Cursor in Photoshop Elements 8 driving me nuts. Help?!
January 28, 2012 3:49 PM   Subscribe

Why is my cursor spinning (i.e. "thinking") so frequently in Photoshop Elements 8 (PSE 8)?

Recently, when I try to work in PSE 8, as soon as I open a photo file and begin to process it, my cursor cycles through "thinking" and working about every three seconds (whether I'm selecting something or not). It works for about three seconds, then "thinks" (i.e. spins in a circle) for about three seconds. It does not work while spinning (it moves, but won't allow me to click anything).

I'm using Windows Vista and have been using PSE 8 with no trouble since it was released. My cursor works fine with all other programs on my PC.

I've restarted the computer, but that doesn't help. I've also reset the cursor tool. No joy. Haven't uninstalled PSE 8 yet as I was hoping for a simpler fix.

Any ideas?
posted by aelish to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
That seems like a low memory or filled memory condition, which is just what PSE will do (that's its function), with some other program or process causing the delays which just shows when you use PSE. Something similar to stuttering video that some people get with Youtube or other video streaming.

A quick fix to try is Process Lasso, which is free or you can pay for it and get extra features. You don't need to pay for it! The free version, as it installs with its default settings, will probably work. If not just uninstall it. You can ignore all the techie stuff it includes, it usually just plain works for a problem like that.
posted by caclwmr4 at 4:05 PM on January 28, 2012

Restart your computer and make sure no "mystery processes" are running before starting PS. This should help with the memory.
posted by karathrace at 4:10 PM on January 28, 2012

@caclwmr4: Ok, I've got Process Lasso - now what? I had it runnung while I opened PSE and still had the same problem. Read their main page with product description, but got a bit phased by all the techno-speak.

@karathrace: how do I determine if there are "mystery processes" running?
posted by aelish at 6:47 PM on January 28, 2012

Open Task Manager (Ctrl Shift Escape), go to the processes tab, and sort by memory. Identify which processes are eating up the most memory - you can google the names if you don't recognize the process by image name.
posted by hot soup at 8:37 PM on January 28, 2012

Well of course reboot after Process Lasso was installed. Then start PSE. If the problem is still happening, open the full Process Lasso screen, and in its real time action log in the lower half of the screen, it will say which process is getting "Process priority temporarily lowered" - that's the process causing the delays. There could be more than one. You should see that process (a program name) multiple times as Process Lasso does the "Process priority temporarily lowered" repeatedly on it and then restoring the priority of it.

Then you can open Task Manager, in the Applications tab there, find that process by its filename, and highlight it and end that process. You can also do this in Process Lasso in the "All Processes" tab or the "Active Processes" tab, and right-clicking the process and choosing "Forcibly terminate".

If you are sure you do not ever need that process, you can remove it from starting up when you boot. (That's another story if you're unfamiliar with doing that) If Process Lasso can't handle that process automatically to reduce the delay problem it (the process) is causing, my first guess is it is a out of control or malware process which may need deleting altogether.

You can always check the processes/programs that are running and the memory each uses by using Task Manager, or the "All Processes" tab in Process Lasso.
posted by caclwmr4 at 10:13 PM on January 28, 2012

Do you have a second HD dedicated as a scratch disc? If not, then Elements is using your main drive for scratch. Depending on the situation (how full your main drive is, size of image, type of effect or edit, etc.) you can definitely see a lot of what you're describing.

Get a second HD and set Elements to use it for scratch space.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:39 AM on January 29, 2012

@caclwmr4: thanks for walking me through that. I'm now running PL and have PSE open and it's working properly. Almost afraid to close PSE though for fear it won't work the next time!

@thorzdad: going to look in to that...don't think I have a second HD.

thanks, all!
posted by aelish at 6:31 PM on January 30, 2012

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