How to do an Adobe Reader Custom Installation

Having just bought a new computer with a rather small (100 GB) SSD OS drive, I’m making every effort to install programs on the terabyte D: drive. So I get more than a bit cranky with applications that either don’t let you choose the install path or don’t respect it after installation.

One of those applications is Adobe Reader. If you go to Adobe’s website to install it, it will detect your OS and offer you the appropriate installer, along with a bunch of opt-out crap ware. Then, it’s just a straight install, with the only option being whether or not to allow Adobe to install updates automatically (I don’t).

So digging around for a way to customize the installation, I ran across the Adobe Customization Wizard, which seemed a bit like overkill for my problem, but worth investigating. I found instructions on how to retrieve an unencumbered and unpackable version of Reader. Hmm, this has potential.

For your future installation pleasure, skip the Adobe website and go to the FTP site! For the current Windows version, browse this folder. These versions do not have any optional opt-out toolbars or virus scanners packed into them.

To unpack the executable, run this, updating with your folder paths:

adbeRdr11009_en_us.exe -nos_o"D:\Downloads\Adobe" -nos_ne

You will be presented with a standard Windows unpacking dialog box. Once completed, go to the extraction folder and run the MSI file. Voila! A prompt to pick the installation path. Exactly what I wanted!

A long time coming

Hurrah! I’m very happy today. After studying, on and off, for years, today I finally wrote and passed the Implementation and Maintenance exam for SQL Server 2008 (70-432).

While on spring vacation, I made a plan to set a date in June, but by the time I checked availability in May, June was already booked up. I’m glad now that it was, because I certainly didn’t feel ready by the end of June. I was a lot more comfortable going into the exam today.

I prepared for the exam by:

  • reading and rereading the Microsoft Press self-study book,
  • took the 5-day classroom training on Maintaining a SQL Server Database,
  • bought the practice exam from MeasureUp, and
  • read Books Online.

There were things on the exam that I now have to look up, because I didn’t run across them in my studies (default trace files and tracking deprecated code usage).

I’m celebrating my new title Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist with a beer and some high-carb snacks. Then, onward! to the next certification, while I’m in the habit of studying regularly.