This issue has just come up, and seems to be affecting many people around the world. Adobe Reader X and XI seem to be crashing at startup, after a wait of 10 seconds or so. You’ll see the great ‘Adobe Reader has stopped working’ crash message:
Some quick research showed that others were also experiencing this. I found a few people on Twitter complaining about similar things. @CurtinOasis said “Currently issues with adobe reader crashing on lab computers. May prevent accessing PDF docs. Investigating as a high priority! Sorry guys!” and @VillSumith “Adobe Acrobat Reader, crashing due to faulty network proxy. What’s the connection? Anyone? #adobe #techsupport #windows“
One of the fixes was to either update Adobe, or reinstall – both seemed to work, but a rather poor solution for a multitude of installs.
I found this post on the Adobe Community forums: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1283545?tstart=0 which mentioned this same issue. Ashen.NZ found that Adobe Reader was doing a request to the file http://acroipm.adobe.com/10/rdr/ENU/win/nooem/none/message.zip and blocking that URL actually fixed the issue. I confirmed this myself, checking that file came up in the network traffic logs, and then blocked the whole subdomain http://acroipm.adobe.com – and it worked.
This is by no means a proper fix, but until Adobe work out what’s going on, this will at least keep you going. I’ll update this post if I come across any further information.
Update: The Adobe forums thread above has been updated with an official comment (as pointed out by @Jacobestrin) –
This was a temporary glitch with our servers that has now been resolved. Please re-launch Acrobat/ Reader and let us know if you still face this issue.
Thanks for your patience.
I’ve disabled the workaround and everything seems ok. Just a slight slipup from Adobe if it was a ‘glitch’ :)