Adobe Master Collection CS5 breaks Flash Builder 4 Premium and how to fix it

by kai on 13/05/2010

Adobe’s Master Collection CS5 contains Flash Builder 4 (Standard edition). That’s actually awesome; it finally offers Flash CS5 users a way to use a professional and really well done Adobe tool to code applications and other rich media in ActionScript 3.

Then there’s Flash Builder 4 Premium which is being sold as a stand-alone tool that targets enterprise-level or in general more advanced Flex and AS3 developers. FB 4 Premium comes with features such as Unit Test integration, Profiling etc.

Unfortunately both products (and I assume that’d be true for all CS5 suite products that contain Flash Builder 4) create a license activation issue. It seems that the CS5 suites downgrade a Flash Builder 4 Premium license to a Flash Builder 4 Standard license – which actually can be quite disastrous if one has to rely on FB 4 Premium features.

Here’s what happened to me and how I fixed it for me.

Scenario: I installed and activated FB 4 Premium in March, it worked fine until I installed MC CS 5 and activated it the other week (without ever having installed FB 4 Standard that comes with Master Collection). The installation reverted my Flash Builder 4 Premium back to FB 4 Standard. All products are final and all happened on OS X 10.6.2.

There are a few resources out there that are supposed to help with this issue:

1. Tech note Upgrading FB 4 Standard to Premium

The tech note seems to cover the issue (that I have a FB 4 Standard and want my FB 4 Premium back), but it’s imho at best misleading and not helpful at all. You can pretty much disregard it.

2. Adobe Forums post providing help to fix the issue.

This one is much better, one can actually understand the steps to go through and give it a try. I know that this procedure worked for some people (both in the forums and on another mailing list), unfortunately it didn’t work for me.

Here’s my solution (very detailed and a variation of 2 above):

1. Launch FB 4 – deactivate it permanently (it just lists FB 4 as a product to be deactivated)
2. Close FB 4
3. Launch FB 4 again to find that it still works; it seems there are two overlapping activations, deactivate again permanently – this time the Master Collection CS 5 activation with all the other CS 5 tools that I had used/openend since installation
4. Close FB 4
5. (For the sake of checking) – open Photoshop CS 5 and find that it won’t start due to not being activated
6. (If you did 5) – close Photoshop CS 5

Note: At this stage neither FB 4 nor CS 5 should be activated

7. Launch FB 4 – it comes up with the activation screen
8. Pick the 60 day trial – for me it then loaded the splash screen of FB 4 Standard but had all the FB 4 Premium features
9. Close FB 4
10. Launch FB 4 – Continue your trial, now the splash screen shows FB 4 Premium and the features still should work.
11. Close FB 4
12. Launch FB 4 – Put in your FB 4 Premium key, splash screen shows FB 4 Premium, features are still there
13. Close FB 4
14. Launch PS CS 5 – it comes up with the CS 5 activation screen.
15. Put in CS 5 key, let PS load, make sure that the menu item to de-activate is NOT greyed out
16. Close PS CS 5
17. Launch FB 4 – it should still come up with FB 4 Premium

The crucial steps seem to be 7-11 – after the messed up installation/activation that was the only way for me to get the FB 4 Premium features back in the first place and it seems that the decision which feature set to enable is made way after the splash screen, i.e. the splash screen shows the feature set of the product launch before the current one (delayed by one execution) – hence I’d recommend to def. undertake steps 10 and 11.

That’s it – I’m not saying that this is the only or even best solution. It worked for me – your mileage might vary.

Onemanstartup May 28, 2010 at 7:17 am

Thanks. It’s help me.

Deke June 19, 2010 at 3:02 am

Wonderful! Thanks.

nyanko July 1, 2010 at 6:55 pm

There may still be an issue if you have an old workspace.
In my when I switched to a prevoius one the splashcreen went “standart” again.
I deleted com.adobe.flexbuilder.standalone folder inside the workspace and got “premium” back.

James July 18, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Thanks its working – I still have the Flash Builder Standard start window, but with all the Flash Builder Premium Features.

Patrick July 24, 2010 at 10:06 am

Sanity saver! Thanks for that!

Ryan Phelan October 16, 2010 at 7:21 am

Thank you! I have been fighting this for hours. Worked perfectly!

nagarajan February 3, 2011 at 8:03 pm

thank you, it saved my time alot, thanks

Andrei February 12, 2011 at 7:16 am

If you have Premium FB already, can’t you just not install FB from CS5 Master?
I own Prod not Master to try it myself.
As far as I can remember any application can be selected individually…

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