Fixing Cool Edit “Trial Version” and “This system has not been configured correctly”

I was using Windows 10 x64 1909. For many years, I had been using Cool Edit 2000 (a/k/a CE2000 or CE2K) for audio editing. (See e.g., my post on writing scripts in CoolEdit.) I had just seen Win10 get updated at a time that I didn’t expect; I had updates paused.

System Has Not Been Configured

It appeared that this update may have messed up Cool Edit. Now, when I tried to run it, I got an error message: “This system has not been configured correctly to run Cool Edit. Please run Setup again.”

Here, I offer the steps I took on a later try. The original text of this section appears below, with links and other comments that may be helpful if this latest approach doesn’t work.

  • I made sure Cool Edit wasn’t running.
  • I tried to use Revo Uninstaller to uninstall Cool Edit, but it kept crashing, so I used IObit Uninstaller. I told it to uninstall residual files as well. That removed the entry for Cool Edit from Control Panel > Programs and Features.
  • In O&O RegEditor, I clicked My Computer (i.e., the top of the tree) > Ctrl-F to find all occurrences of Syntrillium, Cool Edit, and CE2000. I deleted everything (using right-click > Clear).
  • I used Everything to search for and delete program files and folders on drive C (including Windows prefetch files) for those same names (i.e., Syntrillium, Cool Edit, and CE2000).
  • I made sure I had deleted the files (listed below) that I added to two folders after installation, and then ran CCleaner. One or the other of these steps seems to have been essential in one case where all of the other steps listed here were insufficient to defeat the problem.
  • Then I reinstalled Cool Edit and restored these files from backup:

Restored to C:\Program Files (x86)\Cool2000:
plus scripts in the scripts folder

Restored to C:\Windows:

I didn’t use the registry file shown below.

That worked. Cool Edit was back to running normally.

In a later try, when this problem recurred, I proceeded as follows:

  • Uninstall from Programs & Features.
  • Delete Syntrillium and Cool Edit folders in Windows File Explorer.
  • Using O&O, delete all registry keys for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.
  • Reinstall and restore as above.

That didn’t work. My first clue was that the system was remembering my settings. The message seemed to be that I had to do a more thorough cleaning of registry and/or folders, as described above.

What I Tried Previously

I ran a search and tried some of the suggestions. Among other things:

  • Some writers recommended deleting the Syntrillium folder that was apparently located under Documents and Settings\Application Data in older versions of Windows (XP, maybe, or possibly as far back as 95 or 98), and then rebooting. On Win10, at least, the easy way to find that folder was %appdata%\Syntrillium.
  • Some recommended uninstalling and using Regedit to remove all references to Cool Edit and/or CE2000 and then reinstalling.
  • At least one recommended using Revo Uninstaller for the uninstallation and also removing all Cool Edit files and emptying the Recycle Bin.

None of those worked for me. Eventually I got the idea to run O&O RegEditor to search for all occurrences of CE2000 (making sure to start the Ctrl-F search with My Computer selected, at the top of the tree in the left pane). I liked O&O because it listed all findings at once, instead of having to step through them semi-blindly, one at a time, using F3 in Regedit. But I vaguely remembered disliking O&O because it was kind of invasive. I forget how: it made itself my default reg editor, or something. It wasn’t doing that now, so maybe they tamed it.

The O&O search informed me that, on this troubled computer, there were only two registry entries referring to CE2000. But on another computer, where I wasn’t having this problem, there were four. Could those two additional registry entries fix my problem?

The answer seemed to be yes. I made a .reg file to capture those two additional registry entries on the other computer; sneakered it over to the troubled machine; double-clicked on the .reg file to run it; and now Cool Edit was willing to run.

I thought I had already run my registration file, but Cool Edit started up in trial mode, so I had to re-register. But once that was done, Cool Edit ran as usual. I can’t say whether all that prior uninstalling and reinstalling helped or not.

