Citrix XenApp: Non-admin users cannot launch Acrobat Pro via PDF icon -- file association missing?

Posted on 2011-03-10
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I installed Acrobat 9 Pro on my terminal server (Win2003) following these instructions, and published it with XenApp 5:

Within a Citrix session, administrative users can "see" PDFs with the correct icon, and Acrobat Pro will launch when an administrative user double-clicks a PDF file. This is the expected behavior.

However, non-admin users see a generic icon for PDF files. When they double-click, Windows brings up the "Open With" dialog. Even if the user navigates to the Acrobat executable, it does not populate in the "Open With" dialog as it normally would; the user cannot launch Acrobat by double-clicking PDF files. It's as if the file association is missing for non-admin users.

As a workaround, users can launch Acrobat and then open PDFs from within Acrobat, but this is becoming frustrating.

Any ideas how I might get Acrobat to behave as expected for non-admin users?

Question by:sf09er
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LVL 36

Expert Comment

by:Carl Webster
ID: 35098429
Did you follow that document exactly?  i.e. using Add/Remove Programs from Control Panel.

Author Comment

ID: 35098932
Yes, I installed through Add/Remove Programs, rather than by launching Acrobat's Setup.exe.

I also had put the server in Install mode (change user /install) before installing, and I installed from a console session (as opposed to RDP, etc.).

LVL 36

Expert Comment

by:Carl Webster
ID: 35099106
Wow, OK, then it _should_ be working.  Make sure your users have read & execute rights to the Acrobat or Adobe folder tree.
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Author Comment

ID: 35099486
They do indeed.

My very first inclination was that this is a permissions/security issue, because of the apparent difference between admin and non-admin users.

Now here's something odd: I just took a non-admin user whose user account has been around for years, elevated him temporarily to admin, and logged in as him. The PDF icons were still generic and Acrobat still would not launch in the desired way, despite the elevation.

I also temporarily *removed* admin rights from my own login account, logged into Citrix, and it behaved properly, despite the demotion.

Finally, I logged in with a non-admin account I just created the other day for a new user. Lo and behold, his icons are correct and Acrobat launches properly, despite his never having been an admin.

So it appears this is may not be an admin/non-admin thing after all. It seems now that some (perhaps "older") non-admin user accounts have the problem, but newer ones do not.

I inherited this server from someone who was very permissions-happy, a bit paranoid, and liked to make things more complicated than necessary. I have spent hours and hours cleaning up his messes. Perhaps he had set some attribute in user accounts that he created that I am unaware of.

Does this make any sense?
LVL 36

Expert Comment

by:Carl Webster
ID: 35099615
Yep.  Time for Process Monitor and Process Explorer to figure out what is failing pemrissions wise and fix it.

Author Comment

ID: 35099637
A colleague has just informed me that, many years ago when Acrobat Pro was a new product, they had requested a trial version from Adobe, and that Adobe had "done something" to make Acrobat expire after a certain period of time. It appears that all the users who were here at that time are the ones who are unable to launch Acrobat Pro properly or see the app-specific icons.

I have NO idea where to go with this... But there must be something I can do, short of re-creating everyone's user accounts...

Expert Comment

ID: 35101814
if you have another server in the farm you could try installing on it.. Also if you think it is account specific problem then I would suggest to create a test account and launch the aipp and see. You could also check with adobe if the application is terminal service compatible, i would assume it would be ...

Accepted Solution

sf09er earned 0 total points
ID: 35217569
I couldn't figure out what the "something" that Adobe supposedly did years ago was, so I'm resorting to re-creating the affected user accounts.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 35252787
The "solution" is the workaround I was trying to avoid.

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