"Activation server unavailable: Activation was unsuccessful..." error 

When you launch a CS2 application, do you get an "Activation server unavailable" error message? Due to a technical issue, Adobe has disabled the activation server for CS2 applications, including Acrobat 7 and Audition 3. (For a complete list of affected applications, see this forum discussion.)

CS3 or Acrobat 8

Getting an activation or connection error in a CS3 or Acrobat 8 application? See Activation or connection error | CS3, Acrobat 8.

Solution: Uninstall CS2 version and install a version that does not require activation

CS2 applications require activation to run. To run a CS2 application, uninstall your existing CS2 application and install a special version that does not require activation. You cannot reinstall from your original discs.


Adobe no longer supports CS2 applications, which were released in 2005. Adobe strongly advises against running unsupported and outdated software.

Activation server unavailable

How to install

Follow these steps to download and install versions of CS2, CS2 applications, Acrobat 7, or Audition 3 that do not require activation.

1. Uninstall existing CS2 applications.

If you have CS2, CS2 applications, Acrobat 7, or Audition 3 installed on your computer, uninstall them.

Note: If you installed CS2, make sure to uninstall all applications in the suite.


  • Click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click Add or Remove Programs. Select the CS2 applications you want to uninstall and click  Remove.

Mac OS

  • Drag the application folders to the Trash. Search your hard disk for additional CS2 components and delete them. For example, for Photoshop CS2, the components are in the following locations:
    • Applications/Adobe Photoshop CS2
    • Users/[user name]/Library/Preferences/Adobe Photoshop CS2 Settings
    • Users/[user name]/Library/Preferences/Adobe Photoshop CS2 Path

2. Download and install CS2 applications.

You can use the serial numbers provided as a part of the download only if you legitimately purchased CS2, CS2 applications, Acrobat 7, or Audition 3.

  1. Make sure that your computer meets these requirements:

    • Mac OS X 10.2.8–10.3.8. PowerPC® G4 or G5 processor
    • Microsoft® Windows® 2000/Windows XP. Intel® Pentium® III or 4 processor
  2. Sign in using your Adobe ID (usually your email address) and password. If you don't have an Adobe ID, click Get an Adobe ID.


    Need help with your Adobe ID? See the Adobe ID, sign-in, and account help.

    Sign In
  3. Read the Read before you download a CS2 product section carefully.

  4. Locate the language and application you want to install and note its serial number (located to the right of the download links). The serial number is required during installation.


    The serial numbers included with your original CS2 applications do not work with these CS2 application versions.

    CS2 application downloads page
  5. Click the download link for the application or applications you want to install.

    Click the download link
  6. Extract or double-click the downloaded file and follow the onscreen prompts to install the application. 


    Click CS2_install_Win.pdf (Windows) or CS2_install_Mac.pdf (Mac OS) on the CS2 Downloads page for installation instructions for Creative Suite 2 Premium and Standard.


I'm having problems downloading or extracting.

  • Try downloading again with a different web browser.
  • Try extracting the files again. 
  • If you are receiving a message to insert disc two, follow these extraction instructions: 
    In the English version of the software, the file CreativeSuiteCS2Disc2 extracts to C:\Creative Suite\Adobe Creative Suite 2.0\. CreativeSuiteCS2Disc1 and CreativeSuiteCS2Disc3 both extract to C:\Creative Suite CS2\Adobe Creative Suite 2.0\. 
    Copy the contents of the C:\Creative Suite\Adobe Creative Suite 2.0\ folder to the C:\Creative Suite CS2\Adobe Creative Suite 2.0\ folder, and you will no longer be prompted to insert disc two.

I'm having problems installing.

Invalid serial number error

  • Make sure that you are using the serial number provided with the download (not your original CS2 serial number).

"Insert disc two" alert

1. Copy the contents of the C:\Creative Suite\Adobe Creative Suite 2.0\ folder to the C:\Creative Suite CS2\Adobe Creative Suite 2.0\ folder.

2. Reinstall the application.

I'm looking for plug-ins or templates.

These extras aren't part of the downloads for CS2 point products (only install files are included). Access these additional files through your original media—they work fine with the software you downloaded.

I'm still having trouble.

Search the Downloading, Installing, and Setting Up forum for answers. If necessary, create a thread in the forum and include the following information:

  • Which application are you trying to install?
  • What operating system are you using?
  • Was the application previously installed on your computer?
  • What error messages do you receive?

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