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Crackers Beat Adobe CS4 License Activation Using A Simple Novice Trick

There is no doubt that cracker's always tend to be one step ahead of software creators, no matter how tough the software protection is they always come up with a method to bypass it sooner or later, But, Adobe seems to be very unlucky with their CS4 product release, first it was the Photoshop CS4 leak and now Adobe Creative Suite 4 got cracked and keygened within three days of its initial release, massive sized trial version of Adobe CS4 suite with crack patches made their way on torrent portals and file-sharing websites within days after release.

Adobe CS4

Adobe CS4 makes use of a license activation system to make Keygens and shared serial-number obsolete by blacklisting them via a central activation server, Surprisingly, smart crackers defeated the whole CS4 activation system using a simple trick, blocking access to the activation server using Windows or MAC HOSTS file.

After generating the key using the keygen, users simply need to block access to Adobe Activation servers using their firewalls or Windows HOSTS file, effectively disabling the CS4 licensing system from verifying the registration serial-key.

UPDATE # 1 : My web-hosting and domain service provider have received an copyright abuse complaint for this news post which actually does not contain anything illegal, we do not support piracy in anyway and therefore I am appending our standard caution notice for such post.

CAUTION: Downloading and using any leaked build or any hack/crack is not only illegal and a crime punishable by law, but also pose great security risks and should be avoided. The information posted here is for news purpose only and any illegal links posted in comments will be deleted.

Images Via Google Image Search.


this is how mine is currently working. Same thing works with CS3. It is funny how much these idiots get paid to make these dumb activators, and we block them with WINDOWS. Wonderful.

i know this is going to make me sound like an idiot, but wheres the download link for files on this site?

can u help me how to download the crack.. i cant find the download link... thanks

A little FYI, we dont care if you crack our products. We make our money off of Organizations. We could make it impossible for you to use them, but then thats giving a giant advantage to our competitors. Thanks for calling the developers idiots instead of tanking them for all of their effort in such awesome softwares!

If people on this website do not appreciate your product, I do. You guyz at Adobe did a wonderful job. I am trying to design my website when I came across your trial product, and I fell in love with it , right away. However, I would still support the hacking, though not cracking, of any private software because they are too expensive. People like me are really poor and would consider the hacking of your product to be a honor and an advantage. So, good job. Try to learn from the holes found and make it stronger, and I hope that hackers would at the same time be able to hack those products next time (to make it more fun =D. lol.)

I know that I am a person who also has to search everywhere to find programs to use because of the prices on the shelves and so forth and can understand when another uses the same tecniques I do to obtain the software and that it is wrong of us to do so, given the regard that not all people have the funds to buy said products. But I do agree with you, Adobe's software is one of the leading software brands in designing and development of graphics and so forth and I give them a 10/10 for that. I enjoy creating and designing things such as websites and so forth and Adobe has done an excellent job in creating such software. 1 000 000 thumbs up to Adobe!!!!

If this is true then why not have a free home version or a cheap home version ??

There are some cheap versions, but no one wants them because they suck, so they crack the expensive ones....

Then why did the host for this very website get a copyright notice from Adobe? Plus, I highly doubt you are their employee.

can you tell me how to do it?

Can you give this idiot a step by step on how to download and use the free CS4?

I found and downloaded/installed the CS3 Master Collection and the install worked flawlessly! The file included a text file with several serials that I put in at the start of install. I was never asked for an activation and it has never tried to activate. I've checked my hosts file and it was untouched except for one non-related entry. My question, should I even worry about adding the activation.*****.com to my host file or leave well enough alone? As long as everything is working fine do I need to worry about it? I always check my task manager and kill the FNPlicensingservice when it pops up (usually at initial start up and every time I run one of the Adobe programs) and I never use any of the programs while I am online - always disable the internet every time I use any of them, just in case.

Would you bother? Thanks for any info.

*NOTE: No - I DO NOT have the list of serials anymore, so don't ask me, people! If you want to download any programs, I suggest you look online for the torrent sites - start with the letter "H". That's all I'm going to say on that matter, too. My momma didn't raise no fool!"*

Cheers to the hosts file. Windows itself is to blame for allowing such a method of exploit. We merely flipped the switch to the machine.

well, "they" did. i've never cracked, per se, with software activation.

First, the hosts files works the same way on the Mac. And on both systems, is has a lot of very good uses. I personally use it to redirect urls to localhost so I can do host header detection in IIS. It's poorly designed activation scheme created by adobe that's the issue.

LMAO @ how they blocked the adobe servers, sometimes it takes simple to create genius!

we just got lucky, dont celebrate it yet

That's innovative...

can someone sport an amateur a step by step on how this works...

the instructions that came with the "package" just don't add up ...

help me to understand this process?....

Bless you!

Did anyone answer the "how to request" I need same help.

Separate problem. I was able to load and install on xp computer. My visat laptop gets :operation failed" during certain portions of install. So I Know the programs works but what is blocking on my vista computer.

Also as stated how do you run disabler???

Nice! 5 thumbs up for them

Thank you... that was helpful

Can ne1 tell me where can i get this from???

man ive been looking for this

Very smart! I love it! Adobe could easily solve issues like this just by lowering their prices so that individual users could actually afford to buy their products! If it cost $500 to purchase the Design Premium Suite, instead of $1700, or $99-199 to upgrade instead of $599-799 then people wouldn't need to try to get around the system. Thanks your help from this cash challenged user!

they might sell more too, more sales at a lower cost than less sales at a higher cost.

the DVD disc itself only costs a dollar or two and the software can be copied over and over again... as TBP has proven

can someone help me with a step by step on how this works...

the instructions that came with the "package" just don't add up ...

help me to understand this process?....

I'm running OS X 10.4.11

THANK YOU in advance

I can't seem to get this to work correctly - what am I doing wrong?

how to block the windows vista host? it seems its not working? please help. i want to know and learn.


