CS5 product

All these 5s got me dizzy.

No one’s got time for their designers and developers to be “non-billable” when using Adobe software. Keep reading to save yourself some frustration when upgrading to CS5.5.

The problem(s)

I recently tried to upgrade to Adobe CS5.5 (Web Premium and Production Premium Creative Suites).

I’ve used Adobe’s creative software for around 20 years cross-platform, and I must say this was the worst experience with it that I’ve ever had. Judging from the massive collection of newly authored support docs on Adobe’s site (like this one), it doesn’t seem as if I’m alone.

I still believe in the software, and Adobe’s great new focus to allow designers and developers to pursue authoring of web content on a myriad of mobile devices and platforms, with increased support for HTML 5 and web standards. Instead of going on about how bad the install experience is, I’d like to offer some suggestions for those having similar issues. Who knows, maybe it will save someone the 3 hours I had to spend getting what is essentially Master Collection up and running.

Possible Solutions

Do you get failed install errors through the Adobe installer? Do these reference conflicting payloads or proprietary codes that can only be found within Adobe’s support documentation?

Follow the steps below to work around these issues. (All troubleshooting steps in this post are for PC/Windows 7/64-bit only and are offered without guarantee or liability). While I love the Mac platform and my Mac friends, someone still needs to tell Steve Jobs that the “rent is too damn high”.

  • Uninstall ALL CS and Adobe related apps, prior and current, from within the uninstaller applications for each through the Windows OS, by navigating to “uninstall programs” from the Windows control panel.
  • Reboot.
  • I then sought out all Adobe related files and removed them somewhat manually. These are in the normal suspect locations, like Program Files (x86) and Program Files, but can also be in “roaming” directories for every user of the machine. Minor investigation will reveal that bits of Adobe are in many places on the PC. It helps to run a search with simply “Adobe” in your C:Drive or whatever your main partition holding the software is. The only things I left untouched with Adobe code in them were drivers that resided in Windows 32 and other Microsoft Office default drivers and functionality locations.
  • This removal of Adobe items, should also include basic AIR apps and even the Flash Player, Explained below in “false errors”.
  • Dowload and run the Adobe CS5 cleaner tool. To be extra sure that you got all CS and Adobe software remnants, I would run options for CS3/4, CS5, and Flash too.
  • Reboot.
  • Install your suite(s), rebooting between each. Ex. if you are installing Web Premium and Production Premium, reboot between each of these install sessions.
  • You might as well get a coffee between installs, especially if you’re installing Production Premium. Mmmm, delicious.
  • If you have a 64-bit operating system, let both Photoshop versions install. (Explained below)
  • Reboot.


When getting started, I noticed that when trying to install Web Premium before running all of the steps above, (but still running the cleaner tool first as recommended) that the errors often referenced Photoshop Camera Raw, as related to the 32-bit version. This is pretty funny if you’re familiar with the Adobe Updater Application, as the only thing it ever seems to find before doing a major upgrade is the “Camera Raw” updates. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but it seems like NOT installing the 64-bit and 32-bit versions together may result in some co-dependency issue. If you’re worried about disk space, you can always uninstall the 32-bit later, but I’d let it ride out for the first install. There are also some false errors that are a result of a newer piece of some part of the suite being more updated that what is on the media you are installing from. Crazy.

I know it seems like a lot of steps, but it’s the only thing that would work for me. I still wonder how widespread this is. Besides, I think the price of admission will be worth the payoff for the additional functionality showcased by @garazi (Greg Rewis) above, but I’ll let you decide that for yourself.

Update 9/27/11: Check out the comment below for additional workarounds as of 9/11.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

One Response to “Who’s got time to install CS5.5?”

  1. Update from September 2011:
    I recently received a new Windows machine at my workplace very similar to the config used with the examples above. I also received a Mac. No issues on the Mac of course, but on the Windows 7 Pro 64-bit machine I got even worse errors like the ones above. This time though, installs were not allowed to carry out at all. After receiving some phone support from Adobe, I learned a new workaround for some errors like the ones above. The customer support rep instructed me to take each DVD, and copy the contents of each into a local directory. When copying each consecutive DVD into the same local directory, files that are already there, like payloads, don’t need to be overwritten. This process gives a cumulative set of files within the local directory from which to perform installs from. This process works well, but you’ll still get the same innocuous errors explained above. Still crazy and still a bad experience. Maybe I’ll get to ask some teams at MAX why this is happening.

Leave a Reply

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>