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Lightroom 4 hangs on opening

Apr 1, 2012 10:02 AM

When I open Lightroom 4, it will not infrequently (every day or two or three) hang -- typically images are visible in the filmstrip, but the central work area just says "loading," and if I try to click on anything, the little Windows circle starts spinning indicating that the program is hung.  All I can do is use Task Manager to kill the program.  Re-starting the application invariably leads to the same result.

 

I have discovered a simple solution.  I go to the c:\users\username\appdata\roaming\adobe\lightroom folder, delete the preferences file, and now Lightroom will open without problem.  But now the problem is that I have lost my preferences.  No big deal, but it takes me a minute or so to set the preferences back to where I want them.

 

Reset the preferences, or leave them in the default settings, doesn’t matter:  I know for certain that at some point in the near future Lightroom will hang again, and again I will have to delete the preferences file to fix things.

 

I have uninstalled and reinstalled multiple times, to no benefit.  I have even combed the registry after uninstalling, deleting every remaining reference to Lightroom or LR4, all to no avail. I should add that I had the same problem with Lightroom 3, but it happened much less often. 

 

I am running Windows 7 64-bit.  It's a very clean system, all Windows updates installed, never any malware, only standard, commerical applications installed.

 

Any ideas?

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 1, 2012 11:46 AM   in reply to ChasHertz

    Your problem is identical to my problem.  LR4 hangs when opening.  Images are visible in the filmstrip, the central work area dialog box says loading, but when I try to click on anything, the infamous mouse cursor changes to a circle and starts to spin - forever.  I also have to close the program using Windows Task Manager.  I can never get LR4 past this stage.  I have uninstalled and reinstalled - no changes.  Yesterday I loaded newest LR4.1 RC - no changes or improvements.  I have a very current next generation computer system, powerful, Win7 64 bit, 6 GB memory, current updates.  Longtime user of LR, including LR3.6 - never any problems in the past.  Now even 3.6 hangs.  Very frustrating, as currently all versions of LR on my computer are unusable!

     

    I will try what you note above as a workaround and will update a new post.  I will also be speaking with Adobe Technical tomorrow and will update any "long-term" solutions.

     
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    Apr 1, 2012 12:32 PM   in reply to Java Magellan

    It worked - your workaround of deleting the preference file allowed LR4 to open normally.  Wow!  Now if only we could find a long-term solution.  As you note, the preference file will need to be deleted again and again, not what any of us signed up for.  If you learn of any long-term solution, I would be very interested.  I will keep you posted as well.

     
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    Apr 1, 2012 6:52 PM   in reply to ChasHertz

    Very good suggestions - thank you for the feedback.  I find it ironic that you were posting on the forum for some help, and you end up helping me in the process.  I guess that is the way these forums work - we end up helping each other.  I agree with you in that I am not confident Adobe will provide a quick fix for the particular problem you and I are experiencing, due to the fact if you read through the other forum threads, not many seem to be experiencing this exact same hang issue where the program is not usable, albeit there seem to be many other problems.  As noted previously, I will be speaking with Adobe Technicians tomorrow and will let you know what they say.  Thank you again for the good feedback noted above. 

     
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    Apr 5, 2012 7:49 AM   in reply to ChasHertz

    Anytime LR crashes or fails to open properly (i.e. hangs) there is a possibility for the Preferences file to be corrupted, but it’s not likely that’s causing the “initial hang" every few days.

     

    I’m finding both LR4 and LR4.1 RC are fairly slow on the first launch (~30 sec.) after initially booting up my Windows 7 SP1 64bit system, but subsequent launches are pretty fast (~10 sec.). Do you do regular catalog backups with the options for 'Test integrity before backing up' and 'Optimize catalog after backing up’ selected?

     

    I’ve seen the same type of “hang” when opening other applications and trying to use them before fully launched. The Windows circle pops up and starts spinning, the screen loses contrast and hangs forever, requiring launching Task Manager to close it out. I never had this problem with Windows XP, so it appears to be something unique to Windows 7 based application operation. Try waiting for LR to fully launch before clicking anywhere inside the app window.

     

    Other less likely possibilities are hard drive fragmentation or memory problems. You can try defragmenting your drive(s) and running a memory diagnostic test to rules these out.

