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What happens if you give the downloaded .asp a .pdf extension?
Some will open as pdfs if renamed. Others produce error message that the document is damaged, can't be repaired and couldn't be opened.
Chances are those documents are simply broken.
I've never run into PDF being saved as .asp personally. The only reason I could see that extension being used is "accidentally" in some kind of automatic PDF generation script.
Most server side languages have built in functions for making pdf pages from server side code, (from database data normally). It may be that the code is not appending the .pdf to the downloaded files as it should, or not adding the correct eof marker, but is doing so for downloads that are opened in the browser.
asp has not been updated for a number of years, so it is possible that your server code for creating pdf's has become corrupted over the years, or the function calls for the actual creation no longer work correctly, you could try checking the scripts for any incorrect code.
Without providing the forum with a link to the problem you describe it's impossible to determine what the issue may be. The most you'll receive at this time is merely speculative guesses much like what you have already received.
Regardless, despite the fact that when you try to open an .asp file on your computer and it opens Dreamweaver, this is not a Dreamweaver problem, and as such: does not belong in the Dreamweaver forum.
The default application for file types is delegated by your operating system. You have an operating system question at this time, not a Dreamweaver question. You may be able to find more relevant suggestions by submitting your inquiry to a forum that focuses on the operating system you're using. To save you time here's a quick tip: right click the file, get info, choose the appropriate application that you'd like to use to open these filetypes from the "Open with" section of get info and click the Change All... button to change all similar filetypes to open with the application you've chosen.
If you're trying to download a pdf from someone's website and it's not opening as expected the best method of receiving support for opening your file may be to contact the website where you're experiencing the problem. This begs the question: have you contacted the website and explained the issue you're having with their website?!?
Somehow, apparently .asp files were associated with Dreamweaver for opening. Changing one .asp file to be opened with Adobe Reader by default, then saying that all .asp files should be treated the same seems to have fixed it. I will hope that .asp in general will open satisfactorily with Reader, although online sources say that they should open with web browsers. Thanks for the comments and suggestions.