Adobe CS4

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Silent installer for Adobe CS4.

This is one of the worst installers I've ever seen - over-engineered, with dis-informative explanations of exit codes giving no clues whatsoever.

First, navigate to Deployment Toolkit\Adobe CS4 directory and start Setup.exe. It will ask you where Adobe CS4 installer is located - point it to disk1\Adobe CS4 directory.

Answer any questions it might have, give your serial number - the program will produce Adobe CS4 directory with 4 files - copy it somewhere to your deployment directory (i.e. to %SOFTWARE%\adobecs4) - this will be your silent installer:

  • AdobeUberInstaller.exe
  • AdobeUberUninstaller.exe
  • AdobeUberInstaller.xml
  • AdobeUberUninstaller.xml

If your installation media came on 4 DVDs, you may feel unlucky. Some Adobe genius couldn't predict that most corporate deployments happen over network. So if you copy contents of these DVDs somewhere to a network location, run Deployment Toolkit to create a silent installer, it will not work. Apparently, after installing programs from disk 1, silent installer will want to access disk 2. As it is a silent installer, it can't ask you to place a correct disk and will fail with a meaningless exit code, like:

  • Exit code: 6 Silent workflow completed with errors
  • Exit code: 7 Unable to complete the silent workflow

Who made an silent installer which will want to access different DVDs is beyond my understanding.

A workaround is to create a Adobe CS4 directory and copy payloads and extensions directories from all DVDs there (if there are files that already exist, just overwrite them - some content is duplicated among DVDs), i.e. like that:

  • Adobe CS4\payloads
  • Adobe CS4\extensions

Next, run the installer like this (cs4-install.bat):

net use P: \\server\dfs\Admin\CS4
"P:\Adobe CS4 installer\AdobeUberInstaller.exe"
net use /delete P:

Even with this, it may not work - depending on workstation's security settings, you may expect a pop-up Window asking "are you sure you want to run AdobeAir.exe" etc. It may also not work if your PCs have less than 1 GB memory. It doesn't fail immediately - Adobe's state-of-the-art installer needs 8 minutes, heavy disk and network IO to detect that the PC it runs on has less than 1 GB RAM...

Don't get too excited if you finally manage to install it - most likely, CS4 programs will work correctly for user with Administrator rights. Normal users may not be that lucky - Photoshop, Dreamweaver will crash before starting, like most of other programs when not started as Administrator.

Another annoyance is that some CS4 programs (i.e. Acrobat) do not work if you use folder redirection.

Note that CS4 is a lot of software and the whole installation process may take 1-2 hours to complete, so increasing the timeout for installation (to 7200; default is 3600 seconds) may be a good idea.

<package id="adobecs4"
  name="Adobe CS4"

  <check type="file" condition="exists" path="%PROGRAMFILES%\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS4\Photoshop.exe" />
  <check type="file" condition="exists" path="%PROGRAMFILES%\Adobe\Adobe Dreamweaver CS4\Dreamweaver.exe" />
  <check type="file" condition="exists" path="%PROGRAMFILES%\Adobe\Adobe InDesign CS4\InDesign.exe" />

  <install cmd='"%SOFTWARE%\adobecs4\cs4-install.bat"' timeout="7200" />
  <upgrade cmd='"%SOFTWARE%\adobecs4\cs4-install.bat"' timeout="7200" />
  <remove cmd='"%SOFTWARE%\adobecs4\cs4-uninstall.bat"' />