Symptoms

The following are some symptoms of system errors:

  • A blank or flickering dialog box
  • A frozen cursor or screen
  • A blue screen
  • An unexpected restart
  • An error message

To correct these problems, perform the numbered tasks that follow. For best results, perform the tasks in the order listed. Record the tasks you perform and the results of each, including errors and other problems. If you later contact Adobe Technical Support, this information can help the support staff resolve the problem. 

Important: The troubleshooting tasks reflect the default interface of Windows. If your interface is customized, you can encounter slight variations (for example, Start > Settings > Control Panel instead of Start > Control Panel). Additionally, the tasks reflect the Classic View of the Control Panel.

To view the Control Panel in the Classic View, click Switch To Classic View (Windows XP), Classic View (Windows Vista and Windows 7). These buttons are on the Control Panel navigation bar on the left side of the window.

If you are encountering issues with Photoshop Elements Editor, see Troubleshoot system errors, freezes | Windows | Adobe software and Troubleshoot system errors, freezes | Mac OS 10.x | Adobe software.

Back up your files

Before performing any of these tasks, back up all personal files (for example, Photoshop or InDesign files you created). Always restart the computer after a system error occurs to refresh its memory. Continuing to work without restarting the computer can make the problem worse. If you do not find a solution to your problem, try the product-specific solutions.

Note: Some of these procedures require you to locate hidden files or hidden folders. Some procedures require you to locate files by their full filenames, which include extensions (for example, some_filename.ini). By default, Windows Explorer doesn't show hidden files, hidden folders, and filename extensions that it recognizes. See Show hidden files, folders, and filename extensions | Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Access hidden user library files | Mac OS 10.7 Lion.

Check system requirements

Make sure that the system meets the minimum requirements for the software. For the most up-to-date system requirement information, search the knowledgebase for "system requirements" and the product name.

To check basic system information, such as processor speed and how much RAM is installed, choose Help > System Info in most Adobe applications. If your application does not include this option, choose Start > Control Panel > System.

Beginning troubleshooting

1. Install the latest version of Photoshop Elements.

The latest version of the Adobe software could be more compatible with the operating system and drivers. Before you install an update or upgrade, make sure that the system meets the requirements. For the latest product updates and upgrades, visit Adobe - Downloads. An upgrade can solve a wider range of problems than a free update. Install any free updates before trying the rest of the tasks in this document. Complete the tasks listed here before you consider purchasing an upgrade.

2. Install current OS service packs and other updates.

See Install current Windows service packs and other updates.

On Macintosh, select Software Updates from the Apple menu.

3. Re-create the Elements Organizer preferences file.

Re-create the Adobe application preferences file to eliminate problems that a damaged preferences file can cause. 

  1. Navigate to the Elements Organizer settings folder: 

    • Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\[User Name]\Application Data\Adobe\Elements Organizer\[Version]\Organizer\
    • Win Vista/7/8: C:\Users\[User Name]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Elements Organizer\[Version]\Organizer\
    • Macintosh OS: //Users/[User Name]/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Elements Organizer/[Version]/Organizer/

    Note: Some of the folders in these paths could be hidden. To reveal them, see:

  2. Rename psa.prf to psa.old.

  3. Retry launching Elements Organizer

4. Run the Elements Organizer while no other applications run in the background.

Startup items and services can cause system errors or freezes when running concurrently with the Elements Organizer. (Startup items start automatically with Windows and  services are specialized programs that support other programs.) To determine whether a startup item or service is conflicting with the Organizer, disable all startup items and non-essential services before you start the Organizer.

To disable startup items and non-essential services, see Disable startup items and services | Windows and Start in Safe Boot mode | Mac OS X

5. Change the system default printer.

An incompatible printer driver can cause system errors. To determine if the driver for the current default printer is causing the problem in the Elements Organizer, change the default printer.

See Change the system default printer

Once you have changed the default printer, try to re-create the problem in the Organizer. Then do one of the following:

  • If the problem still occurs, then a printer driver is not the cause of the problem. Restore the previous default printer and proceed to Step 6.
  • If the problem no longer occurs, then install or reinstall the latest version of the driver for the previous default printer. (Go to the printer manufacturer's website to download the latest driver.) Once you have installed the latest driver, open Printers And Faxes in the Control Panel and restore that printer as the default printer. Then try again to re-create the problem in the Elements Organizer. If the problem returns, then set the default printer back to the different printer or virtual PostScript printer that you chose in the steps above. Then, when you want to print to your actual preferred printer from the Elements Organizer, choose that printer in the Print Photos dialog.

