Archive for the ‘activation’ Category

Adobe CS6 (Creative Cloud): Activation/Deactivation/Migration: Problems & Solutions

Friday, July 12th, 2013

I get the main gist of Adobe’s CS6 Cloud concept, which is not as flexible as the Kindle model, but I am nevertheless slightly “cloudy” or at least hazy over practical details like how to seamlessly transfer from one machine to another, and I have concerns such as what would happen if my main machine became unavailable, for example due to loss or damage/corruption.  Or what would happen if I forget to exit or deactivate (whatever) on one machine (e.g. at a work location) then would it still be possible to work on another machine (e.g. at home or remote location)?  I am also concerned whether there is any potential for serious hiccups and delays to a project in progress, resulting from any unknown (to me) intricacies of Adobe’s license control system.  So I set forth (on the web) to find out:

My Summary:
(The following points are based on my own interpretation of Adobe advice e.g. at
I take no responsibility for their correctness, especially since I started from a position of such uncertainty.  However I hope they are helpful).

  • There are two stages:
    • Installation:
      • Can Install only to a maximum of two machines
      • These can be any mixture of Windows and Mac.
      • Could install to a third machine only after (deactivating if active and) uninstalling from either of the existing two machines.
        • (What an un-cloud-like nuisance, wasting time on this, together with worries over any possible loss of plugins, presets, preferences etc.)
    • Activation:
      • Activate/Deactivate: Menu:[Help] – in any of the CS6 applications.
      • Can Activate only one of these (two) “CS6-carrying” machines at a time.
      • Not as flexible as Apple’s FCP7 used to be, where the only condition was essentially that both instances could not be running at the same time.
  • Some potential problems, avoidance and solutions:
    • Virtual machine: Running CS5 software on a virtual machine can increase the activation count.   Solution: Start the software within the virtual machine then Menu:[Help > Deactivate].
    • Computer Modification: Changing (e.g. upgrading) a computer’s configuration (e.g. hardware, hard drive, or operating system).  Have your serial number handy, and click the [Chat Now] button on the Adobe webpage to talk with a live agent.
    • Locate your serial number:
      • Go to
      • Click Sign in, in the upper-right corner.
        • For Adobe ID, enter your email address. This email address is the address you used originally to create your Adobe ID and download or register your product.
        • If you don’t remember your password, click [Trouble signing in?] below the [Sign In] button.
      • From the Welcome menu in the upper right, choose [My products and services].
        • A list of your registered or downloaded products appears.
      • Click the triangle in the left column adjacent to the product name.
        • Your serial number appears below the product name.
    • Activation Error-Code: If your activation attempt fails with an error code number (for example 93:-12 or 93:-14), look up the code in Activation error codes:
    • Computer Inaccessible: Can’t access the previous computer on which you installed the software? Click the [Chat Now] button (at to talk with a live agent. Be sure to have any purchase-related information ready.
    • Failed to Deactivate before Unuinstalling: Uninstalled your software without first deactivating it?  Reinstall the software (presumably any one application) and then in that application do Menu:[Help > Deactivate].
    • Forgot to Exit the application on a works machine?  Tough (I guess), or maybe ask really nicely (and hope)?  A risky situation to be steered clear of…


Mac Boot Camp: XP 32-bit Upgrade to Windows 7 (W7) 64-bit

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

What I have discovered:

  • There is a W7 upgrade product but it only works from Vista, not XP.
  • Furthermore, the upgrade to W7 64-bit only works nondestructively from Vista 64-bit.
  • So I might as well do a clean install…
    • (Which is probably wise in any case)
  • …and from a Full (not Upgrade) version of W7
  • Will initially try it on an experimental system disk.
    •  Want to be sure of no significant issues before committing the main system.
  • One of the things to confirm is whether any of the (few but vital) progs I have that only run on XP will be able to run in W7’s “Virtual PC” (which has XP SP3).


Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium on Windows and Mac OS (Possibly)

Friday, November 11th, 2011

I bought a discount copy of Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium, because (after much discussion with others) its feature-set seems to match my typical and forseeable production requirements more than those of other NLEs, including my current mainstay, Sony Vegas 9 (which I am still trying to wean myself off, but when any proper job comes along, I tend to fall back on the familiar and trusted, for low risk including avoidance of learning-delay).

Being (so far) a one-man-band who is traditional Windows user, I purchased the Windows version.  But, confirming what I had heard, it does seem that most media people I have met use Macs.  So should I have purchased the Mac version?  Are the versions exactly the same or have they different functionalities?  Is there an option for the license to cover installing the same product on both Windows and Mac OS provided only one of them is run at a time? (e.g. when on the same physical machine).  Ideally at zero or negligible cost of course.  For example Avid Media Composer does have this flexibility.  While the uncertainty remains, I will not open the box (in case it turns out that I need to exchange it).

Here is what I have learnt so far (mainly from web-searching, unverified information):

Differences between the OS-Specific variants:

  • It appears that for CS5.5 Production Premium (at least), the Windows variant has slightly greater functionality.
  • However it remains to be seen what will be the case for CS6, when it becomes available.

