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Having weird behavior with an Adobe video product? Consider tossing your preferences away

As an Adobe employee, I get the “My stuff is broke, tell me how to fix it” in a wondrous variety.  My response is usually something to the effect that I’m not the amazing kreskin and then smile.  Point is that we usually need a lot of information to even formulate a guess. 

However, there is one thing that I like to mention as a general kind of ‘catch all’.  It’s surprising at how often it can cure a user’s mysterious problems.

We call it ‘trashing the prefs’ and here’s how you do it.

On PC go to

UserFolder>Documents>Adobe>AdobeProductName (like Premiere Pro)  Inside of this, there is a folder with a number (usually 4.0 for CS4).  Take that to the trash and restart your application.

On the Mac its basically the same.


Hope this helps you if you’re experiencing something less than a great experience.




After doing a little more research about the hard drive space required to run Premiere 6 properly, and considering what a state of the art computer had in it on an average in 2001, I found this information.

At this link is an old review of Premiere 6 by Phil Keairns…


He shows that a 2.2 GHz processor, 1 GB RAM and a 40 GB hard drive is what he used to review Premiere 6.

I’m running a five-year-old PC with a 2 GHZ processor, 2 GB RAM and a 160 GB hard drive, now with 50 GB of open space.

Since one Terabyte hard drives were not available in consumer computers in 2001, to say that is what it takes to run Premiere 6 today doesn’t make much sense.

Since I had that one file that wouldn’t re-open that I wrote about originally, I opened up more hard drive space, now 50 GB, and I’ve been saving duplicate files, and creating new versions of the file that I’m working on so I have multiple versions of my file saved along the way in case one won’t re-open. I save a file, close Premiere 6, then re-open it to make sure it will still re-open, then save a new version and continue working after about every hour or so of work.

After creating about a hundred new files that way over a few days, then only saving the last 2 groups of files after checking to make sure I have usable files that will still open, I hadn’t had any other corrupt files that wouldn’t re-open… until yesterday.

After working on my latest file for about an hour and a half, I saved two backup versions and closed Premiere 6 to check my latest file to make sure it would re-open… and I hit another one that was corrupt and would not re-open. And the two backups wouldn’t re-open either. But my previous save from an hour and a half before would still open. So by using this method, at least I only lost an hour and a half’s work rather than three days of work again.

This shows that even with more open hard drive space that Premiere 6 originally required in 2001, one still gets corrupt files that are saved every so often.

Since this problem is still being reported and written about with current versions of Premiere Pro CS5, it brings me to the conclusion that Adobe still has some work to do to create software that doesn’t create corrupt file code since this problem has apparently been plaguing Premiere since at least 2001, all the way up to today.


From what I’ve read, it’s not just older versions of Premiere having problems on newer operating systems… it’s current versions of Premiere having problems on new OSs.

My Premiere 6 has been working fine otherwise on Windows 7… and why wouldn’t it be? Microsoft hasn’t had any major OS structural changes in their newer OSs like Apple did when they went from OS9 to the UNIX based OSX. Apps that worked in Windows 98 still work in Windows 7 for the main part.

I believe that there are just some bugs that Adobe can’t work out of some of their software and that’s why Premiere occasionally creates corrupt files.

Like the guy that I quoted above said…
“…an Adobe support representative has happily replied: ‘oh, that’s a known issue since version [3 versions back] – don’t worry, most users are aware of the work around for it: just select and move all of the items in your timeline each time you open the project and you’ll be fine!’”
Really?… great advice, but a weak work around that paying users shouldn’t have to deal with.

I’ve now tried everything (12 different troubleshooting tricks) including scanning through my problem file in a text editor looking for some of the bad code that people have written about that often is evident in Premiere files, but that’s pretty tough in 354,000 lines of code.

I finally resorted to re-creating my project file all over again from scratch with the hopes that it doesn’t happen again, meanwhile saving various versions every 10 moves along the way, closing them and re-opening them to see if the same thing is going to happen again with any one of them so I don’t keep working on a file that won’t re-open.

Why would I download a trial version of CS5 that I know is too expensive to buy and in all likelihood would eventually have the same problems? Then I’d be creating files that I can’t open in my permanent Premiere 6.


