Unrecoverable error unlocking viewer in Windows 8

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quietstorm
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Unrecoverable error unlocking viewer in Windows 8

Post by quietstorm » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:31 am

Hi everybody!
Recently we had some windows 8 customers reporting problems during initialization of applications using pdf xchange activex viewers.

Windows signals an "Unrecoverable error" message box, when we invoke SetDevInfo on the viewer.
The very strange thing is that if we move away the application from "Program Files (x86)" folder to (let's say) Desktop folder or any other outside program files, it works correctly.
Even a minimal application with a simple form (containing only a viewer) behaves the same.

We are currently using version 2.5.205, but even if we update to 2.5.210, the problem still remains.

Note that on the PCs I'm talking about there were no antivirus or antimalware softwares active nor installed, except for the Windows defender that we stopped before running the tests.

Seems like Windows 8 has some kind of protection or limitation on program files folders that causes SetDevInfo failure.

Looking forward to hear for a solution... thanks in advance.

Fabrizio

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Re: Unrecoverable error unlocking viewer in Windows 8

Post by Tracker Supp-Stefan » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:56 pm

Hello Fabrizio,

Thanks for your post. I've passed this to one of my colleagues in the dev team and we will reply here in this topic when we have any further news.

Best,
Stefan

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Re: Unrecoverable error unlocking viewer in Windows 8

Post by Vasyl-Tracker Dev Team » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:30 pm

Hi, Fabrizio.
Windows signals an "Unrecoverable error" message box, when we invoke SetDevInfo on the viewer.
First please wrap the call to SetDevInfo into a try-catch brackets because any method of any COM-interface can return an error code. Its allowed by the COM-standard.
These brackets will allow you to handle the "exception" (not a crash, the ActiveX-control returns error-code only and standard COM-wrapper on your side interprets this simple error-code as exception) in your app. and continue work without our control and without unstoppable crash..

This issue looks like the following scenario: our client-side part (PDFXCviewAx.dll) cannot start and use our server-side part (PDFXCview.exe). Maybe in some cases W8 forbids the launching of another processes from an applications inside the ProgramFiles folder. We will try to reproduce this issue..

Thanks.
Vasyl Yaremyn
Tracker Software Products
Project Developer

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Re: Unrecoverable error unlocking viewer in Windows 8

Post by quietstorm » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:27 am

Vasyl-Tracker Dev Team wrote:Hi, Fabrizio.
Windows signals an "Unrecoverable error" message box, when we invoke SetDevInfo on the viewer.
First please wrap the call to SetDevInfo into a try-catch brackets because any method of any COM-interface can return an error code. Its allowed by the COM-standard.
These brackets will allow you to handle the "exception" (not a crash, the ActiveX-control returns error-code only and standard COM-wrapper on your side interprets this simple error-code as exception) in your app. and continue work without our control and without unstoppable crash..

This issue looks like the following scenario: our client-side part (PDFXCviewAx.dll) cannot start and use our server-side part (PDFXCview.exe). Maybe in some cases W8 forbids the launching of another processes from an applications inside the ProgramFiles folder. We will try to reproduce this issue..

Thanks.
Hi Vasyl, thanks for your reply.

I got your point, but in fact the message box itself is not an issue. Since our application is mainly a PDF editor (broadly customized, of course), it doesn't make any sense without the pdf control correctly activated.
Anyway, I will follow your advice for better control on the initialization process.

About the rest, I had the same impression: it seems that's basically a problem of W8 authorization of COM interprocess communications. Unfortunately, the incidents reported by customers didn't include the os version, which could be useful to track down the problem, but I think it's not systematic because not all w8 customers report it.

I'll keep in touch for any news from you.
Thanks again!

