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Clicking on a PDF (Adobe Acrobat) link in Internet Explorer 7 causes a popup error

Posted on 2008-06-25
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Last Modified: 2013-12-08
When I browse to a web page using IE7 and click on a PDF link, I get a popup "There is a problem with Adobe Acrobat/Reader. Please exit Adobe Acrobat/Reader and try again.". After clicking OK, about half the time the document will load into a separate PDF window; the other half nothing at all will happen.

Interestingly enough, *if* I leave the separate Adobe Reader window open and click other PDF links, they will load just fine into Internet Explorer so long as the separate Adobe PDF window open.

I've tried:
  (a) uninstalled and re-installed Adobe Acrobat several times to no avail
  (b) managing IE "add-ons" and checking those settings;
  (c) http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=kb401258 - but only applies if you have Full Acrobat installed (I don't);
  (d) repairing the reader installation (via Control Panel Add/Remove);
  (e) Followed the steps in http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=333544;
  (f) Checked the registry key (re: http://www.adobeforums.com/webx/.59b54066);
  (g) deleting all of the Acrobat Reader registry keys I could find and then re-installing;
  (h) upgrading to Windows XP Service Pack 3 (the problem still occurs);

The same problem occurs in Firefox 2.0.0.14 and it simply says "Could not launch Acrobat".

This has been a frustrating issue.  Of course, Adobe refuses to provide any support whatsoever for their Reader. :-(  Anyone have any other thoughts, short of re-installing Windows?

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Question by:lesterw2
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Expert Comment

by:Marc Z
ID: 21869967
How many actual Adobe programs are installed on this machine? I believe more then one can cause these types of issues.

Have you considered removing Adobe and installing Foxit's free PDF Reader?
Free one here
http://www.download.com/Foxit-PDF-Reader/3000-2079_4-10313206.html?tag=lst-1&cdlPid=10850580

Home page and paid version(if you click the wrong link)  here.
http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/rd_intro.php
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Expert Comment

by:robsantos
ID: 21870438
Are you currently "Displaying the PDF in Browser" - I mean have you tried it with the option cheked and unchecked?

To configure the browser to use Acrobat or Adobe Reader to open PDF files:

   1. Close your web browser.
   2. Start Acrobat or Adobe Reader.
   3. Choose Edit > Preferences.
   4. Select Internet in the list on the left.
   5. Deselect (or select) Display PDF in Browser, and click OK.
   6. Restart Internet Explorer or AOL.
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Expert Comment

by:scrathcyboy
ID: 21870598
You're trying to fix Adobe when the problem is in IE 7's linking (or lack of it) to Acrobat reader.

Start, settings, control panel, internet options, programs tab -- if there is a choice for reader there, select your acrobat by browsing for the EXE.

If not go into IE preferences (settings or tools) and look for a setting that allows IE7 to allow loading of external applications.  Again, browse to find Acrobat EXE.

If not, windows explorer, tools, folder options, file types, go to PDF file type, and browse to open with Adobe Acrobat reader -- or use IE7 and click DDE and link it to Acrobat reader.  

Reboot, and IE7 should pick the correct linking.
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lesterw2 earned 0 total points
ID: 21977424
Unfortunately, none of the above solutions worked. I finally flattened my machine and reinstalled everything from scratch. What do you know... that worked! Only took me about 14 hours!
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Marc Z
ID: 22036169
yes, Adobe will do that to you.  I haven't installed adobe in years. Been using Foxits Free pdf reader for quite some time.
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