I looling a crack key and key generator for Adobe CS4 suite.... Could anyone tell where I can download the crack key

where I can download the crack key

hi jamil,
Serial Number need for me




i've tried everything but the 'block' technique doesn't work on my vista machine . . . hosts file doesn't need to 'block' as expected, not does adding it to firewall.

Any ideas what else to do on vista machines?

Topnotch, valuable posts here. I'm wondering if there are any valid, working keygens for Photoshop Elements 7, Acrobat Pro Extended, Audition 3 and Captivate 3?

- Go to C:/Windows/System32/drivers/etc.
There Should be a File named: 'Hosts'
Double Click and open it with Notepad.
There Should be something like this at the bottom: localhost
::1 localhost

Make sure that it looks like this:


- Now click File> Save
- Close Notepad
-Enter the Serial
This should fix your problem.

i found the place but when i try to save i get a message that reads

cannot create the C:/Windows/System32/drivers/etc/host file.
make sure that the path and file name are correct.

In order to edit and save the Hosts file go to \start\All Programs\Accessories and right click on notepad and select run as a Administrator open \Windows\System32\Drivers\ETC\Hosts edit the file then you can save it.

you sir are a god. iv'e been trying to work out how to edit the host file for weeks. many thanks

i tried editing the host file, the one you refer to says it is a sample but i edited it neways, i reinstalled cs4 with the key you posted (got a green check) it installed and when i triied to use cs4 i got licensing has expired again

Hello I tried the above but it's still giving me the "make sure the path name is correct" error then changes it over to a save as...any suggestions?

turn off UAC then it works fine

I am using Windows 7 and having been trying to add -- REMOVED -- to Hosts file, but it keeps saying access denied. Could you please help?

Editing the Hosts file is a pain... (Vista & Win 7 solution)
- Find notepad on your start menu
- right click on it
- select 'Run As Administrator'
- open and edit your hosts file
- select menu file/save
- done

It has been solved. I can't believe how smart it is this solution
You have all my respect, man.
Thank you

Finally got my HOST edited. I hope it sticks.

Thanks a lot man, you save me a lot of time from reinstalling Master Collection CS4. Now I can work smoothly. With your help, man, my problem was fix. emvals

Thanks boD, It works

You are the man! It works perfectly...


one more satisfied customer. thanks!

The file is already on my computer, but I still can't open any programs to enter the serial number. (Windows Vista) What do I do now?

I have had Adobe Flash Cs4 for a while now, with a keygen. But everytime I would reboot it I have have to generate another serial. No worries now though! Thanks!

I've tried the above, it keep asking for activation. I've tried several keygen from the internet and failed too. Can someone pls help me..?

I followed your instructions and changed the host file. I have windows vista.The serial number given doesn't work it says invalid key.

I downloaded the trial version of PS C4 about a month ago. I followed the above instructions for my dell and tried adding the '-- REMOVED --' line, but it will not let me save the notepad file. It tells me the following: "Cannot create the C:\Windows\Systems32\drivers\etc\host file. Make sure the path and file name are correct."

Also, when I enter the serial no. it will not accept it.

I am not sure if it has to do w/ the fact that I saved PS in an external drive and not directly on my computer.

Thoughts... PLEASE!

Thank you in

Hey I followed these instructions to the letter and got this message cannot create the C:/Windows/System32/drivers/etc/hosts file. make sure the paths and file name are correct. whats missing?

I have activated photoshop and it still works, but the trial has expired for the others like dreamweaver and flash, it still asks for the serial number but CAN ANYONE TELL ME THE SERIAL NUMBERS??? Please, it's driving me mad!


after i put in the serial number, the cs4 photoshop works. but when open the cs4 illustrator put in the same Serial number it is not correct number.what i should do?

I followed these instructions, however i downloaded Photoshop CS4 directly from Adobe. When you initially start CS4 its going to ask if you want to do a trial version or if you have a serial number to activate. enter this serial number and I hit enter. It notified me that photoshop was going to contact the adobe servers to verify the serial #. I unplugged the ethernet cable and hit enter. It still worked!

Thanks for the advice!

thanks this process really worked for me so thank you

This worked a treat AND in Windows 7.

Thank You. I'd kiss you if you were next to me.

Thanks Bro. This works!

Previously, I can't use my Adobe CS4 while internet is ON as it will update to the adobe server and I will receive a message like license key is invalid. The next time I opened my CS4 it will prompted me a pop up window for activation.

And now, it rocks! I have my internet connection ON and I no longer received the invalid license key notification.

Thanks a lot.

Hi, can you help out how the file should look like in full extension and a work path how to do it all? I have WIN 7

I bought and paid for a legal copy of Ps. I've been on the line with Adobe and they're literally no help. When I purchased this it was on an XP machine. After a couple of years it died. When I tried to put it on my new Win7 64 machine it says it's not a valid. As I read your info it is just not clear what I should try in the local host area. This is what is there now: Local Host
I've gone the route, but so far nothing I've done works. Do you have any suggestions?

Can you provide the same step-by-step for a novice Mac user? Thanks for your assistance!

Open up terminal and copy and paste the following command.

sudo /Applications/ /etc/hosts

Then add what you want to block. Then save and exit. You should then be able to activate it all with no problem.

Am I supposed to be able to activate with a current date and connected to the internet? I'm not able to...

I delete the cache.db file, I have a revised hosts file, I paste in a serial number and get the green check mark, but if I have a current date I get the licensed expired message...

I've tried this but when ever i try to save it, it says the path isn't found


licensing for this product has expired

anybody knows how to fix this?

I got a pop-up error message saying to reinstall or call ADOBe for assistance, or something like that. I restart win7 and Dreamweaver won't run. I can see it's process still running in the TASK window, but it won't run.

So I uninstalled all adobe, deleted DIRs, ran CCleaner and even did some regedit cleanup manually. I reinstalled the whole macromediz CS3 package, ran the key gxnerator, and finished the install.

