Solved

PDF opens from filesystem but not from email

Posted on 2013-10-23
18
429 Views
Last Modified: 2013-11-11
Hi Experts,

I recently setup an old PC with WinXP SP3 and OE (Outlook Express 6) for a friend.

I installed Adobe Reader XI, but when the user tries to open PDFs attached to emails, this message comes up:
 "This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action.  Create an association in the Folder Options control panel"
(The only button available from that error dialog box is "OK".)
To work around this, the PDF can be saved and opened from the filesystem (e.g. via Windows Explorer) by simply double-clicking it.

Q1. Why am I getting an error in OE but not in Windows Explorer?
Q2. How can it be resolved, so PDFs can be opened directly from OE?

Thanks.
Tel2
0
Comment
Question by:tel2
  • 8
  • 5
  • 5
18 Comments
 
LVL 82

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39595811
OE has 'extra security' measures.  In Windows Explorer, it is assumed that the files belong to you... except that you can require access to downloaded files to put up a message before allowing you to open them.  In OE, Go to Tools -> Options and on the Security tab is a check box to block opening any attachments.
0
 
LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Steven Harris
ID: 39595918
If Dave's suggestion doesn't solve it, you can try closing OE, resetting your PDF file association and restarting OE.
0
 
LVL 11

Author Comment

by:tel2
ID: 39595951
Hi Dave,

Thanks for the suggestion.  This is 1 of 2 PCs which are from the same source and are setup very similarly.  The other works fine in this OE PDF respect.  The one that fails with PDFs works fine with XLS files, etc.  The settings in OE > Tools > Options > Security are the same on both PCs, plus my PC which also has WinXP with OE6, i.e.:
    Internet zone (NOT selected)
    Restricted sites zone (selected)
    Warn me if other applications try... (checked)
    Do not allow attachments to be saved or opened that could potentially be a virus (checked)
    Block images... (checked)
    The 2 secure mail boxes are not checked.

What does this tell you?
I don't think it's about blocking opening attachments.  The error message indicates to me that it's about file/program associations.

Thanks.
Tel2
0
 
LVL 82

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39595958
Then go into Folder Options in the control panel and see what file associations are setup.  The one that Windows Explorer is using obviously works.  See if there is another.  Yes, there really could be.

Also check to see if your anti-virus is blocking them.
0
 
LVL 11

Author Comment

by:tel2
ID: 39596323
Thanks Dave.

I don't have access to that PC at present, but I'll try to get back to you after I've checked it out.

Tel2
0
 
LVL 11

Author Comment

by:tel2
ID: 39601667
Hi Dave,

I've just been on the phone to someone who has access to the PC with the problem.  I got them to send me a screen dump of the Folder Options screen.  See attached.

Does that tell you anything, or is there something else we should be looking at?

I was not aware that Windows file associations were different depending on what program you are in when you open a type of file.  I thought they were simply about what program opens what types of files.  No?

TRS
Folder-Options---PDF.gif
0
 
LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Steven Harris
ID: 39601697
Check .PRC as well.
0
 
LVL 11

Author Comment

by:tel2
ID: 39601708
Thanks TSS.
Please explain how PRC file associations might be the cause.  The attachments have .PDF extensions.
TRS
0
 
LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Steven Harris
ID: 39601747
PRC is used within, or embedded into, PDFs.  So just covering the bases.
0
What Should I Do With This Threat Intelligence?

Are you wondering if you actually need threat intelligence? The answer is yes. We explain the basics for creating useful threat intelligence.

 
LVL 11

Author Comment

by:tel2
ID: 39601753
OK.  Thanks.
0
 
LVL 18

Assisted Solution

by:Steven Harris
Steven Harris earned 250 total points
ID: 39601760
I just ran across the following on the Adobe Forums, but no OS info was given.  Maybe it will help:

0.  Close Outlook Express
1. Open the Folder Options dialogue box (Tools/Folder Options from any Explorer or My Computer window)
2. Select the 'File Types' tab at the top of this dialogue box
3. Locate the .pdf filetype and click 'Advanced'
4. The 'Edit File Type' dialogue box appears; I found that the 'Open' action is not listed, instead there was a 'Read' option. Click the 'New' button to create a new action
5. The 'New Action' dialogue box appears; in the 'Action' box, type 'Open' (no quotes) and then click 'Browse'
6. Locate Acrobat Reader's executable by navigating to c:\program files\adobe\acrobat[x]\ (where [x] is 6.0 or 7.0 or similar) and selecting the 'acrord32.exe' file, then hitting 'Open'
7. Ensure the 'Use DDE' checkbox is unticked, then hit 'OK'
8. Open Outlook Express and test that double-clicking a .pdf attachment opens the file directly in Acrobat Reader.
0
 
LVL 82

Accepted Solution

by:
Dave Baldwin earned 250 total points
ID: 39601807
This is what I have for PDFs.  It is odd that your pic above refers to PDFs as "AudioCD" type file.
PDF file type info
0
 
