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A few weeks ago, my company blocked Adobe Reader due to an unpatched security issue. However, we recently moved one of our computers to a project that didn't require access to the corporate network, and IT gave us the green light to override Group Policy and re-enable Adobe Reader.

However, this is something we've been unable to achieve. We've tried the following (in no particular order), all to no avail:

  1. Ran the program as administrator

  2. Renamed the program (the blocking is likely signature-based)

  3. Deleted registry.pol

  4. Changed the value of "Start" in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\CurrentControlSet\services\gpsvc to "4" (to prevent group policy from applying, even though it's no longer on the corporate domain)

  5. Checked SRP settings under Local Security Policy - nothing was there

  6. Checked AppLocker settings under Local Security Policy - nothing there either

  7. Incidentally, I found a few registry keys with descriptions referring to Adobe Reader being blocked. I deleted all of them, but it didn't help.

  8. Changed the permission settings of the program

  9. Re-installed Adobe Reader

  10. Update: cleared existing Group Policy objects

Is there anything I missed, short of doing a clean install?

Update: I was able to track down the Group Policy update that's supposed to block Adobe Reader (using another computer). But the change in the registry.pol file is "HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows." Doesn't make much sense...

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Since you're possibly even contemplating a complete reinstall of the OS, is there some specific reason you want to use only Adobe Reader and no other alternative? – Karan Dec 12 '12 at 3:35
If your IT department gave you permission to re-enable Adobe Reader, is there any chance they would be willing to describe exactly what they did to block it? – William Jackson Dec 12 '12 at 3:53
FoxIt for the win. – Joel Coehoorn Dec 12 '12 at 4:19
Also, can you be more descriptive of what failure looks like? What errors do you see when trying to start or install the program? – Joel Coehoorn Dec 12 '12 at 4:20
It's a tricky situation. Normally, we would just have IT come over. But due to the confidential nature of our work, we aren't really supposed to let other groups into our labs, and IT is no exception. As such, they can only give instructions. Considering that the computer is no longer on the corporate network, they can't really use Remote Desktop either. I guess we could take the computer to IT, but it's kind of a hassle as it's a desktop. For the record, here's the message: "This program is blocked by group policy. For more information, contact your system administrator." – Danny Chia Dec 12 '12 at 16:53

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