Lightroom: LR4 beta: error "There was a problem working with the file," when developing an image

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  • Updated 7 years ago
  • (Edited)
I am unable to use LR 4 Beta on my desktop computer. No matter what the file is (DNG, CR2, imported via LR2, LR3 or LR4-Beta), when I edit the file I sooner or later (usually sooner) get the message "There was a problem working with the file," and that's the end of using that image. While editing it seems that, at some point, the image in the edit window is a low-res version, perhaps the embedded JPEG. The image in my second monitor is still hi-res. Sometimes, before the file crashes, the edits I make only show up in the second monitor, not in the edit window, unless I change the zoom in the edit window.

I have never had a problem with any Adobe software before, and LR 3.6 and PS CS5 work great on this computer. Has anyone seen this before, or have any ideas what is going on? Thanks.
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Patrick Knight

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Posted 7 years ago

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jdv, Champion

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You probably want to supply platform details, and a crash log if your platform supports that.
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Patrick Knight

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Thanks. First off, the program is not what is crashing. Rather, it is the particular image that I am trying to edit. After a short time editing, the image stops changing as I try to make edits. At this point if I zoom to 100% in the editing window, the image is obviously low-res. Upon exiting back to the Library module is when I get the "There was a problem..." message. I can open the image again, but it will not generally take any additional edits, and it will still be fuzzy and low-res at 100%. Some times the editing window turns solid grey. Sometimes not. However, the problem with the image not being editable happens with every image work with on this computer. On rare occasions I will get a message that an error has occurred and LR is shutting down, but that is not typical.

As far as the platform details. it is a Windows 7 Professional 32-bit system with 4GB and two 2.26 quad-core Intel processors. Any suggestions or advice is appreciated.
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Stone Pan

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seems lightroom fail to read the particular image. what image is it? Raw or jpeg? Maybe this image is corrupted. can you open it in other image process application?
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Patrick Knight

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Thanks. The images are both DNGs (some created by previous LR editions, some created by LR 4 Beta) and new RAW files that have never been in anything but LR 4 Beta. Lightroom will read the images fine, since I can open them and make a few edits before the image stops working. If I stop editing after only a couple of small changes I can go back to the Library module with no problems. Any serious editing leads to the problems I have described.

I can create virtual copies of an image, and edit the copies in LR 4 Beta, and the copies will crash, but the original image is fine. Of course, the original file on the disk is not changed by LR. Whatever is happening here is happening in the LR 4 Beta Develop module.

I can open and edit any of these photos in LR 3.6 and Photoshop CS5 and edit them with no problems.

Also, I can open the files, after they have crashed, in Photoshop CS5. That is, I use the "Edit in Photoshop CS5" menu option from the Library module, and it will open the file in PS. It tells me that the ARC version is not compatible, but it still opens the file, and I can edit it there.

I just discovered that if I open LR 4 Beta and bring any of these problem images into the Develop module, the image looks fuzzy and low-res when I zoom to 1:1, as I mentioned before. However, if I go back to the Library module and enter loupe mode at 1:1, I can go between several of these images with the arrow keys, and they are as sharp as can be. In fact, I can see the edits that I made, even though they were made "blind" since I could not see the changes as I made them in the Develop module. This makes me feel even more strongly that the problem is in the Develop module.

I am trying to leave as much info as I can so if somebody from Adobe actually reads this stuff it might be helpful. Please keep suggesting possible reasons and solutions so I can gather more info. Thanks again.
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Julie Kmoch, Sr. Development Manager

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Official Response
Patrick, we had a nasty crasher slip out involving the new Develop option to remove chromatic aberration (bottom of the Lens Correction panel). If you've been using this, please stop and try clearing it out of any images you've tried it on. You can use the sync feature to do so. Select a series of images in the filmstrip with the most-selected image being one without auto CA removal on, then hit the sync button to copy that 'off' setting to the other images.
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Patrick Knight

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Julie,
Thanks for the response. Indeed, the image will crash in the way I described as soon as I select the CA removal. However, it also crashes when I do many other things. When I do a new install of the Beta, and create an new Catalog, it seems that things look good for a short while. The Basic panel sliders work fine, as do most controls, but as soon as I try to use anything in the Details panel, things go south. After that, the crashes seem to come earlier and earlier, and eventually any attempt to edit, even with the Basic adjustments, causes the crash.

