Joeflash’s Enigmacopaedia


CS3 Suite & Misc Adobe Installation Hell (and The Solutions)

Posted in AIR, Flex, Adobe, Flashpaper, Macromedia, Creative Suite by Joeflash on the June 11th, 2008

A few weeks ago I bought a long overdue upgrade from Studio 8 and misc. other Adobe products to Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Premium.

Oh boy. Talk about installation hell.

After spending a whole day (~12 hours) trying to install the darn thing, trying various fixes listed in technotes and in the Adobe forums, I gave up. And I didn’t even have a beta version to mess me up. Holy crap! Installing new software should not be this hard.

That install trial nuked a few of my Adobe programs, but since Flex was okay, I just licked my wounds and kept working. A few weeks later, I needed to use Flash, so I had to proceed and try and figure out a solution.

Two days later I found one. (Skip to Solution) Finally. And with a mind to send Adobe a big fat invoice for my lost time.

So I’d say that those three days of slogging it through technotes, forums, Win XP tweaking, system restarts and aborted installations paid off… sort of… okay to be perfectly honest those are three days of my life I’ll never get back, but at least I learned something.

And along the way I found solutions to few other vexing problems that have been bugging me since upgrading my firewall and spyware applications, such as:

  1. Occasionally after installing Flash or Flex or a Flash Player update, my FlashPaper 2 would give me the funky-chicken-jitters every time I right-clicked (very very annoying). And every time I would have to reinstall Flashpaper 2. (Yes I still use it cause it makes much smaller PDFs than Acrobat Pro). (Skip to Solution)
  2. After installing Flash CS3 or a Flash Player update, or even after a clean install, Flash Player in the Flex 3 Welcome screen does not work. (Skip to Solution)
  3. The MSI installers in the Flash CS3 9.0.6 Flash CS3 Update for FP 9.0.124 will not run because of a “blocking process”. (Skip to Solution)
  4. After uninstalling Apollo Beta 1, I could not install AIR 1.01, even though there were no errors in the log file. I even corresponded with the AIR engineering team about it, and they were left scratching their heads. (Skip to Solution)

I’ll cover all of these in this post.


First, the solution I found to successfully install Adobe Creative Suite 3 on Win XP.
I was installing Web Premium, but I gather this will work for any flavour of creative suite.

Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Premium Installation Error

The installation completed, but always with 2 errors no matter what I did: “Adobe Creative Suite 3…” and “Shared Components” — but neither log file showed any error messages.

First I tried every solution proposed on this technote page, including the colour profiles. And a few solutions on other technotes and discussion forums.

Of course I also tried:

  • killing all firewalls, anti-virus, anti-spyware, all running processes that were not essential
  • the MSCONFIG fix (but not the right one, as I later found out)
  • the Adobe CS3CleanScript, levels, 1, 2, 3 and 4, multiple times (which of course nuked all my Adobe programs and some Macromedia ones!)
  • logging on as Administrator and doing the above.

Nothing worked. Until… I tried the following in this specific sequence:

CS3 Installation Solution:

  1. Turn on Administrator in the Welcome screen with TweakUI > Logon > Show Administrator
  2. Start menu > Run > type MSCONFIG
  3. Apply Solution 2 of this technote for MSCONFIG. Make sure that Startup Items and non-ms System Services are disabled, as per the technote (which I didn’t find until the third day — I didn’t disable the startup items)
  4. Restart, log on as Administrator
  5. Don’t bother with any Add/Remove Programs crap, it’s not very effective in clearing registry entries. Run the CS3CleanScript instead. Run it at level 2, three times just to be sure. I ran it at level 3 three times more, but I think that was overkill. NOTE: running undocumented level 3 will nuke all CS3 and previous versions of Adobe software, and level 4 will nuke all Adobe software and some Macromedia software, so be warned!
  6. Install CS3 Suite (which should now work!!). Now I’m not too sure if this had any bearing on the installation, but to be safe even though it didn’t work on previous attempts I chose not to install Acrobat 8 just in case it fubar’d the process (hey, at this point I was ready to try voodoo!).
  7. Run MSCONFIG and reset to Normal.
  8. Restart, log on as [user]

And that’s it! It worked! OMFG gimme a freakin ice cream, a medal, SOMETHING!!

I think it was the combination of doing the CS3CleanScript while in Administrator mode, plus doing the correct MSCONFIG sequence (I wasn’t turning off startup items before), that is probably what did it.

Problem: FlashPaper 2 is no longer working after installing an adobe product (usually Flex 3, Flash CS3 or a Flash Player update), tries to re-install itself on every right-click.

Solution: Install the Flash CS3 9.02 Update for Flash Player 9.0.115 or Flash CS3 9.06 Update for Flash Player 9.0.124. FlashPaper should now be able to find the standalone Flash Player it needs to run.

Problem: Flash in Flex 3 Welcome Page is no longer working. This may happen on a clean install, or after Flash CS3 or a Player Update has occurred.

Solution: Install the Flash CS3 9.02 Update for Flash Player 9.0.115 or Flash CS3 9.06 Update for Flash Player 9.0.124. Make sure you manually install the debugger version of the Flash Player if doing the update. This will probably fix the Welcome Page for an existing install, but I suspect if it happens on a fresh install of Flex Builder it is because the Flash Player installer is failing silently, in which case using the MSCONFIG solution (see next solution below) and re-installing Flex Builder will probably fix that (though I have not tried it). But for sure using the Flash updater again as above will work, for both an existing install that got messed up, and for a fresh install.

