Photoshop Woes

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Are there any Mac HaXoRz out there that know where the Adobe Photoshop CS2 secret registration files are stored? About a month ago, I reformatted my laptop for various reasons and reinstalled everything, including Creative Suite. I think I botched the whole serial number thing at the time, which bumped me into the 30 day trial mode. Now, Photoshop starts, pops up a dialog box informing me that it has expired, but doesn’t give me any way to activate/reactivate it. There are a couple of knowledgebase articles at Adobe as well as an uninstall readme that is part of the Creative Suite that show how to properly uninstall everything. This involves deleting the applications, of course, but also deleting some stuff in /Library/Application Settings and /Library/Preferences. I also found a couple of more obscure files, too. There were two hidden dot-files in /Library/Application Settings related to Adobe as well as a something-or-other Adobe file (that was in use when I tried to empty the trash before rebooting) in some obscure place like /Library/Units.

So now, I am able to reinstall the suite, enter my registration/activation numbers, and get everything but Photoshop to work, but Photoshop is still behaving as if there is a hidden flag somewhere on the hard drive that basically says “this guy is a dirty hacker and isn’t ever allowed to start Photoshop” by saying it has expired without providing a way of activating it.

I have peeked through some of the Framework bundles that are part of Photoshop, specifically the Adobe License Manager stuff. I do not presently have a PowerPC disassembler (or even much real world experience with the assembly instruction set for one to be useful), I can check the embedded strings and see that the paths basically match up to the uninstall readme, with one exception. There is a path string that points to /Library/Application Support/Macrovision, which made me start to wonder if there were some kernel extensions and/or rootkit like behavior at play. Unfortunately, booting the laptop in Target Disk mode and plugging it in to another Mac (which would bypass any rootkits) didn’t turn up anything interesting.

So, ummm… anyone have any solutions? Both the readme and knowledgebase article list “reformat drive, reinstall OS X, reinstall Photoshop” as a last resort. I am afraid that I may need to do that this weekend.

P.S. it seems that I can roll back my system clock to within the 30-day-trial window and still use Photoshop, but that is a pain and a less than ideal workaround. Even doing this doesn’t let me reenter a proper activation code.

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