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I am the victim of a harrowing problem attempting to run certain programs on my Windows 7 64-bit machine.

The primary program that exhibits the problem is Adobe Acrobat. Frequently, when I double-click a PDF file (or open it any other way), the hourglass appears for a few seconds, but the file's window does not appear on the screen. The window is not in the background (Task Manager does not list it as an open application, and Alt-Tab does not show the window). However, the Processes tab does list the Adobe Acrobat process as running. If I attempt multiple times, multiple Adobe Acrobat processes appear in the Processes list, but no window appears. Even right-clicking on the Acrobat process and selecting "Bring window to front" does not work, because this option is disabled.

Eventually, after sometimes 10 or more attempts (and force-quitting the running Acrobat process between attempts, though this may not be unrelated), the window appears as expected.

Acrobat is not the only program to exhibit this problem. Another (less-well-known) program also frequently exhibits the issue - Take Command. I have not experienced the problem with any other program.

The issue is exhibited more than 50% of the occasions I wish to run either of these two programs.

Does anyone have any suggestions for why the problem might be occurring, and what I can do to solve it?

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Try re-installing Adobe Reader. You can download the newest version from here:

  Adobe Reader (free; official download page)

If that doesn't resolve your problem, or the installation is mysteriously blocked, then scan your system for SpyWare (I've seen your problem occur on systems that were infected by SpyWare that blocks various programs such as Anti-SpyWare tools): (free)

  SpyBot - Search & Destroy (free)

Making sure that your Anti-Virus software is up-to-date and functioning is also important, especially if you did find some SpyWare on your system since viruses do sometimes get installed depending on the type of SpyWare that was installed.

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Can't answer to why it happens, but sometimes when Alt-Tab for whatever reason does not show an active window, you can get it to show by right clicking on the task bar at the bottom (in an empty area) and asking it to Cascade Windows. That document that won't show any other way should pop up as one of the Cascading Windows.

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