If you have a legitimate license to use the software, Adobe Customer Service should be able to help you to activate it.
I hope you were lucky enough to purchase a genuine unused package. Unfortunately, professional software pirates flood the market with thousands and thousands of genuine looking packages, which only trained people can recognize as forgeries. That's why there are loads of sellers on eBay and similar sites who probably don't even know they are selling forgeries. They themselves fell victim to someone selling pirated versions in large quantities at dumping prices. Good luck!
Thanks for replying, Acres, but can you explain how it worked fine for 7 months on the old pc if it is not genuine?
I think the scenario described by gener7 is a likely one. I have seen reports by users who say they used the software successfully for years, but when they needed to re-activate the software after a clean install, Adobe told them they have a pirated version.
Let's hope that's not the case for you!
Thanks Acres, I accept there is a probability I have a pirate copy, but still there are a large number of people who have the same problem with Adobe products who claim to have downloaded them directly from the Adobe site. I think I shall have to take the bull by the horns and contact customer support. Thank you to all for replying.
This doesn't ring true ssprengel, I've been doing some research after a totally unsatisfactory online chat with Adobe. The message I get is very specific in saying 'invalid serial number for this product' along with an exclamation mark in a YELLOW warning triangle. There are various explanations for this online (including from Adobe) but none of them specifically refer to pirated software. I am as convinced I have a genuine copy just as much as Adobe say my serial number is not recognised by their key checking software (they will not say outright that it is fake, just the serial number is not recognised). By going online and obtaining a different serial number I am able to start cs5 and enter this number to get the green tick and carry on in cs5 until the next time. The following time I start cs5 I get an exclamation mark in a RED TRIANGLE with the words 'invalid serial number' (without the 'for this product'). If you look for other error messages online there are several which may be of interest to you for your scenario, such as 'this serial number has been deactivated'. I should also point out also that when I enter an incorrect number to fool the program I am immediately kicked into touch the next time I start it, it will not carry on working, as you think, until the next time I have to reinstall it. As I said in my first post, cs5 had been running quite happily on my old pc for 7 - 8 months. The only issue I had then was that it would not let me register it with Adobe, but tis is nothing new to Adobe as there are many many posts online with exactly the same problem ( even with cs6 as posted only a few hours ago on this forum - perhaps someone would like to tell him that should his pc crash he will no longer have cs6!). After mulling it over for a few days I intend to take the product to my local photographic retailer who sells Adobe products (and who also holds classrooms for techniques including in the use of Adobe products) for an honest opinion, something that Adobe refused me. Also check Adobe's policies on support and you will find they will refuse support from products bought on e-bay and will also refuse support on products bought ANYWHERE at prices discounted more than either 20 or 25% (I shall have to confirm the exact ammount, but it is stated in their policy online). This brings into question the issues of restrictive practice and price fixing which are both illegal in the UK, just ask any bank. It also brings into question just what support a customer from my local photographic shop could expect from Adobe after purchasing a copy of cs5 for Mac for £399, reduced by approximately £250 ( more than 25%). And where does their policy leave someone who may be lucky enough to recieve it as a gift?
If you DO have a legit copy of PS (most eBay copies are anything but), then I would call Adobe Customer Support in the UK, and discuss the matter. While the Live Chat can be useful, sometimes, it is not quite the same, as talking directly to a knowledgeable Adobe Customer Support representative.
If one received a pirated copy of PS, as a gift, it leaves them out, and in the cold.
Not saying that your particular reseller had pirated copies, but if they had more than one, the likelihood goes way, way up. Also, if the term "OEM" was mentioned anywhere, the odds against it being legit are astronomical.
I make no apologies for that as there is nothing wrong with looking for a bargain.
How much of a bargain? 7 months ago Photoshop CS5 was the then current version, so anything less than right around list price should have been a red flag. There were plenty of posts on this forum warning people to beware of Photoshop deals on eBay back then.
And I think it's becoming pretty clear now that there IS something wrong with looking for a bargain when it's a Photoshop license were talking about, isn't it?
"Caveat emptor" (let the buyer beware).
No one here would gain anything from your apology, and in fact we all feel a bit sorry for you as you have likely been taken advantage-of, but now to continue using Photoshop it's YOU who will have to pay list price in addition to the money you spent 7 months ago. Call it the cost of becoming wiser, and you'll be getting a newer version with gee-whiz new features anyway, so maybe it won't sting quite so bad.
It's expensive software and there are simply no legitimate deep discounts.
