Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Reader error message. Can anyone reproduce this problem ?

  1. #1


    Posts : 562
    W10 x64 pro and W8.1 x86

    Reader error message. Can anyone reproduce this problem ?


    I have an ongoing issue with the Reader app in W8.1 used to view pdf's. To cut a long story short I have posted this over at MS TechNet forums but it would be great if anyone else could reproduce the issue. This error has occurred on 2 clean W8.1 x64 installs. On the advice of MS TechNet I disabled IE add-ons but that made no difference. However, as you can read at the end, using an alternate browser works perfectly.

    What happens is that reader comes up with a 'can't open the file' message and that there is a 'problem with the file format'.

    To try and reproduce the issue you must be using IE as your browser (you can have others installed but the test must be done using IE).

    This is a link to a convenient page with plenty of small pdf's (its a UK government site of river levels/environment etc). Just scroll down the page and there are plenty of links.
    https://www.gov.uk/government/collec...ts-for-england

    Here's what you do... and at some point in the sequence I would hope you just might see the error message.

    1/ Click and open any link on the page. You MUST be using Internet Explorer as your browser for this.
    2/ Once the pdf is open and showing correctly, simply close it.
    3/ Now pick another pdf on the site and open it in the same way.
    4/ Repeat doing this a couple of times with different pdf's if no error shows.
    5/ If you still have no error, keep IE open but navigate to, and try opening a pdf stored locally on your HDD
    6/ Now go back to the website and try some more links again.

    Can you reproduce this error ?

    Thanks for reading, and thanks to those that might have a go. And if you can reproduce this problem, then I found that using an alternative browser such as Pale Moon (a Firefox offshoot) worked perfectly.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    I just tested that, using IE, if I try to open any of them I get this,

    Click image for larger version

    If I save first, and unblock them,

    Click image for larger version

    I have no problem opening them.

    In Chrome they open right up though, but that doesn't use the reader app.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 562
    W10 x64 pro and W8.1 x86


    Thanks very much for trying this, its really appreciated. Yes, that's exactly what I see. When I open them in Pale Moon (which I assumed does use the Windows Reader app as the interface is identical) they all open correctly as you would expect.

    Thanks again for confirming.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 562
    W10 x64 pro and W8.1 x86


    I'm more convinced than ever now, that is a real bug in the way Reader and IE interact.

    Would anyone else be willing to try this to reinforce that theory ?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 562
    W10 x64 pro and W8.1 x86


    A bit more info that pretty much confirms this is a bug somewhere in the system, and possible caused by an update.

    Today I clean installed the 32 bit version of W8.1 (the Enterprise Edition) onto my 9yr old Acer laptop as a test. First thing I did was disable Windows Update. The problem did not show at all despite numerous attempts. I go and install just the latest IE11 cumulative security update. Still all working correctly. I then let it install the nearly 200 updates offered and try again. The error appeared at once.

    That is to me pretty conclusive evidence of a bug. I've reported it to MS 24 hours ago who have acknowledged the report but say they can not replicate it. My latest test of the 32 bit version on a totally different PC should set alarm bells ringing hopefully.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 562
    W10 x64 pro and W8.1 x86


    A bit more info as I'm not giving up on this just yet... not that there seems to be much I can do though.

    At the suggestion of the team at Microsoft Forums I uninstalled Reader and then reinstalled. That produced no change, the error remained. I've also found that the error can be 'provoked' for want of a better word. If you have tried this and not had any success then this might get the error to show.


    1/ View the on-line pdf's.
    2/ Close Reader and then IE
    3/ Open Task Manager and end the task for Reader which should still be active.
    4/ Now view a pdf stored locally on your HDD and then close Reader in the normal way.
    5/ Now try the on-line files again. Does it or doesn't it show the error ?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 562
    W10 x64 pro and W8.1 x86


    Derek, are you using Windows Defender ?

    Help needed with Sysinternals to locate Windows error.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 562
    W10 x64 pro and W8.1 x86


    I'm marking this as solved.

    The workaround for this issue is here,
    Help needed with Sysinternals to locate Windows error.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Reader error message. Can anyone reproduce this problem ?
Related Threads
having problem reader in General Support
When I try to print from the reader app it shows a black screen
Problem installing Acrobat Reader in Software and Apps
For some reason I wasn't able to update or reinstall Acrobat Reader. I changed permissions on it & the installer to give me total control. After several attempts I just downloaded another PDF reader & maker free. It installed nicely with no error messages.{Nitro Reader} & it works good. I...
I've been dealing with a bit of an issue with my rig for the past few weeks. The computer will randomly reboot with absolutely no warning and seemingly no trace left on the computer (no dumps, etc). At first I thought it was a bad power supply. I happen to have redundant power supplies so I...
I'm on 64 bit and have 8.1 Pro installed. When I double click a file reader does not open. This wasn't the case before the upgrade. Tried multiple times but it just doesn't open. Went to Task Manager and noticed 8 instances of Acrobat Reader and shut them down all one by one. The files started...
mutimedia card reader problem in Drivers & Hardware
I am using Dell xps 8300 desktop,it came with windows 7 ultimate 64 bit preloaded. subsequently I have upgraed to windows 8 pro 64 bit.it has 19-in-1 card reader. I have downloaded and intalled windows 8 drivers from "dell community wiki link" by natakuc4. The Foxconn icon manager I have...
I have had trouble attempting to install Windows 8 on a computer I recently purchased. It had Ubuntu installed on it, and when I tried to install Windows 8, it would give me the error message "could not create new partition or locate existing one". I followed a few different solutions, but in the...
CD reader problem in Drivers & Hardware
When i try to transfer file from a CD into PC it get transfered to about 93% and then the transfering stops...File is about 320 MB.CD reader is TSSTcorp CDDVDW SH-S223C ATA Device Does anyone knows what's a problem?
Eight Forums Android App Eight Forums IOS App Follow us on Facebook