The registry file that I got from the good machine was as follows:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


I have no idea if that .reg file will fix your problem, destroy your computer, or burn your house down. Use at your own risk. I can only say that, so far, running it on the troubled computer seems to have fixed the problem, at least for the time being.

Another way to proceed would have been to restore or at least mount an image backup of the troubled system (I use AOMEI Backupper) and go poking around in there for the missing registry keys. That way, I would have had the correct .reg edits for this machine. I just copied them over from the other computer because that was faster. I had System Restore and .adi images to fall back on if this trashed my system. Hopefully everyone knows by now to have a system backup before messing with the registry.

Trial Version

Unfortunately, that was not the end of my problems. When I closed and restarted Cool Edit, it was back in trial mode again. It appeared that I would have to run my registration file (i.e., ce2kreg.exe) every time I wanted to use Cool Edit. That wasn’t a killer — I could set up a batch file to run that, pause, and then start Cool Edit — but it wasn’t ideal either.

I wasn’t sure what was causing the problem. One possibility was that the Windows 10 Program Compatibility Assistant (PCA) was messing things up. It popped up a window after installation or, I think, after first run, telling me that it had applied compatibility settings. It appeared that, if I wanted to pursue that angle, I could choose between disabling the PCA altogether (e.g., WinHelp, AskVG) or excluding the specific program from the PCA via registry edit (e.g., Microsoft, TechNet).

I didn’t think that was the problem, though: the PCA hadn’t ever been a problem before. It seemed to me that the problem was that User Account Control (UAC) was popping up twice, each time I ran Cool Edit, and in both instances it was naming ceregkey.exe as the file that it was controlling. I didn’t recall that UAC had previously flagged ceregkey.exe when I started Cool Edit. So my question was whether I could exclude ceregkey.exe from UAC. WindowsOSHub seemed to say that I could use the registry tweak summarized in this .reg file:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers]
"C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Cool2000\\ceregkey.exe"="RunAsInvoker"

Raymond listed a handful of programs that would achieve the same thing, but this seemed more direct and better for automation: develop it once, use it automatically forever. That .reg file did prevent UAC from popping up when I ran Cool Edit. But Cool Edit still started in trial mode, and re-running the registration file still didn’t produce a permanent change.

I found that I could start Cool Edit, registered to me, by skipping the ordinary Cool Edit link in the Start Menu, choosing instead to start the program by running ce2kreg.exe (i.e., the registration file). Thus, one kludge solution would be to create a shortcut to ce2kreg.exe and use that to re-run the Cool Edit registration, every time I wanted to use Cool Edit. Perhaps I could use something like AutoHotKey to check the boxes and rip through the registration process with only a few seconds’ delay. The kludge solution would be less of a problem if I could leave Cool Edit running.

RonKelly1 seemed to say that he was able to fix the Cool Edit trial version problem on his Win10 system by copying over the C:\Program Files (x86)\Cool2000 folder from a Win8 system. Cool Edit was working and properly registered on the Win8 system; it was installed and registered but still working only as a trial on the Win10 system; but overwriting that nonworking Cool2000 folder on the Win10 machine with the working Cool2000 folder from the Win8 machine fixed the Win10 installation. Sad to say, this did not work for me, bringing over that folder from a working Cool Edit installation on another Win10 system. Even after re-running the registration file, it remained in trial mode. Possibly it would have worked if, like him, I had been bringing over that folder from a prior version of Windows, instead of from another Win10 machine.

Megamixer56 said that installing GoldWave fixed various problems s/he was having with Cool Edit. I installed it, ran it, and closed it. It didn’t help with this particular problem.

I tried running System Restore from a week earlier — from before the most recent system updates and reboot — when Cool Edit had been working fine. That did not solve the problem. I restored a drive image from two weeks earlier. That solved the problem. I set Windows Updates (Win-I) to pause and defer updates as long as possible, in hopes that Microsoft would realize it was screwing up users’ systems, and would fix that, before my inevitable Win10 update time came.

