Patching Adobe Acrobat and Reader

Adobe Reader 9.3.1 is a msp file that can only be applied to Adobe Reader 9.3. So what to do about the users that hadn’t installed 9.3 yet. I really didn’t want them to install 9.3 then have 9.3.1 install immediately after that. That sort of thing sets user revolt in motion.

So I searched and found an Adobe TechNote on deploying Adobe Acrobat and quarterly updates in one install..
If you’ve used MSPs before you’re probably already familiar with how to do this.

msiexec.exe /i “[UNC PATH]\AcroPro.msi” PATCH=”[UNCPATH]\AcroProStdUpd910_T1T2_incr.msp;[UNCPATH]AcrobatUpd912_all_incr.msp TRANSFORMS=”1036.mst”

So I went to town, stringing together the path to all the MSP updates. Good Lord! There are a lot of them.

So after I did that for Reader and Acrobat 9, and tested it all out, I found another Adobe TechNote. “Install Acrobat 9 and all patches in one step with Adobe Bootstrapper (Setup.exe) and patch sequencing”. This method is much easier. No mistakes with quotes in the command-line. Users installing from the file server can just run the same setup.EXE they always have rather than running a bat file. The same problem exists in that if they run the MSI instead not only do they not get the custom config (MST), now they miss the patches.

This article has you list the patches in setup.ini. You just add the list of patches to the product section.


This is really awesome. Now my helpdesk when they install Adobe Acrobat 9 wont accidentally leave the user with the 9.0.0. That is the version of the original install files. And when we upgrade Adobe Reader, it will be a lot easier for the users.

Unfortunately my day didn’t end there. I looked at our deployed systems. While there was very little Adobe Reader 8 (so I can skip that), we actually have more Adobe Acrobat 8 installed than Acrobat 9. So I sat down to recreate what I did for Acrobat 9. Guess what, it didn’t work! After trying many different things, I stumbled across another technote. “Install all Acrobat 8 patches in one step with Adobe Bootstrapper and patch sequencing”. Apparently the Adobe Bootstraper (setup.exe) in my 8.1 CD was customized. Once I downloaded the setup.exe linked in that TechNote, it worked. I was able to run the Adobe Acrobat 8 setup.exe and install the current 8.2.1 version.

Up next is writing a script to install Acrobat patches for the users. Currently because it’s not standard software, we ask the users to do the updates.

Up next after that is the next Adobe security updates. I’m sure there are some just around the corner like the Adobe Download Manager bug.


  1. Please tell me step-by-step how to prevent shrinkage when converting a Word document into AdobeAcrobat pdf….
    I printed the .doc version; then printed the .pdf version and compared one page on top of the other — the document IS smaller in pdf. I need to have a 1-1 conversion rather than a shrunken version. Please help!

  2. I just did this including the 8.0 but doing it with the 9.0 instructions and was wondering why it didn’t put ANY updates in. Then I found this site which pointed me to the right KB. Thanks!

Comments are closed.