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Why can I no longer download and read .pdf files

Posted

I have never had any problems downloading and reading .pdf files until I 'upgraded' the Adobe reader to version 11. Now all attempted downloads fail because "I don't have the necessary helper application or even C:\DOCUME~1\Will-o\LOCALS~1\Temp\Back Channel II - The Vietnam Betrayal - Chaps 1&2.pdf could not be opened, because the associated helper application does not exist. Change the association in your preferences. What in the world is going on and how do I fix it?

Under 'Tools - Applications - Adobe Acrobat Document, the I've selected 'Use Adobe Reader.' However since I also have Adobe Acrobat 8.3, I've tried substituting that for the Reader, but that doesn't work either. Please help.

Chosen solution

You might try the following:

(1) Change your preference to "Preview in Firefox" and use the download button to save the file. But that is an extra step.

(2) Change your preference to "Always ask" and see whether you can get the file to open that way.

(3) Clear your application preferences file (it sometimes becomes corrupted) and start again. Note: these are only the preferences for which applications handle which types of content, not all of your Firefox preferences.

To do that:

(i) Open your current Firefox settings (AKA Firefox profile) folder using

Help > Troubleshooting Information > "Show Folder" button

(ii) Switch back to Firefox and Exit. Your Windows Explorer window should return to the foreground. Pause while Firefox finishes its cleanup.

(iii) Rename mimeTypes.rdf to something like mimeTypes.old

(iv) Restart Firefox. It's likely you will be defaulted to "Preview in Firefox" and hopefully the paths for Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat will now be correct if you choose one of those.

Any luck?

Read this answer in context 7

Additional System Details

Installed Plug-ins

  • The QuickTime Plugin allows you to view a wide variety of multimedia content in Web pages. For more information, visit the QuickTime Web site.
  • Shockwave Flash 11.6 r602
  • Next Generation Java Plug-in 10.17.2 for Mozilla browsers
  • NPRuntime Script Plug-in Library for Java(TM) Deploy
  • GEPlugin
  • Google Update
  • Adobe PDF Plug-In For Firefox and Netscape 11.0.02
  • 5.1.20125.0
  • Garmin Communicator Plug-In 4.0.4.0
  • Plug-in for detecting Nero Kwik Media.
  • iTunes Detector Plug-in
  • Coupons, Inc. Coupon Printer Plugin
  • Coupons, Inc. Coupon Printer DLL
  • interneTIFF Internet Imaging
  • Garmin Communicator Plug-In 2.6.3.0
  • Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) plug-in for Mozilla browsers
  • DRM Netscape Network Object
  • Npdsplay dll
  • DRM Store Netscape Plugin
  • np-mswmp
  • Windows Multimedia Services DRM Store Plug-In

Application

  • Firefox 19.0.2
  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1; rv:19.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/19.0
  • Support URL: http://support.mozilla.org/1/firefox/19.0.2/WINNT/en-US/

Extensions

  • Ant Video Downloader 2.4.7.6 (anttoolbar@ant.com)
  • AutoPager 0.8.0.8 (autopager@mozilla.org)
  • Garmin Communicator 4.0.4 ({195A3098-0BD5-4e90-AE22-BA1C540AFD1E})
  • Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on 0.9.6 ({6d96bb5e-1175-4ebf-8ab5-5f56f1c79f65})
  • Java Console 6.0.33 ({CAFEEFAC-0016-0000-0033-ABCDEFFEDCBA})
  • Java Console 6.0.35 ({CAFEEFAC-0016-0000-0035-ABCDEFFEDCBA})
  • Mozilla Archive Format 2.0.9 ({7f57cf46-4467-4c2d-adfa-0cba7c507e54})
  • Troubleshooter 1.0a (troubleshooter@mozilla.org)
  • Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant 1.2.1 ({20a82645-c095-46ed-80e3-08825760534b}) (Inactive)

