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Definitive guide requested for Acrobat DC serialized installations

New Here ,
Dec 16, 2016

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I'm still trying to find the definitive, once and for all, current (December 2016) post/doc page that explains exactly how to make sure a serialized Acrobat DC installation properly activates every single time on every single computer.  We have a volume license contract.  We have both a CC Enterprise serial and an Acrobat DC 12.1 Continuous serial.  Using the DC Customization Wizard, I've been trying every combination of which serial to use, whether to click the Grant Offline button or not, whether to enable the shady (because Adobe's documentation doesn't acknowledge it even exists) "Allow standalone Acrobat deployment with CCE serial" checkbox, and whether or not the language options are also contributing to the utterly inconsistent behavior not only across multiple computers but even on individual computers.  No matter what combination I've tried, I can get it to work on some computers and not on others.

Basically, on a computer that has no other Adobe software installed, things seems to be working whether the package was created to use the DC serial or the CCE serial.  I'm installing using the setup.exe command, so nothing too elaborate or complicated.  It is when there are already other Adobe CC products installed when things are usually going off the rails.  Sometimes Acrobat DC launches and I can see it creates the proper swidtag XML file under the regid.1986-12.com.adobe folder, but other times it doesn't.  When it doesn't, I check the amt3.log file and look for the most recent "AMT: Starting Data Collection for SWTag_Init()" line and it appears to mess up where it doesn't add MUL to the SWTag_Init() Tags Arguments line and then the next line will be "License Status = unlicensed".  But, here's the thing, I've been able to delete the newly created swidtag file, relaunch, and sometimes on the second or third try somehow it magically works.  It will add MUL and then License Status = serialized.  Close and re-launch again and it will then finally change to License Status = activated.  So, I can get different behavior by doing nothing but deleting the swidtag file and re-trying.  In other words, the Acrobat DC licensing scheme appears to utterly random.

On other computers, though, no matter how many times I tried that, nothing worked.  I had the uninstall Acrobat DC, run the AdobeAcroCleaner_DC2015.exe util and try over.  In most cases, that has worked, except on computers with PhotoShop or Illustrator installed, then those programs are no longer validated and they no longer work and I'm back to deleting the swidtag files and hoping for the best.

It just really gets me that if you have a valid serial number how it can be this complicated.  No other product (and we have dozens and dozens) I've installed in over 20 years now has been this hard to consistently, 100% of the time get it to work, and that includes Acrobat XI and prior versions.  Not until we had to start moving to Acrobat DC has this become a problem.  Acrobat XI always worked as expected.

I'm pretty sure I've already read every single documentation page and forum post on this subject, but if anyone has the definitive, sure-fire way to make a serialized installation of Acrobat DC work every single time, all the time, every day, every night, on any computer, please let me know.

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Definitive guide requested for Acrobat DC serialized installations

New Here ,
Dec 16, 2016

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I'm still trying to find the definitive, once and for all, current (December 2016) post/doc page that explains exactly how to make sure a serialized Acrobat DC installation properly activates every single time on every single computer.  We have a volume license contract.  We have both a CC Enterprise serial and an Acrobat DC 12.1 Continuous serial.  Using the DC Customization Wizard, I've been trying every combination of which serial to use, whether to click the Grant Offline button or not, whether to enable the shady (because Adobe's documentation doesn't acknowledge it even exists) "Allow standalone Acrobat deployment with CCE serial" checkbox, and whether or not the language options are also contributing to the utterly inconsistent behavior not only across multiple computers but even on individual computers.  No matter what combination I've tried, I can get it to work on some computers and not on others.

Basically, on a computer that has no other Adobe software installed, things seems to be working whether the package was created to use the DC serial or the CCE serial.  I'm installing using the setup.exe command, so nothing too elaborate or complicated.  It is when there are already other Adobe CC products installed when things are usually going off the rails.  Sometimes Acrobat DC launches and I can see it creates the proper swidtag XML file under the regid.1986-12.com.adobe folder, but other times it doesn't.  When it doesn't, I check the amt3.log file and look for the most recent "AMT: Starting Data Collection for SWTag_Init()" line and it appears to mess up where it doesn't add MUL to the SWTag_Init() Tags Arguments line and then the next line will be "License Status = unlicensed".  But, here's the thing, I've been able to delete the newly created swidtag file, relaunch, and sometimes on the second or third try somehow it magically works.  It will add MUL and then License Status = serialized.  Close and re-launch again and it will then finally change to License Status = activated.  So, I can get different behavior by doing nothing but deleting the swidtag file and re-trying.  In other words, the Acrobat DC licensing scheme appears to utterly random.

On other computers, though, no matter how many times I tried that, nothing worked.  I had the uninstall Acrobat DC, run the AdobeAcroCleaner_DC2015.exe util and try over.  In most cases, that has worked, except on computers with PhotoShop or Illustrator installed, then those programs are no longer validated and they no longer work and I'm back to deleting the swidtag files and hoping for the best.

It just really gets me that if you have a valid serial number how it can be this complicated.  No other product (and we have dozens and dozens) I've installed in over 20 years now has been this hard to consistently, 100% of the time get it to work, and that includes Acrobat XI and prior versions.  Not until we had to start moving to Acrobat DC has this become a problem.  Acrobat XI always worked as expected.

I'm pretty sure I've already read every single documentation page and forum post on this subject, but if anyone has the definitive, sure-fire way to make a serialized installation of Acrobat DC work every single time, all the time, every day, every night, on any computer, please let me know.

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 19, 2016

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Definitive?   Hmmm... Interesting term, but instead,  I'll try and address what you have asked context wise in some semblance of order

1.  So you have to license types:  CCE and Acrobat DC Continuous.  While that is good it can cause headaches too.  I will explain that in a moment though.