Thanks for your reply DR.

My old version of Premiere 6 works perfectly on Windows 7. I’ve created over a thousand different Premiere project files on this 5 year-old PC that was updated to Windows 7 last year.

All of my other Premiere 6 files open and maintain their original editability and all the features in this ancient version of Premiere work very well.

I own and use mostly Mac machines but I have one 5 year-old PC with a 160 gig hard drive with Windows 7 that I run Premiere 6 on because it’s a thousand dollar program that I had from 10 years ago that I didn’t want to repurchase. Buying a newer PC 5 years ago was far less expensive than buying a new copy of Premiere. Some people seems to think, “Wow, just buy a new version of the software for a thousand dollars and a new computer with a 5 Terabyte hard drive.”, but that isn’t always the reality of some peoples financial situation.

With 20 gigs of open HD space, all of my previous, even more complex Premiere 6 files still open and edit just fine. It is only this one file that I created Thursday that won’t re-open after closing it for the first time. Since the backup copy of that file won’t open either, and all the support files open, play and work in other previous project files, I’m thinking that there is some glitch that happened when saving this file that is corrupting it now, making it unable to be re-opened.

Based on prior advice on multiple topics about Premiere 6 from people on the Adobe forum who use only newer versions of Premiere, most information that applies to the brand new Premiere Pro CS5 still seems to apply to the old Premiere 6.

I found that holding down Shift-Option while opening Premiere 6 trashes the preferences file. This became my work around since I can’t locate the preferences file based on your path noted above nor via the other prefs file path published on the Adobe website.

But unfortunately, trashing the prefs file, resetting the plugin cache file, increasing the virtual memory paging file size, importing the problem project file in to a new project, nor anything else is working to allow this file to open.

Now I’m looking in to XML:Wrench to see if that can find the corruption in this file, but I’ve had a malware warning from one download source and the xmlwrench.com website says their download is only a demo version, but no price is listed… this seems somewhat strange and possibly deceptive.

But I read something on an Premiere Pro wiki page , quoted below, at this URL, that seems to be pertinent, and though my version of Premiere may be ancient, it seems that, according to this user’s concerns, Adobe is still having problems with current versions of Adobe software creating corrupt files…

“Can someone please advise – why on EARTH we should have to download XML Wrench and manually fix a corrupt Adobe project??? This is something common to all the Adobe “Support” forums on issues like this, and the many others that plague Adobe’s product (and I’m not being a mindless troll – I’ve been forced to use it for years so I do know the usability and other issues it has): it seems that people are excited because they’ve found a “fix” (which is more like a work-around) – purely because they’re understandably ecstatic that all their hard work isn’t comPLETEly lost.

However, Adobe should be making sure their product isn’t so buggy! This issue should be fixed (as just one example). Adobe should be finding out what causes the corruption in the first place and fixing it. And whether it’s some other codec on the system that’s caused it is no excuse – their software should have better error management built into it. I’ve seen other issues where an Adobe support representative has happily replied: “oh, that’s a known issue since version [3 versions back] – don’t worry, most users are aware of the work around for it: just select and move all of the items in your timeline each time you open the project and you’ll be fine!”

I’m sorry to rant on – but can some other users please explain the above to me? (i.e. why aren’t more people annoyed about this and complaining to Adobe to fix these things).”

All of this coming from an experienced user of Adobe products complaining about needing XML:Wrench to fix corrupt Adobe files seems relevant.

In addition, why does no one, including the Adobe knowledge base, have any info about what “An error occurred while loading your project. 10″ means?… why isn’t there a database that identifies Adobe error numbers by the simple number itself? The only info I was able to find identifying “Error 10” on the Adobe site was a software installation error, not a project loading error.

Now I find myself chasing a clean download of XML:Wrench in order to hopefully fix this corrupt file. Whether I’m using Premiere 6 on a 160 gig hard drive with 20 gigs of open space or Premiere Pro CS5 on a 5 Terabyte hard drive with 3 Terabytes of open space, the problems, according to other users, seem to be the same as ever with corrupt Adobe Premiere files, based on what I’ve been reading across the internet.

