Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Adobe Illustrator CS3 & Windows Vista 64 bit

Ok, got Vista 64 on work PC now, and I'm actually in Illustrator for extended periods of time. First thing I notice was an error I was having in XP for a while, which I may have discovered a fix for in Vista 64.

Seems that Illustrator cannot handle the pretty Vista Aero interface... it may be that some of the uxtheme.dll hacks I used in XP also caused issues with Illustrator.

Often Illustrator opens a file and immediately asks to relink, replace or ignore the fact that it cannot seem to find the linked images. This usually presents itself (in XP) as a dialog box asking for a relink of an image, even after one relinks the image. Illustrator will usually throw an exception error when it is closed down after doing this.

In Vista, the system states it is out of memory immediately upon attempting to place a Photoshop psd file. It will also go into the relink spiral when one opens a file with linked psd files.

The solution is simple. Right click on the Illustrator icon or shortcut and go to Properties, from there select the Compatibility tab and then check "Run this program in compatibility mode for:" and select "Windows XP (Service Pack 2)".

When you run Illustrator, you'll notice your screen(s) flash and the system turn off the full transparent Aero interface. Your psd-linked files should now work fine. It's not the best solution, (which would be a BUG FIX!!!!) but it works.

I've also noticed some instability with Illustrator and iTtunes while running under Vista 64. I'm still looking into that.


  1. Anonymous10:24 AM

    I never had this problem on Vista x64. Illustrator CS3 worked straight out of the box with no problems whatsoever. Aero was unaffected, as was the memory issues you're referring to.

  2. Let me know, if you can, what type of pc, ram, video you're using.

  3. Thank you!! I have just installed Vista 64 bit and I am having huge problems with this. CS4 is just a month away, but thank you for solving my problem.

  4. Glad it helped you. I'll post more whenever I encounter them. I hope CS4 works better with Vista 64.


  5. Anonymous1:56 PM

    Merci de Paris !! I have this problem since I was under Vista 64, impossible to find solutions, Adobe technical service either, and indeed it was so simple! Thousand thank you!
    eric {}

  6. Glad it helped you!

  7. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! I spent hours on the phone with Adobe support, reinstalled my operating system and was generally frustrated for sixteen hours trying to figure this one out. This is such a simple solution that worked effortlessly!

    You are fabulous. Thank you again!

  8. You are a rockstar! I was beating my head against the wall on this one, really frustrated that my beefy computer with a fair amount of ram could not manage to place a .pdf into illustrator without freaking out. This worked perfectly!
    I'm wondering if it will work for some InDesign quirks that I'm having, too...

  9. Juliette,

    I'm glad I was of help!

    Just so ya know... Illustrator CS4 doesn't have the same issues at all. While it's not 64 bit enhanced, it doesn't have trouble with the effects of Vista that CS3 did.

    I was having some issues with corruption and memory errors in XP with Illustrator CS3 files.

    I believe some of my issues had to do with the fact that I was variably using a modified uxtheme.dll or Stardock's Windowblinds (both done to alter the look/feel of Windows XP and the desktop shel enabling the addition and use of different themes).

    Vista's Aqua desktop and transparent effects do basically the same things as what I was doing in XP with the uxtheme.dll and Windowblinds, adding effects to Windows that Illustrator couldn't properly support.

    For those who have XP and are having similar problems with Illustrator as I mentioned here, try disabling any OS altering software and see how it goes.


  10. Does running Illustrator CS3 in "compatibility mode" also downgrade the app from taking advantage of the 64 bit architecture?

    In other words - - does Illustrator then take a performance hit and slow down....and does Photoshop slow down too?


  11. No, in general it seems that it runs ~better~ cause you're not dealing with the bugs. You won't be taking advantage of any extra RAM (at least, not that I know of).

    I didn't notice any speed difference between running in XP compat mode and 64 bit.

  12. You are amazing! Great Fix! I can't thank you enough! It's 3 AM and I have a design project due for school tomorrow and I was freaking out about this stupid problem.

  13. Glad to be of service Neil.

  14. This is a huge help. This is the only walk-through on all of the internet to explain how to fix this. Thanks again!

  15. Glad it helped you. Seems some of the same problems affect CS4 install.