14 Replies Latest reply on Mar 31, 2014 7:02 PM by flashinpan

    Flash plugin installs to wrong folder


      In Vista x64, using either Firefox 28 or Firefox 24.4 ESR, the plugin installer (one downloaded from Adobe distribution) installs the 32 bit .dll file to \system32\macromedia\flash\ folder;

      installs the 64 bit .dll to:  \sysWOW64\macromedia\flash\  folder.  So, they're exacly reversed.


      I uninstalled it completely - went well.  Then removed 1 remaining file in one of the above paths, then reinstalled.  Did the same thing.


      Before I did all this - I was *very sporadically* seeing the FlashPlayerPlugin_12_0_0_77.exe file, running (kinda "sitting") in background, in task manager.  It never came to foreground w/ a UI, asking for anything.  Couldn't figure out what it was, until started looking in the installation folders.

      That's what lead to discovery the files were in wrong folders.


      Anyone heard of this?


      BTW, "Nayana" of Adobe Support chat, is a few bricks shy of a load.  Or I am.  I couldn't create an acct for forums.  She kept saying, you don't need an acct - "just post your question.  Other people will answer it."

        • 1. Re: Flash plugin installs to wrong folder
          Mike M Level 6

          Never seen that.

          Have XP 64 bit, Vista Ultimate 64 bit, Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit, Win 8 Enterprise 64 bit, and Win 8.1 Enterprise 64 bit. All have plug-in files in the appropriate folders.

          • 2. Re: Flash plugin installs to wrong folder
            flashinpan Level 1

            I know - that's why I'm posting.  I've never seen it either.  Yet, when I use Adobe's check site for Flash, it says OK.  Well, it is installed... just the 32 / 64 bit dll's are in switched folders.


            I don't know if this would actually affect any thing.  I'm not sure the 64 bit dll (plugin for plugin based browsers) has a use if you never use a 64 bit browser?

            When I look in Fx addon mgr > Plugins now, after reinstalling Flash, it shows the 32 bit plugin file.  There's no path listed in Fx, but it must? be finding the right one.  Or, the file name Fx reports (32 bit) is just based on "assumption" & it's really using the 64 bit?  Dunno - just guessing.


            But it's clear - looking in each of the Windows paths for installed Flash files, the 32 bit is in SysWOW64 location & vice versa for the 64 bit plugin.


            When I play a flash vid & look in task mgr, it shows the 32 bit flash file running, but the SysWOW64  folder as path to the file.  So that pretty much confirms that the installer put it in the wrong path.


            BTW, what's up w/ this forum & Firefox?  I couldn't create an acct or login using Fx - had to use IE temporarily.  I disabled everything in Fx that might (logically) be blocking something on the signin page.  Disabling what I did in Fx for Adobe.com would normally allow me access / sign in on most any site.  No errors - no nothing.  Enter my user / PW, using Password Safe, then it refreshes the page & gives a clean login page, w/ all the data deleted.

            • 3. Re: Flash plugin installs to wrong folder
              Mike M Level 6

              I use Firefox and have used it as my primary browser since 2003. Never had a problem logging in except when there are site problems, and then I can't get in with any browser.

              • 4. Re: Flash plugin installs to wrong folder
                flashinpan Level 1

                Mike / others:  Since the problem of installer for flash plugin repeatedly installs the "NPSWF32 (or 64)_12_0_0_77.dll" files in the wrong respective Windows folders, is there a process for users to file bugs or other forms of reporting issues?


                If there was some app, AV, etc., on my system causing it not to install at all, it would be understandable.  This is much different.

                I've never even heard of another app / program causing an installer to place files in the wrong folderS.  The only thing I know could cause this is incorrect code in the installer package.


                That  said, Fx seems to have no problem finding the 32 bit plugin, even though it's in the wrong folder.


                Mike, I'll check for other issues in Fx that might cause acct. creation / login problems.  One problem may've been, in about:config I usually have sendRefererHeader set = 0.

                It's so rare for that to cause issues, can't remember last time I had to switch it; probably 2 yrs or more, on 1000's of sites.

                • 6. Re: Flash plugin installs to wrong folder
                  pwillener Level 8

                  That is really an interesting case...


                  Can you post a list (or screenshot, see http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1070933) of the two install folders?


                  Also, can you post the contents of the FlashInstall.log files in both folders?

                  • 7. Re: Flash plugin installs to wrong folder
                    flashinpan Level 1

                    I filed a bug.  Whether it is one or not.

                    I appreciate the offer to look at the data.  That's a bit too much trouble to post all you requested (though I understand why you asked).

                    Esp. when the forum has no? ability to upload files or images.