6. Troubleshoot third-party plug-ins.

Close the Elements Organizer, remove third-party plug-ins from the plug-ins folder--which is located by default at C:/Program Files/Adobe/Photoshop Elements 7.0/Plug-Ins--and then restart the Organizer. If the problem recurs, then move the plug-ins back into the Elements Organizer plug-ins folder and proceed to Intermediate Troubleshooting. If the problem doesn't recur, then identify and address conflicting plug-ins.

To identify and address conflicting plug-ins:

  1. Move one third-party plug-in back to the Elements Organizer plug-ins folder. Restart the Elements Organizer, and try to re-create the problem.
  2. If the problem doesn't recur, then repeat the previous step. If the problem does recur, then contact the developer of the plug-in that you last moved, and inquire about an update.

Intermediate troubleshooting

If the tasks in the previous section don't solve the problem, then do the following intermediate troubleshooting tasks.

7. Troubleshoot catalog files.

The Elements Organizer stores information about your photos and other media files in catalog files. Damage in the current catalog file or one of its support files causes some system errors and freezes.

For instructions on troubleshooting catalog files, see Troubleshoot catalog issues | Organizer | Elements 6 and later.

8. Disable Auto-Analysis.

  1. Go to Edit (Windows) or Elements Organizer (Mac) > Preferences > Media-Analysis

    NOTE: Auto-Analysis Options in Photoshop Elements 8

  2. Deselect all options.
  3. Click OK.

9. Optimize handling of temporary files by Windows

Windows and applications store working data in temporary (.tmp) files that they create on the hard disk. Excessive or outdated temporary files can interfere with performance of Windows or applications.

See:

10. Update or reinstall QuickTime.

An outdated version of Apple QuickTime or a damaged QuickTime file can prevent the Elements Organizer from starting or operating correctly.

To update QuickTime, install the current version available from the Apple website.

To replace damaged QuickTime files, remove QuickTime and delete any QuickTime files or folders remaining on the system, and then reinstall QuickTime. For assistance with removing QuickTime, see "Removing iTunes, QuickTime, and other software components for Windows XP" (Article HT1925) on the Apple Support site.

11. Disable the FastCore, MMXCore, and MultiProcessor Support plug-ins.

The FastCore, MMXCore, and MultiProcessor Support plug-ins enable the Elements Organizer to use multiple processors and enhanced processor technologies such as MMX. Disable these plug-ins to identify problems related to your computer's processor.

To disable the FastCore, MMXCore, and MultiProcessor Support plug-ins:

  1. Close Photoshop Elements.
  2. In Windows Explorer, navigate to C:/Program Files/Adobe/Photoshop Elements 7.0/Locales/en_US/Plug-Ins/Extensions. (If you installed Photoshop Elements in a location other than the default of C:/Program Files/Adobe/Photoshop Elements 7.0, then modify this file path for your custom location.)
  3. Rename the filename extensions on the FastCore, MMXCore, and MultiProcessor Support plug-in files (for example, change MMXCore.8BX to MMXCore.old).

Once you have disabled the plug-ins, start the Elements 7 Organizer and try to re-create the problem. Then do one of the following:

  • If the problem no longer occurs, then leave these plug-ins disabled. Although the Elements Organizer can run without the FastCore, MMXCore, and MultiProcessor Support plug-ins, some of its functions could be slower. Contact the manufacturer of your computer for assistance with identifying possible problems with your computer's processor.
  • If the problem recurs, then your computer's processor is not the cause. Close the Organizer and reenable the plug-ins by renaming the files' extensions back to .8BX.

12. Reinstall Photoshop Elements from the Desktop while start-up items and services are disabled.

Damaged or incomplete installation of Photoshop Elements can cause system errors. Remove the application and then reinstall it from the Desktop while start-up items and nonessential services are disabled.

Remove Photoshop Elements:

  1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Add Or Remove Programs.
  2. Select Adobe Photoshop Elements <version>.
  3. Click Change/Remove.
  4. Follow the onscreen instructions to remove Photoshop Elements.
  5. When the installer has finished, navigate in Windows Explorer to C:/Program Files/Adobe/Photoshop Elements (or your custom installation location).
  6. Delete any files and folders that remain inside the Photoshop Elements folder.

To disable startup items and nonessential services, see the instructions in Task 4 of this document.

