Thursday, December 10, 2009

Corel Paint Shop Pro X2 has stopped Working

Problem: Corel Photo Pro X2 has stopped Working on Windows 7. There are several possible issues with known conflicts with MSSQL 2008, SQL Express, Windows 7 and PSP. This also affects Vista users. Article updated on 2010.03.05.


On a Windows 7 / Vista computer:
Corel Paint Shop Pro X2 ("PSP") hangs / freezes with a faded white screen.

The steps below are convoluted but appear to fix the problem and the steps have been tested against PSP x2 versions 12.00, 12.01 (SP1), and 12.50 Ultimate. PSP x3 appears to be immune from these issues and I have since then upgraded to that version Related article: PaintShopPro x3 Reviewed with Windows 7. In the mean time, these steps may help you.
Related Keyliner article: PSP X3 Hangs

Possible Solution:

Corel says you need to buy the new version: Corel Paint Shop Pro X2 Ultimate (Version 12.50 -- and now they say version x3), "as these are the only version supported in Windows 7" - See Corel Windows 7 Compatible Products.

As you will see, this may or may not be true; the real issue might be a SQL Server installation, which can be installed by Visual Studio, Windows Live, and some Video Editing software. Additionally, a Microsoft auto-update, applied in February, 2010, appears to have damaged this program. Read on for details.

1. Temporarily disable Windows Updates

a. Open the Windows Control Panel
b. On the Right-side, select Windows Updates
c. Click "Change Settings"

Change to "Check for updates but let me choose whether to download or install"

2. Disable/Uninstall MS SQL Server

According to Corel (after speaking with a technician), there is a known conflict with MS SQL Server, SQL Express or MSDE (SQL Server); this software must be un-installed. This is especially true with 12.0 and 12.0sp1.

Corel has not had a good solution to this, shy of de-installing the SQL Servers. You may have one of these products installed if you have installed Microsoft Visual Studio. Also, some third-party products, such as Dell's Video Editing software (almost all new Dell computers have SQL installed).

Corel responded on a trouble-ticket: There is a conflict with Windows 7 (and possibly Vista) computers running any version of MS SQL Server (or SQL Express 2008). From their notes: "Application crashes in module MFC80.dll upon launch or a Visual C++ error occurs". Corel Technical Document 763564, referencing an update to the Microsoft Foundation Class MFC to version 8.0.50727.762 (.Net 2005 Framework 2.0).
Although, I did not see these specific DLL errors, all other symptoms matched and this was indeed the original problem.

Originally, this article recommended de-installing Microsoft SQL server (or SQL Server Express), which was installed by other products. At the time, there was a known conflict between SQL Server and PSP X2. When this article was written, this was still true and de-installing worked for several months until Microsoft released a series of patches on-or-about 2010.02.15. If these patches were applied, then PSP failed, again. No other information on this is available.
a. Open the Windows Control Panel, "Programs and Features" (add-remove programs).

b. Uninstall MS SQL Server or SQL Express 2008 and its related utilities. (Naturally, if you need this software, you are in trouble.) Leave the "SQL Server Browser" and the "SQL Agent".

While de-installing, watch for minimized prompts on the taskbar. If you do not find this type of software installed, continue with the next steps.

3. Install a Microsoft VC++ patch

a. Download from this unusual-looking Microsoft MSDN page:

Microsoft 2005 VC++ Redist Link

b. From the list, look for two files with your language-prefix, where ENU = English

c. Choose either the 32-bit or 64-bit version, depending on your installed operating system.

- ENU (vcredist_X86.exe) or
- ENU (vcredist_X64.exe)

d. Install the downloaded Microsoft Patch.
e. Reboot

4. Download Corel's Uninstall Utility

a. With your browser, connect to Corel's site and download their PaintShop Photo Pro uninstall utility (On Corel's site, search "PaintShop Pro X2 Uninstall" or click this link):
Uninstall Utility: MSICleanup.exe

b. Follow the instructions on this page; download and run the utility, choosing "ZAP".

c. When you get a "CorelIOMonitor" message,

-press Ctrl-Alt-Del
-select Task Manager
-At the bottom, click "view Processes All Users"
-Locate and end the task "CorelIOMonitor."

5. Re-Install PSP

Using your original installation media, re-install Paintshop Pro. If the install program prompts to "Uninstall" a previous version, allow it to un-install (it appears the MSICleanup is not perfect). Allow the re-install to run.

If prompted to Register, close the window with the big red-X (if you attempt to register, you will have to re-install again).

6. Test

(You *must* test by launching PSP twice):

a. Launch PSP (it should open properly); Do not allow it to register the software (click the Red-X to dismiss the registration screen).

b. Close PSP and launch a second time.

7. Allow PSP to update to the latest service patch

a. Launch PSP, click "Help, Check for updates."
b. When prompted to install the update, close PaintShopPro manually before clicking Install.

Once the update installs, 12.50 will still show the same version.

If PSP still crashes with a white-screen of death, de-install and re-install PSP a second time (this is what I had to do on both of my computers). By this stage, PSP worked correctly.

8. Update your NVidia Video drivers (if applicable)

If you have an older computer with an older NVidia graphic Chip Set (see Control Panel, Device manager, "Display Adapters"), Corel strongly recommends updating your video driver to the vendor's latest version. See

A Better Solution?

These steps worked for me, but the problem has been a nuisance and I fear future Microsoft Updates will break the program again. Because of this, I decided to upgrade to PaintShopPro x3.

I called Corel's sales line and explained the how 12.50 was supposed to fix these problems. Although I hoped for a free upgrade to x3, I was past their 90-day window. Instead, they sold me a downloadable copy for $25.00 -- which they called a "technical upgrade." PSP X3 installed flawlessly in Windows 7; see this article.

Related articles:
Paint Shop Pro x3 - Initial Review
PSP X3 Hangs (different problem)
Paint Shop Pro x2 Commentary
Cropping with Aspect Ratios


  1. I have psp x3 installed on win 7 x64 and still receive this error message when I close psp.

  2. Annony: I do not have an answer for your post. I am no longer experiencing this problem since I upgraded to PSP x3 (also, I have since installed the latest version of SQL Express).


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