I'm having the same problem with my trial of CS4. If this hasn't been resolved I'm certainly going to hold off upgrading. It's an incredible annoyance; I lose all my file-open histories and more importantly my scratch-disk settings.
No, actuallyI hadn't, as Illustrator was continually making new prefs whenever I started it.
I just manually deleted the prefs file and the fonts index file for good measure. We'll see if that solves the problem over the next few days.
I'll get back to you after the holiday.
Thanks for all the suggestions, but still no joy.
I deleted aiprefs to let Ill rebuild it; still throws a corrupt prefs message every second or third time I start it.
Checked the prefs file to see if it's a default font issue, but it's set to a font which i have and always keep active.
Moved the whole settings folder elswhere to let Ill recreate it, opened fine twice but gave me the corrupt prefs message on the third opening.
After a bit of poking about, the trouble seems to be with the Recent Files list.
I'm able to start Ill any number of times as long as no changes are made to the Recent Files list. Of course, this means that any time I save a file I'm going to get corrupt preferences. With a vanilla aiprefs I tried setting the MaxRecentFiles to 1, hoping that Ill could store at least that many entries, but I got a corrupt prefs message as soon as I restarted. Now, there were no entries in that section at all, so just changing that one setting in aiprefs seems to have confused Ill somehow.
The only thing I've not yet tried is to exclude the settings folder from virus scanning, and I'm going to have our network admin do that today (server-side settings).
More as new developments arise.
Why don't you try installing AI on a completely different computer, make sure that the anti-virus environment on that computer is completely different than the one you are having problems with. Just see what happens on a different machine, maybe it has something (a conflict) to do with other software installed on that box?????? Are you running any third party plug-ins within your AI installation?
Has anyone found a solution to this problem?? I have a brand new install and this is happening to me too.
I don't have to restart the computer. I just open and close illustrator a few times and the prefs get corrupt.
I have no antivirus, firewall, antispyware software of any kind on here.
I just installed AICS4 on my notebook PC as a back up and am getting the same corrupt aiprefs file almost every time too.
AI re-writes the aiprefs file in some arbitrary manner -- totally readable in notepad -- but no resemblence to the good version I managed to save as a backup.
The only difference in the install is the notebook has an old version 6 of Acrobat (I don't think they allow a second install like AI) and the aiprefs refers to saving clipboard upon exiting as PDF. I can't seem to get a clean aiprefs after changing that.
CS3 used to crash upon exit for many people and that clipboard to PDF was mentioned as a possible solution.
Does anyone with the CS4 aiprefs issue also have an "ancient" acrobat version installed?
I'm sure it must have somethng to do with old installs hanging out on the machine. In the end I moved to a newer machine, which had recently been wiped and freshly installed, and have had no trouble with prefs corruption since.
I can tell you that running the various csclean scritps (WinCS3clean, WinCS4clean) on my oldmachine didn't do the trick, so it probably is due to some Acrobat issue, as the CSclean scripts don't remove Acrobat at level 1, and i'm not sure that level 2 will do it either.
Have you tried running WinCS3Clean multiple times at level 3, per this tech note: http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/402/kb402767.html
I didn't get that far, as I didn't have the leisure to keep my machine out of commission for that many hours; and by the time I did, I had the new box.
I can tell you that wiping your c: drive and reinstalling windows will do the trick. <soapbox>I hope you have separate drives for data and programs, or you've partitioned your drive into separate partitions. Just good practice, really.</soapbox>
I did a clean install before installing CS4 and the AI prefs issue
still occurred. CS4 is basically the only thing I have installed and
this happens. It's very weird.
This happens to me on two separate machines.
I've ran the file compare utility and you look at the differences in
the text and neither of them really make sense to me. How does it even
know the preferences are corrupt?
This is a very frustrating situation as I can never enjoy the Recent
Files List, and that every now and then when I want to change up my
preferences I have to go through a process of unlocking (read:
disabling Read Only) and backing up the file, opening AI changing
prefs, etc, and relocking. The only way to keep from getting the
corrupt prefs is to mark the prefs file as Read Only, but it totally
disables recent file lists and gives the hassle I just described.
What's odd is that the "working" prefs file can get corrupted when I
try to change preferences. I'll back it up first to be careful, then
unlock the one in AI, open AI, change a pref, close it and lock it,
and next thing I know it's corrupt again. So then I'll try putting the
backed up locked prefs file that was working and it will be corrupt
too. That may not make sense as I've described you, but I assure you I
understand it completely. Something is definitely wonky!
