Someone might think it was an attempt to fight unlicensed use of Creative Suite 5.5, when few days ago Adobe had reset licences of pirated copies of its software — Photoshop, Dreamveawer and others. So users may see the dialog screen with the message: “The serial number you used to activate this product has expired. This is your last opportunity to launch the product before it is automatically deactivated. To reactivate, you must provide a new serial number or start a trial on next launch.” Here’s the screenshot below:
How come people were using that software illegally you may ask? Well, although Adobe has used a seemingly sophisticated activation method, in reality it is sort of bluff, and I fail to understand its reason. Because the workaround is plain silly: get the trial, shortcut some web addresses like “activate.adobe.com” thru the host file to have instant domain name resolution, and finally use a generated serial number. You are done. I don’t support piracy, but I’m explaining this to show: this should not be that simple! I mean, common Adobe, you have enough resources to make this a serious barrier. Now it is one big hole.
So what apparently really happened, the generated serial numbers were identified as out of permitted range (finally!), so the numbers were blocked. Guess what, the hackers have fixed the number range (reportedly group XFORCE). When is Adobe going to fix their part now? I don’t really know.
If you are a legal user try to enter your serial again, or contact Adobe to get a new one.
Here’s also some help from Adobe http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/494/cpsid_49485.html:
When you try to start a CS4 or CS5 application, you receive one of the following errors:
“Licensing for this product has expired”
“The serial number you used to activate this product has expired”
“Invalid serial number. The serial number appears to be invalid”
These errors can occur after the application has been running successfully for some time, or when you start it for the first time.
Solution 1 (CS5): Enter a new serial number when prompted.
If licensing has expired for a CS5 application, the application prompts you to enter a new serial number. When prompted for the serial number, enter the number from your purchased product.
Solution 2: Turn the system clock back, start your application, and erase the stored expiring serial number.
Set the computer clock back to January 1 2006.
Launch the affected application, or any application within the affected Creative Suite package.
Choose Help > Deactivate, and select the option Erase This Serial Number (CS4) or Deactivate Permanently (CS5).
Quit the application.
Set the computer clock back to the current date.
Start the application.
When prompted for the serial number, enter the number from your purchased product.
Solution 3: Delete the PCD and caps database files, and reinstall.
Uninstall the application or entire Creative Suite package. To uninstall on Windows, use the Add Or Remove Programs feature in Windows. To uninstall on Mac OS, navigate to an application folder (for example, /Application/Adobe Photoshop CS4). Then double-click the Uninstall shortcut (for example Uninstall Adobe Photoshop CS4).
Important: Before you uninstall the software, make sure that you have the installation media to reinstall it. Replacement media isn’t available for previous versions of Adobe software.
Delete the following folders:
/Program Files/Common Files/Adobe/Adobe PCD
/Program Files/Common Files/Adobe/caps
/Program Files/Common Files/Adobe/backup
[startup drive]/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe PCD
[startup drive]/Library/Application Support/Adobe/caps
[startup drive]/Library/Application Support/Adobe/backup
Note: These folders are located in the Library folder at the root of your startup drive, not in the Library folder in your user home folder!
Reinstall your application or Creative Suite package, and enter the serial number from your purchased product.
There are three situations that can cause this error:
- You participated in a prerelease program, and the prerelease serial number is still stored on your computer. Serial numbers for prerelease programs expire when the prerelease program ends.
- You installed a trial version of the application on the computer, which has expired.
Adobe Customer Service deactivated your serial number.
- This issue can occur when you request a new serial number from Adobe Customer Service.
The error “The license for this product has expired” is unrelated to the error “Licensing for this product has stopped working.” An expired license means that a serial number, which is no longer valid, is still stored in the pcd.db database file. The valid serial number you received with your purchased product didn’t overwrite the expired serial number during the installation process. Removing the expired serial number allows you to enter your valid serial number.