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Things that should have been easy

Installing Adobe CS4 on Windows 7 – it should have been a no brainer

I recently updated to Windows 7. Figured it was a good time since my laptop was crashing or blue screening in Vista twice a day and often refusing to hook up to a wireless connection, which was, well, not very productive.

So, after accidentally installing the 32 bit version and then starting over with the 64 bit version, I successfully installed Windows 7 and got a couple of blue screens anyway. Before I had installed any software. Doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. (As an aside, I like Win7 so far – it reboots very fast. Important when your machine crashes a lot.)

But I managed to get that stabilized (so far) and went on to install some of my must have software. First on my list – Adobe CS4. I use Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign on a regular basis, so I wanted to make sure to get those installed right away. This should have been a no brainer.

Unfortunately, the software went through the entire installation process, and then informed me that it had not successfully installed Photoshop 64 bit or Fireworks. The errors it referenced were something along the lines of:

“Error 1603. Error 1335.The cabinet file ‘xxx.cab’ required for this installation is corrupt and cannot be used. This could indicate a network error, an error reading from the CD-ROM, or a problem with this package.” Adobe pointed me to this TechNote. I was installing from a copy of the original download, so it wasn’t the CD, and I determined it wasn’t an antivirus or firewall problem. I searched the error. I found many people with similar problems trying to install CS4 on 64 bit Windows 7, and many suggested fixes, like these, and these. I ran Adobe Support Advisor, which itself would never complete properly. I tried running the install again as Administrator. I tried running it and just installing one program at a time. Same errors, every time.

Some of the suggestions included:

  • Cleaning out temp files
  • Registry fixes
  • Running as Administrator
  • Running install package from the desktop
  • Cleaning any DVD media or drives
  • Installing without entering the registration number, then entering it AFTER install
  • Re-downloading the install package
  • Installing after a fresh reboot, without opening any other programs first
  • Reverting to a restore point
  • Giving up, as “CS4 doesn’t work in Windows 7”

In the end, here is what worked for me:

  • Downloaded a fresh copy of the install package (mine was from Nov 2008) and unpacked it to the default location on the desktop
  • Deactivated and removed the registration number from one of the suite products that was installed (which deactivates the entire suite)
  • Uninstalled the entire CS4 suite
  • Rebooted
  • Ran the new install package from the default location (as Administrator)
  • Chose the default installation options
  • Did not enter the registration number during install
  • Did not touch the computer until it was done

And it worked. Phew! Of course, now there are two copies of Photoshop installed for some reason (I assume that the one that says Adobe Photoshop CS4 is 32 bit as the other indicates it is 64 bit). That should have been easy. Hopefully this will help save somebody else some time.

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