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Adobe Reader Conflict with Write Protected USB Flash Drives: Explained


Over the past several months it has been determined Adobe Reader has conflicts with write protected USB flash drives.

The issue is specific: Adobe Reader will not open PDF files from a write protected device.

The issue appeared with Adobe Reader version 2023.001.20060 and higher. Although Adobe Reader will post an error message making one believe the file is corrupt or damaged, this is not the case because any other PDF reader can successfully open the file.

The Adobe Reader bug appears with a variety of USB controllers where the write protection is set; meaning the bug is not specific to one type of controller or one manufacturer.

At this time is is suggested to use an alternate PDF reader to open the PDF files, such as a web browser or another 3rd party application. If Adobe is the default PDF reader for a system an optional method to open the PDF would be right clicking on the file and select “Open With” and choose a program from the provided list. Please see the images below.

Nexcopy reported this finding to Adobe on January 10, 2023 and if any updates appear, or the issue is resolved, Nexcopy will update this article. Nexcopy reported this issue to Adobe because the bug affects PDF documents sitting on write protected USB flash drives created by Nexcopy solutions. This would include Nexcopy’s Lock License technology flash drives and USB media created with the PRO version of Drive Manager software.

Adobe Reader (false) error message for USB write protected flash drive

Alternate programs to open PDF documents

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Nexcopy Inc. | 13 Orchard Road Ste 102 | Lake Forest | CA | 92630 | P: +1 949 481 6479