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Issue #173: November 14, 2010

Q: Every time I try to run an update for my Adobe reader in my Windows XP computer I get an error that says “invalid F:/ drive.”  The F drive used to be my Seagate external hard drive.  I started having trouble with it trying to reset itself all of the time so I moved it to another USB port.  Now it’s been labeled the (G) drive and when I move it to another port it still calls it the (G) drive.  My problem is that I can’t figure out why the Adobe reader is looking for the F drive in the first place.  Is there anything I can do about that?  I’ve even tried uninstalling it but it still gives me the same error and won’t even uninstall because of “an invalid F:/ drive.  I’ve even tried renaming it but it still calls it the G drive.  It’s driving me crazy, I hope you can help me with this one.

– Judie D.
Navarre, Fla

A: Well, Judie, I would have thought that renaming the problematic drive to drive F: would have worked, but without knowing what steps you took to rename the drive, and the fact that you said it “still calls it the G drive” leads me to conclude that isn’t a valid solution for you.  I believe I can guide you to a solution, although I can’t fully answer your question about why Adobe cares about an old external drive that just happened to be connected when you performed the installation.  If I have to guess (and it seems that I do) I’m going to guess that either A) you originally installed Adobe from a file that was physically located on the external drive, or B) you had an Explorer window open and pointed at drive F: at the time Adobe it was installed, and it somehow made some linkages that you cannot easily undo.  According to Adobe, “You are using folder redirection and the mapped drive no longer exists or you are not connected to the network it is mapped to.”   To that, I say “Duh!” because we rather knew that already – the question is why does Adobe care about disconnected media?  Be that as it may, Adobe further provides a list of registry keys that must be set to valid file paths in order for its installer to work.  You can use Regedit to view and modify these keys, but I highly encourage you to make a backup copy of the Registry before beginning, and make sure you don’t alter any keys unless you know what function they perform.  The list of keys can be found by visiting and following the instructions there.

Also, I don’t know if what I said above were contributing causes to this problem or not, but remember: the general rule of thumb when installing or upgrading anything on your computer is to treat it like the delicate operation that it is.  It should not be done in haste, between other tasks or with other software running.  You should shut down everything on your computer, and usually disable your firewall and real-time virus scanner.  Of course, you should also remember to restore your system’s protections after you’re done with the installation.

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