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CS2 Dialogue boxes and canvases disappearing


Helios

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Hi there,

Since I started using Photoshop CS2 in Windows 10, this glitch has started occurring after working in the program for some time - anything from 10 minutes to 2 hours. (It is much improved after I reinstalled CS2 in its own directory on my C: drive, instead of in the program files, but the glitch still happens eventually.)

After a while, If I change anything like colour selection or brightness/contrast, put in a new layer, add a filter etc (basically any adjustment that involves okaying/cancelling something in a dialogue, it seems to be), the canvas disappears and I have to click somewhere in the layers dialogue to make it show up again, or minimise the program and maximise it again.

(Previously, ALL the dialogues and canvas would disappear, but this so far isn't happening since I reinstalled the program - given it takes time for the bug to surface, however, I'm concerned it may eventually get this bad again.)

I'd be very interested to hear people's thoughts on what this might be and things I could try to fix it. I'm more than happy to provide further details if needed.

Many thanks!

Edit: Forgot to mention, I am using a Trust TB-7300 graphics tablet, with a Win 8 64 bit driver version, and my Windows 10 version is 64 bit Home.
 
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MrToM

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Just loaded up CS2 in Win10 so will test it out and see if it happens for me too.

I don't use either on a daily basis so this will be a fresh install on Win10...whether that will have an effect or not we'll have to see.

Do you have any 3rd party plug-ins installed?
Have you installed an unhealthy amount of fonts on your system?
What are your system specs?

Don't worry about actions, they shouldn't affect anything.

I'll get back to you either way if/when it happens.....or not.....well, you know what I mean.

Regards.
MrToM.
 

Helios

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Hey, thanks for that!

I'll certainly be curious to see what your results are. Mine is a fresh installation also - It did take a good two hours or more of use before glitching for me, the last time.

I don't have any third party addons installed, just the default CS2 - it's actually the download version Adobe provided after they switched off the activation servers, rather than my disk, but the download was always working perfectly well on my previous Vista and 7 systems.

I only have the default system fonts installed.

My system specs are:

Windows 10 Home 64 bit - very recently clean installed on a 120gb ssd
Intel quadcore i5 3.3 ghz processor
4gb RAM
Radeon HD 7770 1gb graphics card


Thanks again!
 
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MrToM

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No worries.

My initial thoughts are a problem with Win10...CS2 is pretty old (2005) and Win10 isn't as stable as you may be lead to believe.

Further proof is that you had no problems before installing on Win10......its the only thing you've changed so chances are.....

Anyway....let me give a try for a while and see what happens......if anything at all.....have a cuppa or something stronger...put your feet up....'Corry' is on soon anyway.

Thanks for the added info....makes it much easier to replicate the problem and diagnose what it could be.

Regards.
MrToM.
 

Helios

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Anyway....let me give a try for a while and see what happens......if anything at all.....have a cuppa or something stronger...put your feet up....'Corry' is on soon anyway.

Most kind. :) I don't watch Corry, but hubby and I are making our way through the entire box set of How I Met Your Mother, amongst other shows. So I shall go and do that.
Please don't let me interrupt your Corry watching, however. ;)
 

MrToM

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Well.....nothing has happened yet......so ummmmmm........

I'll try and use it as much as I can for the next 24 hours and see what happens during use......I've had it open but not really 'using' it so it may be something that infests itself during use.

I'll get back to you if anything happens.

In the meantime I'm sure someone else will have idea's, although the CS2 + Win10 combination is not one which the majority of members use.....I had to dig out my copy of CS2....it was stopping the desk from rocking.

Regards.
MrToM.
 

MrToM

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Well....nearly 24 hours down and nothing similar to your problem has occurred.

PS does have memory issues though and as you only have 4GB, (Which is quite adequate for most software), PS may be struggling with it.

Keep an eye on the memory usage in 'Task Manager' and if it seems unusually high it may be the problem.

You say that this 'disappearing' act happens randomly from 10 mins to 2 hours.....well, opening a larger file would eat the memory quicker....so that could explain the 10mins.

PS's memory issues means that it leaks memory. I had this problem a while back and tracked it down to the 'Font Preview Size' option.....anything but 'NONE' would result in the memory usage slowly creeping up to ridiculous levels.....even with nothing open in PS.

This could explain the 2hours.....its slowly creeping up to a level where it starts to use the scratch disk and just stuffs the OS up with continual access to the hard drive.

All this is just guessing though.....without replicating the issue its always difficult to say exactly what it is but I'd start with watching the memory......check its % in the preferences, (default is 70% I think), and calculate how much memory that is.....of your 4GB.

If your system memory usage gets somewhere close to that value then PS will start to use the scratch disk and that can cause problems with Win10 refreshing.

