32767 Days Left, But Who’s Counting?

A significant licensing bug has caused certain installs of CS6 software on Mac systems to begin prompting the Trial screen indicating that the software is no longer licensed but is now in Trial mode. Normally the trial period is for 30 days. But in this case, it states that the trial period is 32,767 days. Just a bit over 89 years. So imagine it is 2102. Your kids and grandkids have long since moved to Mars, but apparently you, the IT admin are still stuck on Earth dealing with the Adobe’s CS6 licensing issues! I joke. Why? Because this is particularly egregious and has been very disruptive for many production environments, school labs, etc. And we have been particularly slow to respond to this issue. I am not saying this as self criticism but rather as a simple fact.

Do we have a fix? Let me jump to the chase (for once) and then explain the root of the cause and explain why our response to this has been sloth-like.

How to resolve the 32767 Days Left licensing issue:

1) Apply the Mac Photoshop 13.0.4 update patch

2) Use AAMEE 3.1 to create a serialization file

3) Run serialization file on affected systems

Details on #1: Photoshop 13.0.4 is available via the Mac version of AAMEE 3.1 in the Update workflow. It can also be applied manually if updates are enabled. The Remote Update Manager (RUM) is also available to apply the updates on the system. The specific command line for this would be:

RemoteUpdateManager –channelIds=AdobePhotoshopCS6-13.0

Details on #2 & #3: Adobe Provisioning Toolkit Enterprise Edition (APTEE) is the command line serialization tool that is included in the AAMEE 3.1 install. It is covered in detail on Chapter 9 of the Enterprise Deployment Guide.

Now, why did this happen and if it hasn’t happened to you why not? The pattern we have seen appears to point at the Photoshop 13.0.2 and 13.0.3 updates as they had impacts to the licensing database. This update caused a synchronization call to the serial entry that would basically cause that entry to become unusable. Therefore the product that had been licensed would switch to becoming trial. Except of course a trial time period is 30 days and these installs would of been past 30 days so it displays that ridiculous 32,767 message.

We initially provided guidance on the Enterprise Deployment forum to use APTEE to un-serialize and then serialize and this resolved the issue for some folks. Same for the suggestion that came up to just use the serialization executable workflow in AAMEE 3.1. But, of course this wasn’t a proper fix because the same synchronization call would occur and then break things. Again. Ugh.

So, what was needed was the Photoshop 13.0.4 update that came out this week to stop breaking things. Then use APTEE to un-serialize. Bam, clean slate. Then use APTEE to serialize. Why not use the serialization executable workflow in AAMEE 3.1? Good question. The guidance from our Engineering Director I got was to stick with the APTEE step of un-serialization. Easier/cleaner to write to a file/entry that wasn’t there vs. one that is and might have been corrupt. Makes sense.

Why weren’t we able to diagnose and provide better guidance in a proper manner is two-fold. We are dealing with licensing that is time and actual product usage based. One would be unable to take the exact same AAMEE produced package with the same volume serial number and reproduce the issue after an install. Trust me, we tried. No, the licensing mechanism we have created is now like a ninja. One that we trained. Then we told it to go out in the woods at night and not be seen by us. Then we had to go out there in the woods to find him. Guess what? Totally hard. I am not sure if that metaphor works but I really like the imagery of a ninja hiding in the woods laughing (silently of course) at me.

In addition we did not want to announce a fix widespread until we had actual validation from customers that this was working. Once again, not a fix that they could validate instantly with any confidence that it had “stuck.”

We have learned a lot from this whole thing and need to do a lot internally to make sure this doesn’t happen with another product update…ever! In the meantime, you are owed an apology for the impact this had on your organizations. We understand that these types of issues are not simply things that make Adobe look back, but if you are an IT admin who manages a lab and the lab stops working the precipitation is that it is your fault. I know this first hand. Many moons ago I managed labs at a college and then when I first came to Adobe ten years ago I maintained Adobe’s training classrooms. I know what it is like to see a classroom of frustrated students and worse an angry instructor rolling their eyes at me or even yelling at me. Not pretty.

