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

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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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