I had been using a computer custom built as a digital audio workstation, but started adding my images and processing software such as Photoshop, also Scanner, Tablet, 11 hard drives, etc. I've been having problems with a conflict with the audio card I think and had to disable it, so now I can't use it for its original purpose.
This was built years ago and is PEP4, 2G Ram, 2.4 Ghz Win XP Pro.
I am having lots of trouble with slowness and repaated "Photoshop (or Bridge) must close" It takes ages for it to reindex folders with hundreds of images.
I am thinking of building a custom computer specifically for CS3 and all the related hardware and would like advice on components that should handle everything well, and be fast.
I don't know how much things have improved on off-the shelf computers. It seems that the speed has not improved much at all beyond the 2.4Ghtz of this older one, but I just received a brochure from Dell with 4G Ram, 640 G HD and a monitor (not needed) for $1600. I don't know about the number of USBs etc and space inside for expansion, like mine.
I just need advice on a course of action
(D_Rob_Curtis), Nov 27, 2008 2:53 AM
You can build or just buy one, you'll do well either way. But I'd go with Vista 64, quad-core CPU, 8GB RAM, 120GB 10K primary, 320GB 10K work drive, 9800GTX+ video card, and a 500GB external for backup that you turn on, backup, then turn off. If you want to spend a little extra buy a third hard drive, 10K at whatever size and use for a dedicated PS scratch disk. Not a huge performance booster but it helps.
Most mid-range motherboards will include 6-8 USB port plus another 4 on the motherboard and an external SATA port.
BTW, the 9800GTX+ is to optimize the use of CS4 apps that can take advantage of the GPU. It's about as powerful as the GTX280 but costs less. You can always opt for a much less expenisve card, but I wouldn't use anything less than an 8800GT.
Sid could have noted that after you turn off the drive, you can remove it from the system so that it does not suffer the same possible fire, theft, flooding, tree fall, etc that the computer system receives.
Jim has a good point, off-site backup is a very good thing.
From personal experience (with eight external hard drives) the only way to be relatively sure they aren't going to fail is to power them down between use. I have two that still survive, one that's almost four years old now. The other six, which ran 24/7, died at the worst possible time (of course).
External drives with fans might fare better, but I wouldn't feel secure without powering them down between use. And I would not trust my data to tape or CD/DVD backups, either.
Based on this advice I had Directron build me a computer pretty much following this. The motherboard is ASUS P5QL PRO LGA775 ATX, Intel CPU-BX80562 Q6600, 8G RAM etc.
I first had problems installing XP Pro but finished and had more problems with upgrading to Vista 64bit, and Microsoft thought that it was either a bad (new) disk or a BIOS problem, so I went ahead with the 32bit installation after removing 6G of RAM. I had CS3 and Nikon scan working for a day with 4G.
Microsoft helped me network to my older computer and I transferred some files.
I found that bridge would not let me rename files that I scanned. An Adobe tech solved this by having me recognized as the administrator and changing some per missions.
Then I got a new computer table and disassembled and reassembled everything and put back the other 4G RAM. I was scanning and the multi-slide feeder jammed. Shortly after, the computer had error messages and then did chkdsk, and found lots of corruption and orphaned files. I had meanwhile disconnected the scanner. Before the total unusablity I had also Internet access. Before I gave up trying to get back into Windows, it had my name and was asking for a password though I had never set one, and it wouldn't accept me, the sole user even. This will be my third day of trying to get this thing working.
if you can't log in, and it's asking for a password you didn't set, either 1) someone else has access to your system and set a password, or 2) you have something doing malware-like things on your system.
If you can't log in, change your password using your Windows CD and product key.
Boot up from your Windows CD. When you get to the Welcome screen press ENTER to Setup Windows. On the license agreement page, press F8 and continue. Highlight the Windows installation you want to log into and press R to begin repair.
Let repair do it's thing. After it copies some files, your machine will need to be rebooted. After the reboot, setup will continue (you will NOT need to press a key to boot from the CD!). Look out for "Installing Devices" in the middle left side of the screen. When you see it, press SHIFT+F10 to call-up the command prompt. Now type NUSRMGR.CPL and press ENTER. Choose any account and change the password to whatever you want. If you don't want to be asked for a password, type CONTROL USERPASSWORDS2 at the prompt and select
log on without being asked for a password.
Close your command prompt window (and the user account window if you have that open). Let repair continue. You will be asked for your product key. Type it in as necessary and hit NEXT to allow repair to complete.
Once it's done, your machine will reboot and you can log in using your new password.
When I got up at 1am today, I removed 4G of the 8G memory as I wondered if that had any effect. When I rebooted it seemed as though nothing bad had happened. Internet access, I was able to scan slides again.
Is it possible that just having the extra RAM on a 32bit Vista is a problem?