I also want to thank the members of the IT community that helped on this by reaching out to us with detailed info of the issue, providing logs, helping us test and validate, etc. Special shout out to the Enterprise Deployment forum posts. This forum has a large visibility internally and issues that get many reports here turn into data that is seen by our executives on a real-time basis. I also want to thank those who reported the scale of the impact to your Adobe Account Executive or your Channel Reseller partner. It is important that you be heard through all these outlets and that we understand the inconvenience and pain this has caused you and your organization.

Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Enterprise + Volume | Digital Media | Adobe Systems

Update 1: Please note that if you have systems that have not seen these issues then our recommendation is to simply make sure that you update the Photoshop 13.0.4. No need to unserialize and re-serialize if the PS 13.0.2 or 13.0.3 updates were not on the system. If you have an AAMEE 3.1 package with the PS 13.0.2 or 13.0.3 in it be sure to update the package to include 13.0.4.

Update 2: This entry was changed to clarify that that 13.0.4 is for Mac systems only.

Update 3: For clarity instructions to resolve have been updated. No longer require un-serialize & reserialize. AAMEE 3.1 serialization file takes care of both.

52 Responses to 32767 Days Left, But Who’s Counting?

  1. Ryan Stasel says:

    Question: What’s the diff between APTEE and the serialization exec from AAMEE (AdobeSerialization –tool=UnSerialize –leid=DesignWebSuitePremium-CS6-Mac-GM) then the serialize?

    Are they ultimately the same? I mean, when I just do ./AdobeSerialization, I get all the commands for adobe_prtk…

    • Jody Rodgers says:

      Right, that should have the exact same result. I’ll get verification from the team.

      Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Enterprise + Volume | Digital Media | Adobe Systems

    • Jody Rodgers says:

      Rahul Baiswar, our awesome AAMEE QE lead let me know that:

      Both the binaries are just the same. So whatever command line is supported by adobe_prtk is also supported by AdobeSerialization file.

      Hope that helps!

      Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Enterprise + Volume | Digital Media | Adobe Systems

  2. Patrick Fergus says:

    If you are at Photoshop 13.0.1 and never upgraded to 13.0.2/3, if 13.0.4 is applied will any APTEE work be necessary?

  3. Don Montalvo says:

    Jody thanks for all the hard work in getting this fixed.

    You Rick!!!

    Don

  4. Don Montalvo says:

    LOL…danged iOS autocorrect…you’ve been Ric Rolled!!!

    …of course I meant YOU ROCK!!! :)

    • Jody Rodgers says:

      Ha. That’s hilarious. Thanks for all of your support Don. Much appreciated.

      Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Enterprise + Volume | Digital Media | Adobe Systems

  5. Tom Tubbiola says:

    I am about to start building our CS6 packages next week. Can I safely use AAMEE 3.1 to package the CS6 Suites if I include all available updates? This week has been the first time that I have been happy about it taking three months for Adobe to renew our volume license agreement.

    Thanks,
    Tom

    • Jody Rodgers says:

      Yes indeed. The CS6 updates are cumulative so the only Photoshop update you’ll see via AAMEE 3.1 is the 13.0.4 update.

      Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Enterprise + Volume | Digital Media | Adobe Systems

  6. Jon Thompson says:

    What of clients that have chosen to go the route of non-volume licenses, and still are having this issue? I tried using AAMEE to re-serialize individual installs, but it fails.

    • Jody Rodgers says:

      You should be able to apply the PS 13.0.4. update and then use APTEE to unserialize and serialize. I believe APTEE does not require a volume serial whereas AAMEE would. I can find out for the team but give it a try.

      Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Enterprise + Volume | Digital Media | Adobe Systems

      • Tim Kimpton says:

        Jody please find out about this i want to do it

        By Jody Rodgers – 1:22 PM on January 19, 2013 Reply

        You should be able to apply the PS 13.0.4. update and then use APTEE to unserialize and serialize. I believe APTEE does not require a volume serial whereas AAMEE would. I can find out for the team but give it a try.

