7 Replies Latest reply on Sep 12, 2012 12:39 PM by Sayeed-AR

    Unable to Launch Photoshop CS4


      I started having this problem 3 days ago. Suddenly one morning Photoshop CS4 stopped launching. The bad part is, there is no error message...nothing...it just won't launch. Other programs, including Bridge CS4 works fine, just Photoshop. I'm using Windows 7 Home Premium, this is a Dell XPS computer with 8GB of RAM. Please Help!

        • 1. Re: Unable to Launch Photoshop CS4
          Curt Y Level 7

          If you have made no changes to hardware or software I would reset the preferences.


          Start PS and immediately hold down Crtl + Alt + Shift keys.  You should get a reset window.  If you see splash screen you are too late.

          • 2. Re: Unable to Launch Photoshop CS4
            Sayeed-AR Level 1

            Thanks. I will try that, not at home at the moment. I have my doubts though  if I would be able to get to the reset window, since absolutely nothing happens when I double-click to open Photoshop.

            • 3. Re: Unable to Launch Photoshop CS4
              the_wine_snob Level 9

              When something works one day, but not the next, then something has changed.


              It could be, as Curt mentions, hardware additions, software additions, or as simple as adding fonts, where one is bad, or corrupted.


              The task is to identify what has changed.


              I would create a System Restore Point (if you are on a PC), for today. Then, boot to Safe Mode, and choose to Restore System. Pick a System Restore Point from when things DID work. Reboot on the prompt, and test. If PS now works, you still need to find out what changed. Along with the above, it could be as simple as an OS update, or hot-fixed, that hosed your video driver.


              In that case, go to the mfgr's. Web site (Do NOT let the OS, or any utility, tell you if have the latest version - go directly to the mfgr's. Driver Download page - plug in your card model and your OS, download the latest driver and install it. Read the installation instructions, as those can change, driver version to version.). A hosed video driver can hang PS, and might not generate any error messages.


              If that does NOT help, try one more time, going back with the System Restore Point chosen.


              At the worst, you will have only lost a few minutes, as you created that new System Restore Point for today.


              If you have a Mac, I think that there is a utility, with a name like Time Machine, that does about the same thing.


              Good luck,



              • 4. Re: Unable to Launch Photoshop CS4
                Sayeed-AR Level 1

                Ok....here's my report. As predicted, I could not get to the reset window. I followed the procedure, nothing happened.


                I tried to use a previous system restore point. Turns out there was only one point to choose from. It was created before the last Windows critical update, which happened to be the morning after the problem with Photoshop started. So that didn't change anything.


                I downloaded the latest driver from NVIDIA, but unfortunately that didn't work either.


                I agree that something must have changed, but the question is what? I checked the reliability monitor, and it did show that Photoshop had stopped working on the 6th. Nothing major seems to have happened around that time, other than the Windows update the next day.


                I also considered if my serial number somehow got flagged as "pirated" and Adobe somehow prevented the program from launching. I am a University employee and purchased Photoshop through a volume license deal. But the more I think about it, the less likely it seems.


                I am out of ideas now.



                • 5. Re: Unable to Launch Photoshop CS4
                  Wade_Zimmerman Level 7

                  Try this


                  1. Quit Illustrator.
                  2. Rename the PSPrefs file (for example, to PSPrefs.old) in the Users/(user)/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CS4 Settings folder.
                  3. Start Illustrator. Illustrator creates a new preferences file.


                  Actually it is the whole folder tht should be renamed not just the preference so name it to Old Adobe Photoshop CS4 Settings.

                  • 6. Re: Unable to Launch Photoshop CS4
                    Curt Y Level 7

                    Sayeed-AR wrote:


                    Ok....here's my report. As predicted, I could not get to the reset window. I followed the procedure, nothing happened.

                    This is a tricky manuver as your timing has to be perfect.  If you do not get the reset window you did not do it correctly.  Remember you have to press and HOLD the 3 keys all at once.  Should see the reset window in a few seconds.


                    If after several tries you still get nothing you can go in and manually delete the file.

                    • 7. Re: Unable to Launch Photoshop CS4
                      Sayeed-AR Level 1

                      Curt, I tried it at least 20 times yesterday. Still nothing happends.


                      Renaming the settings folder did not help either.


                      I have downloaded CS6 and and running it on a trial basis right now. It works fine. The only thing is, not all of my plugins are compatible with it. I may not have mentioned it earlier, but I also have Lightroom 4. It has been working fine the whole time. Looks like I will have to get CS6 and then update my plugins. My wallet is crying already.