                    The flash files (2 instances, actually) that run if I visit a site w/ flash content (for sure, if I have flash enabled in Fx), are actually the 32 bit dll file.  It's just the path string in task mgr is so long, I have to really widen out that column.  Couple times before I did that, the flash files seemed to close on their own.  Maybe if they're not in use for a specified time, they close?  Other times, they stay open indefinitely, even after the Fx plugin is disabled & flash is inactive.


                    This is the "path" as shown in Process Explorer:



                    This is the (LONG) command line fromPE:

                    "C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\FlashPlayerPlugin_12_0_0_77.exe" --channel=4128.0027F650.1150601763 --proxy-stub-channel=Flash5736.60497F48.24779 --plugin-path="C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\NPSWF32_12_0_0_77.dll" --host-npapi-version=27 --type=renderer


                    You can see the 32 bit NPSWF32_12_0_0_77.dll is called from syswow64 folder.  I guess I could see a 32 bit dll being installed in the syswow64 folder on an x64 OS.

                    But not so sure about a 64 bit - NPSWF64_12_0_0_77.dll file installed in the 32 bit folder.

                    Anyway, Fx only calls the 32 bit file, regardless of where it's located.


                    It was / is confusing, when you look at task mgr > Processes > Image name, & see:  FlashPlayerPlugin_12_0_0_77.exe.  If you R click the entry & "open location," it opens the folder & actually hilites the .exe file, not the dll.  Yes, technically that's what the name in task mgr says, but actually it's the dll file * running *, not the "FlashPlayerPlugin_12.0.77....exe" file.  The dll file isn't in a subfolder of the main .exe file, so I'm not sure why it lists it as the running process (other than that's the info that Flash devs are relaying to Windows).


                    But the .dll files don't close after flash is no longer being used & is disabled in Fx.  They're still using ~ 130 MB memory, but there's no reason for them to be open (& probably shouldn't remain open, if the plugin is disabled in Fx AND inactive).

                    • 8. Re: Flash plugin installs to wrong folder
                      pwillener Level 8

                      flashinpan wrote:


                      the forum has no? ability to upload files or images.

                      You can insert images using the camera icon in the forum editor.


                      File attachments are disabled, but you can share files using Files at Acrobat.com: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1408375

                      • 9. Re: Flash plugin installs to wrong folder
                        flashinpan Level 1

                        EDIT:  Seems there's no error in Flash installing to wrong folders, only error in my brain.  Why didn't someone stop me from embarrassing myself?

                        System32 (in a 64 bit OS / architecture) is for 64 bit drivers, files; SysWOW64 is for 32 bit apps running in 64 bit OS.


                        WoW64 (Windows 32-bit on Windows 64-bit) is a subsystem of the Windows operating system capable of running 32-bit applications and is included on all 64-bit versions of Windows

                        Also, http://www.samlogic.net/articles/32-64-bit-windows-folder-x86-syswow64.htm (section on SysWoW64)


                        End Edit.


                        Thanks for info on attaching images.  A bit different than most forums.  There's no "preview post" before submitting?


                        Screenshots of the 2 flash folder contents.

                        NOTE:  I attached full FlashInstall.log earlier.  I opened the 1.25 MB (text) file in an editor - copied contents to clipboard > paste to forum reply screen.  Immediately locked up Firefox like a big dog.  Couldn't perform any functions in Fx - not even reload or close browser.  At same time, Fx memory use was continually climbing; to nearly 2 GB when I killed it.  Won't make that mistake again.


                        Been many yrs since Fx locked up, doing anything.  That aside, Adobe is definitely "different" than most forums.  Almost like a person w/ no $ to use one of the many forum softwares available.


                        Flash folder contents_System32.jpg


                        Flash folder contents_SysWOW64.jpg


                        Most recent Flash installation logs.



                        =O====== M/ 2014-03-27+18-59-59.282 ========

                        0000 [I] 00000010 "C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\FlashUtil32_12_0_0_77_Plugin.exe" -maintain plugin

                        0001 [W] 00001015 C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\FlashUtil32_12_0_0_77_Plugin.exe 5

                        0002 [W] 00001015 C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\FlashUtil32_12_0_0_77_Plugin.exe 5

                        0003 [W] 00001037 Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce/FlashPlayerUpdate 2

                        0004 [W] 00001037 Software\Macromedia\FlashPlayerPlugin/ 2

                        0005 [W] 00001037 Software\Macromedia\FlashPlayer/SwfInstall 2

                        0006 [W] 00001021

                        0007 [W] 00001036 Software\Macromedia\FlashPlayerActiveX/PlayerPath 2

                        0008 [W] 00001036 Software\Macromedia\FlashPlayerPlugin/PlayerPath 2

                        0009 [W] 00001036 Software\Macromedia\FlashPlayerActiveX/PlayerPath 2

                        0010 [W] 00001036 Software\Macromedia\FlashPlayerPlugin/PlayerPath 2

                        0011 [W] 00001037 Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Control Panel\Extended Properties\System.ControlPanel.Category/C:\Windows\SysWOW64\FlashPlayerCPLApp.cpl 2

