This document can help you resolve problems that interrupt the installer for Adobe Creative Suite 3 on Mac OS X. These problems can manifest themselves in many different ways, including (but not limited to) a frozen cursor or screen, or an error.

Please note that this document does not address problems related to serial numbers. For these problems, contact Adobe Customer Services. To contact Adobe Customer Service in your region for assistance, visit the Adobe website at, select your region from the menu at the top of the page, and then click Contact Us.

Different factors can cause system errors, including conflicts among device drivers, software, and hardware, and corrupt elements in specific files. Although a system error may occur only when you work with Adobe Creative Suite 3, Adobe Creative Suite may not necessarily be the cause--it may be the only application that uses enough memory or processor cycles to expose the problem.

To get the most from this document, perform the tasks in order. Keep a log of the tasks you perform and the results of each, including errors or problematic behavior. Adobe Technical Support can use this information to better assist you, should you need to call.

Beginning troubleshooting

The tasks in this section can help you resolve the most common system errors. Before performing any of these tasks, back up all personal files (for example, Adobe Creative Suite files you created). Always restart the computer after a system error occurs to refresh its memory. Continuing to work without restarting the computer may compound the problem.

1. Make sure that the system meets the minimum requirements for Adobe Creative Suite 3.

Adobe Creative Suite 3 may not run correctly on a system that doesn't meet the following requirements:

Design and Web

  • PowerPC G4 or G5 or multicore Intel processor
  • Mac OS X v.10.4.8; Java Runtime Environment 1.5 required for Adobe Version Cue CS3 Server
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 7GB of available hard-disk space (additional free space required during installation)
  • 1,024x768 monitor resolution with 16-bit video card
  • DVD-ROM drive
  • QuickTime 7.1.2 software required for multimedia features
  • Some 3D features in Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended require an OpenGL 1.4 capable graphics card with at least 64MB of VRAM
  • Internet or phone connection required for product activation
  • Broadband Internet connection required for Adobe Stock Photos and additional services

Production Premium and Master Collection

  • PowerPC G4 or G5 or multicore Intel processor (Adobe Premiere Pro, Encore, and Soundbooth require a multicore Intel processor; Adobe OnLocation CS3 is a Windows application and may be used with Boot Camp; Adobe Photoshop Extended, Illustrator, Flash Professional, and After Effects Professional are universal binary and also work on a PowerPC G4 or G5 processor)
  • Mac OS X v.10.4.9; Java Runtime Environment 1.5 required for Adobe Version Cue CS3 Server
  • 1GB of RAM for DV; 2GB of RAM for HDV and HD; more RAM recommended when running multiple components
  • 25.5GB of available hard-disk space to install all core components (up to 1GB of additional free space may be required during installation); custom installing select components requires less space
  • Dedicated 7,200 RPM hard drive for DV and HDV editing; striped disk array storage (RAID 0) for HD; SCSI disk subsystem preferred
  • Core Audio compatible sound card
  • 1,280x1,024 monitor resolution with 32-bit video card; Adobe recommended graphics card for GPU-accelerated playback
  • For OpenGL support: Some 3D features in Photoshop CS3 Extended require an OpenGL 1.4 capable graphics card with at least 64MB of VRAM; Adobe After Effects supported OpenGL 2.0 card (NVIDIA recommended)
  • DVD-ROM drive
  • Blu-ray burner required for Blu-ray Disc creation
  • SuperDrive required for DVD burning
  • QuickTime 7.1.5 software required to use QuickTime features
  • Internet or phone connection required for product activation
  • Broadband Internet connection required for Adobe Stock Photos and other services

Note: To check how much RAM is installed, choose About This Mac from the Apple menu. The Memory value indicates the amount of installed RAM. On board video cards may share system memory. Adobe Creative Suite 3 can not installed if the remaining amount of system memory does not meet system requirements.

2. Delete previously installed application files.

You should perform these steps after each failed installation to avoid further problems that partially installed components can cause.

