Normally the Adobe Download Manager schedules itself for automatic uninstall upon the next system restart by adding a registry value 'Uninstall Adobe Download Manager' to
it adds:
'C:WINDOWSSystem32rundll32.exe' 'C:Program
/IE2883E8F-472F-4fb0-9522-AC9BF37916A7 /Get1noarp
i.e. rundll is called to host the helper.dll and that in turn executes the uninstall. The silent-switch here is the attached 'noarp'. The normal uninstall string executed, when a user chooses to uninstall via Add/Remove Programs it is stored in the registry value 'UninstallString' in the following hive.
it reads:
'C:WINDOWSSystem32rundll32.exe' 'C:Program
/IE2883E8F-472F-4fb0-9522-AC9BF37916A7 /Get1
the missing noarp indicates a (non silent) user interactive uninstall.
The information above is true for versions starting from
I have no information about such switches in earlier versions.
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  • 04/21/2010
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Downloads; Downloads Adobe End-User License Agreement. By downloading software of Adobe Systems Incorporated or its subsidiaries ('Adobe') from this site, you agree to the following terms and conditions. If you do not agree with such terms and conditions do not download the software.

PROBLEM: Adobe Download Manager hides files on your hard disk. As a result your install doesn't work, and further you can't find the hidden files to delete them.

SOLUTION: Find the hidden files underneath the Temporary Internet Files directory

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If you've downloaded an Adobe product lately using their Download Manager you might have got frustrated because you suddenly found yourself with way less hard disk space than you thought you would.

This is because Adobe in their wisdom, hide the download files in a hidden virtualized directory underneath your Temporary Internet Files directory. The don't tell you this of course, so whilst you think it's downloading into:


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it is actually downloading into something like this:

[email protected]oftWindowsTemporary Internet FilesVirtualizedCUserscraigbDownloadsAdobePremiere

I'm sure there is some well intentioned reason for this – most likely related to security privileges – but frankly, it is a crazy notion.

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It quite often leads to a problem with installing (eg if you're running UAC on Vista) because the <installer.exe> files don't get the Administrator access they require. As a result, the installer extracts its files but then bombs out, and you end up getting all frustrated at how poor the user experience with Adobe products is.

Solving this one is easy enough – you just need to find where the hidden files are (that crazy directory path above), right click on the <installer.exe> and Run as Administrator. Or if the installer file needs to decompress, you can manually decompress it to a directory and run the installer from there.

For example, in my case I downloaded a Trial of Abode Premiere which came in at 2.74 GB. After downloading it, it wouldn't launch the installer. I finally found the files:

I then manually opened the .7z file using WinRAR, extracted it to a directory (costing me another 2.7GB+) and was able to install it.

If you've got this far then you know roughly where the files are. But here's the problem: If you go and look at the Temporary Internet Files folder in Windows Explorer the directories are hidden. You'll see below that Windows shows it as having 0 subdirectories and 81 files (and that is in fact all you can see) where as the Properties for the subdirectory shows 96 files and 71 folders.

Changing your Windows Explorer settings to 'Show Hidden files', and 'Not hide System files' will make no difference.

So how do you find them?

To get access to the folders, go to the Previous Versions tab (on the Properties form above).

Click on Temporary Internet Files and click Open. Windows will now magically open a view of the directory, complete with all the hidden directories showing.

Dig into the Virtualized directory, and you're on your way to finding those pesky hidden files.

Summary: Next time you find a big chunk of your hard drive mysteriously missing, go to:

C:UserscraigbAppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsTemporary Internet FilesVirtualizedCUsers


and start investigating (obviously you need to change the users directory to your own name (ie replace 'craigb'). The path structure will be different if you're using Windows XP.

[Note that in terms of terms of deleting the files you can actually achieve this by using the 'Delete Browsing History…' function in IE, but that will also wipe your Cookies, Form data, history, cached files etc – which you may not want to do.]

Is there an easier way of finding/showing these files? I hope so. If I've missed something obvious, please let me know in the comments.

Technorati Tags: Tip, Adobe, Hidden files, Virtualized directory, Temporary Internet Files

Other Tags: Can't install Adobe Premiere

Other Tags: Can't delete Adobe hidden files, Adobe eats hard disk space