It seems to me Adobe needs to support the activation of their prior sold software forever. There's really not much that folks in the forums can do to help you activate your copy, save for suggest things like uninstalling and reinstalling.
Speaking of which... Did you reinstall the Adobe software on the computer? You didn't really say whether the OSX install left applications where they were. A full uninstall and reinstall via this process/program (ignore its name) might help:
Also, recreation of a user account might have left you with permissions issues with files that were already on the system.
It seems to me Adobe needs to support the activation of their prior sold software forever.
Exactly, that is what you'd think. Either that or remove the need for activation for their older applications altogether, letting you use just your serial to run the software.
I did not de-install and re-install the software. It was put back to the machine by Time Machine.
I will try that, see if I can find that disks somewhere...
Thanks for the link
AFAIK - we do support activation for CS3.
We did retire our activation server for CS1 and CS2, and those customers are provided with a new version of the software that doesn't authenticate with the server and serializes locally.
Can you DM with your Adobe ID and the two serials you're having trouble with? You mention support said there were activations remaining, so I'm not clear on what's going wrong (what the exact error is you're getting)
Thanks for your answer.
The error I get is that I get stuck in the activation screen.
Then I tried over the phone, giving in the serial and the second number that appears.
It takes a while and then it says that activation was not succesfull.
I will dm you the serials and adobe ID later (I don't have access to that computer here.
Here is the transcript of the chat (not complete):
Prabhanshu: Hello! Welcome to Adobe Customer Service.
andre: hello Prabhanshu
Prabhanshu: Hi Andre.
Prabhanshu: May I please have your email address registered with Adobe?
andre: most likely XXXXXXXX
Prabhanshu: Thank you for the email address .
Prabhanshu: If I am correct you are not able to install the software in your system?
andre: no, i get a "no connection" error. besides, i have not de-activated the software prior to restoring the OS
andre: so i think we need to de-activate first/
andre: it is the same computer by the way
Prabhanshu: Thank you for information, to assist you better may I have the serial number of the product?
andre: yes, hold on
Prabhanshu: I am with you.
andre: and for illustrator: XXXXX
Prabhanshu: Thank you for the serial number , May I place this chat on hold for 2-3 minutes while I check the information for you?
Prabhanshu: Thank you.
Prabhanshu: Thank you for being online. Andre I have checked that the both serial number has Activation remaining.
andre: ok so i need an activation code?
Prabhanshu: As the product you have a very old product from Adobe, Adobe support only current products.
Prabhanshu: In this case please go with the forums. find below the link for forums.
andre: No, that is not right.
Prabhanshu: Click for forums.
andre: Adobe choose, in the past, to set limitations on the use of the software, that we paid for.
andre: If you can't support it anymore, you should remove the restrictions, so that i can go on using the software, which is my legal right
Prabhanshu: Click this link for support portal.
Prabhanshu: Please use the above support portal link .
andre: and what am i suppose to find there?
Prabhanshu: Go with the forums to get all the information.
andre: Does this telephone activation still work?
andre: then I might try that
Prabhanshu: I am sorry but you have to only go through the forums.
andre: i am sorry to say that this is not acceptable
Prabhanshu: I am really sorry for this but I hope you understand the terms and conditions of Adobe.
andre: i tried activating over the phone, didn't work...
Prabhanshu: As I have informed you, we support only current version product. Andre you can use your CS3 to purchase Creative Cloud Subscription.
andre: i don;t want that, i just want to continu using the software I paid for. The software works fine, only your activation process makes it impossible for me to use it anymore. That is not right, and it is your responsibility to make sure thet this is solved.
Prabhanshu: Click this link.
andre: since you can see from were you are that I have an activation left, you might be able to see why i can't activate over the phone
I un-installed the software and its shared components with the uninstaller from utilities/Adobe Installers.
I also tried the CSCleanertool but that crashed ("unexpectedly quits").
After re-installing both Photoshop and Illustrator from the original disks you get the activation screen.
But, strangely enough, the serial is already there, complete with a green checkmark.
