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Can I run Drafix on Windows 7 Home Premium?

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asked by about Drafix
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I'm very happy with Drafix. My current operating system is Windows XP service pack 3. Can I run it on Windows 7 Home Premium?

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answered by (193k points)
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Drafix is an old discontinued application developed by Softdesk. It is not available for Windows 7, but you can try downloading and installing Windows XP Mode and install the application in this environment. Windows XP Mode makes it easy to install and run many applications that run on Windows XP directly on a computer that runs Windows 7.

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answered by (140 points)

I have been using Drafix CAD v4.0 for years, starting with Windows 95. When I transitioned to 64-bit Windows, I found I could not install Drafix. This made me believe the program was a 16-bit program. So, I've been using VirtualBox (from Oracle) to run Windows XP, and installed Drafix on the XP virtual machine. This works, but it's a pain to have to start the VM every time I want to use Drafix.
Just this morning I ran across something that prompted me to do an experiment, and it worked. I'm now running Drafix CAD on Windows 10 64-bit. It turns out the Drafix installer is 16-bit, and therefore won't run on Windos 64bit, but the Drafix program must be a 32-bit program, since it will run just fine.
Here's how I did it:
You'll need to have a way to copy files/folders from the virtual machine to the Windows 64bit host machine. You can set up a shared folder within VirtualBox or use a flash drive.
1. Using my XP virtual machine, I copied the folder named Softdesk that the Drafix installer created to a shared folder on my Windows 10 computer.
2. Using regedit on the XP virtual machine, I located the key HKCU\software\softdesk in the XP registry. I then exported that key (right-click on the key and select Export). Save the exported key to the shared folder or flash drive.
3. Cut and paste the Softdesk folder from the shared folder to the root of your Windows host computer's hard drive. Find the file named CAD.EXE and create a shortcut to it on your desktop. You can later pin it to the Start Menu or the Taskbar.
4. Run the registry export (double-click on it) you created in step 2 above to add those entries to the host computer's registry. Those entries contain the user name and serial number (among other things) that Drafix reads each time it starts. It will run without this, but it considers the install "incomplete" and asks for your name each time you run it without it.
That's it. Drafix runs fine under a Windows 64 bit computer.

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