,

  • Crumbs Never change

    Hi thanks people like you make the world a better place.I was so angry with nuance i started using the Microsoft free version witch i have started to get useto ill use your download information but I’ll never bye a nuance software again thanks for your time if thay do release a 64 bit version I’ll download it from bittorrent because thay owe me payback is a bitch

  • I understand how you feel. I felt the same way. While I couldn’t transition to Vista because it’s speech recognition is horrible. The only thing I could get Vista speech recognition to work with is Microsoft’s own products; which is very sad.

    You being on the east side of London, I’m sure you and the EU don’t like Microsoft very much. Well, that’s what the papers say. 😀

    I appreciate it.

    Email/IM: NapoleonAG.TSS@Gmail.com
    Website: http://www.TechSideStories.com

  • I want to thank all the people for emailing me and letting me know that this process is help you and that everything is working our for you. Response to this story has been exceptionally good. And personally, I enjoy the idea this information is helping others with the problem/issue I had.

    Email/IM: NapoleonAG.TSS@Gmail.com
    Website: http://www.TechSideStories.com

  • Thanks for the great support. It worked well and your instructions are clear and easy to follow.

    We are only a small size software development business doing DotNetNuke (dnn) modules and skins… but we give better support than Nuance.

    We run KB, Forums, email support and live help. Why can’t they!

  • Gatehouse

    I’m having problems deleting the file (says read only under Orca)? Any suggestions?

  • Yeah – when you copy the files from a DVD or CD the attributes of READ ONLY are transferred as well. Change the properties on the file to remove the READ ONLY and then you’ll be fine.

    Hope this helps.

    Email/IM: NapoleonAG.TSS@Gmail.com
    Website: http://www.TechSideStories.com

  • mark

    I followed your instructions completely, but I am still getting the audio system error. Should I be using the onboard sound instead of the Creative sound card that is in my system?

  • In order to train the system, you have to have a input device [at least on my machine] to start training; otherwise you can get those pesky audio.exe errors.

    Also from another user; when you copy your files from the CD/DVD make sure you change the attributes to ‘NOT READY ONLY’ in the file properties, so you can modify the the MSI.

    Thanks for all the emails.

    Email/IM: NapoleonAG.TSS@Gmail.com
    Website: http://www.TechSideStories.com

  • Didge

    Many thanks for your benevolence in sharing your solution. I am sure the PR and subsequent financial loss to Nuance is considerable and deserved. It was avarice that did for the US Banks. Maybe that will be the cause of certain US software houses demise.

    I suppose that puts me in with the conspiracy theorists regarding Nuances reasoning for not providing a solution to this issue!

  • Thanks for your comments.

    Since it’s October I can be a little scary; I always kinda had the idea in my head that big software companies create inferior products to generate a level of residual support calls.

    While likely they ‘may’ not have, it’s a nice money maker when you are charging $19-$40 per incident.

    It seems also a little too convenient that Nuance doesn’t offer a customer forum to share solutions or information- which leads back to making money on tech support calls.

    Happy Ghoul-o-ween!

    Email/IM: NapoleonAG.TSS@Gmail.com
    Website: http://www.TechSideStories.com

  • Pingback: Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 on Vista 64; Oh no you did’n! | TECH SIDE STORIES|()

  • alan makepeace

    Installed perfectly with above instructions and works well. ONLY PROBLEM nuance will not provide an activation key despite prodcut being 100% legitimate keeps on asking for a different serial number from the one provided with disc. I do not know if this is a way of blocking this solution for users? Any suggestions?

  • Alan,
    This is the first I have heard of this. According to the the user/news forums I’ve been reading seems Nuance may have intentionally added VB package to Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 to keep it from being installed on Vista 64.

    The instructions I have posted [DNS9 on Vista64] can be phrased as popular and I get plenty of emails on it. [smile]

    But to answer your question, I had reinstalled the program a few weeks ago and had never activated it and I finally did activate last week. So, at that time, it was working for me. Although I can’t say what Nuance has put in place since then.

    As with you, if anyone knows anything about this.. Please chime in.

  • alan makepeace

    Reinstalled and now working fine. Thank you for your reply and the information about your fix


  • Awesome. Another satisfied customer. 🙂

    Email/IM: NapoleonAG.TSS@Gmail.com
    Website: http://www.TechSideStories.com

  • Pingback: Free Update: Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 for Vista 64 | TECH SIDE STORIES|()

  • Rob Somers

    To those who have DNS 9 running on 64 bit – is the performance any better? Is anyone here using more than 3 gig of RAM with it? If so, is it making a noticeable difference?