This does not look right, it seems that, even after using the uninstaller tool that came with the original installation, files have been left in the system.
So I guess what needs to be done is find those files and get rid of them before trying to re-install?
If you had installed and activated on the system before, the installer picking up the serial is expected. There is an option when you choose deactivate to remove the serial from the system, or leave it. It sounds like you didn't choose to remove the serial.
At this point, if you're getting the green check mark, I would just proceed with the install and you should be good.
One additional point I sent via private message - my guess is the serials weren't working previously (without your original disks) is that you might have installed Universal or North American English versions when your serial numbers are for International English. Serial #s are tied to a specific language/regional installer.
In my mind that says that your system, which you feel you have "restored", is not really in sound working order.
I know little about Apple's Time Machine backup, but traditionally things entitled "backup" restore a computer to a prior state where things are in working order. It really sounds like that is not the case here, and that the problem doesn't lie with Adobe, but rather with a flawed restoral process.
Have you considered wiping the system clean (after backing up all your data, of course) and doing a fresh installation of the OS and all applications? It really sounds like you've been working for days to avoid doing something that might only take hours.
Best of luck.
I just had this same issue, maybe this will help someone. I spent two hours "talking" to tech support (which honestly was mostly time spent waiting in various queues as they transferred me around) and was told multiple times CS3 is not compatible with Windows 8, even when I called BS. I've been using CS3 on this computer for over two years. I was then told to check the forums (I'd already checked.) Maddening there's not other way to activate, by the way. The phone option would be great in cases like this. Anyway, long story short, we fixed it today and it was simple for us.
When attempting to activate my software I got the following error: "Activation - No Connection" followed by options to retry, phone in activation or change my internet settings.
I have software on my computer called "Net Nanny." It's a web filtering/malware monitoring type software. I disabled it temporarily and Photoshop activated like normal.
Thanks for the tip. Yes, software that blocks connections to the activation server can cause problems.
Photoshop CS3 should install and run on Win 8. That said, CS3 wasn’t designed nor extensively tested to run on this new OS, so it's not an officially supported configuration.
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I am mortified at the "help" I received from Adobe tech support when trying to re-activate my Adobe Design Premium CS3.
Without pasting the 2 hour long dialogue I can tell you I was told there was nothing they could do but upgrade me to a $40 a month subscription after suggesting I may be using pirated software. I frankly could not believe what I was reading.
My CS3 was bought new and was not cheap. Despite the original price I love CS3t and am not ready to upgrade to new software. Please help me get my software back anyone who might be left at Adobe that cares... I am a long time customer and love your products. Please do not let underpaid support staff in a third wold country turn every legacy user away. They may consider other options in the future if this is how products are supported.
I hope someone in the black hole out there gets this....
I downgraded my router firewall and turned off Little Snitch (on my Mac), but that does not appear to be the source of the trouble for me. I reinstalled CS3 Web Premium on my Mac running OS X 10.9.5 Mavericks. I have a legitimate serial number, but there is no longer a registration server available for CS3, nor is there an operational phone number. Unlike CS2, Adobe does not appear to have made registration free versions of CS3 available. As others have observed, Adobe support is useless for older versions of their products. So I am stuck on the registration page with a set of boxes for an Authorization Code and no way to acquire such a code. The page reports my serial number and an activation number, so I know the product is legitimate. All Adobe support could suggest was coming to these forums, but no one here seems to know how to dredge up an authentication code either. I'm clearly not the only one who thinks Adobe is screwing us over here, trying to push us into paying for a Creative Cloud subscription by breaking CS3. If they can't be bothered enabling us to register or re-register CS3, then the least they could do is offer registration free versions of the CS3 suites. Adobe seems determined to destroy as much of their brand equity with long-time users as they can. They're clearly telling us they couldn't care less about us. If we cannot afford Creative Cloud, then we can go suck. Needless to say, the feeling is mutual.
