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Error: There was a problem reading this document (109)

Riku (Programmer)
21 Mar 02 17:25
I'm using Adobe Reader 5. I get error when trying to open pdf document using a link on our web page(IIS 5).

This is the error: "There was a problem reading this document (109)"

File should be OK because I can open it through Windows Explorer. If I copy file to my harddrive trought Internet Explorer that file can't be opened with Windows Explorer. What can be wrong? Can it be that some IIS 5 properties hass to be changed?

F: Riku Tuominen

derren (Programmer)
22 Mar 02 2:11

You get this sort of error if there was a problem with the upload of the PDF file to a webserver. You have said that the file opens fine in Explorer, is that before you post it up to the web, or are you running the website on your local intranet?

If your website is remote, upload the file again.

[Mediocre talent - spread really thin]

Riku (Programmer)
22 Mar 02 4:30
I have web server on my own computer.

>You have said that the file opens fine in Explorer, is >that before you post it up to the web...

No After.

F: Riku Tuominen

derren (Programmer)
22 Mar 02 4:47
How large is the file?

[Mediocre talent - spread really thin]

Riku (Programmer)
22 Mar 02 4:59
I have 15-20 files that has the same problem.
Their size are between 200 kb - 2mb.

F: Riku Tuominen

derren (Programmer)
22 Mar 02 5:13
Hmmm, does it happen on all machines or is it isolated? Do you have any "open" options set which are acrobat only?

[Mediocre talent - spread really thin]

Riku (Programmer)
22 Mar 02 5:18
All machines that is connected to the web server have same problem.

>Do you have any "open" options set which are acrobat only?
Hm what do you mean?

F: Riku Tuominen

derren (Programmer)
25 Mar 02 11:56
Sorry Riku, this has perplexed me, but I don't have the time to examine option 2 in full, so maybe you could.

Go to and join the forum there. This is a superb forum and is well monitored by people who wipe the floor with me!

Give it a go, but if you find out what it was, could you post the answer?

[Mediocre talent - spread really thin]

Riku (Programmer)
25 Mar 02 12:00
Thanks a check it out.
If I resolve the proble I post it here!

F: Riku Tuominen

Riku (Programmer)
28 Mar 02 17:40
Dam still same problem!
I have THE HOLE INTERNET for resolution!
:) feels like it at least.
Cna't fint resolution!
Any one resolved it or have some ideas?

F: Riku Tuominen

derren (Programmer)
28 Mar 02 19:45
send me a pdf or 2 - i'll see if it is just you.

(pick small ones though!)

[Mediocre talent - spread really thin]

derren (Programmer)
28 Mar 02 20:19
Right I think we can definitely put this down to your webserver setup. I am running Win2000 server SP2, IIS5 with all the latest security patches on it and acrobat reader installed and the files are served up a treat without any problems at all (linked from another file).

How about opening up your browser and going file>open and opening the serving html page without using the webserver (file protocol, not HTTP). Does this give you the error? If it doesn't then it is definitely webserver. If it does you may need to check the security and permissions on the folder that the pdfs are in. Do you have NT challenge/response setup? This has buggered up many a pdf intranet for me, the folder needs to allow anonymous access.

[Mediocre talent - spread really thin]

Riku (Programmer)
29 Mar 02 6:29
Yes you are right loks like IIS setup problem.
When not using any protocols the pdf files are opened on the browser with out any problems.

I test machine has Windows 2000 professional
With IIS5 installed.
I also have separate server with win 2000 server with IIS5.
Same problems on both.
Dont't now what challenge/response setup is? Is it only on NT but not win2000?
One reason of my problems could be Microsoft LockDown tool.
Tool makes IIS5 safer by locking down services that is not needed on IIS5. I have to look in to that.

Would be nice though if somebody had resolved this problem before and could give advice.

Thanks a lot Darren you helpped a lot. Now it is mutch easyer to figure out resolution thanks to you! Easyer but not easy! I I find a solution I'll post it here.
By the way
How have you made IIS more secure ?
Manually or used tools like LockDown?

F: Riku Tuominen

derren (Programmer)
29 Mar 02 14:15
Glad I can be of some help - don't forget to mark the thread as helpful if you think it may throw some light on anyone else's misery, and please post the answer when you get it as it is something which I need to know the answer now!

