34 Replies Latest reply on Feb 13, 2014 6:40 AM by Chetty

    Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs

    pblodge

      Help!  I am using Vista (can't change this). When I upgrade to Adobe 9.0, the links for most all Exe. programs are replaced by link to Adobe.  I note that others have referenced this problem for months. I can't believe I or anyone else is supposed to manually fix all the Exe. links. What's up with this?  What's the problem and the fix?  Thank you.

        • 1. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
          pwillener Level 8

          pblodge wrote:

           

          ... the links for most all Exe. programs are replaced by link to Adobe.

           

          I have read this sentence four or five times, but I cannot imagine what you mean by that - please explain.

          • 2. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
            pblodge Level 1

            Thank you for asking.  Below is an explanation in part lifted from another person's request for help with the same issue in the Adobe Forum back in Jan 2009. There was no explanation or solution posted that I could find. 

             

            "I am using Vista. After installing Reader 9.0 it takes over. It changes all of my MS office 2007 icons (and others) to look like Acrobat icons and then tries to launch Adobe instead of the program I am trying to launch when I click on the icon.  I get the following error message

             

            c:programfiles\.......reader\Eula.exe

            This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Create an association in the set associations control panel"

             

            I can't believe that I must recreate associations for all many files manually.

             

            I will appreciate it if you have an explanation and can suggest a solution.

            • 3. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
              pwillener Level 8

              Ok, I understand.  If I were to experience this situation I would

              • uninstall Adobe Reader (using Windows Installer Cleanup Utility, if necessary)
              • run a Repair Install of Office
              • reinstall Adobe Reader

               

              Did that fix your situation?  If not, do you have a System Restore Point of a date before the problem started?

              • 4. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                pblodge Level 1

                I uninstalled Adobe and everything went back to the way it was and all Office programs and others that were impacted worked fine.  I ran repair.  On reinstall of Adobe I the same problem returned.

                 

                I don't have a restore point back far enough to be helpful. 

                 

                If I could reinstall Adobe Reader 7.0, I would. I need reader for so many things. Do you know where I can find 7.0? I have been looking for it. 

                 

                Thank you.

                • 5. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                  pwillener Level 8

                  That is weird - I have never heard of such a thing happening.

                   

                  Anyway, if you think you can live with version 7.x, here is the latest installer (7.1)

                  ftp://ftp.adobe.com/pub/adobe/reader/win/7x/7.1.0/enu/AdbeRdr710_en_US.exe

                   

                  And here is the patch to update it to version 7.1.3

                  ftp://ftp.adobe.com/pub/adobe/reader/win/7x/7.1.3/misc/AdbeRdrUpd713_all_incr.msp

                  • 6. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                    lsutiger72

                    I am having the exact same problem.  I have uninstalled all adobe programs and downloaded the reader 5 times.  Same thing every time.  All ms programs, and several others (avg) come up with adobe tiles on the desktop and program list.  When you try to open them, I get the same error as the previous person. My buddy has the same computer and system (Sony VAIO with Vista Home Premium) with no problem.  Can I download a previous version.....the adobe site only brings up 9.0 or 9.1 cant remember.  Thank you for any help.

                    • 7. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                      pwillener Level 8

                      lsutiger72 wrote:

                       

                      Can I download a previous version.....

                       

                      The download link to 7.x has been posted just above your own post.

                       

                      The latest installer for 8.1 is here ftp://ftp.adobe.com/pub/adobe/reader/win/8.x/8.1.3/enu/AdbeRdr813_en_US.exe


                      After installing it, apply the 8.1.6 patch ftp://ftp.adobe.com/pub/adobe/reader/win/8.x/8.1.6/misc/AdbeRdrUpd816_all_incr.msp

                      • 8. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                        michael.varnell Level 2

                        Hello:

                         

                        I'm not sure if this will help since I have never run across this particular issue but try running checkdisk on your boot drive forcing it to repair any errors it finds on the disk. Ensure you are running the command prompt with Administrative privledges or disable UAC first.

                         

                        1. Click Start > Run

                        2. Type CMD > hit ENTER key

                        3. Type chkdsk /f > hit ENTER key

                        4. Type y to the prompt that informs you that checkdisk will run upon the next reboot

                        5. Type EXIT > hit ENTER

                        6. Reboot your system

                         

                        I'll keep looking around for a posible resolution but try this for now. Have you applied all of the Microsoft security patches? Service packs? IE8?

