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CodeMeter users cannot run old versions of ArchiCAD

Jussi_
Newcomer
Windows has had better backwards compatible than Macintosh since OsX was introduced. As a Mac user I can tell we can cope with newest version running on newest operating system and hardware.

But I cannot tolerate that we cannot run obsolete ArchiCAD versions on old machines or on virtual machines, because of hardware key not supporting old ArchiCAD versions.

It should be my right to open ArchiCAD file on exactly same ArchiCAD version that it was created. Being perfect document, not almost correctly converted version of my design.

Hardware keys not supporting old version is just wrong. Buildings lifespan outruns software and hardware lifespan or company lifespans.

And I do have old machines and operating systems stored alongside with my old ArchiCAD documents.

I recommend that ArchiCAD 7 and ArchiCAD 9 should be released without hardware lock. Maybe AC 3,4 and AC4,5 are needed too. AC16 can handle documents from AC10 onwards very well and hardware keys still support all of those ArchiCAD versions.
22 REPLIES 22

Karl Ottenstein
Moderator
Jussi_ wrote:
It should be my right to open ArchiCAD file on exactly same ArchiCAD version that it was created.
I've split your editorial post into a new thread as it has nothing to do with the Windows Vista topic.

It is your right to use any version of AC you want... on a platform that supports it. I don't know why you think Graphisoft should be obligated to continue to support PowerPC processors, for example. What you talk about isn' an OS X issue... it is that Apple changed the processors on their computers... and then Apple dropped support for the Rosetta PPC emulator. This has nothing to do with Graphisoft.

Any Mac user needing to run old software - requiring PPC or OS 9 - must have a boot disk with an old version of OS X, or a very old Mac, or both. Graphisoft cannot solve the issues that Apple created many, many years ago.

My 2 cents.
One of the forum moderators   •   AC 25 USA and earlier   •   MacOS 11.6, iMac Pro

Jussi_
Newcomer
I feel you misunderstood my post.
As a paying customers since AC3.3 I am aware and able to cope with new systems and changes. Started with Mac, switched to Windows and then back to Mac.
I cannot run AC 3.x and that has been handled long time ago.
How AC4 to AC7 changed things - no complaints there. Switch from Mac to Windows was feasible (and right choice). Small number of CAD documents helped, too.
Having universal WibuKey that runs AC6 till AC17 is great. We should be able to run ArchiCAD version prior that, too. In principal, though personally I have handled documents from that era.
I have hardware to run all ArchiCAD versions from AC4.16 onwards, if only hardware key provided me the rights to run copy-protected software.
By Graphisoft choice, reliable source claims that I have to switch from WibuKey to CodeMeter in order to run AC18. Limiting my working ArchiCAD licenses to AC10 onwards. This decision by Graphisoft is very wrong from customer stand point.
There are reason why AC7, AC9 and AC16 are meaningful versions. The next version brought changes that do not convert without tinkering. Preserving hardware and software to run old documents conversion free should be paying customers choice.
If hardware lock does not run old version - it is by Graphisoft choice. Not Microsoft or Apple choice.
I am not whining about new version not being backwards compatible. If I choose to use new ArchiCAD on old documents, I know what it takes and if it is worth it.
I need AC7 and AC9 more than I need AC18. I skipped AC17 already (paid for it though). Too many words - hope you get my point this time.

Barry Kelly
Moderator
Jussi_ wrote:
By Graphisoft choice, reliable source claims that I have to switch from WibuKey to CodeMaster in order to run AC18.
I am not sure where they got their information from but I have heard (from Graphisoft HQ itself) that version 18 will run on the WIBU key.


You may have some success with the file converters as well.
The 7.0 converter can open files as old as 4.1 and runs with WIBU or Codemeter keys.

You are still limited on Macs with the operating system as the 7 and 9 converters won't run in a Rossetta environment (OS 10.7 onwards).

http://www.graphisoft.com/downloads/fileconverter.html

Barry.

One of the forum moderators.
Versions 6.5 to 25
Dell XPS- i7-6700 @ 3.4Ghz, 16GB ram, GeForce GTX 960 (2GB), Windows 10
Dell Precision 3510 - i7 6820HQ @ 2.70GHz, 16GB RAM, AMD FirePro W5130M, Windows 10

Jussi_
Newcomer
Barry wrote:
I am not sure where they got their information from but I have heard (from Graphisoft HQ itself) that version 18 will run on the WIBU key.
Barry.
That is excellent news.
I have converted plenty of projects. Sometimes right choice is not to convert, but use the ArchiCAD version the document was created (or the version which does not render errors on old document).

