7 Replies Latest reply on Oct 20, 2012 12:20 PM by Noel Carboni

    Legacy Serial Number MIA - SOL?


      I've been a PageMaker user since 1.0a (uh, that'd be 1987). Subsequent versions of PM came with a "lite" version of PhotoShop. PMx had PS2.0 LE. PM6 had PS 3.04 LE. PM6.5 had PS 5.0 LE. They were all I needed since I also had Corel Paint and Draw through the years.


      I'm semi-retired now and mentally locked in to PageMaker after all these years. So, no, I don't need InDesign. What I do need is to replace my existing PS 5.0 LE because every time it fires up, it shuts down my sound card. And then I miss all the little jingles that keep my head from falling over on my desk asleep.


      So, my obvious solution is to go back to PS3.04 LE on my PM6 disk. But of all the thirty or so serial numbers for all my software, that's the one that's missing. The box or sleeve after 17 years, yeah, forget that.


      Any ideas on how to hack a legacy serial number?


      I've got the s/numbers from PS 5.0 and PS 2.0 and my PM6, 6.5, and 7. And all my manuals and original disks. But after all these years, and almost a decade and a half of being out of warranty, I no longer have any receipts proving ownership. The only thing I have is a statement transferring ownership of the software to me by the chairman of the company I retired from. (They weren't re-hiring an ad man. Guess I broke the mold!) I was the only user through all the years and it was worthless to them after I was gone. Plus, they needed to make me happy. 


      Going through Adobe channels is going to get me nowhere because the software is too old and I can't produce a BestBuy receipt anyhow. I'm sure the programmers built in a secret install password ("CorelBites" or maybe "BytesDoItOneAtATime" or something).


      This probably has no answer, but I thought I'd try.


      If I were writing software, I'd certainly have built in a supersecret universal serial number.



        • 1. Re: Legacy Serial Number MIA - SOL?
          Noel Carboni Level 8

          Photoshop 3 LE?  Seriously?


          Not to be too forward, but have you considered buying a modern version?  Photoshop Elements is only a hundred bucks.



          • 2. Re: Legacy Serial Number MIA - SOL?
            Shipwatcher222 Level 1

            Oh, not forward at all. Like my thinking, probably!!


            Short answer:

            Why spend the 100 bucks I don't need to? It's not a lot, but maybe a 100 means more to me than you.


            Long answer:

            1. I enjoy the challenge of making old software continue to be productive.

            2. I don't use 20% of the features of my decade-old versions of PS, Word, Excel, PM, whatever. Why buy newer versions with even more great features I don't need?

            3. I was, and am, a creative guy. There's always 2-3 ways to do things on computers. I don't need a super new single macro key set to do all kinds of things thus easing my (semi-retirement) workload.

            4. I've already got the software and I've still got the hundred bucks.

            5. The "cascade effect." Every time you do an upgrade that you don't absolutely have to, you open yourself up to a whole plethora of potential incompatibilities, archive file conversions, forced updates, OS updates, driver mis-matches.

            6. I've got CorelPaint, a professional version and use that for some things, particularly anything CMYK. But for most things, a lite edition of PS is quicker for me.


            I've been computing for thirty years, and on PCs for 25. I will upgrade given a very strong case for doing so. But last time I spent over a hundred bucks on an upgrade, it was for Office 2007 a couple of years ago. Waste of money. Only thing I got out of it was peer version compatibility with a client. After two weeks with the new interface, I degraded back to 97. I already had ten years invested in being able to work fast and efficiently in 97. Didn't need to go learnin' no new geography to continue productivity.


            I do graphic design and copywriting and have even created Windows fonts that people are still licensing. I already have everything I need to continue doing that. I don't need to send files to a smart phone and archive in the cloud and check in with Facebook in the shower.


            A lot of this new stuff out there is to just keep getting people to send in their hundred buckses!


            Re-reading myself here, I think I may paraphrase as, "Me thinks me doth protest too much!"


            = Tom

            • 3. Re: Legacy Serial Number MIA - SOL?
              Noel Carboni Level 8

              We may be birds of a feather.  I go back to the '70s in computing as well.