  7. Patrick Fergus says:

    We have Home Use discs created with:

    Disc 1: Essentially unmodified Adobe DVD trial Install of CS6 D&WP (we make the folder at the root of the disc invisible and place a symlink to the installation .app in its place)
    Disc 2: AAMEE 3.1 serialization wrapped in AppleScript

    If someone took that home and installed CS6 D&WP trial, then AAMEE 3.1 serialization, then applied Photoshop 13.0.2/3, would they encounter this issue? If so, would the best end user instructions be to uninstall D&WP completely and reinstall?

    Thanks for running these down, Jody (and Rahul and Karl)!

    • Jody Rodgers says:

      Yes, I believe they could. Maybe you could provide them with a double clickable pkg that has APTEE in it. Such a Adobe reserialization tool has been created by a third party.

      Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Enterprise + Volume | Digital Media | Adobe Systems

  8. Ted August says:

    Hi Jody – we use an Adobe Update Server together with RUM. I’ve had the server sync a few times. Any word on when we can expect to start receiving 13.0.4 on our AUS?

    Thanks,

    -Ted

    • Jody Rodgers says:

      I would of thought it would of already been available. I’ll have the team check on it. Have you tried downloading it directly and put it in the AUS updates folder?

      Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Enterprise + Volume | Digital Media | Adobe Systems

      • Ted August says:

        Thanks for looking into this. Just did another incremental sync and it’s still not there. How would one manually add this to the AUS? I looked inside the manual download of 13.0.4, and the folder structure, dmg, and xml files don’t seem to match the folder structure on the AUS.

        Thanks,

        -Ted

        • kagibson says:

          Ted,
          We do not see any issue that would be preventing the 13.0.4 update from syncing to your server and we are in the process of validating this on our own servers. In the meantime regarding manually adding the update here are the steps you should take to manually add it to your update server. I have e-mailed you the files for

          1.Download Photoshop patch from http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=5448
          2.Unzip folder found found here in /updates/oobe/aam20/mac/AdobePhotoshopCS6Support-13.0
          3.Copy downloaded patch in 13.0.4 folder.

          Cheers
          Karl Gibson | Product Manager | Enterprise IT Tools | Adobe Systems

          • Ted August says:

            Hi Karl,

            I did not receive your e-mail. However, I did follow your directions from here, and uploaded the package to the Adobe Update Server. I verified that file permissions on files and folders match what they were for the other 13.x patches. When I attempt to download with RUM, I’m receiving the following errors, on computers with 13.0.1 and 13.0.2 installed:

            *** Downloading (AdobePhotoshopCS6Support-13.0/13.0.4) …
            01/21/13 12:39:44:472 | [ERROR] | | AAMEE | Utilities | RemoteUpdateManager | | | UpdaterCore failed for DownloadUpdates errorCode(207) curRefId(AdobePhotoshopCS6Support-13.0/13.0.4) errorCodeString(U43M1D207)
            01/21/13 12:39:44:473 | [ERROR] | | AAMEE | Utilities | RemoteUpdateManager | | | *** Failed to download (AdobePhotoshopCS6Support-13.0/13.0.4) …
            01/21/13 12:39:44:473 | [ERROR] | | AAMEE | Utilities | RemoteUpdateManager | | | Some Updates failed to download …
            01/21/13 12:39:44:473 | [INFO] | | AAMEE | Utilities | RemoteUpdateManager | | | **************************************************
            01/21/13 12:39:44:473 | [INFO] | | AAMEE | Utilities | RemoteUpdateManager | | | Starting UpdaterCore InstallUpdates…
            01/21/13 12:39:44:473 | [INFO] | | AAMEE | Utilities | RemoteUpdateManager | | | No new Updates to be installed …
            01/21/13 12:39:44:473 | [INFO] | | AAMEE | Utilities | RemoteUpdateManager | | | **************************************************
            01/21/13 12:39:44:473 | [INFO] | | AAMEE | Utilities | RemoteUpdateManager | | | Following Updates failed to Download :
            01/21/13 12:39:44:473 | [INFO] | | AAMEE | Utilities | RemoteUpdateManager | | | (AdobePhotoshopCS6Support-13.0/13.0.4)
            01/21/13 12:39:44:473 | [INFO] | | AAMEE | Utilities | RemoteUpdateManager | | | **************************************************
            In addition, on pre-existing computers where Photoshop 13.0.3 is installed, RUM states that there are no updates available, despite the 13.0.4 patch being uploaded and available on our AUS.

