Wacom – Getting a piece of history working.
One of the things that I used to paint textures as well as art is a very ancient Wacom GD-0912-R pad that I have been using ever since I had a 486. It’s a great pad really! I paid about $400 back in the ’90s for it. 17 inches of space to draw on making coloring super easy!
The Wacom GD series of pads was discontinued since the Windows XP era. You can still find these pads on eBay ranging anywhere from $30 to $50 depending on condition, and the peripherals for this pad seem to be a bit of a collector’s item. Taking note that extra pens cost $75. (I kick myself to this day that I misplaced the box of extra plastic nubs for my pen). For those wondering, the only pens that are compatible with the GD series are GD and GS series pens/mice/airbrushes. None of the Bambo or Intuos series pens will work with the GD series.
No drivers for windows 7!
When I initially upgraded to windows 7 I was stuck between a rock in a hard place. Almost having to set up ANOTHER PC just for the sake of drawing again in Photoshop. Thankfully my new PC still had classic DB9 Serial ports on the back so hooking it directly was not even an issue. The issue was the software and making it actually TALK to the operating system. Reading through some forums pointed me in the right direction as to how to go about it. Mostly about finding the WacomTablet_605-7 Driver, downloading it. and Installing it to my PC. Drivers for the GD Series can be selected by clicking “Intuos” for the model type and “Windows XP” to get this exact driver.
Download the driver.
If you don’t want to go to Wacoms site and download the driver from there.
Click this link for the driver that I shall host here for your convenience.
A kind word of warning. You should always go to the manufacturer’s website to download the drivers first and foremost and you shouldn’t be downloading things off of a share site unless you trust the individual that is offering the files. And always have a virus checker of some sort installed such as Avast. Or AVG. As sometimes not even the person offering the files may know if it is infected or not.
Note: This file has been changed from its base exe format to 7-zip.
Since this tutorial will talk about extraction using WinRAR no special changes are required.
About the forums.
Despite what the Microsoft Forums say, turning on Compatibility mode and running the program did not work for me at all. While it installed the ‘flicks’ utility that comes with the Wacom driver it did NOT install the drivers needed to drive my Wacom GD series tablet. I am not one to throw away perfectly working tech! So here was my experience on how I got it working.
Installation of the Wacom pad:
Before you even get started your device manager should look something like the picture above. with the icon noted as “WACOM GD” with a driver not found. If you don’t even have this in your device manager, then there is something wrong with your connection settings (I.E. Wacom hooked up to COM3 instead of COM1, Serial chipset may be incompatible or in the absolute worst-case scenario, due to the overall age of the Wacom pad, there could be a breach in your serial cable connection.)
Essentially, when windows boot up. it polls each serial port looking for devices and has done so since windows 95 (and with some coaxing windows 3.1 ) such as serial-based mice, UPS power supplies, and other hardware, your Wacom pad IS smart enough to let your operating system know it is there but not smart enough to automatically find the driver for you since Wacom did not feel like certifying a legacy driver with Microsoft’s update manager.
Extracting files from either the EXE from Wacom or 7-zip.
The very first thing you do of course is to download the file off of the Wacom website. Remember to select the Intuos series and Windows XP. Choosing windows 7 is no good unless you have a USB edition which if you do have the USB edition your life got a lot easier and this whole topic is irrelevant to you. Do not click on the file! the only thing clicking on the file do at the very best will auto-extract the files to a temp folder and install the flick software. leaving you with a broken Wacom GD device in your device manager. If you have downloaded the 7-zip file from this site then the instructions shall work the same.
Instead, you will want to Extract the files in this .exe with a program like WinRAR to a folder (Picture above has me extracting the files to the root of my C: drive), this will not only allow you to setup your software in the compatibility mode you desire, but choose the driver files after it is done as in my case Windows 7 will try to look for the files and simply give up; Leaving only the Wacom GD device non-functional in the device manager.
Setting compatibility modes.
The picture above is the directory listing containing all of the files that you just extracted. From here Right-Click on the Setup.exe and click on Properties
From here, we will select the Compatibility tab and check the box “Run the program in compatibility mode for” and choose Windows 2000 from the drop-down menu. click OK on the bottom to close out of this window and then double-click to install.
Special notes: A lot of people have reported success with setting compatibility mode to Windows XP SP3 after first running Windows 2000 mode. Thanks for all of the feedback on this.
It will install the flick program, find drivers, and FAIL at finding the drivers. Stay with us kids!
Get into your Device Manager (Start, right-click Computer, Manage, Device Manager, Etc) and then double-click on the Wacom GD Driver that has the yellow exclamation mark. Click on the Driver tab on the top and click the Update Driver button.
Click “Browse my computer for driver software”
We are not going to click next to try and automatically find the driver! It will fail. Instead, we will tell it to “Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer”.
You may not see the window above right away. You may have to select All Devices on a window before you see this. click the “Have Disk” option to continue.
In the Wacom environment, we are going to point to our install directory via /System32/64/Drivers and then click the “OK” button.
