That really sucks! I am afraid to see what condition my pc will be in when I get home from work then, as I upgraded my reader last night. My computer starting running really slow after that though. Something was definitely not right. I didn't restart right away, but when it started running really slow, I did reboot - twice. But it didn't seem to help. The computer then became too frustrating to use (internet) so then I shut it down for the night. I have a feeling that something got corrupted from this Adobe Reader upgrade. I'm afraid I will end up in the same boat as you - not be able to use my computer again!! Mine also was running perfectly before this - just had my hd formatted a few months ago. My os is also Windows xp (not pro). I hope someone here can offer some help!!
Add me to the list of people with a dead PC running Windows XP after an upgrade to Adobe Reader. I even tried to run the XP repair console with no joy.
There are MAJOR differences between a "restart" and a "reboot":
When your PC restarts, it doesn't "power off". It only switches the voltage off to certain components momentarily. That's just one.
There are also similarities:
Your OS swap files, cache, and RAM are all cleared whether you restart or reboot. Again, that's just one.
When the OS doesn't recognize an HD in some other system, it's usually a driver signing issue (different chipset on the other MotherBoard). Not a problem with the HD.
When the OS no longer recognizes an HD in the native system, the predominant reason is... wait for it... A hardware failure. Not caused by any updates.
Most often (at least with the ones I've had to replace for people) this is caused by a single problem. Severe fragmentation has burned out the pickup servos from overworking them to open fragmented files. I've seen this more than a dozen times in the last year and a half. You would not believe the grief I've had to take from people who killed their own PC when I tell them what did it.
I have two systems running right now.
1. A four year old e-machine that was upgraded to Win 7 from XP. I have Acrobat Pro 9 and Reader X and no problems. This system is defragmented DAILY and I use a macro'd disk cleanup that cleans deeper than anything but CCleaner.
2. A two year old Asus Netbook with XP running Acrobat Pro 8 ad Reader X. Same maintenance procedures for it.
No problems with either machine with ANY Adobe updates.
If your OS is running slow or has shut down altogether I'd suggest that the problem runs much deeper than a PDF reader that isn't even open until you open a PDF.
As to "leaving your PC on", it's better for the life of your power supply to leave it on than repeatedly reboot it. I've worked for two different software companies and computers ran 24/7 at both. Even on holidays. At one it was a terminable offense to shut your computer down at the end of your shift and go home. They "pushed" updates overnight was the reason, but when there are more than 2500 systems at 1500 workstations, replacing 30 or 40 power supplies a week gets expensive. Set it to "sleep" after a period of time. It's faster to get back to work, and you won't find yourself without a computer due to a dead power supply one morning.