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Dell digital delivery, Adobe XI Std and Serial Number

Participant ,
Jun 25, 2013

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We ordered a lot of new Optiplex 3010's for business.  We also specified Adobe Acrobat XI which only comes through via Dell Digital Delivery now.  So we do not get a disc or a serial number card anymore.

We set up a model computer exactly how we want it.  You know, run through all the nag prompts, import a script to customize pinned applications to the taskbar, accept first time license agreements, ensure all the software we need is installed and configured.  Then after this is done we remove it from the domain again and as a local admin we go through everything one last time to make sure things are custom the way we want.  We then take an image using Acronis (boot to it from network).  Then we go back in and run the Windows 7 sysprep utility that points to an xml file with things like copy profile = true, and others.

After it shuts down we image it again so we have an after image.  Now we just use Acronis and put this image on all of our Dell Optiplex 3010's.  When its booted the only thing it asks for is computer name, and then once its booted we join it to our domain.  Prior to deployment we run appwiz.cpl, go down to Microsoft Office 2010 and hit "Change" and choose enter a product key, and then we enter the product key from the computer that it is replacing.

Now today I got an e-mail from someone with one of these new computers along with a screen shot from Adobe Acrobat XI (which remember is via Dell digital delivery and we have no serial cards or installation media anymore). 

It says The serial number 1016xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx is already in use by the maximum allowed computers.  You need to deactivate another computer within 25 days to use this products.Then there are two options:

  • Retry activation. I already have deactivated one of my other computers.
  • Provide a different serial number. 

Well since Dell did not distribute Adobe key cards, where would I get another serial number from?  I imagine the one presented was used in the original image.  However Dell digital delivery verifies by the service tag that the PC is authorized for Adobe and it should have taken care of all of this.  So what am I to do here?  In the future if we do not choose this method and instead go through another retailer for Adobe Acrobat XI Standard, then we will get a CD and key card for each computer we deploy, although its much more expensive... were talking $150 vs the $50 add on for it when customizing the Dell computer.

So thanks for any input.  I realize this could be an Dell problem (so I posted over there as well), however this was installed via Dell Digital Delivery and Dell did not send out any keys. 

We legitimately paid for this.  In the previous round of Optiplex 3010's when we could order Acrobat X standard, we were given a key card.  After sysprep I would run a script (AAMEE was installed in the default image) to change the serial number via the command line.  But now Acrobat XI is different and I'm not sure what to do.  Dell doesn't even give us an option for Adobe X anymore, or else I would have just used that version which worked fine.

Sorry, I cannot help. But it sounds like you should have gone with a reseller that would provide you with a volume license that would have been much less of a hassel. Maybe you can contact Dell and return Acrobat that you purchased and go with a volume license.

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Dell digital delivery, Adobe XI Std and Serial Number

Participant ,
Jun 25, 2013

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We ordered a lot of new Optiplex 3010's for business.  We also specified Adobe Acrobat XI which only comes through via Dell Digital Delivery now.  So we do not get a disc or a serial number card anymore.

We set up a model computer exactly how we want it.  You know, run through all the nag prompts, import a script to customize pinned applications to the taskbar, accept first time license agreements, ensure all the software we need is installed and configured.  Then after this is done we remove it from the domain again and as a local admin we go through everything one last time to make sure things are custom the way we want.  We then take an image using Acronis (boot to it from network).  Then we go back in and run the Windows 7 sysprep utility that points to an xml file with things like copy profile = true, and others.

After it shuts down we image it again so we have an after image.  Now we just use Acronis and put this image on all of our Dell Optiplex 3010's.  When its booted the only thing it asks for is computer name, and then once its booted we join it to our domain.  Prior to deployment we run appwiz.cpl, go down to Microsoft Office 2010 and hit "Change" and choose enter a product key, and then we enter the product key from the computer that it is replacing.

