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Dreamweaver 8 on Windows 7 64 Bit

Successfully Install Dreamweaver 8 on 64 Bit Windows 7

Dreamweaver 8 can run perfectly with 64 bit Windows 7. Just a few small changes to the basic installation, and a patch from Adobe, and 32 bit DW8 is stable. Dreamweaver 8 is one of the software applications considered not compatible, or only marginally compatible, with Windows 7 or 8 64 bit operating systems. When installing older apps on 64 bit Windows, it’s always a good idea to Google the installation of the app… Some users found Dreamweaver 8 runs on 64 bit Windows 7 without problems – more experienced intermittent crashes and other issues.

Consensus is Dreamweaver 8 needs the DW802_unwrapped.zip patch available from Adobe: Download from this link http://www.adobe.com/support/dreamweaver/ts/documents/kb400150/DW802_unwrapped.zip to work properly with Windows 7 64 bit.

Installing Dreamweaver

First off, install Dreamweaver. Taking a tip from the process required for Adobe CS2, I installed this to a different folder than the default one used by Windows 7 64 for 32 bit software. (CS2 needs installation in a compatible DOS named folder – i.e. with folder name length of 8 characters or less.) It’s probably not necessary to follow this step, but you  may as well do it this way now, and not find problems later on.

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DMX Dreamweaver Extensions Verdict In

The verdict is in on DMX Zone Extensions

DMX ZoneIn a recent article I Dreamweaver Hangs at Start Up I described an intermittently recurring problem I was experiencing with Dreamweaver, suspecting the possibility that an extension(s) from DMX Zone had created the problem.

It may be early days, but since I uninstalled all the DMX Zone extensions, no more hangs when starting up Dreamweaver. All the entries in Windows registry were also removed.

After a few days of use, with no hangs, a new message popped up  – “you have not installed DMX updater.. to ensure you always get the latest… install updater….”

Admittedly I got side tracked during the process of removing the extensions, simply disabling them, but leaving the actual extension file in the folder, so apparently something was still active there. These have now been sent to the trash bin – no more message pop ups…

There must be a reference to the updater extension in the DW configuration file or more registry entries. If that message returns, then I will have a look into the config file and Windows registry again.

Fast DreamweaverAnd Dreamweaver now starts up much faster than before as well! from around 10 to 15 seconds (when it did not hang), to less than 2 seconds. No more constant message pop-ups informing of new extensions released, updates to installed extensions.

I did not set out to identify which extension was the culprit causing the hang on start-up, simply because I had no use for any of them. The updater and notifier were just a nuisance, and the CSS transform extensions of no use anyway.

The verdict. No more extensions from DMX Zone for me. The extension behaviour described is too much like Adware (a form of Malware). No more daily notifications of products and updates from DMX zone either. I did not cancel the account, just blocked all e-mail notifications as spam – no time to waste cancelling accounts. They can continue to send mail ad-infinitum to the black hole that receives junk mail from thousands of blocked senders.

No more annoying promotions of their ‘Advanced HTML Editor’ either. Once again I ask the question; what is a company claiming to specialise in Dreamweaver extensions doing promoting their own non Dreamweaver application? Surely a conflict of interest. It would make more sense to create a separate business division with its own web site to promote such an application. (and the apps own range of overpriced extensions).

Dreamweaver Hangs at Start Up

Dreamweaver has been hanging at start-up

Dreamweaver slanted iconSince earlier this year this has been an occasional problem; not everyday, but often enough to be annoying, and requiring a Task Manager operation to end it.

Dreamweaver is still the only HTML, CSS and PHP editor I am willing to use. Maybe there are other HTML tools that are nearly as good, I don’t know; what it comes down to is  a matter of personal preference. I have used various versions of Dreamweaver since 2000, including; Mac – DW4, DW8, DWMX, DWCS4 and for Windows, DW4 and DW8.

The version currently in use is DW8 for Windows. Not new, but it does everything needed.

Dreamweaver Extensions from DMX Zone

Like most Dreamweaver users, every now and again I look at what extensions are available. Some I try, most turn out to be fairly useless, and many are just bad news. Gone are the days when Macromedia had an extensive range of approved plug-ins, for a wide range of functions. These days, the decent plug-ins are commercial (Dreamweaver is definitely not supported by the OpenSource community). However, to my way of thinking, it seems a bit DMX Zoneextravagant to purchase extensions often costing a significant percentage of the purchase price of the app… Ten commercial extensions can cost more than the full app, and each tends to only have a single purpose. In any case, mostly there are other ways to include what these extension provide, like HTML, Java, CSS, etc. (But I get lazy sometimes)

Sometime in the early part of the year, I found DMX Zone… ‘Dreamweaver MX Zone’ or so one would think. So I tried an extension – CSS Transform, which comes along with a required sign up, update notifier and new release notifier extensions as well.

