Photoshop CS5 Reactivation Issue

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  • Updated 5 months ago

Three months ago I had to clear my hard drive and reinstall CS5.  I got the code to reactivate my CS5 as it was an upgrade and the hard drive having been cleared did not have a previous edition for the upgrade CS5 to recognize and install automatically.  3 weeks later my hard drive crashed.  I had a new hard drive installed, tried to install CS5, and got the 30 free trial pop-up as expected.  Not a big deal, so I thought.  I got Adobe on their Chat site, an accomplishment in itself as Adobe appears to want to make it difficult to gain access to.  Get this, I was told that CS5 installation support had stopped that very day!!!  No help from India in getting my CS5 back, and that after some 20 years or so of PS use!!!  I consider this to be disgraceful.

How do I go about getting access to my CS5 again?  I know that there has to be someway to get around Adobe's "no support" policy, but I don't know how to do it.  Please, bear in mind that I'm 73 years old, disabled and really need the directions to be spelled out in a step-by-step way.  As I am on a fixed income I cannot afford to buy a new CS whatever number they are on...



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Clifford Johnston

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Posted 6 months ago

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Clifford Johnston

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No help at all???  I see all kinds of Adobe people jumping in on other requests, but not here! 


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Hannah Nicollet, Official Rep

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Sorry for the delay in addressing your problem, Clifford! What OS are you on?

For a Mac, several people in your situation have had success simply logging in as a different user on a Mac and making that user an admin to override the old settings:

1. Goto User Accounts, Add new User, set it as Administrator
2. Log out, Log in as new user. Test scenario

Instructions for Mac are here:

For Windows, please try these steps:

1. Go to Adobe support page, key in CS5 activation. It will bring up the page on Activation or Connection error

2. Sign in with Adobe login or create one

3. It will ask for your CS5 serial number.  Key it in.  The page will respond with a new CS5 serial number

4. Note the links further down this page for installing the new CS5

5. Close out of CS5 and out of any browsers

6. Go to control panel and un-install CS5 completely

7. When this is finished, use File Explorer to find the AdobePCD folder in the c:Program Files (x86)/Common Files/Adobe folder. Delete this AdobePCD folder. This is the one that has the old serial number that is preventing the new activation and it is not deleted by de-installing CS5

8. Now click on each of the two file links  (file 1 of 2 and file 2 of 2) (noted above on the CS5 install page. These will spawn a loader program which you must accept and will take quite a quite a while to load. In the middle of the first load, a box will open noting a missing AdobePDF.dll file. Use the browse button and find the file at c:Windows/sysWow64/ Once you have chosen this path, click okay.  The first file load will complete, then click on file 2 of 2 and let it load.

9. Once the loads complete, open CS5. This time it will ask for the new serial number obtained from the Adobe website above. Key it in as noted.

10. Open CS5 again.  It will bring up a box to register. Click on "Never Register."

Hope that helps! I'll check back and make sure you got it going again.

Hannah Nicollet
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Clifford Johnston

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Thanks for the comeback. 

1) OS is Windows 10

2) I have a legal copy of the upgrade to PS CS5 with the good serial number.  I have been a paying Adobe customer for over 20 years.

3) I have a new hard drive as my old hard drive with CS5 crashed.

4) I have downloaded CS5 to the new hard drive from the upgrade cd that I have.  As there was no previous edition on the new hard drive the only activity that I get when trying to access  CS5 is the 30-day free trial pop-up.  I have done nothing else except to exit the software.

5) I know that all that it takes to get this up and running is a code from Adobe, but the day that I went to reactivate it the sub-contractor in India (I believe) told me that they had just stopped supporting CS5 installation support that very day - UNBELIEVABLE BAD TIMING, if true.

So, I'm all ears...