Recently observed situation after Windows updates or patches, InDesignServer lost serialization

Disclaimer: This document is intended to provide guidance and does not claim for completeness. censhare has no control over the content and actuality of external advices contained herein and shall therefore not be responsible for them.

Important hints which describe the situation

After a Windows patch or update - if you drag&drop your file "" to a terminal window and hit enter

  • you get the message your InDesignServer would not be serialized correctly

  • Adobe prtk tool is not able to fix this, but shows "Return Code = 0" which means command was successful.

  • A restart does not help

Ways to fix this

Using installer - This method requires all InDesignServer versions to be offline:

  • Uninstall InDesignServer using "Control Panel | Program and Features", but keep it's preferences (do not activate the checkbox "Delete preferences")

  • Install InDesignServer again and during this process register with your Adobe ID and serial number
    (which in most cases is not needed here as it will not request it)

  • install patches for current hotfix or final release

Now InDesignServer should start without problems again.

If you also use InDesignServer Service

The service snapin must be installed again. Do not use the Adobe Manual here, as this contains an error for this procedure. The manual wrongly writes regsvr64.exe, which simply does not exist.

The correct commands are (example for a CS6 IDS standard installation):

C:\Windows\System32\regsvr32.exe "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe InDesign CS6 Server x64\InDesignServerMMC64.dll" /u

C:\Windows\System32\regsvr32.exe "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe InDesign CS6 Server x64\InDesignServerMMC64.dll"

Now restart the OS and the service should work again.

Using PRTK - This method allows other InDesignServer versions to run in parallel during serialization:

  1. try (here on example of CC2017):
adobe_prtk --tool=Serialize --leid=V7{}InDesignServer-12-Win-GM --serial=serialnumber --adobeid=your_Adobe_ID

It should show "Return Code = 0" if it is "possibly successfull". But even "Return Code = 0" can result in no change.

So you must check the InDesignServer by drag&drop of file "" to the cmd shell, press enter and have a look if it starts.

It did not start but had serial error again in this case here! So it still was not serialized correctly.

If this happens try:


adobe_prtk --tool=UnSerialize --leid=V7{}InDesignServer-12-Win-GM

and afterwards use:


adobe_prtk --tool=Serialize --leid=V7{}InDesignServer-12-Win-GM --serial=serialnumber --adobeid=your_Adobe_ID
  1. This was successfull.

    If this also should fail you need to close all InDesignServers and follow the upper method

leid overview:

CC 2020 = V7{}InDesignServer-15-Win-GM or V7{}InDesignServer-15-Mac-GM

CC 2019 = V7{}InDesignServer-14-Win-GM or V7{}InDesignServer-14-Mac-GM

CC2018 = V7{}InDesignServer-13-Win-GM or V7{}InDesignServer-13-Mac-GM

CC2017 = V7{}InDesignServer-12-Win-GM or V7{}InDesignServer-12-Mac-GM

CC2015 = V7{}InDesignServer-11-Win-GM or V7{}InDesignServer-11-Mac-GM

CC2014 = V7{}InDesignServer-10-Win-GM or V7{}InDesignServer-10-Mac-GM


CS6 = InDesignServer-CS6-Win-GM or InDesignServer-CS6-Mac-GM

Additional info as given by Adobe support

  1. Download and unpack the Provisioning Toolkit

  2. On a machine that has internet access, run the toolkit using the following command:

    Mac: adobe_prtk --tool=VolumeSerialize --generate --serial=YOUR_SERIAL_NUMBER --leid=V7{}InDesignServer-<version>-Mac-GM
    Win: adobe_prtk --tool=VolumeSerialize --generate --serial=YOUR_SERIAL_NUMBER --leid=V7{}InDesignServer-<version>-Win-GM
  3. Copy the adobe_prtk and prov.xml files to the server running IDS and put them in the same folder.

  4. Run the following command line:

    • adobe_prtk --tool=VolumeSerialize

  5. You can validate the activation by running an IDServer instance from the command line and the error should be gone

  6. Hint by censhare: you only must use this step if you only have one InDesignServer version per hardware. If you have more than one InDesignServer version per hardware, this will also affect all other licenses - means you kill licensing for all installed InDesignServers, so you need to relicense all installed versions.

    If the error persists, delete the SLCache and SLStore folders. You can find these folders at these locations:

Mac: adobe_prtk --tool=VolumeSerialize --generate --serial=YOUR_SERIAL_NUMBER --leid=V7{}InDesignServer-<version>-Mac-GM
Win: "C:\ProgramData\Adobe\SLStore" and "C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Adobe\SLCache"

7. Repeat steps 1-5.