14 Replies Latest reply: Apr 7, 2014 6:01 AM by Polly44 RSS

    Adobe Reader X/10 - continued crash problems trying to save PDFs

    Ireland2011 Community Member

      Dear all,

      I wonder if anyone can help me.... I have been having ongoing problems when trying to save PDF documents online while using the downloaded Adobe Reader 10 or X version. It always crashes/freezers when I press the 'save' button in the 'save as' dialogue box. I have to use end program and start all over again.


      I use Windows XP (Professional, Service Pack 3) and both Mozilla Firefox 4.0.1 and IE 8 web browsers. I have followed the links suggested to prevent in future after the problem has been reported - I have unstalled and reinstalled Reader a few times now, as well as checked that I have been using the most up to date version of Reader 10 or X. Then reopened everything again thinking it's solved and then crash (ARGH!). Has anyone else had similar issues?


      This is most frustrating to say the least, not withstanding the time delays affecting work outputs when the system crashes on the 'save as' dialogue box (after pressing save). I have lost faith in Adobe now ... I used to consider the free download of Reader a great asset, now it is a true annoyance and may or may not work entirely.


      Any help or advice would be great, even alternative PDF software.

      Many thanks in advance


        • 1. Re: Adobe Reader X/10 - continued crash problems trying to save PDFs
          370H55V Community Member

          Here's the thing. Once you click the "save" button and the dialogue box opens, you are no longer working in your browser or with the Reader plugin. When that dialogue box opens, you are completely in Windows Explorer.


          The proof can be found if, once that dialogue box opens, you press ALT+TAB. You can see which program is running foremost at that point and it will be explorer.exe, not firefox.exe or iexplore.exe or reader.exe.


          That may not sound like much help, and since the problem is happening with PDFs it may certainly seem like an Adobe problem, but Reader opens the document and provides the toolber with the icon to save it. At that point, it "hands off" the process to Explorer, and the crash is coming from something in Windows. Since you've reinstalled more than once, and it happens in two browsers, it should indicate that the problem is in the common factor in the save process - Explorer.


          Without knowing more about what else you've tried (maybe a system file check) It's hard to go further.

          About the only workaround I can offer is to right click and save the PDF instead of opening it in the browser. If you're going to save it anyway, why not?


          Have you had any troubles saving other files (pics, mp3s)?

          • 2. Re: Adobe Reader X/10 - continued crash problems trying to save PDFs
            chriswalkerusa Community Member

            I too am experiencing the same problems reported by Ruth.  These delays is trying to save PDF files are real and related to the Adobe software.  I did not have any of these issues prior to upgrading the the latest Adobe Reader X 10.1.0 and FireFox plug-in   While you may inidcate we are in Windows Explorer once selecting the SAVE , Adobe is still engaged and is at the root cause of the problem.  Version 9.x had no such issues.  I am on XP SP3 as many large corporations are.  I imagine this must be a commonly reported problem.  Any help is appreciated or I will need to look at downgrading the reader which quite frankly has me a bit concerned as it may cause other issues.      

            • 3. Re: Adobe Reader X/10 - continued crash problems trying to save PDFs
              paczesny Community Member

              Sounds like the same problem I reported originally here: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/874959


              Try  bringing Reader out of protected mode (click on Adobe logo in lower  right corner) and then selecting "save a copy".  This has been the only  work around I've found so far.  I've gotten zero help from anyone thus  far.

              • 4. Re: Adobe Reader X/10 - continued crash problems trying to save PDFs
                Carson791 Community Member

                I have exactly the same problem. Real pain. I have to use Control Alt Delete to clear every thing off the screen and start over. Please anyone with a fix please let us know ASAP! Also Post #3 says to click on Adobe logo that appears on bottom right corner of document which brings up the top Adobe tool bar. It doesn't work, still freezes up.  Thanks

                • 5. Re: Adobe Reader X/10 - continued crash problems trying to save PDFs
                  MichaelKazlow ACP/MVPs

                  Have you tried turning off protected mode as previously suggested?

                  • 6. Re: Adobe Reader X/10 - continued crash problems trying to save PDFs
                    Carson791 Community Member

                    I'm not very computer savvy so can you explain exactly what I should be

                    doing? If it amounts to just clicking on the Adobe logo that pops up on

                    the bottom right of the screen then yes if not then I don't know how.