What Graphisoft should do when they drop hardware lock's support to old ArchiCAD versions?
Most hassle free solution as customer stand point would be removing copy protection from old ArchiCAD versions. Then those of us with old documents and hardware to run old ArchiCAD version could do that. And use newest machines and latest ArchiCAD on current projects.

When CodeMeter is the only option, all ArchiCAD version till AC9 from 2004 should be hardware lock free.
As things are now, all ArchiCAD versions till AC5.1 from 1997 should be runnable without a dongle.

The most important old versions are seven and nine. Graphisoft should prepare themselves if they choose to drop hardware key's support of those very important ArchiCAD versions in the future.

Conversion trivia:
AC5.1 can draw walls with multiple materials elegantly. When AC6 came, walls were drawn the same way on a floor plan as it was with AC5. Floor plans created by ArchiCAD 5.1 cannot be duplicated exactly same on any other ArchiCAD version. If that 5.1 specific feature was used. Ability to run old version can matter to some of us.

Karl Ottenstein
Moderator
Jussi_ wrote:
I feel you misunderstood my post.
As a paying customers since AC3.3 I am aware and able to cope with new systems and changes...

I have hardware to run all ArchiCAD versions from AC4.16 onwards, if only hardware key provided me the rights to run copy-protected software.
By Graphisoft choice, reliable source claims that I have to switch from WibuKey to CodeMeter in order to run AC18. Limiting my working ArchiCAD licenses to AC10 onwards. This decision by Graphisoft is very wrong from customer stand point.
There are reason why AC7, AC9 and AC16 are meaningful versions. The next version brought changes that do not convert without tinkering. Preserving hardware and software to run old documents conversion free should be paying customers choice.
If hardware lock does not run old version - it is by Graphisoft choice. Not Microsoft or Apple choice.
I apologize. I did misunderstand. I completely agree with you. Anyone with the suitable hardware/OS who had old versions should be able to continue to run those old versions.

I have heard the same rumor about a switch to CodeMeter keys for all customers at some point in the future. As you note, and as is stated on the GS Codemeter page - only AC 10 and onwards are supported by the CM key.

It sure seems that just as they have CM "enablers" to allow the CM key to be used with AC 10, 11 and 12... that there could be some way that they could produce 'enablers' for even older versions. The CM page here:
http://www.graphisoft.com/downloads/protection_key.html
notes that CM is not supported on Mac PPC systems. It doesn't say whether an enabler could be produced for Windows... or for a Mac Intel system that was running an old AC version under Rosetta with, say, Snow Leopard.

I agree with your suggestion for one option - remove license protection from the ancient versions. GS might be unwilling to do that of course.

Another possibility would be for GS to provide a special WIBU key good for AC 9 and earlier to any customer who requests it.

Again, sorry that I misunderstood your post!

Karl
One of the forum moderators   •   AC 25 USA and earlier   •   MacOS 11.6, iMac Pro

Karl wrote:
Another possibility would be for GS to provide a special WIBU key good for AC 9 and earlier to any customer who requests it.
I had a similar thought: to let users that want to run older versions (I can go back to AC7 by rebooting into a OSX10.6.8 partition, which is far as I need to go, needing to access AC4.1 files, but not wishing to work in 4.1) keep their WIBU key for the older versions, and just put the newer (AC19+) on the CodeMeter key. This could entail removing some licenses from the WIBU key (say AC10-AC18) before activating the CodeMeter key so only one key would have the "current" versions. I am not in the same workflow as Jussi_, but have found bringing old versions forward in steps to work better than making 2 big leaps. I would also want to keep access to older versions.

David
David Maudlin / Architect
www.davidmaudlin.com
Digital Architecture
AC24 USA • iMac 27" 4.0GHz Quad-core i7 | 24 gb ram • MacBook Pro 2.8GHz | 16 gb ram • OSX10.14.6

Jussi_
Newcomer
I do pay to get all new ArchiCAD versions, but I end up not using all of them. At least AC17 and AC15 did get skipped, currently I am using AC16.
I tried to register AC18 WIBU key with Yosemite, Mavericks and Snow Leopard Macintosh - and I am not able to do it. I followed the help pages, no help. I either just skip the 18 or bother local distributor about issue with Java and Wibu and ArchiCAD = PAIN.
This post is not about my inability to get AC18 WIBU key recognized by AC18. (Solved, see bottom).