2.  The Grant Offline Exception feature is covered in the Help documentation for the Adobe Acrobat Customization Wizard DC:  Personalization options — Acrobat Customization Wizard DC for Windows

3.  The "Allow standalone Acrobat deployment with CCE serial" checkbox, is used ONLY when you are going to use the CCE serial number to serialize your Acrobat install with that serial number. 

4.  Whether or not the language options are also contributing to the utterly inconsistent behavior not only across multiple computers. 

Interrogative: Not sure what you meant here.  Questions depending are: 

- Are you attempting to use the Language installation options in the Adobe Customization Wizard DC?

- Are you installing to machines with different OS languages (e.g. German, Spanish, Italian, etc...)

Symptom 1:  "It is when there are already other Adobe CC products installed when things are usually going off the rails. "

Response:  OK, this probably means that you are using the Acrobat DC Continuous serial number with CCE products installed on the machine, but you need to clarify that item.

Possible Reason:  The CCE serial number will generally override the Acrobat DC Continuous serial number.  This may be the reason for the ODD behavior when you delete the SWIDTAG file.

Symptom 2:  "On other computers, though, no matter how many times I tried that, nothing worked.  I had the uninstall Acrobat DC, run the AdobeAcroCleaner_DC2015.exe util and try over.  In most cases, that has worked, except on computers with PhotoShop or Illustrator installed, then those programs are no longer validated and they no longer work and I'm back to deleting the swidtag files and hoping for the best."

Response:  Again, the behavior that you are experiencing sounds like you are using the Acrobat DC Continuous serial number with CCE products installed on the machine, but you need to clarify that item

Reasoning:  You seemed to have missed the VERY IMPORTANT WARNING with the Acrobat Cleaner Tool

Download Adobe Reader and Acrobat Cleaner Tool - Adobe Labs 

"IMPORTANT:

1. THIS TOOL IS NOT FOR USE WITH ANY CREATIVE SUITE PRODUCTS INCLUDING SUITES THAT CONTAIN ACROBAT. IT CAN ONLY BE USED WITH STANDALONE VERSIONS OF ACROBAT AND ADOBE READER. "

I hope that this information helps.

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New Here ,
Dec 20, 2016

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Thanks Steve.  Disclaimer: Please understand how beyond frustrated I am at this point and that obviously I don't know you and nothing I reply back is meant to be hostile towards you personally, so please don't take anything I write personally!  I've just tried so many combination of options and have received back what I consider to be inconsistent or even random results from the Adobe licensing servers (when parsing through the AMT3.log files) to where I'm now convinced there is nothing I'm actually doing wrong, but that in fact the problem is a result of buggy Adobe code.

I can certainly write a few dozen more paragraphs and answer individual questions back and forth over the coming weeks for as long as it takes, and it might come to that, but honestly, here's where I'm at.  If you or anyone on the planet can answer this particular question, it might very well solve the entire case for me.

On computers where the serialization properly activates, here are the relevant lines in the AMT3.log file:

Starting Data Collection for SWTag_Init()

DoISOTagging() productCanonicalLEID = V7{}AcrobatCont-12-Win-GM;outMappedLEID =  V7{}CreativeCloudEnt-1.0-Win-GM, unused = V7{}CreativeCloudEnt-1.0-Win-GM

DoISOTagging() productPayloadCode = {AC76BA86-1033-FFFF-7760-000000000007};driverPayloadCode =  {AC76BA86-1033-FFFF-7760-000000000007}

Failed to read value for key [EPIC_APP_591] in hive [V7{}CreativeCloudEnt-1.0-Win-GM] from master : 5

SWTag_Init() Tags Arguments Adobe Acrobat; V7{}CreativeCloudEnt-1.0-Win-GM; MUL

DoISOTagging() License Status = activated

DoISOTagging() Tags 9096####################; 1.0; VOLUME

However, when things go awry, here's what happens instead:

Starting Data Collection for SWTag_Init()

DoISOTagging() productCanonicalLEID = V7{}AcrobatCont-12-Win-GM;outMappedLEID =  V7{}CreativeCloudEnt-1.0-Win-GM, unused =

DoISOTagging() productPayloadCode = {AC76BA86-1033-FFFF-7760-000000000007};driverPayloadCode =  {AC76BA86-1033-FFFF-7760-000000000007}

Failed to read value for key [EPIC_APP_591] in hive [V7{}CreativeCloudEnt-1.0-Win-GM] from master : 5

SWTag_Init() Tags Arguments Adobe Acrobat; V7{}CreativeCloudEnt-1.0-Win-GM;

DoISOTagging() License Status = unlicensed

DoISOTagging() Tags 9096####################; 1.0; VOLUME

--

Note: I changed the values on the last lines by using the # character.

So basically, when things go wrong, for reasons I have yet to figure out, the "MUL" isn't being added and the licensing fails.  As I said, though, there have been computers where I've deleted the resulting .swidtag file (that does NOT have -MUL in the filename either) and re-launched Acrobat DC (sometimes repeat, rinse, repeat, rinse) and eventually had it magically end up working; adding the -MUL to the .swidtag file and the AMT3.log file had the lines that added  V7{}CreativeCloudEnt-1.0-Win-GM  after "unused = " and had the "; MUL" added on the "Tags Arguments" line and of course the status being activated.

To get varying results from the licensing servers from one launch of the program to the next doesn't seem like it should have anything to do with the computer in question, but a problem on the back-end.  However, if this is a simple thing, a checkbox I shouldn't be checking or an option I should be setting, or if there are left-over configuration files and/or registry values that are confusing the licensing process, even better, since obviously there is nothing at all I can do about it if the licensing servers are somehow broken.

Thank you!

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