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Well, Adobe Reader isn't a device driver, so it should be unable to
crash Windows in any situation. So that leaves Windows itself and a
device driver. Does Windows give any clues? (If it offers to send a
crash report to Microsoft let it: one time I did that and it told me
about a third party patch there and then).
You may say that and believe it can't crash Windows Vista - but, nevertheless, Vista crashes on startup and Reader (as the only variable that has changed - I've experienced this twice so it's not a fluke) is the culprit in this situation - even though the issue may actually be something in the O/S!
This morning I recall something on the blue screen the second time I started it that referred to IRQs - I'm not sure that Reader uses interrupt requests but clearly it is triggering something.
As to getting a patch from Vista: I've had that experience with other programs - sorry to say occasionally unsuccessful and repetitive until Vista finally gets it right. This time it sent the report (after system restore) and I received no response at all. I have no 'weird' programs on this computer, only mainstream programs. While I understand how it could be true it's still very frustrating when one program says it's the fault of another and vice versa. No one seems to want to take responsibility, least of all Microsoft.
Perhaps I am just venting my anger at yet another conflict with Vista :(
In case anybody is still interested enough to check this thread out I need to post this apology to Adobe and Aandi Inston - I WAS WRONG - it is purely down to Windows Vista, Reader was an innocent onlooker!
After downloading the Reader update when I closed Vista it downloaded some updates automatically and it is THOSE (or one of those) that is causing such a problem with startup....
I still don't know why Vista crashed before (another instance where reverting to a state before the installation cleared the issue) but on this occasion Reader was apparently not at fault. Though I'm still hesitant to install it - purely due to the seeming instability of Windows Vista.
That's the point: if program X crashes Windows, then Windows is at
fault. It's one of the big selling points of Windows NT/XP/Vista:
uncrashable, even by the most appalling or malicious program.