"Licensing for this product has stopped working" - Adobe CS3/CS4 on a Mac

Recently, I had to recover my iMac from a Time Machine backup and a hard drive replacement (my old drive flaked out—see how I repaired my hard drive here (video included!)).

Upon trying to open any Adobe Creative Suite 3 app (I use Photoshop and Illustrator daily...), I got the following error window:

Adobe Illustrator - Licensing for this product has stopped working

I was taken to this Adobe Support page, which suggests a variety of options for fixing the problem—all of which didn't work for me.

The solution, it turns out, was for me to simply delete the entire folder "FLEXNet Publisher" folder at the following location: /[startup disk]/Library/Preferences/FLEXnet Publisher.

After I deleted that folder, I opened Adobe Illustrator, and it took me through the activation process (it had save my license key, so all I had to do was click 'Next' until the app was working again).


for me after i deleted the folder i received restarted my mac and the same message came up and the FLEXnet publisher folder is no longer there.
any suggestion?

I can't seem to find the Flexnet folder on my mac. can someone please guide me to it? thanks!

Worked for me on My 2009 imac, CS3 photoshop. 5/25/2023

nice, thanks for sharing a recent update! i'm all about reverting to older technology and getting away from the insanity breakneck train things seem to be moving in.