5 Replies Latest reply on Dec 3, 2009 9:37 AM by Mark C. Dahm

    Has anyone else had their photos locked..forever? Adobe can't help, can you?

    aubreria

      I donwnloaded Adobe photoshop album 3.2 yesterday (26/11/09) and immediately found all my pics were locked. Tried to register but it's U.S. only. Spent 3 hours on phone to Adobe UK today but neither tech. support or customer services could help.  I was given an unlocking code but the 'unlock key' wasn't activated and never will be apparently.  This version is no longer in operation.. i.e. obsolete. My question is why is it still on the internet & downloadable?  I feel as though I've strayed into a massive trap! All my pics are locked up & all I can do is stare at the thumbnails.  It's like having a car clamped... In my opinion this is the equivalent of theft.  Surely the whizz kids at Adobe can release these photos.. and, judging from the number of forums on the internet there are thousands of other people in the same boat.

       

      Customer services gave me an URL to post a query but that was not available either and on the 3.2 Album I received a message saying "Adobe photoshop starter edition can notify you about various services & promotions etc etc" this message expires 8/31/2012!!!!!!

       

      I have always trusted Adobe but am now having doubts.. they have an application that's obsolete but freely available on the net and  have no way of unfreezing it .. go fathom! Does anyone have any advice please?

       

      I'm so cross I've even resorted to an emoticon!

        • 1. Re: Has anyone else had their photos locked..forever? Adobe can't help, can you?
          Mark C. Dahm Adobe Employee

          First of all, Adobe should not be posting that download for you to grab, since the program (and support for it) has been discontinued since last Spring, or Summer. If you can find the location where it was downloaded, and it's an Adobe-controlled site, I can try to make sure it's not there for others to run into the same problems.

          Secondly, it is a common misconception that Starter Edition 'stores', or copies, your files into it. But the program does not move or copy files at all, rather it scans your system's My Pictures directory, and draws miniature versions of your pictures (called thumbnails) so that you can browse a 'flat' list of thumbnails of your photos without having the inconvenience of separate folders to have to navigate.

          If you are trying to get to the files that you've also added to Starter Edition, navigating your file system using Windows Explorer is all that is necessary to locate files. They are in the same location they were when Starter Edition was installed, which is typically your My Documents>My Pictures folder.


          -Mark

          • 2. Re: Has anyone else had their photos locked..forever? Adobe can't help, can you?
            aubreria Level 1

            Thanks Mark.  It doesn't really solve my problem though.  Initially my photos were on Photoshop album 

            3.0.  I uploaded some pics to put on ebay and found it was, for the first time, locked.  I went to various Forums as this seems to be a universal problem, and the answer I found was to download version 3.2. In doing this it wiped the 3.0 version and put everything on the 3.2..I still have some left in My Pictures but not all.  I can  locate the Adobe 3.2 pics but can't get them onto ebay as they're frozen.  I downloaded the 3.2 from the Adobe site I think. The other problem is that my folder with digital camera photos is now empty...why? I assumed the new download had collected everything and put it on the 3.2.

             

            There are new photos that I need and cannot retake on the 3.2 and all I want to do is to move them somewhere safe!  I am not very computer literate, as you may have gathered, and am totally at a loss here.

             

            If you can remove any obsolete versions from Adobe you'd be doing the rest of the world a great service!!

            • 3. Re: Has anyone else had their photos locked..forever? Adobe can't help, can you?
              Mark C. Dahm Adobe Employee

              >> I uploaded some pics to put on ebay and found it was, for the first time, locked...

              How did you upload the photos? Since the program was locked, I assume you used some other method for copying? If so, then after you installed Starter Edition 3.2, it would NOT have picked up those files that you uploaded after Starter Edition was locked.

               

              >> this seems to be a universal problem...