It's funny because I see a lot of suggestions to some people's issues
that say "you might have corrupt prefs, try moving the folder/deleting
it". Our issue IS the corrupt prefs!
When you say you did a "clean install" did you wipe the drive, format it and then install Windows and run all the updates? Or did you just install Windows over a previous installation? A question for Win newbies, I know. Don't mean to be insulting, but we have to make sure.
By clean install I mean I wiped the drive, formatted it, installed Windows cleanly, updated it, installed CS4.
Mr. Schneider, I think you misunderstand why I put the file read only. BEFORE having set read-only, Illustrator rewrites the Preferences file on closing and corrupts it nearly each and every time, there is a rare time that it reopens without saying the preferences are corrupt. As another person found on some other topic or forum, I can't remember, locking the file after setting preferences will at least keep Illustrator from opening every time and saying the preferences are corrupt. The read only setting is simply a quick-fix means of not having to reset my preferences every time I open Illustrator. By setting it read only, whatever whatever working prefs I had at the time of setting the file read only will stay in place and Illy will open without a corrupt prefs error. As I tried to explain though, this limits my ability to have a recent files list or to quickly and permanently change any preference.
So in my case, having the file locked keeps me from having trouble. It doesn't answer the question as to why my preferences keep getting corrupted if I were to unlock it or erase the prefs file and work with a fresh one, but it lets me work in a little smoother situation. I'd love to be able to unlock the file, but every time I try to do this fresh I come out with corrupt prefs, over and over.
Well, I'm out of ideas.
I can only think that it may be specific to certain configurations of hardware. Why that should be I don't know, but we seem to have ruled out everything else.
My machine that was having this error was an old Compaq worstation SP750, dual 1ghz Xeon, 3gb RAM, ATI FireGL X1 graphic card, multiple SCSI HDDs. The machine I'm using now is an HP XW6000, dual 3ghz Xeon, 4gb RAM, ATI Radeon card, multiple SCSI drives. Both machines have the same installation of Norton AV enterprise edition.
The most likely culprit may have been the video card drivers. The Radeon drivers are significantly different from the FireGL drivers. Just guessing.
Hm, I guess I had one more idea after all.
ATI card huh?
I've got a Radeon 9700 Pro.
That's the only common link I can see between us right now. I have no antivirus/firewall.
I wonder how the drivers could be interfering? I'll mess around with some different driver versions after the weekend.
I've just recently started getting this message. And I noticed that my preferences for Photoshop and InDesign have changed as well (though I don't get the warning that its corrupted).
I've been using CS4 without fail for quite some time.
No new software or updates or anything new to my computer. As long as I don't restart my computer its fine.
Sometimes my softwares will lock up and I have to force quit the programs, like if I have too many programs running, and my laptop is starting to slow. But I've done this many times. Why suddenly is this Preference File Corruption thing happening, and to all three core softwares (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator)?
I DO! Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
GeForce 8600M GT:
Chipset Model: GeForce 8600M GT
PCIe Lane Width: x16
VRAM (Total): 256 MB
Vendor: NVIDIA (0x10de)
Device ID: 0x0407
Revision ID: 0x00a1
ROM Revision: 3212
Resolution: 1440 x 900
Depth: 32-Bit Color
Core Image: Hardware Accelerated
Quartz Extreme: Supported
Resolution: 1440 x 900 @ 60 Hz
Depth: 32-Bit Color
Core Image: Hardware Accelerated
Main Display: Yes
Quartz Extreme: Supported
Having used Illustrator from the very beginning, I am always amazed at the lack of interest on the part of Adobe to correct a bad situation that users are finding with Adobe software. Over 1400 have viewed this topic meaning there is significant interest, yet the problem will only be solved by selling users another upgrade. It's happened before (e.g., CS3 crashing upon exit).
The problem lies in the fat that AICS4 is writing a bad aiprefs file upon exit. Nothing is corrupting the file. It's perfectly readable. It's just not what AI is expecting upon the next startup. I don't see how that's hardware related.
I was only wondering, since up until then it seemed like those
affected had ATI cards. It seemed hardware related on the basis of the
software the hardware requires. Perhaps the hardware's software driver
somehow indirectly affects other processes on the computer. It was
only a slight possibility before, but I no longer think that.
It is definitely a problem that more than a few must have, with so
many looking at the topic. What's odd is that out of all of us we
can't seem to narrow down a common denominator -- which I believe
there must be for this to be occurring.
