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Old Jul-18-2010, 04:27 PM
#1
WinsomeWorks is offline WinsomeWorks OP
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Finding Adobe Photoshop Action files ( custom) on my computer
We had a sort of hard drive crash a few weeks ago... I mean, we didn't lose much if anything that we know of (& yes, my photos are all intact & backed up elsewhere anyway), but the computer basically became un-usable the way it was, etc. (sorry, I don't technically know all the language to describe the events). Anyway, we bought a new hard drive & recovered much of the stuff off the old drive that we wanted, re-installed Vista & other major programs onto the new drive, etc. Well, in the month couple weeks before the crash, I had just learned how to do some bulk processing in PS (thanks to you guys). I spent a couple weeks creating a bunch of custom Photoshop Actions in PS2 (We still have CS2 on the old hard drive). We installed CS4 instead on our new HD, because my spouse is able to have a home copy & it made sense to do the switch-over.

So his plan was to recover my PS Action files as well from the old HD, in hopes of adding them to PS4-- the info. he found online made this appear do-able. The problem is, he can't find the files at all. He sees other .atn files that appear to be some pre-set actions that PS2 came with. None of them have my titles. That's it-- no custom ones that he can find. We're guessing that this means they got fried or whatever; it just seems a little odd to me since the others are there. This post is my last-ditch effort to see if there's something else we should be looking for, or if anyone has any recovery ideas. That's really the only files I know of that I spent time on & would be a real PITA if we can't recover them. They ARE for sure .atn files, right? Is there something that would be "hiding" them from our searches? Also, if we absolutely can't see them (with the old HD hooked up to our re-vamped computer) does that suggest there's no other way to recover them?

P.S.--- Yes, I've been looking into getting BackBlaze for the future (per suggestions from this forum), and imagine I wouldn't be asking this question if I'd had it 2 months ago. (or Amazon; not sure which is better for our purposes). One thing I'm not sure about is the constant uploading. We generally shut off our main power at night. I don't know how much drain that constant uploading of changed files causes on a daily basis? I am also reading & re-reading the most recent version of the DAM book thanks to some of your suggestions, and yes it's fantastic & is EXACTLY what I needed!
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Old Jul-19-2010, 10:55 AM
#2
ziggy53 is online now ziggy53
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In Vista's Windows Explorer, go to the root of your computer's hard drive and search for files with an "atn" suffix. This should locate all of the Photoshop "action" files on the drive.

The action files themselves are often self-contained, especially ones that you created, but some action files use external programs and libraries. If you purchased any actions it would be best to re-install those via the method recommended or supplied by the manufacturer of the action file.
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Old Jul-19-2010, 10:58 AM
#3
Andy is offline Andy
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You shut your power off at night? Backblaze will constantly backup for you, the initial backup takes a few weeks but after that the stuff just happens.

Why shut off power? My computer system (a Mac Pro) hasn't been intentionally shut down (except for necessary restarts with Software Updates) in 4 years.
Old Jul-19-2010, 11:40 AM
#4
Richard is offline Richard
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In Windows CS2, actions are all in the directory \Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS2\Presets\Photoshop Actions. If you saved your actions under the default group, you may not see them by name in the directory, but they are in the default.atn file. Try copying that file to the CS4 actions directory under a different name, say, CS2 Defaults, so that you don't wipe out the newer goodies in CS4. Remember that you have to restart Photoshop before it will recognize actions that are copied into its directory. I never used CS4 so I'm not sure how it works, but you may need to explicitly load the actions from the Actions menu.

HTH.
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Old Jul-19-2010, 01:25 PM
#5
chuckinsocal is offline chuckinsocal
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Here's what I learned with Win XP so I don't know if it applies to Vista or not.

First, take Ziggy's advice as it will probably be easier and faster.

I learned that unless you intentionally save your custom action as you create it, Photoshop will save it for you but not where you'd expect. In my case, it saved them in C:\Documents and settings\[my user name]\application data\adobe photoshop cs3\presets\actions.

So, your missing actions may be in some similar folder if Vista has such a thing.
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Old Jul-19-2010, 03:06 PM
#6
WinsomeWorks is offline WinsomeWorks OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy View Post
You shut your power off at night? Backblaze will constantly backup for you, the initial backup takes a few weeks but after that the stuff just happens.

