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Dell digital delivery, Adobe XI Std and Serial Number

Jun 25, 2013 7:28 AM

Tags: #acrobat #digital #in #serial #number #activation #delivery #standard #use #dell #already #xi

We ordered a lot of new Optiplex 3010's for business.  We also specified Adobe Acrobat XI which only comes through via Dell Digital Delivery now.  So we do not get a disc or a serial number card anymore.


We set up a model computer exactly how we want it.  You know, run through all the nag prompts, import a script to customize pinned applications to the taskbar, accept first time license agreements, ensure all the software we need is installed and configured.  Then after this is done we remove it from the domain again and as a local admin we go through everything one last time to make sure things are custom the way we want.  We then take an image using Acronis (boot to it from network).  Then we go back in and run the Windows 7 sysprep utility that points to an xml file with things like copy profile = true, and others.


After it shuts down we image it again so we have an after image.  Now we just use Acronis and put this image on all of our Dell Optiplex 3010's.  When its booted the only thing it asks for is computer name, and then once its booted we join it to our domain.  Prior to deployment we run appwiz.cpl, go down to Microsoft Office 2010 and hit "Change" and choose enter a product key, and then we enter the product key from the computer that it is replacing.


Now today I got an e-mail from someone with one of these new computers along with a screen shot from Adobe Acrobat XI (which remember is via Dell digital delivery and we have no serial cards or installation media anymore). 

It says The serial number 1016xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx is already in use by the maximum allowed computers.  You need to deactivate another computer within 25 days to use this products.Then there are two options:


  • Retry activation. I already have deactivated one of my other computers.
  • Provide a different serial number. 


Well since Dell did not distribute Adobe key cards, where would I get another serial number from?  I imagine the one presented was used in the original image.  However Dell digital delivery verifies by the service tag that the PC is authorized for Adobe and it should have taken care of all of this.  So what am I to do here?  In the future if we do not choose this method and instead go through another retailer for Adobe Acrobat XI Standard, then we will get a CD and key card for each computer we deploy, although its much more expensive... were talking $150 vs the $50 add on for it when customizing the Dell computer.


So thanks for any input.  I realize this could be an Dell problem (so I posted over there as well), however this was installed via Dell Digital Delivery and Dell did not send out any keys. 


We legitimately paid for this.  In the previous round of Optiplex 3010's when we could order Acrobat X standard, we were given a key card.  After sysprep I would run a script (AAMEE was installed in the default image) to change the serial number via the command line.  But now Acrobat XI is different and I'm not sure what to do.  Dell doesn't even give us an option for Adobe X anymore, or else I would have just used that version which worked fine.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 28, 2013 10:22 AM   in reply to KJSTech

    Sorry, I cannot help. But it sounds like you should have gone with a reseller that would provide you with a volume license that would have been much less of a hassel. Maybe you can contact Dell and return Acrobat that you purchased and go with a volume license.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 28, 2013 10:47 AM   in reply to KJSTech

    You can't do what you're trying to do. Dell Digital Delivery deploys your bundled software to each licensed machine independently (it looks up your service tag and creates a silent deployment with the serial number pre-entered), so imaging post-install is of course going to replicate the embedded (and supposedly-unique) license hash to each clone. With retail Adobe products you have found that's both illegal and impossible, as Adobe's licensing server knows how many activations each key has made.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 6, 2013 5:30 AM   in reply to KJSTech

    I'm not sure if this will still be useful, but we have a similar situation at my workplace. Previously we would enter the Acrobat key into a database I had created, and then during deployment a script would run that (effectively) polled the database (using the computer's serial number as the unique ID) and then installed Acrobat using that computer's key.


    I've just finished up an early version of a utility that can poll Dell's servers with a given serial number and returns the product key for Acrobat XI. It's written in AutoIT and is pretty straight-forward. You can find the code here:

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