Friday, November 21, 2008

Flash CS4 = Crash

UPDATE: This post is no longer accurate as Adobe has fixed the issues mentioned below. Please check the following post for a more up to date report. Thanks.

I'm frustrated so this is a venting post... maybe someone at Adobe will hear it.

I've been playing around with Flash CS4 (Production Suite) for a week or two now and at first I didn't know what Jobe Makar was talking about... But alas, the crash bug has bit me... bit right in the buttocks.

- Yesterday my crash number was in the double digits. Today doesn't look like its going to be any different.
- Each crash occurred while testing the movie from the IDE.
- It is not isolated to one project.
- There does not seem to be a pattern as to when during the playback the crash would occur.
- Doesn't matter if I am interacting with the piece or just having it run in the background.
- Doesn't matter how many other programs I have open.
- Sometimes I would have made no changes to the FLA.
- Almost everytime I was able to open it right back up and it would work fine (for awhile).
- I am using Vista 64 bit.
- I am saving the file as CS3 (I am the guinea pig at the office and the only one with CS4 installed.)

Therefore it is really tough to narrow down and I can't really submit a bug report to Adobe besides a vague "Flash Crashes when you test the SWF in the IDE". I did try to submit a crash report each time, but sometimes even that would freeze and I would have to use the task manager to take Flash down.

Fun stuff. I recommend staying away until Adobe releases a fix, unless you need it for a specific purpose (possibly Keith's 25 line competition?)


Anonymous said...

Perhaps it is Vista-64bit. I've never had a problem with CS4 crashing on Mac OS X.

Derek Rudd said...

i use OSX and can report no crashes. In the past the Flash IDE has been MUCH better on windows over OSX so this is pretty interesting. One thing, try to clean your system / application font caches as well as possibly deleting your ASO files manually. good luck Mark.

Bill said...

I was talking to a Flash developer last night and he had similar issues where Flash would crash and blue screen his system - 64 bit windows. Maybe it's something to do with 64 bit windows?

Ickydime said...

Good call, I've cleaned the ASO, but haven't messed with fonts. Noticed someone on Jobe's blog mentioned something similar.

Could be... although it hasn't sent me to the blue screen. Just tells me it is going to crash and asks if I want to report it or not.

Anonymous said...

Based on the symptoms, it seems the Player is crashing. Does it crash when you do a File -> Publish instead of Control -> Test Movie? If it only crashes during Test Movie, most likely the Player is crashing.

Does the StandAlone player or the Browser player crash when playing back the SWF/HTML?


Unknown said...

Try this: locate the preference file mm.cfg and delete it. It gets corrupted sometimes.

Anonymous said...

same problem here, win XP 32...

ace893 said...

I've been having this same problem on my 64 bit XP system:

Anonymous said...

I've been having this same problem on my 64 bit XP system:


same poop here, if anyone finds the fix please post!

metagrapher said...

Same here. I have noticed that it does seem to be relate to the flash player. I have not tried doing publish rather than test movie...I somehow doubt there to be a difference though. But I'll try it anyways.

I'm on a 32 bit, brand new, alienware system, so we should be able to rule out corrupt preferences. It really just seems to me that Flash CS4 is simply not a production-ready stable release. I'd expect this sort of thing from Microsoft, but Adobe? And with Flash?? So sad.

Anonymous said...

I have the same problem, but it seems its only when flash tray to open a FLA with fonts who are not in my computer. So I think its some kind a font problem...

wird... Im on Vista x64.

antoniobrandao said...

Flash CS4 Crashes all the time. If I try to use the "Delete ASO Files" command from the menu it crashes. Even with a blank project. Many other actions make it crash, sometimes even when opening the first FLA in the morning. My Flash CS4 is fully legal by the way paid every penny for it. SUCKS.

antoniobrandao said...

by the way I'm on a XP x32 with 4GB RAM, 3.18Ghz Dual Core.

Unknown said...

I have this problem all the time. Flash IDE crashes when I ctrl-enter to testScene.

What I've done is create a simple jsfl file called saveThenExport. This does what it says on the tin - saves the fla before it exports it. I remapped the crtl-enter shortcut to it.

At least now when I crash I haven't lost any work.

Get the file from here:

put it in this folder here:
C:\Users\"userName"\AppData\Local\Adobe\Flash CS4\en\Configuration\Commands

Ickydime said...


That is absolutely brilliant. Could have saved me many hours.

