Illustrator CS3, 13.0.1 and application.sif

While updating several machines to CS3, one (otherwise identical) machine would not successfully complete the Illustrator 13.0.1 update. I discovered a solution which I posted to Adobe’s forums, where plenty of other people seemed to be running into the same problem. Here’s the text since their support pages are not especially Google-friendly.

After spending way too many hours beating my head against CS3’s lethargic installer, I finally found a fix for the impossible-to-update Illustrator.

I should note that I’ve installed CS3 on a half-dozen machines, five of those installations were flawless (though deathly slow). The remaining one however, on identical hardware, was a disaster. (all were iMac G5s running OSX 10.4.10)

On this one machine, Illustrator would not update to 13.0.1. I’d already given up on Adobe Updater, so I was running the downloaded standalone Illustrator update. It failed every time at “application.sif”. In reading this thread, one line jumped out at me in the Console dump above: “File to add already exists. Need not add.”

Renaming the “application.sif” file inside the Illustrator application allowed the 13.0.1 update to finish. I didn’t delete the file until after the update finished, but I suspect that would work too.

Here’s the path to the file to rename/delete:

/Applications/Adobe Illustrator CS3/Adobe

To find that file, open the Illustrator CS3 application bundle (control-click on Illustrator CS3 and choose Show Package Contents). Open Contents. Open Resources. Open AMT and there it is. Rename or delete it and try running the update again.

Hopefully this works for more than just me.

CS3 is really an exceptionally solid release, but Adobe seems to have completely dropped the ball on the installer. It’s hard to describe exactly how slow it is when things work right, should something fail and need to be re-installed you can kiss your day goodbye. In this case, I ended up losing the night as well.

The care and testing which went into the applications is badly served by a lousy installer, something should be done about this in the next point release. CS3 should not be stuck behind this abomination for the suite’s entire 12-18 month product cycle.

15 Responses to “Illustrator CS3, 13.0.1 and application.sif” Comments Feed for Illustrator CS3, 13.0.1 and application.sif

  • THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! This has been bugging me to no end. Followed your instructions and it worked like a charm. Once again, thank you!

  • Glad it worked for you!

  • Thanks for posting this info. However, I tried this and still no go. I’ve tried everything at this point…

  • A newbie to both Apple and Adobe….you have resolved a mystery….thanks a million. M

  • Have tried following the instructions both from Adobe and from Will. Adjusting the .sif’s name led to the program being rendered inactive. In either case the upgrade to 13.1 didn’t take. Sigh…

  • i can follow the directions all the way to the resources step. once i click resources there is no amt. all i got are 4 things : common,media,main and main. er… whats the deal? ant one help me?

  • i’m a bit behind on this update, but what i did was:
    move application.sif from the AMT dir, restart,
    then rerun the updater for Illustrator and viola!
    it worked.
    i also noticed that the original install of the whole CS3 suite is installed with an invalid user id, so obviously the installer (and maybe updater) has issues.



  • This won’t help most but it might help someone. I had to repair/reinstall, and everything was fine afterwards EXCEPT Illustrator. Every fix I found on the web did not work. The problem was reported to be in file compare dates in cab.db. Still Illustrator reported version 13.0.0 and would want to and yet refuse to install 13.0.1 saying various things over time.

    I found that copying the 13.0.2 files (the Adobe Illustrator CS3 directory) from my original Program Files/Adobe directory before the repair/reinstall did fix the problem. It caused Illustrator to report version 13.0.2 and Adobe Updater to recognize that no updates were needed.

    At least I think it is fixed. Perhaps I will never know for sure :o)


  • Follow up, by file compare dates I mean that the updater log showed that the file dates reported from cab.db indicated the update was not needed even though Illustrator reported version 13.0.0 and as far as I knew, the older files were, in fact, installed during the repair/reinstall process.

    Even uninstalling Illustrator and reinstalling it did not change this, so I was confident that cab.db just contained bad values.

  • I tried a few of the suggestions above and elsewhere. What finally worked was (semi) simple: Using the original Standard Suite DVDs I uninstalled all programs then reinstalled all programs.

    Then I downloaded ONLY the Illustrator 13.0.1 updater directly from Adobe’s website. (I did NOT use Adobe’s Auto Updater from within any of the program’s.) The standalone Illustrator updater was successful.

    THEN I launched Photoshop and used Auto Updater to update the remainder of the suite.

  • I have 2 machines that will not update, one is brand spanking new. Another updates just fine. I tried this approach with no luck. I have reinstalled as Adobe suggests to no avail. Perhaps I will never get these to update…

  • Thank you, saved me from heart-ache. I followed this, but it didn’t quite do the job and then found that your other link/advice worked:

    Also, just completely removed Version Cue (which I’ve never learned to use properly) and solved my Illustrator problem, not sure if I’m ready to try and run updater yet.

    Thank you so much

  • Wow that is interesting, altought i might add few more deeper thoughts

  • Bravo, Bros! keep going like this, more good info again.

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