Graphisoft states in their WIBU WIKI page that AC 18 will be THE LAST ArchiCAD version that can be run with WIBU key.

WIBU 6.20 driver is needed for AC18. Help pages state that on Windows one needs to install 6.10 instead - but help text might cover network license issues on Mac and Windows mixed office environment. And then to my point: WIBU 6.20 does not run ArchiCAD 7.

To run ArchiCAD 7 I have to install older WIBU driver, which does not run AC18. And I can't have both WIBU drivers installed at the same time.

And this topic is about preserving old hardware, having dual boot machines and paying customers right to documents that have several hundred hours work invested in.

Graphisoft should address this issue with official statement. After all by next year all WIBU keys are replaced.
Those of use who have thousands of projects from 1990's onwards do need the access to old files (and old ArchiCAD versions). There is no way of knowing which old file needs to be reworked and converting them all is not economically feasible. And like I stated before, conversion has errors and inconstancies.

---
I currently have WIBU key registered up to AC18, which I run on Yosemite Mac.
My Snow Leopard Mac does now have working AC7, AC9 and AC10-16.

Laszlo Nagy
Community Admin
Community Admin
There are File Converter versions which can open very old ArchiCAD files. It might be a good idea to open those old file you would be using with AC7 in these Converter versions and save them in a later file format.

http://www.graphisoft.com/downloads/fileconverter.html

I would probably open them with the AC10 File Converter and save them as AC10 format. CodeMeter keys can be used with all versions from AC10 onward. The CodeMeter key appeared with AC13 but Graphisoft created CodeMeter-enablers for AC10-12:

http://www.graphisoft.com/downloads/protection_key.html#CMEnabler

So I think the solution is there for your case.
....................................................................................................
Laszlo Nagy, Lead Moderator, Community Admin
Get Archicad Tips at https://twitter.com/laszlonagy
AMD Ryzen 1700X CPU, 48 GB RAM, NVidia GTX 1060 6GB, 500 GB NVMe SSD
2x28" (2560x1440), WIN10 PRO ENG, AC20-AC25
Loving Archicad since 1995

Jussi_
Newcomer
Why is so hard to software vendors, in this case to Graphisoft, to understand that paying customers need access to their work. Exactly same way they were created numerous years back.

I am aware of conversion procedures, I have stated that numerous times. I also know that results of those conversions are not the same as the original was. As an architect who has done dozens of real work project conversions, I have more knowledge on this than most people and more knowledge were conversions fail (than coders at Graphisoft). These converters are not high priority, they fail and have numerous bugs (or unwanted features) no one will ever address. We have what we have.

Manual labor, plenty of it, is needed to get old PLN to run with AC18. Oldest ArchiCAD files are cheaper to remodel from DWG than go to all steps Graphisoft forces ArchiCAD users take in order to open PLN from last two decades. Sad, but true.

Buildings have lifespan, those designs made with ArchiCAD 3 to 9 are getting new attention. Sometimes architect fee covers cost to convert to newest ArchiCAD file format, but not always.

Graphisoft should pay attention to oldest and most loyal customers, they have plenty of old files. I strongly feel that Graphisoft is neglecting us. And we have paid real money of every ArchiCAD version. And put almost all of our work hours to those files created by those ArchiCAD versions (that are going to be obsolite).

Karl Ottenstein
Moderator
As I said earlier, perhaps Graphisoft will arrange some means for loyal customers such as you to retain a WIBU key for your old hardware/software even if the switch is made to Codemeter-only for newer releases.

You have the right attitude about all of this I think: namely, you understand that you need OLD hardware to run OLD versions of AC and are willing to have all of that. Your valid concern is that IF Graphisoft replaces your WIBU key with a CM key, then you will not be able to utilize the old versions on your old hardware. I think they will easily understand that.

