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Solved Reader error message. Can anyone reproduce this problem ?


Mooly

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Pro User
Posts
569
#1
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/collections/water-situation-reports-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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    W10 x64 pro and W8.1 x86
    Computer type
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    Dell Vostro 3750/Acer 9301
    CPU
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    Graphics Card(s)
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    250Gb SSD and 120Gb
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derekimo

Moderator
Moderator
Shasta County

Posts
517
#2
I just tested that, using IE, if I try to open any of them I get this,

2015-11-20_00h25_59.png

If I save first, and unblock them,

2015-11-20_00h26_39.png

I have no problem opening them.

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

My Computer

System One

  • OS
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    OS: Windows 10 Pro x64

Mooly

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569
#3
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    W10 x64 pro and W8.1 x86
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 3750/Acer 9301
    CPU
    Intel i5/AMD Turion 64
    Memory
    4Gb/2Gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel i5 internal/NVidia GEFORCE GO 6100
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Hard Drives
    250Gb SSD and 120Gb
    Mouse
    HP Z4000
    Internet Speed
    76 down, 20 up
    Browser
    MS Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender

Mooly

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569
#4
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    W10 x64 pro and W8.1 x86
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 3750/Acer 9301
    CPU
    Intel i5/AMD Turion 64
    Memory
    4Gb/2Gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel i5 internal/NVidia GEFORCE GO 6100
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Hard Drives
    250Gb SSD and 120Gb
    Mouse
    HP Z4000
    Internet Speed
    76 down, 20 up
    Browser
    MS Edge
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Mooly

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569
#5
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    W10 x64 pro and W8.1 x86
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 3750/Acer 9301
    CPU
    Intel i5/AMD Turion 64
    Memory
    4Gb/2Gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel i5 internal/NVidia GEFORCE GO 6100
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Hard Drives
    250Gb SSD and 120Gb
    Mouse
    HP Z4000
    Internet Speed
    76 down, 20 up
    Browser
    MS Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender

Mooly

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569
#6
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    W10 x64 pro and W8.1 x86
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 3750/Acer 9301
    CPU
    Intel i5/AMD Turion 64
    Memory
    4Gb/2Gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel i5 internal/NVidia GEFORCE GO 6100
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Hard Drives
    250Gb SSD and 120Gb
    Mouse
    HP Z4000
    Internet Speed
    76 down, 20 up
    Browser
    MS Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender

Mooly

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Pro User
Posts
569
#7

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    W10 x64 pro and W8.1 x86
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 3750/Acer 9301
    CPU
    Intel i5/AMD Turion 64
    Memory
    4Gb/2Gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel i5 internal/NVidia GEFORCE GO 6100
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Hard Drives
    250Gb SSD and 120Gb
    Mouse
    HP Z4000
    Internet Speed
    76 down, 20 up
    Browser
    MS Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender

Mooly

Member
Pro User
Posts
569
#8

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    W10 x64 pro and W8.1 x86
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 3750/Acer 9301
    CPU
    Intel i5/AMD Turion 64
    Memory
    4Gb/2Gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel i5 internal/NVidia GEFORCE GO 6100
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Hard Drives
    250Gb SSD and 120Gb
    Mouse
    HP Z4000
    Internet Speed
    76 down, 20 up
    Browser
    MS Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender

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