  • Hiro Protagonist

    Saved me life,danke dude

  • Napoleon,
    Thanks a mill! for your posting regarding Dragon Naturally Speaking 9.0 on a MSN Vista 64 Bit system…In following the instructions I am receiving and error message can not find file “SEA.cab” at that point the installation stops….Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    The ‘SEA.CAB’ is missing… use your Installation CD and copy the SEA.CAB from the CD to the temp folder. If you have two Cd’s check the second CD; it’s there. Copy it and try again.

    You’re a genius! I am now responding here using Dragon NaturallySpeaking on my 64-bit system. The accuracy is excellent and the voice recognition system that comes with this to doesn’t even compare.

    After following your restrictions and modifying the MSI file I found it necessary to do one additional step that you might want to consider for folks in the future. The initial step was copying all files from disk 1 to see drive, modifying the MSI file, and then creating a disk from that information for boot up purposes. This resulted in the system installing the software has it only would and then asking to insert Disk #2.

    Again thanks for all your help. You’re to be commended for your perseverance in getting Nuance to create an appropriate 64-bit version 10 edition.

    Best regards,
    bob milunas

    No Problem. Glad your happy!

    Email/IM: NapoleonAG.TSS@Gmail.com
    Website: http://www.TechSideStories.com

  • Cory

    Thanks for posting this.

    But after an otherwise normal start to the installation process (serial number, eula, typical installer, the progress bar makes it to 90% or so), it ends badly. to quote:

    “Error 1721. There is a problem with this windows Installer Package. A program required for this install to complete could not be run. Contact your support personnel or package vendor.”



  • Mr Tons

    AmaZing! just wanted to say thanks and add that I managed to install it in an xp 64 bit version just as you say in the tutorial.

  • Pete Howell

    It has been very frustrating not being able to use a product that I’ve paid for from v8 to v10 on my Intel Q6600 system running Vista 64-bit. This is actually the first and only product that hasn’t run on my computer.

    Kudos for the great work so I can at least run v9.5.


  • Pete Howell

    I wanted to mention that the audio.exe changes worked for me, but I had to take some additional steps. First, Dragon v9.5 continued to say I had no sound system, which wasn’t true.

    1. Run audio.exe from the installation folder \Program Files (x86)\Nuance\NaturallySpeaking9\Program\audio.exe
    2. Go through the steps and if it complains about the sound to noise ratio, just ignore it.
    3. Copy the audio.wav file that was created to \Users\login\AppData\Roaming\Nuance\NaturallySpeaking9

    That’s it (replace “login” with your Windows login name). Dragon will see the audio.wav file and assume you completed the audio setup wizard.



  • I get a lot of emails from people and they tell me ‘thank you’ and offer their gratitude for posting the instructions and I have to admit I really like the fact I have helped so many people.

    I was browsing through my emails and realized how many people have been impacted, helped by my instructions and then started to realize these are people that are happy because I helped save them MONEY; just like me.

    So I did some math and brushed up on some accounting skills. Taking in to account how much the Nuance tech support call costs or revenue loss [by customers not having to buy new versions]I have a number associated with the impact we have had on Nuance’s shortsightedness.

    This is just one website; there could be others, but this one website, in a little over two months, has impacted Nuance about $32,500 [rounded off] by their inability to watch market trends.

    To everyone, your emails are awesome and I’m very glad they are helping you!

    Email/IM: NapoleonAG.TSS@Gmail.com
    Website: http://www.TechSideStories.com

  • Stephen Yavorsky

    A couple weeks ago, I followed your instructions and Dragon 9.0 successfully installed and is now working on my Vista-64 system. I am very grateful in the same measure in which I was previously frustrated. Enormously. Many thanks.

    When I reboot the computer I’ll get a message that Dragon Naturally Speaking does not work with the system, and when I launch the program I get another message that says that it has been proven to not work well with the system. I simply ignore those and continue, and everything works well.

    My main use for it is to have the program turn pre-recorded talks into text. The program seems to have to take its time ‘listening’ to the recording and it seems not to pause the interior playback while it is processing, so it misses what was playing in the meantime, but this is not due to Vista-64.
    Also, it would be nice to be able to use one’s own chosen texts for training the voice recognition, but this too is not due to Vista-64.

    In any case, thank you very much that my money has no longer been wasted. I would never have figured out the procedures you mentioned, and didn’t even previously know about ORCA.

