Issue

When you are logged on to a particular user account on a computer running Windows XP, an Adobe application exhibits unexpected behavior. For example, it doesn't start, executes commands incorrectly, returns errors, or closes unexpectedly). When you are logged on to a newly created user account, the unexpected behavior does not occur.

Before you begin

Make a complete backup of your system drive before you begin doing the tasks in this document.

Some of the tasks in this document involve hidden folders. By default, Windows Explorer does not display hidden folders. To make hidden folders visible, see Show hidden files and folders (Windows XP, Vista).

There are many possible causes of account-specific unexpected behavior. This document addresses only the most common causes. For additional assistance with troubleshooting user accounts, contact the manufacturer of your computer or go to the Microsoft Help and Support site at http://support.microsoft.com.

Solution

Log on to the user account in which the Adobe application is exhibiting the unexpected behavior. Then do the following tasks in order:

1. Re-create the Adobe application's account-specific preferences files.

Adobe applications store a user's custom settings in preferences files. Each user account has its own set of preferences files.

When an Adobe application exhibits unexpected behavior only in a particular user account, the cause can be that one of the application's preferences files is damaged. You can force an Adobe application to create undamaged preferences files by renaming the folder that contains the preferences files.

For example, Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 saves preferences files in a folder named 4.0, which is located in C:\Documents and Settings\[user name]\Application Data\Adobe\Premiere Pro. To force Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 to create preferences files, rename the 4.0 folder (for example, rename it to Old 4.0).

Generally, Adobe applications store preferences files and folders in one or both of these locations:

  • C:\Documents and Settings\[user name]\Application Data\Adobe
  • C:\Documents and Settings\[user name]\Local Settings\Application Data\Adobe

Some Adobe applications store additional preferences files in other locations. For example, Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 stores additional preferences files in folders named Styles and Layouts. These folders are located in C:\Documents and Settings\[user name]\My Documents\Adobe\Premiere Pro\4.0.

To determine the exact names and locations of the preferences folders, go to www.adobe.com/support. Search the Support Knowledgebase for the search term "preferences" plus the name and version of the application. Then look in the "System Errors or Freezes" document or other documents that are listed in the search results.

To re-create the preferences files for an Adobe application, do the following:

  1. Close the Adobe application.
  2. Rename the Adobe application's preferences folders.
  3. Start the Adobe application. The application creates preferences files.

After you have re-created the preferences files, try to reproduce the issue.

If the issue still occurs, then a damaged preferences file is not the cause. To restore the user account's custom settings for the Adobe application, delete the new preferences folders. Then restore the original names of the folders that you had renamed.

If the issue no longer occurs, then a damaged preferences file was the cause. (However, the user account lost custom settings associated with the previous preferences files.)

2. Delete account-specific temporary files.

Some Adobe applications store data in temporary files. An Adobe application can exhibit unexpected behavior if the account-specific temporary files have become excessive, outdated, or damaged.

To delete temporary files, use the Disk Cleanup utility. See Delete temporary files using the Disk Cleanup utility (Windows XP) (kb404871).

By default, the Disk Cleanup utility does not delete files in the account-specific Temp folder accessed within the last seven days. You can perform a more thorough removal of temporary files by manually deleting the contents of the Temp folder.



Disclaimer: Applications from publishers other than Adobe can be adversely affected if you manually delete the contents of the Temp folder. Use caution if you choose to do this additional task. Adobe doesn't provide support for problems that arise from manually deleting files in the Temp folder.

To manually delete the contents of the account's Temp folder, do the following:

  1. Close all applications.
  2. Choose Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt.
  3. In the Command Prompt window, type the following command exactly as its appears below, and then press Enter:



    del %temp%\*.* /s /q



    Note: del is the command to delete files. %temp%\*.* is a combination of the "environment variable" for the location of the account's Temp folder plus wildcard characters that indicate all files. /s extends the command to include all files within any subfolders. /q prevents Windows from prompting for confirmation of each file to delete.

     
  4. A list of deleted files appears in the Command Prompt window. (The list can include files that could not be deleted. Sometimes you see the message "Access is denied" or "The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process." This behavior is normal.) Close the Command Prompt window.

After you have deleted temporary files, open the Adobe application and try to reproduce the issue.

If the issue still occurs, then proceed to the next task.

3. Troubleshoot account-specific startup items.

Startup items are applications or documents that open automatically when you log in to a user account. Account-specific errors can also mean that one of the account's startup items is malfunctioning, damaged, or incompatible with the Adobe application you're using.