     
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    Apr 7, 2012 1:42 PM   in reply to ChasHertz

    Chas: I did make contact with Adobe Tech, and they recommended the same action - remove the preference file and re-launch.  I told the tech this is good for only a couple of launches, and he had no other suggestions or recommendations.  I am going to call again this next week, and see if another tech will come up with something else more permanent.

     

    trshaner:  I appreciate your feedback as well, good recommendations in your April 5 comments.  However, I am having the exact same experience as Chas.  After launching LR4 I can go out and mow the lawn, BBQ a couple of steaks, and down an IPA, and LR4 will still be hanging upon my return.  After shutting down the program with Task Manager, the only thing that fixes it is to delete the "Preference" file, and re-launch the program.  For me, the hanging happens about every other launch, so I have to delete the preference file again and again.  This process always fixes the problem immediately.  Or as Chas noted, I can keep a copy of a good preference file located elsewhere, and reinsert it into the LR preference file - and the program will launch appropriately. The problem is definitely preference file related - somehow corrupting the file when shutting the program down, setting up future launch failures.  Very frustrating.

     

    System type as follows:  win7 64-bit ver 6.1 sp1 / x64-base pc / intel core i7 940@2.93 GHz 4 cores / 6 GB physical memory (RAM) / ATI radeon HD 4870 x2 / 2 each WD Raptor 10,000 Drives Raid O / 2 each WD 7,500 Drives Raid 1.

     
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    Apr 7, 2012 2:50 PM   in reply to Java Magellan

    I've passed on this thread to the Lr team but wouldn't expect any response over the holidays.

    Thanks for your efforts in trying to isolate this.

     
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    Apr 7, 2012 7:10 PM   in reply to ChasHertz

    I'm beginning to wonder if the problem is related to the "fast" load time of LR, due to your fast RAID 0 SAS 15K drive array speed. You say: "normally LR4 opens and is ready to go in a matter of seconds." I'm seeing about a 30 sec. on initial load with my 10K SATA single drive Windows 7 system with subsequent loads about 10 sec., and I have no issues. Apparently LR is doing some processing in the background during launch, and perhaps the fast transfer time of your drive array may be "occasionally" over-stepping these background processor based steps during launch. I used to design real-time OS based systems and these types of issue required code changes (timers, etc.) to correct problems across different speed platforms.

     

    Java Magellan, just out of curiosity what type of drives and configuration are you using? Also for both of you, are you using any plug-ins, such as Nik, etc.

     
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    Apr 7, 2012 7:38 PM   in reply to ChasHertz

    Sorry, didn't see that Java Magellan's has a similar fast RAID 0 10K drive array config. So it may be due to LR4's behavior on systems with fast hard drive RAID 0 arrays, based on 2 for 2 with same setup.

     

     

    ChasHertz wrote:

     

    Interesting idea. 

     

    I'm not quite sure what you mean by "initial load" and "subsequent load."  In any event, LR4.1RC opens for me, and is ready to go, in just under 5 seconds.  I have a relatively small catalog, about 10,000 images.

    By initial load I mean the 1st time I launch LR4 after boot, which loads the image into memory (~30 sec.). Subsequent launches after closing out this 1st launch are much faster, but still about 10 sec. I'm running on Win 7 Home Premium SP1 with a 2.8GHz i7 860 quad-core system, 12 GB memory and a single 1TB 7,200 RPM (not 10K) SATA drive (Hitachi 1TB HDS 721010KLA330).

     
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    Apr 7, 2012 11:09 PM   in reply to trshaner

    Lightroom takes about 15 secs to launch for me on a Mac i7 with the catlog on the internal 750GB 7200 drive.

     
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    Apr 8, 2012 1:33 AM   in reply to Geoff the kiwi

    LR4.1RC takes about 3 secs to launch into Library on my Win7x64 - using ssds for system and catalog/previews. So the problem can't just be speed of launching - I don't have any problems with corrupted prefs files.

     

    I would try exporting your whole catalog+previews to a new catalog. That can get rid of stuff in the old catalog that is upsetting something in LR4. Especially if your catalog is an upgraded one from LR3.  This has cured several strange problems for me in the past, especially when upgrading from LR2-3 and now LR3-4. Noting to lose except any Publish stuff you have stored in the catalog.

