Hi all,
I have received an important email message with pdf file attachment. When I try to open the file i recieve the following message:
There was an error opening this document. Access denied.
Please help me to repair pdf.


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All 14 Replies

That's easy. Have them send a good one.

There are shills that lead with your question so the spammer can reply with PDF Repair.com tools. But anyone I know sees right through that and downvotes you.

And, I would add, the mods are watching closely for any hint of spammy replies which will be deleted and the poster infracted as a matter of course.

Didn't say you were Jim! I was merely warning those thinking about posting a spammy reply, and experience suggests that requests for help with file repair is going to attract them, not to bother. The less spammy responses, the better the chance of solving your problem.

I'm sure you'd rather get replies that can actually help you, than ones leading to software that's either useless, costs and arm and a leg when free tools are available elsewhere, or a combination of both?

EDIT: And guess what, it WAS a bait and spam shill despite the denials. Oh what a surprise, why do these people bother...

What was the precise error?
What email client/operating system are you using?
What solutions have you already tried?

A few things jump out at me. "Access denied" might not mean this is a corrupted file. Try this... DOWNLOAD the file (download, don't open) to somewhere you definitely have full permissions (ie Desktop or Documents folder). Scan with antivirus. Check file permissions on file. Change if needed. You might even want to close your email software in case it retains a lock on the file, but that's doubtful. Open Acrobat Reader or whatever your PDF Viewer software is. Pick the Open File option in that software. navigate to that downloaded file, and try to open it with that software. See what error you get, exactly.

What the above DOESN'T involve is any double-clicking. It also makes sure that you are indeed opening this file up with PDF Viewer software and that it is identifying itself as a PDF file.

Again, note exact error messages and the message SOURCE (email software, antivirus software, PDF software, browser software, firewall, operating system?) "Access denied" implies a permissions problem rather than a corrupt file.

Another workaround came up last year. After saving it (noted by others), toss it into Dropbox and view it there. I think you can even edit them with the Dropbox app on phone/tablet.

"There was an error opening this document. Access denied" is the precise error.
I am using Outlook on Windows 8.1
I have tried to open the file om another computer, no luck

commented: No, no there wasn't, was there Jim. SPAMMER +0
commented: A shill and their spam. -2

Here's a thing. One of my clients had a mail filter that would block zip files. So we renamed our zip to pdf and went back to work.

Wouldn't you know it I got a call from a new team member asking me how to open the PDFs I sent in.

PS. If you want others to try opening this PDF. Put it up on dropbox in your public folder for others to try it.

I have tried to open the file om another computer, no luck

But have you tried opening it outside of Outlook, without double-clicking, as I described. As RProffitt describes, there are all sorts of security concerns that restrict access (often for a very good reason) when using email programs like Outlook. If you open a program like I described (in Adobe Reader), you are less vulnerable to malware than when you double click it. Hence the restrictions. Hence the higher potential for "Access Denied". Open it outside of your email program. Very often the email program will change the permissions. Hence check them.

PS. If you want others to try opening this PDF. Put it up on dropbox in your public folder for others to try it.

Or attach it here? The file format thing is a good point too. I've seen executables that, at first glance, don't appear to be. Anything to trick you into double clicking what you believe is a data file. Some IT folks I knew were constantly having to deal with people clicking with what they shouldn't click and over-compensate on limiting permissions and everything else that could possibly distribute malware. Nobody got any work done as a result. From the IT guy's point of view, this is a "success". What could be safer?

End result was that everyone got sick of his impossible to defeat countermeasures (purportedly against malware, but really against his employees) and simply bypassed all security.

Moral is security is everyone's job and everyone's responsibility. IT people need to train people on how to be security-conscious and non-IT types need to follow the training and not make the IT guys' lives (and their own) miserable by doing dumb stuff. They're on the same team, so should be cooperating, not fighting each other. What a concept!

In linux, there are programs such as file or kmimetypefinder to help guess the type of a file, for example here is a sequence of commands

$ mv x.zip x.pdf
$ kmimetypefinder -c x.pdf
$ file x.pdf
x.pdf: Zip archive data, at least v2.0 to extract

Using a live linux disk, you could try these commands on your pdf file.

Hey look, someone who isn't a spammer just posted a spammy post as Harry_10 and then thanked himself as Jim_14. Big mistake that, posting from exactly the same IP...

Oh well, looks like you ARE a spammer Jim. Looks like it WAS just a shill post. Looks like you are both getting infracted/banned.

I am leaving this thread intact apart from your spam posts - that way others who do actually need help might get some.

commented: The more you see this question, the more you expect the same thing (shill+spam.) +11

The more you see this question, the more you expect the same thing (spam.)

Indeed. Usually, the spammers don't bother with the uppity denial though. That's relatively unusual (although not unheard of). Maybe 'Jim' was just pissed that we were onto him and thought he'd put us off the scent? Would have worked had he not had to follow type and thank himself using the OP account posting from the exact same IP as the spammer. Idiot.

This is a common shill question that has yet to be genuine over in a forum I am a moderator at. It got so bad the spambot is loaded for bear in regards to file repair . com links and more.

It's a real shame but anytime you see a person ask about how to repair a corrupt file, you can bet it's another shill.

IP matching did this one in. My favorite is when they use the same question posted 5 and more years ago. Not very smart is being kind about shills and spammers.

You'd think they didn't know that Google exists. I always search for the text of such messages, usually comes up trumps as you say. I can almost guarantee that corrupt file repair is going to be spammy, pretty much taken over from 'how can I move my music from my iPod' in that regard.

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