Photoshop sometimes fails to draw results on Windows

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  • Updated 3 years ago
I've had this issue for years - Chris, if you could take a look at the images I've posted to see if you could decipher any meaning from them.

Photoshop randomly stops taking commands properly. Clicks don't register for anything that changes the file, preferences etc. Can still navigate through menus and around the project. One exception to this is that if I quickly repeat a command, it will go through on the second attempt. Bug is limited to Photoshop.

Video of the bug (not me):

How to generate the bug:
Unknown. Can happen at any time, though usually after a few hours of PC usage. Bug also might occur without opening Photoshop, or just having the PC sit idly.

I've had this issue on two PC's.

PC specs:
Windows 10 64bit - Was Windows 7 64bit
i7 950
GTX 780 - Was a HD6970
Rampage Gene III mobo
12GB ram

Laptop specs: (Fresh install)
Windows 7 64bit
i7 3630QM
GTX 680M
16GB ram

CS6 Master Collection

Additional information:
I've formatted multiple times, so it has to be something that persists between formats, either hardware, driver or maybe a deeply embedded malware.

On my PC, I have changed my GPU card from a HD6970, to a R9 290X, and then to a GTX 780. The issue has persisted across these cards, making it highly unlikely to be GPU issue. I have also installed an SSD (a total of 3 data drives now) onto this machine, meaning the HDD is unlikely to be the issue either. The specs for my laptop/PC are below. i7 series CPU's are the only linking component between the laptop/PC.

I can get commands to work if I quickly execute it right after the failed command. For example, if I have an open document, and attempt to use the paint brush, nothing will happen. If I do it again, but double click, the second click will cause the paint brush to work. This happens for all processes, including creating a new file etc.

Logging out and back into Windows temporarily fixes the the issue, as does restarting my PC.

In my attempts to resolve this issue, I went a little deeper. I have used a program called "Process Monitor" to see what happens when I draw a dot with paint brush when I have this issue and when I don't. I'm hoping that someone with a high level of knowledge might be able find a clue as to what direction this problem lies and what's actually happening. There is quiet a difference.

The bug has not shown itself - button click starts from the first highlighted process in the first image, to the last highlighted process in the last:

The bug has occurred - note that when I do a single click, the lines from 12:44:47:1703446 AM to 12:44:47:1705284 AM appear, but when I do a double click (as talked about above), the lines from 12:44:47:1703446 AM to 12:44:6231387 AM appear.

Note: This conversation was created from a reply on: Photoshop: Cannot open files.
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Posted 3 years ago

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Chris Cox

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OK, because it requires a logout/login or restart of Windows to solve - you know that the cause is something at a system level outside of Photoshop.
That could be another application, a utility, an OS setting, or a driver.
Since it changes during use, that makes it unlikely to be a normal OS setting, utility, or driver "feature". But it could still be due to a bug in some part of the OS, a utility, another application, or a driver.

My first guess would be an assistive feature of the OS (like keyboard shortcuts to change the keyboard language mapping, or enable handicap controls, etc.).

But we've also seen bizarre behavior due to utilities, like LogMeIn (which has a long history of bugs affecting applications), a firewall, or antivirus program.
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The thing is it happens on a completely new install of Windows, so no third party apps can cause this. It also has to be something that activates itself, because I've had times where I've just left the PC on to come back to it later and photoshop no longer responds properly.

You weren't able to gather any clues from the images I posted? I don't have that level of technical knowledge to understand them, so for all I know they could be useless, but at best I've guessed there might be some issue with writing to memory/HDD or accessing appdata/temp.

Another interesting part I've noticed is that when the bug happens, RAM usage continues to increase as you attempt to use the paint brush like it does when the bug hasn't occurred, even though it does not show anything being painted.
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Chris Cox

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There has to be something other than a default install involved.
Again, we know that it is something outside of the application. And this doesn't happen to most other users - so it is something about your system config.

The RAM usage means that Photoshop is doing the work, but somehow the update of the image isn't happening. That could mean that the problem is with a video card driver, or a utility related to drawing, or that the OS is in a state where it wants input and isn't allowing drawing to occur.