Adobe CS4 on Windows XP

I have a user using Adobe CS4 (Illustrator) on a new HP PC on Windows XP SP3. It is a decent spec, 2.4 GHz processor, 3GB RAM, nothing else installed only office 2007.
Illustrator crashes daily. This is the only user using CS4 on Windows that I have. I have had a look on the Adobe forums and it seems a fairly well known issue that Windows struggles a bit with memory allocation with CS4. Error messages saying out of virtual memory, cannot preview, when she tries to save work it just crashes and she could loose hours of work.
Has anyone come across this and has anyone any ideas?
I'm thinking of virtual memory - setting the initial and max size to 4068 (i.e. 1.5 times the amount of physical RAM, 3072*1.5=4068
Any other ideas on what can be done?
There is about 150GB free disk space.
thanks in advance
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SteveIT ManagerCommented:
I'm running CS4 Dreamweaver on a P4, 2.8 w/512mb ram and 40GB HDD and whilst its slooooow sometimes it does work OK .

I usually set virtual memory to 2.5x the amount of ram and set the 2 values to the same to avoid the file resizing.

Also run

ccleaner ( as this clears out cache files etc
defraggler ( as this defrags your machine

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SteveSextAuthor Commented:
So u are suggesting setting both values to 7680? Did u find that made a big difference?
I'll try those tools out and see if that improves performance. What about Antivirus - do any exceptions need to be set? i've also give the user admin rights as i was thinking maybe it is trying to write temp files continuously and crashing but hasnt made much difference
Wayne BarronAuthor, Web DeveloperCommented:
If the system is crashes a LOT during either saving or during production working hours
Then you could have a corrupted system install of the program.
Other that what was suggested by sgsm81
You might want to think about reinstall installing the program.

I have a WinXP MCE SP3, 2.66GB Processor, 2GB Ram, 1.3TB Drive space.
I run
DWCS3, PS CS3 & CS4, After Effects CS4
I had Illustrator installed at the beginning on the year, but have not reinstalled it during the most recent reinstall of my OS.

I have never experianced any issues with Memory, on when I have a lot of programs running at once.
(I also have Office 2010 installed on this machine as well as a other programs)

My suggestion to you:
Uninstall Illustrator CS4
Reboot the system, Defrag (WinXP comes with a Defragger, so there is no real need for an outside one)
After the system is cleaned, do a Fresh install of Illustrator CS4
If things go correctly, you should not have any issues with the crashing.
The out-of-virual-memory issue, I get bored of it appearing and sometimes I cut off the warnings.
As long as my system does not crash I do not worry about the VM issues, unless I am slugish, if so, then I start closing out of programs and Re-Boot the system for a cleaning of processes.

If this issue persist and you cannot resolve it, I would then suggest a Backup and set off to deploy a reinstall of the system, as there is most likely some corrupted files and or drivers.

Good Luck
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SteveSextAuthor Commented:
thanks for your comments but i have already reinstalled the operating system and software, replaced the ram, changed user profiles. any other ideas?
Wayne BarronAuthor, Web DeveloperCommented:
Please check out these linkes, if you have not already.
Seems that these people found several things that helped resolve the crash issue.
Maybe this could be some of your issues, give them a shot and see what happens.

Good Luck
>she tries to save work it just crashes and she could loose hours of work.

That's operator error, unrelated to application or OS problems.  I come from a production background in design and electronic pre-press.  The only people who worked for "hours" without creating many (many) saved revisions were the rookie designers without organizational skills.

After the 3rd or 4th crash and late nights re-creating work, they learned that hitting "Save As" and using r01, r02, keep 30 revisions saved was FAR more effective than banging their heads against the wall.  I know...I was one of them.

I have the full suite of CS4.  Use it on a P4 laptop with 1GB RAM (recently upgraded to 2GB), and on a dual-core with 6GB of RAM.  If Illustrator is crashing with 2GB of RAM, there are other problems.  That is the lightweight of the biggest apps; Premiere, Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver.

Did you already delete the preferences file?  This is a standard troubleshooting trick that's been valid all the way back to the days of greyscale monitors and floppy disks.  If you reinstall the application and leave a set of corrupted preferences or common files (shared by other apps from the same manufacturer), then the problem will not go away.

