Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Premium installation

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This article deals with installation trouble for Adobe CS3. I don't seem to be only one that has trouble, therefore I kindly offer you an account below - Daniel K. Schneider 16:06, 7 July 2007 (MEST).

Note: This is not the first time I have trouble with Adobe installations. In the past, I also ran into similar problems when I tried to install a Adobe Acrobat next to Framemaker. Adobe has those friendly Acrobat updates that will try to sabotage various versions of it.

Creative Suite 3 Design Premium on Win XP

By Daniel K. Schneider.

Configuration of my machine
  • Hardware: a Dell XPS II laptop
  • OS: Updated swiss-french XP.
  • Other Adobobe stuff installed: It already had an older Dreamweaver 8, 2 Acrobats (5 and 6 I think), Framemaker 7.0 and Framemaker 7.2, Adobe SVG 3 and Photoshop Elements.
  • Permission: A user with full administrator rights.
  • Other: I disabled AcAfee (Virusscan). I didn't have any beta or trialware of CS 3 installed.

It was quite a nightmare. Adobe is often not compatible with Adobe (went through this also with various versions of Distillor/Creator in combination with Framemaker). With my install, Acrobat 8 Professional would not install giving a totally useless error message. Didn't find any useful help on the Adobe site for a simple solution, except the sort of ludicrous advice like reinstalling windows.

The usual unreflective try/boot cycle

Here is what I tried on Windows XP (step by step, each time waiting between 1 and 3 hours ....). Lucky I got my Linux system next to it on which I can work and write flames.

  • Uninstalled all Adobe software (except Framemaker 7.2). In particular, all PDF Distillor/Creator versions. Launched installer again, just selected the Acrobat component.
  • Tried to remove stuff from the Registry. Also uninstalled all "PDF" containing entries with the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility (download), ....
  • Removed again CS3 plus all other Adobe software, and went again quickly through the registry and windows cleanup. Still didn't work at this time, but log file got down to only 50MB ;) with less error messages:
So it boiled down to 1406 errors, CS3 unable to change registry entries ....

You can see this kind of information either by looking at the Adobe log files (see below) or by looking at the Microsoft event viewer, i.e. type eventvwr in a command window.

Adobe log file view:

Error 1406. Could not write value ThreadingModel to key.
Verify that you have sufficient access to that key, or contact your support personnel.

Microsoft event file view (this is much faster since you don't have to dezip and search a lot)

Product: Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional -- Error 1406.Could not write value ThreadingModel to key
System error .  Verify that you have sufficient access to that key, or contact your support personnel.

Informed installation

Here is what you have to read (like line by line).

The 1406 error described in 329137
  • Solutions 1 (the Adobe Fix_1406ACL.exe) didn't work.
  • Solution 2 (uninstalling all Acrobats) didn't not work either.
  • Changing manually registry permissions didn't work either, but might for you. Good luck (see below)!

Edit registry permission this way

  • Type regedit from a command window (alternatively you can type this from Start Menu->Exectute)
  • Edit -> Find 06849E9F-C8D7-4D59-B87D-784B7D6BE0B3 (the equivalent of what you see in your error message) (alternatively you can also browser the registry tree).

Anyhow, changing permissions didn't work in my case, I didn't have permission despite being part of the Administrators group (Administrateurs in french). The keys seemed to belong to user Administrateur (administrator in English). Curious, since I never used this, except maybe on day one ... a long time ago. Weird ! Why would Adobe only allow an individual admin to change permissions and not members of the admin group ?? One also might flame MS for this. Does such protection make sense ?

Fixing permission with the administrator user

To log in as administrator may not be obvious since this user may not show on the login screen. Hit ctrl-alt delete, then you can login as adminstrator. In case you forgot the password, you can give it new one from another admin account. But not from the user management tool, you will have to launch the administration tools -> management of the system (don't know the exact menu names in English). In french it is Paramètres -> Outils d'administration -> Gestion de l'ordinateur then open Users and Groups (in french Utilisateurs et groupes.

Then launch regedit again and fix the permission as described in the Adobe document. I gave them to the administrators group and tried again with my own admin account. Now this leads to a new interesting Acrobat 7 leftover error:

Product: Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional -- Error 1406.Could not write value  to key
System error .  Verify that you have sufficient access to that key, or contact your support personnel.

Ok, so I went back to cleanup the registry as user = administrator. But instead of fixing permissions, I just ripped away all Acrobat 6.0 and Acrobat 7.0 entries.

Done !

Of course I might have installed CS3 as user=administrator and not "me = just a user with admin privileges". But then I surely would have run intro trouble with Adobe's upgrades. Also, it's a question of principle. I rule, not my stupid PC....


A bloody disgrace. I don't mind suffering when I have to *compile* some free software on a Unix system. I just wonder a bit why the average user agrees to cope with this. Maybe he/she will just go an buy a new PC ? Also, why the hell does a simple Acrobat component re-install take like 2 hours and needs to reinstall other stuff too ?

Whenever you can, use SVG instead of Flash ! Just put contents on the web instead of "dreamweavering" front pages. If you are a friendly millionnaire, consider giving cash either:

  • to the Mozilla project to push the SVG implementation (unfortunately it doesn't implement SMIL tags.
  • to Inkscape to add support for animation.
  • to a company that creates SVG authoring tools.

If you have less pride in your own admin user identity, you may try to install CS3 as user=administrator from start. It probably will save you a day of waiting or so ....