Adobe Application Manager: “the remote server is not responding in a proper manner.”

Adobe Application Manager gave error popup:
  • “the remote server is not responding in a proper manner.”
The following explains the cause (in this instance) of what appears to be a very general catch-all error-message.  It is a copy of my posting to an Adobe forum thread:

Yet another potential cause:

  • Wrong (obsolete) Adobe Application Manager executed, of more than one present on the system.  The latest one should be present in Windows 7’s QuickLaunch tray.  Run it from there.

Cause of that situation:  update from a state of over a year ago.  I recently recovered a Windows 7 laptop back to over a year ago (from total system backup), due to partial disk failure and consequent corruption of operating system, and was in the process of updating everything.  However in principle could the same thing have happened if it had been a laptop I simply hadn’t touched since then?

In that (historical) state, CS5.5 and CS6 were installed and there was an existing Adobe Application Manager (AAM) Shortcut from Desktop to [C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Adobe\OOBE\PDApp\core\PDapp.exe].  Naively I ran that and (not surprisingly) it triggered a newer version of AAM to download. I let that happen, then (naively) I double-clicked the same shortcut (which I assumed now pointed at the just-now downloaded new AAM).  That gave the infamous error:

  • “the remote server is not responding in a proper manner.” (etc.)

Following a day of re-trying – as the remainder of that error message suggested, I  checked the Soft-Firewall settings, where I noticed two instances of AAM (both fully enabled to network).  Consequently I went into “Detective Mode”.  Maybe there was more than one AAM on the system, or uninstalling and reinstalling AAM would help.  But looking in Windows’ “Programs and Features” Control Panel, I could find no instances of AAM.  So maybe AAM was not a “Program” in that sense but some kind of background “Service”, the thought of which led me to look at Windows’ QuickLaunch tray.

AAM was indeed present in the QuickLaunch tray so I ran that instead.   It initially opened but then failed to progress, because the error popup from the previous (wrong) AAM was still open (buried under some other windows).  However, once I closed that popup, the new (QuickLaunch) version of AAM progressed as expected, listing applications to be updated.  YAY!

A rare situation perhaps, but with Adobe’s popularity, maybe even “rare” is too big a big number of users, especially if the occasional VIP/deadlined/embedded user/suer 😉 could be embarrassed/frustrated by this.  Regardless of technical definition, it could be perceived by such a person as a “Cloud Glitch”.  Thus…

Suggestions to Adobe:

  • Make the new (QuickLaunch) version of AAM check for the presence of any obsolete ones and (prompt user to?) delete?
  • Or if it’s actually the same program [PDapp.exe] but it must only be executed from the QuickLaunch tray then could it detect that “state of misuse” and give a more helpful error nessage?
  • Would AAM benefit from more thorough development attention to its (direct or indirect) processes of error messaging?  For example could it do simple diagnostics (broadly like ping) to check network connectivity and rule that in/out (and inform the user).  Then maybe higher level protocol-tests (which might reveal that AAM version’s obsolescence or corruption)?

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