Javascript

  • incrementalGCEnabled: True

Graphics

  • adapterDescription: RADEON X600 256MB HyperMemory
  • adapterDescription2:
  • adapterDeviceID: 0x5b62
  • adapterDeviceID2:
  • adapterDrivers: ati2dvag
  • adapterDrivers2:
  • adapterRAM: Unknown
  • adapterRAM2:
  • adapterVendorID: 0x1002
  • adapterVendorID2:
  • direct2DEnabled: False
  • direct2DEnabledMessage: [u'tryNewerDriver', u'10.6']
  • directWriteEnabled: False
  • directWriteVersion: 0.0.0.0
  • driverDate: 4-14-2005
  • driverDate2:
  • driverVersion: 6.14.10.6534
  • driverVersion2:
  • info: {u'AzureContentBackend': u'none', u'AzureCanvasBackend': u'cairo', u'AzureFallbackCanvasBackend': u'none'}
  • isGPU2Active: False
  • numAcceleratedWindows: 0
  • numAcceleratedWindowsMessage: [u'tryNewerDriver', u'10.6']
  • numTotalWindows: 1
  • webglRendererMessage: [u'tryNewerDriver', u'10.6']
  • windowLayerManagerType: Basic

Modified Preferences

  • accessibility.blockautorefresh: True
  • accessibility.typeaheadfind.flashBar: 0
  • browser.cache.check_doc_frequency: 0
  • browser.cache.disk.capacity: 262144
  • browser.cache.disk.smart_size.enabled: False
  • browser.cache.disk.smart_size.first_run: False
  • browser.cache.disk.smart_size.use_old_max: False
  • browser.cache.disk.smart_size_cached_value: 640000
  • browser.history_expire_days.mirror: 180
  • browser.history_expire_days_min: 10
  • browser.places.importDefaults: False
  • browser.places.migratePostDataAnnotations: False
  • browser.places.smartBookmarksVersion: 4
  • browser.places.updateRecentTagsUri: False
  • browser.search.useDBForOrder: True
  • browser.startup.homepage: http://news.bbc.co.uk/
  • browser.startup.homepage_override.buildID: 20130307023931
  • browser.startup.homepage_override.mstone: 19.0.2
  • browser.tabs.warnOnClose: False
  • browser.zoom.full: False
  • dom.mozApps.used: True
  • extensions.lastAppVersion: 19.0.2
  • general.useragent.extra.microsoftdotnet: ( .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET4.0C)
  • gfx.blacklist.suggested-driver-version: 10.6
  • network.cookie.lifetimePolicy: 2
  • network.cookie.prefsMigrated: True
  • places.database.lastMaintenance: 1362669441
  • places.history.expiration.transient_current_max_pages: 80481
  • places.history.expiration.transient_optimal_database_size: 128768900
  • places.last_vacuum: 1298930012
  • plugin.disable_full_page_plugin_for_types: application/pdf,application/vnd.adobe.xfdf
  • privacy.donottrackheader.enabled: True
  • privacy.sanitize.migrateFx3Prefs: True
  • security.warn_viewing_mixed: False

Misc

  • User JS: No
  • Accessibility: No
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
2365 solutions 20922 answers

Chosen Solution

You might try the following:

(1) Change your preference to "Preview in Firefox" and use the download button to save the file. But that is an extra step.

(2) Change your preference to "Always ask" and see whether you can get the file to open that way.

(3) Clear your application preferences file (it sometimes becomes corrupted) and start again. Note: these are only the preferences for which applications handle which types of content, not all of your Firefox preferences.

To do that:

(i) Open your current Firefox settings (AKA Firefox profile) folder using

Help > Troubleshooting Information > "Show Folder" button

(ii) Switch back to Firefox and Exit. Your Windows Explorer window should return to the foreground. Pause while Firefox finishes its cleanup.

(iii) Rename mimeTypes.rdf to something like mimeTypes.old

(iv) Restart Firefox. It's likely you will be defaulted to "Preview in Firefox" and hopefully the paths for Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat will now be correct if you choose one of those.

Any luck?

Modified by jscher2000

Helpful Reply

Brilliant! Problem solved! Thanks so much.