Fabrizio

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Re: Unrecoverable error unlocking viewer in Windows 8

Post by Tracker Supp-Stefan » Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:28 am

:)

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Re: Unrecoverable error unlocking viewer in Windows 8

Post by Nico - Tracker Supp » Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:42 pm

Hi Fabrizio,

Thank you for your post.
I tried to reproduce the error you are experiencing by using Windows 8 x64 in a virtual machine without success.
SetDevInfo() returned success and the Viewer ActiveX behaved normally.
Please let me ask you:
  • What exception message do you get after calling SetDevInfo()? Please make sure you surround the call with try and catch statements.
  • What error value (HRESULT) are you getting after calling SetDevInfo()?
  • A screenshot of the error message would be great. Please feel free to send it to support@tracker-software.com
  • Does this error happen every time?
  • Is SetDevInfo() called as the first method when using the Viewer ActiveX? Please make sure this is the first method
  • How are you using the Viewer ActiveX regarding the Windows registry? Are you using it in the standard way or you are utilizing the "Click-Once" methodology (replacing the registry by a xml manifest)? Please take a look at section Registration-Free Deployment from our Viewer ActiveX manual.
  • Are you running your application with the necessary permissions to read and write in the C:\Program Files and C:\Program Files(x86) folders?
Thanks.
Sincerely,

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Re: Unrecoverable error unlocking viewer in Windows 8

Post by quietstorm » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:08 am

I sent you the following mail that I publish also on the forum. Just to keep the thread alive and useful for others when the solution will be found.

---

Hi everybody and thanks for your reply.
I'll answer to your last post point by point:

What exception message do you get after calling SetDevInfo()? Please make sure you surround the call with try and catch statements.
No error is returned, because also the GetTextFromResult method raises an exception.
Here's the snippet of our initialization code (Delphi 2010):

Code: Select all

function TPDFXCHelper.UnlockViewer : string;
var str: widestring;
begin
  if Assigned(FPDFViewer) then begin
    try
      FPDFViewer.SetDevInfo('--- a valid code ---',
                            '--- a valid code ---');
      ViewerUnlocked:=true;
    except
      on ex: EOleException do
        if ex.ErrorCode<>0 then begin
          try
            FPDFViewer.GetTextFromResult(ex.ErrorCode, str);
            Result:=str;
          except
            Result:= inttostr(Ex.ErrorCode) + ' Error in GetTextFromResult';
          end;
        end;
    end;
  end;
end;
The FPDFViewer is correctly instantiated at the beginning of the procedure The SetDevInfo raises the first exception, that is caught. So, the control is asked to give error info via GetTextFromesult, but the outcome is another exception.
Log file only reports "-2147418113 Error in GetTextFromResult".

What error value (HRESULT) are you getting after calling SetDevInfo()?
The HRESULT code returned is -2147418113.

A screenshot of the error message would be great. Please feel free to send it to support@tracker-software.com
In fact, no error windows is issued, but the viewer control comes up empty.

Does this error happen every time?
The error happens every time in those computers that show the problem. In different (but similar) systems it never does.

Is SetDevInfo() called as the first method when using the Viewer ActiveX? Please make sure this is the first method
Yes, it is. No ActiveX call is made before this point.

How are you using the Viewer ActiveX regarding the Windows registry? Are you using it in the standard way or you are utilizing the "Click-Once" methodology (replacing the registry by a xml manifest)? Please take a look at section Registration-Free Deployment from our Viewer ActiveX manual.
The viewer is used with manifest files. The registration-free method works perfectly.

Are you running your application with the necessary permissions to read and write in the C:\Program Files and C:\Program Files(x86) folders?
In the computers with the problem the permissions have been set to "Full Control" for the "Users" group, but the outcome doesn't change.

A couple of final notes:

[*] Copying the program folder outside "Program Files (x86)", it works.
[*] Rolling back the pdfxcview.exe from version 2.5.210 (the latest available at the moment) to the older 2.5.192, the program works! Looks like that a recent change, on Win8 systems isn't working as expected.

Hope this helps, bye!
Fabrizio

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Re: Unrecoverable error unlocking viewer in Windows 8

Post by Tracker Supp-Stefan » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:32 am

Hello Fabrizio,

And thanks for the reply. I've passed it to Nico and we will follow up here shortly!