              The program launches some 30 times, each and every time asking you to register to continue useing the software. If you choose to ignore that request 30 times, then the program locks. Unlocking the program before it was discontinued was as easy as providing that information, but since we discontinued the program earlier this year, the mechanism for processing locked Starter Edition software was mothballed. Nevertheless, if you contact Adobe Customer Service, they may be able to help unlock the program for you if you are in this state, but ultimately, you should find a suitable alternative to Starter Edition, since the program is not supported (beyond this forum). All it takes is an update to the operating system to break the tool, and then it becomes more urgent to find an alternative.

               

              >>the answer I found was to download version 3.2...

              That may extend the time horizon, but it doesn't solve the problem.

               

              >>In doing this it wiped the 3.0 version and put everything on the 3.2...

              When you upgrade to 3.2, the program converts the previous catalog into one that Starter Edition 3.2 can use. It doesn't copy or move any files.

               


              >> I downloaded the 3.2 from the Adobe site I think..

              Let me know if the site was an Adobe site, and I'll make sure it's removed.

               

               

              >>The other problem is that my folder with digital camera photos is now empty...why? I assumed the new download had collected everything and put it on the 3.2...

              Again, the program does not move files. Your files remain in their original location, wherever they were when you installed the program. The only thing Starter Edition cares about is the catalog of your files that it generates, which is separate from your files. If the digital camera photos folder is empty now, it was empty before you installed Starter Edition 3.2. Chances are, you photos are in some other location. You can find your files using Windows Explorer. Here is a helpful article that walks you through that process: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/helpandsupport/learnmore/crawford_september03.msp x

               

              Hopefully you'll be back up and running once you can figure out where all those files are located on your system.

               

              -Mark

              • 4. Re: Has anyone else had their photos locked..forever? Adobe can't help, can you?
                aubreria Level 1

                Hi Mark,

                Thanks for such a detailed reply.

                I have tried to look at Photoshop.com as an option but can't register as it

                USA only and I'm in the UK.  I understood that if I switched to a newer

                version I could transfer the locked photos?

                Trawling the net for newer versions is difficult because a) there are so

                many and b) none are dated.. It's therefore impossible to know which to

                choose and ... Would it really fix my problem?

                I have phoned Adobe customer service and they could not help at all, as the

                unlocking code box is now inactive. 

                So.. The two problems I have are that I do not live in the United States and

                so can't use the Adobe recommended Photoshop.com and, secondly that as the

                applications are not dated, I don't know which system to try, or indeed

                whether it'll definitely solve my problem.  I need to unlock and gain access

                to 3 photos in particular that were uploaded onto the 3.2 and are nowhere

                else on my computer.

                Any help would be wonderful!

                Ann

                • 5. Re: Has anyone else had their photos locked..forever? Adobe can't help, can you?
                  Mark C. Dahm Adobe Employee

                  I have to reiterate that the photos are not locked, but the program, Photoshop Album Starter Edition, is locked. You should uninstall the program. Your photos that the program were tracking remain on your hard drive, in your My Pictures folder, most likely; they are not locked.

                   

                  One alternative is to install the Photoshop Elements 8 Trial; it includes the Elements Organizer, which offers a more sophisticated version of the Starter Edition Organizing functions, and it can import the catalog from Starter Edition.

                   

                  Another alternative is to use Windows Explorer to store you photos in folders.

                   

                  Another alternative is to use Google's Picasa; it's a free download, and does the same sort of indexing of your local computer, looking for photos, as does Starter Edition. Come to think of it, that is a good analogy that might help folks understand the relationship between Starter Edition and your photos.

                   

                  Starter Edition is like Google, in that it looks across a location (the internet, while Starter Edition looks at your My Pictures folder), and it creates LINKS to the sites that it finds. Imagine that Google somehow got locked some day; the sites would all still exist, but you would have to know where they are to find them. It's the same way with Starter Edition; your pictures exist just as they did when Starter Edition first scanned your drive looking for them, but the convenient index to your files that Starter Edition created is locked down with the program, and you should revert to the previous method of finding your files.

                   

                  I hope that clarifies the situation, and that those alternatives are suitable.

                   

                  -Mark