                         

                        Best of success!

                             Michael

                        • 9. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                          pwillener Level 8

                          Not quite sure how CHKDSK (HD) can fix bad file associations (registry). But then this whole thing is a mystery...

                           

                          Can one of the affected users please check the registry, and tell me the contents of this key (while the error is occurring)

                          HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe

                          • 10. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                            michael.varnell Level 2

                            Me neither, Pat, except the registry resides on the hard drive thus the suggestion. It has been my experience that checkdisk has resolved very odd OS behaviors so I felt it worth the minimal effort it would take to complete. I admit I have never seen anything like this so I am grasping at straws. The same goes for the registry fix tool on Windows Live OneCare safety scanner, which is why I'd suggest that next if checkdisk doesn't fix the issue.

                             

                            Good luck!

                                 Michael

                            • 11. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                              IT Soc

                              Was this issue resolved?  I am having the same problem.  I am running WIndows XP and after installing Acrobat 7.0, most of my icons on my desktop and the programs had the adobe tile as the icon.  I installed Adobe 7 and now the affected icons have .lnk as their extension and I don't know how to open them.  I ran a CHKDSK which corrected some corrupted files.  Not sure how to get my icons back working correctly.  Any help would be appreciated.

                              • 12. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                                pblodge Level 1

                                Thanks for asking.

                                 

                                NO it was never resolved! The proposed solutions were so preposterous and time consuming that I abandoned Adobe for FoxIt Reader. Up to today if I try to install Adobe 9.0 on my 32 bit machine running Vista, I get the same problem.  Ridiculous.

                                • 13. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                                  LGaspar

                                  This is actually a Windows installer / User error and has been most common with Adobe Reader.  I could not find the Adobe tech doc that goes over the possible solutions, but here are a couple of sites with decent instructions.

                                   

                                  Basically you need to correct a bad entry in the Registry:

                                   

                                  http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/vistaprograms/thread/16be61fe-76ef-4b91-9 f60-3338cbcefb97

                                   


                                  http://www.pcpowerguide.com/processes/exe/fix-exe-file-association-errors/

                                   

                                   

                                   

                                  Once you have this fixed you can then re-install Reader.  BUT!!!  My guess is that something <i>odd</i> was going on during the installation OR you were doing something wrong during the installation.

                                   


                                  My suggestion is to download the installer file and save it to your computer (to your desktop for example) then disconnect from the Internet (aka unplug the Ethernet cord/turn off wireless card), turn off any security software you may have (along with anything else you have running) and then try installing again.

                                   


                                  If you continue to have problems, call Adobe support.

                                   


                                  If you want to avoid being on the phone for long you can also seek online support.  There is a Adobe knowledge base document that covers this situation that I used to recommend to people but I can not seem to find it online today.  You could ask if they can send you a copy.

                                  • 14. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                                    Santo_3

                                    I am experiencing the same problem and i can ensure that it is not a user error.

                                    I dont have much to add to the first post except from the fact that in my case,  once adobe reader is installed (9.2) and gives the known problem, a way to open the .exe files is right click and select open.

                                    I have done as told in the latter post. But the options that are suggested to be changed in the link given are just as they are supposed to be.

                                    I ended up using Foxit reader.

                                    Seems like we are left out...

                                    • 15. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                                      saifsaif

                                      I had the same problem..and i fixed it !!

                                       

                                      here is the solution

                                      you must Reset and Fix Windows Vista default file extension type associations

                                      and in order to do so

                                      go to this site

                                       

                                      http://www.kreslavsky.com/2009/03/reset-and-fix-windows-vista-default-file-extention-type- associations.html

                                       

                                      download the vista fix file and open the exe fix registry file

                                       

                                       

                                      • 16. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                                        VKray Level 1

                                        This started happening to me yesterday. I rebooted my PC, and when I tried to launch Google Chrome, it became Adobe Reader 9. It then changed every single EXE file on my desktop to Reader's icon and attempted to launch each app using Adobe Reader. Right clicking on any file's icon gave me the option to 'read' the file. There were no options to open, edit, etc.

                                         

                                        Seeing how long this issue has persisted by simply googling 'adobe reader virus', I think it's absolutely ridiculous that Adobe hasn't fixed or acknowledged this a serious bug. I don't know what triggers the registry changes, but it's not caused by a bad install (as a poster above mentioned). If so, the issue would have occurred a long time ago, and not suddenly appeared after a normal reboot.