[DR – I understand and sympathize with your problem. However, there is no way Adobe can go back to a 10 year old version of Premiere and match it up with the latest version of the Windows OS that is 10 years newer. While Adobe goes out of its way to keep customers working at all times, there is a natural limit. I would suggest trying the FREE 30 day trial of the latest version (currently CS5.5) and see if that helps.]

Hello Dennis,

I’ve been reading your info above and allot of troubleshooting info on the Adobe site and the Adobe Premiere forum.

I’m not able to find the Premiere preferences file to try tossing it per your instructions. I’m on Windows 7 with my good old Premiere 6. I checked in the AppData>Roaming>Adobe where other info on the Adobe site says to find the prefs file.

And I tried to follow your path UserFolder>Documents>Adobe>, but there is no ‘Documents’ folder in the user folder… there is ‘My Documents’, but that’s not the same thing. In the Adobe folder in AppData>Roaming>Adobe there are only folders labeled ‘Acrobat’, ‘AIR’, and ‘Flash Player’, even though I have Photoshop and Premiere installed… there are no other folders labeled Premiere, except in the ‘Programs’ folder, and there is no prefs file to be found there.

I’ve tried resetting the plugin cache file by holding down the shift key while starting up Premeire, importing the original project file in to a new file, and a number of other things listed below with the entire history of my problem, but to no avail.

Do you know what “Error 10” means? For the first time, I’m getting a message that says, “An error occurred while loading your project. 10”. I’m getting this message when I try to open a project that I created yesterday.

I’m using Adobe Premiere 6 on a Windows 7 machine. I have over 20 gigs of open space on the drive with all the project and support files. And this machine with 2 gigs of RAM never has a problem opening other similar Premiere project files with even more still images plugged in.

All of my Premiere project files have always opened with no problem. A similar file that this project file was created from with all the same base elements still opens with no problem.

This file almost finishes the “Loading Project – checking files…” process, but then I get the error message.

I had also saved a duplicate backup file for the project in question and it will not open either, so I believe that rules out a corrupt file… it is only this one project that I created yesterday that will not open. This project file is only about 5.7 megabytes in size.

This file has many still images plugged in to it, but all the same images are plugged in to another base file that still opens correctly.

I’ve also tried closing all other apps to save memory but I still get the error. I’ve also tried opening this problem file from within the application and I still get the same error message.

I read some troubleshooting information on the Adobe website about files that give error messages that will not open and it recommended adjusting the size of the virtual memory paging file in the system settings to twice the amount of RAM that is installed instead of being on the automatic setting, so I followed the instruction verbatim and restarted my machine and I still get the error message when trying to open this problem file.

I could re-create this project file, but it has many tricky cutting and motion setting edits that will be difficult to reproduce and it took me a full day to create this project file.

Also, yesterday before initially closing this file, I was able to successfully render a test version to an AVI file and that video file plays fine, but neither the original project file nor the duplicate will open… I’m always getting the “An error occurred while loading your project. 10” after the file almost finishes the “Loading Project – checking files…” process… it almost finishes opening but then I get the error message.

Thanks for any input on this problem.


[DR – Premiere 6 right? Normally, I love to help people, but I’m completely out of ideas when it comes to this, because you’re using software that is almost 11 years old which is ancient by software standards. To put that in context, Photoshop just got layer styles and blend modes. Premiere 6 was not designed for Windows 7 and I’m somewhat surprised that it works at all.

The only solid suggestion I can make is to uninstall and reinstall the software if you can as the software tips in this blog article do not apply to your particular Premiere version. Also, 20gb might sound like a lot of hard drive space, but when drives are routinely 1 terabyte, 20gb free in a 1TB drive means only 2% free which is critically full. My personal rule of thumb is to try and have 50% free at all times and no less than 25%.

I’m sorry I can’t be more help, but perhaps some of the suggestions here will help.]

