Well, you wrote some nice prose, but perhaps it would have been more helpful to actually give us some tech info, install logs and a description of the actual problem? Not to throw fuel into the fire, but any such issues are always specific, not a generic flaw in whatever you think Adobe does wrong. also did you do the logical first steps like uninstalling all the older Adobe apps, runng the Creative Suite Cleaner Tool and then trying to install with a clean slate?
OK - if I wasn't specific enough - when I tried to install, when I got to the point of putting the old serial number in the software told me "the serial number you entered was valid but no qualifying product was found." That was it. no logging information, no nuthin'. I don't have creative suite, just photoshop and dreamweaver, so I doubt the cleaner tool would have worked. I did download and run the Adobe Support Advisor tool, which analyzed my old installation and found no problems - and told me to call customer support. I officially registered my old version. I ran through all the troubleshooting steps in your onsite documentation for problems with a serial number. I chatted several times with support engineers. No one asked me for install logs - and I doubt any were generated, since I never got that far.
I didn't uninstall the older version because it was an upgrade of an upgrade (I've been a customer for a while, as I've said) and I didn't want to try an dig up the original copy or risk losing the app I have if something went wrong (and boy was I right about that.) Let me also add that when I decided to return the upgrade I'd purchased, the return didn't show up on my account page for days and I had to contact support again before they told me it was returned. Plus, I still haven't gotten my money back.
I guess it's totally reasonable that you have no sympathy. My best friend didn't either, when I called and bitched to her. She just laughed at me and says she just gets the pirated version, because Adobe is so overpriced. I work in ecommerce and I never pirate software, on principle, but when you make it this hard for a customer, it's kinda hard for them to argue with someone who does. Plus, really, given the amount of the Adobe website and forums dedicated to installation issues - would you really argue that you don't have a general issue here? I mean, really?
There should be an option to enter the serial number for your qualifying product. It sounds like this is the step you are stuck at. Exactly which CS5 product did you purchase and which CS3 product are you upgrading from?
I bought CS 5 extended. I was upgrading from CS3 extended. I registered it - so you can get the details from my account. I have my CS3 installed in the default location, so I don't know why the installation wouldn't find a qualifying product. From what the message said I assumed that the serial number was valid, but it couldn't find the installation or wasn't recognizing it as CS3 extended for some reason. Possibly because it was an upgrade rather than a full install (since that's the kind of use case that doesn't get tested, in my experience).
Ok the upgrade should be valid if you are upgrading from Photoshop CS3 Extended to Photoshop CS5 Extended. Is it possible that your CS3 serial number is a volume license serial number or did you purchase a retail copy?
Beyond that there maybe a permission issue which is causing the software to have difficulty with your serial number. I looked through this message thread and I don't see which operating system are you using? If you could provide this information I can then provide steps which are relevant to your computer.
You could also try the steps listed by Mylenium as they are general enough to be platform agnostic. The steps I would be having you try are basically solving for the same issue but would be a bit more specific.
I appreciate the time you're taking to answer me - but I have gotten my money back and so am removing the software from my machine. I'm hoping that bridge will start opening images again in CS3, since right now it's just trying to get me to use a trial version of CS 5.1, which I didn't install, since it's no fun to play with new toys when you know you can't upgrade to them. (Er. sorry for the mixed metaphor). Anyway in case you're interested, my machine is a windows machine - I'm not a professional, just a hobbyist. I'm not sure if the number is a retail or wholesale number - I bought the copy, unopened, from someone else.
I'll say one last thing - which is that I get why you want customers to jump through hoops - you have a serious piracy problem you're trying to deal with and you're world-class enterprise quality software. I get it. But if you're going to do that - you need to be willing to bend over backward if a customer is willing to pay for quality and jump through the hoops. You're a niche market - do you really want to leave money on the table? I work in the software industry - I've installed web servers and large databases among other things. It absolutely flummoxes me that I couldn't install your stuff after a week of trying and calling and trying again. The sad thing is - I still want to upgrade. But I'm pretty sure if I try - I'll just get the runaround again.
Cogn8ive I am sorry that you have had a difficult experience with the install process. When it is convenient for you would you mind private messaging me your CS3 serial number so I can verify it is showing up from our side as being valid. I am concerned due to the fact that you purchased the software from someone and I want to help ensure you won't have additional problems in the future.
Alterantely if you would like to work directly with our support team they would be happy to decode the serial number for you as well. For the best assistance, I recommend our chat support at http://adobe.ly/yxj0t6. Our chat representatives can provide a personalized experience to resolve the issue you have described.