LVL 11

Author Comment

by:tel2
ID: 39602032
OK TSS.  I might try that next time I'm on that PC.
Thanks.
TRS
0
 
LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Steven Harris
ID: 39602542
Yes, I would definitely suggest looking...  If you look at DaveBaldwin's image, the second window has Open with Adobe Reader XI, which is what the Adobe Forum post shows  to be adding.
0
 
LVL 11

Author Comment

by:tel2
ID: 39604366
Hi Dave,
Thanks for that screen shot.  Sorry, I somehow missed your post until TSS brought it to my attention.
> It is odd that your pic above refers to PDFs as "AudioCD" type file.
Agreed!  But I had a look at it yesterday and for some reason, it would show the details of the previously selected extension, and as the "AudioCD" file type was the one at the very top of the list, so it showed the details for that.

I tried a few things.  Here are some of them:
The "Advanced" button didn't show, until after I clicked "Restore", then I tried adding an "Open" action, and pointed that to AcroRd32.exe, but alas, that made it even worse, coz even if I try to open a PDF via Windows Explorer it then gave me a new error:
 "There was an error opening this document. This file cannot be found."
So I'd have to click OK 3 or 4 times until the error dialog box disappeared, then I'd be in Adobe Reader, so I could click File > Open, and navigate to my PDF and open it successfully.
I then tried uninstalling Acrobat Reader via Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs, then reinstalling it (still version XI), but still got that same error when trying to open PDFs via Windows Explorer:
 "There was an error opening this document. This file cannot be found."
Tried Googling for the error, and found plenty of hits, but haven't had enough time to try any of them yet.
This one:
    http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1079420
is not quite my situation, but I'm hoping it will work for me.  Might be able to try it next Sunday.

TSS, I tried to find PRC, but there was none on that PC.  However, on my PC, PRC is a "Palm Application" (for my old Palm Treo phone, I think).
0
 
LVL 82

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39604479
Right click on your file name in Windows Explorer and then click on Open and see what happens.  Also see if 'Play' instead of 'Open' is the default action which will be in bold text at the top of the right-click menu.  'Open' or 'Open with Adobe Reader XI' should be the default action.  If 'Play' is the default, go back into the file associations and remove it.  Also check to see if any other standard file associations are broken.
0
 
LVL 11

Author Comment

by:tel2
ID: 39640492
Hi experts,

Sorry for the long delay in responding.  Finally got a good opportunity to experiment with the PC which has this problem, yesterday.

Dave, when I right-clicked on a PDF file, in Windows Explorer, I think it showed:
    Open with Adobe Reader XI       [default]
    Open
    Print
But when I clicked edit on the above items, the "Application used to perform this action" was set to:
    "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Reader 11.0\Reader\AcroRd32.exe"
but there were no parameters after the path!  I saw from a working environment that:
For "Open with Adobe Reader XI" it should be:
    "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Reader 11.0\Reader\AcroRd32.exe" "%1"
(I think "Open" was the same as above - can't recall.)
For "Print" it should be:
    "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Reader 11.0\Reader\AcroRd32.exe" /p /h "%1"
For "Printto" it should be:
    "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Reader 11.0\Reader\AcroRd32.exe" /t "%1" "%2" "%3" "%4"
The other non-blank fields for all the above were:
    Use DDE (ticked)
    Application: AcroRd32
    Topic: System

I also noted that the icon that showed next to PDF files in Windows Explorer on the problem PC had a large white border surrounding the logo, which was different from the one on the working PC.

I deleted the PDF association, and re-added it with the above settings, PDFs started opening normally again, from email and from Windows Explorer.

Thanks for your help, everyone.

tel2
0
 
LVL 82

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39640510
Good, glad you got it sorted out.  Thanks for the points.
0

Featured Post

Free Gift Card with Acronis Backup Purchase!

Backup any data in any location: local and remote systems, physical and virtual servers, private and public clouds, Macs and PCs, tablets and mobile devices, & more! For limited time only, buy any Acronis backup products and get a FREE Amazon/Best Buy gift card worth up to $200!

Join & Write a Comment

Many companies are making the switch from Microsoft to Google Apps (https://www.google.com/work/apps/business/). Use this article to learn more about what Google Apps has to offer and to help if you’re planning on migrating to Google Apps. It is …
This collection of functions covers all the normal rounding methods of just about any numeric value.
The viewer will learn how to use the =DISCRINV command to create a discrete random variable, use this command to model a set of probabilities and outcomes in a Monte Carlo simulation, and learn how to find the standard deviation of a set of probabil…
The viewer will learn how to create a normally distributed random variable in Excel, use a normal distribution to simulate the return on an investment over a period of years, Create a Monte Carlo simulation using a normal random variable, and calcul…

762 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

18 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now