How to Migrate FactoryTalk View Projects to Windows 7 64 bit

Update 04/12/18: Rockwell recently released version 10 of FactoryTalk View which among other things is said to have the ability to restore old 32bit, pre-6.1 .APA Application Archive files directly on a 64bit Operating Systems without the need to export and import the tag database.

FactoryTalk-View-ME-Cant-Open-32bitSo you just got a new laptop with Windows 7 64 pre-installed? Welcome to the wonderful world of 64 bit computing!

By the way, and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you can’t open any of your old FactoryTalk View APA files in your new 64 bit OS. Well, not without exporting the project database on 32 bit OS first.

Note: You may also be interested in our new article, “Easy Way To Migrate FactoryTalk View APA's to Windows 7 64”

Why can't I open my FactoryTalk View APA files on Windows 7 64 bit?

Since the early nineties, Rockwell had used a Watcom database product in its HMI’s and SCADA packages. Unfortunately, as the story goes, Watcom doesn’t provide a way to access the data in this database product on 64 bit Windows operating systems

So while new versions of ViewStudio (6.1+) have migrated to Microsoft SQL Server Express, there's no way to import data from older projects using the Watcom database while actually running Windows 7 64 bit.

How to migrate FactoryTalk View projects to Windows 7 64 bit

So what do you do if you have dozens of FactoryTalk View projects that you need to migrate to Windows 7 64 bit? Well, if you still have access to a 32 bit Windows OS with ViewStudio installed, the work around is pretty easy.

UPDATE: If you don't have access to a PC running Windows XP, but do have a PC running Windows 7 Pro, check out our article on Windows XP Mode

Step 1) Download the FactoryTalk View legacy migration tool HERE.

Legacy TAB DB Utility Download

Step 2) Install and run the tool on the 32 bit OS which contains you projects, then choose export:


Step 3) Select the product, in this example Machine Edition, and check “Search sub-folders” as shown:


Step 4) Select the project(s) for which you wish to export the database(s)


Step 5) Once the Database(s) have been exported, create an APA (application archive) for your project(s) using the Application Manager.


Step 6) Copy the APA file(s) to your Windows 7 64 bit machine, and restore it/them using the Application Manager.

NOTE: Do not rename your project when restoring it – I have found that the utility will not find your project if you rename it during the APA restoration.

Step 7) Run the FactoryTalk View legacy migration tool and select create as shown:


Step 8) Select the application(s) and press finish:


Step 9) Confirm the application(s) have converted successfully


Step 10) Confirm the conversion has worked by opening your newly converted project(s) in FactoryTalk View.

I hope you’ve found the above article about migrating old FactoryTalk View projects from 32 to 64 bit helpful. If you have any comments, questions, or corrections, please don’t hesitate to leave them by filling in the “post a comment or question” link below.

Until next time, Peace ✌️ 

Shawn M Tierney
Technology Enthusiast & Content Creator

Have a question? Join my community of automation professionals and take part in the discussion! You'll also find my PLC, HMI, and SCADA courses at

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    • Tal,

      I’ve had that happen to me too – at first I thought I had forgotten to check “search subfolders” but I had.

      I finally traced it down to the fact that when I restored the APA I renamed it. I restored the APA again without renaming it and it then showed up in the utility.

      So, in step 6 be sure not to rename the app when restoring it.

      Please let me know if that solves the issue,


      Shawn Tierney

      Join my free community to follow along! You can also become a member and support our work at:

  1. The above description is possible if 32 bit is available but i dont have X32 bit only X64bit so can you suggest any possibilty.

    As i am getting Legacy Database conversion Error

  2. We have many HMI’s using 5.1 and just upgraded our laptops to windows 7 64 bit. We used another method than what you expalined here but when we tried to open the files on the panelview through Asset Center, we could not. Therefore if we ever need to make changes on the HMI’s in the future we can not. Rockwell told us it cant be done, to either keep an old XP machine around or use virtual machine. The explanation being that once the file is converted to the 6.1 64 bit file it cant be used on the old 5.1 32 bit HMI’s to make changes. Will the procedure you described here allow us to make changes from windows 7 64 bit on the old HMI’s or simply view the HMI’s? Thanks Shawn

    • Good morning Mike,

      To support your older PanelView Plus units you may wish to install Windows XP mode (free to users of Windows 7 Pro or better.) and install ViewStudio 5.1 on it.

      However, if you would like to migrate to ViewStudio 6.1 or higher, and have many pre-6.1 projects, the procedure in the above article will help you export the old projects on your old PC (or from in Windows XP mode) so you can import them on your Win 7 64bit pc.

      A third option I’ll be writing about this week for those who no longer have access to their old PC and don’t need to continue to run an old version of ViewStudi, is to install ViewStudio 6.1, 7.0 or 8.0 in XP mode and open and resave projects there – it truly makes converting projects a whole lot easier.

