I'm a long time user of the excellent IrfanView for image files viewing and some basic editing. As most of you probably know, it supports a wide range of image file formats, .AI files included.

The problem is that it can open some but not all .AI files.
Gsdll32.dll error message opening .AI files-image_5777.png

When it fails to open certain .AI files, it shows this message:
Gsdll32.dll error message opening .AI files-image_5776.png

I asked about that in the IrfanView forum, and one of its moderators said about that issue: "Some AI files contain PDF data, others do not." He also quoted a member from another forum as follows:

From the Serif Forums

Most applications that can import AI files require the AI file to be saved with PDF data, which is the default in Illustrator unless someone disables it. The PDF portion is what is actually being opened. The PDF portion is the one "standard" format in AI files--the AI file format changes with just about every iteration (dot releases included). Which is why even say AI 5.5 may have issues opening a CS6 file.

I don't know of any non-Adobe applications that actually open the AI native format since about AI version 10 or so. AI since then has been PDF-based in its file format, before that it was EPS-based.

Mike

So I understand those files IrfanView can't open are probably PDF-based and the problem is not Ghostscript—I installed its latest version and the issue persists.

Do you know of a way I can fix that, maybe a tool to convert those .AI files IrfanView can't open, but keeping the .AI format?

TIA.

Windows 10 Pro 20H2 19042.964