  • Ben S.

    Thanks so much for the help. I was finally able to get it installed because of your instructions.

    I am able to go through the initial speech recognition training for the program as well as easily complete the audio wizard sound check. However, after that point when I try to “perform general training” or dictate, it will not recognize anything I say.

    What’s the deal?

    P.S. The instruction from Peter Howell may be of help, but I don’t know how to follow #3:

    “Copy the audio.wav file that was created to \Users\login\AppData\Roaming\Nuance\NaturallySpeaking9”. Where is this audio.wav file?

    Thanks again!

  • Ben S.

    I have tried to change the audio setting for the microphone many times. Is it possible I have things plugged in wrong? Right after the installation of the program, it asked how your microphone system is set up? If I chose the wrong option there, could that wreak havoc?

    Sorry for the barrage of questions,
    Looking forward to hearing from you! =)

  • Greg K

    I tried doing exactly what you recommended; however, I did not make a copy of the original Dragon Naturally Speaking MSI (do you copy it to somewhere else, then change the name, then place it back in DNSTEMP folder?) I am using DNS9 Medical US English version 9.5. When I try to install after deleting the launch conditions. I get “Error 1721. There is a problem with this Windows Installer Package. A program required for this install to complete could not be run. Contact your support personnel or package vendor.”

  • B

    Thanks so much! it worked fine for me.

  • James Rooney

    Followed instructions, still get “Audio Setup Cannot find Sound System”. Tried the Pete Howell Update instructions (i.e., ran Audio.exe but could not find any newly created audio.wav file created. Is the .wav file created by running Audio.exe renamed somehow? Any suggestions?
    Thanks for the great work. Unfortunate Nuance is so lackadaisical.

  • Helen

    I have the msi file but how do i install dragon then?

  • K233

    Sadly, ne “Audio Setup Cannot fin Sound System” fix doesn’t work for me. I managed to install it but when I run audio.exe, I can’t even pass the volume test – it registers no input. I tried a mic on my Soublaster and a USB mic, no avail.

  • Mchael

    Thank you for posting this. I had returned DNS to Nuance and got shorted on the return due to shipping issues. I want to try your approach now and hope that I can get it to work. I just got a bargin basement Interl quad 6600 and hope that I can harness its power using this Nuance tool. American management continues to amaze me with its short term profit horizon brand of stupidity. Even more am I amazed at how little business school MBAs have too little understanding or appreciation of intellectual capital. Peace out!

  • jose

    Hi NapoleonAG,

    I’m having a hard time uninstalling v 9.50 from my Vista home laptop (32 bit system) – a fresh install which never worked full stop.

    After spending 2 days searching frantically all over the net, receiving vague support emails from Nuance and cursing their useless ‘knowledge base’, I came across your post.

    Whilst it won’t help me, I took some time to read it (and most of the replies).

    I want to thank you for providing such an awesome post, and for your kind words to the CEO of Nuance (which I now lovingly call Nuisance).

    It’s a shame because I love the software, but Nuisance’s inability to come up with a decent installer that’s compatible with vista coupled with their happy disposition to charge top dollar for a great program that just won’t install is appalling.

    I think what you did is awesome – well done!

  • Jose,
    I really appreciate your comments.

    I’ve had a huge out turn of response on my information and it’s helped lots of people and I get lots of emails of thanks.
    It’s sad that Nuance has chosen this kind of road for support. Dragon NaturallySpeaking is a expensive product to most and I personally think that this type of response to customers, for such a large investment, is going to be their undoing.

    While [now] they charge a lot for their product, they are the only ones on the market that provide this kind of service. While it’s expensive now, the Microsoft version of their speech recognition software is good [in their products] and IF DEVELOPED WELL, could kill Nuance in a head to head comparison- it’s what Microsoft does.

    While Nuance is not going to help customers of Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9 with Vista 64, they have said they are going to do something for Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 users. Scheduled early 2009 – maybe.

    I thank you for your comments.

    Happy Holidays and have a nice day!

    Email/IM: NapoleonAG.TSS@Gmail.com
    Website: http://www.TechSideStories.com

  • Ray

    Napoleon: Thanks, I just got a 64 bit Vista for the holidays and no one warned me that software would not work. I have followed your instructions, but when I get to Orca it keeps saying “read only” even though I have removed those tags in Properties. Any thoughts on how to jump that hurdle (I have never used Orca before and all of the editing seem to be grayed out because it shows a “read only” version.

