This is a copy of my post to an Adobe forum, with a couple of additions (in italics). In the next post, you will see a more to the point explanation of my problem and how I ended up resolving them.
There is a happy ending to my misery, but shame on you Adobe support personnel and principal scientist for suggesting totally inaccurate procedures for the solution. My common sense prevailed and did not listen to the “oh, so certain of himself” support person that I had to UNINSTALL EVERYTHING ON MY COMPUTER MADE BY ADOBE. You are full of it! And you know with what. I was not about to uninstall my complete CS3 and cripple my ability to work.
I tried several times to install CS4, my computer rebooting at some point on all of them. I called for tech support, language problems aside, the procedure was like Chinese torture. First person asked for my full ID, address, phone, serial number, my problem, etc. Then decided that I needed to talk to tech support. No kidding!
Then I spoke to the second person who asked me the same questions for the same information. Patiently I repeated them. Then she repeated my problem back to me, thank you. Then told me that she would connect me to the tech support person! I could speak to a royalty sooner than this, come ON Adobe. The actual support person asked me the same questions again, all the way down to the ZIP code of my address.
In any case, the tech support person told me that this was a DVD reader problem and that I should copy the CS4 directory from DVD 1 and 2 to my desktop and run the installation from there, and if I had any problems I should call back. He was half right, maybe even less much less. But where he was wrong, it was crucial and extremely frustrating. I patiently copied those directories (more than one hour), as you are probably guessing correctly by now, I had to rename one so that I could drag the second one to the desktop, Adobe CS4-1 and Adobe CS4.
Uninstalling all CS4, I restarted to install it again… Crash bang! Gone, computer rebooted. The persistent person that I am, after the computer restarted I uninstalled all CS4 again and made one more attempt. This time the installation did not even start. It came back with a “pleasant” message that “The installation for the following products failed” and listed all the components of Design Premium.
As suggested by the previous king, oh I mean the support person, I called the support number once more. I gave the case number and the guy at the other end told me that this is a known issue and I should uninstall all Adobe products and call back the next day. I told him that this did not sound reasonable as it would cripple my ability to do work, he insisted that it was the only way to install CS4. The recommended method was to uninstall everything Adobe and then run Adobe clean script which would remove all traces of Adobe products from the registry.
Well, was he ever wrong. Way wrong. Not that I did not need to uninstall everything Adobe, there was a cleaning script only for CS4.
I started thinking and reading the forum threads and other places where this issue was being discussed. This may surprise the principle scientist, there are hundreds of thousands of hits when I searched for “CS4 install problems”. This should be great news for computer repair people as they all must have hardware device failures! Yeah. One thing that kept grabbing my attention, the install process was not able to write to some directories and that could be the reason for the failure. I was running a Windows XP Pro system and the directory security was not drum tight, and I had administrator privileges anyway. Except, those directories that were controlled by the MS IIS. I knew that the installer was probably not accessing those directories, but that gave me one glimmer of hope. Another thing I noticed was the complaint by the installer that Internet Explorer was running. In my case it complained that Firefox was running. SO WHAT, what is it to you? Could there be a relationship to the IIS?
I went ahead and uninstalled MS SQL and the IIS (for ColdFusion). I followed the instructions on how to run the Adobe cleaner script for CS4 and did that. It did not report any CS4 entries in the dialogs. Then I ran the MS Install Cleaner and removed every line that had CS4 in it (there were probably 5-6 entries that the Adobe script did not show). I also terminated all the unnecessary applications, utilities, system tray crud and disabled the antivirus for a good measure (although the principle scientist said it should not matter). Then, I started the install from the desktop as instructed. Since the previous crashes happened at or near Adobe Media Player, I disabled that and started the process. It kept going, and going, and going… I jotted down the applications it installed and as their names appeared. This was exciting, it went further, and further, AND finished the first DVD (directory that is from my desktop.) Then it asked me to insert the second DVD into C: huh! I thought for sure if I clicked OK, it would ask me to point to where it was. Nooooo. It insisted that I put the second DVD into C:.
I was royally ticked off (polite substitute here) at the first guy who actually told me that I would point to the directory where the second DVD directory was. YOU WERE WRONG, man, wrong (and I am really restraining myself here). I tried copying one folder into the first, that did not work because of some directory collision. I tried switching their names, no way. I was panicking that I would fail after having come this far. In a flash of inspiration, I moved the second CS4 directory from my desktop to the C: and clicked on OK.
LO AND BEHOLD! The impossible happened. There was no other way of installing CS4 other than uninstalling everything Adobe. But the miracle was happening on my computer, the chosen one!
Now, Adobe people please read this carefully. All the events I describe here are true (case ID can be provided upon request to Adobe), they took over a three day period, on the same machine. If it had, as the principle scientist suggested, any hardware or driver problems should my install have succeeded? My scientific thinking tells me: NO.
So, please review all your stone walls, retrain your personnel, work better at making your software to be a good citizen of the computing world, and for goodness sake, stop being on the defensive ALL THE TIME. Accepting some responsibility for some of these problems could be cleansing for the soul.
I will post a less verbose version of my process on my blog tomorrow if you care to read it.
Note: Adobe, I like your products, use them, teach them, recommend them. But you need to come off the pedestal and meet with mere mortals, us. Your bread and butter.