I just doubled the value of the new MacBook Pro

by Volker Weber


Or at least, I tried to. I have a perfectly legal copy that can be activated on two computers. However, I forgot to deactivate it on the old black MacBook before I wiped the disk. Now Adobe won't let me activate it again on the new MacBook Pro. The other copy is on the iMac, which I don't want to deactivate as well.

Now I am sitting on my 30 day trial period while I try to resolve this matter with Adobe.

Did I mention I hate activations? It's wonderful that Apple does not require any of this for Mac OS X, iLife or iWork. It just works.


Is it on purpose that you don't specify which Adobe product you are trying to activate ?

Alex Boschmans, 2009-10-25

Volker, is it just me or is your image host down?

jpwenzel$ ping -c 4 images.vowe.net
PING images.vowe.net ( 56 data bytes
Request timeout for icmp_seq 0
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1
Request timeout for icmp_seq 2

--- images.vowe.net ping statistics ---
4 packets transmitted, 0 packets received, 100.0% packet loss

Jean Pierre Wenzel, 2009-10-25

What makes it even worse: Adobe differs between trial versions of their software an the retail ones, e.g. Photoshop Elements. If you install a trial download you couldn't enter the valid product key after purchase to keep using it, you have to reinstall the product from the proper download link in Adobe's online purchase overview. The error message in that case states, that you have an invalid product-key, without any hints or help, what really went wrong.

Error: "The serial number you entered is not valid"

So the term "try&buy" should be "try&buy&reinstall&use". ;)

Markus Michalski, 2009-10-25

IMHO there are two mainstream companies with overly aggressive product validation: Adobe, and Microsoft. I don't purchase any software from Adobe these days. And I'm gradually withdrawing from the world of Microsoft. Life's too short to deal with companies that aggressively assume you might be a thief when you aren't. I now spend my money elsewhere, and feel much better for doing so.

Anthony Holmes, 2009-10-25

I had this same problem last year - twice. In my case, it was because the HD failed once and I royally messed up my system (mucking with some Unix stuff) the next time. A trick to getting around this quickly is to make a clone of your running system with the working active version of CS3, boot from the clone, and deactivate it. When you boot back to the "normal" system, you'll have your working/active version available and an extra activation ready to use. (I use SuperDuper!, by the way.) I know Adobe may not be happy about this, but I am loathe having to wait for them to act on something that, yes, I messed up, but their process for resolving this is too time consuming to go through.

Steve Fettig, 2009-10-25

I had a similar experience with Adobe 2 yrs ago when moving from Sony to MBP. I still needed Acrobat Pro-so put it on the VM. Required reactivation so I called and to my amazement they said the phrase "We do not ALLOW our customers to install on virtual machines."

Rob Novak, 2009-10-25

Well,at least iWork is complete rubish. Not usable for more than a littel litter.

Keynote is supposed to be good, I wouldn't know, bur the rest sucks.

So that could be a reason, why it needs no registration.

MacOS is great though. But doesen't need (in theory) registration since it only works on Macs and is only sold through Apple. (Again, in theory).

The CS Suite on the other hand...well, you get my point.

Johannes Matzke, 2009-10-25

Apple doesn't require activations... sure... how about "authorizations"? iTunes doesn't let me play songs I bought on iTunes Store because it cannot decide whether I have authorized 5+ computers or just 2! It says both at different times! Apple is no saint.... :-)

Sri Bedathur, 2009-10-26

@Sri: AFAIK, Adobe doesn't let you reset the licences from another computer.

In iTunes, via your account details you can reset all the authorizations ever given to all computers. You then authorize those that you need again.

Worked for me when I sold my G4 Macbook

Alex Boschmans, 2009-10-26

Did you know that Adobe Germany is run by former Lotus people? Well, it helps if you know a wizard there. :-)

Volker Weber, 2009-10-26

@Alex: In theory, yes, that is how it is supposed to work. And it has worked for me in the past. But it doesn't work ALL the time. iTunes on my current Mac is all confused, despite a clean install. It says I have authorized only two computers, but so far, it hasn't allowed me to play music I purchased on the older laptop. Still fighting....

Sri Bedathur, 2009-10-26

Sri, search this site for "drm is bad for the customer". My recommendation: upgrade the crippled tracks with iTunes Plus, and the problem goes away.

Volker Weber, 2009-10-26

Old vowe.net archive pages

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