Lightroom 5.7: Keeps crashing

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my lightroom 5.7 keeps freezing and then crashing while editing photos. I've just bought a new laptop which I thought would be able to cope with Lightroom as my old computer was so slow but I'm now getting even more frustrated! I work in RAW and theyre stored on an external hard drive, could this be the problem? thanks
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Claire Wilders

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  • frustrated

Posted 3 years ago

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Doug Sanchez

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I second this issue (and several of the other similar issues)—but I'm responding to this particular thread because of the "I work in RAW and theyre stored on an external hard drive, could this be the problem?" part. That's how I work, as I have 28,000 photos to deal with—and I just keep adding to it. It seemed that storing all of my photos on an external 2TB (USB 3) drive was logical as I would quickly run out of room on my local HDD.

My catalog and all associated files (with the exception of the actual photos themselves) reside on my local drive.

I'm working with a small catalog—approx. 127 photos—and Lightroom comes crawling to a halt after 8 'Develop' edits to any one of the photos (I take snapshots of every step I perform).

I draw some edits with the adjustment brush, and with each successive one, Lightroom becomes increasingly unresponsive. By the time I reach the end of my pre-set editing steps—a radial filter—I can barely tolerate the suspense of waiting to see if the actions I performed with the mouse will actually register and display in Lightroom. I am trying to process some engagement photos and at one photo per day, it's never going to get done.

I would love some optimization tips or catalog setup strategies or something, because I just can't believe that a piece of software in the year 2015 can require so much from a computer.

I'm at work right now, so I don't have access to my specs, but off the top of my head, I'm running Win 8.1 on a quad-core i7 with 12GB of dual-channel RAM, a 128GB SSD boot drive and a 1TB 5400 RPM internal HDD, and the 2TB external drive. I probably have a few too many services and process running in the background, but NONE of my other programs have any issues running with them...not even Photoshop.

I like Photoshop because in its preferences it lets you control how much memory to dedicate to it and where to locate its scratch drive/s. Lightroom seems to be a complete mystery. I mean, how do I know which drives to keep clear? Does LR use the system page file, or one that it creates and runs along side it? Does it use C:\ by default? Does it spill over onto another drive if the default is full? Does it use any space it can find? How does LR actually work...there are no edits being made to the actual photo itself, so it's writing a file of all the modifications...but where is this file stored? Does it save continuously? Store in RAM until the session is done? I have no idea.

What's interesting is that when I'm bogged down to the point that I can no longer work in LR—my memory usage is hovering around 80%—I'll pop the photo open for editing in Photoshop and just blaze away. No sluggishness whatsoever. Photoshop performs like a champ.

Sorry for my long-winded $.02...after 4 pages or so of reading about these issues, I finally decided to chime in. Lucky you, Claire...I picked your post to hijack. :D
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Doug Sanchez

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For Claire (if she hasn't given up on her thread) and anyone else that stumbles across this, I found a DPS article on LR optimization. It's more straightforward than other articles I've found covering this topic, and I'm actually going to try a few of these tips when I get home tonight.

The article.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Doug, are you running Lightroom 5.7? or a different version? What does the crash report say the faulting module is?
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Doug Sanchez

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Jeffrey, thanks for responding. Not sure; I have to check when I get home tonight. I will report back with that and any other useful info I can gather.

As for the 'crash report' and 'faulting module'...where do I find that? Windows crash dump file or does LR have its own log files?
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Windows crash dump in the even viewer.
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Doug Sanchez

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And to get very specific about what kind of editing I'm doing:
Up until recently, I have only processed my landscape and wildlife photos, i.e., not much adjustment brush masking involved at all. Sometimes it would just be two areas, say a rock structure and the sky, that would be isolated and edited separately with the adjustment brush. Everything hummed along nicely.
It wasn't until I started editing these engagement photos that I began to experience tremendous sluggishness during editing.
Import, keywording, library functions, exporting...all work flawlessly and quickly. It's just when I take things into the develop module that performance begins to falter with each successive edit made to the photo.
My edits with these particular photos are a neutralization of lighting and contrast to 'even out' the shot, which I use the Basic tone and white balance controls. I then use the adjustment brush to target the face and soften it using again the Basic tone controls. After that, also with the adjustment brush, I isolate certain features (eyes, eyebrows) and sharpen and darken them slightly. Adjustment brush for teeth whitening. Adjustment brush for hair sharpening and contrast and clarity boost. Adjustment brush for iris enhancement. And then I paint an adjustment brush mask on the background (everything excluding the subjects) and another one with the inverse of that (which would be a fantastic feature to include—copy and invert the masks from other adjustment brush instances—but I digress), both of which use some Basic toning. The final steps are the radial filter and a graduated filter.
Performance at this point is painful, so I have relegated my blemish and other touch-ups to Photoshop.

Worthy of mention, perhaps, is that when I am zoomed in at 1:1 with the mask overlay on and I pan across the photo to paint a different area, I have waited up to 14 seconds for the screen to redraw and get settled before I can proceed.
This is why I am going to try the 'pre-render 1:1 previews' tip from that article I cited, see if that helps.

Some additional info: I shoot RAW with a Canon EOS 50D and 7D mk2. Unless I 'edit in' Photoshop from LR, I don't have any other heavy programs running.
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Doug Sanchez

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Jeffrey, I am running 5.7.1. I'm not sure how to find what you need in the Event Viewer. There wasn't really a "crash," per se...just unresponsiveness. (If I let Lightroom be for a while, it eventually finishes doing whatever it was doing when it hung, and then I can get back to editing. Though, the editing is still slow at that point.) I started to create a custom view in Event Viewer, but wasn't sure what filters to implement to isolate Lightroom-related memory issues.
This weekend, I will clean out my logs and start a fresh session in Lightroom, see where that goes.