Dear Denis, I am at my wits end. I am not able to load some projects in PPCS4. I’ve spent days trawling through what feels like thousands of forums and have tried all of the solutions suggested(including yours about trashing the preferences) but no luck. Until last week the projects were going smoothly but then I ran into importerprocessserver problems and now they won’t open at all. Other than trying autosave, importing the project into a new project, cleaning out the registry and other assorted files do you have any other suggestions? I would be happy to try witchcraft if it helps.

[DR – Hi Steve, Sorry to hear that you have these problems. Two quick suggestions for you. First, head over to the Adobe forums for Premiere Pro, because there are a LOT of great people there to help you. Second, it sounds like you should consider reinstalling the application. I hope this helps.]

i use predmiere pro cs4 on a new six-core 3,2ghz 16gig ram with 64bit win7 and it SCREAM…lots of fun…been editing proffessionally for many years starting with premier 5.1. I have one BIG problem and can not find an answer on the adobe forum. Here it is….
when i export something (even a 30 second clip) using adobe media encoder, it loads up quickly,so far so good…but when i hit “start Queue” i have to wait
around 7-8minutes for the program to actually start working.until then it just says ‘loading project’ and when i click on the window after a while it says that the program is not responding. If I am VERY patient it finally starts to encode and then it works extremely fast…..but it takes forever to start, and if I am encoding a group of say 20 short clips, it really wastes a lot of time.

Any suggestions?

Thank You!

Mark Voigt
Paraphrase Productions

[DR – Well, you definitely want to consider CS5 in that you will be able to more efficiently address that memory, and it will be handled between the applications with more grace.

MOre to the point, AME now will auto start (I hated having to hit the start button) and you can configure how long it waits (or doesn’t).

As for your problem, I would find your AME preferences in the hidden AppData/Roaming/Adobe folder and trash them. This might help you out.

Cheers – D]

I just got Premiere Pro CS5. Works great while editing, but it freezes up with the endless spinning wheel and is “not responding” anytime I click away to something else, whether it be the my computer folder or even another CS5 product like Media Encoder.

I’m using Windows 7 64bit with 8gb RAM. Any explanation of this bug would be appreciated.

[DR – Mike, There’s not a ton of information here for me to answer on, so I’ll give you a few basic suggestions. You can check out the Adobe forums on Premiere Pro, because they’re really quite good. Trashing your preferences, ensuring your graphics card driver is current and making sure Premiere Pro is at the latest version are my other general suggestions. If you’re using HDV footage and importing it for the first time, you do need to allow it to conform the audio first before doing a lot of editing – otherwise, you can get that spinning beachball! I hope this helps.]

hi i having problems with my premiere pro cs5 i have pc with gtx 480 video card 8 gb ram i7 processor ddr3 motherboard 1tb raid ,when i work on a project ie move a file footage or trim it the programe frezes for 30sec to a minute i use XDCAMEX footage i sometimes edit 1080p in a 720p sequence usually thats not a problem, it also doesnt play at random after i have cut or trimmed in the timeline its very frustrating i not sure how to explain it in more detail any suggestions???? thanks for listening

[DR – Jason, I’d recommend heading over to the Premiere Pro forum on Adobe.com where several people (including myself) tend to hang out. You need to give some more detail as I’m not 100% sure what you’re asking.]

This also worked for me, deleting the “4.0” preferences file. I use PP CS4 heavily, so when a project won’t open, it is frustrating to say the very least. Luckily this cracked the issue and made me a happy videographer. Thanks!

Any idea who I can contact with an issue at Adobe? PPCS4.2 update seems to have trashed my ability to render Dynamic Linked AE compositions; they show up when i play the timeline, but not when I scrub or hover the CTI over the composition in question. Major buzzkill about this update right now. 🙂

[DR – Ryan, you might try to trash your preferences >documents>Adobe>product>4.0. Guessing that you’ve done that, I would recommend the Premiere Pro 4.2 forum at adobe.com. I’ve taken to haunting the place and there are several really talented people there who can answer your questions. Give it a try.]

An easier way with After Effects:

“To restore default preference settings, hold Ctrl+Alt+Shift (Windows) or Command+Option+Shift (Mac OS) while the application is starting. To also restore default keyboard shortcuts, Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac OS) the OK button.”

(from the “Preferences” page of After Effects Help)

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