Acrobat upgrade kills Firefox as we know it
December 14, 2005 6:26 PM   Subscribe

Firefox and (surprise!) Acrobat Reader problems. Upgraded Acrobat Reader via its internal upgrade routine (while in Firefox). The upgrade crashed halfway through. Now neither Firefox nor Adobe Download Manager seem to have DNS capability. Also, neither program can be removed from memory—using End Process in the Windows Task Manager does nothing. What gives?
posted by DrJohnEvans to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
I hate to sound like the corporate IT guy, but did you try rebooting?
posted by smackfu at 6:50 PM on December 14, 2005

Response by poster: Sort of. Rebooting properly is tough because the Firefox process refuses to die, so there've been a lot of cold poweroffs.

Also tried reinstalling both pieces of software. Reinstalling Firefox does nothing, and reinstalling Acrobat can't be done because of the non-working download manager. Wonder if I can get a standalone install file for Acrobat that doesn't require the d/l manager.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 6:55 PM on December 14, 2005

You could save your bookmarks to your desktop, remove firefox and then do a clean install. You might also have to also delete any firefox stuff from your registry, but I think that's overkill.
posted by ashbury at 7:07 PM on December 14, 2005

Response by poster: Tried the clean install already; might have to resort to the registry picking too (if this doesn't turn out to be a semi-common problem with an easy solution).
posted by DrJohnEvans at 7:10 PM on December 14, 2005

Uninstall Acrobat Reader and Adobe Download Manager. Uninstall Firefox too. Then reinstall Firefox, go to Adobe site and install the Reader from there. I don't understand what Now neither Firefox nor Adobe Download Manager seem to have DNS capability means.
posted by nkyad at 7:10 PM on December 14, 2005

Response by poster: I don't understand what "Now neither Firefox nor Adobe Download Manager seem to have DNS capability" means.

It means that neither Firefox nor the Download Manager can resolve hostnames.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 7:17 PM on December 14, 2005

Firefox stores some settings in a hidden profile directory located in your Documents and Settings folder which doesn't necessarily get removed when you uninstall it. Try creating a clean Firefox profile?
posted by Pryde at 9:46 PM on December 14, 2005

Response by poster: I tried removing the Application Data\Mozilla directory completely before reinstalling (so a much more blunt approach to your suggestion, Pryde). No luck.

What did work: I downloaded the zipped version of Firefox 1.0.1 (which was the last FF version which released a zipfile too), and it will run perfectly if the installed FF version hasn't been run since the last reboot.

So I'm thinking: you know that thing that Firefox does, when if it doesn't shut down cleanly and has a ghost firefox.exe process running? If you start a new instance of Firefox, it won't connect to any servers until you kill the old process. That's what this problem is, except it's happening all the time, and you can't kill the Firefox process once it's been started. taskkill /f doesn't even work. Firefox only runs as a non-installed (and thus obsolete) program. Something must have been messed up in the registry when the Adobe Reader installation died. I'm now looking into registry fixing utilities.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:27 PM on December 14, 2005

If that were my machine, here's what I'd do:

1. Uninstall Adobe Reader (all versions, if you have several).

2. If there's a separate Add/Remove Programs entry for Adobe Download Manager, uninstall that too.

3. Install Crap Cleaner and use it to scan for and fix registry issues.

4. Install Foxit Reader, and use that instead of the horrid Adobe bloatware.
posted by flabdablet at 12:41 AM on December 15, 2005

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