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.