It may be this: once you update ACR to 5.3 (or I’d recommend the most recent one, 5.7) you should purge the thumbnail cache so any lingering thumbnails created with the generic icon are gone and rebuilt with the new ACR.
Edit / Preferences / Cache / Purge Cache
I updated to 5.7 and put plugin into plugin file format folder. I purged cache. This a brand new computer. Its still only giving me a CR2 symbol. Like I said if I click in bridge the file actually opens fine in ACR but I can't see the preview in bridge.
A few more ideas:
Are the previews you’re not seeing within Bridge, or when you are using and operating system function or file/open in Photoshop which uses an operating system function to display the photos? The OS preview display function is not hadnled by Adobe plug-ins, so would need a separate update to an OS component.
Can you find a setting in Bridge (I only have Bridge CS6 on Windows so can’t give you the exact path) that is an option for displaying embedded vs high-quality previews and maybe tweak that to see if anything changes? Embedded means display the camera-embedded JPG which is fast; whereas, High-Quality means display things based on ACR actually rendering the image. This is the one that would be rebuilt each time the image is adjusted in ACR.
Did the distributed cache vs central-cache setting get changed so the cache you’re purging isn’t the same one as the broken thumbnails are stored in? A distributed cache is contained within hidden files in each image folder, rather than a central location so purging probably doesn’t get rid of the cache everywhere, and either just the current folder or the central cache if that’s how things are configured.
It is on the quick embedded image setting. I am only looking at the file in Bridge and I haven't changed any cache settings. The computer is brand new out of the box today. It doesn't even have one image on it. I'm operating off of a hard drive.
I know there is a fix and Adobe won't tell me what it is because they want me to buy CS6.
If there are no images on the hard-drive, do you mean you are you viewing old images off an external drive, then, or perhaps off the camera’s memory card in a card reader?
To simplify things, try using Finder to copy a brand-new 5D.2 image from a memory card to a newly created folder on your internal hard-drive and then look at it with Bridge and see what happens. Also try flipping to high-quality thumbnails in Bridge.
Otherwise, someone with Mac experience may have to chime in, to confirm if a Mac version of Bridge has its own version of Camera Raw separate from Photoshop, with the possibility of only the PS one has been updated, somehow. You could do a search of your entire hard-drive and see how many Camera Raw plug-ins you find and if their timestamps all match the most recent one you updated. You could also do an Adobe Plug-Ins within Photoshop and see if there is more than one instance listed. This happens if a new ACR is put into the wrong folder and PS still finds it during the initial plug-in scan.
If Adobe has a fix, then someone here likely knows what it is.
To confirm, your subject says RAW Preview, but you’re not able to see either thumbnails or the larger one-at-a-time previews, and the only thing that seems to work is when you choose Open in Camera Raw from w/in Bridge, you can see it and work with it.
What shows in Bridge is the CR2 symbol with the apeture in the center instead of the thumbnail. Funny enough the image I copied onto my desktop does give me a thumbnail preview of the actual image. And as I mentioned earlier if I click on the image in bridge it opens up just fine in ACR.
The reason I know there is a fix is because this is the fourth computer I go through this with, with the exact same software. I have Bridge CS4 on my old laptop, my 6 month old desktop and on my old work desktop as well. I had to make an adjustment to all of them to be able to see the actual thumbnail preview in Bridge but for the life of me can't remember what it was. I did try switching between the high res preview and the fast embedded jpg preview and nothing changed.
Again I believe it was a slider somewhere that was the simple fix...
In Bridge, select HQ thumbnail/preview rendering.
Select all the images, open then all in ACR, then select them all, then make a slight change in an adjustment slider that is currently 0 for all of them (e.g. Saturation to +1), and let the ACR-thumbnails update, click Done to Exit ACR. At this point the Bridge thumbnails should update with the slight change.
Select all the images, again, open them all in ACR, select all in ACR, reverse the slight change in the slider (e.g. Saturation 0), let the ACR-thumbnails update, click Done to Exit ACR. The thumbnails should update, again, with the original settings.
Ok, I did this but I still only see the CR2 icon where there should be a thumbnail in Bridge.