  1. To delete files from a previous Adobe Creative Suite 3 installation attempt:

    If you are using Creative Suite 3, then run the Acrobat Uninstaller found in the Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional folder in the Applications folder.
    1. Check for the following folders and remove them if found:
      • Applications/Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional
      • Library/Application Support/Adobe PDF
      • Users/[User]/Library/Application Support/Adobe
      • Users/[User]/Library/Preferences/Acrobat
    2. Check for the following files and remove them if found:
      • Users/ [User]/Library/Preferences/com.adobe.Acrobat.Pro.plist
      • Users/[User]/Library/Preferences/com.adobe.Acrobat.Pro_ppc_8.0.plist
      • Users/[User]/Library/Preferences/
      • Library/Preferences/com.adobe.acrobat.pdfviewer.plist
      • Library/Preferences/com.adobePDFSettings.plist
  2. Check to see if the following folders are installed in the Applications folder or other location:
    • Adobe Acrobat 8.0 Professional
    • Adobe After Effects CS3
    • Adobe Bridge CS3
    • Adobe Contribute CS3
    • Adobe Creative Suite 3
    • Adobe Dreamweaver CS3
    • Adobe Encore CS3
    • Adobe Flash Professional CS3
    • Adobe Fireworks CS3
    • Adobe Help Center
    • Adobe Illustrator CS3
    • Adobe InDesign CS3
    • Adobe Photoshop CS3
    • Adobe Premiere Pro CS3
    • Adobe Soundbooth CS3
    • Adobe Soundbooth Scores
    • Adobe Stock Photos CS3
    • Adobe Version Cue
  3. Drag each application folder to the Trash.
  4. If you don't have other Adobe applications installed on your computer, open the Library/Application Support folder, and drag the Adobe folder to the Trash.
  5. Empty the Trash. If you receive a message that a file is in use and can't be deleted, restart the computer, then empty the trash.

3. Check the installation discs and disc drive.

Sometimes dust or dirt on a DVD can interfere with an installation and prevent your drive from recognizing the media. Examine the Adobe Creative Suite 3 installation discs for dirt, dust, or fingerprints. Gently wipe the bottom of the disc from the center outward with a soft, lint-free cloth.

Verify that the disc drive can read other discs. If it can't, examine the disc caddy or loading tray for dirt and clean it with a lint-free cloth. If it still can't read other discs, contact the drive manufacturer or Apple Computer.

4. Log in as a user with administrator access privileges.

If you lack administrator access privileges, then Adobe Creative Suite may be unable to access necessary files. To determine if limited privileges cause the problem, log in as a user with access privileges, and try to re-create the problem. If the problem doesn't recur, then the account you were previously using lacks access privileges. Contact your system administrator to grant you access privileges.

To log in as a user with access privileges:

  1. From the Apple menu, choose Log Out.
  2. Click Log Out when the system returns the message "Are you sure you want to quit all applications and log out now?"
  3. When the log in screen appears, select a user with access privileges, type the appropriate password, and then press Return.

5. Install current Mac OS X updates.

Updates to the Mac OS X operating system can improve its performance and compatibility with applications. You can obtain Mac OS X updates from the Apple website, or choose Software Update from the Apple menu. For assistance installing updates, contact Apple technical support.

Important: Before you install a system update, check the system requirements for Adobe Creative Suite 3 (and any third-party software or hardware you may use with Adobe Creative Suite) to ensure compatibility. If the update isn't listed,then contact Adobe or the manufacturer of your third-party software or hardware.

6. Run Adobe Creative Suite while no other applications are running.

To maximize available RAM and reduce the chance that another application may conflict with Adobe Creative Suite, quit open applications, and then restart Adobe Creative Suite.

If applications don't quit as expected, then force quit them.

To force quit open applications:

  1. Choose Force Quit from the Apple menu.
  2. In the Force Quit Applications dialog box, select an application, and then click Force Quit.

    Note: Don't select the Finder, which is the core Mac OS component.

  3. Click Force Quit again when Mac OS returns the alert "Do you want to force Adobe Creative Suite to quit?"
  4. Restart Adobe Creative Suite, try to re-create the error, and continue as follows:
    • If the error doesn't occur, then the application you selected in step 2 conflicts with Adobe Creative Suite.
    • If the error occurs, then repeat steps 3-4; or, if you've quit all open applications, then proceed to the next task.

7. Install the Adobe Creative Suite 3 in Safe Boot.

Starting up in Safe Boot does the following to assist troubleshooting your computer:

  • It forces a directory check of the startup volume.
  • It loads only required kernel extensions (some of the items in /System/Library/Extensions).
  • It disables all fonts other than those in /System/Library/Fonts.
  • It moves to the Trash all font caches normally stored in /Library/Caches/, where (uid) is a user ID number such as 501.
  • It disables all startup items and any Login Items.

Shut down the computer and startup in Safe Boot:

  1. Shut down the computer.
  2. Press the power button.
  3. Immediately after you hear the startup tone, press and hold the Shift key.

    Note: Press the Shift key as soon as possible after the startup tone but not before.

  4. Release the Shift key when you see the gray Apple and progress indicator..

8. Install the Adobe Creative Suite 3 from within a new user account.

Occasionally, a user account can become corrupted and prevent the installer from accessing or creating the necessary files and folders. Create a new account, log in to the new account, and then try to install or run the Adobe application.

  1. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.

