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Older Wacom Tablets and XP 64-bit

Just recently acquired a very nice used Wacom Intuos tablet (GD-1212-R) to replace my older Wacom tablet (for which 64-bit drivers were never made). The whole intention was to hook it up to my Heavy Lifter (Tyan Thunder s2885, dual AMD Opteron 285 processors) to do graphics work with. Since I am a big fan of XP 64-bit, I had that installed on my heavy lifter instead of Windows 7 64-bit.

Of course, the scuttlebutt is that Vista 64-bit and Windows 7 64-bit have the same problems as XP 64-bit with this tablet, so the advice below may work for those versions of Windows as well…

This Intuos tablet still makes use of a serial port, and my heavy lifter still had a single serial port left over. When I initially installed the software, nothing worked, despite the drivers being obstensibly XP 64-bit capable. A bit of mucking around, and I discovered the following method of making it work:

  • Download both the 4.93-3 and the 6.05-7 driver installers from Wacom’s driver downloads page.
  • Hook up your hardware. Make sure everything is turned on (especially the toggle switch on the side of the tablet!!).
  • Create the following registry key if it doesn’t exist: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Tablet]. Inside of that key, create a new String called PnPTablets. Change the Value of this String to ,COM1 (yes, that is “comma-nospace-COM1”).
  • Right-click on the 6.05-7 installer that you downloaded, select Properties and select run in compatibility mode for Windows 2000 (not sure if this actually helps, but it is what I did so I’m including it here).
  • Install the 6.05-7 driver. Your tablet will probably not work yet, but don’t worry.
  • Go into Device Manager (right-click on My Computer, select Manage) and look for hardware with incomplete/uninstalled drivers (the yellow question marks). If you see more than one entry there, especially entries which say something like “Wacom HID Pen”, you will need to force the individual drivers. For every entry with a yellow question mark, right-click on it and Update Driver. Do not choose to connect to Windows Update, and install automatically. This will work for every entry EXCEPT the “Wacom GD-1212-R” entry itself. Ignore that one.
  • Now you need to go to System32, and create a file called tablet.dat. This file will NOT work if you have file extensions hidden (Notepad will probably append a .TXT to the end of it, which will cause it to not work). Google how to change this setting if tablets.dat is about the only file whose extension you can actually see — because in that circumstance there is probably a .txt extension that is hidden, and which will completely screw up your ability to use the tablet. Inside this file, you need to add the following text, and then save it:
    PrefsFileVersion 4
    DriverOn1Off0 1
    DriverLanguage 0
    LeftHandedMouse 0
    FunkyButtonMode 0
    NoStartWarnings 0
    HowManyTablets 1
    TabletType 0
    TabletModel 203
    CommPort COM1
    TabletOn1Off0 1
    TabletPhysicallyOn 1
    TabletFlags 0
    HowManyTransducers 0
  • Once you have saved that dat file, go back to the older 4.93-3 installer, and install it overtop the newer files. Make sure you overwrite any newer files that are found by the installer. There will probably also be a driver compliance warning — approve it so the driver will be installed.
  • Reboot.
  • Once you boot back up, you might get a Hardware Found alert that involves the Wacom GD-1212-R hardware that I told you to ignore previously. Once again, it is completely safe for you to ignore this entry — let it look for a driver so that once it is unsuccessful it will not look for a driver again.

At this point, your Wacom tablet should be fully functional. I hope this helps.

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