[Mediocre talent - spread really thin]

Riku (Programmer)
5 Apr 02 13:27

PROBLEM: No beeing able to pen pdf file using Hyperlink!

The original files could be opened following ways
a. directly by Adobe Reader.
b. activating the file through Windows Explorer
c. opening file trough Internet Explorer when no protocols where used (http...)
    - like c:\inetpub\wwwroot\mydoc.pdf

The original files could NOT be opened following ways
a. opening file trough Internet Explorer when protocols where used (http...)
    - like http://machine name/mydoc.pdf

' ************ TESTING *************
Used two machines to test pdf files.
Machine A = Test/developer machine (II5)
Machine B = Server machine (II5)
Both machines have same problem to open pdf files through links on Internet Explorer

I tested the pdf files many different ways some are documented below.


' ****************************************************
' * This worked
' ****************************************************
1. Recreated pdf files and saved then outside the IIS5 root (Machine A).
    - opening files with adobe reader 5
    - resaved the file to different location
2. Zipped the files (Machine A).
3. Deleted the old files on the server (Machine B).
4. Copied zip file to main server (Machine B).
5.Unzipped files to correct destination under IIS5 root (Machine B).

' *******************************************************
' * This did not work
' * tested this to check if there was some king of security problem
' *******************************************************
1. Zipped the original files (Machine A).
2. Unzipped files outside IIS5 root (Machine A).
3. zipped files again (Machine A).
4. Deleted the old files on the server (Machine B).
5. Copied zip file to main server (Machine B).
6. Unzipped files to correct destination under IIS5 root (Machine B).

' ********************************************************
' * This did not work
' * tested this to check if there was some kind of security problem
' ********************************************************
I had one pdf file that was opened correctly through link on Machine B.

1. I compared the security options on working pdf and non working, they where the same.


' *******************************************************
' * This did not work
' *******************************************************
1. Deleted old pdf files on test machine (Machine A).
2. Copied the zip file from server (Machine B) to test machine (Machine A).
3. unzipped the pdf files to correct destination on test machine under IIS5 root (Machine A)

' ******************************************************
' * This did not work
' ******************************************************
1. Deleted old pdf files on test machine (Machine A).
2. Copied the pdf files directly from server (Machine B) to test machine (Machine A).

Couble question and why that not be the case:
Is problem at IIS5 configuration side?
    - resolved problem by recreating pdf files?

Is problem that pdf file is corrupted?
    - was able to open directly through Adobe Reader?

So farI have not been able to get pdf files to work on test machinen (Machine A), but server machine YES.
Maybe if I had Adobe Acrobat installed on server machinen(Machine B) and recreated
the files there and then copied them to test machine that might work.
I don't wan't to install Adobe Acrobat to server thought. It must be as clean as possible.
I feel that the testing results are unlogincal and can't figure out the original reasons
for the problems.

F: Riku Tuominen

Riku (Programmer)
7 Apr 02 6:55

After getting pdf files to work on server machine, Now that I restarted the server pdf don't work anymore!!!!!

I dont know what to do anymore!!!

F: Riku Tuominen

derren (Programmer)
9 Apr 02 5:30
You really are up against it aren't you? Even planetPDF couldn't respond! This is more down to server, so have you tried the IIS forum here.

I am sorry but this is right out of my range now (servers hate me!)

Good luck

[Mediocre talent - spread really thin]

Riku (Programmer)
9 Apr 02 12:49
Yes I have tried the IIS forum, no luck.
I recreated the pdf files again and copied to server and the files works again. I afraid they stop function again in the near future.

F: Riku Tuominen

jamey (Programmer)
15 Apr 02 18:48
I had this problem with IIS and ASP when I was trying to use the Response.Redirect("pagename.pdf") method to send the user to the correct page.  I have to have an intermediate page that the user is sent to with a standard hyperlink on it.  Then I can view the file fine.

If I left the asp code in to redirect the user, I got a file error, but the viewer would come up.

Hope this helps.
Riku (Programmer)
16 Apr 02 10:27
Hi Jamey. I have display problems even using normal hyperlink.

F: Riku Tuominen

danowolf (MIS)
25 Apr 02 0:28
Im not a programmer. Im a network admin.
I have the same infuriating problem on my web server/sql/file server setup.
We use a redirect in an .asp page to access the document.
Almost everytime the file gives a "the file is damaged and could not be repaired" error in a Adobe acrobat error popup.