    Note: If some settings are dimmed, click the lock icon in the lower-left corner of the window and type an administrator name and password.

  2. Click Add (+) and type the user's name and password.
  3. Make sure to remember the new password and to give the account administrative privileges by selecting Allow User to Administer This Computer.
  4. Click Create User and close the Accounts window.
  5. Choose Log Out [username] from the Apple menu.
  6. Log into the new user account and install Adobe Creative Suite 3.

9. Install Adobe Creative Suite 3 from within a root user account.

For instructions on enabling and logging into the root account on Mac OS X, see "Enabling the root user" in Macintosh online Help.

Intermediate troubleshooting

If the tasks in the previous section don't solve the problem, then try the following intermediate troubleshooting tasks.

10. Install Adobe Creative Suite 3 from the desktop.

Some system components--for example, device drivers and virus protection utilities--can conflict with the Adobe Creative Suite 3 installer and result in an incomplete or failed installation. To prevent these conflicts, install Adobe Creative Suite from the desktop.

To copy the Creative Suite 3 install files to the desktop:

  1. Insert the first Creative Suite 3 disc into your disc drive.

    Note: The Design and Web Suites have only one disc for installation.

  2. Create a folder on your desktop named "Adobe CS3 Install".
  3. Copy the appropriate folder (see below) from the DVD to the folder you created on your desktop. If you are installing Production Premium or Master Collection you will also need to copy the Adobe Flash Video Encoder folder from the installation DVD to this folder.

    Suite version Installation folder
    Design Standard Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Standard
    Design Premium Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Premium
    Web Standard Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Standard
    Web Premium Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Premium
    Production Premium Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium
    Master Collection Adobe Creative Suite 3 Master Collection
  1. If you are installing Production Premium or Master Collection insert the next disc into your DVD-ROM drive.
  2. Copy the appropriate folder on the DVD into the Adobe CS3 Install folder on your desktop. If you are asked to confirm replacing any folders with the same name, select "Replace".
  3. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for any remaining discs in the suite.
  4. Open the Adobe CS3 Install folder on the desktop then open the Adobe Creative Suite 3 folder you copied from the DVD(s).
  5. Double-click the Setup file, and follow the on-screen instructions.

Note: If you are installing Production Premium or Master Collection you should not copy the install files for OnLocation CS3 as it uses a separate installer.

11. Repair disk permissions by running Disk Utility.

If you log in to an account with administrator privileges, but are still unable to install or run Adobe Creative Suite 3, then your disk permissions may be damaged.

To repair your permissions using the Disk Utility:

  1. Choose Go > Applications, open the Utilities folder, and then double-click Disk Utility.
  2. Select the volume on which you want to install Adobe Creative Suite 3 , and then click Repair Disk Permissions.

12. Troubleshoot fonts.

A system error can occur if Adobe Creative Suite accesses a damaged font. You can troubleshoot fonts to determine if they cause the problem.

  1. Deactivate all font management utilities, such as Adobe Type Manager or Extensis Suitcase.
  2. Start Font Book from the Applications folder.
  3. In the Collection column, select Computer.
  4. Choose Edit > Disable Collection. Click Disable, when asked to confirm.
  5. Run the Adobe Creative Suite installer. Then do one of the following:
    • If the problem recurs, then repeat steps 4-5 to disable the User and Classic collections.
    • If the problem doesn't recur, then the problem font is in the collection you disabled. In Font Book, enable one font at a time in the collection and try to reproduce problem until you find the damaged font.

13. Check hard disks for damage.

A damaged hard disk can cause installation errors. Check hard disks using a disk utility, such as Apple Disk Utility, Alsoft DiskWarrior, or Micromat Drive 10.

Disclaimer: Adobe doesn't support third-party disk utilities but provides the following instructions as a courtesy. For support, contact the developer of the disk utility.

To check for damage by using Apple Disk Utility (included on the system CD):

  1. Start the computer from the system CD.
  2. Choose Installer > Open Disk Utility.
  3. Select the disks to be checked, and then click the First Aid tab.
  4. Click Repair to check and, if necessary, repair selected disks.

14. Temporarily disable any virus scanner.

Virus scan software can interfere with software installation. Temporarily disabling anit-virus software can allow software to install successfully. The steps below are common procedures use to disable anti-virus software. If the steps below do not allow you to disable the anti-virus software refer to its documentation.

  1. Click on the anti-virus icon in the Menu Bar.
  2. Select the disable Anti-Virus option.
  3. Attempt the installation again.
  4. Re-enable the anti-virus software after the installation completes successfully.

Advanced troubleshooting

If the tasks in the previous section don't resolve the problem, then you may be able to resolve the problem by reformatting your hard disk or by determining if hardware is conflicting with Adobe Creative Suite.

