Thanks. I should have mentioned that the XP Mode VM was pretty clean and rarely used. I did run the Adobe cleaner straightaway but it didn't find anything to clean. I also disabled anti-whatever and set msconfig for a clean reboot prior to installing.
I have not yet tried installing CS3 on a plain XP local (not VM) green machine or on a Win2003. If it doesn't work in those platforms, then I must assume that Adobe's licensing system is blocking my (paid for) license key. Maybe I have somehow exceeded their rules about how I should deploy their software on my equipment.
My copy of CS3 is indeed old, and it's been activated/used/deactivated/uninstalled/reinstalled/reactivated many times over the years as my hardware and dev requirements have changed. But it has always been used legitimantly and I'm strict about paying for all software I use.
Sorry to be so tweaked but it's that time of year to renew software and other licenses for support, maintenance, etc. I've spent many useless and maddening hours this week on the phone/& chats with functionaries who's job seems to be to read from a book their boss gave them and NOT USE common sense.
My license is legit so why so much trouble? Sorry to turn a basic tech question into a rant about software licensing policies. I just want to get CS3 working again and I'll be very grateful if anyone can help me.
If you're running out of activations, all that is required is a call to activation support. Still, I don't think that is the issue. I'd be more inclined to think that this is an issue with stored install paths or some of the networking stuff failing. To fix the path issue, you might simply try to delete the caps.db. As per the hubub on my page, you would then install CS3, uinstall it again without running any cleaners and then reinstall it a second time. this might work, after all. Also if you can provide the install logs (via Pastebin or so), that might offer some clues.
Thank you for your advice.
I did what you said but installing into an XP Mode VM still doesn't work. It goes through the motions but the final dialog box says Acrobat and the shared components installed correctly but the other CS components failed.
I took the CD to another computer that has only XP, and the installation was normal but it won't let me run as a free trial and it won't activate (too many activations). Since Adobe tech support doesn't work on Saturday and Sunday, I'll have to wait until Monday to see if CS3 will activate on this XP machine.
Since I have so much spare time during the final few weeks of the year, I also installed CS3 on a box running Win 8 to see what would happen.
The Win 8 (x86) installation went well and it allowed me to run CS3 as an evaluation. I don't use CS very often, so I don't know what to check, but the eval versions of Photoshop & InDesign seem to be working normally on the Win8 machine! WTF?
- installing CS3 on Win7 (x64) fails (component cannot be installed or similar message)
- installing CS3 on XP Mode on the same Win 7 machine fails. Same messages as above.
- installing CS3 on stanadalone XP machine (x86) appears to have been successful but I need Adobe to activate. This install does not give me the opportunity to run as a free trial. This machine may have had CS installed sometime in the past so I'm not worried about the activation problem, other than I must wait until Monday to get an answer from Adobe.
- installing CS3 on Win8 (x86) went normally. It gave me the option to run as a free trial. It seems to run normally as an eval on Win8! I know Adobe won't support CS3 on Win8 but it's interesting that it seems to work, expecially when compared to it's "kinda works" performance on Win7. Maybe Microsoft deserves an attaboy for Win8.
Thanks again for your help. I'll post again on Monday/Tuesday after I talk to Adobe about the activation stuff.
I talked with tech support. The issue with why CS3 wouldn't install into XP Mode is unresolved and will propabaly stay that way. Maybe my computer has a problem. There's no point in pursuing this because "CS3 is not supported on Win7 therefore XP Mode is also unsupported."
However, it installed okay on Win 8. All CS3 needed on that machine was a license reset to get past the too-many-activations problem.
I'm not sure it runs correctly on Win 8 but I don't use it much. It seems to do what I need, although it's painfully slow when accessed with MS Remote Desktop. It's even worse when accessed with LogMeIn Rescue but I don't think Rescue is quite ready for Win 8 yet.