That pretty much exhausted what I could see as my possible solutions within this Win10 installation at the time. Apparently something worked: the problem went away. I didn’t see it again until I tried running Cool Edit from a WTG drive. In that case, allowing the Win10 compatibility assistant to proceed seemed to fix it. If those approaches didn’t work, those who had no working backup drive image and did not wish to reinstall Win10 from scratch might want to try the more radical alternatives discussed below.

Alternative Solutions

For a permanent fix, I thought about using something like Cameyo or ThinApp to virtualize Cool Edit, so that it would run as a portable. I think I saw that someone said they had success with this. Unfortunately, my previous experimentation with such tools had not given me a version of Cool Edit that would run as well as an installed Cool Edit — if, indeed, such program virtualizations had run at all. There was probably a way, but it seemed that producing a quality result could require quite a bit of study in the whys and wherefores of the program virtualization tool.

I could also have installed Cool Edit in a Win7 or WinXP virtual machine. (Note also the Virtual PC and XP Mode in Windows 7.) I would have to give the VM access to all of the drives or folders where audio files might appear. For security reasons, I would therefore probably want to disable that VM’s online access after initial setup. A VM would require a lot more disk space, and would impose a lot more overhead on the host system than just running Cool Edit, especially in terms of RAM and CPU resources – though that might not be the case if I was running the VM a type 1 hypervisor. Another post moves toward that kind of solution.

The good news would be that, once I got Cool Edit working in the VM (even in a type 2 hypervisor like VMware Player. I would be able to run it (and any other legacy programs I wished to install in the VM) forevermore, as long as Windows or Linux or somebody supported my type 2 hypervisor. Park the VM in an external SSD and it might be both fast and portable. The existing Cool Edit installation could also provide non-Win10 program files for use in some of the fixes discussed above. This may become the preferred solution for those who find that Win10 continues to create problems for Cool Edit.


June 6, 2022. I add this section in anticipation of adding further notes. Today’s note is that, yesterday, I got the “not configured correctly” error. I reviewed this post and deferred doing anything. Today, the message is gone and Cool Edit is working normally. I rebooted yesterday. That may have been after I got the error. If so, presumably that was the fix, because I haven’t done anything else that could have fixed it.

June 13, 2022. This time, rebooting didn’t do it. Then it ran normally the next morning, after sitting overnight. But then an attempt to restart it produced the same “not configured correctly” error. That pattern repeated in subsequent days: sit overnight, run once, then an error. Re-running the .reg file (above), by itself, didn’t seem to help. But then I used the suggestion from djmichaelangelo (Comments, below), in modified form: I right-clicked on Cool Edit’s icon in the Start Menu > Run as administrator. That worked.

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1 Response to Fixing Cool Edit “Trial Version” and “This system has not been configured correctly”

  1. djmichaelangelo says:

    I had this exact same thing happen to me, and coincidentally it was JUST after I used a program called Malwarebytes to scan my computer for tracking programs & malware. So I’m convinced that this was the culprit. So far, the workaround for me was to find a way to “Run As Administrator” the original .exe file on my C:\ drive (not just the shortcut on my desktop) and that I did by right-clicking the actual .exe file itself, choose Properties, then Compatibility tab, then click the check-box for “Run this program as administrator”. So now at least when I double-click on the Cool Edit shortcut on my desktop, it just dims the screen for a second, forcing me to click YES I do trust this program. Such a fking hassle!

    Another glitch that was caused by (I suspect) Malwarebyte is that I can only open files in Cool Edit by the File –> Open (menu at top-left) option now. If I try to click-n-drag a .wav file directly into the Cool Edit window, nothing happens. And also another weird thing now is when I do successfull open a waveform, it doesn’t do anything, it’s silent until I physically click the play button (or spacebar). Before things went haywire, it used to start playing a waveform immediately as soon as it appeared on the screen. I would literally PAY MONEY to find an easy way to permanently fix all these problems. And SHAME on whatever bumbling arrogant techie genius is behind these bugs!

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