33 Replies Latest reply: Jun 28, 2009 6:56 PM by YUL Booth RSS

    CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.

    ratnikh Community Member
      Windows XP Pro SP2
      2GB Ram
      Adobe CS3 Production Premium

      Thanks to Adobe's new licensing system I have a $1700 production suite that is completely useless.

      After a few weeks of working fine, it suddenly decided, for reasons unknown, to cease working. With the exception of Acrobat Reader, no portion of CS3 suite will load, all crash out with an error during the loading process, all with what appears to be an issue related to Flexnet licensing.

      I've tried following the crazy instructions regarding removing it, but not even Windows' Add/Remov eprograms can remove it because it needs to be deactivated first, but I can't do that because I can't load any CS3 application to deactivate it.

      When I tried manually removing all traces of CS3, including all the registry hacks Adobe barbarically suggests (rather inelegant for a supposedly industry profrssional product) the reinstallation goes awry and after it finally finishes, all applications still fail because it is supposedly not activated properly.

      At this point I can only assume that the product is merely junk and that Adobe simply does not care. (they have not suggested a real solution, only clumsy and idiotic suggestions to remove it manually and reinstall over and over).

      My last recourse is to completely format my hard drive, and completely reinstall Windows XP SP2 which is a major undertaking in and of itself, entailing a massive backup and reinstallation of all my software, as well as all my project and business information.

      Adobe (and Photoshop) have truly gone downhill since Photoshop 7, and I see very little of any value or worth in this "Creative Suite" as the only thing it seems to create is frustration and additional problems. Is this sort of licensing really stopping software pirates? Am I supposed to suffer through lost contracts and countless hours of frustration after paying nearly $2000 for the software so that some pirate can't use it? Why don't they have a standalone application that can handle activation/deactivation and installation repair? Flexnet is practically a system crippling virus. And why did the add/remove wizard force me to shut down Yahoo messenger before it could run, and then tell me it couldn't do anything anyway?

      This software is junk. Now I am forced to find a new product to edit my digital photography and create web and video content (hopefully for less than the $2000 I wasted on these discs that are now only good as beer coasters).

      -Mark
        • 1. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
          try67 ACP/MVPs
          Where did you get all of these "suggestions" from? Did you try to call Adobe's tech support? I suggest you give them a call, because they are more likely to know how to fix this problem, which sounds to me like a simple licensing issue.

          One more thing: when reporting a problem, ALWAYS specify which error message you're getting. It's probably the most crucial piece of information when troubleshooting.
          • 2. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
            ratnikh Community Member
            Been there, done that. This was only he latest foray into the forums (my last) in order to desperately try to salvage a piece of junky software.

            Also, tech support suggested to me that for some reason the FLEXnet licensing was the problem, and that is why subsequent reinstalls did not work (2 attempts at removing and reinstalling following their manual removal procedure, which necessitated calling to get my deactivation performed by them since it thought I had it installed and activated twice already). Their solution was a low level format of my C: drive, which, in my opinion, is not worth the trouble if they can't determine what caused the problem in the first place and it is likely to crop up again.

            I've gotten rid of CS3, it's not worth the time and trouble.
            • 3. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
              Peter Spier ACP/MVPs
              Any chance your firewall is blocking Flexnet?

              Peter
              • 4. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
                ratnikh Community Member
                >Any chance your firewall is blocking Flexnet?

                No, I had disabled the firewall entirely after the issue presented itself. When I initially installed CS3 for the very first time I gave it (and all Adobe products) full permissions to allow for updating and any other internet-related communications they might require. Initially everything installed correctly, activated properly and all applications worked fine. After two or three weeks everything suddenly failed. After trying to load Photoshop and getting the mysterious failure, I had tried running other apps and all CS3 specific apps failed, giving me my first clue that it was licensing related (especially in light of the fact that non CS3-specific Adobe apps *would* load, such as Flash Encoder, Acrobat, and mysteriously, Soundbooth).

                It's my belief that since the Flexnet licensing subsystem (which is crucial to running CS3) is prone to corruption, deletion or other conflicts, that there should be a standalone application that can perform a verification check for Flexnet activation and repair, registration and updating without requiring an Adobe CS3 app to be loaded. Especially since the deactivation procedure requires loading into a working CS3 app. I was told by a forum member that this is "the least of my worries" yet it is a concern for those who wish to minimize the amount of time spent calling customer service and dealing with installation and activation problems.

