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I am using Vista also and having a similar problem. After 3-4 installation attempts, I currently do not have access to a reader for PDF files. I have uninstalled the older version thinking that would help with the installation problems I was having. I have disabled other apps as suggested in the help section using msconfig but the installation still hangs for hours at 93%.
Is this a Vista problem?
Hearing no news, here's my workaround: I installed Reader 8.1.2 instead from http://www.softpedia.com/progDownload/Adobe-Reader-Download-2572.html . That worked. Hope this helps someone else.
I have a Dell Desktop with Vista SP1, Adobe reader 8 already on it, I uninstalled reader 8 and put on reader 9, no problems. Have a new laptop with no adobe reader installed, can't get the reader 9 to install no matter what I try (error 1303) I am using Mr. Sutter's link to try and put 8.1.2 on the laptop. Got error 1321, insufficient privileges to modify a dll. I ignored it. That seemed to work when I set compatibility to XP SP2, had user UAC turned off. This is a really sad state of affairs for adobe. They once had a stable and solid product.
Im am having the same issue with Adobe reader 9, running Vista Business SP1. The 8.1.2 install did work though.
Here's one for y'all to puzzle over. Installed v. 9 on an XP pro machine, no issues.
Tried to install v. 9 on Vista ultimate (clean Vista install) and the Adobe install would consistently hang at 92%. After trying to resume installation three times, I let it stew while I ate dinner. Came back to find it still at 92%. Decided to try Mr. Sutter's solution, so I stopped the install and went to control panel to try to install whatever dregs might have been there. Imagine my surprise when the uninstaller said Acrobat 9 was installed. Checked program files and it was there too! Went to the start menu, found Acrobat 9, clicked it, and it opened. As far as I can tell it works just as it should. I have no idea what happened.
It's never a good idea to download software from other servers than the original manufacturers'. Here are the download locations on the Adobe servers (English version for Windows)
or: http://download.adobe.com/pub/adobe/reader/win/9.x/9.0/enu/AdbeRdr90_en_US_Std.exe (Reader only)