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Open Type Fonts become uninstalled after reboot (Windows 7 - 64bit)

Posted on 2013-12-31
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Last Modified: 2014-01-08
Hello all,

I am experiencing a rather perplexing problem with a family of OTF fonts becoming installed after a reboot. This problem is repeatable and I've scoured the Internet for answers and found no solution.

Specifications:
- Windows 7, 64 bit with plenty of HD space and memory (no other known issues)
- Fonts are commercial and licensed (i.e. professional fonts)
  they are only available as OTF and no, I cannot convert them to TTF b/c I must remain
  compatible with our graphics designers.
 
  Important: The problem extends to two separate OTF font families from two separate
                    vendors. Besides other computers not being affected, this is not a fault of
                    a specific font. This is clearly a problem on this one computer.

After I install the fonts, everything works perfectly (i.e. Adobe Illustrator happily displays the fonts). However, after I reboot:
- The fonts are no longer available to Illustrator.
- The fonts no longer display in the Windows font folder.
- But the fonts are still in the physical folder, if I do a directory listing in a DOS command window.

Why must I re-install these fonts each time I reboot? What is wrong?

Note: This problem is unique to this Windows computer. My home computer does not exhibit this behavior.

Thank you
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Question by:sconnell
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by:sconnell
ID: 39748696
BTW, if I reinstall the fonts, I will see the message asking me if I wish to reinstall. I click "yes" and the entire font family (41 fonts) becomes available again. Nothing appears as unusual... meaning, the fonts show up like any other Windows font.

I should also add that I am unaware of anything that could be forcing the uninstall of these fonts after each reboot.
Fonts-uninstalling.png
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 450 total points
ID: 39748762
Try logging in as an administrative user on the problem computer. Install the fonts as administrative user. Then restart, log in as yourself and test.

You are probably the administrator of your home computer.

.... Thinkpads_User
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by:sconnell
ID: 39748784
Thanks but I am admin on both computers.

From the DOS CMD window, I compared all the other installed OTF fonts to the Windows Font Window... all the other OTF fonts appear to work as intended.

I had an idea that I am about to test....

After removing all the fonts of the two affected families from the Windows Font Window... then I noticed that they were still physically in the c:\windows\fonts folder... along with duplicates in TTF format (for an unrelated reason). So font removal doesn't actually physically remove the fonts??

I opened a admin version of DOS command window and removed all traces of both families of the fonts. Then I reinstalled a fresh copy of only the OTF versions of each font family.

My thought was that the conflicting OTF/TTF fonts might be the cause of my troubles. I'm about to reboot now. If the problem persists, it is some other unknown issue.

Here I go....
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39748789
Let us know about your test. I would remove fonts and restart in between before installing new ones.

... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:sconnell
ID: 39748847
Thanks.

The first experiment failed.

Next experiment,
 
1) Again, I physically removed the fonts. Even used the excellent free tool (Everything rapid search tool - http://www.voidtools.com/) to confirm there were no physical traces of either font family.

2) I shut down Windows Presentation Foundation Font Cache 3.0.0.0 and then renamed FNTCACHE.DAT (forcing Windows to rebuild).

3) Reboot

4) Reinstall the two font families. *BUT* Why am I seeing the message, "The 'font name' is already installed. Do you want to replace it?"  I should not see this message because the font does not exist anywhere in the system! What is up with that?

Anyhow, continued by clicking 'Yes' to reinstall all the fonts.

5) Confirmed the fonts are recognized by Windows apps.

6) Reboot

7) Fonts are GONE from the Windows Font window! (but are still physically present in the directory!).

I give up!
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Assisted Solution

by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 50 total points
ID: 39748850
I agree with Thinkpads_User.  I had some fonts that were installed in more than one format at one point and they caused quite a number of problems.
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 450 total points
ID: 39748860
Fonts are GONE from the Windows Font window! (but are still physically present in the directory!).

Open the font folder with Windows Explorer (not DOS or any other kind of Explorer). The fonts should appear to be fonts. Are there any fonts that look different because they are not installed?  Can you manage them with right click context?

On the problem computer, uninstall (and/or delete) all relevant fonts to this exercise including any duplicates.

Restart. Run SFC /SCANNOW and allow to complete. Restart again.

Install the fonts you want and test again.

... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:sconnell
ID: 39748879
>Open the font folder with Windows Explorer (not DOS or any other kind of Explorer).
>The fonts should appear to be fonts.

Yes, they appeared as fonts. There is (was) nothing unusual about how any of the fonts appeared in Explorer. Right-click worked as normal with the two font families.

>Are there any fonts that look different because they are not installed?

No.

>On the problem computer, uninstall (and/or delete) all relevant fonts to this exercise
>including any duplicates.

I cannot uninstall them because, after reboot, they no longer appear in Windows Explorer (font folder). I will have to manually delete them from admin level CMD Window.


>Restart. Run SFC /SCANNOW and allow to complete. Restart again.

Okay, done. I'll reboot, reinstall the fonts, test that they installed, and then reboot again.

Thanks for your continued help with this perplexing problem.
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Author Comment

by:sconnell
ID: 39748881
Remember my earlier note:

"4) Reinstall the two font families. *BUT* Why am I seeing the message, "The 'font name' is already installed. Do you want to replace it?"  I should not see this message because the font does not exist anywhere in the system! What is up with that?"

It appears as though some Windows cache still thinks the fonts are installed. I am wondering if this might be a clue to the problem at hand. What can I do to fix this? I did try renaming FNTCACHE.DAT (forcing Windows to rebuild) but obviously that didn't help.
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Accepted Solution

by:
John Hurst earned 450 total points
ID: 39748914
I did some looking and found a variety of information. One person solved their problem by reinstalling Windows. If it comes to it, that may be the solution here.

In several places, I saw suggestions of making the font folder a standard writeable folder. You can do this by open cmd.exe with Run as Administrator and issuing the command:  

attrib -r -s c:\Windows\Fonts  (I am assuming this is where your fonts are)

I have not tried the latter, so cannot vouch for it.

... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:sconnell
ID: 39748921
Results from: SFC /SCANNOW
Beginning verification phase of system scan.
Verification 100% complete.
Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations.

>One person solved their problem by reinstalling Windows. If it comes to it,
>that may be the solution here.

That is a brute force solution that I'd rather avoid...b/c I am not experiencing any other issues. In fact, I would much rather create a start up batch that automatically re-installs these fonts upon every boot up.

>font folder a standard writeable folder.

That is indeed a strange idea that I cannot understand why that would fix the problem of fonts becoming uninstalled. But this gave me an idea. I believe these fonts originated from a CD... so I'll check to see if I am installing them as write only. If so, I'll remove any attributes before reinstalling them.
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 450 total points
ID: 39748936
I believe these fonts originated from a CD

Files from a CD are often read-only.  Copy the fonts to a neutral folder (say c:\Temp that has permission to Everyone). Reset the font attributes to standard file attributes.

Restart and try again.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:sconnell
ID: 39749044
I noticed a number of odd attributes for each of these font families but what ultimately corrected the problem was changing one or two attributes:
1) Unchecking the property, "Encrypt contents to secure data"
and/or
2) Changing permissions from "Read & Execute"/"Read" to "Full" permissions.

Problem is now GONE!! :-)
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39749051
So then it was a permissions issue as suggested earlier in the suggestion about file / folder attributes.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:sconnell
ID: 39766466
Thanks to everyone for helping out.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39766518
@sconnell - You are very welcome and I was happy to help.

.... Thinkpads_User
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