Using my present installation of Adobe Reader 9.4.0 I can open and view Portable Document Format (PDF) files. However, Adobe Reader 9.4.0 is no longer listed in Windows XP's "Add or Remove Programs" list on my computer. This is the result of attempting to "Remove" it from there back when it was listed there. After that attempt to remove the program via "Add or Remove Programs," the listing of Adobe Reader 9.4.0 there in the list was removed; but that program still remained on my computer with the main function of opening and making PDF documents viewable still working!
Some history: Before attempting to remove Adobe Reader 9.4.0 I noticed that Adobe Reader 9.1.3 and something else of Adobe with a I think a "..CL.." in its name, indented and listed underneath Adobe Reader 9.1.3, plus Adobe Reader 9.4.0 were all listed in the "Add or Remove Programs" list. The appearance there was that I had two versions of Adobe Reader installed on my computer at the same time, which if so was probably not good. After the attempt to remove Adobe Reader 9.4.0, reinstalling it via a download of it using Adobe's download manager was unsuccessful with the Adobe download manager reporting that Adobe Reader 9.4.0 was already installed on the computer, even though it was not listed in the "Add or Remove Programs" list. At that point I think I was in a position in which I could neither install nor via "Add or Remove Programs" to uninstall Adobe Reader 9.4.0.
I tried to uninstall Adobe Reader 9.1.3 and the "..CL..." item listed under it in "Add or Remove Programs." But by clicking the "Remove" button there in each instance that was not possible. The "..CL..." program was stated as unremovable. For Adobe Reader 9.1.3 I saw the error message "Patch package could not be opened." But I installed the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility obtained from a Softpedia Web site. And within the execution of that ultility I saw only Adobe Reader 9.1.3 listed among Adobe Reader programs. So I removed the Windows Installer settings for Adobe Reader 9.1.3. After that neither Adobe Reader 9.1.3 nor its "..CL.." item was listed in "Add or Remove Programs."
In Adobe Reader 9.4.0 via its "Help" menu I selected "Repair..." But nothing obvious appeared to occur as a result of that. On selecting "Check for Updates" within the "Help" menu it appeared on repeated attempts at that that my computer could not connect to the Adobe server computer while my computer was connected to the Internet. It was a problem in Adobe Reader's Help's "Check for Updates" not reporting, downloading, or installing an available new version of Adobe Reader that originally got me started trying to rectify that problem; in other words, before I started trying to fix some things relating to Adobe Reader the appearance via Adobe Reader's "Check for Updates" was that no new version of Adobe Reader was reported available after such a check for one, when by other means on the Internet I learned that there was a new version of Adobe Reader available.
So far by looking in the directory C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Reader 9.0 I did not find any remaining vestiges of Adobe Reader 9.1.3, but only files for Adobe Reader 9.4.0. If before using the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility Adobe Reader 9.1.3 was really installed on my computer, I would have expected that using that utility would have removed some Windows Installer settings for Adobe Reader 9.1.3, as a result making it invisible in the "Add or Remove Programs" list, but otherwise left its files within C:\Program Files..... But thinking in the opposite way, suppose all but the Windows Installer settings of Adobe Reader 9.1.3 were not on the computer.--Then using the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility to remove them would have removed the last vestiges of Adobe Reader 9.1.3 on the computer. This latter, opposite hypothesis seems to better fit the results I saw within the directory C:\Program Files\Adobe..
Perhaps my early mistake could have been in obtaining one or more later versions of Adobe Reader by downloading installation file(s) for them from (an) Internet Web site(s) and then running those files instead of obtaining new versions of Adobe Reader's via Adobe Reader's "Help, Check for Updates..." How should I now get the Adobe Reader-related things working the way they should work, for example to have proper listings of the installed versions of Adobe Reader in the "Add or Remove Programs" list and the Adobe Reader "Check for Updates" and "Repair..." options working properly? Not being either an expert on the matter or the program writer for Adobe Reader, a logical starting point seems to me to be to somehow get rid of all Adobe Reader items on the computer and to then install the latest version of Adobe Reader and at that point to hopefully have things working properly. It would nice if some sort of Adobe Reader software "tool" could be made that would remove any possible registry entries, Windows Installer entries, and files for all versions of Adobe Reader from the computer. Anyhow, what does anyone suggest I do now? I recommend that to avoid possible problems with multiple versions of Adobe Reader on a computer that a new version of it automatically replace all previously installed versions of it, no matter whether the installation is made by running an installation file downloaded from an Internet Web site or via Adobe Reader's own "Check for Updates" option.
I can imagine an approach which might at least return Adobe Reader 9.4.0 to the "Add or Remove Programs" list. That would be to download a possible installation file for all of Adobe Reader 9.4.0 from the Internet and then to execute it. However, from what I have seen the installation for it is instead set up to be downloaded and installed from a Web page instead of by the user saving a downloaded file on his or her computer and then having the user execute it. Is there a way I can download an entire installation file for Adobe Reader 9.4.0 so that it can be executed while offline for the entire installation of Adobe Reader 9.4.0?
Attempts to restore my computer to two, recent and earlier Windows-XP restore points have failed. The most important part of Adobe Reader 9.4.0 for me is to be able to open and view PDF documents, something which now works for me. So I am reluctant to "gamble" with the possibility of losing that most important function unless I can have some assurance of success in improving the situation. Suppose I were to delete all of the entire directory C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Reader 9. Would that cause something else of Adobe not to work, such as AIR, whatever that is? If I did so, would such a deletion enable Adobe Reader 9.4.0 to be installed from the Adobe Reader Web site?