I have this exact same problem and after an hour Googling for a solution, I'm still stumped. Has anyone solved this since this thread was created? Am I just going to have to learn to live without a preferences file?
In short: thread not solved.
I am in the process of convincing Adobe there is a problem. Or I
should say I am in the process of some extreme troubleshooting. After
a bit of back and forth with their tech support, they concluded it
must be a Windows problem when I said I didn't want to replace media
and that it worked on another machine just fine from the same media.
The last time I talked to support they said to talk to MS about their
stuff because it must be a Windows issue and they'd never heard of
this happening before. Guess they don't read the forums huh?
Well, since they want me to deal with Windows what I'm going to do is
use one of my other hard drives and clean install Windows and the
other software. I'm going to start with simply installing Windows XP
Pro (without even sP1..) and upgrade straight to SP2. I will not
update any further beyond SP2. From there I will install Illustrator
and repeatedly test it to see if the preferences corrupt. If I open it
about 15 times with no corruption, I will then install one update at
a time. Retrying the opening cycle over and over and over until I have
I feel /mostly/ safe in assuming that nothing SP2 and previous should
be interfering with the software, but I'll find out. If I get corrupt
prefs right off the bat with SP2 well.. crap.
I'm kind of wishing that I had gone ahead and let them replace the
media now, but I'm pretty convinced that if I can install on another
machine with no problems then it must not be the media.
This is not a Windows issue,
I am running on a mac (running Leopard) and this message (thread) was started by me.
I can assure you it is an Illustrator issue.
I never had a problem until I installed a plug-in within my AI that handles geo-referenced Illustrator artwork.
It first happened within CS2.
I think the problem has something to do with the pdf file conversion routines, but I have never really been able to solve the problem.
I don't think it's a Windows issue either, but when you say the magic
words like "well it works on another computer.." they hand off the
blame. By the way, this thread as far as I an tell was started by
(osias_gamoras) on Dec 31, 2008 at 5:08 p.m.
Same issue on a Mac. When it first occurred I nearly knifed myself believing I had lost hours of work. Now I just restart the program and the file seems to run.
If it is at all possible to avoid upgrading to Illustrator cs4 I would highly recommend it. For every new perk there is a serious bug. In addition to this one, my favorites are:
Sorry to vent, but it never used to be like this. CS4 is the pits. Quality control needs to be a priority for Adobe.
Well, I work on a Mac, running Snow Leopard, and I get the same problem virtually every time I start Illustrator CS4. So, Adobe tech support claiming that "it must be a Windows problem" is code for "we have absolutely no idea how to solve this problem that has been reported by numerous users for some time now." Beyond the annoyance lies a very real problem: when a user modifies their Preferences file (for example, to change Scratch Disk settings), a message is displayed that says "Changes will take effect the next time you start Illustrator." Well, guess what? The next time I start Illustrator, I get the "corrupt Preferences file" message, and Illustrator writes a completely new Preferences file, wiping out the changes I made. Meaning, it is IMPOSSIBLE TO EFFECT CHANGES TO THE PREFERENCES FILE!! Are you listening, Adobe? This is a significant and well-reported BUG in your software that you have to quit denying and FIX!
Is the answer now to upgrade to Purchase cs5 (which probably has other issues added to the new and improved features)
or do they just give it to us for putting up with CS4?! Yea right.
still no answers?
hello adobe techs
anyone out there?
I don't think so...
I've been working with Illi since the CS3 version on the same PC (a very old one) and every new CS version gets me the same error every time I close and open Illustrator (in an alternate way, i.e. I open the program just fine the first time then close it, then open it again and get the corrupted preferences...close it and open again without any problem then close it and open and get the error ad so on...) Right now I'm working with CS5.1 and still have this issue.
It's pretty sad that they haven't fixed this yet, fortunatelly I didn't changed many presets on the program so basically it doesn't affect me directly, but as someone said is really annoying to see the message everytime and the fact that I am unable to store my recent opened files....
Is there a way to speak or suggest to the developers to do some research and test and fix this thing for future releses? Otherwise, I'm afraid we should live with it...
I would like to report the same issues - I've had these on Mac and PC and with CS4 (no issues with CS3 or CS5 it seems). I'm knowledgable on both operating systems and have nothing strange running and can report these issues after clean OS installs.
It's pretty sad I'm having to revert to CS3 to open some files. It seems that I only get the corruption when opening some file types (usually ones created in earlier versions of Illustrator). I'll get a crash, and upon reopening Illstrator, the settings are corrupt.