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Let's be clear about what Adobe is doing here. They are no longer willing to make their apps available to average consumers, low level creatives and small businesses on a tight budget—which is most small businesses. If you're not a big fish with deep pockets, Adobe isn't interested in you. It doesn't matter how long you've been using Adobe products or how much you have paid for them over the years. If you ain't got the scratch for a Creative Cloud subscription now, they couldn't care less. Customer loyalty is of no value to them. These days Adobe is all about the cloud. If you don't need or want the cloud, Adobe doesn't need or want you. I've been using Photoshop since version 2.5; I'm not a newbie here. So I write this with deep regret, both for what I've lost and for what Adobe has become.
The only major product they still support—reluctantly—on the desktop is Adobe Lightroom. How long that will remain the case is anyone's guess.
[promotion removed by Moderator]
So the market in graphic design applications is now stratified, with Adobe claiming most of the high-end and the low end open to a variety of relative newcomers. Creative Cloud has stabilized Adobe's income stream at the same time it is shedding market share. Obviously that suits Adobe just fine. What suits us they neither know nor care. What we choose to do about it remains to be seen.
CS3 activation is still supported. What serial # are you trying to use? I can see a serial # registered under your Adobe ID ending in 7559. You can access your serial #s here: https://accounts.adobe.com/products
It also looks like you activated successfully back on Sept 9, 2015 using this serial #.
I am having the same trouble reloading CS2. When I updated to Windows 10 I lost the program and cannot get it reinstalled and no help from Adobe. I have been
at this for 3 days and am mad!! All they care about now is selling something new and not supporting old even though it can still be used for what I need.
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Adobe supports CS2.
You must now download a special, non-activation version from
Install then enter the special, non-activation serial number provided at that link. Your existing serial number will not work.
Also note, CS2 is over 11 years old and was designed and tested to run on Microsoft® Windows® 2000 with Service Pack 4, or Windows XP with Service Pack 1 or 2 and older hardware: Photoshop system requirements
You may need to install and run in compatibility mode in newer versions of Windows: Make older programs compatible with this version of Windows - Windows Help
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@ Jeffrey: Try reading my posts, and those of others here and on other related threads, more carefully. The issue is not with CS2 (for the most part), which is now offered registration free. The problem is that the registration servers for CS3 have been shut down—as I have said repeatedly. Registration by phone requires an Authorization Code be retrieved but the phone response system has also been closed down. CS3 won't activate without one or the other. And neither is available. I have been testing CS3 for a friend who ran into this problem when her version of CS3 stopped working. The issue has been posted at https://forums.adobe.com/message/8666122. It's been viewed over 60 times but has not been answered. I reinstalled CS3 Web Premium to see if I could figure out what was going on. My posts here are the result of my experience with that. I couldn't get it to work on my system either.
As far as I can tell, you are mistaken when you say registration for CS3 is supported. A valid serial number isn't the issue. A valid serial number is useless if you cannot activate via a registration server or get an Authorization Code by phone. This is not the only forum where people are discussing this issue. If you have a suggestion on how to get an appropriate Authorization Code, I'd be glad to see it. But without an active CS3 registration server or a phone response system, there is no way I can find to get CS3 up and running again.
By the way, my post of April 10 was marked as the correct answer yesterday. That marking has now been removed—though no viable answer has been offered to replace it, by you or anyone else. As far as I can determine, CS3 is abandonware.
Further, I don't know who you're talking about when you say "you activated successfully back on Sept 9, 2015", or what product you are referring to. But it wasn't CS3. And even if it was, if I along with many others cannot reinstall it now, your system is broken. And so, apparently, are these forums, if we cannot get a plausible explanation from Adobe. After all, this is where your tech support tells us to come for the answers they don't have. But there are no answers here either.
Honestly, I wish you were right that CS3 registration/activation is still supported. But you failed to say how it is supported. So there's no way to test the veracity of your claim. I'm trying not to be rude here, but the lack of useful information in your posts makes that exceedingly difficult.
I listed a number of alternatives to Adobe's software rental service to point out that we now have other places to go besides Adobe for our graphic design software needs. I guess I should not be surprised that you deleted the information. But it was intended as much for you as it was for other readers. I wonder, did you get the point? In case you did not I'll spell it out: We are really not at your mercy as much as we used to be. And chapping off longtime loyal customers is not really a viable business plan.
