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zig-123 Mar 9, 2009 9:01 AM

Hi All,

I've been using Photoshop Elements v6.0 for all my PP of image files. Up until 6.0, I'd been quite satisfied with Elements. Version 6.0 is another story as it locks up or suddenly just closes for no apparent reason. Obviously, it happens at the worst possible time. It generally drives me crazy.

I've taken the time to remove the program from my DELL Desktop and re-install it. This has not improved anything. The PC is an XPS 2.8Ghz w/1gb ram memory,320GB hard drive of which 120Gb is free.

My questions are; is anyone else using this program and having similar issues?

Is it worth upgrading to Elements 7 or better yet CS4?

I haven't thought much about upgrading to a program such as CS4 simply because I don't do a whole lot of PP work aside from the basics. I don't sell my photographs. So, i'm not clear on what I'd gain. Maybe, there are a whole host of features that I'm not aware of in CS4 that would be of benefit?

The reason I've brought up CS4 is that I just received an e-mail from They're running a promo on CS4 for existing element users. If you upgrade to CS4, the price is $354.00.

It's got my attention as the price is significantly lower and I'm just tired of messing with elements 6.

Any thoughts?


JohnG Mar 9, 2009 11:06 AM


What is it you wanted to do that the prior version of elements won't let you do? The reason I ask is I've been using CS for yers - 3 generations old now. And really no need to upgrade. So, what feature do you want that the older version of elements you were using (that diddn't cause you problems) is lacking? You should approach software purchases the same way as gear - identify the important functionality and then find the components that have that functionality.

zig-123 Mar 9, 2009 11:38 AM

Hi John,

Great Question and a different way of looking at the issue.

At the timeI upgraded from v4.0 to 6.0, the principal reason was to be able to open Olympus ORF. (RAW) files from the E-510. If memory serves me correctly I needed to upgrade as the earlier version did not support RAW files from the E-510.

Since that time, I determined that shooting in RAW (for me) is of no real benefit as I don't want to take the time to manipulate the files and then convert them to JPEG. But that's just me. Other people may have a valid reason toshoot RAW that works for them-so be it.

With respect to upgrading,when 6.0 doesn't lock up or shut down on it's own, it is just fine for my purposes. I wouldn't consider any change in software if it just did what it was designed to do.

FWIW, I have both Picasa 3 and Corel PaintShop Pro XI and find that I go back to elements 6.0 because it I like (or am used to it) the user interface.

I suppose I could re-install version 4.0 and compare it against 6.0

HarjTT Mar 9, 2009 2:29 PM

Hi Zig

I wonder if its a hardware issue - possibly RAM ? I'd think about buying another 1 or 2GB of RAm for the XPS before splashing out on CS4. I'd run the dell diagnostics on the machine and specifically RAM, motherboard and the CPU to make sure that they're ok. Another good test would be installing and running this bit of software - Sis Sandra lite:

Its got a burn in test which will test and stress your machine out - you can specify individual tests like RAM and see what happens.

Also install ccleaner and run that to clean up the registry and thus potential issues:

Your pagefile should be at least 1.5x the ram and its best to set the max and mim values to be excatly the same. Defrag the HD as well.

Hope that helps



: o )>

zig-123 Mar 9, 2009 3:09 PM

Hi Harjt,

Thanks for yoursuggestions and the links. I intentionally had included the specs of the PC being used as I'm suspecting that there may bea hardware issue as anything else.

I'm going to run the diagnostics and take a look at the links and see if I can download the utilities.

As for adding add'l ram, thatmight be the next step as I know it couldn't hurt andthe PC is not that old so, financially it would seem to make sense as opposed to replacing it.



HarjTT Mar 9, 2009 4:30 PM

You've got a pretty decent machine so I'd try and get some good quailty ram like:

Crucial's Ballistix RAM if your particular RAM is supported.

The best RAM manufacturers are Geil, Corsair and OCZ.

Another test you can do is remove one ram module and test one at a time and see if the machine locks up. If you find it only does so with one ram module then that's your culprit. 2 or 3GB of RAM will really help speed things up.



:? :O

dwig Mar 9, 2009 5:50 PM

Before you muck with your RAM, you should consider investigating a video driver problem. I'm not familiar with PS/E, but PS/CS4 pushes the driver very hard and will crash with many older drivers.

I suggest that your first attack should be to go to the Dispaly Control Panel, either through Control Panel or by right-clicking on the Desktop and selecting Properties, and click the Advanced button on the Settings tab. Then select the Troubleshooting tab and find the Hardware Acceleration slider. Move the slider all the way to the left to disable all driver based accelleration. Now give PS/E another try. If this fixes the issue, look in to finding an updated video driver. You might also experiment with other settings on the Hardware Acceleration control to see how much you can turn it up before the failures re-occur.

On my older Dell (circa 2002) PS/CS ran beautifully but PS/CS4 crashed painfully. Turning off Hardware Accelleration "fixed" the problem. I'm living with it that way for now (no noticable issues with other software including DVDs and videos yet), but will soon start researching either a new driver or board.

Greg Chappell Mar 9, 2009 6:29 PM

I've beenusing CS2 now for 2-3 years since my old machine was not powerful enough to go up to CS3. With the purchase of my Dell XPS Studio, the high-end processor and 6GB of RAM, I will be moving up to CS4 soon.

The maincommand in Photoshop I use that is missing in Elementsis Layer Masks, which I love using. I also very much prefer the way Photoshop is laid out compared to Elements, and there are features available in Elements that are more customizeable in the full version ofPhotoshop. The times I've played with Elements on my girlfriend's computer I've always wound up saying to myself "I sure am glad I don't have to use this all the time" after using it.

BTW, when I bought my first DSLR, an originalCanon Digital Rebel, back thenmany DSLR'scame with Elements 2.0 as standard software. Not too long after loading it, Adobe had a special for those with a copy ofElementsthat camewith a DSLR where you could upgrade to CS for $299. That's how I moved into Photoshop.

zig-123 Mar 9, 2009 6:32 PM

Hi Dwig,

Thanks for the heads up re: the video driver. I've just adjusted the acceleration slider all the way down to none. We'll see if that works.

You may be onto something as the problem starts to manifest by having the screen start to do a fast blink about 5 or 6 times. As soon as I see that,I know what's about to happen next- it crashes.

Anyways, I've got some good suggestions today. Thanks for all the help guys. I'm going to sit tight and run the software for a few days before I try anything else. If I make too many changes, I'll never know if I've made it better.......or worse.

Hmmm, I see your in Key West. I bet it's pretty nice there right about now. I'm going to Key Colony Beach in Marathon next week to soak up some of that Sun.:-)


HarjTT Mar 9, 2009 7:09 PM

Hi Zig

Dwig's got a point over the video driver. You might want to download the latest video card drivers from ATI or Nvidia's webiste, depending on which card you have. Regards the RAM its so cheap now that getting an additional 1GB or 2GB would be a good way to help speed up any machine. Before you look at updating the ram - check to see how many free slots you have - the XPS usually has 4 slots and fingers crossed you have a single 1GB stick or 2 x 512MB sticks worse case you might find 4 x 256MB.



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