Best,
Stefan

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Re: Unrecoverable error unlocking viewer in Windows 8

Post by Nico - Tracker Supp » Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:05 pm

Hi Fabrizio,

Thank you for your post.
I replied you by email but I'm adding that information here as well.
Your manifest file looks a bit different from the template we have for COM Free registration.
Please follow the procedure described on "Registration-Free Deployment" at the Viewer ActiveX manual and try to use exactly the same manifest we are providing for COM-Free registration with the changes requires. The manifest for the client and server can be found at: C:\Program Files\Tracker Software\PDF-XChange Viewer SDK\Examples\Registration-Free COM.

Also, please let me ask you:
  • Are you testing the older 2.5.192 version of the Viewer SDK in the same system that the 2.45.210? Why do you think a change on Win8 systems could be the reason for the unexpected behavior?
  • What Operating System are you using (including version number and installed service packs) ?
  • Are you locating the manifest files in the same folder than your executable and the PDFXCviewAx.dll and PDFCview.exe files?
  • Please make sure to unregister PDFXCviewAx.dll and PDFCview.exe files (both 32 and 64 versions) before using the manifest files by typing: "PDFXCview.exe /UnRegServer" and "regsvr32 PDFXCviewAx.dll /u /s"
  • Have you tried running our FullDemo Delphi example located at C:\Program Files\Tracker Software\PDF-XChange Viewer SDK\Examples\DelphiExamples\FullDemo with the manifest files?
  • Also, please make sure you are using the right version (32 or 64 bit) of PDFXCviewAx.dll and PDFCview.exe files. For example, if your application is 32 bit, you should also use the 32 bit versions of PDFXCviewAx.dll and PDFCview.exe.
Thanks.
Sincerely,

quietstorm
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Re: Unrecoverable error unlocking viewer in Windows 8

Post by quietstorm » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:43 am

Hi Nicolas, I just made the tests you told me, report follows:
Nico - Tracker Supp wrote:
  • Are you testing the older 2.5.192 version of the Viewer SDK in the same system that the 2.45.210? Why do you think a change on Win8 systems could be the reason for the unexpected behavior?
Yes, the system is the same, at the moment we have just 1 pc with Windows 8 showing the problem. Others pc reported are client ones and just now they are out of our reach.
Why Windows 8? Well, we started distributing the software before Win8 was released and the problem showed up only recently and only on Win8 machines. It never did on Win7/Vista/XP computers, so I think it's a good clue.
Nico - Tracker Supp wrote:
  • What Operating System are you using (including version number and installed service packs) ?
The inspected computer is a Windows 8 version 6.2.9200. No service packs installed, updated with windows update.
Nico - Tracker Supp wrote:
  • Are you locating the manifest files in the same folder than your executable and the PDFXCviewAx.dll and PDFCview.exe files?
Yes, in the same folder.
Nico - Tracker Supp wrote:
  • Please make sure to unregister PDFXCviewAx.dll and PDFCview.exe files (both 32 and 64 versions) before using the manifest files by typing: "PDFXCview.exe /UnRegServer" and "regsvr32 PDFXCviewAx.dll /u /s"
No pdf dlls are registered. As a test we tried to run FullDemo without libraries nor manifests and the outcome was an error box saying "Interface not registered".
Nico - Tracker Supp wrote:
  • Have you tried running our FullDemo Delphi example located at C:\Program Files\Tracker Software\PDF-XChange Viewer SDK\Examples\DelphiExamples\FullDemo with the manifest files?
This morning we did FullDemo test. The result is coherent: it runs from a Desktop subfolder, but it doesn't when we move it under a "Programs x86" subfolder. Obviously we moved the whole folder containing exe, dll, manifests and everything else needed to run.
Nico - Tracker Supp wrote:
  • Also, please make sure you are using the right version (32 or 64 bit) of PDFXCviewAx.dll and PDFCview.exe files. For example, if your application is 32 bit, you should also use the 32 bit versions of PDFXCviewAx.dll and PDFCview.exe.
We recompiled the FullDemo in Delphi2010, the same we use for our application, so we included 32-bit libraries.

Your move! :)
Thanks, Fabrizio

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Re: Unrecoverable error unlocking viewer in Windows 8

Post by Nico - Tracker Supp » Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:38 pm

Hi Fabrizio,

Thank you for your post.