                    Please info.

                    • 7. Re: Adobe Reader X/10 - continued crash problems trying to save PDFs
                      Carson791 Community Member

                      I have tried doing the suggestion above, clicking on the Adobe logo then going up and clicking save a copy as, and it still freezes up.

                      • 8. Re: Adobe Reader X/10 - continued crash problems trying to save PDFs
                        Carson791 Community Member

                        By the way I appreciate the response. I talked to my son who's a NAVY

                        recruiter in Washington. He says they have the same problem in their

                        office and it drives them nuts. So must be widespread. I went on lien

                        with Adobe support Chat. After describing the problem the chat person

                        said I'd have to call support, he didn't have a solution of course they

                        wanted $39.99 for that call.

                        • 9. Re: Adobe Reader X/10 - continued crash problems trying to save PDFs
                          Carson791 Community Member

                          Well Hell, today turning off protection and it works!  YeeeehAAA

                          • 10. Re: Adobe Reader X/10 - continued crash problems trying to save PDFs
                            rasers_edge Community Member

                            I'm having the same problems but only when i try to select where I want to save the file. If I just save it wherever it defaults to I have no problems. Like others on here I experienced no problems until the most recent round of upgrades. I have no problems if i open a local file and can save that wherever i want.


                            My ctrl-alt-del solution closes every explorer tab i have open though and that is the biggest nuisance of all. If I remember to click the pdf ling while holding shift, it will open in a new window and if it freezes "may" not close all my explorer tabs.


                            I'm going to try the unprotect thing, but should we really have to? Shouldn't these endless reader updates address that as opposed to cause it? Its only annoying if you breath though, cheers

                            • 11. Re: Adobe Reader X/10 - continued crash problems trying to save PDFs
                              rasers_edge Community Member

                              OK, I tried it, showing the reader tool bar, select "save a copy" try to select a different save location and instant freeze. Locked up internet explorer, ctrl alt delete again, all of ie shuts down and restart, find this forum, log on again and post this reply. The problem is not solved. I saw no reference in the web document to say it was protected or otherwise.


                              Interestingly, I was "selected randomly" when i came here the first time for a customer satisfaction survey on the Adobe web site. It opened itself in a fresh window and I was instructed to leave it open while I went about business on the Adobe web site. I was part way through a scathing message and when i went to check which version of IE I was using i discovered it had locked up so did the ctrl alt del thing and it shut the survey box down too! Couldn't tell them how p****ed I was.

                              • 12. Re: Adobe Reader X/10 - continued crash problems trying to save PDFs
                                paczesny Community Member

                                What bothers me is that protected mode exists for a reason (to protect users from the zero day exploits).  We have it on for a reason.  Turning it off is the work around but it shouldn't be.  It defeats the purpose of the feature which is meant to enhance security.  That's almost as bad as having everyone use the password 'password'.  I for one am using this feature because doing malware clean up and rebuilds because the building maintenance guy clicked on resume.pdf was getting kinda old.


                                Has anyone seen any acknowledgement from Adobe staff that this is an issue and whether or not they're addressing this in the next patch?

                                • 13. Re: Adobe Reader X/10 - continued crash problems trying to save PDFs
                                  CADITC Community Member

                                  The response from 370H55V is correct in theory and in actual fact was very close to the solution, but the response was more cryptic than helpful. I first encountered this yesterday after upgrading users on a Terminal Server from Reader v8 to v9. My first instinct was to upgrade to v10, which I did, but the problem still existed, so I rolled back to v8 and the issue was resolved. Unfortunately however this was not a solution and it was a requirement that we upgraded to at least v9. The error was as described that in IE 8 when a PDF file was opened inside the browser(or embedded as some might say), and you press SAVE (or even sometimes print) within the adobe reader toolbar, IE would flicker and crash on the page and then recover the page, saying this page has been recovered, but no saving would happen. This would happen if protection was turned off in Adobe Reader, and if it was on (default), then pressing SAVE would just make IE freeze as previously reported.

                                  So to understand what was happening, I ran FILEMON and REGMON by SYSINTERNALS. Regmon showed nothing of significance. Filemon showed a lot more. It was getting an access denied error on c:\windows\system32\shell32.dll. There was no reason for this however because the permissions on this file allow all users to read and execute. But then I remembered what shell32.dll does. It brings up the SAVE AS dialog box that allows you select the path of where to save the file – essentially this is calling the shell of explorer.exe.

