Windows Explored

Everyday Windows Desktop Support, Advanced Troubleshooting & Other OS Tidbits

Posts Tagged ‘IE’

The Case of the Dysfunctional Adobe PDF Plugin

Posted by William Diaz on November 1, 2018

A while back we had decided to transition to a new PDF software application. Although we did pilot it, once it went into our production environment, the wider user audience found that there were too many issues with the new product and we decided to go back to Adobe Acrobat. Soon after, we began to receive complaints that working with PDFs from the Internet in IE was at times dysfunctional. Specifically, opening or trying edit form-fillable PDFs would result in a generic “Error opening URL to submit this form.”

Additionally, it was noticed the Acrobat PDF Toolbar in IE stopped working and clicking on it did nothing.

The first thing to check was that the toolbar add-on module was actually loaded into the browser. This can be done from Internet Options > Programs > Manage add-ons. And, yes, it seems to be there and enabled:

How about the actual DLL itself? Where this resides can be gathered from the bottom portion of the Manage add-ons window by clicking on More information:

Sure, enough, the DLL was present in C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Adobe\Acrobat\WCIEActiveX\x64.

For a deeper dig, I fire up Process Explorer and set a filter to only look at iexplorer.exe processes. I clicked on the dysfunctional toolbar a couple times and stopped the trace. I further filtered the results using Count Occurrences from the Tools menu and focused on No Such File results as there were only a handful and if a dependency was missing, it should be easily spotted here. I quickly spotted the issue and knew what the problem was:

The Acrobat add-on for IE supports both 32bit and 64bit process modes for IE. However, the More information link above can only show you the path for the 64bit module if both are present. When I looked in the 32bit module path C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Adobe\Acrobat\WCIEActiveX I could see that AcroIEFavClient.dll (the Adobe PDF Toolbar for IE) was missing from this path.

To verify this was the issue, I grabbed the 32bit DLL from a working computer and performed a file copy procedure using PSExec to the computer with the issue as this type of file copy has to be done as the system account because of the access permissions set on the folder (psexec -i -s cmd.exe). I fired up IE and was able to successfully run the toolbar. Additionally, the errors being seen when working with online PDFs also cleared up.

My guess was that somewhere between removing Acrobat PDF, installing its replacement, removing the replacement, and finally redeploying Acrobat created some contention during one of the file install operations and that dll went MIA. The quick fix for the user was simply to run a repair of Acrobat PDF via Programs & Features. Additionally, we setup a repair deployment to run using SCCM if AcroIEFavClient.dll was not present in C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Adobe\Acrobat\WCIEActiveX.


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The Woes of Cloud-Based Web Security

Posted by William Diaz on October 14, 2011

Our Production ISAs’ have an added cloud-based layer of security to protect our network from malicious web content. Every now and then, though, we run into false-positives. Some of these are:

Intentionally Corrupts Downloads

The Case Of The Corrupt Download & The Case of the Zip File That Wouldn’t Open

Stops web pages from loading by preventing the execution of legitimate scripts: Read the rest of this entry »

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Resolve That Application Crash The Easy Way

Posted by William Diaz on October 14, 2011

Sometimes Microsoft applications do a a good job at identifying the problem module when they crash. For example, in the Windows Vista/7 OS IE crashes with “Internet Explorer has stopped working”. Simply click the Details chevron to and look at the Fault Module Name:
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Manual Discovery and Removal of Malware

Posted by William Diaz on October 6, 2010

If you have not had a chance, set aside some time to watch Advanced Malware Cleaning, an excellent webcast by Mark Russinovich. I used some of the techniques from that presentation to identify and remove malware on systems I have come across.

In the case here, the user would open Internet Explorer but was not able to connect to the Internet. This would happen a couple times a day. The problem was tracked down to the Proxy field not populating with the office ISA address and the field remained grayed out so it could not be toggled on directly. The issue could be worked around temporarily by editing the registry to enable the proxy but at some point it was getting removed again. I was already suspicious that this was related to malware because each day the user logged on, the virus protectionsuite would catch the same Dlls’ attempting to downloaded to the system and being deleted.

I would be using Process Explorer and Autoruns as my tools. Here were the first things I noticed:
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Go Digging for the Exception

Posted by William Diaz on July 4, 2010

After moving to a new Internet Explorer based employee time management system, I started noticing a slew of reports coming in where IE was crashing when trying to access any of the menus within the browser. The error always presented itself as: “Microsoft Visual C++ Runtime Library. Runtime Error!..

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