Can I run Adobe CS (version 1) on a Windows 7 laptop?
March 19, 2014 9:43 AM   Subscribe

I have an old copy of Adobe Photoshop that I desperately want to run on my much newer laptop. Is it possible? I am a fumbling luddite - pretend I'm your 80 year-old grandparent when you explain anything techie to me.

Laptop info: Lenovo, Windows 7 Home Premium, Service Pack 1, 64-bit operating system - What other info do you need and where do I need to go to find it?

Software info: Adobe Creative Suite Premium (I'm just installing Photoshop).. it's copywritten 2003, so I assume this is Creative Suite 1 (CS Premium). I used it on a Windows 2k computer.

This is the information about system requirements I found, but I still don't know if my current system can utilize the software, or if something can be done to accommodate it: "Adobe Photoshop CS requires Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 or higher. Please note that Photoshop CS does not support Windows 3.1.x, Windows 95, Windows ME, Windows 98 or Windows NT 4."

Let me know if there's any other info I can provide. I have read various claims saying it's possible (and various claims saying it's impossible), but I didn't understand the installation instructions (I don't really want to install an earlier operating system). I'm REALLY slow when it comes to technology. I've been trying to use GIMP as a substitute, and it's just not cutting it. Buying a new copy of Photoshop isn't really an option. Besides, I spent a mint on this when it came out, and I don't want to see that investment go down the drain.
posted by Mael Oui to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I think you can. I'm running CS2 on my Windows 7 laptop. If you run into trouble, you can try running it in compatibility mode.

Is there a reason you haven't just tried?
posted by General Malaise at 9:46 AM on March 19, 2014

I mean, have you tried? I would just try. You're not going to hurt anything and it'll be a lot faster and easier than trying to wait for any kind of anecdotal evidence. Just put in the CD/DVD and try to install it.

I would guess it will likely work. You may - *may* - have to muck about with the Windows 7 "Compatibility Settings" tab to get it to work, but I would be surprised..

But, again, just try.
posted by kbanas at 9:46 AM on March 19, 2014

I don't know about Photoshop specifically, but usually you can run older software on newer machines, just not the other way around. I'd just try.
posted by radioamy at 9:46 AM on March 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: FYI, Adobe released CS2 as "freeware" last year, here's a link to download Photoshop by itself.
posted by Oktober at 9:54 AM on March 19, 2014 [9 favorites]

Install the software and see if it runs. There's your answer. It should run, given that you quote its system requirements as requiring "Windows 2000 or higher" and you're running Windows 7.
posted by dfriedman at 10:06 AM on March 19, 2014

I'm running Adobe Photoshop 7 (the version before CS) and CS2 on Windows 7, and they both work fine, so CS should definitely work, though you may need to install it under Windows XP Mode.

Try installing it normally first, and if it doesn't work, go to that link and follow the instructions to install Windows XP Mode, then install CS within that.
posted by limeonaire at 10:20 AM on March 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I haven't tried because I'm afraid it's going to completely mess up my computer. And I won't be able to figure out how to get it back to how it was before. 'Afraid' is the operative word.

What exactly are compatibility settings and how can I access them (or will they just pop up when I put the disc in)?

I'm going to try to install it now and give Windows XP mode a shot, if necessary..
posted by Mael Oui at 10:41 AM on March 19, 2014

Response by poster: IT WORKED! It did install, but the only problem is that you need to activate the software within 30 days of installation. I attempted to do that online (exactly as I had when I had it installed on my old computer), and.. well, it doesn't work anymore. It says 'we're sorry, the activation system isn't available at this time.' I'm assuming that's because Adobe doesn't support this software anymore. It does give an option to do it using an automated system by phone, but I doubt this won't work (though I will give it a try).

This isn't the same as putting the serial number in. I did that, and it went through fine.
posted by Mael Oui at 10:54 AM on March 19, 2014

Response by poster: I called the number, and had to input a bunch of numbers (which matched the ones on my screen), but then it said that it couldn't activate my software. Once again, I figure, because they don't support it anymore. Any ideas how I should proceed?
posted by Mael Oui at 11:01 AM on March 19, 2014

Response by poster: Okay, last post! Thank you for your help, everyone! This has been solved!

For anyone in my situation, the old software does install on the new computer, but you need to activate it in order to use it. Adobe has taken down the activation server, and you cannot use the phone method, either. You need to find a version that doesn't require activation. In the end, my solution was downloading CS2 (freeware, above), which doesn't require activation.

Thank you again!
posted by Mael Oui at 11:25 AM on March 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

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