Actually I hope I do get under your skin. That seems to be the only way to get people at Adobe to take us seriously any more. Being polite sure hasn't worked.
The CS3 activations servers are still active. They have not been shut down. If they were shut down, we'd have millions of people posting here.
Activation is supported by support, and customers can contact them here: Contact Customer Care (Wait for the chat option to load at the bottom of the page)
If you need an Authorization code in addition to your specific serial # ending in 7559, there's likely something wrong with the upgrade serial or the serial itself. We should be able to get you a serial that won't require an authorization code. I'll have someone look into your serial # problem and issue a new serial # if that's necessary.
From the backend, we can see when your serial #s were activated. If you didn't activate it, it sounds like someone else has your serial # ending in 7559.
I did not delete that information. Another admin did as it is against the terms of service of this forum.
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When I launch Photoshop CS3, I get the Software Setup dialog, which shows my serial number ending in 7559 with a green check mark. When I click Next I get the Activate Now window. When I click Activate in that window I get the Activation - No Connection window, as does my friend whose CS3 stopped working. When I click the Activate over the telephone button I get the Phone Activation window with two phone numbers that are no longer in service. The window shows my serial number, an activation number and a line of six boxes for an Activation Code.
So: My Internet connection works just fine, else I wouldn't be exchanging messages with you on this forum. Why, then, do I get a No Connection message when I try to activate over the Internet—if your servers are still working?
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Thewhitedog as Jeff Tranberry has stated there are no recent activation requests for your Creative Suite 3 serial number. It is not possible to provide an authorization code because offline activation was shut down a few years ago.
You indicated you have an active internet connection. I would recommend utilizing the steps listed in Advanced solutions to connection errors with Adobe Creative Cloud and Creative Suite applications to resolve your connection error. In particular I would recommend running the Host File fix solution available within the CC Cleaner Tool at Use the Adobe Creative Cloud Cleaner Tool to solve installation problems.
Finally if you an provide me a case number from your interaction with our support team it would be appreciated. The only recent case I could locate was your request to update the e-mail address on your account in January.
The support team did not give me a case number. They insisted I come here for a solution, which solution is yet to be forthcoming. A lot of run around but no answers.
The Creative Cloud Cleaner Tool worked this time—version 18.104.22.168, as referenced in your link. Earlier versions of the app did not work. I uninstalled CS3 as instructed in the directions for the tool and restarted my computer. Then I ran the cleaner tool and cleared the hosts file. I've seen mention of it before, but there were no instructions offered in how to clear these files.
Then I reinstalled Adobe CS3 Web Premium and the registration worked, partially. The app reported a successful activation, but I still got a registration error after that. Fortunately the error doesn't prevent use of the CS3 apps.
The only question I have now is why it took so long to get to this answer. I've been chasing my tail for a week to get to this point. I hope this solution offered in Jeff Wright's post will help others as well. I just hope this fix sticks. Anyway, thanks Jeff for finally providing the valid information I've been looking for.
Followup: Photoshop CS3 launches just fine, as does Dreamweaver. But Illustrator throws up an error message, "Fatal error - missing component /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Version Cue CS3/Client/3.0.0/VersionCue.framework
I thought this was because I didn't install Version Cue and Contribute. So I uninstalled and reinstalled everything. But even with Version Cue installed I get this message, and Illustrator shuts down.
What's with the installer leaving out essential components? There is a Version Cue CS3 folder in the Adobe folder, with a Server folder inside. But there is no Client folder, as there is for CS4.
So the mysteries continue.
Followup 2: On a hunch, I copied the Client folder from the Version Cue CS4 folder into the Version Cue CS3 folder and changed the name from 4.0.0 to 3.0.0. Surprise, it works. Apparently there aren't enough differences in the contents of the folder to bother Illustrator CS3.