      All that said, I want to also point out that ViewStudio can save projects as previous version MER’s. So, ViewStudio 8.0 can in fact make a version 3.2 MER file to run on an old legacy PVPlus.

      However, a good rule of thumb to remember is that once a project is opened in a newer version of ViewStudio it can’t be opened in older versions of ViewStudio. So a version 5.1 .MER created with ViwStudio 6.1 (or higher) can’t be opened in ViewStudio 5.1 again.

      Hop that helps – if you have additional questions please don’t hesitate to ask,

      Shawn Tierney

      Join my free community to follow along! You can also become a member and support our work at:

  3. I need the software 450509 – Factory talk view Legacy tag data base conversion toll.
    I can not find in rockwell site as you told us.
    Could you send me by email?
    Best Regard
    Giuliano – Brazil

  4. I have an old 32-bit computer running 5.1. I followed your instructions but when I try to run the Tag Database Conversion Utility on my 64-bit machine it fails!

    I get this message.

    Creating new format tag database for the following 1 projects failed.

    C:UsersPublicDocumentsRSView EnterpriseMEHMI – Possible root cause is the project or its tag database is being used by another application and cannot be opened.

    Creating new format tag database for the following 0 projects succeeded but with exception.
    Any suggestions?

    • Good afternoon Sharon,

      That’s odd. Here what I would suggest:
      – Reboot 32 bit machine running 5.1
      – Do not open ViewStudio
      – Run Legacy tool again for that one project
      – Run the Application manager and create a new APA for that project – do not change APA file name
      (you may have to save over previous attempt)
      – Copy to 64 bit machine running 6.1+ and reboot
      – Do not open ViewStudio
      – Use the Application Manager to restore the APA – do not change project name
      (you may have to delete previous attempt first)
      – Run the Legacy tool to create the new database

      Hopefully it now runs correctly and you can proceed to open it in View Studio?

      Hope this helps!

      Shawn Tierney

      Join my free community to follow along! You can also become a member and support our work at:

  5. Hello again I have an application where I need to scan a bar-code then have it displayed on the hmi we currently use a black-hawk system that we print to from our PLC but we have had mistakes made by operators scanning the wrong part number
    We scan the bar code at the beginning of the shift and it selects the part type in the PLC.
    I would like to scan the bar code have it display on the HMI then scan again using the displayed code on the HMI then when we have a tote of parts complete the black hawk system will print the proper tote label.Do you think this is possible?
    most of our PLC’S are compact logix and HMI’S are panel view plus.
    the problem is the black hawk is a separate system from the PLC
    so long story short can I send bar-code to HMI from PLC?

    • Afternoon autosmurf,

      I recommend displaying the part number of the bar code on the Panelview after the PLC scans it, and then requiring the operator to accept what is displayed on the PanelView is correct before the process can begin

      To display the “actual” picture of the bar code could be done several different ways, however none are simple or quick (depending on how many different ones you have,) and I’m not even sure your bar code reader is the type that can read bar codes on a screen?

      Hope this helps,

      Shawn Tierney

      Join my free community to follow along! You can also become a member and support our work at:

  6. Hello Mr Shawn Tierney,

    I want to thank you for your explication.
    At final Step (Step9) I’ve faced a problem,
    It says:
    Creating new format tag database for the following 1 projects failed.

    C:UsersPublicDocumentsRSView EnterpriseSEHMI projectsRahouiaRahouia.sed – Possible root cause is importing csv file to sql database failed. The csv file is corrupted.

    Creating new format tag database for the following 0 projects succeeded but with exception.
    Would you please tell me what could be the problem here.

    Best Regards.

    • Good morning nader,

      The first thing I suggest is to be sure you did not rename the application anywhere along the process.

      Besides that, could you share which software you are using and what version it is?


      Shawn Tierney

      Join my free community to follow along! You can also become a member and support our work at:

      • Hello,
        That’s for sure, I didn’t the application.
        I’m using the 7.00.00 (CPR9 SR6) FactoryTalk View Studio version on windows 7 64bit. I’m Trying to open an old Backup.

        Nader BHS.

        • Good afternoon nader,

          Step 2 has you run the utility on a 32bit os that also has View Studio and your project on it in order to export the tag db. Was that successful?

          PS – I do offer a service to convert these files for $25 for one file, and $50 for three – if you’re interested let me know.

          Shawn Tierney

          Join my free community to follow along! You can also become a member and support our work at:

  7. Hello. I’m hoping you can help me out! I have inherited a PanelView Plus 400 HMI, version 5.0 and I would like to modify the existing program that is running on it. I have factorytalk software installed on a windows 7 computer. All I have is the existing program file (.mer). Is it possible to make edits to the (.mer) file using the windows 7 computer and then load it back onto the HMI. I do not have a 32-bit computer to install the legacy tool. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


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