Why shut off power? My computer system (a Mac Pro) hasn't been intentionally shut down (except for necessary restarts with Software Updates) in 4 years.
From what we understand, it's better to give the system a break, cool it down, etc. Why have everything running constantly (& drawing power, etc.) if it's not in use? The other biggie is that we live in Eastern PA where there are often un-announced thunderstorms. There are many nights when it's quite possible we could have a pretty severe one. We already had a huge lightning strike that came BANG!! completely out of the blue in broad daylight (no rain, no distant rumbles) & zapped a bunch of stuff. That time, it didn't get the computer, but it zapped everything within 15 ft. of the computer! I don't know if there are MAC/PC differences with that. We need to have a PC for the foreseeable future, due to work/home compatibility. P.S. -- Forgot to say yes, we have surge protection on everything & a lightning rod. Don't let anyone tell you these things are fool-proof! That freak lightning strike burned a black mark into the side of our house & nearly gave my mother-in-law a stroke because it was so literally out-of-the blue.
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Last edited by WinsomeWorks; Jul-19-2010 at 04:27 PM.
Old Jul-19-2010, 03:08 PM
#7
WinsomeWorks is offline WinsomeWorks OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy53 View Post
In Vista's Windows Explorer, go to the root of your computer's hard drive and search for files with an "atn" suffix. This should locate all of the Photoshop "action" files on the drive.

The action files themselves are often self-contained, especially ones that you created, but some action files use external programs and libraries. If you purchased any actions it would be best to re-install those via the method recommended or supplied by the manufacturer of the action file.
Like I said, we can only find the .atn files that were presets, not the custom ones I made. That search which you recommend was the first search we did, but to no avail. I'm going to read the other suggestions now & see if there are other places to look. I haven't purchased any actions.
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Last edited by WinsomeWorks; Jul-19-2010 at 04:29 PM.
Old Jul-19-2010, 11:49 PM
#8
WinsomeWorks is offline WinsomeWorks OP
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finding old custom actions on computer from PS2
We've tried doing all the suggestions in this thread. Still cannot find the custom actions I made in PS2. Only the preset ones showed up using the search methods described. We did try the re-naming & all, and restarted PS4 and also checked to see if we could load the old actions. No custom actions showed up that could be loaded. Any other ideas, or anyone know what could be hiding the custom files or where else they may be hiding? Thanks everyone for the ideas so far. A couple of them seemed like they would work. Bummers.
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Old Jul-21-2010, 05:16 AM
#9
ziggy53 is online now ziggy53
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Check the file dates on the action files that you "can" find. Perhaps you inadvertently saved the new actions into an old action set. If you find an old action set with a (relatively) new date, that may be where they are.
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Old Jul-21-2010, 07:16 AM
#10
WinsomeWorks is offline WinsomeWorks OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy53 View Post
Check the file dates on the action files that you "can" find. Perhaps you inadvertently saved the new actions into an old action set. If you find an old action set with a (relatively) new date, that may be where they are.
Yeah, we'd been noticing dates. Unfortunately all dates are 2005, and all files are presets that came with the program. I never created any actions until May 2010. I thought I had perhaps kept the set name for at least one group of actions, but none of these saved presets are my custom ones.
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Old Jul-21-2010, 10:12 AM
#11
gecko0 is offline gecko0
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Unlikely solution (and you probably already did this), but make sure when you're doing the search that the "advanced" search options include system and hidden folder/file locations. If the files were put into an application data folder, that may be hidden by default.

