PS Elements 4.0 won't open files?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by eye-of-searle, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. I have been using PS Elements for a couple of months now. My
    computer currently only has 512MB RAM and I understand the lack of
    performance because of this. I have another 512MB in route. I most
    deal with TIFF files anywhere from 50MB to 130MB is size. Scanned
    using a Nikon Coolscan v. Until yesterday, PSE 4.0 always opened
    my files with no problems except for the slow speed. Now, when PSE
    4.0 tries to open any file regardless of size, my system locks up
    and untimately shuts down. The windows on the screen get all
    broken up and everything just locks up. This happens without fail
    as of yesterday. I am going crazy here. I have defragmented my
    files and I always make sure PS is the only program running.

    Is this just a result of my lack of RAM? If so, why did it just
    start happening now? PSE 4.0 and previously PS 7 ran fine until
    yesterday. I know the extra 512MB coming will help with speed but
    will it at least let me open my files in PSE 4.0?

    Sorry for all the questions. It's just extremely frustrating. I
    guess worse case scenerio is I have to get a new computer than can
    handle more RAM and has a faster processor. I currently have a
    Pentium 4 1.6 GHZ with 80GB hard driver and of course, 512MB RAM.

    Any help or suggestions are much appreciated.

  2. Since the problem just started yesterday, one thing I would suspect is that your hard drive is almost full, and you may not have enough free space left to open the files.

    PS Elements needs room not only in memory (RAM) but also on the hard drive (what is called "scratch space") to function properly.

    To check, click on "my computer", right-click on your hard drive, and select "properties". You will see a pie chart showing used vs free space. You may need to delete some files (not programs) to free up enough space.

    If you're not sure how to do this, perhaps you can get a knowledgeable friend to help.
  3. Hi, Jim. I just got around to re-reading my post to you, and I realized it may have sounded just a little too basic. That was not my intent, as I'm sure you know all about that stuff. I just wanted to suggest one possible cause for your sudden problem.

  4. Hey Dennis, thanks for the suggestion. That was one of the first things I checked I actually have about 53GB of my 80GB hard drive free. I am pretty good about getting images off my hard drive and archived.

    Any other suggestions?

    BTW, I always have photo CD's made at my lab to use as proofs and the files are only about 2MB each at most. I tried opening one of these file directly off the Photo CD and it opened with no problems. However, after doing some minor tweaking, I tried to save it on my hard drive as a Jpeg and the system froze up again. This is driving me nuts!
  5. You got some other 'bogies' going on here maybe?

    First off, defragment your hard drive using Diskeeper 10 trial version for free...

    I bought it after a trial because it made everything much snappier.

    Search for and delete all those cookies. (Waste of space.)

    Run something like Windows AntiSpyware Beta2, Spybot Search & Destroy, Spyware Blaster etc and clean all the crap off your machine. (All free) Run all three to be sure.

    If you don't already do this you will be shocked at what gets found and deleted (mostly stuff 'planted' by the PC manufacturer. J'accuse Dell!)

    I assume you are using some sort of Internet Security/Anti virus software (at the very least AVG or similar) make sure it is completely up-to-date and run a full system scan.

    Make sure your version of XP SP2 is completely updated ('start' then windows update)

    Ditch Internet Explorer and download Mozilla Firefox and configure it so that all cookies are zapped at the end of each session. Make sure to download 'Adblock' for it as well to keep even more crap off your PC.

    I have done the above actions for a number of people in the past and they have been shocked at what they accumulated in PC sapping 'baggage'.

    Do a CHKDSK once in a while (after one of your system backups preferably) to ensure the hard drive is good.

    Have task manger running on 'processes' when you load up PS Elements and see what is hogging all the resources.
  6. (OK don't completely delete Internet Explorer as Windows update still needs it but when Firefox loads up make it the default browser.)
  7. Running Windows XP, you can use System Restore to go back to last week (before the problem). If that doesn't fix it, you can always return to previous. Backup first.
  8. Trevor, thanks for all the information. I did everything you suggested except for Firefox. I may do that tonight.

    Good News? My system is running much better and I cleaned out a ton a trash off my hardrive. Wow! I had a lot of crap on my system.

    Bad News? Elements 4.0 is still having problems opening files. I am starting to think it's a hard drive issue. I'm at work right now so it will be tonight before I can do any more investigating.

    I will try a system restore tonight and see if that can help anything.

  9. Sounds like bad memory. Probably only Photoshop uses enough to reach the bad piece of

    When your new memory arrives you can pull out ALL the old and replace it with the new,
    and see if that helps. Unfortunately, if the memory has only just gone bad the most likely
    reason is a bodgy power supply, so next time there's a glitch on the mains you'll fry
    the new memory. In a machine as old as yours, the power supply and hard disk are both
  10. The whole thing crashed this weekend. The more I got into it, the more and more it looked like a bad hard drive or maybe the RAM. Too late now, it's crashed and I get a weird blue and white vertical stripped screen. Never seen that one before.

    My wife is taking it in today to her IT guys at her work. I can pay them $50 or a nice bottle of whiskey and they will fix it or tell me I need a new computer.

    I'm hoping for the new computer route. If the hard drive is bad, no sense trying to replace it out an out of date machine. I would rather just spend the money and get a new system.

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