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newest flash update won't complete install on Windows XP (or Vista)

New Here ,
Jun 13, 2017 Jun 13, 2017

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I went to update my flash player to the newest 26 release from the most recent 25 release.  The whole, quick process goes on normally until 50% of the way through the install and says this in the box  Adobe Flash Player: Installation failed. Click Finish for further assistance.  Nothing I saw on the assistance pages applies to me.  Nothing about my computer has changed since the last update in May or any other time for that matter.  Everything is how it has always been. Any one know what to do? I use Firefox on Windows XP.

[moderator: for clarity, added 'Windows XP' to the title]

[moderator: added Vista to the title.  we've received reports of the same issue on Vista]

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correct answers 1 Correct Answer

Adobe Employee , Jun 19, 2017 Jun 19, 2017
Hi,The ongoing issue with the online installer is fixed. You can go ahead and use the online installer for installing latest version of Flash Player on Windows XP/Vista platforms.Thanks!

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Adobe Employee ,
Jun 13, 2017 Jun 13, 2017

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Hi,

What is the name of the installer file you are using?

Are you using anti-virus software?  If so, which one, including version?


I'll need to review the installation log files to troubleshoot the failure.  Please read through the FAQ Where do I find the Flash Player installation log on Windows? and provide the 3 files listed.  Upload the files to cloud.acrobat.com/send using the instructions at How to share a document​.  Post the link to the uploaded files in your reply.

--

Maria

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New Here ,
Jun 13, 2017 Jun 13, 2017

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Look, I am not at all a technical person.  So when you say installer file, I'm just gonna tell you I follow the links on Adobes security bulletins page to the relevant flash download center. I have no new anti virus software on here since the last flash update in may and all the other updates; in the past couple of years.  I have a free AVG program and that's been the case for the longest time.  As I said, nothing about my computer has changed, since the last update in May or all other past updates. 

Now I do and have always had the update flash automatically option always set, so how long after the updates are posted on your security bulletins page to the time it updates automatically on its own?

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Adobe Employee ,
Jun 13, 2017 Jun 13, 2017

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The name of the installer file is the name of the file you downloaded from adobe.com.  We have numerous installer files and having the name of the file you used would enable me to download the exact file and run it, to attempt to reproduce the behavhiour.

The reason I asked about the anti-virus is that sometimes they interfere with software installations.  Knowing this is also helpful for troubleshooting.  Essentially the more detailed information you can provide, the better we can provide assistance, without making assumptions.

If you are opted into background updates your system will be updated within 24 hours to the new version, assuming it has an active internet connection.

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New Here ,
Jun 13, 2017 Jun 13, 2017

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flashplayer26_ha_install(1).exe is the file name i guess, but if it will update on its own within 24 hours since I have that setting, I guess it should do it, right?

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Adobe Employee ,
Jun 13, 2017 Jun 13, 2017

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Thank you.  I don't have access to an XP system today, but will have access tomorrow. I'll investigate further tomorrow.

If you're opted into background updates your system should update within 24 hours, assuming it's connected to the internet for the duration.

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New Here ,
Jun 13, 2017 Jun 13, 2017

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Ok thank you.  I just worry because adobe, firefox, and windows all put out updates today so I hope that doesn't mean there was a zero day attack or something.  Nothing nefarious could be stopping the install halfway through, could it?

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Adobe Employee ,
Jun 13, 2017 Jun 13, 2017

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Nothing nefarious could be stopping the install halfway through, could it?

The previously requested, but not provided, installation log files should provide information as to what caused the hang.

Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP, and no longer provide updates, security or otherwise, to Windows XP, with the exception of a security update for the WannaCry ransomware virus from last month.

It's unlikely a Firefox update would impact an unrelated software installation.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jun 13, 2017 Jun 13, 2017

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Today is Patch Tuesday.  There are interdependencies between Flash Player and the browsers, and in the instance of Microsoft and Google, they distribute Flash Player patches directly, through their own distribution channels.  This means that by definition, we have to coordinate updates.  That's just standard practice at this point.

