The pain of installing Adobe software

Today I needed to install Adobe Acrobat, which I’ve so far avoided to install because of its bloated size, slowness and general suckiness. Unfortunately, I really needed it. After searching my drawers for the CS3 install DVD, I pushed it into my computer and though that I’d managed the hard part. Now it should just be a matter of selecting Acrobat and hitting install. Yeah right.

This is the tragic story of how to install Acrobat CS3:

I launch the installer and deselect just about everything except for Acrobat, somehow it still wants to “repair” some shared components. Since I can’t deselect them I have to hope that the installer knows what its doing, something I seriously doubt. I’ve had problems before and my confidence in the installer is quite low.

After a few minutes of work the installer spits out the DVD and wants me to insert the disk for Fireworks CS4, WTF? I have no installation disk for it! I’ve got the beta installed, sure, but what does that matter to Acrobat CS3? There seems to be no way to skip this, so the only thing to do is to download the 670 Mb disk image from Adobe Labs. This sucks already.

Half an hour later I’ve got the Fireworks disk image mounted and can proceed, and after two seconds the installer asks me for the CS3 disk again. 30 minute download and that is all the installer needed it for?

I push in the main install DVD again and click resume, approximately ten seconds later it spits out the DVD again and once more asks for the Fireworks disk, which it, in its infinite stupidity has unmounted. I mount it again, feeling my frustration growing by the second. Once mounted I can’t click the “OK” button to resume. Clicking no longer works anywhere in the installer, except for moving the window around. In order not to start shouting loudly I go away for a few minutes. When I come back I can click the “OK” button to resume.

Less than five seconds later it wants the main DVD again. I push it in. After working for at least ten minutes it asks for the Fireworks disk again. My patience is really running out. Almost half a minute later it needs the DVD again. I can’t think of any reason at all, except for complete incompetence on Adobe’s part, as to why it needs the Fireworks disk.

Some minutes later, it once more wants the Fireworks disk. It actually takes longer for me to mount the disk image, click “OK” and then insert the DVD and click “OK” again than the time it works on the Fireworks disk. Frustration is no longer the right word.

Finally, more than an hour and a half after beginning the installation it is finished. I’ve had to mount the Fireworks disk image four times, even though Fireworks should have nothing to do with installing Acrobat. The installer reports errors in components I didn’t ask it to install, and that seem to have something to do with Firefox CS4, an application that 1) isn’t a part of the CS3 suite and 2) wasn’t something I asked the installer to do anything about.

Adobe’s installers are getting legendary bad. For example I’ve had problems with the CS3 installation before, the installer kept asking for the “ExtendScript toolkit install disk”, which is a part of the CS3 install itself! (if you have this problem, here is a solution: Fix the ‘Please insert Adobe ExtendScript Toolkit 2 to continue installation’ Error When Installing InDesign CS3 on a Mac), and the last few weeks the reports of the complete disaster that is the Reader 9 installer has been bouncing around the blogosphere — what the hell is iNOSSO anyway? Here are two accounts of the horror that are entertaining to read: Adobe 9 and Adobe Reader 9 is out!.

Adobe, please get your act together. It can’t be that hard to make an installer that doesn’t suck.

2 Responses to “The pain of installing Adobe software”

  1. Jason Says:

    I’ve got the same issue except my Acrobat stopped working. And when I went to re-install it I got that CS4 disk message. I can’t spend time on playing Adobe’s frustration game. I’m just glad I wasn’t the only one who had this issue. – And Adobe has no documentation of this on their site!

  2. michal Says:

    I have this problem with whole CS3 collection. I wanted to reinstall photoshop and I can’t install it again so I can’t work !

    What to do? reinstall OSX ??

    It sucks.

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