Cannot open Adobe Acrobat email attachments

December 5th, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in software, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows Vista, Windows XP No Comments »

Operating System: Windows XP SP3
Windows Media Player is default media player.
On saving email attachments that are in Adobe Acrobat Reader format, they show up as _auto_file with the WMP icon and can’t be read unless I go through the process of choosing to open them in Adobe Reader.
A further file type that is defaulting to the WMP icon is PDS for home movie editing. This particular type of file becomes inaccessible and also shows up as _auto_file.
How can I stop the _auto_file function occurring and return the affected files to the correct formats?
Look forward to your advice. Regards Jen

Hi Jen,

In Windows XP you can change the file association simply by saving one of your PDF attachments to a directory or your desktop, then going to that directory or the desktop right-clicking the file and choose Open With in the menu.

Then select Choose Program and select the correct application from the list and tick the box reading Always use the selected program to open this kind of file. Click OK and the problem will be fixed for that particular file.

You might want to check your computer hasn’t had a virus infection as this problem is common after a malware attack, to scan your system visit our Removing a Trojan page.

Do I need to upgrade Adobe PDF reader?

November 21st, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in software, spam 1 Comment »

I received an email from Adobe asking if I wanted to upgrade to Adobe Acrobat 2010 at a cost of US $12.97 a year for 3 years. As I took this to mean that if I didn’t do this, it would mean that in the future, I couldn’t use this facility for downloads, reading files  etc. Am I correct, as I was under the impression that updates were free.Can you clarify this for me please?

This email, usually claiming to come from “Adobe PDF Support”, is a scam and you should just delete any email from them or mark it as spam.

Adobe products have their own update program which will usually tell you when an update is needed, if you are in doubt you can visit their website for the latest versions.

Should you choose not to update Abode Reader, the program that reads PDF files, then you’ll still be able to read the files but you might not have access to some features (which most people don’t use anyway).

Messages like this you should just ignore.

Removing PlayItAll

October 14th, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in software, Windows 7, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows Vista, Windows XP 7 Comments »

Somehow I downloaded a program called Playitall. It started to take over my computer, first by, when starting media player, pop ups occured asking for Playitall instead. I searched out this program within the computer and found it in program files and in documents and settings.

I went to add and remove and removed the program and then searched out any other programs with the same name in Explorer. Entrees that I found I deleted. I then went to the Registry and did the same.
I restarted the computer and was unable to start any programs.

All the Icons on the desktop were labled with .lnk. I did a sfc and that did not work. After all my efforts to restore .exe files, I installed my XP disk and did a total repair of the operating system (not Format). After this I downloaded all updates and service packs. Once completed< Playitall was back. I have researched this on Mcaffe, Norton,and AVG and also google and not come up with any answers. the research I have found is there are other people out there with the same problem but no answers.

The problem is PlayItAll is a poorly designed program that damages your critical file associations which means Windows doesn’t know what to open programs with.

To fix it, you’ll have to download a couple of the File Association fixes from Doug Knox’s excellent site. Specifically the ZIP Folder Association Fix, REG File Association Fix,EXE File Association Fix and the LNK (Shortcut) File Association Fix. Save all of these to a folder you can access easily.

Uninstall PlayItAll and follow Doug’s instructions on running the two fixes from the Command Line as they won’t work without the file associations.

You can then fix the problem by running first the Zip folder which will mean you can unzip the other three fixes.

Once you’ve unzipped the REG, EXE and LNK fixes, click CTR-ALT-DEL and choose File and New Task the type regedit into the box.

In the registry editor, choose File and import then select the REG fix that you unzipped earlier. Import the file and click Exit.

Once you’ve exited the Registry Editor you should be able to just click the EXE and LNK files for them to be automatically run, if not re-open REGEDIT and import them the same way as you did for the REG fix.

When finished, exit registry editor and reboot your computer. You may find some of the other file associations may need to be fixed as well. In the worst case, some programs may have to be reinstalled.

We’ve covered a similar problem in our Cannot Open Programs post.

What is an RTF file?

July 10th, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in Office, software No Comments »

I’ve a received a file which ends in .rtf and I’m not sure if that type of file is safe to open or what it does?

An RTF file is a document saved in Rich Text Format; a basic computer standard that allows documents to have formatted text like italics, bold and bullet points. Because RTF files are simple compared to files saved in Microsoft Word’s format or those of other sophisticated word processing programs, it’s a fairly popular way to send files.

You can open RTF files in most word processing files including Wordpad, the basic free programs included with Microsoft Windows, and TextEdit, Apple’s free word processor that comes with OSX.

Generally RTF files are safe to open although it is possible that when opening them with Microsoft Word you could be caught by a macro virus, although these are rare at the moment.

If you open the file in Wordpad or TextEdit you should be fine.

What does Windows Vista end of support mean?

April 14th, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in software, Windows Vista, Windows XP No Comments »

I’m told my copy of Windows Vista is “at the end of support”. What does that mean?

Being at the end of support is Microsoft’s way of saying they won’t help you with that version of Windows any more and other people will probably stop writing programs for it. Microsoft explain it in a bit more detail on their website.