Problem: the .MSI installers in the Flash CS3 9.06 Update for Flash Player 9.0.124 will not run because of a “blocking process”.

Solution:

  1. Turn on Administrator in the Welcome screen with TweakUI > Logon > Show Administrator
  2. Start menu > Run > type MSCONFIG
  3. Apply Solution 2 of this technote for MSCONFIG.
  4. Restart, log on as Administrator
  5. Install MSI files.
  6. Run MSCONFIG and reset to Normal.
  7. Restart, log on as [user]


Problem: AIR 1.01 will not install, mysterious “do not have Administrator privileges” error shown, even though current user does have admin privileges, and all anti-spyware/anti-virus/firewall software is turned off, and AIR installation or Windows Event logs do not show any errors.

AIR 1.01 Installation Error

Solution:

  1. Turn on Administrator in the Welcome screen with TweakUI > Logon > Show Administrator
  2. Start menu > Run > type MSCONFIG
  3. Apply Solution 2 of this technote for MSCONFIG.
  4. Restart, log on as Administrator
  5. Install AIR 1.01.
  6. Run MSCONFIG and reset to Normal.
  7. Restart, log on as [user]

So that same MSCONFIG solution fixed a few mysterious installation errors I had been having. The AIR one was particularly vexing. Which means… that my spyware and/or antivirus and/or firewall isn’t completely shutting down and closing its processes when I “terminate” those programs, blocking some esoteric file permissions that only affect certain Adobe products. Never had any problems installing other software, just recent Adobe products.

Adobe, dudes… you really need to look into this. I am NOT going through this shiite with CS4…

But all’s well that ends well, I guess. Hope someone can use what I’ve learned here.

A Plea To Adobe: Open Source The v2 Architecture!

Posted in Flash, ActionScript 2.0, ActionScript 3.0, Flex, Adobe, Components, Macromedia by Joeflash on the February 6th, 2008

I always wondered if this day would come. Now, hopefully, it just might.

Following is a reply to a post on the Open at Adobe blog entitled Is dead code ever a good line?

If someone cares that the program continues, and is will to commit their resources, why shouldn’t the code be released? If the code is good enough, and doesn’t include other properties, why not release it? If a community is available to control and govern it, why not? If the product was good enough to build a market on its own right, why should we believe it can’t continue?

So, to both of my readers , what do you think? Should dead code be released? Are there examples of it working, or failing? And what do you think are the steps that would help us decide?

I knew exactly what I would write. The same thing that’s been on my mind since I started doing serious actionscript development back in 2002, and the one reason I switched to being a Flex developer:

I think the answer is hell yes, particularly in Adobe’s case.

I’m going to take a moment and gripe about a typical situation which underscores the importance of this point.

I can think of a few situations in the past where open sourcing the code for the Macromedia Flash v2 (i.e. MX 2004) components would have saved a lot of developers, including myself, from a lot of pain and grief. The fact that Macromedia had abandoned the v2 component code back in 2005 (maybe earlier?), and yet would not open source it, left the Flash development community with little alternative than to use 3rd party component frameworks, because patching up holes in the component framework was simply not a legal option. I remember back when the v2 components were released, a few bright stars in the community found fixes and patches for them, but were unable to distribute this code because of the closed policies surrounding these components. This made a lot of people extremely unhappy.

None of the alternate component sets were satisfactory, because none of them were as complete or feature-rich as the v2 component set. And so we waited for someone, anyone to step up to the plate. We waited for MCOM to complete its vaunted component set, which would supposedly save us all from the bugginess of the v2 architecture. But by the time they were released, Flex 2 and AS3 was just around the corner — why bother?

I say this not to gripe for the sake of it, the past is the past, but to emphasize that Adobe should never, ever, EVER repeat this mistake ever again. This one goof nearly killed component-based development for the Flash Platform back in the day, only to be saved at the 11th hour by Flex 2 and AS3. So obviously MacromediaAdobe has learned since then.

Many of us cheered a massive hurah when Adobe announced plans to open source the Flex SDK. Alas, we were now saved from a fate worse than death by having to use closed source components. To the Flash developers in the trenches, the ones who sweat blood and tears to make Flash live up to its potential, we are glad not to have to hack our way through closed code with a chainsaw just to build good apps. Thank you for opening up, and later open sourcing the Flex SDK.

But lot of developers working with legacy AS2 code are still not happy. I’ve even seen development teams violating the EULA and decompiling the entire component architecture, just so they can fix a few things and put out a stable version of their application. So it would be a bit of an understatement to say that it would be a saving grace for them, or if nothing else offer some sort of closure on the issue for the rest of us who have moved on, if the MacromediaAdobe Flash v2 component set were open sourced, at long last. Better late than never.

And while you’re at it, Flex 1 & 1.5 and all the cool MM Dev Kit components that rarely saw the light of day outside of Flex 1-land.

Adobe, if you really want to embrace the open source movement, you need to do this, for your loyal community of Flash developers who have stood by the technology through the years and helped nurture it to what it is today.

Sincerely,

A plea from a passionate Flash and Flex Developer.

Everyone who feels the same way that I do, lend your voice here or on the Open at Adobe blog, and maybe we can finally get that train into the station at long last.