    Thanks, and if you would like to save a lot of other victims, check out Sonic Wall, another company that has locked out its 64 bit users.


  • LAE

    !Fantastico, corre perfecto en 64bits SP1, muchas gracias, éxito!

  • Rodney Merrill

    Thanks for your efforts but I’ve repeated the steps over and over again to make sure I didn’t miss anything and it doesn’t work. There must be some other factor involved with my computer since other people seem to have good luck with the workaround. I”m a fairly advanced user but can’t imagine what that factor might be.


  • brazzitto

    Nice Man, thxs
    Windows Vista SP1 64 bits

  • jimdorn1

    Thanks for your time, your posting, and a fix.
    I would suspect that if Nuance uses your fix for DNS 10, you might be owed some big bucks, especially after liying to us users.
    I certainly hope so.
    It’s people like you that keeps hope alive in this crazy world.
    Nice job.


    on the 1722 error, try ruining setup.exe not the Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9.msi.
    I had the same problem until a ran the setup.exe it is working find for me now.

  • bob733

    This looks really good. I have Vista 64 and Dns 10 so here are a couple of questions:
    1. I have DNS 9 but it is an upgrade package. Can (and how)this be installed on Vista 64?
    2. I have the full DNS V10. Can this be installed on Vista 64?
    Thanks in advance

  • EldoGuy

    I had no problems with the install using medical 9.5; it then directed me to
    an update that also seemed to install fine. However, My sennheiser USB microphone is not recognized at sufficient volume either using the USB plug or as an analog device using pin plugs. This is on an HP dv4-1028us laptop; if anyone has come across another solution, I would so like to know.

    I have tried the advice of 11/27 by Peter Howell, and while this did pull up the audio test page, my mic system was still not recognized despite giving it the control panel 20 db boost.

    Many thanks for this great hack; I just wish I could get my mic recognized. This mic package works fine in all my other installs of ver. 8 and ver 9.5 on other machines with 32 bit OS.

    Again, many thanks for this MSI hack. Too bad Nuance does not seem to care sufficiently about its customers after the point of sale….

  • Sir,
    I followed the exact trick on version 10 .. and it didnt worked … I wonder why.. did anyone tried the smae trick with version 10 yet ?

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  • Jamey

    Thank God that you took your time to write this. I would not have been able to install this program for my mother if you did not. God Bless YOU!!!!

  • Thank you very, very much !

    You helped me tremendously.

    Thanks to you, I can use DNS 9 on my new computer.

  • Philip

    This post was a godsend. I thought I would have to use that god-awful speech recognition that came with my computer. You have saved me a lot of time and frustration. Thank you for all your hard work

  • Jim

    I was very satisfied with DNS 9.5 on my XP machine and was disappointed when it would not install on my new Vista x64 “super computer” I assembled recently. After the frustration of trying to use Windows Speech Recognition, I went on the Web in an earnest effort to try to get DNS back. As you so eloquently express, Nuance was no help at all. Your work-around was simple and effective! Thank you so much for your efforts. And no, I don’t think this kind of work is wrong. No one is being cheated here – except the users who could no longer use DNS!

  • alessandro

    I donno how to thank you: thanks^64!!!

  • John

    Can not get around Audio error message for multimedia sound system even though had changed Audio.exe compatibility. Tried Pete Howell’s method but like K233 could not complete since fails to recognise mic even though Control Panel Sound confirms it is working. DNS 9 installed but non operative without audio fix. Any suggestions?

  • SB

    John, I was having the same problem. I tried all the fixes and still got the Audio error. I fixed it by right clicking on the DNS9 or DNS9.5 icon on my desktop and clicked on properties. I then clicked on the Compatibilty tab and Set it to XP. I know that we already did that in some of the other steps but, for some reason it needs to be done again. Try that and post your results. I did have to put my product key in again, no biggie.

  • Drew Griggs

    First off thanks to Napolean and anyone else who has given tips on this issue.
    I got DNS9.5 to install on my Vista 64 laptop but I cannot get it to see the sound system. I did the Audio EXE fix and also tried changing compat modes to use XP with no luck. I also tried SBs post on changing the comp mode on the Desktop Icon. No luck.
    After reading the dragon log it appears that the program is hanging at audioout.dat. I cannot seem to find this file on the system. Any advice??? I love DNS and would like to be able to use it.
    Thanks in advance

  • John

    Thanks to Larry who suggested that a possible problem could be the use of a USB headset. I tried an old desk mic and I was able to complete the Audio.exe and place the audio.wav file in my user NaturallySpeaking9 folder in line with Pete’s instructions. Unfortunately I was still getting the audio system error when starting DNS. Now thanks to SB’s suggestion on changing the compatibilty tab on the desk icon I was able to start DNS, complete the audio test again and start dictating using the old mic. I did not have to re-enter my product key.