If your system is legitimate and working well, you can upgrade Vista or Windows XP to their latest Service Packs through the Windows Update site.

For most people though it doesn’t mean much. As long as your system is working fine, there should be few problems and experience has shown Microsoft will still provide important updates over time.

You should ask your computer tech to upgrade your system to the latest Windows service pack though at the first opportunity.

Is Windows 7 compatible with Office 2003?

March 31st, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in Office, software, Windows 7 No Comments »

I purchased a new computer 3 months ago with Windows 7.  It had a trial period of 3 months for Microsoft Outlok 2007 (Office Professional).  It is about to expire on 31st March and I can’t afford to my the complete pogramme.  My husband has Office Professional 2003 but when i try to load it it says it is not compatible with Vista 7.  Could that be correct?  I now also discover that Windows 7 does not have windows mail.  We have Bigpond account with a proxy server.  Can you suggest an email program for me.  PS I really hate Windows 7.

Office 2003 is compatible with Windows 7 however you have to uninstall the Office 2007 trial edition before installing 2003. Follow our instructions on uninstalling software on doing this. The Office 2007 trial edition does have a reputation for being difficult to remove so if you are having problems you may need to contact your local computer technician.

As far as the email options for Windows 7 go, you can download the free Windows Live Essentials pack which includes an email program.

Multiple programs appear in “Add/Remove programs”

January 26th, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in software, Windows 7, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows Vista, Windows XP No Comments »

I have many things that appear twice or more in my add or Delete programs file.Why is this …J2SE Runtime three times.

JavaTM 6 Update 3
JavaTM 6 Update 13
JavaTM 6 Update 7
JavaTM SE Runtime En..

Microsoft Visual C++.. four times.

MSXML 4sp2 KB9.. Four times with slightly different code numbers under each.

What is all this stuff and do i really need it all taking up space on my hard-drive…. Grateful for any intelligent but simple language reply Thanks

Sometimes Windows programs don’t behave as they should and you get multiple entries but in this case, it appears they are legitimate programs. Java is particularly notorious for leaving older versions on your computer.

The first thing to do is to run the Windows Installer clean up tool which we’ve described in an earlier post. This will clear out any problems.

For programs like Java which have installed multiple versions, it’s probably best to uninstall all of them then download and install the latest version from the Sun Java website.

In the case of the Windows Updates, these are best left alone as they are specific fixes for known Windows problems. Should Microsoft release a Windows XP Service Pack 4, then it may be worthwhile deleting these before installing the new upgrade.

The Visual C++, we don’t know. Do you have a programmer in your household? If so, best let them deal with it or leave the program alone.

Otherwise, it’s best to delete anything you don’t use often. However the general rule with computer is “if you don’t know what it does, then leave it alone” and that certainly applies to your Add/Remove programs.

Another installation is in progress. You must complete that installation before continuing this one

January 6th, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in Office, software, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP No Comments »

I have a Laptop running Vista Home premium 32 bit and keep getting this message when i try to load a new program There is another installation occuring, please finish the existing before continuing.

For some reason the Windows Installer function has become confused, probably by an incomplete installation of another program.

The first thing to do is check your Add/Remove programs function and remove any programs you aren’t using or are giving you problems. If you have the replacement disks, then removing and reinstalling Microsoft Office is a good idea.

If that doesn’t work, then downloading and running the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility may well fix the problem. Note that while Microsoft discuss Office in the linked article, the clean up utility works for all programs.

After running the installer clean up, you may want to clean up your hard drive to flush out any left over nasties before attempting to install the new software.

Can’t open wmv files on an Apple Mac

January 1st, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in Apple, software No Comments »

I have an Apple Mac and I can’t open WMV files. How can I play them?

WMV files belong to Windows Media Player and QuickTime, which is the Apple Mac’s media player, doesn’t automatically run them. So an Apple Mac can’t play WMV files until you install some extra software.

You can fix this by either downloading the Microsoft Windows Media Player for the Mac or by installing the QuickTime add in.

The QuickTime add in allows the Mac’s built in media player show WMV files and is the best solution if you don’t want to be adding more programs to your Computer. You can download it from Apple’s support website.

Alternatively you can install the full Windows Media Player for Mac package from Microsoft’s Mactopia website. This will give you another full featured media player for your system.

Either solution will run Windows Media Player videos on your computer.

Ebay, YouTube and other sites don’t open

December 31st, 2009 Paul Wallbank Posted in Internet, software No Comments »

I’m finding certain sites like Ebay, YouTube and other sites won’t open. The screen just stays blank and my computer slows down.

It sounds like you have a problem with your Flash player. The first thing you need to do is clean up the system by running a program like ccleaner to flush out any temporary files that could be causing the problem.

Should cleaning up the computer not work, then you’ll have to reinstall Flash. The first thing to do is run the Add/Remove Programs function and remove an Adobe Flash programs listed. Once you’ve uninstalled them, reboot and then run the Adobe Flash Player removal tool. Once you’ve run the tool, reboot your computer.

With Adobe Flash Player now completely off your computer, visit the Abode Flash website and reinstall.