Tried Dreamweaver -no dice and PS and Illustrator - no dice.

I'm stumped.

NB it worked for CS4 as well

If you did not receive any errors during installation, then perform these steps in the order given.

1. For an incomplete installation, follow the steps in knowledge-base document kb401401 (Windows) or kb402151 (Mac OS).
If you received errors during installation, and you've never been able to open your CS3 application, then the installation is incomplete. Please follow the steps in Technote kb401401 (Windows) or Technote kb402151 (Mac OS).

2. Move or delete the cache.db file.
Move the cache.db file from the following locations, onto the desktop or another folder. You can delete this file, but if you do, you'll need to enter your serial number the next time you open your application.

On Windows XP and Windows Vista, the cache.db file is located in Program FilesCommon FilesAdobeAdobe PCDcache
On Mac OS X, the cache.db file is located in Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe PCD/cache
Try to open your Adobe application.

I installed cs4 on multiple machines at different dates. Now I am getting calls, that they have all expired. I put the date back and it seems to work again. But, I am thinking there is a Jan 20th bomb on all this. I was running little snitch and blocked the etc/hosts files too. Anyone want to look into this?

just paniced because i think the same happened to me, rolled back the clock, its all working now... what the heck....

If you get "License Expired" message while starting one of previously cured CS4 Products, just replace amtlib.dll once more (with the cured one) in that product folder and don't forget to add appropriate servers in your "hosts" file. Any questions - Google Knows.

P.S. Some web packages, like TopServer or StpServer may discard your changes in the hosts file, while adding or deleting virtual hosts. Make sure to restore those changes befor starting Adobe

What appropriate servers do I need to add in the "hosts" file?

same for me. edited hosts file, set date back, opened photoshop, deactivated, opened again and entered new serial,
set date back to today, still working

I've been doing everything I read about on this site, including these instructions, and it's not working. I have the edited hosts file, set date back, opened photoshop, deactivated, opened again and entered new serial, set date back to today.

For entering a new serial I've been entering one of several from a list of 11 from code tempest. I wouldn't expect any of the numbers would make a difference since with a properly edited hosts file this should solve any registration problem.

Any ideas?

Thanks very much.

Delete cache.db in:
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Adobe PCD\cache

to be able enter new serial.

After that add adresses in hosts file, enter serial from @whattodo and everything is OK.

Tnx guys.

Hey, dude thanks a lot. It works pretty good and saves me a lot of time. emvals

worked awesome so far, thanks

Thanks it working back again for me after expired.

Is this cache.db file available in Adobe Windows installation? How can I get rid of this license expired issue?

I have heard on the grape-vine, that the host file does successfully work at stopping it calling home to activate, but that CS4 has a timer built in, so that if it hasnt called home successfully before a certain time, it will stop anyway.
Has anyone else heard of this?

Thanks for the date reset trip! Saved a little project I was working on...

anyone know the mac equivalent of
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Adobe PCD\cache
I have cleared out all preferences of adobe but it's still on the out.

for mac

/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe PCD/cache/cache.db

Cant find the file adobe PCD at all!

cant find this file Adobe PCD/cache/cache.db at all! Running mac osx 10.4.11

this one saved my day/week/life! :) thx a lot

Just use "run as date" to set the date prior licence expire

but hows the "run as date" done?

MacOS equivalent:
Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe PCD/cache

anyone has a new crack or command line in the hosts file to keep the current date ?

as i know, "run as date" is just for windows, does anyone know equivalent for MAC OS?

Just go into Clock and tick off "Set time & date automatically" and then set the date back - worked for me but is only a temporary fix (means that iCal, Things and other calendar related apps are useless)

you can use this fix, it's work for all cs4 products (photoshop, illustrator, flash, dreamweaver...)
just overwrite the amtlib.dll by this one (make a backup before if you want, like amtlib_0.dll)

wow, thanks a lot :) Did save me (& all the works i'm doing at this moment)

WOW, Thanks, work perfectly for me after trying wverything else

WOW, Thanks, worked perfectly for me after trying wverything else

WOW, Thanks, worked perfectly for me after trying wverything else

WOW, Thanks, worked perfectly for me after trying wverything else

Helo i used the fix, but in adobe ilustrator i cant find the file (amtlib.dll)
The message of license expired continues...
What can i do?

I found the amtlib.dll file in Adobe Illustrator CS4>Support Files>Contents>Windows

Thanks so much for sharing! Fixed problem perfectly :)

Thanks so much for sharing! Fixed problem perfectly :)

Merci, Gracias, Many thanks,

The modified .dll applied to all CS4 apps. worked like a charm.

One day Adobe M$ et al will realise it is far better to produce and sell software at a reasonable price than to continually rip off people that cannot really afford their overpriced apps. such as research students.

Thank God our universities give the knowledge to us to be able to reverse engineer and make these apps. FREELY available to the people that REALLY need them.

Very best wishes to the hackers and crackers, you are a fine example to us all.

the .dll did work, except for illustrator. It opens then immediately shuts down when the ide comes up. Any thoughts?

It works man, good job of yours, great help for us...emvals

Thank you. Worked like a charm!

It works great.
Thank you very much!! postrations

Guy, thank you so much!!!! works very well!

Thank you so much, this worked perfectly. Cheers!

it works! so simple to do..

very good, worked perfectly. But photoshop version (64) did not work, but the version (32) worked perfectly in windows 7 x64.

Thank you,

You really saved my day :-)

I made this changes:

edited hosts file, set date back, opened photoshop, deactivated, opened again and entered new serial,set date back to today.

Still shows expired :(

Uninstall cs4, and then check inside the programs files and delete anything left from adobe. Then reinstall aND START OVER

used the .dll in red_pill.rar mentioned above and replaced all the other similar dll:s and it worked like a charm again.

is there get any thing such as the red_pill.rar for mac?