It's not a huge deal.  In a busy environment, it's not uncommon to have to blow away your preferences or even re-install applications every 6 months.  We wiped & re-installed our machines at least once per year, or sooner when productivity was negatively impacted.  Constantly losing minutes to a spinning hourglass can ruin your productivity.
SteveSextAuthor Commented:
Yeah right, I'll go down to a senior designer in front of her team and tell her its operator error! I'd like to!
What is the preference file and I will try that?
I've already reinstalled the OS so reinstalling teh app isnt going to do a whole pile.
Wayne BarronAuthor, Web DeveloperCommented:
It has to be a problem with the memory or hardware related.
Have you checked the Event Logs to see if there is something written at the time of the crash?

--> Yeah Right....
I agree on that part.
In most cases it is user error, but in this case I doubt it is, the only thing that could be her fault is not keeping a save point on every new line she adds that is good (Which should be a common practice, I am guilty of not doing it like I suppose to as well, we are screw up and make mistakes, women too)

SteveSextAuthor Commented:
Event logs are useless, attached are screen dumps of just some errors. Next step is to change the hardware like you say.
What is the preferences file?
Illustrator CS4:

Windows XP

Documents and Settings/[user name]/Application Data/Adobe/Adobe Illustrator CS4 Settings/AIPrefs

Windows Vista

Users/[user name]/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Adobe Illustrator CS4 Settings/AIPrefs

"Can't finish previewing.  There isn't enough memory."

That's been around since at least CS2.  Mixed results in solving it:

--trash prefs & restart
+ change scratch disk location (or add Secondary scratch disk)
+ remove plugins

If above doesn't work, give it the whole nine yards::
--uninstall + trash prefs + remove all fonts except system
--restart + disable antivirus + clean install
--make sure it's working
--add 1/2 of fonts + launch & test
--add second 1/2 of fonts + launch & test
(if one half of fonts causes crash, divide in half again...eventually you'll find the bad ones)
--add 1/2 of plugins (repeat as with fonts)

In a heavy production environment, common for a font or plugin to corrupt.  Keep clean read-only copies on a file server for quick re-install.  So, you can delete everything, then just install fresh copies.  Eliminates the process of elimination.
>Yeah right, I'll go down to a senior designer in front of her team and tell her its operator error!

Depends on your relationship.  I had a good one with our designers.  I was a production artist and junior designer, so I wasn't talking out my rear end.

If you don't have the casual rapport, then present it as a way for the designers to overcome a flaw in the software.

Unlike mainstream software like word processors and spreadsheets, design software keeps the control fully in the hands of the designer.  Design software will not make automatic saves, trusting the artist to create a workflow and organization.

For instance, you can hit "undo" a ridiculous number of times, stepping back through an hour of work.  Until you hit save. Then the history is written to disk, and you lose undo.

So, safest workflow is to save numerous revisions.  The additional advantage is like a sketch book or don't discard prior work.  There may be value there for future projects, or if you need a resource that started out as a doodle on rev.3, and you're on rev23 now.

To support this, each artist had at least one additional hard drive so space was not an issue.  This was also crucial for having a secondary scratch disk that _wasn't_ the system drive.  System memory cached to disk interferes with application caching to the same disk.

Also, each workstation has a 1500VA UPS.  Only one monitor was run from battery to increase runtime and allow saving of files & graceful shutdown.

It's a teamwork thing.  If someone is rowing with the wrong end of the paddle, find a way to get over your fear of rank or age.  You don't even have to be "better".  I was no great artist.  But, I helped keep the company running (and growing) as a helpful member of the team.
I had a similar issue last year with Illustrator CS3.

After tracking the problem for a while, it turned out that my video card was the culprit. After upgrading to a newer card with more on-board memory, I never had the problem again.

You may want to investigate that on your system. If nothing else, it will at least help you eliminate one possible problem.
SteveSextAuthor Commented:
Apologies I was on leave. The answers above are valid so up to you whether you want to add to knowledgebase or not.
SteveSextAuthor Commented:
Apologies I was on leave. The answers above are valid so up to you whether you want to add to knowledgebase or not.
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