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At the company I work at, an employee was let go. His laptop was a company laptop with Photoshop CS3 installed on it. Photoshop was deactivated so it could be installed on another computer. The license was bought online and emailed to someone, however, that computer crashed and the email with the license is lost.

Is there a way to recover the license from the laptop? Are we better off contacting Adobe's customer support?

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Calling customer support will probably be less of a hassle. – jtbandes Jul 23 '09 at 19:02

You are much better off contacting Adobe's customer support.

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Belarc Advisor is an audit tool that can do this. Among other things, it will display many of the serial numbers on your computer, including Adobe products (at least CS2 for me).

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Also found my existing CS3 key. – Sir Crispalot Feb 18 '15 at 20:27

Try magical jellybean, it pulls a lot of different keys.

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Thanks, this looks really useful. Unfortunately, it wasn't able to find that key. – Buddy Jul 23 '09 at 20:13
I thought Magic Jellybean was for Microsoft Windows and Office only? – Paul Woodward Aug 11 '09 at 14:48
Magical Jellybean finds keys for numerous applications and games. Looking at the config in detail, it finds Adobe Acrobat 6,7,8 and Photoshop 7 keys for example. Doesn't have everything, but it has a lot in there! – DHayes Aug 11 '09 at 20:16

You can, at most, delay the inevitable call to Adobe. In order to get your full rights to the software, you will almost definitely need to call at some point.

If you attempt to install and activate on a new computer, it may work as retail versions of most Adobe software allow for concurrent installations on a primary and secondary machine.

This will make your new install the secondary though and it is not clear to me if they have limits on what the secondary can do.

Moving the primary activation from one computer to another normally requires deactivation from the original install ahead of time and since you are no longer in friendly contact with the ex-employee this seems unlikely. Attempting to activate on a new machine without the deactivation will prompt a call to Adobe.

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I think we will just end up calling Adobe. Luckily, the laptop is ours and the version of Photoshop is deactivated. I just try to avoid calling customer service if I can. Most CS departments seem to have a motto, "We're not happy until you're not happy." :) – Buddy Jul 23 '09 at 20:19

I've not got a CS3 install to test on, but previous versions of Photoshop have stored keys in the registry like so.


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Call customer support. Recovering the keys from the registry is not likely, and you'll find that you need an activation key anyway.

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