     

    I usually just export the catalog, without the old previews, and make it create new previews and previews.db. Takes a lot longer, but worth it in my opinion.

     

    Bob Frost

     
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    Apr 8, 2012 1:30 PM   in reply to ChasHertz

    Found this thread today looking to solution to the same problem. Thought I could add some info as well perhaps. I hadn't thought about fiddling with the preferences file, but I did get into the task manager and find that after I shut down lightroom and later try to reopen it (and can't) if I look under the processes tab, there are several "lightroom" instances running, one is using typically over a gig of memory, the others are significantly smaller. If I kill all of them, then I can open lightroom just fine. Never have fiddled wtih the preferences or anything, just killing the processes. I appears to me that it's not exiting gracefully enough and is leaving tidbits running in the backgroun and subsequently not releasing resources, and that then prevent it from reopening.

     

    FWIW, my machine specs are pretty strong as well - home built Intel Core i7 2600k (but not overclocked currently), 16 gigs of ram, 256gb SSD (OCZ vertex 3) for system drive, nvidia GTX560/1gb video.

     
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    Apr 8, 2012 8:01 PM   in reply to ChasHertz

    my apologies - I believe you are correct in that it is probably a different issue. What I've had occur is when you try to reopen lightroom, I'll get the usual "circle" icon that it's loading but then after a few seconds, it goes back to the regular arrow cursor and the program never load/runs, so I'm not even getting out of the gate. The number of instances of lightroom in the processes list seems to correlate with the number of times I try to open it unsuccessfully..... I'll try fiddling with the preferences and see what happens

     
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    Apr 8, 2012 10:21 PM   in reply to PWStudios

    Also check to see if the is a .lock file next to the .lrcat file where your catalog is located. If there is a lock file, delete this (with Lightroom closed).

    PWStudios wrote:

     

    my apologies - I believe you are correct in that it is probably a different issue. What I've had occur is when you try to reopen lightroom, I'll get the usual "circle" icon that it's loading but then after a few seconds, it goes back to the regular arrow cursor and the program never load/runs, so I'm not even getting out of the gate. The number of instances of lightroom in the processes list seems to correlate with the number of times I try to open it unsuccessfully..... I'll try fiddling with the preferences and see what happens

     
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    Apr 8, 2012 11:44 PM   in reply to ChasHertz

    I too am having major problems with LR4 not opening-- I am running Vista64 with 8GB-- It opens in a jiffy after first install. Second time of opening it gets no further than a 'server busy' dialogue with options to switch to, try again or cancel, none of which do anything. deleting prefs and /or rebooting does not work. All I can do is uninstall and reinstall from scratch.

    I have used LR daily from version 1 and Pixmantec Raw shooter before that, I hope they can sort this bug soon.

    Sadly I have work to put out for tomorrow from a G1X which is not supported on LR3x otherwise I would say stuff it an revert to version 3.

    Very frustrating.

     
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    Apr 30, 2012 6:03 PM   in reply to ChasHertz

    Sorry about disappearing for the last month - buried with work.  With regards to the hanging issue, interestingly I have been able to open and close LR successfully over the last 6 or 8 times without issue.  In the past, I was not able to open more than once or twice before the problem would show up.  There is no explanation - I did nothing different.  It just seems to be working lately, although I find myself crossing my fingers each time I open the program.  I expect the problem will return however, therefore I am going to search out and install the newest LR 4.1 RC 2 that you reference.  I'll let you know how it works out.  The good news is we are both having some success - even if we do not understand the cause.  Thanks again for the info.

     
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    Apr 30, 2012 8:49 PM   in reply to ChasHertz

    Thank you for the link, that saves me from having to search for it.  By the way, I do not know if you are a long time user of LR, but one of my favorite and most used tools in the Develop Mode has been removed from the newest version - the Fill Light tool.  This was always one of my favorites, as you could easily lighten up the foreground of any picture - helping to bring life to dark or shadowy areas.  My heart sank when I noticed this tool had been removed.  Possible a person can customize available tools by turning them on or off in preferences, but I have not yet had time to explore this in the newest version.  For picture editing I use LR, but for video editing I use Techsmith's Camtasia Studio and Snagit.  Great software as well.

