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Adobe Acrobat-related software locks up my Windows XP computer

Posted on 2009-04-07
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I am the systems administrator for a small network (25 computers, 2 locations).  Some of our computer have Acrobat Standard, and some have Acrobat Pro.  One user has come to me with a really annoying problem.  His computer will freeze when he uses Adobe products (not just Acrobat Standard, which was installed.

Here is the detail of the problem [facts]:
Computer will run just fine if Adobe isn't invoked.
The computer will lock up any time Acrobat, Reader, AIR, the Adobe Updater, or the Adobe Installer are invoked.
The lock up is interesting.  When I open Acrobat, with no PDF file, the program works for about 20 seconds: I can push buttons, open menus, go to preferences.  I can see the hard drive working, as, I believe, Acrobat loads "Resources" (startup items).  The lock up corresponds with the hard drive LED on SOLID for a good 15 seconds.  During this time, I cannot move the mouse.  After that 15 seconds, I can move the mouse and non-Adobe windows (those are locked).  If I invoke Explorer (click the Start button, open My Computer, etc), the lock goes further/harder.  Occasionally at this point, the mouse will freeze again and I have what I believe is a hardware lock.
Even if a hard lock hasn't happened, the only way to shut down is to hold the power button.
Other buttons work while the computer is locked (wireless soft-key disabled the radio on next boot).
Adobe Reader 9 had been installed and updated to 9.1.  Acrobat Standard had not been up to 9.1.

Here is the detail of what I've tried [attempts]:
I attempted to upgrade the install of Standard to Professional, but it failed and locked up at "Preparing to remove older versions."
Uninstall of Adobe didn't work normally.  I was able to remove other Adobe products at one point, but I don't remember why.
I removed Acrobat by deleting the program files and entries in the common files directory, then cleaned up with CCleaner.
I was able to install Acrobat Pro.
The problem still existed.
I tried copying a known-good Resource folder from another Pro to this computer.  No go.
I renamed the existing Resource folder and created a blank.  No go.
I completely uninstalled Trend Micro Client/Server Security Agent.  No difference.
Ran FileMon when it locked up to see what file Acrobat.exe was using.  The last file before the HD LED: adobe_epic.dll.  The last file before primarly lockup: acrobat.dll.

Here is the detail of the system [specs]:
HP Elitebook 6930p (Core2Duo P8400, 2GB RAM, WXPPro)
Trend Micro Worry-Free Business Security Advanced (Client/Server Security Agent on the computer)
Joined to a Windows Small Business Server 2003 network

I'm hoping someone has had this problem and knows the solution.
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Question by:Ubertam
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by:dbrunton
ID: 24094155
I'd try Foxit Reader (your user seems to be only reading PDF documents).

http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/reader/

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Ubertam earned 0 total points
ID: 24132331
I had used Foxit in the mean-time.  We use integration apps that require Adobe Pro (not even Standard).

This turned out to be a bad hard drive.  Live and learn.
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