The CSS transform was only ever tried once; it has limited functionality, and the transform is easily accomplished in better ways with CSS3 anyway. This free downloadable is simply a hook to get people signed up for the too frequent spam e-mail advertising the commercial extensions they sell. Simply put, if the commercial extensions, averaging $49 each are as poor as the CSS transform offered, I would not consider any of them.

The Dreamweaver Hanging Symptom

The start-up hang only started around the time of installing these DMX Zone extensions. DW 8 has been used since 2005, and only after 6 yrs does it start hanging! There seems to be a strong case for the DMX extensions being the cause.

A couple of months back I uninstalled all DMX extensions from Dreamweaver. For a few weeks of daily use, no more start-up hangs, no more annoying pop-ups telling me there were 15 new extensions available, no more pop-up telling me the installed extensions were out of date…

Then guess what, Dreamweaver started hanging on start-up again. Then another pop-up, this time telling me the DMX Zone  updater was out of date!

Another clue; on starting Dreamweaver, with the DMX extensions installed, a second instance of DW would appear in the taskbar. When Dreamweaver hung on start-up, a second instance appears in the taskbar – co-incidence – I think not.

Removing DMX from Dreamweaver

Fixing DreamweaverAttempting to fix the hang: A bit of research on the net found this article on cfclove.org and I had a look at Windows Registry. (The article mentions Temp files, and has nothing to do with DMX Zone extensions.) However, maybe a step in the right direction. Looking through the Registry, I found over 50 folder references in HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/to DMX extensions; just like a bleeding virus duplicating itself numerous times.. all these HKEY entries for a simple CSS extension (not forgetting the required updater and notifier). Seems a lot like malware to me.

So, today every registry entry to DMX anything has been deleted. It may be purely my imagination, but Dreamweaver also seemed to start-up a lot quicker afterwards. Time will tell if the hang on start-up has been cured.

A couple of weeks later

There have been no hands on start-up so far, however the DMX ‘new extensions released’ notification started to appear again. Clearly I had missed something in the registry, and there was another executable file hiding somewhere on the hard drive.

I have noticed several other Dreamweaver users looking for information to remove DMX from Dreamweaver. After all the time and effort spent to track down the registry entries, I think it would have been quicker and more productive simply to un-install the Dreamweaver application, and re-install using a custom install folder name to prevent the DMX residuals from infecting the program.

DMX extensions and extension manager can probably not be considered malware in the true sense of the word, however, the way it persists in remaining active in the application is so  close to virus behaviour as to raise serious questions.

  • Does the REQUIRED DMX extension manager / notifier / updater report back to DMX, providing information about the use of Dreamweaver or other information?
  • Does it pose a security risk?

I cannot answer these questions. All I can say is I will not be using any DMX product again, definitely not on my production machine. I may however at some point in the future, when time permits, install these on a clean testing system, to compare file and registry entries before and after. This will be an interesting project, and if I do get the opportunity to perform this test, will publish my findings.

Until then, my only advice is “Stay away from DMX extensions“. There are too many unanswered questions about the behaviour of these add-ons.

A Common Problem

Since first writing this article, It has been read often. The article is getting found in Google and other search engines by Dreamweaver users looking for information on the  extensions, particularly the DMX induced Dreamweaver Hang, and, as mentioned, the problem in removing these extensions.

A final remark on DMX Zone Extensions

While the site claims to be for ‘everything Dreamweaver’, a lot of effort has been put into promoting their own app called Advanced HTML Editor 5. Dreamweaver does not need any HTML editor ‘added-on’ – it is already an accomplished and powerful HTML editor. Dreamweaver users are unlikely to purchase another HTML editor when the preferred tool Dreamweaver is an industry standard like Adobe is to Graphics and DTP. Clearly promoting this alternative on a website presenting itself as specialising in Dreamweaver is at the very least a conflict of interest.

A word to the wise for anyone considering using DMX Zone extensions. The commercial extensions they sell may be fine and safe to use, provided they can be removed EASILY with nothing left behind in the file system or registry, but the free ones leave much to be desired. The same functions can be found from any source of CSS scripts, are easier to implement in your custom style-sheets, and won’t write entries all over your registry.

If you are a DMX Extension Author, please feel free to inform me why this article is incorrect, and why I should change my opinion about the brand.  .