License Lockout

First off, a bit of quick news about the blog in general:  the layout has changed.  Can anyone tell the difference?  It’s a rather significant one, so hopefully it won’t go unnoticed! 🙂  Chime in and that’s your chance at winning the Think Tank Photo Streetwalker bag I reviewed a few weeks ago right here on the blog!

So, back on today’s post topic, as part of my maintenance routine that I recently posted, last evening I was doing some of my extended “IT” maintenance on my Windows computer.  As a part of that maintenance, I was trying to optimize my hard drive performance, and thus resorted to cleaning out temp files, cache files, history files, restore points, and other sundry stuff.  A defrag procedure on the hard drive, and I was back up to some pretty screaming speeds again.  Puffing out the chest at getting a 5 year old Dell running a 2.4 Ghz Celeron processor, Windows XP, and 2 GB of RAM to move that fast without over-clocking, I checked off on what I thought was a job well done.

Then I opened Photoshop:

CS3 Error

Uh oh – it seems I cleaned things out a little too much.  Well, since I have diligently kept all my media, documentation, license#’s and other information in multiple places, I was easily able to find the needed materials to re-install.  But, here’s the thing – that would require importing all my actions again, re-installing other elements like Noise Ninja, and then also go in and customize all the features I like (scrolling with my mouse to zoom in and out of the image, curves menu with more lines, etc.)  Who wants to do all that?  Well, not me!  So, off to Google I went.

That five minutes on Google doing some research saved me probably two hours of software maintenance time.  Adobe has a neat little utility that can be downloaded and run when things like this happen to restore your licensing info without having to go through the entire re-installation.  Not sure what it does or how it does it, but the utility is very handy, so I thought to share it with the reading audience today.  Here’s the download link, and supporting reading materials.

Licensing Service Update

The underlying point here though, is that even the extensive maintenance I itemized the other day does not cover everything.  Go into Photoshop, copy your preferences down via image pastes into a Word doc or other such format.  Make a copy of your plugins folder external to PS – the same goes for Actions, noise removal, automation tasks, brushes, etc., etc., etc.!  With as advanced and complex has an application like Photoshop has become – you can save a ton of time if you take some proactive measures.

What do you save from your Photoshop configuration settings?  Share your ideas in the comments!  As always, thanks for tuning in, keep on shooting, and we’ll see you back here tomorrow – Thursday Thoughts returns again with Chris Breedlove!

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4 comments for “License Lockout

  1. January 28, 2009 at 6:14 am

    your pain is our gain – thanks for the tip Jason – its one of those that happen and your like – where did i see something about that?

  2. January 28, 2009 at 7:56 am

    Hey Jason – good to see you’re still going strong! Sorry that I’ve been offline for a while – nothing major wrong – I just had some projects that totally consumed me for a while.

    Great tip on Photoshop recovery – that could prove useful in the future.

    I typically add several of the Photoshop configuration directories to my hard drive backup program, which helps speed up reinstallation. But, it may still not have helped in your particular situation.


  3. January 28, 2009 at 8:50 am

    I keep a USB drive of all of my actions/brushes/etc. and everything that goes along with them so that if anything gets wiped out, they are all in one spot (every new action gets put on that drive immediately!). I’m also careful that I save and backup my workspace setting whenever it changes. Your backup plan is a little better, but since I only have one action set with a license, I’ve never been too concerned about it! When I got a new computer a few months ago, aside from PS’s install time it only took a few minutes to get things to their old state.

    p.s. The new layout looks great! Really clean and easy to navigate 🙂

  4. Pauline
    February 2, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Hi! I too have been cleaning up my hard drive. Do you know if you can delete old versions of photoshop after you upgrade? Or are they dependent on each other?

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