You seem to be worrying a great deal about something that has not happened yet. I would advise you to wait and see what happens when AC 19 is released. If indeed it will only run under CodeMeter, then you will actually have a problem. At the moment, you are only anticipating one.
One of the forum moderators   •   AC 25 USA and earlier   •   MacOS 11.6, iMac Pro

Karl wrote:
You seem to be worrying a great deal about something that has not happened yet. I would advise you to wait and see what happens when AC 19 is released. If indeed it will only run under CodeMeter, then you will actually have a problem. At the moment, you are only anticipating one.
Karl,
I think that Jussi has already expressed that there is ALREADY a problem with the compatibility of the AC18 WIBU drivers, in addition to any future Codemeter key issues. Frankly, I would like Graphisoft to understand that this is a serious concern in advance of any definitive policy decisions, so that they have a plan in place to deal with it. My own upgrade path would be affected as well. I am prepared to stay with AC17 for a long time, if necessary.
Richard
--------------------------
Richard Morrison, Architect-Interior Designer
AC24 (since AC6.0), Win10

Karl Ottenstein
Moderator
Hi Richard,

I believe his concern is being able to run old versions in the future if he is forced to relinquish his WIBU key for a CodeMeter key.

The issue of newer drivers not working with old versions (version 7) is simply an old software issue that is as unreasonable to expect to be solved as running OS 9 on a 2014 Mac. He has old computers that he is able to install the old WIBU drivers on and run AC 7 from, so really doesn't have an issue there that I can tell.

I'm not sure what this thread has to do with your staying on AC 17?

Cheers,
Karl
One of the forum moderators   •   AC 25 USA and earlier   •   MacOS 11.6, iMac Pro

Karl wrote:
I'm not sure what this thread has to do with your staying on AC 17?
If Graphisoft fails to make provisions for how to deal with very old legacy projects for their longtime users, then some of these users will choose to not upgrade for fear of losing access. It may or may not be an issue in the future, but it certainly WILL be an issue if not dealt with. I would rather let Graphisoft know that it will be an issue and give them some advance warning to plan a strategy in advance. I can access old projects now with my current WIBU key. If there is no provision in the future to access them, I will not be upgrading. (I had not upgraded to AC18 because I had heard that AC17 was going to be the last WIBU version. Turned out not to be the case, but it still looks like WIBU's days are numbered, and that legacy projects are not significantly on their radar screen.)

Also, I don't really appreciate being charged an additional fee when I'm being forced by GS to switch to CodeMeter.
Richard
--------------------------
Richard Morrison, Architect-Interior Designer
AC24 (since AC6.0), Win10

Jussi_
Newcomer
Our office has 4 licenses with subscription. Small firms are the foundation of Graphisofts success, thought big firms seems to get all the attention now a days (from Graphisoft).

Compatibility and full access with perfect render of old documents is vital for us. ArchiCAD 9 and PlotMaker work flow is something that does not convert nicely to ArchiCAD 10+. And I am probably only one in the world to whom matters that ArchiCAD 5.1 renders floor plan walls differently than ArchiCAD 5 or 6. Most of the issues are directly ArchiCAD version related, some are GDL related issues. And then there are PlotMaker and DWG converters issues. Some issues are called features and many are bugs. Bug effecting a thing in project file can be fixed on next AC version and reappearing on the one after that AC version. We can not wait Graphisoft to fix errors effecting our output to PLT, DWG or PDF. We have to bypass bugs - change the way we work in most serious cases. It does matter what ArchiCAD version we use. And it does take great deal of labor to have an old PLN to run on the latest ArchiCAD version.

If we have a well paid contract to remodel our old design, we are willing to go the extra labor to work on ArchiCAD version we are using at that time. Not necessary the latest ArchiCAD (despite subscription). When old designs need to be opened, most of us do not yet have a contract. Therefore revisiting old files needs to be as effortless as possible. Graphisoft has already neglected this customer need as their development preference. Dropping WIBU is natural continuity of this policy. Not responding to this topic is decision by Graphisoft to neglect their oldest customers needs.

Jussi_
Newcomer
Karl wrote:
Hi Richard,

I'm not sure what this thread has to do with your staying on AC 17?

Cheers,
Karl
Closing subscription now is a valid option.

Were are using AC 16, since new features of AC 17 would have effected our productivity. Those same features are present (hopefully matured) in AC 18. I can see benefits to implement those new features to our workflow and if things go well: we upgrade to AC 18. But by then AC 18 is over half a year old already.

Access to older ArchiCAD versions is more important than yearly updates. Economically right choice to our office would be to cancel our subscription immediately. Therefore this is also about staying on an old ArchiCAD version. And actually about Graphisofts decision to force some of us to stop updating ArchiCAD for awhile. Four to six years would go without a problem, then update most likely would be mandatory to our office.

