Acrobat 4.05a Install Hell

Subject: Acrobat 4.05a Install Hell
From: Dan Emory <danemory -at- primenet -dot- com>
To: "Free Framers" <framers -at- omsys -dot- com>, "FrameSGML List" <FrameSGML -at- onelist -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 17 Jun 2000 15:24:38 -0700

BACKGROUND
WIN982E, FM+SGML 5.5.6 + Acrobat 3.01 (the version that came with FM). Acrobat 4.0 Reader was already on my system when I purchased it. Subsequently, I had downloaded the Distiller 3.02 upgrade from Adobe's website.

In November 1999, I purchased, direct from Adobe, the Acrobat 4.0 upgrade, and mailed in the registration card. However, I never installed 4.0 because of many reports of bug problems. According to Adobe, I should have been automatically sent the 4.05a bug fix CD, but when it had not arrived by late January 2000, I called Adobe and requested it. Again, however, Adobe failed to send the 4.05a CD. After several more calls at 4-week intervals, I finally received the CD (actually, three CD's arrived within a period of 2 or 3 days, one of which was for the Mac) sometime in April. But I decided to keep Acrobat 3 on my system until I felt sure that 4.05a was bug-free

FIRST ATTEMPT TO INSTALL 4.05a
After seeing no postings about Acrobat 4.05a bugs, I followed the 4.05a installation instructions to first uninstall 3.0. During the uninstall, a message box appeared declaring that some files had not been deleted because they might be shared with other applications. I was given the option to retain or delete them. To be on the safe side, I opted not to delete them.

I then attempted to install 4.05a, filling in the registration number provided for Acrobat 3.0 (no new registration number was provided with the 4.0 upgrade).
A message appeared stating that the registration number was not a valid Acrobat 4 registration number. I made three attempts to re-enter the old registration number, checking each time to verify that it was entered correctly. The same message appeared each time.

SECOND ATTEMPT TO INSTALL 4.05A
I first reinstalled Acrobat 3.1, using the same registration number. Installation was successful. Then, I attempted to install 4.05a again, and this time the registration number (same as that for Acrobat 3.1) was accepted, and the install was completed. However, problems were evident as a result of 3.1 still being on the system (e.g., when I tried to use the Distiller 4.05a Help, the Distiller 3.01 help file opened)

NEXT, I CALLED ADOBE TECH SUPPORT FOR ASSISTANCE
After describing the problem, the tech support person insisted that I would have to uninstall both Acrobat 3 and Acrobat 4.05a, and then reinstall Acrobat 4.05a. I him that, as I had described to him, I had uninstalled Acrobat 3 the first time, and the result was that, when I installed 4.05a, the old registration number was not accepted. He then stated that I needed a new registration number for 4.05a. When I stated that the 4.05a installation instructions explicitly stated that the old Acrobat 3 registration number should be used, he insisted that those instructions must be wrong, that a new registration number should have been issued for the 4.0 upgrade, and I needed to get a new one. He gave me an 800 number to call and get it. I called that number, and was referred to another number. When I called that number, described the situation, and asked for a new registration number for the Acrobat 4 upgrade, I was told, as I had expected, that no such new number could be issued. I was told to call Adobe Technical Support to get a solution. When I reminded her that tech support had told me to call her for a solution, and I wanted to talk to someone else, she stated that there was no one else to call. I would have to call technical support.

THIRD (AND SUCCESSFUL) ATTEMPT TO INSTALL 4.05a
Knowing that calling Adobe tech support was waste of time, I again uninstalled both Acrobat 3.0 and 4.05a. The only difference was that, at the point in the uninstall where the message appears identifying files that might be shared with other applications, I responded that they should be deleted rather than kept. This time, when I re-installed 4.05a, the old registration number was accepted, and the installation completed successfully. However, the Acrobat 4.0 Reader, which had been on my system when I bought it, had disappeared. After the installation of 4.05a, I downloaded the 4.05a Upgrade 1 from the Adobe website, and successfully installed it.

CONCLUSIONS
1. The instructions for installing Acrobat 4.05a should state that when, during the uninstall of Acrobat 3, a list of shared files appears, the option to delete them all must be chosen. I conclude that this is required because it was the only difference between the two uninstalls of Acrobat 3, and somehow the deletion of these files is required before the old registration number can be accepted by the 4.05a install process.

2. Somewhere between the second and third attempts at installing 4.05a, Acrobat 4 Reader got deleted. The only plausible reason I can think of is that opting to delete the files (as described in the third attempt to install 4.05a during the Acrobat 3 uninstall) also deleted Acrobat 4 Reader. For some reason it was not reinstalled during the third (and otherwise successful) attempt to reinstall 4.05a.

3. Adobe Technical Support has become a basket case.

4. The suspicion that the basket case label applies to more than just tech support is confirmed by Adobe's apparent lack of competence in delivering installation software that works under all circumstances, and its failure to properly and completely document the installation process (no printed instructions of any kind come with the 4.05a CD).


====================
| Nullius in Verba |
====================
Dan Emory, Dan Emory & Associates
FrameMaker/FrameMaker+SGML Document Design & Database Publishing
Voice/Fax: 949-722-8971 E-Mail: danemory -at- primenet -dot- com
10044 Adams Ave. #208, Huntington Beach, CA 92646
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