If it were simply crashing it would be one thing, but there are all sorts of strange behaviors (fuzzy images in the edit window but sharp images on the second monitor, etc.) as described above. I found out tonight that I can load one of the crashed images back into Develop and press Reset, and it actually resets. It still indicates that the program is having problems with reading the image, and it is still fuzzy at 1:1, but the edits are all reset.

Anyway, I am planning to uninstall and reinstall with a new catalog. I was trying to systematically try different edits to see what triggers the problem, but as I said, once it starts happening, it snowballs and anything seems to cause it. I don't recall whether I used CA removal before it started crashing, but I will avoid that at all costs, see what happens, and report back.
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Julie Kmoch, Sr. Development Manager

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Another thing you might try is to purge your ACR cache. In fact, I'd try this first before uninstall/reinstall if you haven't done that already...I don't think reinstalling is likely to help.

To purge the ACR cache, go to the Preferences dialog, File Handling tab, and at the bottom of that dialog you should see a Purge Cache button.
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Patrick Knight

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Thanks. I have not uninstalled, and will try your suggestion next.

I have taken a more systematic approach to troubleshooting this by creating multiple virtual copies of a new image, and trying different edits and combinations of edits to see what is likely causing the problem. I am not done yet, but so far it looks like the adjustment brush, sharpening and noise reduction are causing it to crash. I only tried CA removal once since you suggested that, and it did not crash. When it crashed before it may have been after making other edits, but CA removal by itself did not cause a problem the last time I tried it.

I will try your ACR cache suggestion and post the results.
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Patrick Knight

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I wish I could report that purging the cache worked, but it made no difference.

I have continued to try to isolate actions that cause the crash, but it has been difficult since the program does not always behave the same.

One sure way to make it crash and display the error message is to use noise reduction in the Details panel. This crashes it every time. I didn't try it often, but it does seem that using Remove CA will make it crash, as you suggested.

It also seems that once an image has crashed, subsequent images crash sooner in the editing process. Restarting the program seems to get me back to where it will work right for a short while.

I am able to use most editing functions in most of the panels in Develop, but sometimes if I go from there to using the adjustment brush, it will crash. Usually I can use sharpening from the Details panel, but on occasion, if I have performed other edits first, it will crash after sharpening. One time I sharpened and then used the adjustment brush, and then had it crash when I tried some Basic edits.

Two observations of what I think are unusual behaviors. First, after one or more images have crashed, and have the little warning icon in the upper-right corner (triangle with exclamation point) in Grid View, when I exit LR and then restart it, those images no longer have the icon, and I can again edit them. Second, there are times when the image in the editing window in Develop is solid gray. I cannot change this unless I go back to the Library module. As I mentioned earlier, the image on the second monitor is always correct and always visible, unlike the image that I have to use to edit.

Please let me know if there is anything else you can suggest. Thanks.
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Patrick Knight

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Well, B&H says that LR 4 comes out tomorrow, so I guess I'll have to decide if I want to roll the dice on it and upgrade. I hope I am not back here with a new thread about the final version.
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Julie Kmoch, Sr. Development Manager

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Official Response
If you'd like to kick the tires on 4.0 first, you can always download it from adobe.com as a 30-day trial first. We did resolve a couple of crashes between the public beta and this build so it's my fervent hope that you'll have a better experience this time.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Let us know if you still have a problem using the final release of Lightrom 4
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Patrick Knight

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Thanks Julie and Jeffrery. I started the download on the 30-day trial just before checking in here. Here's hoping that it runs as smoothly as every other Adobe product I have used.
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Patrick Knight

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The final release version is just as bad, or worse, than the beta. However, there are some new symptoms. As soon as I apply noise reduction, the image goes crazy like before, but now, in addition to everything else, the loupe image on my second monitor goes completely black, except for the Loupe Info, which can still be seen. Sometimes it comes back if I click on the second monitor.

If I try to zoom in on the main screen, I can still see that the image is at a low resolution, same as before. However, now when I do this, the second screen goes black as well (except for the Loupe Info). The second monitor image was always accurate in the beta.

