No need to feel ripped off.
Lightroom 3.6 was the final update. It is the only one that you need to install. Of course, you will need your serial number to complete the installation.
Lightroom is up and working.
However, when I try to download and activate photoshop, it says it needs a qualifying product. I am pretty sure I bought it outright, not an upgrade. But if it was an upgrade, that was way long ago and I have no idea of previous codes
Am I shut out? Do I not get to use photoshop anymore? Doesn't seem fair.
You will definitely need your CS5 serial number. Make a habit of safely storing all software serial numbers whenever you buy software. You'll eventually find yourself in a world of hurt without them. I store all mine in Dropbox.
Try these suggestions from Adobe to locate your CS5 serial number
I have my serial number but I get an incorrect error code:
"This serial number is not for a qualifying product"
But it wasn't an upgrade.
As I understand it, you have Photoshop CS5 and you've entered your CS5 serial number.
That has been accepted but now the installer is asking you to enter the serial number for an earlier qualifying product.
If that's the case, your CS5 serial number is an upgrade number.