Troubleshoot installation problems with Director 11.5 for Windows XP

What's covered

This document can help you to resolve errors that occur while you install Adobe Director 11.5 on Windows XP. System errors can manifest in many different ways, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • A blank or flickering dialog box
  • A frozen cursor or screen
  • A blue screen
  • An unexpected restart
  • An error such as the following:

    "This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down. If the problem persists, contact the program vendor."

    "MS Setup Toolkit API Error, Bad Arg 3:AddSectionFiles to CopyList."

    "Not enough disk space on target drive while decompressing to [pathname]."

    "Setup is unable to initialize the setup program. There may be a scripting error."

    "Setup is unable to load the installation script file."

    "Unable to create a directory under C:\Windows\System. Please check write-access to the directory."

    "X:\ unavailable." (where "X" is the drive letter for your CD-ROM drive)

    "Device not ready."

    "Error reading CD-ROM."

    "Error reading device X:\" (where "X" is the drive letter for your CD-ROM drive.)

Many different factors can cause installation problems, including problems with the AutoPlay feature, conflicting start-up items, incorrect data in the Windows registry, and hardware conflicts.

To benefit most from this document, perform the tasks in order. Keep track of the tasks that you perform and the results of each, including errors and other problems. Adobe Technical Support can use this information to better assist you if you need to call.

Note: The procedures in this document are based on the default interface of Windows XP. If the interface is customized, some procedures may vary. For example, a commonly encountered difference is the navigation to Control Panel from the Start menu: You may navigate Start > Settings > Control Panel instead of Start > Control Panel. Additionally, the procedures in this document assume you are using the Classic View of the Control Panel: To view the Control Panel in the Classic View, click Switch To Classic View on the Control Panel navigation bar on the left side of the window.

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, Director 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.

Note: Some of these procedures require you to locate hidden files and hidden folders. Some procedures require you to locate files by their full file names, which include extensions (for example, example_filename.ini). By default, Windows Explorer doesn't show hidden files, hidden folders, and file name extensions that it recognizes.

To show hidden files, hidden folders, and all filename extensions in Windows Explorer:

  1. In Windows Explorer, choose Tools > Folder Options.
  2. Click the View tab in the Folder Options dialog box.
  3. In Advanced Settings, select Show Hidden Files And Folders.
  4. Deselect Hide File Extensions For Known File Types.
  5. Click OK.

1. Make sure that the system meets the minimum requirements for Director.

Director may not run correctly on a system that doesn't meet the following requirements:

  • Intel Pentium IV 600MHz or higher
  • Microsoft® Windows® XP Service Pack 2 or later
  • Microsoft Windows Vista
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or later
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • 500 MB of available hard-disk space (additional free space required during installation)
  • DVD-ROM drive
  • Microsoft® Speech Application Programming Interface (SAPI) 4.0 or later
  • Internet or phone connection required for product activation

    Note: To check how much RAM is installed, choose Start > Control Panel > System. The amount of RAM appears on the lower half of the General tab in the System Properties dialog box.

2. Troubleshoot activation problems.

If you are experiencing any problems with activation, please refer to "Troubleshoot activation problems" (TechNote kb404115).

3. Troubleshoot serial number problems.

If the Director installer returns the error "Invalid Serial Number" after you enter the serial number or during startup, then do one or more of the following:

  • Delete the serial number from the Serial Number text box, and then reenter it exactly as it appears on the back of the application DVD case, in the registration e-mail, or on the registration web-page.
  • Reenter the serial number using different numeric keys. For example, use the numeric keys above the alpha characters instead of the numeric keys on the keypad.
  • Make sure you typed the number zero (0) correctly, not as the letter O.
  • Contact Customer Service at 800-833-6687 (United States and Canada). In regions outside of the United States or Canada, visit the Adobe website at, select your region from the menu at the top of the page, and then click Contact Us.

4. Check the CD and the CD or DVD-ROM drive.

Sometimes dust or dirt on a CD or DVD can interfere with an installation and prevent your CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive from recognizing the media. Examine the application CD 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 CD or DVD-ROM drive can read other CDs. 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 CDs, contact the drive manufacturer or computer manufacturer.

5. Remove previously installed application files.

Files that are installed during a failed installation use hard disk space and can cause problems the next time you run the installer. If an attempt to install Director fails, remove the program and then try to reinstall it. If you attempt to reinstall Director without first removing the previous installation, then the installer may not be able to overwrite the existing files, and the hard disk may not have enough free space for the application.

To remove previous Director installation attempts:

  1. Choose Start > Settings > Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Add or Remove Programs, select Adobe Director 11, and click Change/Remove.
  3. After the removal is complete, restart your computer, and install Director.

6. Install Director in a simplified mode.

Some applications or services may cause system errors or freezes when running concurrently with Director. Services are specialized programs that perform functions to support other programs. Before installing Director, disable other applications, including startup items (items that start automatically with Windows), and services.

To disable startup items and services:

  1. Quit all applications.
  2. Choose Start > Run, and type msconfig in the Open box. Click OK.
  3. Click the Startup tab and record all unselected items
  4. Click the General tab, and choose Selective startup.
  5. Deselect Load Startup Items. Verify that Process System.ini File, Process WIN.INI File, and Load System Services are checked.
  6. Click the Services Tab, and check Hide All Microsoft Services
  7. Click Disable All.
  8. Click OK, and restart Windows.
  9. Right-click icons in the Notification Area (called the System Tray in earlier versions of Windows) to close or disable any startup items that are still active..

    Note: When you reboot, you'll be notified that the System Configuration Utility has made changes to the way that Windows starts up. Click OK, and when the System Configuration Utility appears click Cancel.