    In the DNS user settings the input device can be changed. This recognised the USB headset provided that the mic was still plugged in and repeated the audio test but the sound quality was poor which is surprising since its is a good quality USB headset that worked well with DNS on XP. All that is now required is a solution for the USB headset and I will be back to normal. This may be due to the audio differences between Vista and XP?

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  • Dennis

    Your time was well spent and very appretiated! I had a few file permission issue to work my way through. Mostly Da’s once I thought a little about what I was doing. The program installed with no issues once I was able to save the MSI modification. Thank you again !!!!

  • Dennis

    Additional thanks to SB’s posting on the audio problem (No 62 above). I also had tried all the fixes and still had the Audio error. Your solution of right clicking on the DNS9 icon on the desktop and changing the Compatibilty tab option, setting properties to WIndows XP (SP2), was the ticket. It makes sense once I thought about what was happening (or not happening) the OS needed to know we were running in a non full Vista mode. I’m up and fulling runing NS9 on my new HP Pavilion with the Vista 64 bit OS. Thanks!!! All of you folks are to be commended and I think someone on the Board of Directors for Nuance needs to realize they need a new VP. One with a vision and who understands Software. This was so simple a fix 10 hrs of software labor time to create a proactive solution would have given them a great consumer image. Instead of the one they now have with me. Keep the faith we need more people like you out there doing the right things!!

  • IB

    Wanted to say it worked great. Only problem I had was with the sound but reading comments helped resolve problem. Tried ‘Update Audio error” method and didn’t work. Tried Dennis comments (see post Feb. 16, 2009) and worked first time. DNS 9 working correctly on Vista 64 bit system after doing the audio check and training. Too bad DNS isn’t reading how to do this and make a patch, shows not concerned about customers. Thanks to all who helped resolve these issues.

  • I actually presented this option to them and they declined, saying it was too complicated and more involved, but the hundreds of emails that I’ve answered and numerous people who have installed Dragon NaturallySpeaking have spoken and Nuance is wrong. Dead wrong.

    I’m extremely happy with the number of people that were able to save 10’s of thousands of dollars by simply changing a MSI file and making a few small changes. Nuance’s level of customer service on this subject is disgusting; considering the price tag of the software.

    I’m happy that everything worked out for you. I just wish Nuance would have provided this solution for everyone who needed it.

    Thanks for reading!

  • These instructions virtually the same on Windows 7, actually with better response time. If your beta testing Windows 7- try it.


    Larry ‘NapoleonAG’ Henry Jr.

  • Michael

    I go all the way through the setup and to the end of the trainign and then get this error:
    An unknown error occurred while accessing an unnamed file.

    if I let the saving file proceed I then get this:

    “an error occured while saving or copying user files. The directory C:\ProgramData\Nuance|NaturallySpeaking9\Users\michael\ could not be renamed to

    …Try closing other running programs or restart your computer. Error details Access is denied”

    restarting just gives the same response.

    any ideas?

    • Joe

      Did you ever find a solution for this? I know it was like 2 years ago but this is driving me crazy. I'm running into the same issue using DNS 11 now.

  • Sounds like a security issue. Check your permissions on those folders. Other than that; that issue hasn’t been reported by anyone here.

    Good luck. I hope everything works out.

    Larry ‘NapoleonAG’ Henry

  • Mike

    Rank amatuer here. read the instruction and everything looks good until, well, I can’t find “dnstemp”. Quite embarassing. Does Vista Home Premium not carry such option? Checked my user desktop and other general searches..

  • Mike,
    The ‘DNSTEMP’ folder has be created manually.
    Try creating one on the C: .. ‘DNSTEMP’ and see how that works for you…

    Hope this helps.

    Larry ‘NapoleonAG’ Henry Jr.

  • Mike

    Well, Nappy Old Boy, you’ve done it again. Works great. One thing tho, the Window Vista Service Pack 1 system did not have the whole “X:\ProgramData\Nuance\ NaturallySpeaking9\Users\YOURUSERNAME\current\voice_container” language, but I did paste that audio.wav to something that looked like it served the same purpose “programfilesx86\commonfiles\nuance\naturallyspeaking9”. And it frigging worked. Can’t believe. I’m an economist but tomorrow I’m gonna try brain surgery, that is if your available for a “how to” chat session. my kids just ran off… thanks again.

