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Installation of Adobe CS3 on Vista x64: A @!#$% journery

I have spent nearly 2 days to install this software on my Vista machine. The installer program is really written badly and it really wasted me a lot of time.

First, I had to uninstall the original Adobe CS2 on my machine and really really unlucky, I think I have got a bad installation disk with a corrupted file. Therefore, at the very first installation, I could only got the shared components installed and all others failed. The most annoying thing was that there’s no informative messages reported from the installer. It only said that there’s some components failed to install. Moreover, during the lengthy installation, I had to close all the browsers which made me could not use the machine to do other things except waiting. (I had another machine in my office and I could work on the other machine). OK fire up the firefox and go the adobe KB to search for solution. Oh my god, there’s a tone of problems and solutions about CS3 installation so I had to do some analysis before picking up any solutions. At last I decided to check the log of the installer first. It was a around 3MB zip file located in C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Adobe\Installers. However when the log file was uncompressed, it was around 26MB and this choked the notepad (cannot read it) and notepad++ (not responding whenever I want to search). At last I used grep (from cygwin) and successfully finding some clues of the problem. When I used the keyword “error” to grep the log, I found that a log entry telling that the installer could not read the AdobeDeviceCentralAll1.cab. However, when I navigated to that file and opened it, it could be opened. OK, I copied the whole DVD to local HD, uninstall and reinstall, still got the same result. I replaced the installation disk and used the new disk to try to install the CS3 on a XP machine and the installation completed without any problem.  I determined the original disk was having problem and the new disk should be alright.

Second, I used this new disk to install. This time, all the components installed without problem except Acrobat 8.0. OK, I did the troubleshooting as before and tried to grep the log file to see if there’s any clues of the problem.  This time the installer complained as below :

installation logOK, from the log, it said that it could not access the C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Adobe\Acrobat\ActiveX directory. It should be the stuff left by the previous unsuccessful installation. I tried to remove it but the system returned permission denied (oc I had run the explorer under administrator rights). OK, boot to safe mode to delete it, still no luck. OK boot using UBCD, still couldn’t. Oh my god, why Adobe protect such directory like a virus and and made it undeletable. At last I boot back the system and used the below procedures to remove it :

– Right click on the “ActiveX” folder
– Select “Properties”
– Go to the “Security” tab
– Click on the “Advanced” button
– In the “Permissons” tab hit the button “Edit”
– Check the box called “Replace all existing inheritable permissions on all
descendants with inheritable permissions from this object”
– Hit “Ok” on all of the three open windows.
– Delete the folder!

There’s a directory left out by Adobe CS2 in c:\adobe\acrobat 7.0 \adobe\activeX. I used the same method to remove it again.

After removing the C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Adobe\Acrobat\ActiveX directory, I would be able to install back the Acrobat 8.0

Really don’t understand why the installation of the CS3 is so buggy and causing so many problems. BTW, I have tried to install it on a clean install of Vista (without any application installed), it could be installed without a glitch. This only tell us that the success of CS3 installation can be greatly affected by the applications and services already installed on a system. Moreover, the error handling and reporting of the installer is really suck.

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