CC on a Mac.
I have 100+ page document in InDesign. I'm illustrating it by creating the artwork in Illustrator and placing the artboards into InDesign. As of about an hour ago I am unable to place or update or relink to one particular Illustrator file. Whatever I try, I get an InDesign error saying "Unable to open PDF file". I've trashed my preferences, rebooted, and even made a copy of the Illustrator file and tried to relink to it. Same error message. I am able to open and work with the Illustrator file in Illustrator; I am able to work normally with other Illustrator files from within this InDesign document.
PS: I created a new InDesign document; it, too, refuses to work with this particular Illustrator file and its copy.
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Sounds like the Illustrator file is damaged.
As Peter suggests, the Illustrator file sounds like it is damaged.
Open the illustrator file in Illustrator, and resave it to a different file name.
Try the new file.
I believe she already tried making a copy of the file in Illustrator. I think it may need to be rebuilt from scratch, or try an old copy if there's a backup someplace.
I don't know how the copy was made. If it was just copied on the desktop ... the way I suggest would be to open the Illustrator file and save it to a new file.
Even if it means copying the artwork to a completely new file.
Thanks all. In the end I was forced to recreate the Illustrator file.