Thanks for the dll fix.

Seems to work fine in all CS4 Programs apart from Photoshop (64bit)

It worked thanks :)

This serial should work with all -

I got it from a keygen, only tested it with illu so far but that seems to be working.

Hope that helps and thanks to all the others who helped!

OK, found the 64bit fix for Photoshp CS4 64bit

Thanks, you're the greatest..

Could please give the link or send me that dll to

Hey, struggling with this whole cs4 thing. Could you please send me the dll also?


Can you please explain the fix, as I'm in the same situation... thanks!

Please send me the link or the .dll file.



above file also includes the 32bit amtlib.dll as well as the 64bit

I've tried to replace the dll in my mac and doesn't worked...

Thanks a lot :)

i just change the date for the moment, it's work

anyone for a method for mac ?

any dll to fix acrobat 9 pro within the Master collection cs4?


there is one way.. it's completely reinstall adobe cs4

use Deinstall app from the Utilites folder
clean all com.adobe.*.plist files from /Library/Preferences
clean all adobe preferences from /~Library/Preferences/
kill /Lilrary/Application Support/Adobe folder
kill ~/Lilrary/Application Support/Adobe folder

There is no need for completly install CS4

This worked for me:
edited hosts file, set date back, opened photoshop, deactivated, opened again and entered new serial, set date back to today.

Do you mean after done what you said and it will not expired after close photoshop and reopen it with the today date?

now try to close/start application again
is it not expired? ))

This solution worked for me 2!

It workxx on my MAC!

1: edited host file,
2: set date back,
3: opened flash
4: deactivate
5: set date back to today
6: reopen flash and entered new serial.

And it workxx!


what are they steps to get TO the host file/edit it?
and what should i put

Forgive my stupidity, where is the host file and what do I edit it to? What do I put in it?

1 - delete:
library/Application support/adobe/adobe PCD/ cache/ cache.db

2 - Open Terminal (found in Applications/Utilities/). In the terminal window, paste in:

sudo /Applications/ /etc/hosts

3 - Hit return and type in your admin password.

4 - A file will automatically open in TextEdit. In TextEdit, at the bottom of the document, hit return and paste in the following:


5 - Save the file. Do NOT do a "Save As". Close the file.

6 - If you're on OS X 10.4, reboot. If you're on OS X 10.5, in a new terminal window, paste in:

sudo dscacheutil -flushcache

Hit return and exit out of Terminal.

rapidshare link is down


best wishes from russia )))
worked for me!

And how does one run a keygen on a Mac without having to resolve to running Windows on the same machine?

thank you very much!

worked for me too. THANKS!!!

worked for me today (Jan 20th 2009) changed my date back to current and restarted a few times. everything works using the updated keygen link.

i can't access the key generator?????

It worked using the Chaitanya keygen! Many, many thanks to you!

I did exactly as above, didn't work. Delete all adobe applications. Reinstall. Change date back and it work.

Started the process above again, with the same error when i open a adobe apps.
" This product has has encountered a problem which requires that you restart...
error 6"

TRied to restard, without any luck. Even changing the date back doesn't work anymore...



Thx man, it's work great for me))) thx again

I tried to log in to get the Key Genreator but was ubable to access. Is it still available?

worked for me on 10.5.6

would love to know how you did it?
are you running a current date?

Thanks for this, but after putting hte serial in Igot the same "License Expired" message. Where do I get a better serial ?

I tried but I still get the license has expired message. Is there something I need to do besides the list of 7??

1. No adobe PCD file.

2. sudo /Applications/ /etc/hosts is command not found. I entered my password and TextEdit didnt pop up

It works well.

I added all the lines on the HOSTS file and clicked on save. It's asking me what to name the file and what extension to use. The extension available was ".txt" and "All Files" What am I supposed to do?? I'm on Windows 7

What about os 10.6?

You guys are the very bests, (SOLUTION FOR: licensing product has expired) you the man. Thank YOU and keep up the good work!

Yezzzaaaaa, you all rocksss, thx all...Saved me from killing myself as an early adopter...

after you use that sn, acobat 9 pro need another new sn

Same happens to me. Adobe Pro 9 requires a new Serial and the keygen doesn't work.

Additionally, the complete CS3 suit (which is still installed on my computer) require a new serial too.

any idea?

It worked.. Great.. Thx all..
saved me from my work..

Please guys let me know if you found a solution for Acrobat Pro 9 requesting a serial number :(

No serial number can be posted in comments.

i too cannot get acrobat running...
serial from keygen doesnt work...
everything else is good though...

just a stupid question how long will this new keygen last? (since the last one work until 20Jan2009)

Your serial worked great, thank u boss!

I just installed the cs4 cretive master suite for mac. Can anyone baby step me through how to get around the key problem? I tried using the firewall, but it hasnt worked and I dont speak enough computer to know my way around the terminal. PLEASE HELP!

One of the things that I found myself getting into the habit of doing is opening Acrobat, going to the Help file and clicking the "Check for Updates" link. After it searches, I delete anything that shows up then click the Preferences button and remove the Automatically Check for Updates feature. I also remove all the check marks in the box below, just because I'm paranoid... :) I'm posting this from memory but it should make sense once you look at it.

1) Get this cracked .dll file from here: -- REMOVED --

2) Search in your Adobe folder the file: "dll"

3) Replace every amtlib.dll with the cracked dll you just downloaded

4) Go to \Windows\System32\drivers\etc, open the "hosts" file there with the editor

5) Add these Lines:


only for acrobat pro use =



Problems with licence activation...
patch some dll, here is the crack:


Anybody found a similar, relatively easy, method? :)

for the guy that posted SOLUTION FOR: licensing product has expired


I spent hours of trial & errors until I got it working - glad it worked for you!

I can not seem to get it to work on the Mac
It is clearly dependent on the date
as I can easily set back the date on my computer and it will open
but is there a long term fix (I have already re installed and deleted the db cache ect...)
any help would be greatly appreciated.

go here:

look for post 108. serial in post 107.