Karl wrote:
I would advise you to wait and see what happens when AC 19 is released. If indeed it will only run under CodeMeter, then you will actually have a problem. At the moment, you are only anticipating one.
When I was upgrading to AC18, I was told by Graphisoft US that 18 would be the last version on WIBU key, that Codemeter key would be required for AC19. I was offered a free Codemeter key exchange, but I declined, noting that I would loose the ability to run earlier versions, and that bringing older versions (back to 4.1 for me) worked better by going through 7 to 10. The person I spoke with acknowledged this issue, but did not know what the solution, if any would be. So certainly Graphisoft is aware of this, but I don't feel waiting until the last minute (release of version 19) and then discussing this issue is any sort of plan.

David
David Maudlin / Architect
www.davidmaudlin.com
Digital Architecture
AC24 USA • iMac 27" 4.0GHz Quad-core i7 | 24 gb ram • MacBook Pro 2.8GHz | 16 gb ram • OSX10.14.6

gkmethy
Graphisoft
Graphisoft
You can run old versions with a CodeMeter key. The special ArchiCAD 7 and ArchiCAD 10-based "file converter" versions both work with CodeMeter keys. (Note that you have to have both WibuKey and CodeMeter drivers installed). These file converters are available here:
http://www.graphisoft.com/downloads/fileconverter.html

Version 10,11, and 12 can also be CodeMeter-enabled by installing the "CodeMeter enabler":
http://www.graphisoft.com/downloads/protection_key.html#CMEnabler

Version 13 and above works with CodeMeter natively.

With the above tools, you can open files as old as 4.1 using a CodeMeter Key.
Gergely Kmethy
Director of Customer Support Services
Graphisoft
Follow us on Twitter
GRAPHISOFT HelpCenter - the ArchiCAD knowledge base

Jussi_
Newcomer
I take Gergely Kmethy's post as Graphisofts official statement that converting old files with errors and multistep manual labor is good enough practice from software company. Might be better approach than competitors, but not good enough to me. Also this answer from Graphisoft is in line with they statement on internet that AC 18 is the last one supported by WIBU key. Therefore my worries are not premature. This is the time to act by users and Graphisoft alike.

Our office has 4 ArchiCAD licenses and we have broken and replaced one WIBU key so far. Braking, fixing and replacing other hardware to run old ArchiCAD is breeze to compared to fixing WIBU key in next ten years time. The most economical solution to old customers right to run old ArchiCAD versions is to release ArchiCAD's prior to 10 without copy protection. There is zero lost sales of ArchiCAD because of this and zero hassle with old customers (apart we need to download and install copy protection free version of ArchiCAD).

It is much more unpleasant to cancel subscription for three to four years and just repurchasing ArchiCAD 22 as my next version. This way I have WIBU keys and whatever keys AC 22 uses. Good time to look for the competition, too.

Dave Sanders
Newcomer
Yeah... This is a problem for myself, too. I've got files all the way back to AC7.

I have a WIBU key that will run up to version 12. I inquired about getting a second, identical key that would run 7 thru 12 and was told I couldn't. I still use 9 on a DAILY basis. Actually, I think it's the best version of AC ever written.. just the right amount of features without bloat, and runs super-fast on today's machines. Check out my sig - I don't use the latest stuff.... I use stuff that WORKS.

I'd like a BACKUP key. If my existing WIBU key were lost or destroyed in a fire, I'd be totally screwed. This problem is getting very real for me, because soon I'll be working in two locations that are an airplane ride apart.... I don't relish the thought of mailing my WIBU key or having to run it through an X-ray machine at the airport (while TSA shoves their fingers in my various bodily orifices).

So... Can I get a new WIBU key that will run AC9??? I'll pay a LOT for it (I mean in the 5 figures range). Anybody got one???? Graphisoft... Will you please, PLEASE sell me one???? Having a single key is as scary as hell.

My two cents... from a known curmudgeon. You can have my AC9 when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.... Or destroy my WIBU key.

This issue needs to be addressed. Change is fine as long as it doesn't erase the past. I'm seeing this issue become evident across our entire society.

What if we were to render the collected works of Walt Whitman unreadable into the future? Would you think 'progress' was worth THAT?

Sheesh.
Dave Sanders, Architect
www.dmsdesign.us
AC9 & 12, Artlantis 2.1,
Intel Core i7 3.70 GHz, 3.44 GB RAM, XP Pro SP3
Nvidia GTX 660
Samsung SSD's

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