Now today I got an e-mail from someone with one of these new computers along with a screen shot from Adobe Acrobat XI (which remember is via Dell digital delivery and we have no serial cards or installation media anymore). 

It says The serial number 1016xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx is already in use by the maximum allowed computers.  You need to deactivate another computer within 25 days to use this products.Then there are two options:

  • Retry activation. I already have deactivated one of my other computers.
  • Provide a different serial number. 

Well since Dell did not distribute Adobe key cards, where would I get another serial number from?  I imagine the one presented was used in the original image.  However Dell digital delivery verifies by the service tag that the PC is authorized for Adobe and it should have taken care of all of this.  So what am I to do here?  In the future if we do not choose this method and instead go through another retailer for Adobe Acrobat XI Standard, then we will get a CD and key card for each computer we deploy, although its much more expensive... were talking $150 vs the $50 add on for it when customizing the Dell computer.

So thanks for any input.  I realize this could be an Dell problem (so I posted over there as well), however this was installed via Dell Digital Delivery and Dell did not send out any keys. 

We legitimately paid for this.  In the previous round of Optiplex 3010's when we could order Acrobat X standard, we were given a key card.  After sysprep I would run a script (AAMEE was installed in the default image) to change the serial number via the command line.  But now Acrobat XI is different and I'm not sure what to do.  Dell doesn't even give us an option for Adobe X anymore, or else I would have just used that version which worked fine.

Sorry, I cannot help. But it sounds like you should have gone with a reseller that would provide you with a volume license that would have been much less of a hassel. Maybe you can contact Dell and return Acrobat that you purchased and go with a volume license.

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LEGEND ,
Jun 28, 2013

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Sorry, I cannot help. But it sounds like you should have gone with a reseller that would provide you with a volume license that would have been much less of a hassel. Maybe you can contact Dell and return Acrobat that you purchased and go with a volume license.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 28, 2013

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You can't do what you're trying to do. Dell Digital Delivery deploys your bundled software to each licensed machine independently (it looks up your service tag and creates a silent deployment with the serial number pre-entered), so imaging post-install is of course going to replicate the embedded (and supposedly-unique) license hash to each clone. With retail Adobe products you have found that's both illegal and impossible, as Adobe's licensing server knows how many activations each key has made.

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Participant ,
Jun 28, 2013

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Ok I figured out a work around.

In the start menu there is an application called Dell Digital Delivery... launch this.  It will show Adobe Acrobat Standard XI in the list along with an icon to the right of it.  Click the icon to the right and you have two options:

Show Product Key or Reinstall.

If you do Show Product Key, it does show a unique product key based on the dell service tag.  So you can copy this key and when adobe says that the maximum activations have been used, you can choose the second option to enter a new product key.  You simply paste the product key in there.

I think choosing reinstall would also install the application with the correct product key.

I think to fix it so that your not waiting an undetermined amount of days until you see the activation count exceeded screen... is to image the PC prior to using dell digital delivery to install Adobe Acrobat.

So once you deploy the image onto a new Dell, and boot it, THEN run Dell digital delivery, because it will query the BIOS for the service tag, and retrive the appropriate install key from Dell.

Or if I can find the command I can change the product key using AAMEE before waiting an unknown amount of time for the prompt from adobe.  This is what I did with Adobe Acrobat X standard.  AAMEE changed the product key to the one matching the key card that came with the machine.

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New Here ,
Dec 06, 2013

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I'm not sure if this will still be useful, but we have a similar situation at my workplace. Previously we would enter the Acrobat key into a database I had created, and then during deployment a script would run that (effectively) polled the database (using the computer's serial number as the unique ID) and then installed Acrobat using that computer's key.

I've just finished up an early version of a utility that can poll Dell's servers with a given serial number and returns the product key for Acrobat XI. It's written in AutoIT and is pretty straight-forward. You can find the code here: http://pastebin.com/XMKjNdw2

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New Here ,
Oct 21, 2015

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Concerning the June 28th answer....it worked Thank

You.

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