Brett, that link provides perhaps the most shameful excuse for "customer assistance" I can recall seeing in any forum ever.
The gist of that page is "Does Creative Suite constantly badger you, every time you boot up your computer, to log into your Adobe account and reenter your perfectly valid serial number? Well did you know that after loggin in again, you can cut and paste your serial number into the field every time our expensive software annoyingly malfunctions? There, we fixed it!"
Hard to imagine offering that solution with a straight face.
As you can tell I've become very frustrated doing this for the last two years, having tried many suggested fixes on various forums to no avail.
This documentation has this "solution" (actually a workaround) because the problem is out of was out of our hands to resolve. The problem is caused by Windows itself, and not on all systems. How it works is, every computer has a Machine ID, which is a unique identifier like a fingerprint. When you install an Adobe product, your serial number gets locked to that Machine ID (Activation). However, on these computers, the Machine ID changes itself periodically (which is never supposed to happen). This breaks the lock to the serial number. Thus, the serial number must be reentered to re-lock it.
We did work with Microsoft for quite a while on this to get things working properly. And this post and document are more than a year and a half old. Make sure you have all of the latest updates installed, including the Creative Cloud desktop app (CS6 was the first version in Creative Cloud). This app manages application licenses and has updates to deal with this issue.
Brett, thank you for your reply and insights.
(1) I empathize with the difficulties inherent in getting one's own software to play will with another company's. But it was Adobe's decision to tie my CS6 software to my computer's Machine ID. Because this approach doesn't work (in my case). the decision has caused me to log in and enter my serial number probably 500 times - every time I reboot. I have purchased and activated software from many, many vendors and nobody else's has caused me to land in this tiresome endless loop. It's frustrating.
(2) Does your explanation imply that I can never upgrade to a new computer and reinstall CS6 on the new one? There must be a number of people who'd expect to be able to do this but the Machine ID would never match, would it? Perhaps it's in the TOS that one can't upgrade machines. If so, wow.
(2a) ... Or are you thinking that I'm getting a new Machine ID whenever I reboot due to something that Microsoft is responsible for? Is there a way for me to check my Machine ID from time to time, to see whether it's constantly changing?
(3) Perhaps you would consider un-tethering my serial number from the old Machine ID and let me start fresh? This would be so very greatly appreciated.
(4) Is this authentication system carried forward to CC? If not, I may consider upgrading.
(5) If it's Adobe's stance that this is an OS issue, I recommend including your explanation on the referenced instructions page, to help mitigate the degree to which that page makes Adobe look like a total tool of a company.
(6) Re the CC desktop app - do you mean the app that's listed in my "Adobe Master Collection CS6" Start Menu folder as "Adobe Application Manager" and which has the name "Creative Cloud" in its title bar when open? I am very current with my Win7 patches and I regularly run the updates for Creative Suite 6 including the Adobe Application Manager. This advice is often given in forum references to this problem and I've probably read and followed most of the advice that's out there.
(7) I too noticed that this thread is a year and a half old. In fact I may have first read it back in 2013 while investigating this problem. I'm still occasionally Googling this, 2 years later, to see whether any relief may have been provided in the intervening months. There are other, fresher threads in the search results which confirm that others are also still dealing with the issue.
1) Every version of all Adobe software has worked like this. It was the faulty upgrade of the Windows OS to 64-bit that resulted in this behavior. I believe we still don't know why this only happened to a small number of systems, but it is most likely tied to system processor (we have seen such issues in the past) and probably something to do with the BIOS as well.
2) Not at all. As with all versions of Adobe applications, you can install the software for use on two machines. The activation process lets you lock your serial number to two different Machine ID's at a time. If you want to change machines, you can use the deactivation process to decouple your serial number from your Machine ID for use on a different computer.
2a) Yes, precisely. The Machine ID swap seems to be tied to rebooting the computer and it is generally switching back and forth between a 32-bit and a 64-bit identity. I'm not aware of how to do a local call to get this particular ID off a computer. It is tied to the actual hardware of the machine. This ID should only changed when you do some major modifications to the machine, such as swapping out the processor.
3) You can do this yourself. Just go to Help > Deactivate.
4) Again, yes. This has been used for every version of Adobe applications. However, we have made updates to the system that have taken card of this behavior. I have not heard of this issue happening with any of our subscription customers.
5) Unfortunately, this is not possible for legal reasons.
6) The Adobe Application Manager is the precursor to the Creative Cloud desktop app. They use the same core technologies, but there have been a number of updates to the make it the desktop app. They are very different in appearance. Here are some screenshots of the desktop app: Sign out, Sign in | Creative Cloud Desktop app
7) Hopefully, those new threads are in the correct forums. The Photoshop product forum is not the correct place to have discussions on this topic. Posts of this nature should be going to Adobe Licensing or Downloading, Installing, Setting Up
Again thank you for your reply. I think you sense how depressing this has been for me.
Since I have to re-register literally every time I log in, your comments suggest that Windows selects the 32-bit ID and the 64-bit ID in a perfectly 1-2-1-2-1-2-1-2 pattern at each reboot. This further suggests that if I reboot twice in a row I won't have to re-register because I'll be back to the first ID again. Interesting concept and though I'm skeptical that this will be the case I'll try it out to see if your theory holds.
I totally understand that you think Windows OS is behaving in a way it shouldn't. I just wish that my Adobe software were able to handle it in the same way that all other software on my machine does - without endless re-registration demands.
I'll keep visiting the internets from time to time to see if there's anyone who can help me get to where this doesn't happen.
Maybe my procurement folks can get me onto CC though since I'll be using the same computer/processor/BIOS I can't say that I feel extremely confident that the additional money spent will lead to anything better.