Some options are:

  • Volume licensing.
    • Intended not only for businesses but also for individuals.  If the “volume”is for two licenses, they can be for each of the OS’s.
  • Crossgrade.
    • But as far as I can tell it’s intended only for one-off (or infrequent) crossgrades, requiring “destruction of the software” on the old machine each time.  Shame it isn’t simply happy with repeatable deactivation/reactivation on each machine / OS.


Installed Final Cut Studio 7 (FCS7) Upgrade (on new machine)

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

 As a first experiment (with how well or not FCS3 would run), I installed the upgrade to a new machine.

Groundless concerns:

  • There is no hassle over installing it on a second machine.  The license allows it and there is no Deactivation etc required.  Only if both machines are on the same network will it complain.
  • It was not necessary for the target machine to have the previous version of FCS installed.

The update physical form was a cardboard box measuring about (by eye) 5x5x1.5 inches.  Its main contents were 7 data-DVDs, a nice concise booklet and some formal documentation, one of which had the serial number printed (twice).   Installing the system took a few hours.

The main installation disk additionallycontained electronic documentation.  I copied it to :

  • Boris Calligraphy User guide
    • Makes fancy text.
  • Exploring Final Cut Pro 7
    • Same as the booklet that came in the box.

It also contained “Extras”, as follows:

  • AppleQmasterNode.mpkg
    • Allows a computer to act as a node in a render-farm, in support of Compressor.  If you are unsure which role each computer will play in your network, just install the Apple Qmaster software on each computer in your network. You can sort out the details later. []
    • I started its installer but it asked whether I wanted to let this computer be used as a rendering node.  I had already been asked that question when loading the main FCS3.  So maybe it was loaded already.  Decided that FCS was probably best left alone in this respect, so I aborted the install.
      • CORRECT: While following QMaster tutorial [] I checked existing System Preferences for QMaster and they were already there, it was already enabled for sharing.
        • In contrast, when I checked the same for my older machine running FCP6, its QMaster was not enabled for sharing.  Of course I fixed that immediately.
      • BUT in both cases (both machines) the options were greyed-out.
      • For the newly-installed FCP7 machine,  Options for selected service (Compressor) said “Selected Service On (2 instances).  Sounds like it’s using both cores OK.
      • For the older FCP6 machine, it said “Selected service On (1 instance)”.  But its an 8-core machine.  So maybe something is not quite right…
      • Then again it might be a “feature”  of no significance, just run a render and check Activity Monitor to see if all cores are being used [].  The discussion (like some others) also suggests not using all the cores available.
  • DVX-100 Audio Sync Tool
    • DVX-100 is a camcorder by Panasonic. Broadly EX3-like and film-ish e.g. 24P)
    • I don’t need this, so I won’t install it.
  • Head Leaders for Cinema Tools
    • Countdown etc.
      • A number of prebuilt QuickTime clips have been included to use as head leader in your edited sequences. Using these head leader clips is preferable to selecting the “Start with 8 seconds of leader” checkbox in the Export Film Lists dialog because these clips also contain Picture Start, countdown, and an audio pop at the 2-second mark. [‘Head Leaders Read Me’ file]
    • I guess they’re intended to be copied somewhere (?).  I put them at […/Documents/Final Cut/FCS 07]
  • Spotlight Importer
    • Spotlight importers should be provided by all applications that support custom document formats. A Spotlight importer parses your document format for relevant information and assigning that information to the appropriate metadata keys. []
    • In other words, it allows Spotlight to search withinapplication-specific files.
    • But when I tried installing it, it said “The domain/default pair of (, loc) does not exist”.  Don’t know what it means but it sounds broken…   Either way, I can’t install it, so must abandon it.
  • Template Intro Movies for DVD Studio Pro
    • Blocks, corporate, mosaic, stripes, smoke…
    • I guess they’re intended to be copied somewhere (?).  I put them at […/Documents/Final Cut/FCS 07]

Install / transfer Microsoft Office to another machine

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

I have Microsoft Office 2007 installed on one of my computers (“the old laptop”) and want to put it on another one (“the new laptop”).  But is there any restriction involving Activation etc.?

  • At the link below, someone else with the same uncertainty verbalises my uncertainties clearly “Will “uninstalling” Office 2007 in that machine, send a signal via the internet that I’m uninstalling it? Or should I take note of any particular machine ID of the one I’m replacing it so I can “tell” the system which one to de-activate?”

There are great clear anwers to this at

  • “Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 can be installed on 3 computer at a single point of time. Other office suite 2007 can be installed on 2 computer. Information can be found in the jewel case.”
  • “There is no process of de-activating an office product. Uninstalling does not de-activate the product. Install the product on the computer and activate.”
  • “REASSIGN TO ANOTHER DEVICE.  You may reassign the license to a different device any number of times, but not more than one time every 90 days.  If you reassign, that other device becomes the “licensed device.”  If you retire the licensed device due to hardware failure, you may reassign the license sooner.”
  • “…there’s a lot of slack in the activation logic, so you’re unlikely to have a problem, but in case you do, you can do a phone activation, which Microsoft says is painless and will only take 5 minutes.”

So all I have to do is go ahead and install it on the new machine then!