Good Luck

After trying every other solution listed here with no luck, this one finally did the trick ! Tnx a lot !

Yes, it works! i'm on a mac os 10.5 PPC

- set the clock back,
- plug in the blocked IP addresses into terminal
- clear the cache
- deactivate in the program itself
- re-start the program
- plug in your serial
- set-back the time to normal
- whola! FIXED.

worked for Adobe Acrobat Pro... GREAT ALL.. thx

Hey could you please delete this entry, it worked brilliantly. I just dont want adobe blacklisting it. Thanks alot man, saved my ass totally

thanks this worked for me:

go here:

look for post 108. serial in post 107.

Much to my annoyance

but anyways

Deleted the cache.db, reset the clock


1) Perform a search in ADOBE using the PROGRAM files for: "dll"

2) Replace that file with the one in the FIX folder

3) Go to \Windows\System32\drivers\etc, open the "hosts" file there with the Notepad editor

4) Add these Lines:


5) In addition, go to C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Adobe PCD\cache

and delete the file "cache.DB"

PLEASE NOTE: Steps 4 and 5 may not be necessary as it may messed up your filters and plugins. So, use steps 1 and 2, then use your firewall to block access to the adobe activation sites.

If these dont work, set your computer date to January 19th, 2009 or earlier.


ACROBAT 9 (If it is giving problems):

Try this tool, might work fine.
I have set all my programmes short-cuts to work to the 19th jan 2009 using Run as Date, placed all short-cut items onto the desktop and quick launch.

I am back to how it was three days ago.

OS 10.5 Intel

- set the clock back,
- plug in the blocked IP addresses into terminal
- clear the cache
- deactivate in the program itself
- re-start the program
- plug in your serial
- set-back the time to normal
- THANKS!!! :-)


Thank for information...
John Betsson

putting dates back only works. However, if i do this, MSN messenger wont work. :( Any help for windows users?

Problems with licence activation...
patch some dll, here is the crack:


Can anyone please post the whole text edit that pops up, i accidently erased the whole text and maybe that is my issue?

anyone have a serial for master collection for Mac?

Can anyone give me steps as to how you deactivate it in the program itself?

like where i find the option

open PS CS4.

2) Next go to "Help" then select "Deactivate". Hit continue when the warning panel comes up.

3) Next checkmark the box "Delete Serial From Computer Option" and hit okay.

got all of my adobe master collection programs for MAC working. This thread is awesome!

On Mac, has anyone allowed adobe updater to install updates to CS4 when running with a modified hosts file? Is it safe to do so, or will this cause the software to get disabled?

Basically, if I want to update to the latest software patches/updates/etc., what are the risks?

If anyone has tried it and it does shutout the software, does deactivating and reactivating restore operation?

Or should I just completely disable updater and stick with the vanilla version?

hi all every time i open photoshop cs4 i get the license agreement open up anyway around this thanks

i need got the same problem

I have deleted the cache file and added all the lines in the "host file"
But now i'm running into a problem.

6 - If you're on OS X 10.4, reboot. If you're on OS X 10.5, in a new terminal window, paste in:

sudo dscacheutil -flushcache

When i type "sudo dscacheutil - flushcache" it says "sudo: dscacheutil: command not found"
I'm using OS X 10.4.11

To prior poster -- reboot (you are on 10.4 which means all versions starting with 10.4). For everyone, here is how this fix works:

The lines like this one: "" are instructions to your computer to tell it that the server at is now located at internet location The long list represents all the activation servers and this list points them all to this special address.

What's special about It is called the "loopback" address and means "my own machine": using this address basically tricks the software into trying to activate the applications by communicating with your own computer instead of the proper location of the adobe activation servers. Since your own computer won't respond to this request (it's not an activation server), the software assumes that the activation server is temporarily offline so it allows you to use the software in the meanwhile (since it can't just lock you out when you have a valid serial just because the adobe server might be offline).

Now, the sudo line to -flushcache tells OS X 10.5 and higher to flush out any cached knowledge it has of the adobe server addresses, since entries in the cache could be used before the new entries. By clearing the cache, you 'force' the Mac to use the new address. However OS X 10.4.x and lower do not have a quick command to clear the dns cache, but rebooting does the trick as well.

Finally, the CS4 software does require that the activation server EVENTUALLY be reachable after a certain amount of time. This is why you eventually expire. So, at this point, you need to deactivate. This is easy: roll back the time so that the application does start, choose deactivate (and choose the option to remove the serial number completely from the computer). Now you are back to a fresh install. Move the time forward to current time, restart the software, and re-enter the key. Now the process starts all over again.

Hope this helps you all to understand the process.

wow amazing, okay so now how do we hack into the pentagon?

ive been trying for the pat 2days! tried literally everything.
thanx a million! and thanx to little snitch for keeping those nosey parkers away :)


saved me a serious headache

Everybody who's tried the following fix:

- set the clock back,
- plug in the blocked IP addresses into terminal
- clear the cache
- deactivate in the program itself
- re-start the program
- plug in your serial
- set-back the time to normal

Of course the application is still running, BUT once you close it and try and open it again it says license expired still... well at least it does for me anyway.

I have tried this fix, ive edited the host files and reentered serial numbers but no luck.

One thing i cant do is delete my cache because i havent got an ADOBE PCD folder.

Can someone please tell me how to find and delete the cache folder if i havent got a PCD folder, i'm on Mac 10.5.

Or can someone aknowledge that the above fix does work for them when they quit and re-open because it isnt for me.


You're probably looking in the wrong folder for the cache db file. It's not in the regular Adobe Program Files directory, it's in the common files folder in the Program Files directory.

So far the only sure-fire method I've found is's freeware! Check it out!

