Here is a brief timeline of my problem:
1. I had copies of CS3 and CS4 on my PC. I uninstalled CS3 but it removed the license for CS4, so when I launched any CS4 programs it gave me the trial login or alternate serial number screen. My CS4 serial number did not work, so I decided I needed to uninstall CS4 and than put it on again from the original discs.
2. I tried using the AdobeCleanerUtility for CS4 - it removed some registry entries and then crashed and was unable to remove the programs themselves.
3. I could no longer see CS4 in the Control Panel Add/Remove Programs so I tried using a removing software tool. The tool recognized the CS4 programs as being there but when I clicked on them and chose "uninstall" it prompted me to use the "setup.exe" file.
4. The CS4 disc (and the "setup.exe" file) crashes near the end of the "checking your system configuration" initialization screen.
My guess is that the above process deleted the registry entries for CS4 but the programs are still intact and continue to launch as trial versions.
I have read online that the way to reinstall CS4 if the above crash occurs is to create another user. My question now is should I try that? But also, should I manually delete the folders with the programs in them first? I don't want to install over part of the corrupted existing installation.