I think the problem is the manifest file you are using. As I mentioned in my previous post, use our manifest file sample as a template and follow the instructions from "Registration-Free Deployment" at the Viewer ActiveX manual and try to use exactly the same manifest we are providing for COM-Free registration with the changes requires.

The manifest for the client and server can be found at: C:\Program Files\Tracker Software\PDF-XChange Viewer SDK\Examples\Registration-Free COM.

If that doesn't work, I can send you a working example by email so you can test it on your machine. I have run this example in Desktop and Program Files(x86) folders in Windows 8 and no issues were found.
Thanks.

Sincerely,

quietstorm
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Re: Unrecoverable error unlocking viewer in Windows 8

Post by quietstorm » Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:09 am

Hi Nicolas!

We already tried with original manifest files taken from your distributed example, but just to be sure... could you send me your working example please?
It should be great if you could send me both the executable and the source code (delphi).
Maybe we could find out that the problem is generated by our compiler, like some option or directive... but I'm just guessing.

We'll try it on the test pc and I'll report the result here.

Thanks in advance, bye!
Fabrizio

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Re: Unrecoverable error unlocking viewer in Windows 8

Post by Nico - Tracker Supp » Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:11 pm

Hi Fabrizio,

Thanks for your post.
I sent you by email a working example with the source code and the manifest files.
The example was tested in Windows 8 on the Program Files(x86) folder and everything worked as expected.
Please feel free to come back if you have any questions.
Thanks.

Sincerely,

quietstorm
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Re: Unrecoverable error unlocking viewer in Windows 8

Post by quietstorm » Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:54 pm

Hi Nicolas,
I received your example and test results are quite clear.

In few words, it seems that one of the changes you made after version 2.5.200 causes the problem I reported.

This morning I ran your example on the test pc and all worked well, both in Program and Destkop subfolders.
First of all, I tried to use your manifest files (slightly different from ours) within our application, with no luck.

Then, we made some changes to your example, adding typical functions taken from our application and then recompiling with Delphi2010: we added SetDevInfo, loaded our settings.dat, made miscellaneous settings including menu, custom stamps, toolbars visibility and so on. All those test resulted in good working.

We noted that the PDFXCviewAx.dll library version passed along with the demo was 2.5.200. Now we're using 2.5.204 in the distributed application and 2.5.210 for developing next version.

So, I just put the 2.5.204 in place of your 2.5.200 and the initialization failed with message "Error in GetTextFromResult" before showing the UI. Pressing Ok the UI appears, but the PDFXCView control is not initialized ("eye" icon in the background).
The same happens using version 2.5.210.
I rolled back to your original fulldemo version (compiled by you) just to be sure that the problem was not caused by our compilation, but the error persisted (in the Program folder only).
Moving the whole folder on the desktop, results in a perfectly working program.

The sequence to reproduce this error is very simple, but unfortunately few computers will show the problem:
just take the fulldemo you gave me, copy the whole folder under "Program Files(x86)" and substitute the PDFXCviewAx.dll library 2.5.200 with a newer 2.5.210 version.

If we're lucky (and planets align well :) ) you could see the problem...

Anyway you could have a look to the changelog and see if you made a change that could be affected by restriction problems (like a change that tries to write into the application folder or some kind of COM interprocess communication issue, for instance) later than version 2.5.200.

I know we can do it!!! Keep though!!! 8)
Thanks for your assistance. :wink:

Fabrizio

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Re: Unrecoverable error unlocking viewer in Windows 8

Post by Nico - Tracker Supp » Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:45 pm

Hi Fabrizio,

Thank you for the information provided.
Unfortunately, I was unable to reproduce the issue with either 200, 204, 209 and 210 versions on Programs Files(x64).
Please let me ask you:
  • Where does the example (PDFXChangeViewerActiveX.exe) fail in the source code? Is it at SetDevInfo()? What is the error code that returns? You might find useful to attach to the process to find out this
  • Please, when running our example (PDFXChangeViewerActiveX.exe) use 32bit versions of PDFXCviewAx.dll and PDFXCview.exe and build 2.5.210 with the manifest files previously provided (PDFXChangeViewerActiveX.3X3.manifest and PDFXCviewAx.X.manifest). You can get build 2.5.210 from the latest version of our Viewer ActiveX SDK from here: http://www.tracker-software.com/product ... ctivex-sdk
I look forward to your answer.
Thanks.

