First, yes you do need something to get the designs into the proper format for the machine to read. That 'something' however, does not need to be 3D. Viking is now selling the 5D software and even that would work. I can tell you that purchasing 3D might be possible however, as that software is no longer supported by any of the Viking dealers (unless they want to) as far as any lessons. I do know that to spend the least amount of money to obtain something which would create the proper format, you might want to look at Embird as that software can now create the proper file format for the Viking machines, including the disks if your machine has not had the upgrade from disk to USB. I do not own Embird so I can't give the specifics although I have seen the steps in some yahoo groups to do so and have seen that it works based on comments.
Second, I'm not sure the .shv format was ever available on too many sites other than possibly the Viking site since that's the machine format, not software. VP3 was the one that most Viking dealers would tell you to download (althoguht when the D1 first came out they did tell you to get the HUS format because VP3 wasn't around then) and that is now very limited on most digitizer's sites as well because through the years the Viking machines are now able to use almost any format via the USB and machine. I have to disagree with Susan on the hus format however (sorry Susan) because you want to get the hus format as your very last resort because that format is very limited in its memory and does not hold all of the color spectrum as many of the other formats can. If you cannot download the VP3 format, your next choice should be VIP. I almost always do the VIP and don't even look for VP3 since there are so many not offering that. But, sadly, many also no longer are offering the VIP either more and more so then I will get either PES, or JEF because they convert just fine and the color spectrum is available in those formats. I will rarely download HUS because of the way it is so limited. In attending a trunk show shortly after buying my machine that Viking educator doing the show was the one who told us to stay away from HUS because of its limitations.
Third, if you were looking for the newest machine, then yes, you made a mistake, however, buying a D1 even if it is an older machine I don't consider a mistake as that is a VERY good machine. There are still people looking for those machines because it was one of the best of the Viking machines. If your machine was not updated to USB then you might want to buy a supply of floppy disks very soon. It was announced earlier this year that at the end of the year floppy disks will cease to be produced any longer. If you choose to upgrade that machine it will run, if I recall around $600 but don't quote me on that. I did not opt to upgrade mine and it works just wonderfully. I have the D1 floppy and love my machine. I bought mine late 2003 and can tell you that I have done A LOT of embrodiery with that machine and in the first three years I did almost exclusively all embroidery and very little sewing and any sewing I did with it was just seams on baby blankets and bibs etc. so mine has many hours of embroidery. In all the years since I bought my machine I have never had to take it in for repair. When I first bought it there was some problems with my bobbin and bird nesting but that was from something the tech had done while cleaning my machine prior to letting it go out for sale. My machine had been a used machine because it was one in a group of machines used in an all day/weekend class somewhere.
I don't know where you are and if you have gone to the Viking store near you but you might want to speak to them and let them know your problem. You don't say where you bought the machine but I suspect it was an individual purchase because if it was a Viking store I would have expected them to tell you the need to have disk manager. Have you asked the person you got the machine from about their software and if they just forgot possibly to include that so you had a usuable machine for embroidery? It could be they didn't mention it though because they traded their software in for 4D or even the current 5D because they bought a newer machine so they needed to keep it. Shame on them for not telling you though.
that's just rotten but, at least you do have a way to get something that will work but too bad it means spending more money. The good thing though is that you can spend a much more reasonable amount of money with the Embird software vs. needing to buy 5D which is not a cheap program to buy. MAYBE your local Viking dealer will look to you as a future customer and to show some goodwill toward you will hook you up with disk manager somehow at very little cost or none at all. I'll cross my fingers for you.
You do have a very good machine though so no, I don't think you made a mistake. No, it's not the most current machine but it IS a great machine. As I said, that's the same machine I still have and use and while I would LOVE to buy one of the newer ones, I just can't afford it. Plus, if I did buy a newer machine I would NOT trade this one in because it is such a great machine.
Also, wherever you bought that machine, they should have given you a number of things that came with that machine which included disks with designs and alphabets plus a number of machine feet so hopefully they did include all those items. At least you would have some things you could embroider with now. Good luck and HAVE FUN!