Adobe CS3 won’t install

Users are complaining that Adobe Creative Suite 3 simply won’t install. I’m one of them, running 32-bit Vista Professional. Pop the DVD in, click Install CS3 Web Premium, setup starts running, then silently closes. No error message, no install either.

Of course I have tried a few things. I’m not the only one struggling: the Adobe user forums are full of similar problems. Note: similar but not identical. There appear to be multiple issues, and not just on Vista but on XP as well. Here are some popular solutions:

I’ve tried the first two without success so far, on two different machines. Next stop tech support.

It looks to me as if Adobe is having Windows Installer issues. Perhaps nobody had time to read and observe the Tao of the Windows Installer. Still, I reckon Adobe could do a better job with the error logging and reporting. There are installer logs by default in \Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Installers\, but mine have nothing helpful; no errors are reported. The Windows installer supports a detailed logging mode, but it seems difficult to enable with this particular installer. The calls to the installer itself are wrapped by some kind of Adobe package manager, and the .msi files are designed to prevent you from opening them directly.

Here’s what I get if I run setup from a command prompt:

Begin Adobe Setup
UI mode: Full GUI
End Adobe Setup. Exit code: 4

Hardly illuminating. If I do the silent mode, I get Exit code: 7 instead.

The bottom line is that I have no clue what is going wrong. Perhaps it is a campaign to promote the Mac version. I’ll keep you posted.


I fixed it. First, the logging was more helpful than I realised at first. In the Installers folder mentioned above, there is a file called:

Add or Remove Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Premium 1.0.log.gz

I’d not looked at this because I also had a file called:

Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Premium 1.0.log

It turns out that the former is more useful than the latter. Of course it is compressed in .gz format, which Vista does not understand, but the open source 7-zip archiver takes care of that. So I extracted the log and found this entry:

DEBUG: Error 2739: Could not access JavaScript runtime for custom action Internal Error 2739.

That gave me something to troubleshoot. I soon found this article which says to re-register JScript:

regsvr32 jscript.dll

from an administrator command prompt. I was away; the setup ran fine after that.

Incidentally I did call tech support, but the techie didn’t help directly; he asked me to email the log though, and it was looking at that which gave me the answer. Now I can get on with the review…

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122 thoughts on “Adobe CS3 won’t install”

  1. I still have the same problem uploading the CS3 Suite… I have Windows Vista and I’ve Done the troubleshooting that you provided with the administrator but it still isn’t working for me… Please help….

  2. I’m also having this problem. I’ve tried all above solutions but to no avail.

    I have a feeling it may be a windows update causing the problem. Will look into this.

  3. Hi…




    Please save me…

    I recently purcahsed a new laptop as my previous laptop was so slow. I’m trying to install Web Premium CS3 on Vista Home Premium 32 bit.

    I get to the installation page and select all components to be installed, i then click next but nothing happens.

    i get the message on the title bar saying:

    Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Premium Installer: Options: (Not Responding)

    not a jot happens. It just sits on the screen doing nothing. Is there anything i can do to rectify this?

    I’m loading it from my hard drive by the way.

    thanks for any help you can give,

    kind regards


  4. Can anyone out there help. I’m unable to install the 1st disc of Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Premium on to my month old HP using XP. Error message says that Internet Explorer is running even though nothing appears to be running & I also have the internet unplugged.
    However I am also having a major problem with popups. I feel that some software is running without my knowledge in the background. I’ve tried unsuccessfully to find it but no luck.

    Any help appreciated.

  5. @Brendan

    If you think you may have a virus, I’d fix that first – reinstall the entire OS if necessary.

    As for Internet Explorer, you may need to terminate it with Task Manager – look at processes and terminate any instances of iexplore.exe.


  6. I tried post #31 and it didn’t work. Is there supposed to be some kind of setup that magically appears in the folder that you can press because I see none.

  7. can any1 help me plss.
    i hav tried all of d above methods.
    i registered jscript.dll,modified that ContainerProxy.js.cleaned up all using windows install clean-up.
    but nothin seems to help me out.
    no GUI appears for d installation.
    plssss sumbody help me out

  8. Hello all,

    I hava another problem. I choose the components I want to install, but at the end a message comes out and says that all my choices failed to install. (except common components). I have XP 32bit.

    Anyone seen that???

    In the logs I notice an ERROR with code=2

    Many thanks

  9. This is the same problem I’m having.

    Installs 2 programs and says it can’t install the rest.

    Vista Home AND Business X86 64.
    Installed fine on XP.

    “Hello all,

    I hava another problem. I choose the components I want to install, but at the end a message comes out and says that all my choices failed to install. (except common components). I have XP 32bit.

    Anyone seen that???

    In the logs I notice an ERROR with code=2

    Many thanks”

  10. I am about to go back to my CS1 package.
    I’ve tried every solution for Vista 64 to be found and nothing works.
    Adobe really dropped the ball on this one…again.

  11. If You cant install CS3/the startup window does not apper then:
    -Delete ALL TEMP folders from all users..Documents and Settings….all users…Local SettingsTemp
    -1-install this:

    -2-install this: and run it to clean registry.

    -3-delete: c:Program FilesCommon FilesAdobeinstallers*.*

    That work for me after hours of installing posibilities of CS3.

  12. Hi All,
    I have been reading this blog with much intrege trying to locate any information regarding the registry keys for the CS3 package.

    I am aware that i may be tariling off the original subject matter with this question but despreate times and all that…

    I have not had any problems installig the software itself (simply draged the setup to the local hard drive and ran in from there) but I cant compleatly uninstall the F***ing thing!

    after uninstaling I ran regedit and removed all the keys i could find in my KEY_LOCAL_MACHIN & HKEY_CURRENT_USER but when I come to reinstall the software it will still find my original product key and “days left of trial”

    Any sugestions on where these keys may be located would be a HUGE help to me. Thanks,


  13. When launching the install, some of the essential packages of the CS3 Master Suite are greyed out, and thus not installed.

    We meet all the necessary requirements.

    Please advise.

  14. Tried all possibilities, nothing so far, the silly installer keeps disappearing:

    Adobe clearner
    deleted registry

    still cant get it to work!

    can someone help?

    Do i need to uninstall other adobe applications like illustrator and photoshop Lightroom too?

    Vista Ultimate x64

  15. For the ones who did not find a resolution in any of the above steps, may have a problem with the Windows installer. (You might be getting Exit code: 4 despite trying everything.)

    This solution is only if nothing helped from the above steps:

    Start the Windows Installer service

    * Click Start, type Services.msc and press {ENTER}
    * Double-click Windows Installer
    * Set the Startup type of Windows Installer to Manual
    * Click Start to start the service. Note down the error message if any.
    * Click OK.

    Windows Installer Registry Fix

    If the above steps do not help or if the Windows Installer service is not listed in the Services applet, follow these steps:

    * Download and save it to Desktop.
    * Unzip the file and extract msiserver.reg to the Desktop.
    * Right-click msiserver.reg and choose Merge.
    Click Yes when asked for confirmation.
    * Restart Windows.

    See: also.

  16. I downloaded the Photoshop CS4 30-day trial from Adobe on Jan. 7, 2009 (816 MB!) It has similar installation problems. The edited script described in Item #70 above solved the problem for me after days of frustration. Thanks guys!

    Adobe support has been so overwhelmed I never have been able to even post a support request. Useless!

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