Some Asus motherboards (mine, for instance) aren't really happy with 8GB. Everything works fine with 4 GB, but strange symptoms show up when you put in more. I resolved mine by "downclocking" RAM to 667 MHz, and it's been stable with that.
But I really believe it's a BIOS issue, and that a BIOS update is what it takes. Be careful, though, a failed update will kill your board (ask Chris Farrell...) and DON'T update from within Windows.
I'll take your word for that, Lawrence. It's certainly more convenient.
As long as my system is stable, I keep procrastinating. But if I had serious problems like the OP, I'd do it.
EDIT: Found this on Wikipedia:
>For an individual, procrastination may result in stress, a sense of guilt, the loss of personal productivity, the creation of crisis and the disapproval of others for not fulfilling one's responsibilities or commitments
I was complaining to Directron that it appeared that they hadn't configured the machine right and they said to send it back. It was working pretty well yesterday, but today when I went to Bridge there was a vertical totally transparent rectangle ( about 1.5" wide by 3" high where the metadata data was supposed to be. Here the desktop showed through. After several F5's it showed the data, but changing images did not result in a change in the metadata panel. then it was scrolling at a different speed from the left side, and looked like a deck of cards with a series of overlapping windows at the top.
Finally it started working all right and I was changing the names of a lot of recently scanned slide images, adding species names to their coded numbers. When I got to some images that were shot with the D3 camera it wouldn't let me change the metadata or add new keywords. I remember something about not enough storage and then the program darkened and I think it closed. (So many things have happened that it is hard to remember everything) But when it seemed normal again, I went to camera RAW to lighten a short series of images. When I came back to bridge I noticed that their IPTC metadata was gone. And so was that of every NEF file in the folder shot with the Nikon D3. Not ones with the D200 or anything else.
I called Adobe tech and wasted an hour and a half as this woman just didn't have a clue about anything. I myself had the insight when I compared the CR cache and it was only 1G, compared to 50G on the old computer. I changed it and copied the XMLs of all the D3 images from the backup disk to this and got back all the metadata that I had spent so much time entering (Description, date, location, etc) I was so glad that I hadn't backed up before noticing.
About 3:30pm, I called ASUS about the inablity to install 64bit Vista and problems trying to go about updating the BIOS. They said no update was necessary but I needed to run the installation with only one 2G RAM in. I decided to try this rather than send the computer back, and I had VIsta 64 installed within an hour, and then followed, reinstalling CS3. I couldn't believe how much effort was wasted over 3 days. Things seemed OK till I found out that now my Nikon Scan software for the Coolscan 5000 is incompatible.
Later after hours of getting some work done, I decided to shut down and install the rest of the RAM. It was really slow in booting. I thought it wasn't going to but I got to the desktop and then tried to open bridge and got the message that "The application failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect." When I closed this box, I got a blue screen with warning that the computer was being shut down to avoid damage.
I tried different combinations of RAM until I found that if one of the RAM sticks was in the computer wouldn't boot at all, and got a memory error. It seemed clear that one was defective, as if I tried another it was OK, and only with the one did the non booting occur. This was Muskin memory. I had told Directron I wanted Kingston, but they said they didn't have it so I went along. Now I don't believe they even tested the machine. The DVD drive wasn't even connected and they said it must have come loose.
Anyway even with the 4G RAM in and no problem booting, I get the side-by-side error message with any program that I try to open, even Internet Explorer.
I am still waiting for replacement RAM.
Microsoft had me download and install a C+++ file that was supposed to take care of the known side-by-side problem. I still had to reinstall Vista, but not a clean one. I think I had to reinstall CS3 and some other things though. (My memory blurs at the number of repeated operations I have had to perform since getting this machine.
I had things working fine for a while and then I wanted to calibrate with the Eye One Match. I first wanted to make sure I had the latest NVidia drivers and downloaded the file. When I was going to install it, the message was that is was already there and should I overwrite. To be sure, I thought and chose Yes.
On the next reboot I couldn't get beyond the motherboard screen, not even into Bios. ASUS said that it appeared I needed a new Bios chip and should get one or return the computer. After a long weekend I called NVIDIA and they said to remove the graphics card and put it back in the same slot. At first I thought this didn't work, as the primary monitor was blank. but I could hear a lot of activity on the computer and found out that the desktop was moved to the secondary monitor that wasn't on. The wireless keyboard and mouse didn't work, and I had to go through more boots with wired, resetting the display and such to get things back to normal
After a couple of days of normalcy, I had a repeat of the motherboard only screen after installing the Intuos tablet drivers. This time I just reconnected the main monitor alone and didn't have the other problems.
the system seems very temperamental. It was awful having to go back to my XP machine over the weekend though, as the slowness of every operation with CS3 and Bridge was almost unbearable after running on the Vista machine where everything was happening in a few seconds.