If this is the case then turn OFF 'Font Preview Size' in the preferences....or use TYPE > Font Preview Size and select NONE.....you'll have to restart PS in order to the clear the memory but hopefully when you do the memory should stabilize.

(Not that it matters but Adobe have now addressed this issue in CC 2015....now that they finally admit it exists.....but it still doesn't work.)

Sorry I can't be of any more help.

Regards.
MrToM.
 

Helios

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Not at all, that's great, thank you so much!

I had been thinking it could be a memory issue, but I don't have the detailed knowledge to know for sure or properly test this out. Everything you've said makes sense, though.

If I could just double check: All the memory settings and changes you've suggested are to be found in Photoshop's preferences, not Windows preferences (when you right click on the exe file in explorer)?
The task manager I know how to get to, that's fine.

I have been planning to upgrade to 8gb RAM ever since I built the PC (I went with 4 at the time as I was on a budget), so maybe that could help matters as well.

I will try all that and see how it goes, anyway. Once again, huge thanks to you for your time. :)
 

MrToM

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Yes these are PS preferences.

You can test for a memory leak by making sure that the 'Font Preview Size' is checked.....then in task manager keep an eye on the memory usage for Photoshop.

It shouldn't move if you don't use Photoshop.....but if its slowly creeping up then this may be the issue.....unchecking the 'Font Preview Size' should prevent it.

Here is a very boring video, (All 10 MINS of it!), showing CC 2014 increasing its memory usage....this eventually got up to 22GB.......at which point I pulled the plug....not literally.


I just checked in CS2 and the 'Type' options are not in the menu bar so just use the preferences to set and check this...

font_preview_MT_01.png

Also, PS does not release memory once its finished with it....this is what Adobe have tried to rectify in CC 2015 through a very convoluted keyboard shortcut combination and clicking the 'About' button from the Help menu.....yeah.....I know....obviously a 'Friday Afternoon' idea that one!

Anyway, that still doesn't work, but if you find the memory usage is unreasonably high for the project you are working on then save your work and restart PS.....its still the only way to 'release' memory used on larger files.

Just to clarify that, for example if PS uses 1GB for the current file it will still use 1GB for subsequent files regardless of the actual amount of memory it needs.....which is just a waste and prevents your 'system' access to that memory for other processes.....like refreshing the screen for instance.

I can't guarantee any of that is the root cause of the problem but you've nothing to lose in trying.

The 'Memory' allocation for PS is normally misunderstood to be 'telling' PS to use this amount of memory. This is not how it works.

Increasing the memory allocation just means that PS will use up to this value before switching to the scratch disks. Lowering this value can actually increase performance by allowing the 'system' to utilize more memory for processor intensive tasks submitted by PS.

Its very much a balancing act and only experimentation with your specific system specs will result in the optimal value for the allocation...

memory_allocation_MT_01.png

In my example you can see that 55% of the 'system' memory is available to PS.....this does NOT mean it WILL use 55%, just that it can....if it needs it.

If you are experiencing memory leaks then it won't take long for this 'allocation' to be reached, (in your case 2 hours), before PS runs out of available memory and starts continually writing to the hard drive.....which in itself uses even more memory and so it escalates until something has to give....

Again there is no guarantee that this is this cause but its worth keeping an eye on it and tweaking those settings to see if it makes a difference.

Also, it goes without say to make sure all your GFX drivers are up to date and that 'Adobe Flash' is also up to date. If you find that 'Flash' is out of date make sure that both the IE version AND the 'Other Browser' version are installed. The 'Automatic Update' doesn't always do both as Adobe see no reason why anyone would want to use anything but Internet Explorer as a browser.....hmmmm....right.

I'll keep thinking on it but thats about all I can suggest for the moment.

Regards.
MrToM.
 

Helios

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Excellent - lots to do today then. ;)

Also, it goes without say to make sure all your GFX drivers are up to date and that 'Adobe Flash' is also up to date. If you find that 'Flash' is out of date make sure that both the IE version AND the 'Other Browser' version are installed. The 'Automatic Update' doesn't always do both as Adobe see no reason why anyone would want to use anything but Internet Explorer as a browser.....hmmmm....right.

Interesting point here, as it never occurred to me to mention I don't actually have Flash installed at all. (You mean Flash Player, right? The one that allows certain web content to be viewed.)
I recently read it was massively insecure, so haven't wanted it on my system ever since. Is it essential for using other Adobe products?
 
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Zeealex

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If I may weigh in for a moment, I had a similar issue with CS5 and funnily enough it actually proved to be my tablet driver (at that point my tablet was also trust, but VERY old) since the tablet broke and I uninstalled the driver. There was no issue any more.
 