And ctrl-enter is definitely one keys to this crash. Every crash I have had has been while testing a movie. And now I have CS4 on my XP machine at home and it is doing the same thing as my Vista at work. So its not the OS.

For one project I even started doing the test movie, closing it really quick (or just publish movie) and then opening the swf from windows. Haven't had Flash crash from doing it that way yet... but its a pain in the arse.

Again, back to your comment. Great job, I will definitely be checking it out.

Unknown said...

Just realised that it will mean you lose the ability to undo (ctrl-z). Might see if I can get it to save as fileName_bKup.fla so you have the original if it's ok and a backup if not.

Also sometimes it complains it can't find the file, if this happends export the movie via contol-> test movie

Will keep you posted.


Anonymous said...

I've been working with an Adobe engineering since the release day on this problem. They said they weren't experiencing the issue with anyone else but me. I purchase $600 in new video cards because they said it was my video cards.

Still not fixed. Now for some reason CS3 has started to crash also with the fixes I've tried.

C'mon Adobe!!! Don't charge $2600 for software that doesn't work!

Anonymous said...

I have the same situation, Flash CS4 on Vista and crashing upon test movie. The file that caused the problem was saved as CS3 document, cause in the office the rest of the people don't have CS4 yet.

I found out that
1) saving as CS4 document almost works, now the whole IDE doesn't crash but merely looks funny,
2) publish works all right and
3) playing the swf in the standalone player or in browser works perfectly.

So, probably working with Flex will help in this case, because the compiling will not happen in the Flash IDE. Right?

The best part is that Adobe seems to have stopped selling the licences for CS3, and even finding the trial version was not that simple any more. So downgrading back to CS3 is not that easy either. Thanks, Adobe.

Anonymous said...

Im having these seriously disturbing crashes both in vista 64 bit and WinXP 32bit on different machines. CS4 is very unstable!

Anonymous said...

I'm having this same crashing issue on 64bit vista. Once it's happened in CS4, the same fla will crash CS3 as well.

Anonymous said...

I’m really frustrated how unstable Flash CS4 seems to be. It feels like a beta (if not alpha…) product. For instance, a classic Timeline Tween with multiple filters constantly crashes Flash CS4. Or: at random, Flash CS4 is crashing just being opened for some hours…you come back from lunch, Flash CS4 crashed meanwhile.
Or: within some hours, the GUI becomes somewhat slow, the panels only resize in slowmotion and than crash, of course. Selling this crap to loyal customers
is not the way Adobe should go. In Europe, Flash CS4 cost almost twice as much as in the USA. I think, for the next years i wont buy any Adobe stuff.

Ickydime said...

Check out Richard Galvin's blog post:

He is trying to compile a list of concerns and issues. As of this morning he was up to 123.

Feel free to continue commenting here... always healthy to vent :) ... but your voice will be much more likely to be heard on his blog since he works for Adobe.

Anonymous said...

Same problem here. Vista 64 bit. Usually it's during Cntrl+Enter. Sometime it happens when I close the test playback. Sometimes it also crashes when working with a complex scene using the new tween model.

I also have a problem where if I open one of the fly out like th component inspector and Flash loses the application focus (for example if I alt+tab to view Flash docs) when I return to flash all user input is blocked and I have to forcibly terminate flash.

Flash CS4 definitely does not feel stable to me.

Anonymous said...

(CS4, Vista32, Core2 Duo 2.66, Quadro FX370)

The following workaround is so far working:

1. Uninstall all Flash Players from control panel.

2. Reinstall As So:
Firefox: Save Installer File, Right Click on the Installer File, and select 'Run As Administrator'.
Internet Explorer: Go to this link ( and download Flash Player 10. Unzip the download, and open the sub-folder "10r12_36". Right Click on the file "flashplayer10r12_36_winax" and 'Run As Administrator'.

My tech told me that even when logged in as the administrator on the vista os, I'm not completely in administrator mode. To install and run programs as an administrator, and bypass vista security, I need to right click and 'Run As Administrator'. This may be why Flash scripts are crashing. Flash CS 3 or 4 may also need to be reinstalled/launched as directed above.

-NOTE: System would not crash running Windows Generic VGA Display Driver instead of Nvidia drivers.

Anonymous said...

any suggestions on how to open older FLA files in CS4 without crashing the app?
Dont tell me no-one in Adobe tried to open older file format in CS4 during the beta testing...

Anonymous said...

CS4 crashes on my file as well.

sven said...