Select the Wacom HID Device and click Next. It will then begin to install along with some possible other Wacom HID devices depending on how many options you have with your pad such as 3d-mouse or extra pens. I should note that there are some people that have had better luck installing the Wacom Virtual HID driver but after a majority of feedback i’ve gotten as well as testing this myself. the Wacom HID Device is the way to go.
You may receive an updated driver warning. This is normal as we are forcing the driver into windows 7. Click Yes to continue.
If everything installed accordingly you should see the Wacom device drivers respectfully underneath the Human Interface Device tree within the device manager. After the exclamations went away I tested out my Wacom with my pen and it registered perfectly. So thank you very much for reading through all of that. I hope this blog entry was at least visually pleasing versus going through the endless forums messages.
Special notes about the Adobe CS collection:
For some reason, the 64-bit versions of Photoshop and Illustrator do not seem to acknowledge pressure sensitivity with this pad. I didn’t have this problem with CS5 but CS6 it is now getting angry with us. 32-bit is operating just fine. You will notice the exclamation mark next to pen pressure where adobe states “control by pen pressure requires a pressure-sensitive tablet.” Gimp and Paint Tool Sai work without issue because they are naturally 32-bit programs. If anyone knows a work-around for this issue I would be happy to hear it!
One less excuse to slack off and watch movies now. Now I can draw!
50 thoughts on “Original Wacom GD-0912-R on Windows 7 x64”
It is 2022, and any luck fixing a serial Intuos on Windows 10?
It was working when I upgraded from Windows7 to Windows 10 but unfortunately I had to re-install Windows 10 due to HD failure, so I can`t find a way to re-install it again
Due to the fact that Wacom needed a service to be running in order for the serial port to tbe activated and used. it’s not as much getting the driver installed into a windows 10 box as it is validating an ancient service for windows 10. With that being said we haven’t explored the linux side to see if the universal wacom drivers will support the GT-0912-R .
We suppose we should save this as the next blog to try.
It’s now 2021 and I am in the closing throes of building myself a new workstation at home. In addition to several other PC’s built into it, I have one for my huge old Wacom GS-1218-R serial tablet. I love painting and sketching. I use an ancient but amazing package called Fractal Design Painter X that has oils, acrylics, watercolours, everything. I also use the tablet in Photoshop so I can sketch, rotoscope and touch up photographs etc. But I don’t want to spend money on subscriptions to Adobe every month, so I still use the free CS2 versions they made available. I had this machine running for years using XP SP3 and two NEC 1280 x 1024 studio monitors. But my new workstation has an additional 3440 x 1440 monitor in the middle. The old MSI card I had in there does not display on the big screen.
The ultra widescreen has four inputs – two DP2 ports and 2 HDMI ports. The NEC’s have a DVI and VGA each. I won’t bore you with the details of the three Win 10 machines as this thread is only about the Wacom serial tablet. The end result is that I needed a GPU that would give me a HDMI 3440 x 1440 output to go to the HDMI in on the big screen, plus something that would give me decent quality into the VGA for the NEC monitor. The DVI input is already taken up with the one Win 10 machine. I got DVI to VGA converter and a well shielded cable and that worked perfectly once I had the right graphics card.
The other problem was that I needed an older card that wasn’t going to cost the earth. I managed to score a Gigabyte 1050 ti GTX on eBay for just over £100. These are the oldest cards that will run at the resolution I wanted.
BUT!!! That card won’t run on XP! The oldest Nvidia driver that will support those cards won’t even run on Vista (which I bought specially, so I know!) I managed to get a copy of Win 7 Pro 32 bit for £17. The biggest lucky stroke is that the very latest Wacom driver that works on the GD-1218-R serial tablet also runs in Win 7 in XP compatibility mode. I did need to use a little free utility called DualMonitors from Sourceforge to get my wallpaper the right sizes on the two monitors. But it looks really cool and its a pleasure to paint and draw with my giant tablet in much higher resolution that I ever could before! Oh, and turn off auto updates on everything!
If you have a Wacom serial tablet in decent condition and would love to use it again, you can easily and cheaply modify an old PC like I did!
It’s 2018, I know, just throwing this into the void.
I still use my Wacom Intuos (GD-0912-U), almost 20 years old now. I run win10, and my wacom suddenly gave up on me, thought it was dead.. almost threw it out!
I’m glad I came about this post, because the driver brought my Intuos back to life.
Thanks for the feedback. I was hearing some people were getting their Wacom’s working in windows 10 but wasn’t sure why. Apparently it’s the USB versions that can continue to work in windows 10. I’m still working on a way to bring the serial service up to date for the GD-912-R series .
That would be awesome, because I would like to revive my old tablet and I can only get windows to register it and it does nothing…
You´re the best!!! Many thanks!! I was about to throw it away! Yuhuuu..so happy! :D
Glad it worked out for you. Thanks for checking out this blog!
FANTASTIC! My Gd 0912-R had been gathering dust since I went to Win7/64 ayear or so back and I’ve been using a far inferior digi pad…until I found this! went from 2000 compatability to WinXP SP3 and back, finally got some combination to work and I couldn’t be more pleased…I’ll try the Vista trick tomorrow to see if I can gain some pressure sensitivity but even if not it’s not a deal-breaker. Thanks so much!