June 14-2012: See this blog post re the same error in relation to Adobe Flash & Web Browser issues.
Adobe Reader X (10.0.0) is the new bad boy on the block, and is wreaking havoc with Dragon NaturallySpeaking (Professional, Medical and Legal) users everywhere. Whether you are using Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Outlook, a web based EMR such as Med Access, and likely sundry other applications, you may receive the following error while using Dragon, specifically when turning on your microphone: “COM returned an unexpected error code: Details are HOOKERR_NONOTIFYWINDOW”. After receiving this error, you will be unable to use Dragon until you restart your PC. However, shutting down all applications and restarting your PC will only temporarily resolve the issue, but it is not a fix.
- Verify your version of Adobe Reader. Help> About Adobe Reader X. Is it Adobe Reader X (10.0.0)?
- If 10.0.0., then try updating Adobe Reader to version 10.0.1, or the latest. Help> Check for Updates. As always, restart your PC after applying updates.
- If you already have Adobe Reader 10.0.1, or the above did not remedy the Dragon error message, you can try disabling Adobe Reader X’s Protected Mode (Edit > Preferences > General and deselecting Enable Protected Mode at startup).
- If the above fails to eliminate the Dragon error, completely remove Adobe Reader X (via the control panel), restart your PC, and install Adobe Reader 9.
- If the above does not provide a resolution to the Dragon error, remove Adobe Reader 9 via the control panel, and try another PDF reader such as Nuance’s free PDF reader.
- If you have Adobe Acrobat Pro X, it is unlikely you will have this issue.
- The issue may be intermittent and may occur in a multitude of applications, but not in others (i.e. the error may appear when using IE, but not MS Word).
- This error may occur even if you do not have Adobe Reader installed — it’s entirely possible that any application that prevents Dragon from “hooking in” will produce this error.
- If one of the above remedies seems to function in removing the hook error, you may find yourself faced with a new Dragon error: “SendKeys cancelled“. If that is the case, please proceed with the next step in the above list of remedies.
- If one of the above remedies seems to cure the Dragon errors, and you find yourself faced with the inability to select or correct text in Internet Explorer or other applications where FTC (Full Text Control) is available, proceed with the next step in the above list of remedies.
Why is this Happening?
The issue is not Dragon’s fault (believe me, I’m the first to raise a hand when Dragon is the heart of a problem), even though Dragon is providing the error message (and ceasing to function). Most applications on a computer hook into one another in some fashion. When a hook cannot be established, an application can become unstable and error out.
Dragon, in particular, needs to hook into applications so that you may launch them by voice and also for Dragon to determine Full Text Control compatibility. Therefore, when it cannot hook into an application and you turn the microphone on (at which point Dragon must be available to do your bidding), you may see this error.
The bottom line really is that Adobe Reader X is incompatible with Dragon (versions 10 and 11, and likely earlier versions as well), preventing Dragon from accessing certain applications.
Hopefully Adobe will provide their own fixes (they usually do), but if all else fails, remove Adobe’s PDF reader and install another reader.