P.S., I hate to mention this but if 7 months ago you had bought a legitimate Photoshop license for Photoshop CS5 directly from Adobe you'd have gotten a free upgrade to Photoshop CS6.
I have had CS4 now for five years. Serial number has been reloaded as I move to new computers half a dozen times.
Suddenly the number is invalid. Adobe support is hopeless - English is a third language.
Looks like a cash grab to support their Cloud initiatives. Support experience below:
Tabassum: Hello! Welcome to Adobe Customer Service.
Tabassum: Hi Kelley.
Kelley: Is it my turn?
Tabassum: I will check and help you with the activation of the software.
Tabassum: May I please have the serial number?
Tabassum: Thank you.
Tabassum: I checked and I am sorry to inform you that the serial number is a invalid one, Could you please provide me the correct serial number?
Kelley: It has been valid for over five years. What is the problem now?
Tabassum: May I know from where did you purchase the software?
Kelley: Ebay on line
Tabassum: Kelley, Ebay is not an Adobe authorized reseller and Adobe does not support ebay products. In this case, I request you to contact the place of purchase for the further assistance.
Tabassum: Adobe advises to purchase the software from its authorized reseller.
Tabassum: Do you have further queries for me?
Kelley: This is nonsense. I have been using this software for years with this serial number. my laptop crashed and I am doing a reinstall on my desktop after upgrading to Windows 7.
Tabassum: I am sorry for the situation caused to you in this regard, Kelley. Since the serial number is invalid, we will not be able to assist you with the invalid serial number so I request you to contact ebay since it is purchased from them.
Kelley: The seller should not matter for a serial number which has been valid for years. Let me speak to someone who understands reason
Tabassum: Please click here.
Tabassum: Please click on the above link to know the Adobe authorized reseller.
Kelley: You really don't listen
Tabassum: Please allow me a minute while I check with my resources.
Tabassum: Thank you for your patience.
Tabassum: Please allow me a moment while I transfer the chat to my supervisor.
Rajesh: Hello Kelley,
Rajesh: This is Raj, I’m the floor supervisor for today. Please stay online while I go through the chat transcript.
Rajesh: Kelley, the serial number that you have provided is an invalid one. eBay is not an authorized reseller for Adobe. You will need to contact eBay or the eBay member you purchased this from to get the serial number.
Kelley: This is a cash grab. It does not take five years to realize that a serial number is invalid. I do not think that you fully understand the problem. I will add my experience to the growing number of dissatisfied Adobe community users. You should look at the negative postings there.
Rajesh: Kelley, I'm unable to decode this serial number on our server. In other words our system is unable link or recognize the serial number that you have provided to any Adobe product. Not sure how you were able to use the serial number.
Kelley: I find it unfortunate that Adobe has outsourced support to people who do not have the experience or resources to solve problems.
Rajesh: Kelley, Adobe is global company and we have contact centers across the globe. I'm sorry that you feel that way.
Kelley: Placing my experience on the community website as we speak. I am not alone in my opinion.
Good luck everyone.
I hate to say it, but it looks like you bought your software from an eBay scammer who sold you software that somehow allowed you to use it without Adobe's permission. Out of curiosity, how much did you pay for it? I'm betting it was deeply discounted.
Just what cash do you think Adobe is trying to grab? They've never had any of yours. Don't you think they deserve to be paid for the software they write?
It strikes me as a bit forward for you to come on here complain like you're the one who's been wronged. Do the world a favor and engage in legitimate business practices from now on, okay?
You are making a lot of assumptions about vendor and price.
My largest complaint was the lack of reasoning or acknowledgement during the service chat. This is a common thread among off shore service providers.
It is no secret that Adobe is pushing its Cloud based subscription and is dropping support of legacy programs and cancelling previously valid serial numbers.
There is no recourse.
Who is your employer?
Kelly, I run my own business. I put bread on my family's table by the software I create and sell. I have no tolerance for piracy.
The evidence is, unfortunately, stacked against you having purchased a legitimate license.
A) The Adobe people couldn't process your serial number.
B) I've never had an old serial number become inoperative (save for Photoshop CS, but that's another story). All mine still work going way back.
C) I have the benefit of having heard from others who have bought from eBay here on the forum.
Of course Adobe drops support for old versions. They have always done this. While you and I might think it would be nice to offer free support for someone who bought a license many years ago, have you thought through the business implications of doing that? But even if they won't talk you through using a feature in an ancient version, they DO fund these forums, and frankly you can still get great support here for any version going all the way back.
But not funding people to blab with you on the phone is different than arbitrarily disabling serial numbers that were legitimately purchased. I've never seen any evidence they have blacklisted or disabled any validly purchased licenses. Did you ever register your license with Adobe? Why not? All mine are listed right on the Adobe site to this day.
