Fixing CS3: All apps crash when saving

Post updated, jump directly to the improved solutions.

I spent the better part of today remotely trying to figure out why our latest Creative Suite 3 installation was crashing. Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign all crashed when saving. CS3 (Design Premium) was being installed onto a new 24" iMac, everything else with the machine is fine.

For whatever reason, CS3’s shared VersionCueUI.framework component was not installed. Here’s what was showing multiple times in the logs of the problem machine:

2007-08-10 19:30:33.926 Adobe InDesign CS3[919] CFLog (21): Cannot find executable for CFBundle 0x2e1b5a50 </Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Version Cue CS3/Client/3.1.0/VersionCueUI.framework> (not loaded)

Even though we aren’t using Version Cue (I’ve yet to meet anyone who does), that component is necessary for all save functions. If it can’t be called, as I found to be the case here, all CS3 apps will crash out immediately upon invoking Save or Save As. We aren’t installing the Version Cue server on any stations, but I did try installing it once to see if that would fix this. It didn’t.

I re-installed. I repaired. I wiped everything with maccs3clean, restarted and reinstalled — three times. From two different accounts. If you’ve ever installed CS3, you know how much time that eats.

Then I gave up on the installer.

Checking /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Version Cue CS3/Client/3.1.0/ against a functioning install showed that VersionCueUI.framework had the wrong byte-count. I decided to try replacing it with a copy from a working installation.

Starting from a working installation, I tgz’d the framework with this command:

tar -cvzf ~/VersionCueUI.framework.tgz VersionCueUI.framework

Next I copied the archive to the machine with the problem install, untarred it, moved the bundle to the right directory and changed ownership to root:admin:

tar xvfzp VersionCueUI.framework.tgz


sudo chown -R root:admin VersionCueUI.framework 

I’m sure there’s an easy way to integrate user, groups and permissions into the tar commands to save the chown, but after a day of dealing with this I wasn’t in the mood to look it up.

After that, saving from various CS3 appears to be working perfectly and updates installed without errors.

This experience was very similar to the solution I found to my Illustrator 13.0.1 upgrade problems. Manually doing the installer’s job solved the problem there too.

Dear CS3 Installer,
Thanks so much for ejecting the DVD after a failed install. Everyone I called to shove the DVD back in for me were really glad they could help.

Update: Several great self-contained solutions in comments, I’ll be trying these first if I run into this again. Thanks to everyone who posted.

  • Dave Pijuan-Nomura’s solution looks the simplest and builds on Dusty’s earlier method:
    1. Delete /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Version Cue CS3/Client/3.1.0
    2. Run Adobe Updater
  • Dusty was first to report success after deleting /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Version Cue CS3/Client/3.1.0/. He also paused Adobe Updater to make a copy of the Version Cue installer, Updater will otherwise delete the file after the install fails. That standalone updater now appears to be here: Adobe Version Cue CS3 client 3.1.0 update.
  • Dave Henderleiter got it working by renaming an older version of Version Cue:

    In [/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Version Cue CS3/Client/3.1.0/]… I had a 3.1.0 version and a 3.0.0 version. I deleted the 3.1.0 version and renamed 3.0.0 to 3.1.0 and all the apps worked right away without even a restart.

    Faking CS3 into using older component versions makes me nervous, but several people reported success with this method.