To reinstall Photoshop Elements, do one of the following:

  • If you purchased Photoshop Elements as downloadable software, then double-click the installer file that you downloaded and follow the onscreen instructions to install the application.
  • If you purchased Photoshop Elements as boxed software, then copy the Adobe Photoshop Elements folder from the Photoshop Elements installation CD-ROM to the Desktop. Open the Adobe Photoshop Elements folder on the Desktop. Double-click the Setup.exe file, and follow the onscreen instructions to reinstall the application.

13. Update the video card driver.

Many video card manufacturers frequently update their software drivers. If you haven't recently updated the video card driver, then contact the video card manufacturer for an updated driver. Or, download one from the manufacturer's website. (To determine the manufacturer of a video card, view the card's properties in Device Manager.)

14. Run the Elements Organizer in a new user account.

Create a user account that has the same permissions as the account you use when the problem occurs, or create a local administrator account. Try to re-create the problem while you are logged in to the new account.

For information on setting up a user account, see "To create a new user account" in Windows Help And Support, or contact your network administrator.

If the problem does not recur when you are logged on to the new account, then the original user account could be damaged.

If the problem does not recur in a local administrator account, then do one of the following:

  • If you were previously logged in as a standard user, update user privileges to files or folders on your computer. Contact Microsoft or your system administrator for instructions.
  • If you were previously logged in as a user account that is part of a network domain, contact your IT department or your network administrator.

15. Review the Elements Organizer Log

The Elements Organizer generates a log of the steps it processes when launching. By examining this log, you could discover the cause of the application failing to launch. The log file is called Log.txt and can be found in the Elements Organizer settings folder: 

  • Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\[User Name]\Application Data\Adobe\Elements Organizer\[Version]\Organizer\
  • Win Vista/7/8: C:\Users\[User Name]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Elements Organizer\[Version]\Organizer\
  • Macintosh OS: //Users/[User Name]/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Elements Organizer/[Version]/Organizer/

Advanced troubleshooting

If the tasks in the previous section don't resolve the problem, then you can sometimes resolve the problem by repairing Windows XP and reinstalling Photoshop Elements. Also try reformatting your hard disk and reinstalling Windows XP and Photoshop Elements. Finally, try determining if hardware is conflicting with Photoshop Elements.

Disclaimer: Adobe doesn't support hardware and provides these tasks as a courtesy only. For further assistance, contact the hardware manufacturer or an authorized reseller. If you troubleshoot hardware problems yourself, then you can void the warranty for your computer.

Note: Before you remove or rearrange hardware, turn off and disconnect the power to the computer and any peripheral devices.

16. Verify that other device drivers are compatible with Windows XP.

17. Troubleshoot codecs.

Codecs that are incompatible with your operating system or applications can cause startup and playback issues. Troubleshoot codec problems by removing recently installed codecs or by temporarily disabling one codec at a time and attempting to re-create the problem.

Note: Removing a codec can cause some video or audio files to become unreadable, or can cause some applications to stop working. Use caution when removing codecs. If you are not certain which codecs to keep on your system, then contact Adobe Technical Support for additional assistance.

To temporarily disable a video or audio codec, see Temporarily disable a codec (Windows XP).

18. Check for font problems.

19. Set the virtual memory paging file to the default size.

20. Repair and defragment hard disks.

21. Scan the system for viruses.

Use current anti-virus software (for example, Symantec Norton AntiVirus or McAfee VirusScan) to check the system for viruses. Virus infections can damage software and cause system errors. For more information, see the documentation for the anti-virus software.

22. Repair Windows XP and reinstall Photoshop Elements.

Remove Photoshop Elements, repair Windows XP, and then install Photoshop Elements from the original installation media. Perform this procedure particularly if you upgraded to Windows XP from an earlier edition of Windows.

Remove Photoshop Elements:

  1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Add Or Remove Programs.
  2. Select Adobe Photoshop Elements.
  3. Click Change/Remove.
  4. Follow the onscreen instructions to remove Photoshop Elements.
  5. When the installer has finished, navigate in Windows Explorer to C:/Program Files/Adobe/Photoshop Elements 7.0 (or your custom installation location).
  6. Delete any files and folders that remain inside the Photoshop Elements 7.0 folder.

To repair Windows XP, see "How to perform an in-place upgrade (reinstallation) of Windows XP" (Article 315341) on the Microsoft Help and Support site.

After you have repaired Windows XP and reinstalled Photoshop Elements, try to re-create the problem. Then do one of the following:

  • If the problem no longer occurs, then install other applications one at a time and try to re-create the problem after each installation. If the problem occurs after an installation, then the recently installed application could be the cause.
  • If the problem occurs when only Windows XP and Photoshop Elements are installed, then proceed to Task 24.

23. Check for SCSI problems.

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