                It's most likely that something I installed, uninstalled or use, had caused a conflict or corruption in Flexnet thereby preventing CS3 from operating. Following Adobe's suggestions, I stopped and restarted Flexnet, and Photoshop asked me to reactivate, and the reactivation was successful, however the application still crashed when it got to the "Initializing Palettes..." loading stage. All other CS3 applications, at that point, also failed to load, and all gave the same error code (which also referenced adobeowl.dll).

                The Add/Remove system didn't work properly, and so I also followed other suggestions (as per Adobe) of manual removal, running CS3clean.exe and reinstalling, but that also failed to resolve the issue (twice running CS3clean.exe first at level 1 and then level 2, I hadn't bothered with level 3 at this point as there seems to be no trace of Adobe software on my system), and the applications gave the same errors after reinstallation, activation and attempting to launch.

                The last recourse suggested was a "low level format" as that would be the only way to ensure no remaining traces of activation, licensing or prior installation, and would generate a new and unique activation and installation environment. However, since the actual *problem* has not been determined (nobody seems to know *why* or *how* this has happened) I am extremely reluctant to take such an action if the problem is likely to crop up again.

                Since other people have reported the same problem, (not to mention many issues regarding installation problems) I really don't wish to spend hours backing up my system, formatting and reinstalling Windows, updating Windows, reinstalling every driver and software package and then gambling that Adobe *might* work properly after all that.

                Since there is obviously a conflict with some software I run, and the other software I run is software I own and use routinely, then it's evident that Adobe Flexnet licensing is unable to maintain a coherent and secure record of my ownership of the CS3 product. That being the case, I don't see any point in continuing to wrestle with it until such time as Adobe determines a cause for the problem and issues a fix for it (though I doubt they will, they don't seem concerned in the slightest). For now, CS3 is no longer a piece of software I can use effectively or rely upon to be part of my production pipeline. I'm looking into other options for my workflow, and recommending against CS3 (as a whole) in general, except on "clean" systems with virtually no other potentially conflicting non-OS software present.

                -Ma
                • 5. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
                  Community Member
                  Ok I have a difficult one. I installed CS3 Master Collection about two months ago. I tested out the programs to see if they all worked and they did. Then about two weeks ago I tried After Effects and get the C++ Runtime error. Others give the "Encountered a serious problem" and shuts down. Here is the line-up.

                  The ones that don't work with various errors:
                  Adobe InDesign® CS3
                  Adobe Photoshop® CS3 Extended
                  Adobe Illustrator® CS3
                  Adobe Flash® CS3 Professional
                  Adobe After Effects® CS3 Professional
                  Adobe Premiere® Pro CS3
                  Adobe Encore® CS3

                  The ones that still work fine are:
                  Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro
                  Adobe Dreamweaver® CS3
                  Adobe Fireworks® CS3
                  Adobe Contribute®
                  Adobe Soundbooth® CS3

                  I have gone through the support site and tried several suggestions provided. I have tried uninstalling and re-installing. I can't figure out what was installed between then and now to cause this. Anyone else have a similar situation? Any ideas?

                  Thanks,
                  Jake
                  • 6. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
                    Community Member
                    I'm sort of getting the same problem. When i installed it and tried to activate it, i think my serial was like out of date or something, after i activated it it tells me "product license has expired" when i try to load any of the cs3 apps. so i looked at this guide to help me fix it and realized that the first and most important step can't be performed. the reason uninstalling it won't work is cuz it has to be deactivated first. and so the guide tells me that the apps won't load due to this problem. it's the first line on the guide. and then it tells me to deactivate the software. but the only way to do that is to open one of the apps and select help and then click deactivate and follow the steps within that. well one thing, if i can't open the apps to begin with, how the hell am i suppose to deactivate the software! if there's some other way to deactivate it without going into the apps, please someone tell me. i want this on my windows. here is the guide so you can see how retarded it is.

                    http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=kb402003&sliceId=2

                    Adobe once again you manage to screw up the world. they crashed my hdd once before and i decided to give them a second chance and they're software still doesn't work correctly. I hate them so much.

                    Thanks,

                    Zach
                    • 7. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
                      try67 ACP/MVPs
                      >> "i think my serial was like out of date or something"

                      -There's no such thing. Serial numbers are not time limited.