                                         

                                        Unfortunately, when you suffer from this bug, it disables ALL exe files from launching. I couldn't launch System Restore because the buttons link to an EXE file which it connects with Adobe Reader. I also could not launch Windows Defender and could not launch McAfee Security Center. I thought I had a virus and wasted all night and today trying to get rid of the virus. It is not a virus though! It's Adobe's application that broke every single application on my PC, including Anti-virus software which became unresponsive to every click.

                                         

                                        Most users are not going to figure out this bug. Adobe really needs to take a look at this! I did install Python and Google's App Engine 2 days ago but I don't see why that would have caused Adobe Reader to change my registry.

                                         

                                        I'm so frustrated right now !:(

                                        • 17. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                                          VKray Level 1

                                          I'm surprised Adobe would allow someone with 1 post to freely link to a script that changes a user's registery. If you're smart, you won't click the link. Even if it's a real fix, bad people normally spread viruses this way.

                                           

                                          Easy fix -- Unintall Adobe Reader and hope they fix it so you can use it again.

                                          • 18. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                                            saifsaif Level 1

                                            I'm surprised Adobe would allow someone with 1 post to freely link to a script that changes a user's registery. If you're smart, you won't click the link. Even if it's a real fix, bad people normally spread viruses this way.

                                             

                                            Easy fix -- Unintall Adobe Reader and hope they fix it so you can use it again.

                                             

                                            well, am not a "bad people"..and its a real fix from a crediable source

                                            i tried it my self and it worked just fine with no problems

                                             

                                            if you wanna wait for adope to fix it..you will wait forever

                                            • 19. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                                              Santo_3 Level 1

                                              It is a weird bug. I believe adobe will do nothing about it. Any Help From any user will be welcome from my side.

                                              Anyhow the ones posted above did not solve the prob. FoxIt Reader was a good bypass for me.

                                               

                                              • 20. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                                                LGaspar Level 1

                                                I would just like to say again that this isNOT a Reader bug.  This is a Windows issue, most likely triggered by an issue with Windows Installer (which is used to install Reader).  You guys just happened to encounter it when you were installing Reader.

                                                 

                                                Here is the actual Microsoft KB document covering this issue:

                                                 

                                                http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555067

                                                 

                                                 

                                                Here for example is a link to the same problem with WordPad:

                                                 

                                                http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/226825-46-help-files-converted-wordpad

                                                 

                                                 

                                                Two, there are several ways to fix this issue.  I also want to state that I have fixed this issue several times for others.  I have also intentionally caused this issue so that I could be sure that the fixes I used did work (Win XP, Win 2K and Win Vista).  From the above link:

                                                 

                                                 

                                                Method 1)

                                                 

                                                Manually edit the registry to remove the default association with .exe files.  Here is the walk through from the MS KB:

                                                 

                                                http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555067

                                                 

                                                 

                                                Here is the same walk through detailing how to do this on the MS forums:

                                                 

                                                 

                                                http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/vistaprograms/thread/16be61fe-76ef-4b91-9 f60-3338cbcefb97

                                                 

                                                 

                                                Also please note this note at the bottom of the KB document:

                                                 

                                                "Note: If you are using Windows XP and you enable "System Restore" , you need to

                                                           disable "System Restore" in "Safe Mode" before using the instructions above."

                                                 

                                                 

                                                Here is how to enter Safe Mode (excerpt from MS KB doc):

                                                 

                                                Restart the computer in Safe Mode

                                                 

                                                To restart the computer in Safe Mode, use the appropriate method for your version of Microsoft Windows.

                                                 

                                                   1. Shut down, and then restart the computer.

                                                 

                                                   2. When you see the "Please select the operating system to start" message, press F8.

                                                 

                                                   3. On the Windows Advanced Options menu, use the ARROW keys to select Safe Mode, and then press ENTER.

                                                 

                                                   4. If you have a dual-boot computer or a multiboot computer, select the appropriate operating system from the list, and then press ENTER.

