Note added on 12/15/2009. See my last post about Adobe Air application installation solution.
Note added on 1/18/2009. I wonder if Adobe Installer sets up a MiniSQL to facilitate copy protection and module integration. If it does, could that clash with MS-SQL? I believe Adobe uses Bonjour, and possibly a proxy service. There is also the FNPLicensingService.exe without which Adobe products do not run. I wish Adobe, or someone who knows the innards of the OS could say something about this problem.
In the previous post, I explained the process but it probably got mixed too much with editorial comments I was compelled to make. Here, I will address just the installation problems and what made it possible for me to install CS4. Now, I am not saying that it will work for you. What I want to share with you are two things. First, Adobe tech support is not giving the best advice or troubleshooting and you should not blindly follow them. Second, the solution may lie in unexpected places and perseverance.
I am outlining what I did, follow my steps at your own risk.
My install attempts of Adobe CS4 Design Premium resulted in failure and my computer rebooting unceremoniously. A call to Adobe support suggested that my DVD player might be at fault and that I should copy the Adobe CS4 directories to my desktop. If I were to follow this process, I am not sure if it is really necessary or not, I would have done the following instead of following the blind recommendation by the support person. This is what they should recommend.
- Copy the Adobe CS4 directory from the first DVD to the root of drive C (C:)
- Rename that directory to something else, like Adobe CS4-1
- Copy the Adobe CS4 directory from the second DVD to the root of drive C (C:)
- Do not rename this directory
When, and if the installation goes successfully and the first DVD is finished (the first directory in C:) the installer can now find the “second DVD” in the second directory of install files (still named Adobe CS4 as it was on the DVD). Not time to start the installation yet.
Then, I went to Control Panel/Add, Remove Programs and uninstalled anything I saw that said CS4. I included in that process Adobe Air which does not have the CS4 designation. I also uninstalled, most likely quite unnecessary, Adobe Flash plugin, Adobe Flash Active-X, Shockwave Player; but did not uninstall any part of Adobe CS3 components.
While still in the Add, Remove Programs, I clicked on the “Add Remove Windows Components” on the left and deselected IIS and uninstalled that component. Back in the add-remove panel, I also uninstalled MS SQL engine that I ran in conjunction with the IIS to test some ColdFusion code. My suspect applications were removed.
I found and downloaded Adobe CS4 Clean Script and extracted the contents to a directory. The readme file there instructed me to download and install Microsoft Windows Install Clean Up utility. I obliged. I ran the Adobe script and followed the instructions. It showed no CS4 products to be cleaned, consequently did not do anything. I did not trust that and ran the Windows Install Clean up utility and saw entries that clearly belonged to Adobe CS4. I carefully selected them and removed their traces (“CAREFUL” is the operative word here as removal of a legitimate entry here may render that application inoperative.)
I was now ready to make another attempt to install CS4. I started from the first directory on my desktop. I should have been told to do what I explained earlier and put these directories in my C: drive. I kept taking notes of what was being installed in case I had to call the tech support again. Luckily, my process worked, except for the glitch of not finding the second DVD. I was able to recover from that and complete the installation.
What are the lessons for me and for others here, including Adobe, most importantly for Adobe people?
- When a perfectly functioning computer with dozens of applications suddenly starts restarting itself while running the Adobe installer, Adobe should not, nay, MUST not keep pointing at others for the source of the problem. It is that application that triggers the failure, just like the hand that pulls the trigger of a gun. Just as the hand pulling the trigger cannot blame the bullet for injuring someone, Adobe has no reasonable stand to argue that another application is causing the failure while their application is running. Stop that nonsense.
- The support procedures should not be so draconian, asking for the same information with so much detail three times during the same call is not reasonable at all. Record it somewhere, as they must be doing and move on. We have no reason to make “SPAM support calls”.
- The support personnel must speak better English if the call originates in this country and the support number is also in this country.
- Tech support people must not assume that I am an idiot (I happen to have two advanced degrees, one being a PhD.) and seek the most convenient way for themselves whether that is necessary or not. Even then, the person who asked me to uninstall all Adobe products including the entire CS3 did not know whether that would work or not. But he was sure that that was the only way to install CS4! Does that make sense? He told me that if that did not work they would escalate my call. Why are you willing to make me go through that process knowing that it would do some harm to my work without being sure that it would work? Why are you not escalating my problem to someone who apparently knows more than you? Why, Adobe, you do not have more people like those who would handle my “escalated call”?
- Users, like myself, should not blindly follow the steps recommended by the support personnel. Think if what they recommend makes sense? The DVD not keeping up with the installation did not make much sense to me and I told the guy the same. But, since the cost was only time I followed the suggestion. In the end, it probably did not make any difference at all.
- Take the least destructive path at first. I have read horror stories of people formatting their entire hard disks and installing the OS from scratch to install an Adobe product. Totally unacceptable and absolutely unconscionable to make people do that instead of fixing your own software. If you want to have new flooring installed in your house, will you agree to have the house rebuilt? Of course not. Why should you agree to reinstall the OS on a blank drive? This is definitely an Adobe problem, and software makers like them.
- I was ready to return the product if my last attempt did not succeed. I could have lived with CS3, I still can. Nothing is indispensable when it comes to software like this. We are buying a little more convenience, a couple of novel features, and a sense of renewal with most of these updates and upgrades. If CS4 were not available now, nobody would go out of business, photographers would not stop shooting and printing, designers would not return to their drafting tables. Let’s be sensible.
- Talking down to users in the forum in a patronizing tone is not a form of support. Adobe, you need to instruct these people, no matter how high their internal stature may be, to communicate with people not to lecture them and deny every culpability in the problems thousands of people seem to be having. Simply acknowledging that “you are having problems but they are caused by no line of code that we put down” is simply not reasonable. Be reasonable.
Repeat after me: “It’s just a piece of software, I can live without it. It’s just a piece of software ….”