CorelDraw Graphics Suite X5 illegal?

After many yeas of owning a copy of CorelDraw Graphics Suite X5, I am getting a message indicating that the copy I have is "illegal"

I opened a support ticket with Corel around mid February (2019) and was given a Registry "Fix" that hasn't really fixed anything.  It works two or three times then my copy of Corel X5 gets disabled and I'm prompted with the Option to upgrade to an older (yes older) version of Corel Suite for 50% off.

I was also asked to provide them the software Serial number, which was verified as being VALID but yet, no fix.

I called, at least, every other day to ask for a status and keep being told that my ticket has been forwarded to Level 2, whatever that means.  It is now 2 months and no one has reached out.

I also posted a complaint via Twitter and received this reply:

"Hello, sorry to hear about your concerns. If you are referring to CorelDRAW X5, please note this is no longer a supported version hence technical assistance would be limited. We would recommend reaching out to the community forums at :  - if you wish to seek further guidance or discuss a problem related to this legacy version. Thank you."

Is this Corel's way of forcing people to upgrade.

  • Hello,

    Definitely not a nice situation your in. Can I ask if you have tried to reinstall the X5 version? Have you tried to install on a second device - desktop or laptop. In case something is specific to your current computer, it might be a good thing to try.

    My suggestion is to Uninstall completely, and restall from scratch again. And download and install the servicepacks available. Considering you have a valid serial number, and it worked for years.

    Being a beta tester since version X4, I would do like this:

    1, See to that you have your X5 DVD at hand.  Before doing anything at all.

    2, Uninstall, remove your X5 version

    3, Uninstaller Corel Shell extension (it will be reinstalled during install).

    4, in the dialog during Uninstall choose remove all user specific settings. It's not called that, but you will see you get a choice to remove All. You need to choose that option. If you have any customizations you've done, bought macros etcetera to your X5, all will be lost, Uninstaller, removed. The idea is to get a clean sheet. To remove all crap that is creating the issue.

    5, If Uninstall whent we'll, then go to windows C, Corel folder on your hard drive and look for any folder and files that says Coreldraw Graphics Suite X5. And remove those. Select and delete.

    You need to remove them all. X5 that is.

    6, If all is gone, removed, then restart your computer and slid in your DVD and reinstall your version of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5.

    7, download and install service pack


    If all goes well, this will have fixed your problems, and you should be all set to go. And work again.

    Please remember that although X5 might install on Windows XP, it might not work on Windows 10, nor 8.0 or 8.1. But works perfectly on XP and Windows 7. Simply because Windows 8 nor 10 existed during install of X5.

    Let me know if this helps

  • When it comes to the tweet, I hear you, not fun to read that. But equally, full technical support will always be less with older versions. But the good thing is that you still went on in this official community. In here you can reach regular users like yourself and me, and beta tester like myself and Corel staff. Remember many Corel staff in here are the best people in support. You reach both customer service and high level tech support people.

    I like to remember there were 3 service packs made for X5. But if you only see one service pack on the site, it would mean it's a so called kumilative service pack/fix that involves all separate into one. You will see when you go to the site please remember to use, or create, a Corel account to get be able to download the free service packs.

  • I have the same problem. I started getting "illegal software" popup windows about six weeks ago and contacted Corel tech support. Tech support initially insisted that the problem was my serial number was invalid and the only solution was to pay $249 for the "amnesty" version, and they wouldn't do anything. A couple of weeks ago I stumbled on the email i received from Corel back in 2012 confirming my purchase so I made a copy of it and sent it to tech support. They responded by stating that OK, the S/N is legit, but that I have "reached the limit of the installation of the software", whatever that means (I only have it installed on one PC, but over the 7 years that I have had the software I've gone through 3 different PCs).  I asked them what they meant but it's been over 2 weeks and no reply. 

    I found a patch on the web that supposedly got rid of the messages. The patch was to delete the "Messages" subfolder in the Appdata/Roaming/Corel folder. However, it only worked for a short while--after two or three usages of Draw or CorelPaint, the messages started reappearing. It turns out that the software was re-creating the "Messages" folder and rewriting the Protexis monitoring messages in it. I found that if I set the Messages folder permissions to disable Write permission it solved the problem. When you look at the properties of a folder it will normally have the read-only box clicked, but if you read carefully that box only applies to messages in the folder, not the folder itself. You have to go to the parent folder  (.../Corel), right-click on the Messages folder, then disable Write privileges using the Security tab. 

    To make a long story short, 

    1. Right-click on the Windows icon on the taskbar and type "%Appdata%" in the "run" window, then click "OK".

    2. Open the Corel directory and then open the "Messages" subdirectory.

    3. Delete everything in the subdirectory (you can delete everything permanently--SHIFT+ Delete.).

    4. Navigate back up to the Corel directory.

    5. Right-click on the "Messages" subdirectory and open the properties window.

    6. Under the "Security" tab, edit the permissions and delete 'write' privileges for all cases shown (usually three -- everyone, SYSTEM, Administrator).

    That's it. Protexis can no longer write the monitoring messages (they can grow to the thousands over time) so the "Illegal software" messages go away. Since the Messages folder still exists, Protexis doesn't try to delete it and create a new one (a big slip-up in the Protexis program). This fix has worked for me now for a week or more, but who knows whether it's a permanent fix.  Unfortunately, publishing this fix may also help some actual pirates, but If Corel had been even minimally responsive to a legitimate user complaint I wouldn't have published it.