Greatest error message ever?

Adobe pushed out an upgrade of its Creative Suite. I installed it, as prompted. This is what happens when I try to run any element of the Suite after the install:


Click on the modal dialog box and the program closes. For extra redundancy, there’s a second error message that reads “licensing for this product has stopped working.” But I am impressed that I wasn’t merely able to get the programs to fail, but that I got them to fail “catastrophically.”

Now where are those install discs?

Update: I was able to fix it, thanks to restarting a cranky DRM engine. (MSCONFIG is truly a Windows user’s best friend.) Yet another case in which copy protection and productivity don’t go hand-in-hand. The problem is solved, but the great error message lives on.

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  • sgt-d

    that’s cake. try this one… a passive re-install of windows, it was previously activated, after install it gets stuck in an endless bsod loop, so i booted to safe mode (end result: no solution):

  • sgt-d

    lol that one is easy. try this one… a passive re-install of windows (previously activated), after install (which deactivates it) it gets stuck in an endless bsod loop, so i booted to safe mode (end result: format, gotta love it…):

  • Sorry for the hassle. I’ll make sure that my partners see your post here. Meanwhile, here’s more info on the Intel AMT Subsystem, which seems to be triggered by, but independent of, Adobe software:


  • Thanks, John. I wrote the post more to celebrate the error message than to complain about the problem.

  • The best one I’ve ever seen is a screenshot in “Programming as if People Mattered” by Nate Borenstein. He shows a screenshot of a popup with corrupted fonts. The message and the button labels are all gibberish. It is terrifying. It could be “delete all files? OK”.

  • FWG

    Sorry, this doesn’t top the old “Guru Meditation Error” on the funny scale. Close, but not quite!


  • Matt

    Your probably going to get sued for posting that error screen, it’s probably copyrighted.

  • prh9

    A good reason not give Adobe anymore money, if that is how they treat paying customers. Once again DRM only inconveniences the honest cause the pirates hack around it (not that I am advocated piracy).

  • lenny-t

    Back in the days of IBM big iron and room-sized hardware in the 1960s, our IBM 360 system came to a screeching halt with an error number (in those days we had to look up the number in a 25-foot long rack of operation reference manuals). The error number referenced the message “This error should never occur.” That was it – nothing else.

  • dot

    lenny-t said: The error number referenced the message “This error should never occur.” That was it – nothing else.

    Now that’s priceless!

  • Jo

    I like this kind of error messages, they are so … human. Like in fabulous wordpress.

  • HW

    My favorite error message was from Canon printer driver. When trying to establish a binding edge, I received the message “Value must be an integer between 0 and 1.2”

  • coop

    So, how does one “restart a cranky DRM engine”?

  • You click the checkbox next to its service in MSCONFIG and — voila!

  • “The licensing subsystem has failed catastrophically. You must reinstall or call customer support.”

    I just wanted to post the message in text (rather than an image) so that when I come across it, I can find this page again!

  • Lately I have seen a lot of “licensing” error messages from adobe to. They seem to have a glitch in their system.

  • Jeff

    I’ve always been amused by the message SBCL gives when running out of memory from an accidental infinite recursion: “Heap exhaustian: game over. Bye.”