If you're interested in the contents of a particular patch from Adobe, you can always check out our security bulletins, here:

Security Bulletins and Advisories

That said, there's a reason that we teach beginning security engineers interested in compromising operating systems with examples that target Windows XP.  If you're worried about the machine getting compromised (and you should be), that's a good indication that it's time to move on.

If you're price sensitive or can't afford to upgrade, run one of the many free available distributions of Linux that provide modern operating system level security mitigations.  Mint Linux is very popular now, and would be a much better choice.

If you prefer Windows or MacOS, a decent Win10 laptop runs about $400 these days, Chromebooks are closer to $250 at the entry range, and Walmart, of all places, sells refurbished Apple products through their website.

Is it possible that there's malware preventing the installation to complete?  It's fairly easy to just silently and completely own a WinXP machine.  Tipping your hand by interfering with software updates and things after you've already taken control of the system would be an amateur move.  Plus, once an attacker has established a foothold on the system, future software updates are inconsequential -- they've already got their own command and control software running.

Seriously though -- I can't really stress this enough, if you're doing anything remotely sensitive with the machine (healthcare, banking, etc), it's time to upgrade to something else.  You're foregoing the benefits of almost 15 years of security research, in an era where we've seen the adversary change from kids in basements and hacktivists to full-on nation states and organized crime organizations with large, well-funded research teams.  The world is a very different place than when WinXP was introduced, and your choice to stay at, or behind the trailing edge of supported software means that you're assuming a lot of risk.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jun 14, 2017 Jun 14, 2017

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Hi,

We've been able to reproduce the behaviour and are escalating to the online installer team.  The online installer downloads and installs Flash Player silently in the background and this is the one that is failing.  The offline installer, posted at the bottom of the Installation problems | Flash Player | Windows 7 and earlier page in the 'Still having problems' section is working fine.  Please use the offline installer until the online installer is fixed.

Thank you.

--

Maria

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New Here ,
Jun 14, 2017 Jun 14, 2017

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I had the exact  same problem (install fail 50% through on Firefox+Windows XP) and solved it.

Solution: You need to download the installer using a direct link found on the adobe troubleshooting page:

Installation problems | Flash Player | Windows 7 and earlier

There is a link at the bottom for Flash Player for "Firefox - NPAPI"

This will give you a 20mb file called "install_flash_player.exe" which worked for me.

Background: The Firefox plugincheck page said flash 25 was out of date and took me to an adobe download page which downloaded a small (1mb) downloader stub called "flashplayer26_d_install.exe". This is what ran and halfway through said installation failed.

There was no "C:\Windows\system32\Macromed\Flash\FlashInstall32.log" file yet; I assume because that part of the installer hadn't run. I checked "...\Local Settings\Temp\Adobe_ADMLogs\Adobe_ADM.log" which at the end says "ValidationFailure |  | 168 | Binary signature validation failed." That's when I decided to try the full installer file from the direct link above, which worked.

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New Here ,
Jun 14, 2017 Jun 14, 2017

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so the thing on that page you linked is Flash Player for Firefox - NPAPI fromfpdownload.macromedia ?  Now that doesn't have the option to get rid of the mcafee thing.  So I dont have to worry about that being installed with it do I, because I always uncheck that thing when updating.

[moderator: removed link]

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Adobe Employee ,
Jun 14, 2017 Jun 14, 2017

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The offline installers do not contain any third-party offerings.

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New Here ,
Jun 14, 2017 Jun 14, 2017

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ok thank you, that seemed to work  that worked.  Now it did say on the download box the publisher could not be verified, is that ok?

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Adobe Employee ,
Jun 14, 2017 Jun 14, 2017

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Thank you for the additional information.  The signature should not be returning 'Unverified Publisher' and we are looking into why it's returning 'Unverified Publisher' instead of 'Adobe Systems Incorporated'

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New Here ,
Jun 14, 2017 Jun 14, 2017

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Perhaps the code signing certificate is using SHA-256 or some other level that Windows XP's cryptography does not support? 

