Has this started recently? If so have you added or changed any software - like an anti-virus program?
Only automatic Windows updates, and yes it has started in the last week
Are you running on a network?
Hello Curt - no, just standalone at home
Have you checked you HD for free space? You should have 10-20% free space. So on a 500 gig drive you need 50-100 gig free.
Do you have a System Restore Point, from when things DID work smoothly?
If so, create one for today, so nothing will be lost. Then, run this test. Boot to Safe Mode (not usually necessary, but makes things fairly simple), and choose Restore. Choose that System Restore Point, from before the update. Reboot, and then test. If things are smooth again, you know that the update was responsible, but tracking down the problem within that update might not be easy - still, you know where to start. If things are no better, you have lost but a few moments, as you can repeat the System Restore with today's Restore Point.
I have a number of external hard drives, and have turned all these on so Photoshop can find them in case it's looking, but this made no difference.
If you are not doing so already, I would do all of my testing with files on local, internal HDD's, rather than any of the externals, at least for now. I'd pick a rather large file, and use it to "benchmark" the system.
I also think that Curt is heading in a very good direction - please tell us about your I/O sub-system, i.e. all of your HDD's (at this point, since we are not testing with files on the externals, I'd leave them out of the mix - for now), their size, speed, controller type, free-space and how you have them allocated, such as Scratch Disk location and size. Also, list where you Window Virtual Memory Page File is located, its size and whether it is static (always the same size and location), or dynamically managed by Windows (will expand and contract dynamically, per Windows' needs).
PS - thank you for mentioning that you have already looked into the Network Printer issue, as that was going to be my first comment, when I saw the title of your post - but you have already addressed that to no avail.
Hi All, Apologies for the radio silence and many thanks for your responses.
A techy friend of mine came round and changed loads of settings, restored to a previous point (prior to the windows upgrade) to no avail, and decided that the whole system needed rebuilding. Rather dejected, we searched the internet once more for possible solutions (this time under the heading "slow printing from Photoshop Epson" - although it was not the printing per se that was slow, just the loading of the file).
This is the fix that we found: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?action=printpage;topic=48960.0
The relevant text from the forum (in case the link doesnt work) is:
"I spoke with both Photoshop and Epson support guys and was able to come up with a fix (from Epson). The fix involved deleting a hidden file in a hidden folder called Program Data on the C:\ drive. The file had an extension of .AUD and was 40 megabytes in size. It was the only file with the .aud extension. Once I deleted that file, all of my problems went away. The Epson support guy said that this file has caused problems in the past. He thinks that the file is generated by the system and just keeps getting larger and larger until everything grinds to a halt. To access hidden folders in Windows Explorer, click on the Tools tab, click on Folder options, click on View. Under the heading "Hidden Folders and files" click on "Show Hidden Folders and files". You will then be able to access the folder "Program Data". In the folder called "Program Data" you will find a folder titled "Epson". In the Epson folder is a folder called "Printer". In the printer folder is the file (In my case anyway) called "EPAUDF01.AUD. When I deleted the file (that had swollen to 40 megabytes), the system (or the Epson Printer program... I'm not sure which), generated a new file that was 2 kilobytes in size, after I had restarted my machine. I keep monitoring the file to see if it changes size, but so far it hasn't."
Having deleted the file *.AUD, Photoshop loaded images as fast as lightning.
Thought this would be of use to you all, and thank you once again.
Apparently that is an Epson "audit" file, created by the Epson printer driver software.