At this point I'm not sure anyone who buys Photoshop on eBay ever gets a legitimate license. I'm sorry that it's happened to you.
What would you do if you were running a company and someone called you and complained about a counterfeit product that they never paid you for? Would you give them a whole lot of help or free software?
I also run my own business and have spent thousands on legitimate software. It looks like I have paid some of your wages.
You intimate that I support piracy - I do not.
Like any businessman I try to but low and sell high. This package was purchased from a legitimate seller. Not all the Ebay sellers are thieves and working women.
I paid a slightly discounted price because this was not the current version and I did not need all the bells and whistles that some people crave.
I also had a version of Acrobat 7 Pro for which I paid full price. It had all the functionality I needed. Adobe decided to stop support.
This was not a problem until they shut down the activation server.
The fix was serial keys and generic downloads which did not require activation:
Except - they don't work. You have to call support and beg for a different download and key which does work.
The CS4 serial number activated for five years - more than once as I replaced hardware.
You don't find it strange in light of Adobe's push to go to subscription services?
Don't be surprised if Adobe moves your job off shore to save money.
I have had the exact same issue. Software worked just fine for years. Reinstalled it as little as six months ago and the serial number was just fine. I have the software, I have the serial number and had almost the exact same conversation on chat when I tried to install it on my new machine. This is a work product, I use it every date, and I am up a creek without a paddle. I am trying to resolve the issue with the reseller now, but I don't think I will be purchasing Adobe products again. They are great products, but there are too many issues like this to make it worth while.
I purchased my copy of Photoshop CS5 from the estate of a recently deceased neighbor. I think she used it once or twice but didn't register it. However, I think she bought it from a legitimate retailer at full price.
One thing I did notice is that when I went to register it, it lists in my list of products as Adobe Photoshop 12, rather than Adobe Photoshop CS5. Any idea why?
Thanks for the reply, Gene.
I had read that same info on Wikipedia, but was confused by the graphic posted above by Noel depicting Photoshop CS4 rather than Photoshop 12. I also have Photoshop CS4 and it shows up in my list of products as Photoshop CS4 (rather than Photoshop 11).
I completed the 12.04 upgrade. I had trouble updating at first, until I installed the new AAM (thanks to the tips elsewhere on the forum). Thereafter, the updates to 12.04 went fairly smoothly with the exception of the Extension Manager, which required a manual update from the corresponding download page. Now it tells me all is up-to-date.
I am finding this to be a recurring problem with older versions of PS. I bought Photoshop CS4 six or seven years ago from an online computer and software retailer (NO, not on eBay!!!). I cannot remember the name of the online store unfortunately and the old computer that had my receipt crashed so I have no record of my purchase. (I know, I know... backing up my stuff would have been very helpful... lesson learned!) Anyways, I had no reason to suspect the website was not legitimate. I paid for the software, received it and installed it on my desktop and it validated without any problems. I'm fairly sure I registered my software because I tend to register all my software but I cannot say 100% that I did. I usually follow all prompts during installation and such so I cannot imagine not registering. Anyways, that pc died and I got a laptop. Installed my CS4, validated with no problems. That laptop went downhill so I now have my current laptop and now suddenly I get an error that my serial # is invalid. How did it go from being VALID for years and then suddenly changing to "invalid"? That is just bizarre to me and quite a head scratcher. I contacted customer care chat and they could not validate my serial #. They kept asking me give them the correct #, which I did 3 times! Frankly I was getting a little upset that he/she thought I was stupid or something! They kept telling me that I must be reading it wrong or something so they asked me to send in a photo of the serial #, which I did. Then they told me that it was invalid and that I needed to show them the receipt for my purchase. As I was typing my reply about not having the receipt from something I bought 6 or 7 years ago, the customer care rep, Satwinder, closed out our chat session!!! I cannot believe how RUDE that was!!!! I was replying to his/her question! Anyways, I never even got a transcript copy of the chat session (and yes, I checked the box to get the transcript at the very beginning of our session and I even saw a confirmation of it pop up on the screen). So now I have no record of my chat with Adobe Customer Care, a suddenly "invalid" CS4 and a horrible experience with Customer "Care?". I just want to know... How does a VALID serial # suddenly become invalid? No one seems to be able to explain that. Everyone just keeps telling me that the # I have is invalid but offers NO EXPLANATION to how it was VALID for YEARS prior and now suddenly it's not! If I was a victim of a scam and I unknowingly bought a pirated version, it would have been nice to know at the beginning because then I could have sought legal action against the online store. But now I'm up a creek without a paddle, so to speak, and no one seems to be willing to tackle my question. I'm a very frustrated and dissatisfied customer!
