Why does Photoshop CS4 keep crashing?! (Mac OS)

Apr 15, 2009

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I use Photoshop often, daily even. I upgraded to CS4 at the beginning of this year and have a CONSTANT and very IRRITATING problem. It keeps crashing, for no apparent reason. It will crash during all kinds of "tasks". Saving, opening an image from RAW, using the liquify tool, using the clone tool, running an action and any number of others tasks cause a crash in Photoshop CS4.

I work relatively fast, as I use Photoshop on a daily basis. This is how it will happen...

I'll be working on an image and I "command S" to save. There will be a slight delay of about 2-4 seconds and then Photoshop will crash and I will get a pop-up screen to submit a crash report. I have submitted literally hundreds, if not thousands of these. Then, Photoshop sits idle for a few minutes as if it is locked up, unable to "Relaunch". So, I then usually have to "Force Quit" Photoshop, yet, it will not immediatly quit. It takes another couple of minutes to do so before I am able to begin working again. This process happens, on average, a couple of times per hour, if not more.

Luckily, I have "trained" myself to save after almost ever thing I do. But, I inevitable loose something as it happens just after a "task" or during a "save". (It happens during a save frequently.) Plus, I'm loosing valuable time waiting on it to Relaunch, and figuring out where I'm at on the image all over again.

Needless to say, I'm beyond frustrated, to say the least.

There is something else that doesn't make sense. My business partner, who also has a new IMac (not the VERY newest model that just came out but the one just prior to that...It was purchased in December 08 as well) and also runs CS4 does not have this crashing problem! At all! Not once.

Here's the difference in our systems...He purchased the 24" model, while I purchased the 20". And, this is where I actually think the problem may lie...I am running dual monitors, while he does not.

I've tried to trouble-shoot this problem, since he does not have the problem, while I do. I did "About this Mac" on both our machines to see if there were any obvious differences, besides running dual monitors. What I found under HARDWARD were only two minor differences. His processor speed is 2.8 while mine is 2.66 GHz. and the SMC Version of his machine is 1.3f1, while mine is 1.29f1. There were no differences in the GRAPHICS/DISPLAYS section either, beyond my having a second display.

Both his and my graphics/displays are as follows:

ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro:

  Chipset Model:    ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro
  Type:    Display
  Bus:    PCIe
  PCIe Lane Width:    x16
  VRAM (Total):    256 MB
  Vendor:    ATI (0x1002)
  Device ID:    0x9583
  Revision ID:    0x0000
  ROM Revision:    113-B2250L-259
  EFI Driver Version:    01.00.259
  Displays:
iMac:
  Resolution:    1280 x 800
  Depth:    32-bit Color
  Core Image:    Hardware Accelerated
  Main Display:    Yes
  Mirror:    Off
  Online:    Yes
  Quartz Extreme:    Supported
  Built-In:    Yes

Below is the information regarding my second display.


LaCie 324:
  Resolution:    1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz
  Depth:    32-bit Color
  Core Image:    Hardware Accelerated

  Main Display:    Yes
  Mirror:    Off
  Online:    Yes
  Quartz Extreme:    Supported
  Rotation:    Supported
  Television:    Yes

As you can see, my second display is a Lacie 324. It is rather new, I purchased it in November or December 08 as well as my IMac. I have the Lacie set as my main display.

When I have Googled this Photoshop CS4 crash problem, I have come across some mention of the GPU Settings and Enable OpenGL Drawing. I have to admit, I really don't understand this. Should OpenGL Drawing be on or off??? I turned OpenGL Drawing off some time ago because I had a problem with calibrating my Lacie monitor. My monitor was showing images skewed toward red, while my prints were coming out with less red. I Googled this problem (at the time I didn't think this was related to the crashing issue) and someone said they were having trouble calibrating their monitor as well and managed to "fix" that by turning "Enable OpenGL Drawing" off. I did that and it did indeed fix the problem with getting my Lacie monitor calibrated. FYI, my business partner also turned off the Enable OpenGL Drawing feature and...again...he has NOT had the problem with Photoshop CS4 crashing. So, since he is not having the problem and I am, I would assume the "Enable OpenGL Drawing" issue that is mentioned on this site, is not the crashing problem, though I could be wrong.

So, I go back to having a second monitor as being the most-likely candidate for causing the Photoshop crashes. I am wondering if the Lacie display is "drawing" the graphics at the speed that differs, or is incompatable, with Photoshop CS4??? This is just a guess from someone who is not all that technically savy. But, again, I'm not sure. I have also looked on the Lacie website for any updates for the Lacie 324. There are none, as far as I can tell.

I am curious if others with and without dual monitors are having these crashes. If so, have you found any resolution? I'm desperate for help so if anyone can shed any light on this issue, it would be most appreciated.

Below, I will put some specs about my machine, in case that is helpful.

Hardware Overview:

  Model Name:    iMac
  Model Identifier:    iMac8,1
  Processor Name:    Intel Core 2 Duo
  Processor Speed:    2.66 GHz
  Number Of Processors:    1
  Total Number Of Cores:    2
  L2 Cache:    6 MB
  Memory:    4 GB
  Bus Speed:    1.07 GHz
  Boot ROM Version:    IM81.00C1.B00
  SMC Version:    1.29f1

I have the 11.0.1 version of Photoshop CS4.


PLEASE help if you can. Thanks so much!

DGJ [email address deleted by host]

Sorry to post in the wrong forum!  I just wanted to quickly vindicate Adobe, though, after my rather jaded previous post.  I just downloaded the update from Adobe Automatic Updates and Photoshop hasn't crashed since.  Don't know if that will help you Mac folks or not, but I thought I'd just let you know.  Good luck!

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Jan 09, 2012

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Sorry to hear that but I got the same problem (but not as often as yours).  What pisses me off is it takes the files I saved with it when it crashes (so that work that I saved but still open will no longer recover).  I don't know what's wrong with it but I'm considering upgrading to CS5.5 soon if this keeps happening.  The best of luck to you!

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Jan 09, 2012

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If you've installed all the updates (to 12.0.4) and it's still crashing often, chances are you're looking at a third party plugin bug or an OS bug.

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Jan 09, 2012

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What pisses me off is it takes the files I saved with it when it crashes (so that work that I saved but still open will no longer recover). 

Local files or saved acrosss a network?

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