Jan 082013

Adobe have kindly made Creative Suite 2 (CS2) available to download for free – you can download it at http://www.adobe.com/downloads/cs2_downloads/index.html – however, there are a couple of tricks to getting it to run successfully on Windows 7 64-bit

Step 1 Download the required files

Download the following files from the link above:


Step 2 Extract the files

Error when creating folder

Error message when trying to create folder

The Disk1, Disk2 and Disk3 files contain a compressed version of the files which originally came on CDs, the Disk1 file also contains the installer which will run automatically after extracting.

Run the CreativeSuiteCS2Disc2.exe, CreativeSuiteCS2Disc3.exe and CS_2.0_WWE_Extras_1.exe files and allow them to extract to their default locations. Do not run Disk 1 yet.

If you get an error “Unable to create the specified output folder!”, click ‘OK’ and retry – it should work the second time.

You now need to extract the files from CreativeSuiteCS2Disc1.exe, but cancel before the installer tries to install the applications.

Run CreativeSuiteCS2Disc1.exe and let it extract the files to C:\Creative Suite CS2\, but when the white ‘Welcome’ window appears, click ‘Cancel’ then ‘Quit’.

Step 3 Move the files to the required locations

After the files have extracted, you will find that Disk 2 has extracted to C:\Creative Suite\Adobe Creative Suite 2.0\

Disk1 and Disk3 have extracted to C:\Creative Suite CS2\

Extras has extracted to C:\CS_2.0_WWE_Extras_2

You must now move both folders from C:\Creative Suite\Adobe Creative Suite 2.0 to C:\Creative Suite CS2\Adobe Creative Suite 2.0\ – you can then delete C:\Creative Suite\

Check: C:\Creative Suite CS2\Adobe Creative Suite 2.0\ should now look like:

CS2 Install File list

The required installation files after extracting and moving them.

If you do not move these files, you will be prompted to “Insert Disc 2” during the install and it will fail.

Step 4 Check the installation path

When you run the installer in the next step, it will default to install in C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe but the installer does not like the space in the file name and will fail. If you choose another folder (e.g. C:\ProgramFiles\Adobe), Photoshop will not start successfully and will show an error “‘Your Adobe Photoshop user name, organisation, or serial number is missing or invalid. The application cannot continue and must now exit.”

Open a command window (Start button,  type CMD, press enter)

Type “CD \” to change to the root of your c: drive

Type “DIR /X” to see what the DOS name for your Program Files (x86) directory is. It is likely to be PROGRA~2 – Make a note of this, you need it in the next step.

CMD Window

The highlighted section is the part you need to take note of

Step 5 Run the installer

Navigate to C:\Creative Suite CS2\Adobe Creative Suite 2.0 and run Setup. This will run the installer which you cancelled in step 2.

Read and agree to the license, enter your name, company and the serial number which can be found on the download page.

When you are prompted for the install location, amend it to read c:\PROGRA~2\Adobe (where PROGRA~2 is the name you found in step 4) If the ‘Next’ button does not become active, press ‘Tab’ and it should become available.

Choose which components you want to install (probably ‘Entire suite’) and step through the rest of the wizard.

Register the software if you want to at the end, and check for updates.

Bonus: If you register, you will receive an email from Adobe which offers you a complimentary benefit – choose from:

Garamond Premier Pro
A new Adobe original typeface family, complete with optical sizes designed by Robert Slimbach.

2 issues of Photoshop® User
An award-winning, cutting-edge “how-to” magazine, packed with tutorials, cool tips and insider information.

2 issues of Layers® magazine
This magazine highlights hidden shortcuts and tutorials, with a more creative look into Adobe products.

Once the install completes, you should have a working CS2 installation! Try running Photoshop to confirm it starts correctly.

Let me know in the comments how you get on!

Update: Thanks to a couple of commenters spotting an error in step 3, I have uninstalled and reinstalled from scratch to make sure I get the steps all correct. Now with added screenshots!