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Activating Legacy SONAR versions on Steam

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This article only relates to legacy versions of SONAR distributed via the Steam platform. As of 2023 Sept, changes to the Steam platform and Cakewalk's website have caused compatibility problems with activation. Some symptoms of this are the SONAR app being in demo mode after installation from Steam or "communication problem with the server" error messages when trying to register the application.

PS: These instructions are provided as a courtesy to users using legacy versions of Cakewalk that are no longer supported or maintained by us. No support or fixes are provided for these products.

This article discusses how to resolve these and reactivate your software if necessary.

Activation Steps:

  1. Open the Steam client and copy the serial number of the software you wish to activate. (Go to Manage | CD Keys to find it)


  2.  Download and unzip SteamReg.zip  which contains the latest version of SteamReg.exe for both 32 and 64 bit installations.
  3. Copy the appropriate flavor of SteamReg.exe to your Steam application's program folder.
    e.g for 64 bit SONAR it typically is:
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Cakewalk\x64\SONAR
    Note: The path may be different from above if you have installed Steam to a different folder. This will replace the existing file in that location.

    For Instruments (Rapture Pro/Z3TA+ 2), you'll want to place these in the folder with the microhost, the default for x64 Rapture Pro: 
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Cakewalk\x64\VstPlugins\Rapture Pro\ 

  4. Open a command prompt (Start | Command Prompt)
  5. Type the following command, replacing <serialnumber> with your serial number as obtained in step 1.
    "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Cakewalk\x64\SONAR\SteamReg.exe" /SN <serialnumber>

    For Instruments, you would use the appropriate equivalent path. Here's how a successful entry for Rapture Pro would appear in Command Prompt:

  6. If step 5 succeeded with no errors, you may now open the application from the Steam client
  7. When the app launches you should see the registration dialog prompting you for your e-mail address.
    NOTE: If you have previously registered the product with Cakewalk, its very important to enter the SAME email address you used before, otherwise the registration will fail. Your PC must be online for this step.


  8. The app should now be activated!

The same steps may also be used to activate plugins from Steam such as Rapture. Note that if you reinstall the application, you will have to redo the above steps since Steam will restore the SteamReg file to the original version.


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  • 2 months later...

Thank you for this, I am honestly amazed that you have done this for us. I am yet try to it out.
It's been many years, but I feel a little bit less ripped off now after all the drama. Looking forward to being able to use all of my platinum plugins without issues.

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1 hour ago, Ingmar said:

actaully this didn't work for me... I followed all steps and the command line prompt seemed to work, but after launching and entering my email (same one I've always used for Steam & Cakewalk), it gives me this error;


Could it be a conflict between my different cdkeys under the SONAR product? I tried both, and neither worked with the cmd SteamReg.exe steps (only the one matches the serial I see in my Cakewalk online account). It looks like my Rapture keys and activation worked though, which only had a single key.

Edited by Ingmar
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I think I see what my problem is,  my Cakewalk account only shows my "SONAR - Platinum 2016 Season Pass" cd key as "SONAR 2016 Platinum - STEAM", but when I try to launch and activate SONAR, it shows and tries to use my "SONAR - Platinum Lifetime Pass" cdkey (which doesn't show up in my Cakewalk account at all)


@Noel Borthwick Is there any way that you can fix this for me, so that there is an alignment with the correct keys used by Steam and my Cakewalk account to launch SONAR (Platinum)?

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 12/14/2023 at 10:48 PM, Ingmar said:



I put in the prompt all of old Cakewalk programms at once. I had the same error. 

I put English as program language and I followed again the steps but this time I did it with only one software at time. And it worked

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