Apparently the old serial has a trigger to stop the CS4 work starting the day jan/20/2009, that's why if you set the system date back to 19/jan/2009 the applications work. But to get CS4 back to work normally is not necessary to back the system date, everything that needs to be done is:

1. delete the file cache.db (mac - Library / Application Support / Adobe / Adobe PCD / cache and windows - C: \ Program Files \ Common Files \ Adobe \ Adobe PCD \ cache). This will eliminate the serial already used by CS4
2. empty the trash (just in case)
3. open one of the applications (eg photoshop)
4. install a serial later when the application ask
5. you are ready to go (at least until the date of the trigger of this new serial)

found a serial that seems to work (works for me) but unfortunately it is for mac, but there are some in the posts 110 (mac) and 116 (windows) of the following Address:

This works great ! Thank you very much !!

I'm sorry but English is not my native language. in step 4 when I say "install a serial later when the application ask" it means:

4. install a newer serial when the application ask

I uninstalled cs4 master collection after I received the error "licence expired"; Now Im having a problem reinstalling software back on windows Vista system. Do you have any suggestions for reinstallation; what are the dependency CS4 files that I need to remove to do a fresh install?

It really is that easy. (Look at post above - THE SERIAL HAS A TRIGGER) Tried a few others and they didn't work. But deleting the file cache.db and then entering a new serial number does the trick.

Also, I do advise blocking the adobe servers, however you can also use Little Snitch if you are on a mac. (I'm sure there must be something similar for windows. It will tell you when a program is trying to connect to anything. Then you have the choice to let it proceed or not.

ive just reset my time for the time being.. but i do not have an adobe pcd folder or a cache.db anywhere to found. ive searched my mac..

any help?

Funny how the first poster seems to be insecure about being a windows user, claiming that the workaround was somehow exclusive to WINDOWS users. Mac uses a HOSTS file too and it's exactly the same workaround. In fact OSX has a full Unix core, which is arguably more solid than any "BSOD" operating system. Nice try though...

Funny how the first poster seems to be insecure about being a windows user, claiming that the workaround was somehow exclusive to WINDOWS users. Mac uses a HOSTS file too and it's exactly the same workaround.

OK so I panicked and kind of needed a fresh system anyway, so I figured I'd wiped my hard drive, installed a fresh system (MBP Mac OS 10.5) and tried installing the programs 1st thing, before I had even connected to the internet for the 1st time. Totally disconnected. Airport off, no ethernet. That should do it, right? Nope. Still got the "license expired" message. I was truly baffled then...what kind of evil trickery could be going on?? But now the date bomb on the serials makes sense.

I went ahead and rolled back to CS3, because I had to have the programs one way or another.

Now my question is: on a fresh system, what would be the proper course of action? Like this?:
Install as normal, then go through the steps:
- set the clock back,
- plug in the blocked IP addresses into terminal
- clear the cache
- deactivate in the program itself
- re-start the program
- plug in your serial
- set-back the time to normal
Would this need to be done for each program?

Would this just create another date bomb? I guess if it did I know the process for getting around it. Thank all that is good and holy I found this thread? I thought I was done for.


I run Vista and after making entries to the Hosts file the host file changes back in a few days, or maybe after a update how can I prevent this from happening?

Rather than reverting all the way back to CS3, the quick fix is to simply roll back the date, launch CS4, then reset the date to current. I've been struggling trying to find a fix for CS4 which I rely on every day. The date fix takes 10 seconds, and works every time. So until I find a new Serial that has a new expiration date (or no date at all) I'll stick to this method... it seems the only sure fire way to go.

So you have to reset the date each time you start up a CS4 program? That would get old pretty fast, but if the alternative is CS3 then I'll take it for now.

When i close down the program, i have to reset the time to open it.
Is this going to be standard to run this program with this work around?

tank for this keygen

Why would the keygen be sucessfull for me with Photoshop CS4 and not Illustrator? I used the keygen for illustrator on another PC and it was sweet. Any ideas?

Where is the link to download this??? I've been looking for a WORKING keygen for CS4 for a while but I can't find one ANYWHERE...I have ones for all CS4 programs except Illustrator...which is upsetting because that's the program I need most. So PLEASe if anyone can tell me why the link to download this isn't here or if I'm just blind it would be GREATLY APPRECIATED. Thank you in advance. :)

You can either search in Google or just use bittorrent to download it.

If I block access to Adobe activation servers can I still get updates? I've only found a crack for PS CS4, but I can't find anything for After Effects besides the X-FORCE keygen that requires the "host" block.

Ive used the host crack for windows and all the adobe aoftware works fine, but at the same time my internet isn't workin like it used to. Certain websites won't work for me and i can't get online on other networks that i use outside of home. Has anyone else had this problem? Is there a solution? How do i delete the hosts crack file? I've tried to delete it already but it says
'cannot create the C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts file'
Make sure that the path and filename are correct.
Im using Vista, can anyone help?

Look at this Video. Don't know if it works. It was just up loaded.

You're really not that bright, are you? Why, oh why are you posting this link when it has nothing at all to do with this topic?

On a MAC, i was still running into the same problem many others here were/are. After deactivating and entering the serial, it was still giving me "Expired" when i set the clock forward. It turns out it was TRULY my serial. I was entering a temp serial. I searched and downloaded a perm serial (after making sure my hosts are edited). This perm serial works perfectly. Now i don't have to reset the clock every time i use the apps.

So... to answer the question "Would this just create another date bomb?". The answer is YES... if you use a temp serial - not a perm serial.

Is a PERM serial different from a keygen serial? How did you obtain a perm serial PLEASE???

I tried entering a key, but now if I try to open a program it says 'Licensing for this product has expired'. The only way I know how to deactivate a product is by opening the product and going through the help tab, but I can't get the program open to do that. Any suggestions on how to deactivate the product so I can try a different key??? Thanks

I have this problem too. Does anyone know how to fix it?

