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Old 11-29-2004, 05:17 PM
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Location: Milwaukee
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Adobe Reader freezes my computer... any ideas?

Trying to read a .pdf file with Adobe Reader freezes my computer. Doing ctl-alt-del and examining Task Manager shows that Adobe is consuming 90+ percent of the CPU when "frozen". Adobe used to work. I have no idea what I might have done to cause it to no longer work. This is what I've done to try and fix the situation...

a) I ran an up-to-date virus scan -- no viruses found. Still doesn't work.
b) I ran an up-to-date Ad-Aware scan -- no spyware found. Still doesn't work.
c) I Uninstalled Adobe Reader and re-downloaded the latest version. Still doesn't work.
d) I disabled all startup programs, rebooted and tried to run it. Still doesn't work. (which leads me to conclude the problem is not a result of a startup conflict)

Adobe behaves the same whether I start it from the Start - Programs menu (so I know it's not the .pdf document itself); or by double clicking a .pdf file; or by attempting to open a .pdf file on the Internet (either Firefox or IE).

I'm running Windows XP Professional. Completely current with all Updates (for Service Pack 1 -- I haven't installed Service Pack 2 yet due to the numerous problems I've read about).

Should I reboot in safe mode, then uninstall, and re-install?

I'm out of ideas. Any ideas?
Old 11-29-2004, 07:21 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Albany/Corvallis, OR
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I've seen this before when the windows TEMP directory somehow got very, very full of files (something not cleaning up after itself.)

So, find the windows TEMP directory and empty it:

Start->Run
Type "%TEMP" into the box and hit return.
It may be very slow to load if there are tens of thousands of small files here.
Delete all the files in this location (don't worry, important files should be here, anyway, hence the name).

I fought with this for days before I stumbled on it. Something in Acrobat Reader (I suspect the font cache because on older versions of Reader it would stop with a "Loading Fonts"-type message) can't handle the temp directory having tons of files. And even if it doesn't fix the problem, cleaning this directory out once in a while is a good idea (TM).
Old 11-29-2004, 07:22 PM
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Location: Albany/Corvallis, OR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimeWinder
Type "%TEMP" into the box and hit return.
Sorry, that should be "%TEMP%", i.e. percent signs on BOTH sides of the name.
Old 11-29-2004, 11:56 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 2,204
This is a long shot, but sometimes Acrobat pops up a dialog box (hidden behind the main window!) telling you a new version is available, and asking if you want to download it. Since you can't see the dialog, to you it looks as if the application is hung. Try alt-tabbing around to see if you can find the magic hidden dialog. Also, try turning off the "web update" option (can't remember exactly where it is).
Old 11-30-2004, 02:34 AM
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: Neon Desert
Posts: 692
I submit it's a corrupted Windows font. This has happened to me.

Open (double-click) each font in the \windows\fonts folder and if one won't display, delete it (or add ".bad" to its extension, so it doesn't look like a font anymore). Check 'em all (you can highlight several at a time, right-click the lot and "Open" and it'll open several fontview windows so you can batch-check).
Old 11-30-2004, 07:24 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Milwaukee
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Excellent ideas. I hope one of them solves the problem. I'll try them one at a time so that I can report back with useful feedback.
Old 11-30-2004, 11:03 AM
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Location: Montana, U.S.A.
Posts: 9,452
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarrenS
This is a long shot, but sometimes Acrobat pops up a dialog box (hidden behind the main window!) telling you a new version is available, and asking if you want to download it. Since you can't see the dialog, to you it looks as if the application is hung.
I've had this happen to me, and discovered that damnable little dialog only after I'd used the task manager to abort Acrobat and Netscape.

I use Adobe reader on several computers, but I have one that I've just never been able to make it work on. Overall, I consider it one of the flakiest business applications I've ever used.
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Old 11-30-2004, 10:53 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Milwaukee
Posts: 2,732
And the winner is ....... TimeWinder.

Blasted .tmp files in the Temp folder. Sheesh. 65,689 of them. Took forever to delete them. But as soon as I did, Adobe Reader functioned just fine.

Interestingly, the vast majority of the files were Acrxxxx, where xxxx was a hex number. I wonder if these are (were) Adobe files (for Acrobat?).

Anyway, once again the Teeming Millions come to the rescue.

Thank you.
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