I changed 2 graphic cards couse ive thought that my computer crusher because of them! now i've installed flash cs4 (legal) and it wont open the file which i have created with the same application. When i started a project from zero i can work, but once when i save the project i cant reopen it!!! the application crashes every time. Any help is appreciated! thanx in advance

Anonymous said...

(original source:

I had the same situation and found a working solution.

I removed all the fonts not listed on this site: (found by jhon in macromedia.flash google groups)

using this freeware:

and now flash seems to work flawlessly!... at least for the font
property inspector.

Hope it helps. Best regards.

Ickydime said...

It does not sound like the same situation. However, I am glad to hear it solved your issues... and hopefully that will help other people.

Mine crashes at almost any time, but most frequently during playback, scrubbing a timeline, or opening a new FLA. I have not had any problems with it crashing while editing text or using the Font Property Inspector as your forum and solution suggests.

dmcgee said...

I have the exact same problem in OSX 10.5.5.

The Flash Player used within the IDE seems to be hugely buggy, and as you say there is no consistent cause to the crash. It can happen at any point in the testing of the swf, and you can test it say 4 times fine and have it crash on the fifth. I must have had upwards of 30 crashes yesterday. The second I see the spinning beachball cursor, I know the entire IDE is crashing.

It's murder, I have to publish and then run the external swf most of the time, but of course I lose my trace console.

Anonymous said...

The Solution is Simple Guys.
Go to your Preferences > ActionScript > ActionScript 3.0 Settings and Use the FlexBuilder 3.2 SDK (coming with Flex Builder 3)under Flex SDK Path.
Thats it. Flash CS4 Runs Stable.


Ickydime said...

Just to clarify... when you are in Advanced AS 3 Settings, we should go to the Library Tab and remove:
$(AppConfig)/ActionScript 3.0/libs

and replace it with our SDK path... such as:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Flex Builder 3 Plug-in\sdks\3.2\lib

I'll test that out today and see if I get any crashes. So far so good.

dmcgee said...

How will that effect me though if I'm not using the Flex SDK at any point in these swfs?

Anonymous said...

I've been using CS4 IDE since last October. If I have any project that involves a timeline at all I'll use CS3. CS4 is, as I've heard it called,"half baked". How it passed QA is a mystery. I can only fathom it was because of M$ Silverlight pressure. Things that might help: Try turning off Live Preview as that stops the constant giant swf from playing as you author[although makes using flash very hard cuz you can't see s**t]. Second, you can right-click the flash.exe icon in ProgramFiles(x86). Then go to Properties > and check the compatibility mode box and set drop=down to XP SP2 (this fixed many basic things for me on Vista 64: like seeing my cursor over color pallets again, resizing window etc..). Wish I had better news because although forcing XP SP2 solved crashes for me, it is too effin painfully slow and I'm on a Core i7 with 9 gigs of DDR3. If you have even a 10 frame timeline, CS4 IDE is too buggy for me to use. I gave up. I only use it now to create a .SWC and I get the hell out and run back to Flex Builder. Cannot wait for them to fix this POS.

Anonymous said...

yep ... constant crashing with CS4 running on Vista 64bit on all kinds of operations... so sick i'm now using my old pc with flash 8 for stability, CS3 was never totally solid. Glad i never paid for the lame object.

P(irate) A(rtist) T(ype).

Anonymous said...


I have been trying out the trial version of CS4 on Vista 64. I was starting to wonder if it was me, Windows, computer or what.

Regular crashing when viewing the movie from with the program.

Sounds like it may be Flash and not a problem my end.

Anonymous said...

I wave been using flash on vista x64 and there have been no issues with it at all

CenixOne said...

Guys, I have done extensive testing on this issue and have come down to a solid conclusion. I am 99% sure of this (hours of testing).

The problem is Action Script 3.

I found a routine to cause consistent crashes. Everytime I published then brushed the slider back and forth on the timeline it would crash. As soon as I set it to publish with AS2 instead of AS3, no more crashes. I tested for 20 minutes at a time and no crashes. I switched back to AS3, ran my test, and it crashed. I repeated this test back and forth from AS2 to AS3 and the results were consistent.

If you can live without AS3 for now, this should do it! Let me know if it helps.

Ickydime said...

Appreciate the testing and feedback, but switching to AS2 is not an option... and it shouldn't be for you unless you have strict requirements that require it.

I would much rather publish asset.swf's in the IDE and do my code compiling and publishing in Flex. OR just publish in the IDE and close the player and then open the swf or HTML page outside the browser.