To determine whether any of the user account's startup items are causing the issue in the Adobe application, do the following:

  1. In Windows Explorer, navigate to C:\Documents and Settings\[user name]\Start Menu\Programs\Startup.
  2. Do one of the following:



    • If the Startup folder is empty, or if there is no Startup folder, then this account does not have any account-specific startup items. Skip the rest of these steps and proceed to Task 4.
    • If there is at least one item in the Startup folder, then create a folder on the Desktop. Name that new folder Holding Folder.
  3. Move all items from the Startup folder into the Holding Folder that you created.
  4. Choose Start > Log Off.
  5. Log on to the same account.
  6. Open the Adobe application and try to reproduce the issue.

If the issue still occurs, then an account-specific startup item is not the cause, and you can move all of the items that are in the Holding Folder back into C:\Documents and Settings\[user name]\Start Menu\Program\Startup. Proceed to Task 4.

If the issue no longer occurs, then an account-specific startup item is the cause. To identify the exact startup item that is causing the issue, do the following:

  1. Close the Adobe application.
  2. Move one item from the Holding Folder back into C:\Documents and Settings\[user name]\Start Menu\Program\Startup.
  3. Choose Start > Log Off.
  4. Log on to the same account.
  5. Open the Adobe application and try to reproduce the issue. Then do one of the following:



    • If the issue still occurs, then repeat Steps 1 through 5.
    • If the issue no longer occurs, then the startup item that you most recently re-enabled is the cause. Remove it from the Startup folder, and contact the publisher of that startup item for information about the availability of updated version. Move all the remaining items from the Holding Folder back into C:\Documents and Settings\[user name]\Start Menu\Program\Startup.

 4. Reset the access settings on the account-specific application data folders.

Complete this task only if the account that you are troubleshooting is an administrator account and is not on a network domain.

Account-specific errors can occur if the account doesn't have full read/write access to the folders with the Adobe application preferences files and account-specific data files. You can use the cacls command to reset the access settings. Do the following:

  1. Close all applications.
  2. Choose Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt. A command-line window opens.
  3. In the command-line window, type each of the following commands exactly as they appear below. Press Enter after each command.

    Important: Type a space before and after each of the switches -- /T, /E, /C, and /G -- in every command.



    cacls "%appdata%" /T /E /C /G "%username%":F



    cacls "%userprofile%\local settings" /T /E /C /G "%username%":F



    cacls "%appdata%" /T /E /C /G system:F



    cacls "%userprofile%\local settings" /T /E /C /G system:F

     
  4. Close the command-line window.
  5. Open the Adobe application and try to reproduce the issue.

If the issue still occurs, then proceed to the next task.

5. Re-create the account-specific Adobe key in the Windows registry.

Disclaimer: This task requires you to modify the Windows registry. The registry contains system-related information that is critical to your computer and applications. Before you modify the registry, make a backup copy of it. Adobe doesn't provide support for problems that arise from improperly modifying the registry. For more information about the Windows registry or the Registry Editor, see the Microsoft Help and Support site at http://support.microsoft.com.

  1. Close all applications.
  2. Choose Start > Run.
  3. In the Open text box, type regedit and then press Enter. The Registry Editor opens.
  4. In the left pane of the Registry Editor, locate the following registry key:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe
  5. Select the Adobe key.
  6. Choose File > Export.
  7. In the Export Registry File dialog box, select Selected Branch under Export Range. Enter a name and location for the backup registry key, and then click Save.
  8. Right-click the Adobe key and choose Delete.
  9. In the Confirm Key Delete dialog, click OK.
  10. Close the Registry Editor.
  11. Open the Adobe application and try to reproduce the issue.

If the issue still occurs, then a damaged registry entry is not the cause. You can restore the backup copy of the Adobe key by doing the following:

  1. Close all applications.
  2. Choose Start > Run.
  3. In the Open text box, type regedit and then press Enter. The Registry Editor opens.
  4. In the Registry Editor, choose File > Import.
  5. In the Import Registry File dialog, navigate to the location of the backup key that you saved in the previous steps. Select the file and click Open.

6. Repair the system hard drive.

Disk damage that affects only a particular user account can cause an Adobe application to malfunction in that account.

To repair the system hard drive, see Repair and defragment hard disks (Windows XP).

After you have repaired the drive, open the Adobe application and try to reproduce the issue. If the issue still occurs, then proceed to the next task.

7. Use a new user account.

If the Adobe application still exhibits unexpected behavior in a particular user account, copy (or move) all personal files into a new user account. Then start using the new account as your regular account.

For assistance with copying personal files to a new user account, contact the manufacturer of your computer. Or go to the Microsoft Help and Support site at http://support.microsoft.com.

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