              I have *never* run across any kind of "universal" serial number for those ancient versions, though.  There are all kinds of hackers on the net that might seem tempting after a Google search, but I wouldn't suggest visiting any of those sites as the likelihood of malware infection seems high.


              The newest versions of Photoshop Elements do have a lot of nice features, but I applaud your efforts to get things to work, and I wish you the best.



              • 4. Re: Legacy Serial Number MIA - SOL?
                the_wine_snob Level 9

                Unfortunately, I believe that your "window of opportunity" might have closed, and perhaps 15 years ago.


                I started with PM, back when it was Aldus, and not Adobe. Then, I bought it with PhotoStyler, and Freehand. There were no PS Lite, or anything Adobe back then. I kept that, and upgraded to about PM 7.0, before moving to InDesign, with one of the suites, that upgraded all of those Adobe programs.


                If the last version of Photoshop Lite is not working for you, then I agree that Photoshop Elements (version 11 was just introduced), would be a possibility.


                Sometimes, it is just impossible to keep some things working.


                Good luck,



                • 5. Re: Legacy Serial Number MIA - SOL?
                  Shipwatcher222 Level 1

                  Thanks for everyone's thoughts ... and sympathies. After triple-checking again, including the safe deposit box, that one S/N seems to be the only one I didn't add to the list. I may have gone straight from PS2 to PS5 without doing 3.0.


                  One other anecdote which anyone dealing with customer service can probably appreciate: When I got online to try at Adobe (Aldus' successor for the PM part), Xxxx (probably located in India) started a chat with me that I soon realized was a mistake to initiate.


                  Xxxx read my story and then said they had serial numbers online. I said the only one online (for me) was PM7 because "y'all didn't have online registration at Adobe in 1997 (or whenever)" And it would have been Aldus anyhow. So he said serial numbers were available. He gave me a webpage and said to just submit proof of ownership.


                  To do that, I'd've had to go back to my former employer and have them dig out a receipt from back then, entirely possible because I left on good terms. But not likely to be found after 17 years. So, I asked again, can they give me my S/N for PS3.0 LE if I do that. "Oh, sure. Just establish legal ownership and then we'll get it." 


                  Well, you can read between the lines just like he was reading from his online chat script. I dropped the connection rather than go through all that only to have him/them say at that point, "Oh, that software is too old. We don't have serial numbers that old. Sorry."


                  The S/N may be MIA but I'm not SOL. I can always use my CorelPaint 7.0 for anything the PS would have done. (And more, because Corel can ouput CMYK.) Along with Aldus and Adobe, I've been with Corel since CorelDraw 1.0. It's just that I was comfortable with PS as my first choice for pixel imaging.


                  Instead of learning new software (Photoshop Elements), I'll just further learn the one I've already got (Corel).

                  • 6. Re: Legacy Serial Number MIA - SOL?
                    Shipwatcher222 Level 1



                    The 3.0 accepted the 2.0 s/n, which I did have. 3.0 worked fine after changing some virtual memory settings. And running 3.0 did not force me to re-boot the computer to get the sound working again.


                    Downside: The Twain connection doesn't work, understandable considering how old 3.0 is.


                    Now I have to decide: Quick and easy PS3 that doesn't force a re-boot every time I close it to get my sound operating again OR PS5 that shuts down the sound but does access the scanner.


                    I'd keep both, but an open of the 5.0 left on the system shows an "ordinal" missing from the KPSYS32.DLL. So 3.0 probably replaced that library and screwed up who knows what. I'll try a write-over of the newer KPSYS, but I don't know if that's PS-specific, Adobe-specific, or an XP dll.


                    Lucky I make a Macrium image every two weeks!


                    Thanks for the ideas.

                    • 7. Re: Legacy Serial Number MIA - SOL?
                      Noel Carboni Level 8

                      Do you have scanner software you could use instead of Photoshop to acquire the image, save it (as e.g., TIFF), then open it into Photoshop?


                      That could have the additional advantage of your being able to work on some other image while acquiring the scan.