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!



Sep 252010

VMWare make their vSphere Hypervisor free to download and use which is an amazing deal, they also offer a free evaluation of VMWare vSphere which adds extra bells and whistles for enterprise level virtualisation. If you take the evaluation version, you have 60 days until the vSphere client locks down and stops you powering on your virtual machines. At that point, you will either have to pay for a full vSphere licence, or downgrade to the free version again. Of course, they haven’t made it very easy to find out how to do the downgrade!

If your evaluation has expired, your vSphere client should look something like this.

vSphere Client showing expired license

vSphere Client showing expired license

To downgrade to the free version and regain control of your virtual machines, you need to get a new licence number – its free. I have heard reports that the licence key would have been sent to you in the initial email which you received from VMWare when you registered for the evaluation, but I couldn’t find it in any of the emails I had received. The best bet is probably to go ahead and reregister at the download page for ESXi – From the VMWare home page, open the ‘Products’ menu and choose VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) then click the download button on the left side. Login, or hit the continue button and fill out your information. Once you have completed the registration process you should receive an email with an ‘Activate your VMware ESXi 4.1 License’ link. Click that and you should be presented with your new license number.

New VmWare license number

New VmWare license number

Copy the license number and go into your vSphere client. At the top of the list of virtual machines, highlight your host machine. Go to the configuration tab and choose ‘Licensed Features’ under the software section. Click the small ‘edit’ link at the top right corner.

You should now see your current evaluation license with no license key. Click the ‘Assign a new license to this host’ radio button, click the ‘Enter Key’ button and paste in your new license number. Click ‘OK’

New License entered

New License entered

Check that the new licence key is valid and shows ‘Expires: Never’

You’re done. You should now be able to administer your virtual servers as before. I’m yet to find out what features are missing from the free version compared to the full vSphere version.

Let me know if this works for you!

Jul 302009


On the recommendation of @tinyblob on twitter, I subscribed to graze.com‘s healthy-food-in-a-box-by-post service. They offer a variety of fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, savoury snacks, natural treats and olives, all packaged in a brown card box (100% recyclable, made of wood from a sustainable forest) -” just real food, no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives”. You choose what days you want boxes delivered each week and they post them out to arrive on the day you specify.

They have a nice system where you can browse the foods they offer and ‘bin’ any items you don’t like – fresh pineapple went straight in the bin for me! – and they won’t send you any of that item. You can also tell them you love particular items and they will send you more of that thing.

Each box is  nutritionally balanced, and tailored to your likes and dislikes. My first (free)box should arrive on Tuesday and another on Thursday. I’m looking forward to eating healthily for a change!

I’m getting healthy food sent to me by graze.com. This is supposed to make me healthier, but now I don’t even need to walk as far as the vending machine!

Get your first Graze box free by entering my ‘Feed your Friends’ code D2W5PT5 at Graze.com