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Helios

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If I may weigh in for a moment, I had a similar issue with CS5 and funnily enough it actually proved to be my tablet driver (at that point my tablet was also trust, but VERY old) since the tablet broke and I uninstalled the driver. There was no issue any more.

Ah - my Trust tablet is about 5 years old, and after the Win 10 upgrade, the original drivers were no longer working properly (pressure sensitive brushes not loading in PS), so I downloaded the latest I could get hold of from Trust's website - for Win8. These seem to work fine, but it stands to reason the tablet could be the issue, as none of these things are actually compatible with each other. :rolleyes:

Cheers!
 

Zeealex

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Well if it works for you the same way it did for me, then brilliant, but trust tablets are an absolute nightmare when it comes to drivers!
If I may be so bold as to make a pun, I don't trust them. Windows 8.1 drivers should technically be okay, but I tried using a vista driver for 7 and it was problem upon problem.

If it doesn't work out, MrToM has some cracking solutions to try out.
 
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Helios

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Well if it works for you the same way it did for me, then brilliant, but trust tablets are an absolute nightmare when it comes to drivers!
If I may be so bold as to make a pun, I don't trust them.

If not, MrToM has some cracking solutions to try out.

Yes indeed - I'm in the process of testing all this now.

The tablet was a gift from my hubby and sister, and until now has served me very well. However, I do agree that it might not be the best product - I hardly see any other artists saying they use them, it's usually Wacom I hear about. I think it's time to start saving for a new one (and that extra 4gb or RAM) as I just seem to be fighting a losing battle against obscelence and incompatibility here. /cry
 
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MrToM

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...I don't actually have Flash installed at all. (You mean Flash Player, right? The one that allows certain web content to be viewed.)

Thats the one!

...I recently read it was massively insecure, so haven't wanted it on my system ever since. Is it essential for using other Adobe products?

Well.....lets put it this way.....the panels in Photoshop are created with 'Flash'.

I couldn't say for sure whether CS2 is totally dependant on 'Flash' but as far as I know this has always been the case. Recently Adobe has also seen the light and ditched 'Flash' for HTML, panels in CC are now HTML based.

Its entirely your choice as to whether its worth your risk trying it.....although I've never heard of anyone ever having a security breach when its used in PS.

Its something else to try at least...and you can always uninstall it if it makes no difference.

Regards.
MrToM.
 

Helios

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Thanks again for all the advice, guys.

A brief update: I have been working in CS2 today, monitoring memory usage, changing the settings that MrTom suggested - no joy. It's still glitching, and apparently getting randomly worse or better without much input from me at all!

Memory usage is not causing me any concern - it was set at 55% default, and didn't use that much (at maximum, opening a large file, it got to about 1200mb - just under the 1500mb that's available on that setting). I changed it to 70% (1950mb ish) just to test, and that had no effect on the problem.
I didn't see the 'creeping' memory usage issue really occurring either, it was quite stable. But I unticked the font display setting all the same - no effect.

The only remaining culprits to test are the graphics tablet or the lack of Flash - both of which I will try to play with later this week, as I've now run out of afternoon. :p

Still, I got some painting done, which is always good.

All in all, if there does turn out to be a fix for this, then that's fantastic. But at the moment, I'm finding I can cope with it as a minor annoyance. My only concern is the effect this might be having on the stability of my system as a whole, with continued use...
 

mixiekins

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Sorry for digging this thread out of the grave, but I just wanted to add something I observed since I was troubleshooting what sounds like the same bug and this thread is at the top of the google search for these symptoms. I do seem to have found a solution for it, so I hope this helps. Made an account just so I could hopefully squash this bug forever.

I believe this may actually just be a simple issue with focus being given to the background of Photoshop, meaning that it sends the toolbox, project canvas(es), layer window, etc. behind the window which has the background and menu. I'm actually using Windows 7, and have 16 gigs of ram, a very modern wacom tablet with drivers that haven't reached EOL yet, got flash installed, etc. so I think I've managed to rule out some of the theories brought up earlier. I'm not a Wondows person so I really didn't have any idea what to do about this, but I thought "what the heck, CS2 is from the XP-era, so maybe this might work..." so I tried setting it to run in Win XP compatibility mode, and sure enough, works how it should. My thoughts are that Aero and/or other windowing changes starting around, eh, Vista or perhaps win7 or so, are playing havoc with how PS CS2 handles things. Who knows. To the point, just have your PS CS2 pinned to the taskbar, right-click it, and right-click again on the program's full name, then select Properties. On there you can click a tab called Compatibility and select to run it in Windows XP mode.

I made a video documenting the symptoms and solution.
 

billy budd

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Thanks, mixiekins! Compatibility mode worked for me. I'm on a Windows 7, and had been using cs2 for a full year before this bug surfaced. Switched to compatibility with xp, now it's back to functioning properly again.
 

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