AMG Service Manual CD Hacks

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There are no regular CD's for years prior to 1995 and after 2003.

This disk won't install on a newer computer because the custom adobe acrobat files are not compatible. These are the files that link the menus to the individual pdf files that make up the books and do the automatic pricing. Of course at this point the prices are all 10 years out of date. If you have the full version of adobe acrobat you could reindex the pdf's and make your own disk table of contents. What I would do is simply grab the pdf files out of the directory for the year of your truck and bring up each file to see what it is. Then, rename the files so they identify the subject. There are only 17 pdf's for the 1999 manual so it's easy to do.

If you want to use the disk as it was intended with a full install your best bet is to get an old machine, put win 98 or ME on it and install the cd's. I know for sure that The 2003 cd will not run on XP or with Acrobat Vs 6. My guess is that the others won't either. During the XP install a message came up saying it couldn't write to the registry.

Old Info:

The Adobe reader that came with my Hummer CD is version 4. I had uninstalled it a couple of months ago as well as uninstalling other versions and the Hummer info. I have since installed version 6 standard with the ability to create my own pdf files. On friday I reinstalled the Hummer CD and I could nopt bypass the Adobe install section. If I could bypass it I could not figure out how.

Now I have reader version 4 and standard version 6 on the machine. Now I am unable to open up pdf's on the web because it says it could not find Acrobat External Window Handler.

Is there a way to not install version 4 from the Hummer CD? Or is there something else that I am supposed to do.

There is a way. I got tired of running multiple versions of Acrobat on my machines a couple of years ago. Here's all you do.
Copy the file 'hummer.api' which is found in \program files\adobe\acrobat 4.0\plugins to the plugin directory of the new version of Acrobat. It might be a good idea to save the hummer.api somewhere if you have to reinstall acrobat.

You then have to change the service manual shortcut so it points to the version of acrobat you want to use. Here's an example.

"C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 6.0\Acrobat\Acrobat.exe" "d:\Program Files\AM Gen\homepg03.pdf"

Hacking the New Electronic CD Manual

I spent the last couple of days fighting with my AM general electronic "CD Manual" as their site had sporadic connectivity. Just when I needed to look something up, it would go unreachable. I also would rather not lug a windows PC around just to read a manual. Sure, I can print it out, but thats not an elegant solution either.

Anyway, after some investigation it turns out that it is relatively simple to turn the manual into PDF documents indexed and searchable. Which can then be used on other things (or other computers, mac or unix machine or even a phone with a PDF reader)

The steps are not difficult and can be accomplished by someone with a license key and some computer skills.

Basically, there's a transient state where the files are left decrypted on the hard disk .. They are locked so the OS is not really supposed to let you read them but there's a simple way to get them unlocked.

There is a slight amount of risk associated with this process and as with anything you should make good backups of your machine. Besides, a big enough USB hard drive is the same price as a tankful of diesel.

  1. Close all other applications (what you are about to do can be a little violent to some things)
  2. Open your manual viewer make sure you are in the online mode (not the offline mode which reads the CDROM)
  3. Open all the "chapters" of your service manual one at a time (this takes a bunch of time as they download)
  4. Wait .
  5. Wait some more .. you want the machine to become idle and have it write everything out on the disk .. 3-5 minutes is a good time
  6. Push the reset button. Do not restart the viewer until you've completed the rest of the steps
  7. what has now happened is that all the filesystem locks on the downloaded manuals are never established (its a reboot right?) and they won't be until the application starts up again. However, the files are still there on the filesystem. There are other ways to do this of course, plenty of tools around to unlock them and you can set the registry up to ignore lock requests on a given mount point. However, its much simpler IMO to just bounce the machine than for me to recommend a tool that may have other issues or document how to hack the registry.
  8. Once you're back you need to turn on viewing hidden files and folders [url http=// ] info here [/url]
  9. Hunt down where the manuals are on your hard disk. Use your windows search system for file names with the .emb extension.
    You should find files labeled "master YY-YYs## pdf.emb" where YY is the year codes and ## is the section number. For example, on my 99 manual for section 6 (wheels and tires) the file is called "master 99-99s06 pdf.emb" this is an unencrypted pdf file, it just doesn't look that that to windows yet.
  10. Copy out the emb files to somewhere else, as when you restart the viewer it likes to delete them.
  11. Rename the emb files to pdf you can do this with the rename function within windows explorer or off the command line. master 99-99s06 pdf.emb should now be master 99-99s06.pdf

If you want to build an index, load them all into adobe acrobat (not the reader, the full version) and hit the create index button .. volla! All the keywords are tagged properly so this works exactly like it supposed too.

Otherwise the individual pdf files will read with any modern pdf reader.

You can use the same technique for the images and the parts information though they make jpg files, not pdf files.

Enjoy your new portable document library!