     
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    Apr 30, 2012 8:57 PM   in reply to Java Magellan

    Just try the Shadows slider........ I'm sure you will get to like it much more than the old Fill Light!!

    Java Magellan wrote:

     

    Thank you for the link, that saves me from having to search for it.  By the way, I do not know if you are a long time user of LR, but one of my favorite and most used tools in the Develop Mode has been removed from the newest version - the Fill Light tool.  This was always one of my favorites, as you could easily lighten up the foreground of any picture - helping to bring life to dark or shadowy areas.  My heart sank when I noticed this tool had been removed.  Possible a person can customize available tools by turning them on or off in preferences, but I have not yet had time to explore this in the newest version.  For picture editing I use LR, but for video editing I use Techsmith's Camtasia Studio and Snagit.  Great software as well.

     
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    May 1, 2012 4:20 AM   in reply to ChasHertz

    Thanks Guys

    I will give the RC a go

     
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    May 1, 2012 4:19 PM   in reply to Ricgal

    If you install LR to a new location, be a little bit patient the first time that you launch LR4. It needs a little bit time to scan all the lens profile and camera profile database and build up a database cache. Once that is done, the subsequent launch should be much faster.

     

    -Simon

     
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    May 16, 2012 5:47 PM   in reply to simonsaith

    Well, this is an interesting thread... I have been having issues with LR4 ever since I upgraded. My Laptop is no where as near as good as those above, an i7 Win 32, 4Gb memory with 500Gb dedicated drive for data files and 500Gb for system. I have been using LR since 2.0.. and have over 40K of images. I religiously backup, and test the integrity of the database, although I haven't tried exporting it to a new database.. something for later perhaps..

     

    LR continually hangs during operations.. usually within the develop module.. and I have to continually close it down, sometimes forcibly with task manager, but mostly just close it down and re-start. It then runs okay for 5-10mins and then happens again. As it is not a work task.. just an expensive hobby I have been tolerating it.. but no longer... rrrr

     

    I will try the RC2... I had downloaded the RC1 but hadn't installed it... wasn't game enough.... gulp..

     

    I will see what happens... thanks guys for posting your issues and work arounds.. it is appreciated.

     

    Regards.. Keith

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 17, 2012 2:16 AM   in reply to keith_f

    RC2 solved some of the problems, but seemed to have created others. The final release should be coming soon, and hopefully that may solve all the problems people are having - fingers crossed.

     

    But we have to remember that some of the problems reported are not basically problems with LR; I know as I have had problems that I blamed on LR, and then found out they were cured by changing graphics card, updating graphics drivers, replacing my power supply, etc. LR is quite demanding on your system, and any weaknesses will be found out.

     

    If you are still using previews updated from LR3, I would delete them all (including the previews.db and rootpixels.db and the acr cache) and then tell LR to rebuild all previews (from the Library menu) - overnight if you have a lot. That tends to make things run more smoothly from my experience. Exporting your catalog to a new one can also get rid of old stuff from LR3 that might upset LR4 - I always do that after an upgrade, and it has improved things IME. Similarly deleting your preferences file (and the older LR3 pref file if it is still there) and creating a new one has worked wonders for some people.

     

    LR works better with smaller monitors - less work for the cpu and graphics cards, so sometimes a laptop works better than a big desktop with 30" monitor, or two of them - even worse.

     

    If you've done all that, you can blame LR4!! 

     

    Bob Frost

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 20, 2012 1:01 PM   in reply to ChasHertz

    Hi Chas:

     

    The fact that I disappeared for so long is a sign that things were working smoothly for awhile.  Sure enough however, I downloaded the most current version LR 4.2, and the same old problem began to haunt me.  The infamous death spiral where the program does not fully load, and the only solution is to kill the program with Control/Alt/Delete.

     

    With the above said, I went back online and found your most recent June 7 post.  Once again I find your information very helpful.  I did just what you noted above, and was able to get the program to open.  In fact the program opened faster than ever before - fully loaded within 15 seconds.  I must admit however that I have no confidence the problem is gone, and fully expect a repeat soon, but I'll let you know.

     

    Question for you:  When you say you created a "batch file in the Lightroom directory", I am not sure what you mean by this.  Can you elaborate?

     

    Thanks again for the good information.  Regards.

     
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