  • eduardo

    Napoleon, how big is the audio.exe file, my is only 17 kb, i think i have a problem with this file because don’t let me opened. thanks for your suport. sorry for my english

  • I added a link in the instructions to the audio.wav


  • Eduardo

    Hi, affter 3 days off tring to install DNS9 in my new LapTop 64 bit, finally works. I want to thank Napoleon and all of the people who share i’s experiencies in this hard work, i’t sems to for some was easy, and for others like me is very hard, but finally its workedup. i’m a lawyer in Mexico, DNS saveme to type a lots of sheets in my work. THANKS SO MUCH TO ALL OF YOU. GOD BLESS YOU. (Again, sorry for my English).

  • Bill

    Thanks a lot for that- helped me get it working on “Windows 7”

  • No problem. I’m just glad that some people are being helped.

  • Doug Rottman

    Hello there!

    I, too, found your posts most helpful & beyond many of the other blogs/help sites. However, I’m searching for a solution to a slightly different problem.

    I’m trying to install DNS 9 (starting with the DNS 8, then using DNS nine upgrade disks — 2 of them) on a Windows, XP-64-bit OS. The solutions that you offer all seemed to be aimed towards Vista & don’t mention XT-64-bit. Your screenshots look a bit different than anything I’ve seen on XP, so I’m wondering if I try your help steps, am I going to run into a bunch of problems?

    To compound the problem & question/issue, I’m trying to switch from a Dell laptop PC (currently dictating this on a Dell Inspiron 9300 with DNS 9.5) to a Mac book Pro that I just purchased last week. After trying Nuance’s wunderkind (extreme sarcasm) — Mac speech dictate — I found it was quite utterly useless. I’m disabled & need pretty much full, hands-free command of my system once it’s set up. Mac speech dictate completely bites except for one area — word recognition. Aside from that, you can’t even make corrections with spelling with voice commands, and navigation is entirely cumbersome.

    So, I’ll try to narrow down my babbling and summarize my questions.

    1. Are you familiar with installing/ trying to install DNS (whatever versions) on XP-64-bit OS? If so, could you give me some pointers as to where to go?

    2. If you, or others know that DNS 9/9.5 WILL NOT install or run on an XP 64-bit OS, what are the downsides of going to next a 32-bit OS? If the downsides are not that bad, how would you suggest I get a hold of XP 32-bit OS software?

    I appreciate your responses and posts, and look forward to hearing back from you. I’m disabled and and in bed right now, so didn’t have the capabilities to sign up for posting on your TSS blog site.

    Sincerely — Doug Rottman

  • intermike

    Thanks again, dear Larry, for your wonderful help!!!
    I followed any rules, installation was a great pleasure
    but sound system could not be found, whatever I tried…
    The solution for my configuration was the following:
    1. DNS9 must be run in “Windows XP SP2” compatibility-mode AND
    2. in my control panel, sound options, input options the microphone boost option (+20 dB) MUST BE TURNED OFF (only for DNS9.5, all other audio-applications need it…)
    I am using Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-bit with
    Creative Soundblaster X-Fi XtremeMusic!
    Regards and good luck 😉

  • JustAnotherGuy

    From what I understand, the BETA testing of DNS 10.1 is almost complete; they started Feb 23rd.

    They have tested DNS 10.1 with Vista 64 and Windows 7 and the new version is working fine. They’ve corrected the VB installer and the program installs just file.

    According the emails/responses from Nuance Support, the next release should be in a few weeks. Initial reports are that an ISO will be placed online to be Dl’d; this will be for all the DNS 10 customers.

    But Nuance is still a bunch’a dumbass’s in my book.


  • Leon

    There is a question at the end of all this. Like others I thank Napoleon profusely for his great assistance and lucid explanations.

    After buying DNS 9.0 I installed that using the technique above but it was slow to open. It worked though using a dnsword.dll from a DNS Vista installation on another of my computers. But it was slow to open so I uninstalled it.

