Zune Software (2.5 to 3.x) conflicting with Adobe Illustrator CS2 and CS3
Starting about a year and a half ago, after upgrading my personal computer build and purchasing a Zune 1 30 GB, I ran into the problem that Adobe Illustrator would not save in many formats, especially the nativ .ai format. This was a huge problem since I wanted to use the Zune software to synchronize new music with the Zune, play music with the Zune software, and of course use the Adobe Illustrator software for graphics work.
Specifically, this problem occurred immediately after the Zune 2.5 update sometime in early 2008.
After some research I learned this was a known and widespread problem. While some people did not seem to have the problem at all, even with the same software versions, there were a number of troubleshooting threads and complaints at both the Zune and Adobe forums. Both forums had official responses stating this was a known problem (while implying that it was the other company’s fault).
- Adobe Illustrator and the Zune software have a major conflict and cannot be installed at the same time.
- Both Adobe Illustrator (confirmed both CS2 and CS3) and Zune Software (2.5 or later) are installed. They do not need to be running.
- In Illustrator, when trying to save a file, you receive the message “An unknown error has occured” This can be further tested: hiding all layers should allow you to save again.
- Some users report problems with printing in Illustrator as well.
Here is the Zune official response:
Zach Johnson_1 – 1:14pm Apr 24, 08 PST (#165 of 175)
This is the adobe kb for this issue: kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=kb403151&sliceId=1
The Zune Team has investigated this issue. The issue is that Zune(2.1 and greater, along with many other applications) send input (via virtual keys) prior to setting foreground window. Zune does this at startup…and when a device is connected. Most apps use a specific virtual key for this, and in this case after the adobe app gets this key it will fail to save.
We have contacted adobe support with this information along with a sample repro to allow them to resolve the issue with input handling.
Zune Product Team
This posting is provided as-is with no warranties, and confers no rights.
And here is the Adobe response, now seemingly promising that the problem will be fixed simply by updating the Zune software. Kind of strange that the above official Microsoft/Zune response blamed the whole thing on Adobe, no? adobe.com/go/kb403151 . Also note that the Zune update does not seem to have actually fixed the problem. The Adobe site lists other possible reasons for the Saving error, however if you do not have the problem when the Zune software is not installed, it is fair to say the Zune software is the only culprit.
Here is an older forum post about this exact problem. Some solutions are offered (note that this predates the new supposed Zune software fix, so first try downloading the latest version). http://www.zuneboards.com/forums/general-zune-software/27561-zune-software-v2-0-download-location-zune-adobe-illustrator-conflict.html
Solutions to Fix Conflicts with the Zune Software
- Try updating to the latest Zune software (as of 6/29/09 this did NOT work for me–problem persists after 1.5 years)
- Hide all layers before saving
- Set the Zune software to not run automatically on startup. You may need to go into Control Panel (switch to classic mode if necessary)>Administrative Tools>Services and turn off a number of different Zune processes (not just the main zune.exe) from “Automatic” to “Manual”
- Save in an alternate format other than .ai (try .eps)
- Turn off .pdf compatible in the Save options
- Upgrade to Adobe Illustrator CS4 (I cannot confirm that this problem does not still exist, but I can find no mention of any Illustrator CS4/Zune conflict)
- Most likely to fix your problem: Uninstall Zune software completely and reboot
Unfortunately in my case (and many others) the end solution was to simply uninstall the Zune software. Whats worse, I had to create an entirely separate installation of Windows XP and boot into this only when I wanted to sync with my Zune. This means I rarely do sync my Zune and I almost never use the Zune software to play music. Microsoft, listen up–time to fix the problem after almost 2 years so your users can actually USE their device. For me, I plan to purchase a different mp3 player in the near future.
My PC setup:
- Tested with Windows Vista Ultimate x64, Windows XP Pro SP2, and Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 w/ SP2.
- Tested with multiple Zune software versions from 2.5 to the current 3.x version. Zune software before 2.5 did not seem to cause the problem.
- Tested with both Adobe Illustrator CS2 and CS3