                        0012 [W] 00001036 Software\Macromedia\FlashPlayerActiveX/PlayerPath 2

                        0013 [W] 00001036 Software\Macromedia\FlashPlayerPlugin/PlayerPath 2

                        0014 [W] 00001036 Software\Mozilla\Firefox\extensions/Plugins 2

                        0015 [W] 00001036 Software\Mozilla\Mozilla Firefox\extensions/Plugins 2

                        0016 [W] 00001036 Software\Mozilla\Mozilla Thunderbird\extensions/Plugins 2

                        0017 [W] 00001036 Software\Mozilla\Thunderbird\extensions/Plugins 2

                        0018 [W] 00001036 Software\Opera Software/Last CommandLine 2

                        0019 [W] 00001036 Software\Opera Software/Last CommandLine 2

                        0020 [W] 00001036 Software\Opera Software/Plugin Path 2

                        0021 [W] 00001036 Software\Opera Software/Plugin Path 2

                        0022 [W] 00001015 C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\FlashUtil32_12_0_0_77_Plugin.exe 5

                        0023 [W] 00001015 C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\FlashUtil32_12_0_0_77_Plugin.exe 5

                        0024 [I] 00000011 1

                        0025 [I] 00000012

                        =X====== M/ 2014-03-27+19-00-34.066 ========


                        =O====== M/ 2014-03-27+19-15-43.835 ========

                        0000 [I] 00000010 "E:\DOWNLOADS\Software\Multi Media\Browser PLUGINS\Flash Player\Flash Player Fx\install_flash_player_12.0.0.77_plugin002.exe"

                        0001 [W] 00001036 Software\Macromedia\FlashPlayerPlugin/Version 2

                        0002 [W] 00001036 Software\Macromedia\FlashPlayerPlugin/PlayerPath 2

                        0003 [W] 00001036 Software\Macromedia\FlashPlayerPlugin/Version 2

                        0004 [W] 00001036 Software\Macromedia\FlashPlayerPlugin/PlayerPath 2

                        0005 [I] 00000011 1

                        0006 [I] 00000020 C:\Windows\SysWOW64\FlashPlayerCPLApp.cpl

                        0007 [W] 00001037 SOFTWARE\MozillaPlugins\@adobe.com/FlashPlayer/ 2

                        0008 [W] 00001037 SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Adobe Flash Player Plugin/ 2

                        0009 [W] 00001036 Software\Mozilla\Firefox\extensions/Plugins 2

                        0010 [W] 00001036 Software\Mozilla\Mozilla Firefox\extensions/Plugins 2

                        0011 [W] 00001036 Software\Mozilla\Mozilla Thunderbird\extensions/Plugins 2

                        0012 [W] 00001036 Software\Mozilla\Thunderbird\extensions/Plugins 2

                        0013 [W] 00001036 Software\Opera Software/Last CommandLine 2

                        0014 [W] 00001036 Software\Opera Software/Last CommandLine 2

                        0015 [W] 00001036 Software\Opera Software/Plugin Path 2

                        0016 [W] 00001036 Software\Opera Software/Plugin Path 2

                        0017 [I] 00000014 C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\NPSWF32_12_0_0_77.dll

                        0018 [I] 00000015 C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\FlashUtil32_12_0_0_77_Plugin.exe

                        0019 [I] 00000024 C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\plugin.vch

                        0020 [I] 00000017 C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash

                        0021 [I] 00000022 C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\FlashPlayerPlugin_12_0_0_77.exe

                        0022 [I] 00000019 C:\Windows\SysWOW64\FlashPlayerCPLApp.cpl

                        0023 [I] 00000021 C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\FlashPlayerUpdateService.exe

                        =X====== M/ 2014-03-27+19-16-11.879 ========


                        • 10. Re: Flash plugin installs to wrong folder
                          pwillener Level 8

                          There seem to be some errors in the log for the syswow64 folder; I recommend that you do a clean install according to http://forums.adobe.com/thread/928315


                          Download these installers:

                          Flash Player for ActiveX (Internet Explorer)

                          Flash Player Plug-in (All other browsers)


                          And yes, Firefox can acquire quite a lot of memory during prolonged use.  I would suggest that you try one of the highly optimized 64-bit versions such as Palemoon or Waterfox.

                          • 11. Re: Flash plugin installs to wrong folder
                            flashinpan Level 1

                            Thanks Pat.

                            There seem to be some errors in the log for the syswow64 folder

                            What were the errors?  It seems? that Flash operates normally & there doesn't seem to be an issue (after all) of installation paths of Flash files.


                            Where / how did you get the URL for the Flash installation package?  I can access the file (get download prompt), but can't access the site where the file is stored ("not found" or "not allowed").  Other than the file you linked not showing a version, it appears identical in size to the one I downloaded 2x.