Sincerely,

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Re: Unrecoverable error unlocking viewer in Windows 8

Post by quietstorm » Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:58 am

Hi Nicolas!
Nico - Tracker Supp wrote:Unfortunately, I was unable to reproduce the issue with either 200, 204, 209 and 210 versions on Programs Files(x64).
Sad, but it was the most probable outcome...
Nico - Tracker Supp wrote:Please let me ask you:
  • Where does the example (PDFXChangeViewerActiveX.exe) fail in the source code? Is it at SetDevInfo()? What is the error code that returns? You might find useful to attach to the process to find out this
Actually, I didn't attach to the process to check out, I just tried running your pre-compiled PDFXChangeViewerActiveX.exe with update .dll, obtaining a "Error in GetTextFromResult" message box before UI was showed. Pressing Ok causes UI to show up, with PDF viewer uninitialized (eye icon in the background).
There was no SetDevInfo, the error was given by your compiled application, that has no particular settings during FormCreate procedure.
Nico - Tracker Supp wrote:
  • Please, when running our example (PDFXChangeViewerActiveX.exe) use 32bit versions of PDFXCviewAx.dll and PDFXCview.exe and build 2.5.210 with the manifest files previously provided (PDFXChangeViewerActiveX.3X3.manifest and PDFXCviewAx.X.manifest). You can get build 2.5.210 from the latest version of our Viewer ActiveX SDK from here: http://www.tracker-software.com/product ... ctivex-sdk
Yes, we used 32-bit version of the library. The only changed file was the .dll, version 2.5.210.

I'm running out of ideas...

Thanks anyway!
Fabrizio

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Re: Unrecoverable error unlocking viewer in Windows 8

Post by Nico - Tracker Supp » Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:28 pm

Hi Fabrizio,

Thank you for your post.
Actually, I didn't attach to the process to check out, I just tried running your pre-compiled PDFXChangeViewerActiveX.exe with update .dll, obtaining a "Error in GetTextFromResult" message box before UI was showed. Pressing Ok causes UI to show up, with PDF viewer uninitialized (eye icon in the background).
Please do attach to the process and find where the code is failing. I have sent you the source code for the PDFChangeViewerActiveX application that you can compile and debug . Do this also with your code, we need more information why these applications are failing in your machine and not in ours. I personally don't believe there is an actual bug in our Viewer Active X but we need to prove this.
Yes, we used 32-bit version of the library. The only changed file was the .dll, version 2.5.210.
Please change both files: PDFXCviewAx.dll and PDFXCview.exe. They always have to match in version numbers. Version numbers are shown by right clicking on the files, selecting properties, and Details tab.

Thanks.
Sincerely,

quietstorm
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Re: Unrecoverable error unlocking viewer in Windows 8

Post by quietstorm » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:11 am

Hi Nicolas, I made some other tests:
Nico - Tracker Supp wrote:Please do attach to the process and find where the code is failing. I have sent you the source code for the PDFChangeViewerActiveX application that you can compile and debug . Do this also with your code, we need more information why these applications are failing in your machine and not in ours. I personally don't believe there is an actual bug in our Viewer Active X but we need to prove this.
In our Delphi2010 version, we should apply a patch to allow remote debugging. Unfortunately we don't have time now to do this. Instead, as a workaround, we put a lot of ShowMessage lines in FormCreate and in the CoPDFXCview1Event, one before each line, to identify exactly the error spot.
In the test machine, the FormCreate runs well, but the error shows up before the first line of the event procedure is run.
Clicking "Ok" on the error box causes the showing of the first ShowMessage at the beginning of the event procedure.
Nico - Tracker Supp wrote:Please change both files: PDFXCviewAx.dll and PDFXCview.exe. They always have to match in version numbers. Version numbers are shown by right clicking on the files, selecting properties, and Details tab.
Just to be sure, we made these tests again, changing dll AND exe together to the same versions.
The result is as before:
version 2.5.200: runs well on Desktop and in Program folders
version 2.5.204 and 2.5.210: runs well on Desktop but fails in Program folder.

