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I have never uninstalled any older reader before installing the newest one. However, if you make a very large jump, say from 4.x or 6.x to 8.x, I would consider uninstalling the safest option.
Thank you very much!
Having just installed the upgrade to Acrobat 8.1 Pro over 6.x Pro, I would tend to agree. The 8.x installer detected my 6.x and told me that either I could uninstall 6.x, or that it could handle it. I don't remember it recommending one over the other, so I let it do the job.
Then the fun began. AFTER removing 6.x, the 8.x installer announced that it could NOT find a product qualifying for upgrade!
Well, no sh--, Sherlock! It was THERE before YOU removed it! Too much trouble to capture the old serial number before pulling the plug, I suppose?
[Disgruntled human locates Acrobat 6.0 Pro CD case, keys in 24-digit serial number]
Process completes, and I seem to have Acrobat 8.x in FOUR places:
1. The original 515MB download APRO8_Win_WEB_WWEFG.exe (which I feel safe burning to a CD and removing).
2. A 586MB 'Adobe' folder on my desktop (which I don't WANT there, but which no doubt will cause all manner of heartache should I move it).
3. About 460MB of cached installer files in C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 8.0\Setup files (I can understand having EITHER #2 OR #3, but why BOTH? Would appreciate an explanation).
4. The actual, installed program in C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 8.0\Acrobat
The "hard drive space is cheap" philosophy is even more evident after discovering that not only is the old Acrobat 6.0 folder still THERE, but has over 100MB of junk in it.
Furthermore, WinXP's Add/Remove Programs list still contained entries for Reader 6.0 and every incremental update (6.0.1, 6.0.2, etc.) to Acrobat AND Reader.
My first instinct is to uninstall 8.1, remove all vestiges of 6.x, and reinstall 8.1 clean.
Anybody got a better idea?
I don't know about item 2, but item 3 is typically wanted for any
downloaded software these days.
When software is installed with Windows Installer, it is able to use
the install file to repair or change the configuration at any time.
Acrobat may also trigger automatic repair if it finds an important
file missing. You may want to add features in future with Add/Remove
programs. So you should keep this. It is, essentially a replacement
for the CD media which CD-installed software may ask you for if you
try to repair or change it. It MIGHT also be needed for an uninstall,
not sure about this.
You also missed out item 5. Windows Installer will have probably put
hundreds of megabytes into its shadowy databases. Don't even think
about touching these, or you certainly won't be able to uninstall,
upgrade, or add a patch.
Oh, yes -- item #5. Well, that is Windows' doing for ALL apps, nothing unique to Adobe's.
I've used 'Detect and Repair' with Acrobat before, so I appreciate having those unpacked-and-ready-to-use installer files (#3). What wasn't clear was what purpose is served by the half-gig 'Adobe' folder on my desktop (#2). What does it do that #3 cannot?
FWIW, I decided to uninstall 8.1, clean out all references to 6.x, and do a clean reinstall. This time, I told the installer to put #3 under My Documents\Software\Adobe\Acrobat, which it cheerfully did.
So far, Acrobat 8 is impressive. Loads as fast as 6 did -- maybe faster. PDFMaker 8 seems to have given Word 2003 a near-fatal case of heartburn, but surely that's fixable. Maybe something to do with Word's security settings. More likely, a consequence of slash-and-burn Registry surgery. Adventure!
It's all coming back to me -- why I wait SO MANY versions before biting the upgrade bullet. It's so much freakin' FUN! :-P