The solution is this. Change the calendar date of your computer for example make it 2008 then open AI. It will open at least in my computer it did. Then open registration and deactivate AI. After deactivation enter new serial number. That's it! Hope it will solve your problem

I have the CS4 master collection, and I've ran into all the similiar problems as mentioned. Here's what I did to fix it. On my laptop there is a switch, it turns off the outside world (wireless switch) and turns on the creative side while having adobe open, when it's time to restablish connection to the herd, Adobe gets closed and the switch, (wireless) gets turned back on.

Is there a workaround for cs4 web premium?

Hi I am having the license expired problem with CS4 and I am afraid I don't understand this editing the host file and setting date back to reactivate it. I would soo appreciate it if someone could explain this to me super simply so I can use it again. Many thanks!!!!

Sorry. I am on a Mac. Thanks!

Can anyone please(i beg you) get me a Adobe Illustrator CS4 CD-Key. Oh god im craving 4 it man!!

Hey guys, when turning time back to 2009, all Adobe apps seize working.
If I wanna use, I always have to turn back to 2006...



How many times does the answer have to be given! Use a perm serial... not one of the temp serials.

Where do you get a permanent serial? I'm running Vista and so far I can't find any serials at all.

Did all those things and everything is working again exept flash does not like to load any more. Does anyone know what the problem can be?

People Rock and Roll. Thanks

This page is better that all blogs I visit in all my life.


I've having my "Host" file changed twice after a week. I don't understand what is happening but it's deleting the "" line. Does someone has a solution?

Hi, I cant get acrbat pro to work, it keeps asking for a serial number. The key gen that i used to install cs4 wont generate a proper number. All my other cs4 programs work though :(

Acrobat requires a sep key - CS4 key is for all BUT Acrobat.

I had earlier activated adobe by editing the host file. But now after a month it said that the license key used was invalid and asked me to obtain a new one by connecting to the internet.

Has anyone else faced this problem?

well i got it going on my laptop but its to slow so im using my dads computer witch is 10times faster then mine... well first i want thank who ever found out this problem..

now i installed the master colletion adobe.. and everything works but i get the lisnece expired for photoshop only. pro works fine but i cant get the shop to work anyone know.. im running vista 64x

sorry, this does not work on vista.

try blocking the URL directly through your router

I had the trial version installed. After the trial version had expired, I tried to install an Illustrator with a crack. But I can't install the program because no matter what serial number i introduce, it displays that the number is not valid and the process can no longer continue. What should i do?

I just spent an hour reading this forum and there are only two answers to any of the questions. both slightly technical for people who don't know there way around there computer. so hear is this for total begginers. Search google for "iserial". This is a program that will help you get all the serials for all the programs you need.
Now that you have Iserial you will also need a progam called "littlesnitch" . Now go to and download the master suites trial. If you don't want to pay anything use a bit torrent site such as "mininova" to download the trial. I repeat the trial.
1. Now turn on littlesnitch,
2. intsall the trial as a trial
3. when installation is complete open any cs4 program and when prompted to either insert a key or continue as trial. Insert one of your keys.
4. evrything will work fine. in iserial you need to look under the creative suites to find what you need. Okay? okay.
5. Now all programs work fine except (in my case dreamweaver)
I get a message that says product has expired.
6. dial the date back refers to your actual computers date. change in system settings or in preferences.
7. follow instructions listed again and again in previous posts.

Don't install Little Snitch just for this program. All LS will do is update your host files for you. Simply update your host files yourself and don't install a heavy overhead app.

And don't mess with the clock crap. Just use real serial and not a temp serial. Duh!


Thanks for the dll fix!! I tried all the other methods with no good result. But the red_pill did the trick for me!!

Having done the delete cache,clock rewind,new serial no.,deactivate, etc., i thought that i could accept doing this every 30 days for a fresh trial install but, the license expiry notice did become a pain.

Yesterday i tracked down the dll crack and used it to overwrite the original and BINGO! a full install. Happy bunnie am i.

Many thanks to all you guys for taking the time and trouble to post a geat workaround to the Adobe 20th january time bomb.

Hope your all around when CS 5 comes out. :-}}}

When i downloaded the adobe photoshop and flash cs4 from, i clicked on the .exe file and it starts to extract. After that they pop up something that say,
"A problem occurred while extracting some files. Check available space on your computer and the write privileges on the destinatation folder."
my disk space has a free 20GB and i don see the problem here.. i off all firewalls and i changed my virus protection on ADBEPHSPCS4_LS1.exe to be allowed.

Can you please help me?

you are an id10t. TURN OFF YOUR VIRUS SCAN WHEN INSTALLING SOFTWARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! COMPLETELY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and what do you mean ALL firewalls ???? you have more than one firewall ? . whats the point ? you aren't any safer . Your hindered if you have more than one firewall... talk about a loss of packets :(

geesus .

thenk you

it worked great for me once i edited the HOSTS file (see above)

need adobe captivate 3 serial...




So I followed the instructions above for editing the file on a mac and inserting the IP addresses and almost all of the suite of software works great. But I keep getting a serial nag screen for adobe acrobat pro 9. I see there's lots of stuff removed on this site with regards to it. Does anyone have a working solution (with instructions?). *fingers crossed*

Acrobat requires a sep key - CS4 key is for all BUT Acrobat.

hi how u doing?

ok... I've got a doubt. see, I'd like to get these adobe cs4 products:

-after effects

as u can see, I don need the entire suite. so what do u recamend me to do? I mean, do I use a keygen in every single cs4 product?
and if it like this, how do I do the host thing?

and also, what about this .dll archive that people mention in other web pages?

pls. if u have time and want to do some charity :D
I'd be really grateful if u helped me with this ,u know... the best way to get these programs and have them working perfectly!

thanks and bye

--- I have windows vista by the way---

i'm not sure if this'll stop the full functionality of photoshop cs4, but i get prompt whenever i start it up stating:

'one or more files in the adobe application support folder, necessary for running photoshop, are missing. please run the photoshop installer and re-install photshop'

so far, i haven't ran into a problem while using it... i'm not sure if this prompt only affects a certain aspect of the program...

regardless, is anyone familiar with this prompt, and if there's a way around it without having to reinstall photoshop cs4?


as for the acrobat 9 pro serial... i was able to find a working mac only serial through google... i'd post it, but it'd be taken off right away... just type 'acrobat 9 mac pro serial' and it'll be visible in the text preview of the 5th search result down...

