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Trouble report 377

Windows Explorer crashes opening a folder containing a PF project

Versions affected



When Photoshop and The Panorama Factory are installed on the same computer, it may be impossible to open some folders that contain Panorama Factory projects with Windows Explorer.

As Windows tries to open the folder, it will begin to show the files included in the project as well as the project file but partway into the folder it will display an error message that says

"The instruction at "0x77f585c0" referenced memory at "0x00780069".
The memory could not be written.

The second number is different every time. Windows Explorer then shuts down and restarts. In extreme cases, it may be impossible to access the project file to open it within The Panorama Factory itself.

This problem seems to be caused by an interaction between Photoshop and Explorer.  In face, this problem is not really specific to The Panorama Factory.  It can occur on computers with Photoshop installed, even when The Panorama Factory is not installed.

Fortunately, there are two workarounds for this problem.

I found this problem described in the following web pages:

I was able to confirm that these web pages accurately describe the problem. That is, the problem seems to be related to three factors:

  1. Folders containing a large number of image files (like PF projects!).
  2. Folders with long names.
  3. Image file types associated with Photoshop.

Since we can't really change the number of image files stored in a PF project, we have to workaround the problem by changing the other factors.


There are two workarounds. It seems that you can correct this problem using either one of the workarounds.

I have confirmed that each of these workarounds corrects the problem. A third workaround mentioned in the referenced web pages, removing a Photoshop DLL called psicon.dll, was a little too scary and I did not try it. I feel that the two workarounds I've listed here are the preferred way of correcting the problem.

Workaround 1

Rename your folders so that their names are shorter. You should rename the folder before opening it. (I do not know the exact length that causes the problem.)


Workaround 2

Uninstall Photoshop. Reboot. Reinstall Photoshop and when the installer asks what files you want to be associated with Photoshop, do not select the problematic file type(s). In the case of The Panorama Factory, these are TIFF and BMP. JPG and PNG could also be promblematic if you store them in the same folder as the project. (By the way, it is not enough to just change the file associations. You need to uninstall Photoshop and then reinstall it to correct the problem.).


This problem cannot be corrected within The Panorama Factory because it seems to be caused by an interaction between Photoshop and Explorer.

Revised: April 28, 2004

 1999-2005 Smoky City Design, LLC and John Strait