Or in your case... just don't scrub the timeline while the player is testing ;). But that isn't the only time it seems to be crashing for me.

Anonymous said...

I use strictly as 2.0 and I have very frequent crashes, so I doubt very much is has anything to do with what version of AS you publish in.

CenixOne said...

Strange, must be just my case. Ill post back if things change. Thx for the input.

Unknown said...

For everyone experiencing crashes who haven't updated their copy of flash to version 10.0.2 see this link

Lets see if it improves things.


Unknown said...

running 10.0.2 on vista x64 dual dual-core opterons at 2.0GHZ per core. 8GB RAM. 3TB Hard Drive Free. Flash is SOOO SLOW as to make it difficult to even type. I type 10 characters and 5 seconds later they show up. I am currently downloading the flex sdk as someone suggested to see if that helps.

Unknown said...

no problems on pc- but on mac it can crash up to 30 times in a day- all for random things. A new thing its started doing is crashing out if I open more than one project. then all you get is that stupid spinning fisher price wheel of death.

Nick W said...

Im using Vista 64, flash just crashes constantly, I cant use it and I have to restart the pc every time, as following a crash it is as if the program links are dead. Frankly this copy of CS4 is crap, and that includes photoshop which now has the most stupid arrangement of windows. Give me back my CS3!

alemieux3 said...

I read on a post somewhere that it's a font issue. I use Linotype Font Xplorer as a font utility. For some reason, and I don't know how they figured this out, but the font Franklin Gothic was causing the crashes. If I disable this font, Flash works fine.

Adobe has a post about this. They tell you to systematically turn off all of your fonts and one-by-one, turn them on to find out which one causes the issue.

Give it a try.

Unknown said...

Amazing - it's been over an year and ADOBE are yet to FIX these issues!!

I've used Flash CS4 on both XP and Win 7 64bit and it crashes on all!

This has got to be THE WORST release ADOBE has put out. Not to mention the bug that exist in the player, dealing with AVM1 etc.

Great way to send people running into the arms of Microsoft - good one ADOBE!

Ickydime said...

Did you see my update at the top of the post? They did fix these issues back in May of 2009:

Also, even during the crashes I didn't hear of anyone running to Microsoft, they just went back to CS3 and avoided CS4 all together. Really, there is no reason for a Flash Developer to switch to Silverlight since it would be taking a step backwards in features and a change in pipeline. It seems as though the only two times Silverlight is used is because 1. The Developer started with .net and visual studio or 2. Microsoft sponsored the project and required Silverlight.

However, this is just what I have heard from fellow developers and read on the blogs and news. I personally have not tried to develop in Silverlight so maybe I am missing something.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...


I have been using flash CS4 for more than over one year on Windows without any problem.

2 weeks ago, I bought a MAC PRO and exchanged my PC version against a MAC version.
Since, I am not satisfied at all : Flash CS4 crashes many times (even when updated to 10,0,2).
I use also dolby sounds in my flash movie : whereas they played properly under Windows, now they played with a scratch noise....
Another pb : when I load an swf froma preloader swf, sometimes I get a blank screen and it happens at random....

I am now using flash since MX version and has always been satisfied but now I am really really disappointed.

I wonder who developed this buggy stuff???

Pavel said...

I can't believe that some company could release this as product. Free pre-beta products are more stable. I don't like flash IDE. I use flex(now flash builder). but this time I had to use it for simple preloader. How many crashes I had in 2 days?...well let me count..1..2..yep it's more than 30...MORE THAN 30! I'm not kidding...around 20 with original and cca 10 even after bug update and it's not just one type. sometimes it quits, sometimes report crash while exporting sometime just doesn't export at all sometimes it just stop tracing any output..I could continue. this is insane. CS4 is absolute joke. Why the hell there are milion features when I can't create simple movieclip??? I'm giving up...will do preloader with drawing api in flash builder 4 beta(BETA!?)...CS5 should be free for those who bought cs4 and renamed to service pack 1.....I use 64bit WIN btw

Ickydime said...

Did you read the updated post at the top and did you download the latest patches? It is much more stable. I use it every day and I very rarely get a crash (knock on wood). It is what I would expect from a final release.

bvdecicco said...

I've been crashing after 3 seconds on any new document or opening old ones with CS4 on a Mac. I just unchecked Font Preview in the Text preferences and it's good now. I must have some wacky font that Flash doesn't like.

zibe said...

This fixes the problem:

ijjid said...


thanks! my problem is solved!!! ^^

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