                      >> "the reason uninstalling it won't work is cuz it has to be deactivated first."

                      -Wrong. The two are completely unrelated. You don't need to deactivate in order to uninstall, or the other way around.

                      >> "if there's some other way to deactivate it without going into the apps, please someone tell me."

                      -There isn't, but that is not what the link you provided says you should do. You should remove the applications, run the CS3Clean Script, remove any cache.db files and then reinstall with your serial.
                      • 8. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
                        Community Member
                        i didn't think serial can be outdated, i was just checking to be sure. ok fine. the second paragraph on the link i gave said to deactivate it first. yeah it's under reason but it still says to do so. and logically it makes sense to do that first. why it isn't under the solution part, i don't know.

                        "This issue occurs when an Adobe CS3 Suite or stand-alone application is installed after the public beta version of a CS3 application has been removed. When you remove the public beta, you must also deactivate it before you attempt to install the retail version of an Adobe CS3 Suite or application. If you do not deactivate, the system retains your serial number information and automatically enters it into the appropriate spaces in the Adobe CS3 setup application."

                        the last line says. and that's exactly what's happening to me, it keeps entering in the serial from the first time i activated it and so i can't ever use the apps. no matter how many times i uninstall and reinstall the software and use the clean up software.

                        in the clean up program, there's a pdf that says exactly what to do this is the first step. it says, "For all CS3 applications: before you uninstall, you must deactivate the application. If you have an
                        entire Suite installed, you only need to deactivate from one application.
                        1. From the CS3 application, Choose Help > Deactivate and follow the on screen
                        instructions."

                        finally, cuz i wasn't exactly sure what it meant by application before, cuz i don't use any of adobe's stuff that often except for reader, i loaded up the setup again and when you click on remove, it tells you exactly where to find the deactivate button and tells you have to do it first if you want to install the software on another machine. which is not exactly what i want to do but is almost the same regardless. i followed the solution part exactly as instructed. i uninstalled, i ran the clean, and i deleted the cache. then i reinstalled the software and i still get the same error. so if you don't think it's because i was unable to deactivate it, what do you think is still the problem?
                        • 9. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
                          try67 ACP/MVPs
                          It's not a part of the solution, it's just the reason for the problem.

                          Try running the script again, this time at level 2. Run it multiple times until no more components are found and removed. If that doesn't work, try at level 3 or 4.
                          • 10. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
                            Community Member
                            ok, yeah i did a level 2 and i haven't checked to see what it did yet. thanks for the help. and explaining it to me. :)
                            • 11. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
                              Community Member
                              well i did what you suggested. i uninstalled completely and ran the clean script like a million times on all the levels until the only thing left on the output was a bunch of errors saying that it couldn't find the file. then i restarted my computer and then reinstalled the software and restarted my computer again as it suggested. now when i still click on the apps, i still get the same error as before and the app doesn't load. so what now?
                              • 12. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
                                Peter Spier ACP/MVPs
                                CS3 had the worst installers in Adobe history. A million things will conflict and cause errors.

                                My personal recommendation has been to prepare the system for installation by running MSconfig and tuning off all non-essential startups and services, and by shutting down any firewall and virus scanners (if MSconfig didn't take care of it). Make sure you are not running iTunes, Google Toolbar or Google desktop, any instant messengers, etc. Have a default printer installed that is directly connected to your computer, not a network printer (you can use Windows fax viewer if necessary). Log on in the Administrator Account, not just an account that has admin privileges.

                                Once you've done that, try installing again. Then run MSconfig to reset to normal startup.

                                Peter
                                • 13. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
                                  Peter Spier ACP/MVPs
                                  And you haven't told us what version of Windows you are running. If it's Vista, turn off UAC.

                                  Peter
                                  • 14. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
                                    Community Member
                                    OK, i might give that a try later. i'm gonna try on my own for a while. i run windows xp sp3. i hate vista. i have to deal with vista at school and yeah. anyway, yes i run xp sp3. thanks for the help.

