I seem to have an interesting problem. I WAS able to install CS5 as a trial. And I WAS asked for a serial number of an earlier version. Weird thing is that when I look at the installed CS5 it says it is the "Extended" version. It doesn't say it on the disk or on the box (in fact, it indicates it isn't - there is text on the box that the extended version is also available). So it seems I have a CS5 extended upgrade disk instead of a CS5 "regular" disk. Which means my CS3 "regular" version will not upgrade to a CS5 "extended" version. Yikes! The box I purchased must have shipped with the wrong disk.
So unless I can find a full CS3 extended disk to buy or a "regular" CS5 or CS6 I have to go the subscription route. Sigh.
I also discovered in this process that Adobe doesn't have a record of my CS3 registration, and when I input the serial number to register old software it tells me the # is invalid. It would take my CS5 serial #. Go figure.
All this said - ta da! - I DID find a Customer Service phone # for Adobe written in my CS3 booklet - and it works! 800-833-6687. The recording made it clear there's no phone help for discontinued products, however.
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