Tag: adobe

How to permanently disable Adobe’s PDApp.log (and others) on Windows or Mac

UPDATE (2020-02-16): Reports are coming in that this doesn’t work with the newest Adobe CC programs since they’re rotating the logs now. If this doesn’t work for you, it may be best to run a temporary file cleanup tool daily, such as Disk Cleanup included in Windows, CCleaner (warning: since Avast bought it, it’s a bit spammy now), or similar. Alternatively, if you are handy with such things, write a batch file that deletes the log files and add it to Task Scheduler as a task to run when you normally won’t be active on the machine.

UPDATE (2019-10-21): Adobe’s support has noticed this post and is attempting to have the bug behind this issue fixed. See the comments!

I recently discovered that Adobe’s Creative Cloud software left a massive pile of PDApp.log files in my temporary directories, as well as a few others such as CEP8-PPro.log and AdobeIPCBroker.log. These were taking up quite a bit of space, and I’ve looked up PDApp.log only to discover that some people have had serious issues with PDApp.log consuming all available free space on their drives after a while. One user reported having a 600GB log file! Needless to say, several people have asked how they can control these log files, but as usual, Adobe support and forum users offered no actual solutions.

I’m here with your solution!

Adobe log symlinks
What a sweet, sweet sight these are.

On Windows, you’ll need to open Task Manager and kill all Adobe processes to unlock the log files (not just stuff starting with Adobe, but also Creative Cloud processes and any node.exe instances they started) then open an administrative command prompt and type the following two commands:

cd %temp%
del PDApp.log
mklink PDApp.log NUL:

This goes to your temporary directory, deletes the PDApp.log file (if you get an “in use” error here you missed an Adobe process in Task Manager), and creates a file symbolic link to a special device called NUL: which is literally the “nothing” device. When the Adobe apps write to PDApp.log now, all writes will succeed (no errors) but the data will simply be discarded. You can repeat the delete/mklink process for any other Adobe logs you don’t want around anymore. Best of all, because symlinks on Windows require admin privileges to modify, the Adobe apps won’t rotate these fake log files out! Be aware that cleanup tools like CCleaner or Disk Cleanup may delete these links, so you may need to repeat these steps if you delete your temp folder contents with a cleaning tool. You may want to write a small batch file to run the commands in one shot if you like to delete temp files frequently.

On Mac OS (note: I haven’t tested this myself, but it should work) you should be able to kill all Adobe processes with Activity Monitor, then open Terminal, then type this:

ln -sf /dev/null ~/Library/Logs/PDApp.log

Linux/UNIX administrators will recognize this as the classic “redirect to /dev/null” technique that we all know and love. Since I have no way to test this, Adobe may rotate these links out, but you can use this command to lock down the symlink if it does:

sudo chown -h root:wheel ~/Library/Logs/PDApp.log

This will ask for your account password since it requires privilege escalation. This command makes the link owned by “root” which means normal user programs can’t rename or delete it, though they can still write through the link, so the trick will continue to work.

UPDATE: Some have asked what the purpose of the PDApp.log file is and whether it’s safe to do this. The answers are, respectively, “logs information for troubleshooting Creative Cloud installation problems” and “yes, absolutely.” If you’re not having installation issues, this log is just taking up space and wearing out your SSD. If you need to “re-enable it” it’s as simple as deleting the “decoy” links you made with these directions which will allow the logs to be created as if nothing ever happened.

[SOLVED] Premiere Pro: “The importer returned a generic error” when loading media

(Fellow video dudes: while you’re here for help with Premiere Pro’s bad behavior, maybe you’d also be interested in my article about why you shouldn’t be shooting with flat, log, or “cinema” picture profiles. It’s the second most popular article on the site. The one on disabling Adobe’s ever-growing log files might also be of interest.)

I recently had a Premiere Pro project I’d been working on for a couple of weeks that refused to import some clips. When I attempted to link the media again, I’d get a box that said “the importer returned a generic error.” What’s especially annoying is that the failing clips were from the same camera as several successful clips; there seemed to be no reason for these three or four clips to simply not work and I could play them in a media player just fine. The failure didn’t even happen after an update because I’d been working in the project using the latest updated version.

I checked file permissions on the network server and everything was good.

I deleted all of the Adobe caches and manually killed all Adobe processes in Task Manager.

I restarted the computer and even tried opening an auto-save of the project, yet all of these failed to resolve the problem.

Adobe suggests that these generic errors on import can be caused by activation issues, so I signed out of my Creative Cloud account and signed back in. Didn’t work.

In the end, what I had to do was open Creative Cloud, uninstall Premiere Pro (keeping preferences), and reinstall Premiere Pro. No reboot needed! I still don’t know why this worked, but it did. Maybe my experience and solution will save you some valuable time troubleshooting this odd error.

[SOLVED] Adobe InDesign CS6 crashes on “Starting Service Registry”

UPDATE: Comments have been left telling me that this fix continues to be relevant even with the newest Adobe InDesign CC 2019 version, so the problem likely includes InDesign CC 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015, and probably InDesign CS4, CS5, and CS5.5 as well.

Adobe InDesign CS6 on my Windows 7 64-bit laptop with a generally very error-free installation (I own a computer shop, so why wouldn’t it be ultra clean?) insisted on crashing literally every single time I tried to start it recently. I did some tracing of what the program did right before it crashed out and found the problem.

Adobe InDesign CS6, upon “Starting Service Registry,” is probing the default printer, crashing out if the default printer is a network printer that can’t be reached (and thus queried for capabilities or settings or whatever else.)

I use PuTTY with SSH port forwarding for port 631 enabled to be able to print to the office printer from my house while I’m in a SSH session (via the Common UNIX Printing System, CUPS). There is no printer at my house at all, as I have no need for one, so my default printer is a network printer on “localhost:631” using Internet Printing Protocol (IPP), which is “disconnected” if I don’t happen to have PuTTY connected to the office workstation at the time. The problem is that InDesign dies horribly when it queries this default printer at startup and the printer is “missing.” I verified this by connecting with PuTTY to the office, thus making the default printer available again, and the error went away.

SOLUTION: If you are having this problem, see if your default printer is off, disconnected, or a network printer that can’t be reached. In the worst case, try changing the default printer to a virtual printer such as the XPS document writer or Adobe PDF printer, so that the default printer is always available when InDesign starts.

I’d also like to note that Adobe is far from unique in the “default printer problems equals program startup weirdness” category; I’ve seen Microsoft Office applications start extremely slowly, as well as other programs throw errors or crash at startup, all because they’re querying printers at startup and developers clearly never test for “what if the default printer is off or unreachable?” contingencies. I would love to see developers take such things into account more often, because this class of bugs affects more people than one might realize, particularly in corporate environments where “the network printer” might have been turned off for some reason, or on laptops where the office network is not connected.

For reference, my Windows Error Reporting log in the Event Viewer shows the following information for this error:

Faulting application name: InDesign.exe, version:, time stamp: 0x4f72c3ee
Faulting module name: AGM.dll, version:, time stamp: 0x4f3a0265
Exception code: 0xc0000005
Fault offset: 0x0024d0cd
Faulting process id: 0xe2c
Faulting application start time: 0x01ce07030b2c00c8
Faulting application path: C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Adobe InDesign CS6\InDesign.exe
Faulting module path: C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Adobe InDesign CS6\AGM.dll