                                    Zach
                                    • 15. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
                                      try67 ACP/MVPs
                                      Zach, are you certain you have a valid s/n? Maybe you should call Adobe and find that one out first.
                                      • 16. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
                                        Dave_Evanson Community Member
                                        I think there have been reports of the CS3 installer having problems not recognising XP SP3 as a valid operating system. You may need to remove SP3, try searching the forum for SP3 problems.
                                        • 17. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
                                          Community Member
                                          100% sure it's valid. it gives a green check when i enter it in during the installation. ok, i'll try searching for sp3 problems. thanks.
                                          • 18. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
                                            Community Member
                                            OK, thanks to you guys who helped, me. try67, Dave, and Peter. i owe you guys, because it works now. And that's all i want to say about it. So thanks, if i have any other future adobe problems, i'll be sure to come back to this forum. you guys rock! thanks again. Bye.
                                            • 19. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
                                              try67 ACP/MVPs
                                              Could you maybe say what was it finally that solved the problem?
                                              Did you roll-back to SP2?
                                              • 20. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
                                                Community Member
                                                I do not have the option to deactivate Dreamweaver CS3 under the help section. Anyone know another way to deactivate?
                                                • 21. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
                                                  Community Member
                                                  I was having this same problem and was pretty irate, but this worked for me and I didn't lose any files (thanks to Freeagent up above):

                                                  Solution 4: If the above solutions did not help and you did not receive any errors during installation, then perform these steps in the order given.
                                                  Incomplete Installation

                                                  For an incomplete installation, follow the steps in TechNote kb401401 for Windows, or TechNote kb402151 for Mac OS.
                                                  Move the cache.db file

                                                  1. Move the cache.db file from the following locations, onto the desktop or another folder. You can delete this file, but if you do, you'll need to enter your serial number the next time you open your application.
                                                  * On Windows:
                                                  \ Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Adobe PCD\cache
                                                  * On Mac OS X:
                                                  /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe PCD/cache
                                                  2. Start your Adobe Creative Suite 3 product.

                                                  View an Adobe Captivate demo of this procedure.
                                                  Move the Trusted Storage File

                                                  1. Move the adobe_00080000.tsf.data file onto the Desktop or to another safe location from the following locations:
                                                  * On Windows XP:
                                                  \Documents and Settings/All Users/Application Data/FLEXnet folder
                                                  * On Windows Vista:
                                                  \ProgramData\FLEXnet folder
                                                  * On Max OS X:
                                                  /Library/Preferences/FLEXnet Publisher/FLEXnet folder.

                                                  Important: Deleting this file discontinues any Adobe tryouts.
                                                  2. Start your Adobe Creative Suite 3 product.

                                                  View an Adobe Captivate demo of this procedure.
                                                  Rename the FLEXnet folder

                                                  1. Rename the FLEXnet folder to FLEXnetold in the following locations:
                                                  * On Windows XP:
                                                  \Documents and Settings/All Users/Application Data/FLEXnet
                                                  * On Windows Vista:
                                                  \ProgramData\FLEXnet folder (Windows Vista), or the
                                                  * On Max OS X:
                                                  /Library/Preferences/FLEXnet Publisher/FLEXnet folder

                                                  Important: Deleting this folder discontinues any Adobe tryouts.
                                                  2. Start your Adobe Creative Suite 3 product.

                                                  View an Adobe Captivate demo of this procedure.
                                                  Adobe Captivate Demos of Procedures
                                                  Solution 2: Set the FLEXnet Licensing Service to Manual and Start the service. (Windows only)

                                                  For more information about viewing this demo, see Viewing Captivate Demos in Knowledgebase Documents (TechNote 403894).
                                                  • 22. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
                                                    Community Member
                                                    Hello-

                                                    I have tried everything listed above and still, nothing is working....

                                                    All of a sudden, I am unable to launch any of my CS3 applications, with the exception of Acrobat. I tried all of the forum suggestions and to no avail, none of them worked. I tried uninstalling, reinstalling and even a system restore...which seemed to make it worse. I am running Windows Vista and the error message I am receiving is "The licensing subsystem has failed catastrophically. You must reinstall or call customer support." I even tried the FLEXnet suggestion. Please help!
                                                    • 23. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
                                                      Peter Spier ACP/MVPs
                                                      Did you install the patch mentioned in one of the links in the first response?

                                                      Peter
                                                      • 24. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
                                                        Community Member
                                                        Thanks Peter-

                                                        I did not because I could not find the adobe_00080000.tsf.data file

                                                        Would you be able to point me in that direction?
                                                        • 25. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
                                                          Peter Spier ACP/MVPs
                                                          http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=kb401528&sliceId=2

                                                          First, make sure you download and install the patch mentioned at the top of the page in this link, then move through the rest of the steps in order, if necessary.

