Friday, October 12, 2012

Relieving Adobe Installer Pain

When Adobe Photoshop Elements is installed on Microsoft Windows, the Adobe installer first installs the Editor, then the Organizer (whether you want it or not), and lastly Shared Technologies, with each of the three steps taking a good deal of time to complete.

So when I set out to install Photoshop Elements 11, I expected it to take some time. What I didn't expect was a fatal error at the end of the lengthy install process, followed by a lengthy rollback of the entire install. The error message ("The installation process has encountered an error while installing Shared Technologies.") was uninformative and unhelpful, just suggesting the computer be restarted before trying again. And of course it then failed again, wasting a good deal of additional time.

So I was left with searching the Web for more helpful information on the issue, discovering it to be a not uncommon problem, eventually finding an Adobe help page on troubleshooting Photoshop Elements installation problems, with a Note pertaining to my specific situation. I was trying to install from a downloaded install file on a USB flash drive. When I followed the advice in the Note to first copy the install file to the root of the system drive, the long installation finally succeeded. From start to finish the install took more than an hour (and might well have taken longer) for something that shouldn't take more than a few minutes.

The install hack is beyond the skill of less experienced users and shouldn't be necessary. The Adobe help page indicates this issue has existed since at least Photoshop Elements 9, a period of at least two years as of this writing, raising the question of why it hasn't long since been corrected, or at least more helpful information provided with the installer. Customers deserve better.

Moral: The safest way to use a downloaded Adobe installer is to place it in the root directory of the system drive (usually C:\) before installing. Don't try to install from a USB flash drive.


  1. it is elements 12 and year 2014 and the issue with Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 still exists. The installation process of Adobe is a shame that they could not fix this issue and have a buggy installer. Time to get rid of whatever shared technologies does leading to the error!

  2. I am unable to install either Photoshop Elements 12 or Premier Elements 12 on either of two windows 7 machines... that is 0 for 4 successful installs. I followed the advice on the Adobe website regarding this problem and tried several more times to no avail. This software is pathetic. Were it not for a positive experience with Adobe Lightroom (great software) I would not ever purchase anything by Adobe ever again.

  3. I concur. I am very upset I spent all this money and can't install it

  4. Thank you this was very helpful.

  5. I am having this issue trying to install either Premiere Elements 9 or 13 on my new pc/windows 7. These are CD installation disks direct from manufacturer with serial numbers etc. So, I am at a total loss here, the installation takes forever, then it fails at the end during the Shared Technologies section. PLEASE. HELP. ME.

    1. See