                                                 

                                                For more information about Safe Mode, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

                                                (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315222/ ) A description of the Safe Mode Boot options in Windows XP

                                                (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/202485/ ) Description of Safe Boot Mode in Windows 2000

                                                (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/180902/ ) How to start a Windows 98-based computer in Safe Mode

                                                 

                                                 

                                                Here is how to turn off system restore:

                                                 

                                                http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310405

                                                 

                                                 

                                                 

                                                 

                                                 

                                                Method 2)

                                                 

                                                Open up a command line prompt.  This can be done by going to Start > Run.  In the Run box type, "cmd" and press enter.  (don't type the quotes).

                                                The rest is from the above post

                                                 

                                                >>

                                                Reason is that your file associations has changed.

                                                 

                                                From the command prompt, type:

                                                 

                                                1. C:\>assoc|more <enter> --- this tells you the file associations that are in place

                                                 

                                                2. C:\>assoc .exe= <enter> ---- this removes the association on .exe files

                                                >>

                                                 

                                                More information can be found in this Microsoft KB document:

                                                 

                                                http://support.microsoft.com/?id=323526

                                                • 21. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                                                  ~graffiti Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                  saifsaif wrote:

                                                   

                                                  well, am not a "bad people"

                                                   

                                                  That's what all the bad people say.

                                                  • 22. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                                                    saifsaif Level 1
                                                    That's what all the bad people say.

                                                     

                                                    really?.. I thought that bad people are proud to be bad

                                                    I think you are mistaken this with "I am innocent"

                                                     

                                                    here is another link of the same registry fix on Winhelponline.com

                                                    http://www.winhelponline.com/articles/105/1/File-association-fixes-for-Windows-Vista.html

                                                     

                                                    anyway, i just wanted to help..if you have any doubts don't do anything..

                                                    • 23. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                                                      h8printingadobe

                                                      I don't recall the facts pertaining to the matter in question........

                                                      • 24. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                                                        saifsaif Level 1
                                                        I don't recall the facts pertaining to the matter in question........

                                                         

                                                        what?..

                                                        • 25. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                                                          h8printingadobe Level 1

                                                          It was a joke to the line....I am innocent.

                                                          • 26. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                                                            VKray Level 1

                                                            "I would just like to say again that this isNOT a Reader bug.  This is a Windows issue, most likely triggered by an issue with Windows Installer (which is used to install Reader).  You guys just happened to encounter it when you were installing Reader."

                                                             

                                                            Typical response. Blame it on someone else. I did not just install Adobe Reader! Hard to trigger it during the install when I installed Reader more than 1 year ago!

                                                             

                                                            If this is an old issue with MS, I hightly doubt MS would not have patch in place for a bug that launches an Adobe product. It's obvious Adobe is unwilling to look at the bug. Unfortunately, I can't use Adobe Reader or Air unless Adobe corrects the cause.

                                                             

                                                            Your fixes do not help my issue, and it's absolutely ridiculous that Adobe expects their users to edit the registry to get their application to launch properly. The only fix is uninstalling Adobe Reader. It's unfortunate.

                                                            • 27. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                                                              VKray Level 1

                                                              This issue says "can't open exe files": http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555067

                                                               

                                                              Did you even read it???

                                                              <copy>

                                                              SYMPTOMS

                                                              When you try to open EXE files, you may get errors messages like: "Access Deny", "Runtime error" etc.

                                                              CAUSE

                                                              Corrupt registry settings or some third party product (or virus) can change the default configuration for running EXE files. This may lead to failed operation when you try to run EXE files.

                                                              </copy>

                                                               

                                                              Exactly how does that relate to "every single exe on my PC launches Adobe Reader 9 (or another program)"?

                                                              If anything, this confirms that Reader 9 is a virus, and Adobe Reader has changed the default configuration for running EXE files!

                                                               

                                                              Unfortunately, the issue re-occurs if I keep Reader installed. I had to uninstall it. Reinstalling only recreated the issue. Seems to be caused by Adobe Reader, not MS.

                                                              • 28. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                                                                VKray Level 1

                                                                LOL!

                                                                Your linked MS page was last modified in March 2004!

                                                                <copy>

                                                                Article ID: 555067 - Last Review: March 1, 2004 - Revision: 1.0

                                                                </copy>

                                                                 

                                                                The information applies to:

                                                                <copy>

                                                                APPLIES TO
                                                                • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
                                                                • Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
                                                                • Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2002
                                                                • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
                                                                • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Web Edition
                                                                • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition
                                                                • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition
                                                                • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition
                                                                • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition for Itanium-based Systems
                                                                • Microsoft Small Business Server 2000 Standard Edition

                                                                </copy>

                                                                 

                                                                I am using Windows Vista Home Premium.I hardly think an issue from 5 1/2 YEARS ago applies to today. Please catch up with the times!