            Thanks,

            -Ted

          • kagibson says:

            Ted,
            Can you confirm that you also went to the forum link and downloaded the zip file containing the signature files and inserted into the directory structure as advised?

            Cheers
            Karl

          • Rahul says:

            Hi Ted,

            Thanks for providing these logs. One step was missing which is causing this issue!
            please rename setup.sig to .sig
            here update name is name of update dmg (.dmg)which you have downloaded from adobe web link.

            thanks,
            Rahul

          • Rahul says:

            name of sig should be Photoshop_CS6_13_0_4_upd.sig

  9. Mike Boylan says:

    Thanks for the post. However, I can’t help but think of all the less skilled admins or admins that work in organizations that won’t have the infrastructure in place to easily deploy this proposed fix. Fortunately we were able to this past Friday, and it seemed to work, but Adobe seems ignorant to these non-ideal scenarios.

    Greg Neagle wrote a tool last night that automates the creation of a *native* Apple pkg that includes the adobe_prtk tool as well as a script to run it with the necessary flags to handle the unserializing/reserializing. It’s available on his GitHub.

    Adobe should look at this tool and understand that this is part of how your official fix should have been released. It could have been something like this that *also* included a flag like –includePS that would have included the contents of the Photoshop 13.0.4 update. This would have allowed admins of any skill level to deploy a simple native Apple pkg through a tool as rudimentary as Apple Remote Desktop. But of course, you didn’t. Rather, you let that work fall onto someone who actually cares about our community.

    Also this blog post, although helpful, is not at all written in an appropriate tone. This problem caused countless hours of pain for many admins around the country (globe?), and rather than issue a technical kbase article with engineering notes and a link to an official downloadable hotfix (like I mentioned above), you wrote a post filled with humor hoping to dampen the severity of the situation. There was nothing funny about this issue, and I doubt that any admin found the magnitude of complaints and trouble tickets that came their way to be humorous. Admins don’t want to hear about a magical licensing ninja after something as serious as this. They just want to know the real reason why it happened and how they can (easily) fix it.

    Just my two cents.

    • Jody Rodgers says:

      Thanks for taking the time to write us Mike.

      We have consistently received feedback from the IT admin community in the past that they would like us to provide them with command line tools so they can then utilize them the way Greg Neagle has (which by the way is awesome.)

      We will continue to solicit feedback from the community of Enterprise IT admins to make sure our tool sets are meeting the demands of the folks who use them. We already have backlog items in regards to making the AAMEE serialization executable a pkg for Mac and an MSI for Windows based on previous customer feedback.

      You give the example of Apple Remote Desktop as a deployment solution. This is just one of a dozen deployment solutions that I am aware of. I wish we had the resources to provide guidance for every version of ARD’s ‘Send UNIX command’ option with APTEE for every major Mac OS X release along with the 11 other Mac & Window deployment solutions but if we went down that route I promise our response time would be even slower.

      We’ll create KBs, videos, etc. based on the feedback on this blog, our Enterprise Deployment forum, our @Adobe_ITToolkit Twitter account, the calls coming into our Support organization, feedback given to our Sales Enablement and Account Executives in the field, our Reseller partners, etc. We’ll do anything we can to assist those admins who need help in resolving this issue in their organization regardless of their knowledge of our tools or their deployment infrastructure.

      Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Enterprise + Volume | Digital Media | Adobe Systems

  10. Don Montalvo says:

    Jody, not for nothing, but will this be the “Newtown” for Adobe that will bring changes?

    Will this Adobe ID issue finally result in Adobe committing to delivering PKG installers that adhere to Apple Software Delivery guidelines?

    The Mac community is grateful to Adobe for listening and bringing change…I’m hoping the pain we all shared in the past couple weeks wasn’t for nothing. :)

    Thanks,
    Don

  11. Paul Cossey says:

    Thanks Jody

    I agree with Mike & Don, life would be so much easier if I could just deploy the fix with in an adobe created PKG.

  12. Tim Kimpton says:

    Adobe come on… The Photoshop 3.0.4 update is not on your Akami servers!!@@!!@@@!!

    I have a launch daemon and a script to automatically sync my server over night so that my colleages dont have to worry about it.

    If you are certian this is the fix GET IT UP THERE!!!

    ah and have a look at this just for the “Loop” in case you decide to start deleting post again Adobe

    https://jamfnation.jamfsoftware.com/discussion.html?id=6275

  13. Tim Kimpton says:

    Note to Self …Thank god for Greg this evening :)

    https://github.com/gregneagle/makereserializationpkg

  14. Tim Kimpton says:

    FOR EVERY SINGLE ADMIN WE WANT TESTING AND IRON FIST CONFIRMATION!

    IF USING AAMEE3.1 DOES THIS PULL DOWN THE PHOTOSHOP 3.0.4 UPDATE AND THEREFORE MAKE A WORKING INSTALLER?

    IF NO DOES MANUALLY ADDING THE PHOTOSHOP 3.04 UPDATE TO AAMEE3.1 WORKFLOW CREATE A NOW VALID WORKING AND STABLE INSTALLER?

    AND BEFORE YOU ANSWER ADOBE UAT PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!!

  15. Don Montalvo says:

    Karl just posted a fix/workaround for the missing 13.0.4 patch issue:

    http://forums.adobe.com/docs/DOC-2991

  16. Tim Kimpton says:

    how and what do i do to a

  17. Tim Kimpton says:

    how and what do i do to add this to AUSST? Or do i look on Twitter for the answers!!!!

  18. kagibson says:

    Hi All,
    Ok so we have been doing more testing and this is the current state of play.

    We have tested AUSST and the 13.0.4 update is showing up
    We have tested RUM and it is pulling in the 13.0.4 PS patch
    We have tested creating update package with AAMEE which includes patch
    We have also tested manually adding the patch to AUSST with instructions provided (a little awkward)

    If you have affected systems these are the steps you should take

    1. Install 13.0.4 patch on client in one of the three methods listed above
    2. Use AAMEE 3.1 to create a serialization file
    3. Deploy Serialization file to the client

    This in all our tests resolved the issue on a machine that was affected and we launched the product multiple times with no issue.

    We are in the process of testing a serialization file created with AAMEE 3.0 however it is best to use 3.1 if possible.

    Please let me know if there is any issues and please rest assured that we will be conducting a post mortem to try and make sure the issue does not occur again and also that our response would be better if we fail on our first promise :-)

    Cheers
    Karl Gibson | Product Manager | Enerprise IT Tools

  19. Jeffrey A says:

    Do you have a location where this patch can be downloaded directly for Windows without a creative cloud account? I have tried with AAMEE and also updating within Photoshop directly however only 13.0.1 is shown. I have tried contacting Adobe support and they were of little help.

    • Jody Rodgers says:

      Jeffrey,

      Sorry, the 13.0.4 update is for Mac perpetual customers only. I will update the blog accordingly to limit confusion. I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused.

      One bit of clarification, you are not seeing Windows systems effected with the 32767 issue are you?

      Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Enterprise + Volume | Digital Media | Adobe Systems

  20. John Doe says:

    Seems to me that since Adobe has been dropping balls since the intial rollout of CS6, the classy thing to do would be to:
    -create a package to patch rather than wasting more of our admin’s time
    -create documentation that is clear, concise and contained info has been TESTED.

    we don’t want contrition or levity or long rambling posts. Just software that works as intended and don’t make the admins who have to roll it out look foolish, thx.

  21. Fail says:

    I can verify that I have followed the instructions Jody provided, and the 32,767 message still will not go away. I also tried Greg Neagle’s makereserializationpkg python script, and that has not made the message go away either. At this point the problem is not widespread in our company, but I am particularly nervous, that with my failures today (or perhaps Adobe’s) in trying to rid one (1) machine of the problem, we won’t have much luck in the future if and when it becomes widespread. Has anyone else had a problem with the purported fix? If I can recreate the issue and the inability to solve it with these fixes, I will try to report back.

    • Jody Rodgers says:

      How many systems is this occurring on? Have you tried using the AAMEE uninstall package and uninstalling and reinstalling without the Photoshop 13.0.2 and 13.0.3 updates on the system? Also, you may want to try the harsher Adobe Cleaner but note that is likely to impact other Adobe apps on the system.

      http://www.adobe.com/support/contact/cscleanertool.html

      Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Enterprise + Volume | Digital Media | Adobe Systems

      • Fail says:

        Thanks for responding Jody.

        At this time, we were only having that issue on one machine. After further testing last night I am beginning to think that this is an isolated case. I have been able to successfully repair two other machines using your fix. I will take a look into the Cleaner tool as well.

  22. Umut Ozkan says:

    I just wanted to point out that same kind of problem occurs on Flash Builder 4.7. I installed Flash Builder 4.7 on my development computer which operates in an Intranet (no internet connection). I followed offline activation instructions. I got the message saying activation is successful. Now whenever I start Flash Builder I get the “32767 days remaining” trial message. Our OS is Windows 2003 Server, so I believe it’s not specific to Photoshop or MAC. Unfortunately my search revealed no solutions so far…

    • Mike Cumbee says:

      We are also experiencing this issue with Flash Builder 4.7, though, it’s not across all systems. We have FB installed on two different closed networks. This happend on one of the two networks.

      As we would like to continue using Flash Builder, we need a solution soon.

  23. Doug says:

    I just packaged an unattended CS6 Master Collection trial install for iOS and am still getting prompted to sign in once I run the Serialization Utility. Both the package and the serialization were created using AAMMEE 3.1, and all components are fully updated and patched to latest versions. (For Example Photoshop 13.0.4) Does anyone have any updates on the apparent Ninja Licensing that not even the creators of can figure out?

  24. Jody Rodgers comment January 24, 2013:
    We’re suffering the 32,767-day trial error on Window 7.

    So what’s the status of an official fix for the 32,767-day license glitch affecting Windows 7?

    During our Sept 2013 deploy we’re now seeing labs with the x-day trial window flummoxing student users–which is not encouraging.

    Is there an Adobe-endorsed solution for Windows CS6? The cl & exe serialize tools do not resolve the problem.

    Daniel Bridgman
    Smith College

  25. Kathy says:

    What if you are not using “Mac”. What if you are using Windows 7 and you are getting this trial message? Your post states: “Update 2: This entry was changed to clarify that that 13.0.4 is for Mac systems only.” Is there a fix for the Windows users?

  26. Aaron Hillier says:

    I have a cloned Windows 8 lab with this exact error on CS6. I did not appear for several months, what fix do you recommend here?

  27. Nathan Strum says:

    We’re now seeing this same issue with Creative Cloud for Mac, Photoshop again. A year later, almost to the day.

  28. Kevin Farver says:

    Currently experiencing this issue on Windows boxes after installing from disk and then serializing using AAMEE. Might attempt to create a script to serialize on login until a better fix is available.

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