Please help, i have followed all the steps above, atleast the illustrator stopped telling me to contact the sys admin, but it shuts down immediately after start up. I had previously cracked it and it was working well before it started showing me the error message to restart my machine and contact adobe.

After downloading CS4, I was bugged by the licience expiration pop up, when I read the blogs on this site, I got a remedy: I blocked adobe Cs4 apps with windows firewall then I reset time back to 2006, it worked sweet.

You'll find my Adobe CS4 Master Collection on THE PIRATE BAY. Just search for my user name, SHADEYMAN. For help installing etc. try reading the comments or register at THE PIRATE BAY and leave me a comment. I'll help you if I can...

Kind Regards

I already have a copy, just need to understand where to get a keygen and what changes I need to make then.

Thanks for your help in advance.


Dear Shadeyman,

What would we do without you and cracked Adobe! I have a problem - I can load and run adobe cs4 but it keeps asking for a serial and i cant use one i typed in earlier so i have to regenerate one using your keygen. i'm worried this is gonna run out. I've tried to edit the hosts file in vista but it won't let me save in either wordpad or notepad. Is this because it won't list it's file type? PLEASE HELP SHADEYMAN!!!


can anyone show me how to deactivate after i set the date back and re-opened the photoshop? As i can't see there is a button for me to deactivate???

many thankzzzz!

can anyone tell me where i can download keygen for illustrator CS4


a serial that works

i tried the blaze69 downloads but they dont work... and im scared to download other ones cus they might contain viruses :(

can anyone help plz

I found this video.
Then It was taken down by adobe but the same person put it up again.
With a different name. But it's the same video.
If you guys want the CS4 Master Collection without using torrents then this is for you. It shows how to keep it longer then the 30 days. But you need to read the description for instructions on how to get the CS4 Master Collection.
It totally worked for ME ! :D

This guy rocks ! !

following these steps have worked great with all CS4 apps but when I launch PS 64bit I get this error:

"the app failed to start because ambtlib.dll was not found. Re-installing the app may fix this problem"

Was I not supposed to replace the .dll file in the 64bit version location? (c:\program flies\adobe)

I followed the steps, then re-installed but it still doesn't work.
32bit works great.

any thoughts?

I got CS4 working fine using the host editing trick and cracked dll. - Thanks to everyone!

As a precaution I also blocked network zones on my Comodo firewall (under host name). I didn't put in a www or any IP address.
Will this work - would I be better putting in IP addresses ?

I have an interesting problem that i can seem to bypass. I installed a pirated version of Cs4 Illustrator, Indesign and Photoshop, and the next day i got a call from my internet provider saying that i had downloaded adobe cs4 programs and that adobe traced it back to my IP address. So yeah that scared me a little, but i still need to use the programs for school. so i found out that flexnet has an anti-piracy initiative and can sense via internet activation who is using a pirated serial/crack/keygen. Which brings me to my question is there anyway to bypass the flexnet activation?

When i reinstalled it after my internet provider told me to delete it i used comodo firewall to block its access to the internet. in doing so it wont work due to lack of activation hence the problem.
Maybe im just not understanding the problem. I dont know.

Any ideas?

Change the ip in your browser settings to use a proxy. That might work enough to at least get it activated. Not sure, but it should bypass your isp.

also i keep getting the adobe error code 148:3. How do i fix that.


the flexnet problems are two fold. the first - flexnet as far as im aware cannot yet be bypassed so it has to be allowed to run. using the hosts trick does work. i disabled all the other adobe services including the licensing one and thats when i get the flexnet error - the service must be allowed to run otherwise cs4 wont.

Gathering all the info to try this out tomorrow...

Adobe was giving me problem, had the servers blocked using my router etc. I went on and traced their servers, then clicked on whois. Guess what I found :')


Does this work for mac?
I recently obtained this copy, and am unsure how to get it to work on my mac.
I got the readme file open, but how do I do all this for mac:


First off left me thank you all for a well put together forum I credit you all in helping me get this program. I would just like to know could you register your copy with ADOBE after completing this? I know it's a stupid question right? But no seriously it's not. It'll possibly cut out the hassle of having to go thru other measures when a new version comes out right?

Do NOT update any of the software.

By updating, you allow Adobevil to close the loopholes that all these methods use to get around licensing. If you want updates and proper support from Adobe, pony up the dough to buy the software.

Do NOT register with Adobe.

Unless you bought the software, NEVER EVER register it. This applies to all software, not just Adobe CS4. "Hi, I'm stealing your software, and here's my name and address so you can press charges... derp derp." Get a clue please.


Hello, uh yeah so I got the serial number for photoshop off of here but I also want to get the rest of master collection. Where can I get the serial numbers for the rest of master collection? Thank you for your help.

This process worked fine on my macbook pro but not on my new mac pro. serials work but it still asks to be activated. what am I doing wrong?

my host file (accidentally saved as RTF but saved back to plain txt format)

hi, I've just install this cs4 and follow the above instruction editing host, and set back the date but it doesn't work. I've search in my Adobe and cant find this dll either. Can anyone pls help...?

i updated host thing, tried to delete the cache db things and all...
i launch any program, it asks me for a serial, and there, well nothing will work!!

will untinstall reinstall work? i dl the thing from shadey too, but via the pirate bay, so i don't have this "fix" folder...

Amend your hosts file to include the following


That's all you need to do.

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