Let’s just Blame Windows.

Adobe Premiere and Photoshop are a critical part of the application set I use daily to produce videos and online content. Therefore, I (actually Microsoft) owns an Adobe Production Premium to edit and create all my thegeekstories.com

Some months ago, I installed a beta of Adobe Soundbooth CS3. And a beta of Adobe Premiere Pro CS3. In retrospect, probably this was the root cause of my headache.

Having installed my new Production Premium on my Vista laptop; Setup.exe brings up a notice that SoundBooth CS3 could not be installed as I had previously used a Beta. OK, using the Adobe supplied WinCS3Clean script (written in Python, BTW), I de-installed everything and attempted to install a fresh.

No go. None of the applications that make up the Suite would install. “Components Failed to Install”

Reading the installer help support files suggests using msconfig.exe to restart without startup applications; no go. Restart in safe mode (F8 at startup) and install. No go. Move the installer DVDs (4x) onto the hard drive and install from this image. No go.

This time, it is my usual practise has been to “blame the OS” (note: even the install notes for Creative Suite CS3 on MacOS X runs to 23 individual points!) . Launch the Setup.exe as Administrator. No go. Run WinCS3Clean as Administrator, and use the Windows Install Clean Up. No go. Log into the Microsoft network just in case there is some weird Group Policy thing on my account. No go. 

Finally, I stumble across this on the Adobe support site: “License has Expired” . Right; my serial number has already been recorded and the apps cannot be installed again. Whilst not the exact error I was seeing, it seemed to be where I was ultimately at as the next step.

It worked.

What the? I notice that there are a couple of steps prior to removing this file. Re-installing onto another PC “as a test” and most probably re-installing your whole OS . If I hadn’t removed this cache file, I may have resorted to a complete OS re-install step.

The problem ultimately was Adobe’s draconian and flawed install process. Not the OS. I want my 24 hours of lost productivity back, please.

If I had reinstalled the OS, yes the problem would have been fixed. But it’s like opening an almond nut with a H2 Hummer going at 100. It will surely solve the problem; but lesser force and better information earlier can open the nut, too. And save lots of time and a barrell or two of oil.

Oh, and as a part of my near scorch the earth clean up, I de-installed Acrobat 8 Professional. Having not used Professional for anything apart from reading PDFs in the last 6 months, I am not going to re-install it.  Using the .xps format printing out stuff I need to keep is great.

How does someone who doesn’t have a day to install software navigate this? How does someone who hasn’t been installing Windows and Adobe applications for 10+ years get through this?

6 thoughts on “Let’s just Blame Windows.”

  1. Young people like me (without the long IT baggage) just have to read blogs and learn from the woes of the pioneering folks like you.

    Thank you for making a contribution to the knowledge network.

  2. Actually, I installed one of the betas for Soundbooth and it completely borked the drivers for my sound card on my XP machine. Haven’t figured how to fix it yet and I’m staring down the barrel of a complete reinstall for XP.

    Even though malware isn’t a problem for me, I’m beginning to think that a workflow model involving a reinstallation of Windows every few months would be good idea for security and stability. Perhaps working from an image disc of a known “good” install of OS + software … with all working data residing on an external storage server.

  3. I downloaded the Soundbooth CS3 trial for OS X to see if it should go in the audio production stack. Install — and uninstall — was a colossal pain in the ass.

    You can’t install if you’re logged in as a regular user, you can’t install if you’ve used a beta, you can’t install if you have a friggen *web browser* open. You can’t uninstall by dragging the app to the trash; no, you have to run the uninstaller which is located in Applications/Utilities/Adobe Installers. Geeze.

    I *love* the Soundbooth CS3 interface, but the lack of multi-track is a showstopper. So is the install process; even if Soundbooth were perfect, there’s no way I’d recommend it for widescale deployment. The support crew would have my head on a stick.

  4. I’m giving the Production Suite all a great workout next week at TechEd; and the week following in Perth.

    I wonder where Audition went? Is it going to be Soundbooth Pro? For my simple audio uses, Soundbooth is going to be right on the money.

  5. Andrew

    I tend to persist with an OS install; but fresh install new major versions — or obviously, new hardware.

    It’s like being able to “know” your system and what is where and why stuff isn’t working. Mac or Windows.

    Then again, I am twisted that way.


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