Problems activating Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X3

Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X3

A couple of weeks ago I decided to upgrade my photo editing application to the latest version: Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X3. However, I ran into a fairly fundamental problem: I couldn’t get it to activate.

It was a couple of days before I went to Glen ’10 (the Scottish Episcopal Church’s summer youth camp) when I realised that I didn’t have a photo editing package on my laptop (which I’d be using to produce the daily newspaper at Glen) and being a good boy and not wanting to violate the license terms by installing my old copy on more than one PC I decided to upgrade and obtain a shiny new license for my laptop.

Corel offer two “delivery methods” for PaintShop Photo Pro X3: download or DVD.  I needed it fast so rather than waiting for a disc to arrive in the post I selected the download option.

But that’s where the troubles began!

I purchased the software, downloaded it, installed it, ran it and this is what I saw when I clicked on the Activate now button:

PaintShop Photo Pro X3 activation window is blank
PaintShop Photo Pro X3 activation window … hmm, something is wrong here.

Erm … ok.  I had a blank dialog window and nothing that I did would get me past that.  I then wasted a couple of hours fruitlessly surfing the Web looking for a solution. But nothing I tried would activate it.

How frustrating!

Corel Support – excellent customer support

I quickly got on to Corel Support, initially demanding my money but their customer support was so good, and I eventually calmed down about it (!), that I gratefully accepted their help.  Even though this was now the week after Glen ’10 had finished!  This was now the week after the week that I actually needed the program!

I got a call from a support advisor who walked me through the activate by phone option.

“Could you please read out the long installation code on that dialog?”

“It’s blank,” I said.

“Ok, you must be using Windows Vista or Windows 7 then,” she said. “Windows must be blocking the installation code.  We’ll send you a DVD in the post.”

A couple of days later I received a DVD in the post.  Using the DVD Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X3 installed in minutes with no online activation required.

What I learned

  1. I need to plan further ahead when preparing for Glen ’11 and check that I have all the software I need on my laptop, and not just do two nights before I leave!
  2. Don’t send support calls when you are really tired and grumpy from failing to activate your new software for a couple of hours. Go to bed, sleep on it, then contact them.
  3. Don’t select the download delivery method the next time!  Almost every time I’ve selected the Corel download method I’ve ran into problems, not just with PaintShop Pro (as it was then) but with other Corel applications too.  From now on I’ll go for DVD only.

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