                                  So this is actually the cause of the crash. When Adobe Reader makes the call to the SAVE AS dialog box – CRASH!!!!! Why???

                                  Well it’s quite simple. The default location that the SAVE AS dialog box starts in is MY Documents and this is where to start looking for the source of the error. To find out were “my documents” is for your session, open REGEDIT and go to:

                                  HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders

                                  Look for the key: PERSONAL and in it is a REG_SZ containing the path to “my documents” for the current user. This is generally something like C:\documents and settings\<username>\My Documents on Windows XP/2003 and something like C:\Users\<username>\Documents on Win7/ 2008.

                                  Now in our case the setting for this key was U:\ which was a mapped network drive to the path: \\server\username\mydocs. U:\ did exist and the user had full permission to it. So I changed the path on the personal key to C:\documents and settings\<username>\My Documents – the default setting. I went back to IE, opened a PDF document from a website, viewed the file and then pressed SAVE on the adobe toolbar. BINGO BABY!!!! Worked perfectly.

                                  But again this was not a solution because in a network, you need your users to have their “my documents” in their own home drive, which is generally located on a remote share on a server. So I put the PERSONAL setting in the registry back to U:\ and crash back to square one. I then put the path of the U:\ in the key instead of just U: drive, so PERSONAL now had a REG_SZ value of \\server\username\mydocs. Went out to IE again, launched a PDF, pressed SAVE. BINGO BABY!! It worked. So clearly this was a UNC Path resolution issue or something similar, but why did it only happen from v9 of Adobe Reader and whose fault is it – Microsoft or Adobe. Well I suspect both. I suspect that Adobe maybe making a weak Shell call in their code which doesn’t resolve the path properly, and a possible bug in the MS Shell call may be adding to this issue.

                                  Anyway, I did some further testing for some fun. I took permissions away from the user to their “My documents” folder and was also able to replicate the same crash. I set the PERSONAL registry key to a folder that didn’t exist and same crash. So basically if the SAVE AS shell call can’t resolve or access the path as set in the PERSONAL key the you will get this crash.

                                  The way I solved it for the network users, was to set the registry key for PERSONAL to \\server\username\mydocs via Group Policy, also a logon script may also work. Additionally you could use Folder Redirection in Group Policy to set the path for MY Documents on a per user basis. This also was tested and work.

                                  For non-network users check the PERSONAL key and get the path and then find that path and check permissions etc. Replace it with the default location or even point it to a path that you know exists and has full access.

                                  As a final tip, also look at the registry Key:

                                  HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

                                  And find the PERSONAL path. It will be something like %USERPROFILE%\my documents in XP/2003 and %USERPROFILE%\Documents in Win7/2008. This is the default location and if the PERSONAL KEY does not exist in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders then windows reverts back to the User Shell Folders key to get the path. It is a good idea to check that path in this area as well.

                                  Hope this helps.

                                  • 14. Re: Adobe Reader X/10 - continued crash problems trying to save PDFs
                                    Polly44 Community Member

                                    What brought me in the right direction is the fact that I do not have a "my documents" in my Start menu. from another forum, somebody found out that this was caused by removing Libraries from the Windows Explorer.

                                    Since I always do finetuning on my Windows (7 x64) system, I re-enabled it. That did not help right away, but I figured: why not 'reset' everything back to a "normal" Win Explorer"?!

                                    And indeed, once I got all those additional icons back in my Win explorer, no more crashing while saving a pdf from Internet explorer... After some experimenting, I found out that you (only) need to have the [* Favorites] icon showing in your Win Explorer. Removing any of the other icons (Homegroup, Libraries, Network, etc) will not make your IE crash (at least in my case).

                                    If you do not see [Favorites], search for ~How to Remove “Favorites” from Windows 7 Explorer~; and add it back.

                                    (normally, you do not need to reboot, just re-open Win Explorer)


                                    If anyone knows how to remove it from win_expl WITHOUT Adobe crashing, please let me/us know...



                                    - on a previous Win 7 installation, I had no crashes with [Favorites] disabled; so it is somehow doable?!

                                    - and btw, still no "my documents" in my Start menu...