Still, the question remains, why didn't the CS3 Web Premium installer include a Version Cue Client folder? And why, way back in 2007 when I first installed and used Illustrator CS3 did the same problem not arise? I should mention it again that CS3 Web Premium would not install off of the original DVD this time around. It had all sorts of problems, including a demand for the CS4 Web Premium disc. I had to go online and get the download version, which worked without the same problems—other than the ones I'm discussing here.
There actually is a Version Cue CS3 Client dmg file in the Payloads folder. I expanded it and copied the included Client folder to the Adobe folder in Applications support, replacing the CS4 Client copy. But it is incomplete and Illustrator generated the same missing component error message. So I had to restore the CS4 Client copy.
Other apps in the CS3 suite work without a problem, including Dreamweaver, Flash and Fireworks.
Thank you for the update Thewhitedog. I am happy to hear that the host file fix was able to successfully remove the offending entries.
For your most recent launch errors with Illustrator you may want to post in the Illustrator forum at Illustrator. The individuals in this community will be more familiar with any launch errors or if there is incompatibility with newer operating systems. Previously you indicated that you are utilizing Mac OS 10.9.5. There maybe specific issues with Illustrator CS3 under Mac OS 10.9.5.
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Followup 3: I worked on my friend's Mac today, following the steps, with a few variations, that worked for me. She's using an old 17" Macbook Pro running OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard.
To begin with I tried to uninstall Adobe CS3 Design Premium. She did not have an Adobe Installers folder from which I could launch the Add or Remove Adobe Creative Suite CS3... app. So I tried to use her CS3 installer to do it. As on my system, it failed.
So I used the CS3Clean Script (Adobe - Adobe CS3Clean Script) to do the uninstall. Be warned, this script is extremely thorough. Follow the instructions carefully if you need to use it. It ran OK on her system, Snow Leopard. It will not run on mine, OS X 10.9.5 Mavericks.
Then I prepared to run the Creative Cloud Cleaner Tool (Use the Adobe Creative Cloud Cleaner Tool to solve installation problems), restarting the computer after uninstalling CS3. This, too, should be used carefully. The only item I needed to remove was the hosts file. After this I installed CS3, not from her CS3 DVD, which probed problematic, as mine did, but with the Adobe CS3 Design Premium installer Adobe makes available, along with other CS3 Studio versions, at Advanced solutions to connection errors with Adobe Creative Cloud and Creative Suite applications.
After the installation finished, I launched Illustrator CS3. The same "expired" message appeared, but this time when I tried to reauthorize the suite, the web connection worked and the authorization succeeded. As on my system a message appeared saying that registration failed do to the lack of a connection, but this registration is not critical to using CS3 so I clicked Never Register, the dialog disappeared and Illustrator continued to launch as expected. There was no fatal error, as I experienced, so apparently the Design Premium installer included the Version Cue Client files that Web Premium did not (see Followup 2 above).
I cannot speak for anyone else posting here, but this procedure has worked for me now on two different systems. It took me nearly a week to gather the necessary information, or rather, for that information to be put forward by Jeff Wright. Thanks, Jeff. The process was arduous, with much confusion and many misdirects, but, as they say, all's well that ends well. I hope others having similar problems will find this summary useful. Be sure and let us know if you do—or if you do not.
Note: As I said, Clean App won't run on Mavericks. It may have been compiled as a PPC app and may not run above Snow Leopard.
On a hunch I tried to use Script Editor to save a copy of the Clean App that might run on my system, Mavericks, but it could not be saved for some reason. However, I was able to run it as a script (not an application) from Script Editor. It opened in Terminal and proceeded as it had when I ran it in Snow Leopard. I cancelled it, or course, before finishing. I just wanted to see if it would run, and it does. This in case you don't have an uninstaller for CS3 that will work.
Bob, are you following the discussion you started here? With the help of Jeff Wright I believe I've found the solution you've been looking for. But we won't know until and unless you and others are able to reproduce my results—the successful reactivation of Adobe CS3. Please let us know.
I would sure the heck like to see Adobe stop deactivation of my CS3 Web Premium which I bought and paid for in full straight from Adobe itself.
Yes, that is the easy answer! Deactivate all your firewalls and Photoshop will reactivate online.