How was your week?

Mine was filled with a lot of technical problems. Apologies to those of you that were impacted by my lessened availability.

Here’s what happened:

I’m in the process of moving to a new social media website (and making a new one for my wonderful wife, Sarah), but I recently lost most of my video archives, which soured me on working with outside developers for things I can do myself.

So I decided to upgrade my video editing setup (and skills). Of course, it turned out I was unable to install Adobe Premier Pro CS3 on my existing setup, so I decided to create a new installation with Windows 7 and install there.

A lot of what I had to do in solving my triumvirate of installation problems (Adobe CS3, Window 7, Office 2003) was research, because I couldn’t find any one place that mentioned even half of the issues I was able to find by reading from several different resources

Before coming to this decision I tried a lot of things to get CS3 installed on my Windows XP (32-bit) setup, all unsuccessful.

Troubles with CS3 install

I set the FLEXnet Licensing Service to Manual and started the service, did the FLEXnet folder renaming and did the licensing service data folder permissions reset, reset permissions on the Adobe PCD folder, tried the licensing service patch, uninstalled all Adobe programs (like flash) and then manually found and hid all adobe folders, ran LicenseRecovery109, all the while uninstalling and reinstalling my existing CS2 and the new (fully licensed) Cs3 as needed.

Of course I read a number of forum posts, tech notes, and relevant blog articles as well as live-chatted with Adobe support in trying to get the install to work. (I also changed or removed a number of registry settings.)

Getting a new hard drive

For speed, I decided to install to a solid-state hard drive (SSD), and for safety and convenience, I decided to keep my existing Windows XP install and dual-boot so I wouldn’t have to rely on my new installation solely.

The research on the SSD didn’t take long, but it pointed out that I’ll need a new motherboard for proper maintenance of the drive (the over time near-essential TRIM function) and that I’d get much better performance from it as well. I’m now finishing the research on which mainboard to get (must have AHCI, which I’ve already enabled in the registry).

Challenges with Win7 install

I shut off all other hard drives before installing Win7. This is because Windows will otherwise place it’s XP and Win7 boot files together, and that will make it harder to leave the old setup and could cause problems if the old setup failed. I also wanted to format the drive before installing (because otherwise Win7 hides the boot files) as that would make certain useful utilities (such as one for dual-booting) unavailable.

Since I had an upgrade license of Win7 but had unplugged the existing WinXP installation that the upgrade would need to see to activate my license, I would need to do a double install (according to everyone that ever wrote a tech note on this). Best seemed to install XP first. My XP install CD had scratches that I had to polish out first, however. Long story short there, Win7 would never recognize my XP install, so I had to install Win7 TWICE in order to get the upgrade license recognized and activated. Strange as it sounds, the double install is the official Microsoft workaround for troublesome Win7 (orVista) upgrade installs.

Ending up with no working computer

Of course, now neither my Win7 nor XP install would boot. I had run into one of several variations of the dreaded—and usually spurious—missing hal.dll error. No, it’s not missing (usually). This is a kind of catch-all error for which there are a large number of things to try.

Fortunately, I discovered fairly quickly that  by making several bios and boot selection every time I start my computer, I can now access both installs normally. CS3 installed without a hitch on Win7, and both CS3 and Win7 activated their licenses normally.

Getting working again

Since I wanted to be able to work in Win7 (and not have to quit and restart), I also needed to install my copy of Office Pro 2003 there. After a similar series of hair-tearing out scenarios in getting it installed, it is now working as well. I spend some time adding a few other essential programs to Win7. As my WinXP install takes several minutes to start (it’s on a old hard drive, and has a VOIP app that takes forever to start) it’s best that I rarely have to revisit it in a hurry.

Missing your comments

This all took me the better part of a week, during which I had some trouble with the comments display on my blog, and missed several important questions there.

So, how was YOUR week?