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I have an intel core 2 4400, with 4GB of ram running on XP 32-BIT SP3.

Photoshop CS3 becomes sluggish & unresponsive even after loading up small files, and this is with only Bridge open as well, plus McAffee AV.

My photos are loaded in from a USB 2 external drive, and my c: drive is used only for programs and windows itself.

Even with 4GB of RAM, i am seeing the pagefile increase to 1.6GB, whilst there appears to be 1.5GB of RAM free to use.

I've defragged the drive, with defraggler, and after that the only file reported to be fragmented was the pagefile itself.

Anyone have any ideas what i can do to improve/solve this?

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That external hard drive might give you some sluggish performance being a USB 2.0 drive. Have you tried copying the photos to a local drive on this computer? Do you still see the same issues?

Was it running better before this performance issue or has it always ran like this? When is the last time you reinstalled the OS or photoshop?

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It's not actually mine i confess, it's my uncles. (I'm the family geek). I though that might be an issue, but surely once the file is loaded into memory, it shouldn't matter about the drive speed? Plaus i did actually try it with some files on the c: drive. Same issue. I'm assured that the performance has not always been like this, and i've removed all non-essential programs from the start-up process. I – Doozer1979 Aug 31 '10 at 22:39
It's been a year since the last install of XP and Photoshop. My uncle wants to upgrade to CS5, and my advice has been to him that he should consider an upgrade to windows 7 64, to make use of all his available RAM, plus i'm assuming W7 makes better use of multi-core processors than XP does. But still, whilst he's got 4GB Ram why would photoshop be causing the pagefile to increase , whilst there is still over a GB of memory free? – Doozer1979 Aug 31 '10 at 22:42
Thank you for the advice BTW – Doozer1979 Aug 31 '10 at 22:43

Possibly because you haven't allocated enough ram in the performance settings of photoshop for it to take advantage of the available ram left to windows.

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