                            BTW, before installing Flash - several times - when I thought something was wrong w/ where files were installed, I followed the steps suggested in the clean install thread you linked.  If you point out the errors in the log, it might help me.


                            Re: Firefox memory use after pasting copied text in Adobe forum.

                            Firefox locking & subsequent rapidly increasing memory use (after locking), after pasting text into the forum, is a completly separate issue from Firefox normal memory use.

                            • 12. Re: Flash plugin installs to wrong folder
                              pwillener Level 8

                              It's :\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\FlashUtil32_12_0_0_77_Plugin.exe that shows an error "5", which usually means it could not be written.  On the other hand I see that it is present in your screenshot, so I don't know where that error code came from.


                              The download links for the offline installers come from http://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/installation-problems-flash-player-windows.html#mai n-pars_header

                              • 13. Re: Flash plugin installs to wrong folder
                                flashinpan Level 1

                                Thanks Pat.  I see that.  However, in the most recent install, the error 5 code isn't present.  So, I assume it went OK?

                                Are you fairly confident of what the "5" means?


                                There were installations before that, sometimes showing "5" code or not - it varied.  AFAIK, none of the previous installs failed to work in Fx, when Flash was enabled.

                                I also have TorBrowser on the machine (portable) - that currently uses Fx 24.4x ESR.  The Flash installer finds it & installs the flash plugin in portable Fx 24.4 - though not an issue if it didn't.


                                HOWEVER... what may be an issue in TorBrowser is, visiting some sites seems to "automatically" start NPSWF32_12_0_0_77.dll (shown in task mgr), even though I'm not requesting it, nor is Flash plugin enabled in TorBrowser Addon Mgr > Plugins.  So far, hasn't seemed consistent, so it's "hard to catch" the exact scenario when it happens.  With flash plugin disabled, it shouldn't start w/o my specific consent; probably not until I enabled it in Addon Mgr.  That's the way it works in regular Fx.


                                BUT... there have been many times w/ latest Flash, when NO video has played in Flash Player in either Fx or TorBrowser, yet the plugin file started running in background.  That's the part I haven't figured out exactly how it happens.  Sneaks up when my head is turned.  


                                I've  seen it happen several times in TorBrowser, since installing Flash plugin.  Without even looking which app called it, it's almost certain to be TorBrowser (or because of particular site visited - e.g., youtube), because flash plugin files (usually) close immediately after closing Torbrowser.   Can't remember that happening before this Flash version.  Something changed somewhere.


                                I'll try to find exact actions where flash starts w/o being enabled in TorBrowser.  Could be glitch in TorBrowser, included plugins or another extension causing erratic behavior, rather than issue w/ Flash.

                                • 14. Re: Flash plugin installs to wrong folder
                                  flashinpan Level 1

                                  UPDATE:  Today the Flash plugin <apparently> started running while I was away from the computer*.  Double checked that times reported in Process Explorer (PE) are same as the system clock - they are.   PE shows the flash process (in process view) start time at 4:20 - a time I was away from computer AND there were no open sites / tabs in TorBrowser at that time; certainly none w/ flash content.  Only tabs open when I was away were a Tor checksite & Addons Manager.  Neither use Flash.


                                  For testing, I kept task mgr open (on top) for quite a while as I played (non-flash) vids on youtube.  I also loaded quite a few pages where flash was required & apparently HTML5 wouldn't work, then just backed out of those pages.  Not once did the flash files start running in background.  Until... I left my desk for a while.


                                  Later, tested some more.  Made sure flash plugin was disabled in Torbrowser & the about:config entry controlling the blocking of plugins was set properly.

                                  Played a bunch of non-flash vids - no problem.  When finally closed ALL Torbrower tabs except about:config, flash files started up at that exact time.  TOO WEIRD!

                                  I'm beginning to wonder if websites have found a way to call flash, regardless of browser settings?  They can gain a lot more info about your system if flash is running, which is valuable to them.


                                  If the data is accurate, this seems problematic.  I said it was hard to catch - waited till I was away & nothing actually playing.


                                  PE shows the plugin is  associated w/ the TorBrowser / Firefox 24 ESR.

                                  Autoruns shows no auto start entries for Flash or any Adobe files.

                                  The Flash plugin in Torbrowser was DISabled when the flash files were running.


                                  The about:config entry for Torbutton to block plugins was still = true, but the flash files were running & PE showed data had been transferred.


                                  At this point, not sure how I can pin it down any further or figure out what's happening.  Any fairly rare times I might use flash in Torbrowser, wouldn't be when maintaining anonymity was important.  '

                                  When anonymity / privacy is important, you definitely don't want flash files running in background w/o knowing it.  It leaks too much data.


                                  If I can't figure this out & no one has an idea, it'll be happy trails to flash.