When I am zoomed in on an image, and try to zoom out, the top 15-20% of the images on both monitors turn black (but the Loupe Info is still visible on both!). This will switch back and forth, on its own, between all of the image being visible and the top part being black.

When I try to zoom in on the second monitor only, it won't work. I can zoom out to resolutions less than 1:1, but I cannot zoom in. If I pick Fit or Fill, the second monitor goes black, except, of course, for the Loupe Info.

All of this happens after applying NR in the Details panel. I have not tried editing without NR yet, but if I can't apply NR, this isn't going to be a program that I want to use anyway.

What a disappointment. Please let me know if I can try anything that would be useful to you in preparing updates. Or, perhaps, if you have some suggestions on how I might make this program work half as well as versions 1 through 3?

I don't mean to sound angry, but I have spent many frustrating hours with the beta, and to have the release act even worse is a huge letdown.
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Patrick Knight

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Could there be some incompatibiity with my video card or some specific video card setting? My card is an NVIDIA Quadro NVS 420, driving two Dell U2711 monitors. I don't see any problems with video in other apps, but I thought this might be possible, and you might know if there were changes between v. 3 and v. 4 that would cause problems for specific cards.
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Patrick Knight

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FWIW, the images crash when applying NR with the adjustment brush as well. Also, the "blacking out" of the second monitor appears not to be a constant situation. However, this release behaves exactly like the beta in terms of the problems I originally reported.
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Patrick Knight

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OK. Please let me know if am just wasting my time reporting this stuff to you.

I updated the drivers for my graphics card with no change in LR 4 performance.

I did actually get an error dialog just now, that said "Lightroom encountered an error when reading from its preview cache and needs to quit."

Later I tried to open an image in Develop, and while all of the panels that you normally get surrounding the editing window in Develop were showing, the image in the window was the Grid View from Library. Then, while this Grid View image was showing in Develop, the top part of the window kept changing back and forth between solid black and the top part of the grid view (with the loupe info visible at all times, as described earlier).

This is the flakiest software I have seen in 32 years of using computers.
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Patrick Knight

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It is now clear that I don't have to use NR to cause the problems. I was editing a photo, avoiding NR, just making a series of edits. After a while, after using Soft Proofing (which is probably just a coincidence), I tried to zoom to 1:1 in the editing window. At that time the second display went black (except for the text in that display, which was still visible). Clicking on the second display caused the image to return. However, as before, when I tried to zoom in on the image on the second display, it would go black again. I could zoom to Fit or Fill, but anything larger than that caused the screen to go black. Meanwhile, back at the main display, the zoomed image was, as always, low-res. Upon returning to the Library, I received the all-too-familiar "There was an error ..." message.

Is there anyone from Adobe still reading these Beta threads? Do I need to post in some other fourm?
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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You could check your video driver: Determine what video card you have and go directly to the manufacturers website (nVidia or ATI/AMD) and download the latest driver.
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Patrick Knight

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Thanks for the reply. Please note the third and fifth messages after your previous post. The driver is current. However, I think that you (and I) may have been on to something in considering the video card. This morning the first monitor was in a lower resolution (althought the resolution controls in Windows said that it was in full resolution) and the second monitor showed the desktop in a smaler image centered on the screen. This was simply the desktop with no applications running. I rebooted to get normal resolution, and received a message that my monitor calibration profiles would not load into the video card. I believe that my video card is going bad. Luckily for me, I still have over a year on the warranty, so I will be calling Dell to get a replacement. It will be a while, but I will report back on whether a new card fixes things.
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Patrick Knight

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Well, I replaced the video card with a new one from Dell. Nothing has changed. Any ideas? Are there any known problems with this card (NVIDIA Quadro NVS 420)?
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Julie Kmoch, Sr. Development Manager

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Patrick, do you mind if I ask our admin for your personal contact info so I can contact you offline?
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Patrick Knight

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Sure.
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Patrick Knight

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By which I meant that I don't mind. Please contact me.
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raymond fowkes

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I get the same problem on my 27"iMac OSx 10.7.3 with 16 gb RAM with the "There was a problem working with the file" error. It only happens after a DNG has been edited in another program and saved back into Lightroom as a TIF. Randomly these files become corrupt and need deleted. Does anyone have an answer for this yet ? I've never had a loss of the original DNG file only the edited results.

Any answers ?