I would like to add that I purchased CS5 student via Adobe and have original email with serial #'s from them and I was told that these serial numbers will not work with Yosemite. All in all there is something that is not adding up with this many people having the same problem and I do not think there are that many people who have bought pirated software. This is not only CS5 but Acrobat Pro as well.
They said that the serial numbers they sent to me when I purchased it would not work with Yosemite! But, tried trashing CS5 and reloading it and used the serial numbers they had issued and it was accepted. I also had downloaded with Apple's recommendation Java. I also did the same with Photoshop Elements 13 and it is now working. I have not gone through any long workouts with any of the CS5 and that will come when I get new cables for the external drives I use. I think that there are ways to get the programs working and not enough is being revealed.
Uninstall again, checkmarking "Remove Preferences" if asked.
Run the Cleaner tool Use the CC Cleaner Tool to solve installation problems | CC, CS3-CS6
As a good step, use Disk Utility to very your disk and repair permissions.
I just had the same thing happen to me. I purchased my Adobe Acrobat Pro from a legitimate store (locally), it worked fine for several years. In fact, the only reason I contacted Adobe support was to ask them if and/or how I should deactivate the software on my old computer in order to install it on my new computer. They gave me the "invalid" serial number excuse, even though I've been using this software for several years. I guarantee, it IS genuine software, and it IS a valid serial number. They either don't want to let me install it to my new computer (because I'm not buying new software), or they've somehow never processed my registration years ago. (When I logged in on the Adobe site, they had my profile active, but there were NO products listed in my profile, despite the fact that I have TWO Adobe Acrobat programs (the other is on a different computer).
I've purchased software that turned out to be fake, and it's not fun. Which is why I purchase all of my big name software from a store, not online (Windows, Adobe, Corel, etc.).
I don't think I'll ever purchase Adobe products again after this experience. I feel they very casually wrote off my situation without doing any further research. Here's a concern I have: what if someone obtained MY serial number somehow? Far fetched, I suppose. But, another issue: why aren't my product registrations in my profile on the Adobe site? I did register both of them when I purchased them. I'm just really chapped about all of this. I guess it's time I just downloaded an open-source program that does the same thing as Acrobat. No point in wasting money with Adobe if they are forcing me to give up software I paid good money for.
What that means is that you can activate on two computer, fo example one for home and one for travel.
When you want to move to a third computer, go to Help > Deactivate to free up one of your 2 slots and activate on the new one. You need not call Adobe about it. As long as you do that you can move to as many as you want.
Is this copy of Acrobat refusing to activate on install? That's the only time you should ask support.
If your serial number is not listed, register it again on your account.
The reason I had to contact support was that I have TWO separate Adobe Acrobat Pros. One on my desktop computer and a separate one on my laptop. I purchased the first one, I wasn't sure if I could use it on my laptop as well, so I purchased a second copy of the software.
This is complicated, so I'll try to explain in more detail:
I have an old desktop (still using it for now) with Acrobat on it, working perfectly, never any issues. I have an old laptop that I recently uninstalled Acrobat from (I forgot that I was supposed to deactivate it, so I just uninstalled it). I got a new laptop, and I want to use the Acrobat that I uninstalled from the old laptop, but I have two problems:
1. I didn't deactivate it when I uninstalled from the old laptop, and
2. Both Acrobat software boxes look identical, and I don't know which serial was the one that was to the Acrobat that I uninstalled from the old laptop.
I decided if I could figure out which serial is on the Acrobat still on my old desktop, then I'd know to use the OTHER serial when I install Acrobat to the new laptop. Problem is, I can't find the serial number to the Acrobat installed on the desktop. You won't just find the serial in About Acrobat (like you can do in some programs). It's more involved than that. I tried finding the serial using Belarc Advisor on my old desktop, but it didn't provide the serial number. I Googled how to find the serial, and it involved going into the registry, which I did. No dice...I didn't find it in there, either. So, how the heck am I to know which Acrobat serial to use without compromising the license?
Support refused to help be because they insist my licenses are both "invalid". They are NOT invalid. Both the software on my desktop and the one I had installed to my old laptop worked fine. No issues, no error messages, no notices from Adobe.
I've never installed either software to more than one computer, so it's not as if I've "used up" my licenses.
A bit on the tech side, but should work. Locations are different for 32 and 64 bit Windows.