That's the point... with the same running conditions the 2.5.200 works good and the newer ones don't. I still think it's a problem in one of the last changes (after 200), but the complexity is that this error is systematic but only on some machines.
My idea is that it's not a "pure" bug intended as faulty routine, but maybe a particular condition that happens only on some machines, that causes some operation to fail.
Discovering that particular condition is another story... :(

Thanks.
Fabrizio

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Re: Unrecoverable error unlocking viewer in Windows 8

Post by Nico - Tracker Supp » Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:00 pm

Hi Fabrizio,

Thank you for your post.
I believe that the "Error in GetTextFromResult" and -2147418113 (Catastrophic failure) errors you are getting are possibly caused by the unregistered Viewer Active X. It would be of great help if you could attach to the process for debugging purposes. I consulted with the development team about this issue and they will not be able to investigate further into this until early next week. In the meantime, there are a few more things you can try:
  • I'm sure you have already checked this, but please make sure the PDFXCviewAx.dll is loaded by specifying the current folder and not a complete path.
  • Try to test our PDFChangeViewerActiveX example in the Program Files(x64) folder with the regular COM registration (without manifest files) for versions other than 2.5.200 (2.5.204 and 2.5.210) in Windows 8 and see if you get the same errors.
  • I'm sorry if I have asked you this before but have you tried running PDFChangeViewerActiveX example (or your application) in the Program Files(x64) folder with the manifest files for versions other than 2.5.200 (2.5.204 and 2.5.210) in versions different from Windows 8? This would be helpful to detect if a change in Windows 8 could be part of issue
Thanks.
Sincerely,

quietstorm
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Re: Unrecoverable error unlocking viewer in Windows 8

Post by quietstorm » Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:44 am

Hi Nicolas!
Nico - Tracker Supp wrote:
  • I'm sure you have already checked this, but please make sure the PDFXCviewAx.dll is loaded by specifying the current folder and not a complete path.
We don't load explicitly the dll, we just put a pdfviewer control in a form. Even with the manifest files provided by you, the error persists. The manifest path are relative, and pdfxcview.exe and the dll must reside in the same folder.
Nico - Tracker Supp wrote:
  • Try to test our PDFChangeViewerActiveX example in the Program Files(x64) folder with the regular COM registration (without manifest files) for versions other than 2.5.200 (2.5.204 and 2.5.210) in Windows 8 and see if you get the same errors.
It worked! Both demo program and our application in Desktop and program Folders work correctly. The error seems nested in the registration-free COM mechanism.
After various tests, here's the short story:
the only needed operation to avoid the problem is to register "pdfxcview.exe /regserver" from an admin account.
This is valid both with your application/manifest files and with ours.
Obviously this is a first-level fix for customer service in those cases that need it, but cannot be a final solution because the portability of other application using pdf components would be compromised.
Nico - Tracker Supp wrote:
  • I'm sorry if I have asked you this before but have you tried running PDFChangeViewerActiveX example (or your application) in the Program Files(x64) folder with the manifest files for versions other than 2.5.200 (2.5.204 and 2.5.210) in versions different from Windows 8? This would be helpful to detect if a change in Windows 8 could be part of issue
What I can say is that all reported errors come from Win8 systems only, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the problem is caused by Win8.
Anyway, there are many Win8 and non-Win8 systems that runs perfectly without showing the problem.

Thanks sincerely! :D
Fabrizio

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Re: Unrecoverable error unlocking viewer in Windows 8

Post by Nico - Tracker Supp » Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:35 pm

Hi Fabrizio,

Thank you for the update, as you mentioned it seems the issue is directly related to the COM registration-free mechanism for those builds. The development team will take a look at this issue early next week.
Also, sometimes Windows can be tricky regarding user permissions and the user account control (UAC). Because the issue happens in some versions of Windows 8 only and in a folder that has to be accessed with higher privileges, it may worth to give it a try you haven't tried yet and run the PDFChangeViewerActiveX example with the manifests as admin user and/or the UAC disabled and see what happens.
I will give you an update as soon as I get news from the development team.
Thanks.

Sincerely,

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