    • I then downloaded version 9.5 using a valid registration code (from the 9.0 purchase)
    • I unpacked that to a directory I called DNS Vista
    • When the UAC came up for installation I briefly stopped to change one line of the msi with ORCA as suggested by Napoleon.
    • Installation then proceeded normally.
    • Then I had problems with the soundcard as noted by others. First it said there was no sound card
    • I used the technique described before about running audio.exe under XP SP2 compatibility.
    • Then the audio test would not work.
    • Then I copied an audio.wav file from my other computer’s DNS installation 32 bit into the user section under Nuance/program data/user
    • I then had a user.
    • It then got through the audio test; not sure why.
    • Then the user training and this time I did not need the DNSWORD.DLL
    • However, there was some difficulty adjusting the sound volume correctly.

    I found that was good idea to keep the windows control panel sound section open. To get through the sound level section I had AGC off in relation to my Microsoft life chat LX 3000. However, if I then went through to the quality section, it would tell me the sound level was either too high or too low. But I discovered that you can adjust the sound level again before going through the quality section i.e. you have two different sound levels to pass the two sections. I finally got a pass level of 23 which is usually pretty good.

    One thing that is annoying is that every time you plug the microphone into a different USB slot Dragon thinks it is a new user and you have to go through the torture of the sound testing again.

    This seems to be working pretty well now and it is working accurately. I tried in the miscellaneous section of tools — the “speed versus accuracy section” to see what effect that would have on speed and it does slow down if you move it right over to the right-hand side.

    I then tried three quarters and that was fairly quick. I think I shall leave it on that for a while since it seems to be working quite well.

    One thing that is strange is how long it takes Dragon NaturallySpeaking to open up at the start. It is a lot slower than in vista 32-bit but once it gets going it is faster. Why is it so much slower opening up?

  • Leon

    Just one further question or perhaps two:
    (1) I understand from some comments made that Nuance are releasing a version of DNS 10 for 64 bit users but for Windows 7 not Vista 64.
    (2) Is Windows 7 going to be purely 64 bit?
    (3) Are there expected to be any major difficulties upgrading from Vista 64 to Windows 7? (i.e. not any more than the usual time-wasting rubbish)
    (4) So should I wait for Windows 7 before buying DNS 10 – the 64 bit version.

  • JJCB

    Fantastic advice and an example of how all knowledgeable computer users should spread the word about discoveries that make using software easier, less problematic, and lees expensive. Way to reach out!

  • Leon

    I thanks Napoleon for his further information. I guess it will take a little longer for Nuance to release 10.1 in Australia which is where I am. That is probably the explanation for the additional vowels in what I write. Also I am writing medicolegal reports all the time so whenever I say anything these days it comes out sounding like a medicolegal report.

    …truncated… Sorry Leon…

  • Eugene

    Thanks Napoleon for all of the helpful information. I have the program installed now. However I am running into another problem. When I open DNS I get a widow that reads.”Audio Setup Wizard has not yet been successfully run for this use. We will give you the opportunity now”. After I click ok I then get an error window that says “Audio Setup Wizard cannot fin the sound system. Try checking if there is a multimedia sound system on your system. Any further assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  • John

    I spect those on the Nuance list have their 10.1 downloaded by now. I installed both on Vista HP 64 and Windows7 64 no problem . User files coppied over from version 9

  • Jack

    Is 10.1 that much better/faster then 9.0 (now that we have it working on Vista 64? Is it worth the $100 upgrade?

  • Jack,
    It’s NOT a huge increase in speed; but it is faster. Taking in to account, Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9 was NOT supposed to run on Vista 64, but it does work.

    My personal opinion, if it’s working and it’s doing what you want, why pay more money when you don’t have to.

    In some cases, this is a ‘no brainer’ because if you spent more than $100; the reason not to buy a new version grows exponentially. If you spent $1500 for Medical, and it’s working, why go?

    Thanks for reading.

  • Chaz

    Napoleon (and all involved, of course!):

    Thanks so much for the work that went into the workaround and (more importantly) into getting Nuance to respond more correctly to its paid supporters (I’ve been following this issue for quite some time as have a lot of people)! Regarding your statement “if you spent more than $100; the reason not to buy a new version grows exponentially,” I heartily agree.
    I noticed the download link for 10.1 does not seem to be mentioned, and include it (as well as the procedure for acquiring the download) here:

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  • Steve P

    Having little computer knowlege I am confused. I erased rhe launchcondition with orca but I am lost from there. The orca in windowa is a little confusing too. (Download and install the program. It’ll place or right click option in the context menu of Windows Explorer, so you’d actually select the MSI and right click to open with Orca.) What do you mean when you state that?: Also the statement: Save [File/Save] the new MSI installer with the original name [Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9.msi].. I can"i find it. Do I need t create it?Sorry for being so slow to undersrand. Thanks Steve P

    • Steve P.
      Sorry, that seems to be a typo of sorts. Orca, once installed, will place a context menu item in to the right-click options of Windows explorer. So, at which point, select the MSI and right-click, and open the file with Orca. OR open Orca and open the MSI – your flavor…

      If you found the MSI file for installing Dragon NaturallySpeaking, that's what your searching for. Don't modify the original; make a copy, modify the copy. Run the copy to install Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Using the original file name of course.

