Sunday, March 6, 2011

Corel PaintShop Pro X3 Hangs

Problem: Corel PSP X3 hangs. This article discusses a possible solution, as recommended by Corel. Contains instructions on how to perform a "clean install" of PSP.

Previously, I had written about Corel's PSP X2 hanging with a w-hite screen-of-death. Now I am finding PSP X3 occasionally hangs (hang freezes freeze crashes crash) -- especially while zoomed in on an image and doing pixel work.

For Windows 8 Users (Corel Paintshop Pro x4 has stopped working)
Recommend upgrading to PSP X5 - this fixed the problems I was having

As much as I like, and still recommend PSP, the crashes are frustrating. Tentatively, this article appears to have fixed the problem -- however, I am never a fan of this type of solution because the real, underlying problem was not addressed.

  • The Hang is not predictable
  • The entire program hangs, quits working, suspends
  • No error messages or other indications
  • The Windows Event Viewer shows an AppCrash with CoreCmd.dll (see Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Event Viewer)
  • Note Event Viewer: Event ID 1001
  • Re-launching PSP, you can usually continue editing the original image.
  • Crashes seem to happen more frequently until the next reboot.

Detailed Symptoms:
  • A dump file is written into the Corel Cache directory with a name similar to this:
    "Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo 111822_17891926.DMP"
    (See Corel PSP, File, Preferences, File Locations, Cache).
  • The DMP file, if opened in Visual Studio, will show "The thread tried to read from or write to a virtual address for which it does not have appropriate access." This is not a particularly helpful message -- this is a standard message for a program that is mis-behaving.
  • The Event Viewer (1001) will reference a variable Windows Temp file, such as
    (Your temp location is likely C:\Windows\Temp); however, this file will not be found. Unknown if this is expected behavior.

Possible Solution:

Corel did not offer a firm solution to the problem. Instead of helping to solve the real issue, they recommended a non-standard un-install/re-install -- suggesting a file might be corrupt. Note: My steps are slightly different than Corel's steps published in Answer ID 764432.

(originally written): I suspect this solution will not permanently solve the problem because the debugging information from above hints at a standard, run-of-the-mill bug. In any case, it is worth pursuing, because frankly there is no other good ideas. Update: 2011.07. The steps in this article appear to have fixed the problem.

These instructions were fully tested on Windows 7 / Vista, with slightly different XP comments.

1. Download, but do not run, the Corel Clean up Utility:

CDS 2010 Clean-Up ver1.9.exe

Save the file to a known location (C:\temp, etc.); do not run yet.

2. Run the Cleanup Program.
  • Using Windows Explorer, locate the downloaded utility.
  • "Other-mouse-click" the exe and choose "Run as Administrator". Allow the cleanup to run.

3. Control Panel: Uninstall PSP.
  • Open the Control Panel,
    Windows 7: Programs and Features
    XP: Add-Remove Programs
  • Confirm, and if still present, uninstall Corel Paintshop Pro X3 (PSPX3).
    Note: I did not see this in my un-install list, presumably the cleanup removed the entry.
4. Delete folder remnants.

To do this step, you need to un-hide protected system files, exposing them in Windows Explorer. Follow these steps:
  • Windows 7/Vista: Open Control Panel, "Folder Options" (or see this Keyliner article).
  • Make these changes, which are recommended for all Windows installations.

Click the [View] tab.
[x] Always show menus
[x] Show hidden files, folders and drives
[ ] Hide extensions for known file types (uncheck)
[ ] Hide protected operating system files (uncheck)

5. Delete these folders

Open Windows Explorer and delete these newly-exposed Windows 7 / Vista folders:

C:\Program Files(x86)\Corel\Corel PaintShop Photo Pro
C:\Program Files(x86)\Ulead Systems (if present)
C:\ProgramData\Corel\PaintShop Photo Pro
C:\ProgramData\Ulead Systems
C:\Users\(your name)\AppData\Roaming\Paint Shop Photo Pro
C:\Users\(your name)\AppData\Local\Corel

For Windows XP:
C:\Program Files\Corel\Corel PaintShop Photo Pro
C:\Program Files\Ulead Systems (if present)
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Corel\PaintShop Photo Pro
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Ulead Systems
C:\Documents and Settings\(your name)\Application Data\Corel\PaintShop Photo Pro

6. Cleanup Registry Keys:

Start, Run, "Regedit.exe"
(See this article for instructions on exposing the normally-hidden "run" command)

Windows 7 / Vista and XP: Delete these folder/Registry keys:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Corel\PaintShop Photo Pro
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Ulead Systems\Corel PaintShop Photo Pro

7. Still in Regedit, delete one of the following groups of keys, depending on your operating system:

Windows 7 / Vista:
\Paint Shop Photo Pro
\Ulead Systems (if present)

For Windows XP:
\Paint Shop Photo Pro
\Ulead Systems (if present)

8. Reboot the computer (always wise after work like this)

Begin the Re-install:

9. Recommended: Remove the computer from the network
  • Disable the Wireless NIC or unplug the network cable.
Do this step because the next step disables virus scanning.

10. Disable virus scanning.
(stop real-time virus scanning) This is a Corel recommendation and this is why I recommend removing the machine from the network.

11. Run the Corel PSP installation:
  • Insert the Corel PSP installation CD
  • Open Windows Explorer
  • "other-mouse-click" Setup.exe, "Run as Administrator"
  • Allow the installation to run.

12. Re-enable virus scanning and re-connect to the network.

13. Update PSP Patches with these steps:

Launch PSP. Select Help, Check for Updates.
  • When the update window appears, close PSP and allow the update.
  • Repeat by re-launching PSP, checking for updates, closing PSP, until no updates are found. As of 2011.03, this takes three times.

Additional Keyliner thoughts on this problem:

Confirm your video card drivers are current and up-to-date, especially if running in Windows 7 / Vista. See Control Panel, Device Manager, "Display Adapters". If you are running NVidia or ATI, then you have specific drivers installed; confirm the drivers are current by logging into the respective sites. If you are running default Microsoft Windows video drivers (I don't recall what they look like in the Control Panel), then you should upgrade the drivers.

Deleting Cache
PSP's cache files can be deleted without re-installing. Occasionally, consider deleting the Cache with these steps:

a. Launch PSP
b. Select File, Preferences, "Reset Preferences"
c. Check [x] Delete all Cache files, OK

I have an unconfirmed suspicion the crashes may be due to PSP's AutoSave settings. See PSP, File, Preferences, AutoSave. I am still testing this idea and will write back with more information.

Final comments:
Updated 2012.03:  I have noted that PSP X4 did not exhibit this problem

Your comments are welcome and may help other readers with this problem.

Related articles:
PaintShopPro x2 Observations
Using PSP to crop images for Aspect Ratios (wallpapers)
Corel Paint Shop Pro X2 Stopped Working (Windows 7 w-hite Screen of Death)
PSP Fuzzy Text Fix

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