                                                                • 29. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                                                                  prodigals7

                                                                  Hi everyone,

                                                                  I had the same problem on my desktop comp.  I went to the link provided by Saifsaif and it fixed the problem without adding more.  I took the chance and came out victorious!

                                                                  Hope it works for everyone else out there, and thanks for the advice.

                                                                  Tami

                                                                  • 30. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                                                                    LGaspar Level 1

                                                                    Windows Vista uses the Windows NT Kernel (a Kernel is the most basic part of the operating system). Every consumer grade version of Windows after Windows ME (millennium) has used the NT Kernel along with most of the configuration programs and files.  This goes, ... > NT 3.5 > NT 4 > Windows 2000 > Windows XP > Windows Vista > Windows 7.  Again much of the code from NT 4 is unchanged even in Windows 7, this is actually pretty common for software development.

                                                                     

                                                                    In this case the issue is from a bug/feature introduced at least as far back as Windows 2000 release version.  This has to do with how Windows stores file associations.  Typically when you have a .XXX file, when you click on that file Windows checks a list of programs to see if any of them should open the file.  If not you get a request message box asking for you to pick an action.

                                                                     

                                                                    There are several "special" extensions.  (an extension is anything past the "." or dot character) This list includes .lnk (shortcut), .exe (executable), .com (also executable but of an older type), .bat (batch file).  This list of .extension (dot-extension) file types have special actions associated with double clicking on them.

                                                                     

                                                                    By default when an executable (.exe) is double-clicked it is loaded into memory and the first set of instructions is carried out.

                                                                     

                                                                    This issue is caused by a Windows Install feature or bug that has existed since at least the release version of Windows 2000.  This "feature" allows a USER to specify "ALL" extensions when the list should be "All of THESE" extensions.  If the user has administrative privileges, has certain features turned on in the Windows OS (these are usually set by security software for hardening reasons) the "ALL" option will place an entry in the program/extension association list for .exe.  This entry is the cause of the problem.  Instead of loading the file into memory, it instead passed to the particular program.

                                                                     

                                                                    If you would like to test this try the following:

                                                                     

                                                                    1) Log into your computer with an user account with Administrative privileges (which in most cases you already are).

                                                                     

                                                                    2) Open up a command line terminal (Start > Run, in the run box type, "cmd" and hit enter).

                                                                     

                                                                    3) assoc .exe="C:\Program Files\Windows NT\Accessories\wordpad.exe"

                                                                     

                                                                    Once you have completed this step, your programs will no longer open in Reader, but in Wordpad.  Not that this is any help but it is demonstratively.  You can then remove this entry through the method below.

                                                                     

                                                                    From the command line type:

                                                                    ASSOC .EXE=exefile

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                    As a last step, I believe that creating a New User account will also reset this as file associations are per user, not per machine.

                                                                     

                                                                    Let me also say, I did just do both of these steps on this computer as I typed this message.  I created the issue described in this post, and then corrected it.

                                                                    • 31. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                                                                      pwillener Level 8

                                                                      Thanks for the explanation - that makes some very intersting reading!

                                                                      • 32. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                                                                        jodon1230

                                                                        I have a new computer with windows 7.  I'm having the problem of Adobe taking over my icons.  Did you resolve & fix this problem?  If so how?  I'm not a computer expert.  FAR FROM IT!.  Hope it was easy to do. Please help.

                                                                        • 33. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                                                                          The Burner

                                                                          It's a year later and I came upon this thread.  Last month, I upgraded to Adobe Reader 10.  Then this problem struck - interestingly only on my logon (I use Vista and share the computer with others in my family).    I uninstalled Adobe Reader and the problem went away.     After going for a month with no Adobe, my other family members complained, so I reinstalled it an the problem came back.

                                                                           

                                                                          I also tried the link in SaifSaif's post and it worked like a charm!   Thanks everyone for contributing to this post.

                                                                          • 34. Re: Adobe Reader 9.0 takes over most Exe. programs
                                                                            Chetty

                                                                            I had the same problem but went to the Microsoft "Fixit" program for installing software and the  problem was corrected.  I now have Adob Reader 10 installed and working.