To reenable startup items and services:

  1. Choose Start > Run, type msconfig, and click OK.
  2. Choose Normal Startup on the General tab, click OK, and restart the computer.

Note: If unselected items were present on the Services or Startup tab, then you will need to unselect them again.

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

If you lack administrator access privileges, then Director may be unable to install 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.

8. Install Director in a new user account.

Create a new user account that has the same permissions as the account that you use when the problem occurs. If the problem doesn't recur, then the original user account may be damaged. For instructions on creating a new user account, see "To add a new user to the computer" in Windows Help or contact your system adminstrator.

9. Install Director from the desktop.

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

  1. Copy the Director folder from the Director disc to the desktop.
  2. Open the Director folder on the desktop.
  3. Double-click the Setup.exe file, and follow the on-screen instructions.

10. Install current Windows service packs and other updates.

Updates to the Windows operating system improve its performance and compatibility with applications. You can obtain Windows service packs and other updates from the Microsoft website at For assistance installing service packs and other updates, contact Microsoft technical support.

Important: Before you install a system update, check the system requirements for Director 11 (and any third-party software or hardware you may use with Director) to ensure compatibility. If the update isn't listed, then contact Adobe or the manufacturer of your third-party software or hardware.

If you've reinstalled an application or the Windows operating system after installing the latest Windows update, then reinstall the update. Some applications install commonly used system files, overwriting the updated versions installed by the Windows update.

Intermediate troubleshooting

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

11. Optimize handling of temporary files by Windows XP.

Windows and applications store working data in temporary (.tmp) files that they create on the hard disk. Excessive or outdated temporary files can interfere with performance of Windows or applications.

Delete temporary files by using the Disk Cleanup utility included with Windows. Make sure that at least 5 GB of free space is available on the hard disk to which temporary files are written. To start Disk Cleanup, choose Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup. For information about Disk Cleanup, see Windows Help.

12. Repair and defragment hard disks.

System errors can occur if hard disks contain damaged sectors or fragmented files. Repair and defragment hard disks, either by using the Error-checking tool and Disk Defragmenter utility included with Windows or by using a third-party disk utility (for example, Symantec Norton Utilities). You should run such utilities on each hard disk or partition. More information about the Error-checking tool and Disk Defragmenter appears below; for more information about a third-party disk utility, refer to the documentation for the utility.

The Error-checking tool repairs bad sectors, lost allocation units and file fragments, cross-linked files, and invalid file names. To access the Error-checking tool, choose Start > My Computer, right-click the desired hard disk, and choose Properties from the menu. In the Local Disk Properties dialog box, click the Tools tab, and then click Check Now in the Error-checking area.

Note: To prevent Disk Defragmenter from moving files to bad sectors of a disk, run the Error-checking tool before running Disk Defragmenter.

Disk Defragmenter rearranges the files and free space on your computer so that files are stored in contiguous units and free space is consolidated in one contiguous block. To access the Disk Defragmenter utility, choose Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter.

13. Check for font problems.

To determine whether a font causes the problem, reduce the number of fonts installed using the Fonts utility in the Windows Control Panel:

  1. Choose Start > Settings > Control Panel.
  2. Double-click the Fonts icon.
  3. Select all of the fonts in the Fonts folder.
  4. Move the selected fonts to a temporary folder on the desktop.
  5. Restart Windows.
  6. Try to install Director. If the problem occurs, then it may be related to a font installed by Windows. If the problem doesn't occur, then move a small group of fonts back into the Fonts folder, and then restart Windows.

  7. Try to install Director. If the problem occurs, then remove some of the fonts from the Fonts folder. If the problem doesn't occur, then add a few more fonts to the Fonts folder.
  8. Restart Windows.
  9. Repeat steps 7-8 until you isolate each problem font.
  10. Delete each problem font from the hard disk and reinstall it from its original disks or CD. If a font continues to cause problems after you reinstall it, then contact the font manufacturer for assistance.

To reduce the number of fonts that are installed through a font utility, refer to the utility manufacturer's instructions.

14. Scan the system for viruses.

Use current anti-virus software (for example, Symantec Norton AntiVirus or McAfee VirusScan) to check the system for viruses. Virus infections can damage software and cause system errors. For more information, see the documentation for the anti-virus software.

Advanced troubleshooting

If the tasks in the previous section don't resolve the problem, then you may be able to resolve the problem by reinstalling Windows XP and Director, reformatting your hard disk and reinstalling Windows XP and Director, or by determining if hardware is conflicting with Director.

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 warranty for your computer.

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

15. Verify that other device drivers are compatible with Windows XP.

Verify that all other device drivers are compatible with Windows XP. Device drivers are software files that allow Windows to communicate with devices such as scanners, mouse devices, and keyboards. Contact the device manufacturer to make sure that you are using the latest driver for it.

To check for device driver problems:

  1. Choose Start > Control Panel > System.
  2. Click the Hardware tab, and then click Device Manager.
  3. Click the plus sign (+) to the left of each device type.
  4. If a device appears with a black exclamation mark (!) in a yellow circle, right-click that device, and choose Properties from the menu.
  5. Note the properties for the device:
    • Check the Device Status field: If the device isn't working properly, information in this field can help you troubleshoot the problem.
    • If the Properties dialog box has a Driver tab, then click it. If the Driver tab doesn't indicate the driver provider, click Driver Details. If Microsoft is the provider, then a generic driver is probably installed; contact the device manufacturer to obtain the most recent driver that they provide.

16. Contact Adobe Technical Support.

If none of the above steps has resolved the error or freeze that you are experiencing with Director, then you need to contact Adobe Technical Support. You can find the support options at the Support Center.

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