Monday, February 23, 2009
So I was doing some maintenance on my computer today when suddenly my Adobe CS3 Master Suite completely locked up due to some sort of licensing problem. Specifically I had just done a Ghost 2003 backup image of my C: drive, and the next time that I tried to run Dreamweaver after doing the backup, I was greeted with this scary message.
Nothing like a Monday morning catastrophe to get the week started on the right foot!
On the next attempt to restart Dreamweaver, or Photoshop, or any other part of the CS3 suite, I got this message:
Googling around, I didn't find anyone with a cure for the problem, other than reinstalling everything. I found some discussion of the problem being related to the FlexNet service, and suggesting that it could be cured by starting that service manually (http://www.megaleecher.net/Flexnet_Licensing_Service) But when I tried that, I got the message below, "Could not start the FLEXnet Licensing Service service on Local Computer. Error 1055: The service database is locked".
I also found some posts where people were discussing the amt.log and alm.log files, and was able to find them on my hard drive in the location shown below (C:\documents and settings\[user]\Local Settings\Temp. Inside the log files (amt.log alm.log), it was clear that the licence checking procedure was completing with an error 148:3, whatever that is. Some people reported an error 150:30, which had a different solution related to permissions. (http://www.adobeforums.com/webx?14@@.3c054677/9)
At that point I was getting out my CS3 box and looking for the 1-800 number to call Adobe, but I decided before enduring a useless tech support experience, I'd try XP's System Restore. I had a check point from about 12 hours prior, so it was a quick restore, and YEA, it solved the problem. The next attempt to open Dreamweaver was uneventful.
But that left me wondering what had really happened. I didn't know if my Ghost backup had somehow triggered the problem, but at least one other poster mentioned that it cropped up right after he had done some disk imaging. So I kept googling, and found that the Error 1055: The Service Database is Locked message refers to the Windows Services Database, i.e. nothing to do with the Adobe software. And I discovered that there is a little utility called sc.exe that can lock and unlock the services database (discovered it here: http://anebg.net/2008/06/22/how-to-fix-error-1055-the-service-database-is-locked/ ) The utility can be downloaded from here: ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/reskit/win2000/sc.zip.
So I decided to tempt fate by trying to re-create the licensing failure. I downloaded sc.exe into C:\Program Files\sc, then ran the sc.exe in a command window, and told it to lock the services database.
Then, after receiving the "Active database is locked" message in the image above. I tried to open Dreamweaver again, and BAM I got the same "catastrophic" error message that started the whole thing. So then I typed the "u" shown in the third line of the command window to unlock the database, and immediately was able to open Dreamweaver with no problem.
So in conclusion... if anyone gets that scary AMT Subsystem Failure message, it appears it may, at least in some cases, be prompted by something unrelated to Adobe causing the services database to become locked. So before reinstalling everything, I would recommend trying to unlock your services database, either by downloading sc.exe, or manually finding the service causing the problem, or perhaps just trying System Restore if you have a recent restore point.
Update Feb 24/2009: found a post that suggests a locked services database is usually associated with a particular service trying to start, and if the user disables that one service, it should unlock the database. I wasn't able to test it, but it sounds plausible. . http://blog.satyr.nl/post/hw_to_fix_the_services_database_is_locked_problem I'm still suspecting the whole thing has something to do with me performing the Ghost backup of my drive, but maybe that was just a coincidence.
If anyone stumbles across this thread and finds it helps out (or not), let me know!
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