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NZ School Management Software Thread, Fix to Remove Unnecessary Adobe Acrobat Requirement when Upgrading MUSAC Classic in New Zealand (NZ) Specific Forums; The Problem: When installing the MUSAC Classic package or any updates the installer requires the presence of Adobe Acrobat Reader ...
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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Fix to Remove Unnecessary Adobe Acrobat Requirement when Upgrading MUSAC Classic

    The Problem:
    When installing the MUSAC Classic package or any updates the installer requires the presence of Adobe Acrobat Reader whether you have a better, more secure PDF viewer installed or not. After my request to have this issue sorted was flat out ignored by MUSAC I devised a fix by monitoring their impetuous installer with Process Monitor. I was then able to track down the criteria it used to determine if Acrobat was installed and replicate it in a couple of registry keys.

    The Fix:
    Save the following text in notepad as a "whatever.reg" file and merge it (run it) on the machine you will be doing the upgrade from:
    Code:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{B801CA65-A1FC-11D0-85AD-444553540000}]
    @="Adobe Acrobat Document"
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{B801CA65-A1FC-11D0-85AD-444553540000}\LocalServer32]
    @=hex(2):25,00,77,00,69,00,6e,00,64,00,69,00,72,00,25,00,5c,00,6e,00,6f,00,74,\
      00,65,00,70,00,61,00,64,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,00,00
    The Explaination:
    This places a GUID in the registry that the installer looks for to find the path to the Acrobat Reader executable. I have replaced this path with a self expanding path of "%windir%\notepad.exe" which should point to a valid executable on almost any version of Windows. It does need to point to a valid executable as the installer does verify that it is there.

    The Rant:
    Checking for a specific bloated security nightmare of an application is plainly not a smart way to write an installer. It should look for an assosiation to the .pdf filetype if they insist on requireing a PDF viewer. I sincerly hope that they do see fit to resolve this problem in the future however given their complete lack of response to my original queries I doubt that they will.

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    It must be bad if the installer checks for Acrobat Reader. Adobe stopped updating that in 2001!

    Does the main application do any checks for this registry key or is it just the installer? Either way, this sort of thing is just stupid.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Its just the installer that runs the checks which is more than a little silly as it is only needed to read the release notes, given the fact that they want you to install the package on your server this means you either have to install it over a file share slowly or install several hundred megs of Acrobat and its hoard of updaters and 'helpers' just to install it.

    For me this did mean installing Acrobat each time on a client as we don't use it on our network any more because of all of the problems it used to cause. This workaround is much quicker and easier.
    Last edited by SYNACK; 25th April 2010 at 07:25 AM.

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