Adobe Reader 8.1 has Encountered an Error and Needs to Close



So, the adobe reader version 8.1 should be a straightforward install. On one particular XP system it wasn’t and from what I can tell, there are several that have run into the same problem. The installer seems to work well enough, but when I try to launch the application I just see the windows error reporting dialog that says Adobe Reader has encountered an error and needs to close. So, I did a full uninstall and tried to clean out everything, but on reinstall it still complains even before the splash screen.

I tried cleaning out the obvious adobe folders under the user that was logged in. That didn’t get me anywhere, disabling the plug-ins for adobe reader, didn’t make any progress.

Looking through the adobe forum posts it seems to be a problem more than one user has run into, but of course there’s no support for the free adobe product. However, the professional version of adobe (which let’s you create pdf files) has a forum as well and at least one or two people there have run into the same issue. I essentially followed the advice of creating a new user profile and testing. It worked in the new profile.

After verifying it worked in a new profile I checked for updates, even copied the adobe folders from the working profile users Documents and settings area to the non-working, but nothing seemed to make things perk up in the broken profile.

When I say broken profile, let me clarify, the only thing broken about the profile was adobe’s failure to run. So, I created another new profile and copied the user profile from the old to the new. After verifying that mail/favorites and documents all made it to the new profile I tested adobe reader and was relieved to see that working in the new profile.

So, long story short (too late?) if you have problems getting adobe reader to run, try creating a new profile and see if it runs from there. If so, you may need to just migrate your user profile (or try a third party pdf reader.)

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