But, I wholehearted agree with both m_vargas, and jeromiec83223024 - Moving from XP is essential.

Many AntiVirus vendors don't support XP anymore, so you are thus becoming even more vulnerable as time moves forward.

If you can upgrade/replace, I think it is time to pull the trigger and get a new computer w/modern (i.e. supported) OS.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jun 14, 2017 Jun 14, 2017

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Unless we're talking about WinXP SP3, your operating system lacks the support support for SHA-2, which is required in order to validate software with developer signatures considered valid and trustworthy in 2017.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jun 14, 2017 Jun 14, 2017

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Just to close the loop on this for the time being, it sounds like this is definitely related to an expansion of the use of SHA-256 in our signing and packaging process.  We'll continue to explore options to see if we can smooth this out for WinXP users, but the truth of the matter is that it may not be feasible, and it's time to move on to a modern operating system.

If you're cost sensitive and/or cannot afford to upgrade to a modern operating system, modern Linux distributions like Mint Linux offer a free solution that includes modern operating system level security mitigations and cryptography support.  If you prefer Windows or Macintosh, a decent entry-level Win10 laptop can be had in the $400 range, a decent entry-level Chromebook will run you about $250, and Walmart sells refurbished Apple products through their website, if you'd prefer an inexpensive alternative to retail Apple prices.

My hope is that we'll find a workaround for folks on WinXP and Vista, but at this point, those operating systems are down in the single-digits in terms of their role in the larger population (XP in particular has seen a precipitous drop over the last year in global distribution), and we're reaching the practical limits of addressing the realities of the security landscape in 2017, while simultaneously maintaining backwards compatibility with systems that are missing ~15 years of security research and effort.  It's really just time to move on.

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New Here ,
Jun 15, 2017 Jun 15, 2017

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Hi dougt23333122:

Thanks for posting about this issue.

I can confirm that the online installer at https://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/ (flashplayer26ax_ca_install.exe) fails half way through the installation if I try to install the Adobe Flash v26.0.0.126 ActiveX add-on in IE9 on my 32-bit Vista SP2 machine.  Please note that my Vista SP2 OS has been SHA-256 compliant since early 2013 when KB2763674 was automatically installed by Windows Update during my January 2013 Patch Tuesday updates.

I can also confirm that the offline installer (install_flash_player_ax.exe) I downloaded from the support article Installation Problems | Flash Player | Windows 7 and Earlier installed correctly, so kudos to rich1439561 for posting that workaround.  The HP Solution Center software for my HP all-in-one printer doesn't function correctly unless I have Flash installed in IE9 (I can't use my default Firefox ESR browser with this HP software) so being able to install Flash on my Vista SP2 computer is important to me.
-------------

32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox ESR v52.2.0 * IE9 * NS v22.9.4.8 * MB Premium v3.1.2

HP Pavilion dv6835ca, Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz, 3 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS

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Adobe Employee ,
Jun 19, 2017 Jun 19, 2017

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Hi,

The ongoing issue with the online installer is fixed. You can go ahead and use the online installer for installing latest version of Flash Player on Windows XP/Vista platforms.

Thanks!

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New Here ,
Nov 17, 2017 Nov 17, 2017

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i am sorry to announce that mine is not yet fixed. I use Firefox, Avast antivirus and XP OS.The antivirus is prompting me to update the flash player, which when I check is version 15.0.0.223 and I do realize the latest is a 26.....I have tried the download but fails to run installation. I also tried suggestions from the forum but to no avail. What else can I do?

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Adobe Employee ,
Nov 17, 2017 Nov 17, 2017

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Flash Player failing to run on XP system indicates the XP system lacks the support for sha-2 digital signatures.  XP Service Pack 3 supports sha-256 digital signatures.  XP Service Pack 2 and prior do not support sha-2 digital signatures.

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