Disclaimer: Adobe doesn't support hardware and provides these tasks as a courtesy only. For further assistance, contact the hardware manufacturer or an authorized reseller. If you troubleshoot hardware problems yourself, then you may void the computer's warranty.

Note: Before you remove or rearrange hardware, turn off and disconnect the power to the computer and any peripheral devices.

15. Use the Console utility to identify software conflicts.

  1. If the problem causes the installer to freeze, the Console utility can identify software that causes the conflict.
  2. Choose Go > Applications, open the Utilities folder, and then double-click Console.
  3. Click the Logs tab.
  4. Expand ~/Library/Logs, and then expand CrashReporter.
  5. Select the Adobe Creative Suite 3.crash.log.
  6. Restart the installer, and try to re-create the problem. If the problem recurs, remove or update the software identified in the crash log.

16. Use the Process Viewer to identify and quit processes that may be using large amounts of system resources.

To ensure that Adobe Creative Suite has enough system resources, use the Process Viewer to quit processes that use more than 30% of the system resources.

  1. Choose Go > Applications.
  2. Open the Utilities folder, and then double-click Process Viewer.

    Note: If the Process Listing window doesn't appear, then choose Window > Process Listing.

  3. Set Sample Every to 5 seconds.
  4. Select each process that uses more than 30% of the CPU, and choose Processes > Quit Process.

17. Reinstall the system software.

Reinstall the operating system, or run a system restore.

Important: Running a system restore erases all contents on the hard disk, so be sure to back up any files that you want to save to an external drive, CD, or DVD.

For more information on running Software Restore, see its documentation or visit the Apple support page, and search for "System Restore."

18. Install to a different hard disk that is designated as the startup disk.

Install the system software on a different hard disk (not a different partition on the same disk) and then specify that disk as the startup disk. Then, install Adobe Creative Suite to the new hard disk.

To specify the startup disk:

  1. Choose System Preferences from the Apple menu.
  2. Select Startup Disk from the System selections.
  3. Select the drive to which you reinstalled the system software.
  4. Restart the computer.

19. Reformat the hard disk using HFS+ formatting, and install only Mac OS and Adobe Creative Suite 3.

Reformat the hard disk using HFS+ formatting, and then install only Mac OS and Adobe Creative Suite 3 from the original installation media. Reformatting a disk erases all files it contains, so be sure to back up all personal files first. Also make sure that you have all application and system disks. Consider contacting Adobe Technical Support if all other options in this document have not resolved the issue. Adobe Technical Support may be aware of another factor that may affect the installation.

Note: Don't install additional software or hardware until you're sure the problem is resolved. Don't back up the hard disk and restore Mac OS and Adobe Creative Suite instead of reinstalling them; if the problem is caused by an application or Mac OS, and either one is restored instead of reinstalled, the problem may recur.

After you reformat the hard disk and install only Mac OS and Adobe Creative Suite 3, try to re-create the problem:

  • If the problem no longer occurs, then install other applications one at a time, and try to re-create the problem after each installation. If the problem occurs after an installation, the recently installed application may be the cause. Contact the developer of the application for information about an update.
  • If the problem recurs, then the cause is hardware-related, and you should contact the hardware manufacturer or an authorized reseller for assistance. Before contacting the manufacturer or reseller, however, you may want to try one or more tasks in the following section.

20. Check for damaged PCI or PCX cards.

Damaged or incompatible PCI or PCX cards can cause system errors. To check PCI or PCX cards, turn off your computer, remove any processor accelerator cards, video cards, or other installed expansion cards, and then restart the computer.

21. Disconnect peripheral devices.

Disconnect peripheral devices one at a time. Peripheral devices include devices connected by FireWire, USB, Serial ATA, IDE, or SCSI. If an error doesn't occur when an external device is disconnected, then there may be a problem with the device, the cable, or the connection. Contact the manufacturer of the device for troubleshooting steps for the device.

22. Check for problems with RAM modules.

Ensure that the RAM modules are installed properly and are not the cause by doing one or more of the following:

  • Change the order of the installed RAM modules.
  • Remove all but the minimum number of RAM modules needed to run Mac OS and Adobe Creative Suite 3 , and test to see if the problem persists. If it does, then replace the RAM modules you removed and remove the others, testing again to see if the problem persists. If the problem does not recur, then one or more of the removed RAM modules are the cause. For assistance, contact the RAM manufacturer.

23. Run Adobe Creative Suite on a different hard drive or computer.

Install and run Adobe Creative Suite from a different hard drive installed in the same computer or the same hard drive installed in a different computer. If the problem doesn't recur, then the hard drive or the motherboard you were using previously may be the cause. For assistance, contact the manufacturer.

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