The paths to things changed from XP to Win7, but you probably should not have unzipped ACR files to where there weren’t any previously, because you now may have duplicate ACR plug-ins and PS will continue to use the old one even if it also finds the new one.
Search your entire hard-drive for “Camera RAW.8bi” to find where the ACR plug-in that the CS3 put on your hard-drive, which should be different than the one you unzipped to the wrong place, then replace that older plug-in with the one you put in the other place, and remove the things you put in that other place.
To find the plug-ins, you may need to turn on hidden and system files and folders in the Explorer / Tools / Folder Options / View: Show hidden files, folders or drives. You may also want to Disable (un-check) Hide protected operation system files
The path using windows 7 I believe looks like this.....C:Program Files/Adobe/AdobePhotoshopCS3/PlugIns File Format. Removed my camera raw that I had installed today and searched for the old one it the search came back: Program files/commonfiles/adobe/plug-ins/cs3/fileformat. I can't even find that file regularly since the path is not there. But I left that open and tried removing it and reinstalling the new one there...without extracting the files....(unsuccessful), with extracting files (unsuccessful) and then installing it w/ extracting files in the 1st file path shown and now I can double click the icons in bridge and they individually come up in camera raw, but I can not see the thumbnail image. Any advice.
Your overall issue is that you are trying to use a version of Photoshop and updaters that were not designed with Windows 7 in mind, and perhaps not even Vista, so you have to do your installs manually which is confusing.
The Camera RAW plugin file is called “Camera RAW.8bi” That is what you should be searching for and replacing from the extracted files of the manual-install zip you downloaded. What other files are being extracted besides the one with the .8bi extension? Is there a CameraProfiles.exe? I forget when Camera Profiles showed up for Photoshop.
In your reply you say you searched for something but then the path was not there. How can this be, that the Search function finds something but you cannot find the file because the path is not there, or what is it you mean by those two statements that seem to contradict each other?
After whatever you’ve extracted wherever, if you search for Camera RAW.8bi, now, on your hard-drive, how many are found? The fact parts work and parts don’t suggest that there are still two versions or that the one remaining version is in the wrong place.
Are you using the most recent version of CS3, in case the paths to things changed mid-version?
The path using windows 7 I believe looks like this.....C:Program Files/Adobe/AdobePhotoshopCS3/PlugIns File Format
Just to be clear on one thing, the correct path is Program Files > Common Files > Adobe > Plugins > CSx > File Formats. There is no Photoshop folder in the path.