I have not had the vb/sql programmer implement this yet because its the middle of the night but another web page advised to use a metatag instead of a redirect.
I copied the suggestion for you:
This better work, if not im out of luck.

I had a Response.Redirect to a pdf file which resulted in the same problem. A work around helped. I used a meta tag instead: Response.Write("<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0;URL=path to pdf file>"
Riku (Programmer)
25 Apr 02 2:16
Thanks I will test that!

F: Riku Tuominen

jfreels (Programmer)
6 May 02 8:19
hold 'Ctrl' when you click ok and from what I hear it should give you more information about the error.  I have never been able to try it.
Guest (Visitor)
14 May 02 8:24
Hi Riku,
I have exactly the same problem as yours .... when i'm trying to download a PDF file from my web server by clciking on an url, i receive an error 109 in the pdf plugin .... i have the same system configuration (win2000 Server, IIS5, SP2, all the security patch) .... i'm trying to solve this problem since a few days without any success !!!
I hav try to uploaf the pdf file on a different web server (linux/apache) and it work !!! so i think the problem is on the configuration of my web server ....
If you find a solution, please keep me intouch (
Riku (Programmer)
14 May 02 9:49
Hi LeFred
No luck yet.

A temporary solution has been creating the pdf files on other machine than where original pdf files where,then copying then to server machine. Then praying hard that the problem don't reappear.
Sorry I have not figured out the reson for the problems yet.

F: Riku Tuominen

celery (TechnicalUser)
28 May 02 12:33
FYI, I encounter this problem about a year ago when I was setting up some of my servers.  I recieve this error consistently on all 3 of my Windows 2000 IIS 5 servers.  I also never found a resolution to the problem.  I did some fairly in depth testing to see where the problem lies, and it is definetly on the servers side.  When I examined several the data from several pdf files that I downloaded, I noticed that many times there was repeated information in the file that was not necessary.  I figured that Windows 2000 has some specific settings in it to 1: either it is trying to stream the download and screws it up or 2: It has something specific to .PDF file extension that says hey screw up this file.   If I rename to file to a .txt extension and download it and then rename it to .pdf on my machine it opens fine.  I also tested the same pdf files on different types of servers including apache and iis 4.0 with no problems.  My resolution was to set up and apache server to serve the pdf files that I wanted to deliver.  I also am very interested in a resolution to this problem and will post any further information that I can gather about it.  So far it has been an exercise in frustration.
Riku (Programmer)
29 May 02 11:03
Dam !
I'm still having same problem.
Any one have any ideas?

F: Riku Tuominen

Guest (Visitor)
5 Jun 02 11:35
I've experienced same problem - IIS 5 on Windows 2000 all security patches.  The only work around I've found is to zip the pdf files and then have clients download them and open locally.  This only happens on certain pdf files, however.  It's my guess that either Acrobat or IIS can't read some kinds of pdf formatting through the browser.  I tried downloading latest Reader v 5.05, but still have same problems.
Guest (Visitor)
6 Jun 02 12:12
I've seen a similar problem when redirecting to pdf files (see jamey April 15 above). Some users get a blank screen, others get a "file does not begin with %pdf" error. For most users, the redirection works fine. I have tested with a spectrum of browsers.. N4, IE5.5, IE 6 and a variety of OS (NT4, XP, 98, 2000). It seems that the problem is most common with Win2000.. but I haven't isolated it yet.

Riku (Programmer)
7 Jun 02 5:45
Hi finally I found the reason for my problems.

The reason was Sygate Personal Firewall application version 4.
I found following article:;EN-US;Q317640&
It did not directly refer to the error message or IIS version but thought to try if that caused the probleb.
I uninstalled Sygate Personal Firewall and reinstalled IIS5. After that my pdf problems where blown away.

I guess that uninstalling Sygate Personal Firewall would have been enaff, but I reistalled the IIS 5 just in case.

Travis I sounds that you might have the same problem as I did?

I would appreciate if all readers of this thread that had use of my resolution inform me what kind of problem this solved.

I'll like to make some kind of help page concerning this resolution.
If you don't use same  firewall application you might try uninstalling the firewall application that you have.

F: Riku Tuominen

F: Riku Tuominen

Riku (Programmer)
7 Jun 02 6:02
Exiting Sygate Personal Firewall application version 4 was not enaff, I had to uninstall it before problem wen't away.

F: Riku Tuominen

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