Well it only took lots of frustration and almost 2 weeks intermittently, searching Adobe support (which had lots of references to to fix, but it never actually did any fixing) and then restoring my computer.
I actually am not that upset about having to restore my computer from scratch, it probably needed it.
Even removing all the registry entries for Flash, instances of Flash Player as well as removing all the Flash ocx files don’t do it. You actually need a more brute force method. I did manage to find a reference to a Microsoft (of all things) remover that actually DOES do the Flash uninstall that is necessary when you get the error “Adobe Photoshop CS3 component install failed.” (when you dig around in the text log file for the relevant errors – search for the key word ERROR. It failed because it could not uninstall the flash plugin.)
- Launch it
- Remove the 2 Flash MX instances
- Then run the CS3 upgrade installer.
The Flash uninstaller that they mention in the TechNote can’t either 1. get all the components out or 2. can’t identify all the places it lives. Every time I went back to the Uninstall app, it showed 2 Flash entries.
What a waste of time and a ridiculous source of frustration.