“LaTeX source files more than 5 years old!”

Got this compile error from LaTeX today and I really don’t have any idea what is exactly going on.

This is pdfTeX, Version 3.1415926-1.40.10 (MiKTeX 2.8)
Running miktex-pdftex.exe...
This is pdfTeX, Version 3.1415926-1.40.10 (MiKTeX 2.8) (INITEX)
entering extended mode
("C:\Program Files\MiKTeX 2.8\tex\latex\config\latex.ini"
("C:\Program Files\MiKTeX 2.8\tex\latex\base\latex.ltx"
("C:\Program Files\MiKTeX 2.8\tex\latex\00miktex\texsys.cfg")
./texsys.aux found

\@currdir set to: ./.

Assuming \openin and \input
have the same search path.

Defining UNIX/DOS style filename parser.

catcodes, registers, compatibility for TeX 2,  parameters,

! You are attempting to make a LaTeX format from a source file
! That is more than five years old.
! If you enter <return> to scroll past this message then the format
! will be built, but please consider obtaining newer source files
! before continuing to build LaTeX.

! LaTeX source files more than 5 years old!.
l.545 ...aTeX source files more than 5 years old!}

No pages of output.
Transcript written on latex.log.
miktex-makefmt: miktex-pdftex.exe failed on latex.ini.
initexmf.exe: The operation failed for some reason.
initexmf.exe: Data: C:\Program Files\MiKTeX 2.8\miktex\bin\miktex-makefmt.exe
I can't find the default format file!

However, I did find a workaround that seemed to solve the problem and I decided to share it. Perform the following steps:

  1. Open “C:\Program Files\MiKTeX 2.8\tex\latex\base\latex.ltx” (or wherever your latex.ltx resides). One alternative path that is different from mine is “C:\Program Files\MiKTeX\miktex\bin\tex\latex\base”.
  2. Find “\ifnum\count@65>” and change it into “\ifnum\count@>100” (or some number larger than 100)
  3. Save the file.

The real problem is not fixed, but at least you should now be able to compile your files.

Note that in Windows Vista and Windows 7 you’ll have to have administrator access to be able to overwrite this file since Program Files is a system directory. One way to accomplish this is to simply copy the file to let’s say the desktop, edit it, and then overwrite the original file with the edited file.

57 thoughts on ““LaTeX source files more than 5 years old!””

  1. Thank you very much for your advice. It helped me a lot to handle lateX.

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