2 Replies Latest reply on Feb 29, 2008 8:35 PM by (Ludwig_Wgtn)

    Adobe Reader 8.1.2 tries to open almost everything

      I'm running WIndows XP, patches up to date.

      Clicking on almost any file results in Adobe Reader starting up & trying to open the file - e.g. iexplore.exe, firefox.exe, mozart32.exe. It even happens for lots of system startup items - e.g. Google Updater, TweakMaster, Download Accelerator Plus, (Dlink wireless) AirGCFG.exe, even Adobe's Reader_SL.exe itself .. all up more than 20 when I log in(!).

      I suspected a corrupted installation so opened Add/Remove Pgms - that too tried to be opened by Adobe Reader. Tried running regedt32.exe, Adobe Reader tries to open this as a PDF too (obviously without luck). Error message it always reports says -

      "Adobe Reader could not open 'rundll32.exe' beause it is either not a supported file type or because the file has been damaged (for example, it was sent as an email attachment and wasn't correctly decoded)."

      The named EXE will vary, but the rest is always the same.

      If I right-click on any file the list of options I get has the [default option] "Read" (in bold) with "Open" being second choice followed by the other usuals (Run As, etc).

      REGEDT32.EXE has worse problems .. right-click & READ is default, but open has same effect with Adobe trying to treat the EXE as a PDF file & failing miserably. Even RunAs myself fails, but I can RunAs someone-else and it opens okay.

      Fortunately Start\Run\Appwiz.CPL worked & I could un-install Adobe Reader. After rebooting my machine all was okay. A re-install of Adobe Rdr brings back the problem, so un-install done again. Even multiple reboots before re-installation has no effect (just checked to make sure).

      I've come to the conclusion I have a rogue registry entry that has no effect provided I don't ever want to read a PDF file, which is not true .. I do.

      What do I need to do fix this & be able to install the Reader with no resulting problems? Maybe a simple reg edit of something?
        • 1. Re: Adobe Reader 8.1.2 tries to open almost everything
          Level 1
          • 2. Re: Adobe Reader 8.1.2 tries to open almost everything
            Level 1
            Thanks for the link but my problem is with EXE files (amongst others) so, as stated in the MS article, you can't use that method to change the behaviour.

            By comparing to another machine, I have found is a set of keys in the HKCU registry that shouldn't be there -


            [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.exe\OpenWi thList]

            [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.exe\OpenWi thProgids]

            Having now removed them using REGEDIT (& I remembered to back up my registry first!) I have now re-installed Acrobat Reader without experiencing problems (haven't rebooted yet, but I'm pretty sure it's fixed) - e.g. I can still use REGEDIT, launch IE7 or Firefox from icons that didn't work before.

            I have no idea how those keys got there, but they're gone now ;-}