Curing Sluggish Photoshop CS2 (csrss.exe)

To summarize: The solution to sluggish Photoshop and csrss.exe using a lot of CPU is having too many fonts loaded. Trim down the fonts and the problem will disappear.

I’ve been up to some Photoshop CS2 work lately and was *immensely* aggravated by photoshop freezing for as long as a minute at odd intervals. Using the task manager, I noticed csrss.exe was taking up 50% of one of my dual core processors. csrss is Windows’s Client Server Runtime Subsystem, and even though I couldn’t quite find out what exactly this beast does, it should not (and can not) be stopped from the task manager.

I tried deinstalling and reinstalling CS2 (I hadn’t noticed this problem a few months back, so I thought corrupted code or a bad registry might be a source). No relief. Googling didn’t deliver a satisfactory solution for the problem either, although it seems I was not alone. And running mcafee on my system didn’t reveal any malicious code hiding in csrss or elsewhere which could have pointed to a solution.

At long last it dawned on me to check adobe for an update for CS2, and lo and behold, the 9.0.2 update was available (I was running 9.0).

Initially, this seemed to solve the problem, but it didn’t. I read that a large amount of fonts could cause sluggish behaviour, but I was loth to remove my wide range of fonts.

I was using a dual-boot system with a clean Windows XP install to use CS2, which was  a bit of a pain, nevertheless.
It was not until upgrading to CS3 solved the problem.

Wow, what a freaking relief!

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