                                                          The path to the file is listed near the bottom of the page. It's probably a hidden file, so turn off "hide system and hidden files" in Explorer.
                                                          • 28. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
                                                            Community Member
                                                            I had Adobe PhotoShop 7.0 on my laptop, and installed Adobe CS3 Design Suite Premium. When I uninstalled PS 7.0, my Photoshop component of CS3 would no longer work. All of the other applications work just fine. I tried to uninstall, and then reinstall the Suite, but to no avail. All components work EXCEPT Photoshop. It asks if I want to try to find a solution online, and when I click yes, it just closes. If it helps, this is the report:
                                                            Problem Event Name: APPCRASH
                                                            Application Name: Photoshop.exe
                                                            Application version: 10.0.0.0
                                                            Application Timestamp: 4601eae8
                                                            Fault Module Name: MSVCR80.dll
                                                            Fault Module Version: 8.0.50727.1434
                                                            Exception Code: c0000005
                                                            OS Version: 6.06001.2.1.0.256.6
                                                            Locale ID: 1033
                                                            Additional Information: 1f9f
                                                            Additional Information 2: d129962d2254d7cc44d4ad52ef61abe4
                                                            Additional Information 3: 9def
                                                            Additional Information 4: 8a3cca39283d56d0e5c53b86b388cecc

                                                            Any ideas or suggestions???
                                                            Mitch
                                                            • 29. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
                                                              Community Member
                                                              I have a fisical crashd HD drive. On it i activate premiere pro cs 3. Now i cant deactivate that. How i can activate premiere on another HD drive on the same computer?
                                                              Thank you.
                                                              • 30. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
                                                                Peter Spier ACP/MVPs
                                                                If you've only activated once, there won't be any problem, and if sufficient time has elapsed there still may be no problem, as the counter resets from time to time to allow for this sort of thing.

                                                                If you get a screen saying the number of activations has reached the limit there should be a link on it for telephone activation which will bring up a second dialog with phone number and other activation information. This happened to me once with CS3 and the procedure took about 5 minutes on the phone. I explained my drive had failed, the rep reset the counter and issued a code over the phone and waited while I activated. If you do this every month or switch activations regularly between machines, you may have some trouble, but there shouldn't be any issue if it isn't a regular occurrence.
                                                                • 31. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
                                                                  (Danielle_Granger) Community Member
                                                                  I booted up my system and had a system update message which I allowed to load (Vista Service pack 1). When I launched CS3 Design Premium, it said it had problems and to uninstall and reinstall it. The cd removed the software, but only loaded Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional and Shared components, all the others had the message "Component Install failed". I loaded the Adobe Support Advisor and it came to the following conclusion: Issue no: id18309
                                                                  Error UninstallColorProfilesRollback occurs preventing the installer from updating existing color profiles when installing the Adobe Creative Suite 3 product. I tried all the suggested fixes listed in the knowledge base, nothing works. I opened a trouble report and received a response that I would have to pay for any support. Any suggestions?
                                                                  • 32. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
                                                                    Peter Spier ACP/MVPs
                                                                    The Vista update should have set a restore point. If you're lucky, you can restore to that and try reinstalling CS3. You may, at this point, need to run the CS3 clean script to completely remove all traces before reinstalling.

                                                                    Some of the error messages are pretty unfortunate. Much of the time it is really not necessary to uninstall and reinstall to solve the problem -- that's kind of like the old Microsoft General Protection Fault message, the one that gets thrown up when there isn't a real one to use.

                                                                    If you get CS3 back up and running with Vista pre-SP1, try doing that update again, and if you get the same message, post back here with what you are doing when you see it, and the full text of the message. It might be as simple as installing the Acrobat Patch.

                                                                    Peter

                                                                    Peter
                                                                    • 33. Re: CS3 Won't Run, Uninstall or Deactivate, Can't Reinstall; Junked.
                                                                      YUL Booth Community Member

                                                                      Hi,

                                                                      I am having the same problems you had with CS3. I am trying to put it back on my lap top no joy. I am on widows vista when i put cs3 on the first time it worked fine. Did you remove sp3 from your computer? What did you replace it with?

                                                                      If have any advise will you be able to pass it on.

                                                                                                               Thanks

                                                                                                                     Yul