      I hope this helps…
      I hope you have a nice day!

      Until next time,

      • Steve P

        What modfcatn do i make to DNS msi fle when I copy it? I think am miissing some of the wrording or pictures on the web page. It doesn't make sense because of the missing instructions, If you have time please leave your number on m emalil and I'll call so you don't get charged. packmd@yahoo.com. Thanks so much!!!!!

  • Alex

    You are a Godsend. I resent being made to repurchase a new version of Dragon especially when my current version is doing what I need it to do, just because Nuance wants to make more money off of me. I also see how the price, of Dragon 11 Home edition for instance, fluxuates from 49.99 in an email to me and at a retail store, to 74.99 when I called on the phone, and 99.99 on their website and in the same retail store a week later. Heck, I am still irritated that right after I purchased ver. 9, version 10 came out a week or so later. I have also in the past purchased another version of Dragon, Via Voice, and another program which I think all became owned by Nuance eventually. Anyway, What you have done is a real blessing and I never would have had the computer know how without your careful instructions, which helped me overcome every problem. There is nothing wrong with what you are doing, especially as the Nuance representative confessed that we who want to use our Ver 9 on a 64 bit system are such a small number of people that they chose not to serve us. They can not also complain about any of us who are served elsewhere.

    • I hope everything worked out for you… Keeping in mind Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 is out and you can get the basics version for $50.

      Happy Holidays!

      Until next time,
      Larry Henry Jr.

  • techsupport

    Great help for solving this problem, thanks for taking the time and having the courage to post this solution as many people rely on voice input to control their computer and communicate.
    I had to several things like adding the second disk files to c:dnstemp folder as I was getting error 1721 and I also have also use setup.exe by unchecking read only property for installation not sure if that did the trick.
    Great job.

  • Rajen

    I think it is just senseless in this day and age to say "64-bit systems are rare….". Microsoft spends a lot of effort in ensuring compatibility with older systems so that existing applications do not end up being obsolete, within reason. Building a 64-bit system involves a lot of effort in ensuring that 32-bit applications continue to run correctly. Applications that fail the "compatibility test" are flagged and the application manufacturers are informed so that they can provide an update to fix this problem. Nuance, unfortunately, has decided to not do anything about it. From the instructions provided on this web site, it is clear that Dragon will work just fine in Xp-compatibility mode.

  • Mathew

    I have tried multiple times, but get an error code trying to open the msi with any msi editor, i have tried orca and inst ed. It states there is a fatal error during install, the read only is off, files were copied from both cd1 and 2 into c:/dnstemp please help as i am trying to do this for a person with disabilities that can not afford another version of dns

    • lehenryjr

      I can say that ORCA should be able to open the file and it's 64-bit compatible, because I used it to modify and install Dragon NaturallySpeaking from it. You don't specify what the error is, but if the MSI file is corrupt; that could be an issue.
      Sorry, I'm not able to help more. I know how important it can be to people with disabilities.

      Until next time,
      Larry Henry Jr.

      • Mathew

        The error box is labeled C:DNSTEMPDragon NaturallySpeaking 9.msi, Inside the error box it states "C:DNSTEMPDragon NaturallySpeaking 9.msi then on the next line it says "Fatal Erro During Installation."

  • Allen

    can some one please let me know what is wrong with version 11 home edition it compalins that you do not have multimedia which is totrally a lie my computer is AMD quad and it is brand new what is going on does anyone know I have speakers sound and head set jacks too.,

  • Lance

    Does this method work with windows 7 64-Bit? I have Dragon Naturally speaking 9 and would like to find a possible work around to get it to work on my computer. Thanks!

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  • Okurka

    SEA.cab is on Disc 2, just so everyone knows.

  • William

    cant find the SEA.cab file. Please help.

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  • The BeechComer

    Just want to say THANKS, you are the BOMB for putting all this together. I don’t have a 64 bit system, but this was invaluable to me for the “no sound system (which isn’t true)” problem just encountered on a freshly imaged Mac Mini.

    Thank You, THANK YOU, ***THANK YOU***