I had the same problem with notebook ASUS M51T. CS3 installs but not runs. I installed pure Vista from original MS disk and then install drivers one by one. After installing each driver I tried to run CS3 and it worked fine while I installed AHCI driver. After that, CS3 did't run anymore.
I have in my BIOS set up for Serial ATA: SATA -> AHCI. CS3 worked fine with this setting, but when instaled AHCI driver, it didn't worked.
I haven't tried any of the suggestions above yet, but it seems that problem is really in AHCI driver.
Will try to install AHCI driver and use any solutions above and let you know if it helped.
To get Windows 7 to run your old software, you have to have either Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate, or Enterprise.
Also, you will need to test your system at the Microsoft link below to see if you are able to run Virtual PC and XP Mode.
This next link will take you to an Information and Video page to show you what to do to set up and videos on how to make it work.
I had the very same issues after buying a brand new, high end computer from HP and there was NO INFORMATION to bring up this issue or how to fix it.
I run the CS3 Master suite and just found this information, so I am still setting mine up.
Hope this helps, as I was so frustrated and upset for the massive amount of money I have already spent and I sure did not want to pay for it all again, after only one year.
Pass this around, as this has got to work.....otherwise, I'm grabbing my "Pink Handle Sledge Hammer."
The Cajun Lady
It worked BEAUTIFULLY!!
I have just posted a post with Full Steps on how to set it all up....
"Full Steps to run CS3 in Windows 7" and I give full details of what you will need and how to get it going.
CS3 loaded right up and functioned as if it was on a Vista and XP system, where as before, when I was running Windows 7 Home Prem. it not only would not run, but also dropped out the registry.
With the steps that I have put together with the post listed here, CS3 works like a dream.
If all you use your computer for is Photoshop then i don't think that it's worth it because you still have to run Win7 in the background so virtual XP mode will always be slower than having just XP running. Virtual XP mode is made for all those small business apps that nobody cares to update anymore, not for things like Photoshop
Thanks Zeno. That would have been my SWAG, (well maybe not so wild!) as I realize that condition holds. But Win7 is new so I had to look and consider.
The crazy part is the utility for OC I woked on was developed with XP/Vista 32 and 64, and when Win 7 showed up, we simply ran it.
And it ran and it ran all over the dam!
No virtual needed and it is a small app.
most applications that run under XP and especially Vista will run just fine on 7. VirtualXP mode isn't really meant for home users, it's for businesses as they tend to have old and badly written apps that they can't live without and which usually wont work on newer operating systems. It's really not that unusual to see some companies still hanging on to systems with win98 because of some accounting program or some such.
Now I wish I had a trial version of Win 7 to poke at CS3 and see what I see. I's not worth the money if I only can run in virtual. Somehow, I think it ought to run in 7, but again, MS says no, get the upgrade when I did a Win check on my computer. It was the only app that wouldn't run, although some would partially run.