IIS 7 Adobe PDF Bug Fix

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This is just a quick note to document a fix for a horrendous bug in Adobe Reader that causes downloads to fail if they are being served from a Windows Server 2008 machine. It has been plaguing me for weeks, before I even knew it was a bug! The last time I needed help with something I ended up finding the solution on my own blog, so hopefully if I encounter it again, I’ll end up here. Hello future self!

Anyway, the details of the bug are discussed in depth on the iis.net forum, but the basic summary is that a bug in Adobe Reader is causes the file download from IIS to halt, and the user is shown a blank screen. This doesn’t seem to happen if the user SAVES the file then opens it; only opening the file directly seems to cause the error (at least that was my experience).

Anyway, long story short, the fix that worked for me was provided by merk on page 5 of the discussion, which came in the form of an HttpHandler. Basically you map pdf files to run through this handler instead of the standard pipeline, and it does its magic voodoo to properly serve the file to the user.

Merk uploaded his solution to mediafire, you can download it here: http://www.mediafire.com/file/twrd2mnzm3y/PDFHandler2.zip.

I simply dropped it in the bin folder, mapped the handler to intercept *.pdf requests and now all is right with the world.

That’s all for today, with many thanks to Merk wherever you are!

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Josh loves all things Microsoft and Windows, and develops solutions for Web, Desktop and Mobile using the .NET Framework, Azure, UWP and everything else in the Microsoft Stack. His other passion is music, and in his spare time Josh spins and produces electronic music under the name DJ SelArom. His other passion is music, and in his spare time Josh spins and produces electronic music under the name DJ SelArom.