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I have the exact same issue - any wisdom would be appreciated.
I just posted earlier and had the same problem. I've uninstalled Adobe reader 9 twice. Same problem. Amazingly, I've just fixed it, simply by double clicking on the Adobe Reader 9 shortcut on my desktop. It them gave me the chance to click accept the policies, etc... all that legal stuff, and now, Adobe works just fine. Recommend trying the same thing. I also have Zone Alarm and it is active, I did not have to shut it down.
re Adobe Reader 9 access issue, 20 Dec
It appears this is not an Adobe Reader issue at all. I have had the same trouble downloading an update to an unrelated programme.
The solution appears to be in ZoneAlarm Pro - I have set the trust level and access permissions for Internet Explorer to 'super trusted' and 'allow' (programme control - programmes), and this seems to have worked.
Other forums point the finger at restrictions in IE7 Enhanced Security feature, and to similar restrictions in some anti-virus/anti spyware programmes. Also, some .exe files for download come automatically blocked, & need unblocking (right-click the .exe, choose properties, then general tab, where there is an 'unblock' button at the bottom.
Regards, & happy New Year
D Willmot Smith