Acrobat/Reader: Z@xxx.tmp files left behind in Temp folder after printing

Issue

If you are printing files with Adobe Reader/Acrobat you may notice that some tmp files are created in your Windows Temp folder:

C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Local Settings\Temp

with file names similar to:

Z@R3A.tmp

Z@R3C.tmp

Z@R3E.tmp

Z@R38.tmp

Z@R3B.tmp

Only some of these tmp files get cleaned up after the print job has completed and you close Adobe Reader/Acrobat.  The remaining files are locked and cannot be deleted.  This can cause problems particularly in Terminal Server or Citrix environments where the user’s profile should be cleaned up when they logoff, but such locked tmp files prevent the successful cleanup.  This problem with remaining locked files only seems to occur on Windows XP, NT and 2003 Server.

Reason

These tmp files are actually the true type fonts that are used by the Windows print spooler when printing a PDF.  The font files get created using the Windows call CreateScalableFontResource.  This Windows API call locks the files and thus when Acrobat calls DeleteFile on these files, sometimes an ACCESS_DENIED error is returned and they cannot be deleted.

The issue is the OS keeps a lock on these files which gets released on system restart, or when the user logs off and back on (this is the case with XP/NT/2003Server).  These files can be deleted when the system restarts, Acrobat/Reader is launched again and then closed which will issue the request to Windows to delete the files again.  Sometimes the lock on these files is released by the OS after some time has elapsed.

We have been unable to identify the root cause of this issue in Windows and why it keeps a lock on these files, despite very intensive testing and debugging.  The problem is not isolated to any specific issue in Adobe software.

We provide the following workarounds to avoid this issue.

Workaround1

In a Terminal Server or Citrix environment it is not possible to restart the machine, as there may be other users logged on.  Therefore you may use one of the following workaround files.

There are 2 methods used in Acrobat/Reader to create these temp files for the fonts.  In the first acroct.ini file we disable one of these methods, and this has brought positive results in most cases.  In the second acroct.ini file we disable both methods, so that no temp files for the fonts are generated anymore, and therefore cannot be locked.

1. close Adobe Reader/Acrobat

2. extract the first acroct.ini, or second acroct.ini file to C:\Windows

On Terminal Server this should then install the .ini file in each user profile under C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Windows.

Please note that using these .ini files will reduce the quality of the printed output, as the printed fonts can no longer render exactly as shown on screen.  Therefore it is more desirable to use the first acroct.ini (diables only one method) if it solves the issue, rather than the second acroct.ini (disables both methods).  You should verify the printed output using these files and decide which one works best for you.

Workaround2

Following our testing we have discovered that the issue does not occur in Windows 7, or Windows 2008 Server.

It seems that the updated versions of Windows provide a solution to this issue.  We would therefore recommend updating your OS if possible.

reference: (182680504/2989318)

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