I had the same problem and cured it with the following procedure - copied from a post that I cannot now locate.
Browse to Program files\Adobe\Reader 10.0\Reader\
Right click on AcroRd32.exe, select properties
On compatibility tab, check "run in compatibility mode" and select Windows 2000
I don't understand it either, but it works. Thanks are due to the originator, not me.
Thanks to the originator for the advice.
I'll set that up and see how it goes.
Sorry to report this, but while my copy of Adobe
Reader does now start up and will display PDF
files, it keeps throwing annoying repeated copies
of the same message while in operation, without
appearing to actually shut down. In any case
something is still broken. I am thinking about
changing back to Foxit reader, at least until the
next Adobe update - expected within the week to
handle a zero-day vulnerability.
I was using Foxit (also free) happily until I
started reading really big files. Adobe is
significantly faster to navigate in a big file.
The compatibility mode didn't work for me, as Adobe Reader didn't want to open in compatibility mode for some reason. However, Try editing the file (highlighting something, or adding a sticky note) then saving the file. I found that once edited and saved, adobe stops crashing.
Well, it did not completely work for me, either, but the continuing partial failure may provide an important clue.
After entering compatibility mode, Reader quit actually crashing but as I discovered after making my last post, something calling itself Adobe Reader still throws "sorry I have to close" messages. It does so when I mouse over any explorer window which has a .pdf document in it. I can acknowledge the pop-up to get rid of it, and it goes away without affecting any Reader window I may have open. So the problem is now an annoyance, not a show stopper.
Apparently it is now not Reader itself, but something else that tries to open and fails. I am guessing that it is some kind of so-called "helper" intrusion into explorer that tries to open when it looks like I might pretty soon ask to open a .pdf. That is just the kind of thing I don't want going on without my consent, so it is in a way fortunate that it is failing in a visible way. I have uninstalled Adobe's Reader in favor of Foxit's reader.
My choice between those two readers switches back and forth depending on what the latest version of the current one does to me. I last switched to Adobe when Foxit suddenly became very slow to scroll a large document. When this current problem cropped up, I tried the latest version of Foxit and found that they have fixed that, so switched back. I hope that Adobe quits this nonsense before Foxit breaks again.
PS A friend just happened by and suggested that the presence of Adobe Acrobat 6.0 on this old machine might have something to do with the whole situation. I'll uninstall that, but probably not reinstall Adobe Reader until something goes wrong with my present satisfactory configuration.