.02
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Old Jul-21-2010, 10:16 AM
#12
gecko0 is offline gecko0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WinsomeWorks View Post
From what we understand, it's better to give the system a break, cool it down, etc. Why have everything running constantly (& drawing power, etc.) if it's not in use? The other biggie is that we live in Eastern PA where there are often un-announced thunderstorms. There are many nights when it's quite possible we could have a pretty severe one. We already had a huge lightning strike that came BANG!! completely out of the blue in broad daylight (no rain, no distant rumbles) & zapped a bunch of stuff. That time, it didn't get the computer, but it zapped everything within 15 ft. of the computer! I don't know if there are MAC/PC differences with that. We need to have a PC for the foreseeable future, due to work/home compatibility. P.S. -- Forgot to say yes, we have surge protection on everything & a lightning rod. Don't let anyone tell you these things are fool-proof! That freak lightning strike burned a black mark into the side of our house & nearly gave my mother-in-law a stroke because it was so literally out-of-the blue.
Regarding the powering down while not in use, it's actually the opposite for hard drives and most electronics...leaving them on is "easier" on them than constantly powering on/off. The expansion/contraction from the system heating/cooling can cause solder junctions and other electronic components to fail over time. Hard drives that worked fine suddenly die when power cycled, etc. The spinning up/down of the drive is the most work it will due. Of course, there is a happy medium and I power mine off at home too. I don't want to pay for the electricity if I'm not using it.
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Old Jul-21-2010, 10:53 AM
#13
ziggy53 is online now ziggy53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WinsomeWorks View Post
Yeah, we'd been noticing dates. Unfortunately all dates are 2005, and all files are presets that came with the program. I never created any actions until May 2010. I thought I had perhaps kept the set name for at least one group of actions, but none of these saved presets are my custom ones.
Note that with Vista you can have both a "Date Created" and a "Date Modified", but I believe that the system defaults to the former. If you right-mouse-click the column header of Windows Explorer it should allow adding a "Date Modified" column and that may give you different results.
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Old Jul-21-2010, 11:48 AM
#14
WinsomeWorks is offline WinsomeWorks OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gecko0 View Post
Regarding the powering down while not in use, it's actually the opposite for hard drives and most electronics...leaving them on is "easier" on them than constantly powering on/off. The expansion/contraction from the system heating/cooling can cause solder junctions and other electronic components to fail over time. Hard drives that worked fine suddenly die when power cycled, etc. The spinning up/down of the drive is the most work it will due. Of course, there is a happy medium and I power mine off at home too. I don't want to pay for the electricity if I'm not using it.
Well, this runs counter to most of the informed advice I've read on Windows-based systems. Slow-running systems are often helped by powering-down, and I've certainly seen that. RAM does not get cleared and background programs using shared system files evidently don't get refreshed during sleep-mode or stand-by. As I said, MACs may be different. We don't turn it off constantly-- normally just once a day (night). I've also read that constantly being hot doesn't exactly help the components any either. At any rate, one of the worst things that can happen around here is severe power surges and sudden thunderstorms, so for us that tips the balance. When you're sleeping, you're least prepared for the fact that they're about to happen. I'm not sure what we'll do if we get BackBlaze, because from what I understand, there's not a better way to clear RAM than shutting down. Maybe just shut down for a shorter time, or when leaving the house for a lengthy period of time.
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Old Jul-21-2010, 11:49 AM
#15
WinsomeWorks is offline WinsomeWorks OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gecko0 View Post
Unlikely solution (and you probably already did this), but make sure when you're doing the search that the "advanced" search options include system and hidden folder/file locations. If the files were put into an application data folder, that may be hidden by default.

.02
I'll ask my spouse about this. I think he did this, but not sure. Thanks!
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Old Jun-13-2011, 07:08 PM
#16
WinsomeWorks is offline WinsomeWorks OP
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I'm reviving this old thread, because something weird happened tonight. Long & short of my original problem stated here in the early posts, was that I'd switched to CS4 from CS2 but had lost all my custom actions that I'd created. I never did find them on the old drive or anywhere else, even after all the advice people gave here for searching for them. So I'd started making a few new custom actions in CS4, on what appeared to be a blank slate except for the CS4 Default Actions, but had mainly gotten to creating the sets, and had created just a few Actions. I'd looked at some of the CS4 defaults... I think there were quite a few new ones since CS2.

So-- weird thing. Tonight, I went into File>Scripts>Image Processor and was trying to re-acquaint myself with it & trying a couple small batch processes. When I got to #4, "Run Actions" & looked at the dropdown menu, the top set said "Default Actions". But there in the dropdown were 4 sets of actions I'd created in CS2 ! And each set had a few actions I'd created. I really don't think these were all the actions I'd created; I'm wondering if they were only the ones I'd used in any of the batch processing. (I hadn't ever done much batch processing, because about when I wanted to, that's when my Actions were missing & we'd switched programs) Later today, checking Automate Batch & Create Droplet, those same exact actions & action sets show up in those dropdowns as well. And the Default actions all seem to be from CS2.

So when I click on "Window"> Actions, everything that comes up there appears to be from CS2, and yet I'm in CS4. I can see those same actions I found in the File > Automate> Batch, and File> Scripts>Image Processor Menus. Looking through them more, I still really think I'd created a lot more actions. The sets are all there, 12 of them. But only 1, 3, 5 & 10 have actions in which I can see the action's title & all the steps in the action. So... now what? I'll try to formulate some questions here, although I'm not completely sure what I want to ask.

1. Does this mean these old actions are indeed somewhere on my computer (old or new) where I should be able to find them, or are they only showing up because they're loaded into that particular tool, like image processor?

2. What happened to the CS 4 Actions? I assume I want to get them back at some point, maybe after copying the info. from these few old Actions & sets so that I can more easily duplicate some that were useful in the past.

3. If I want to create a few simple actions right now in CS 4, how to I handle them? Do I create them in this old Window>Actions area that basically seems to be all CS2, or do I need to do something to get the CS4 Actions area "back" again?

4. Under the button mode in this CS2 actions area, there are several options for actions such as: Clear all Actions, Reset Actions, Load Actions, Replace Actions. Save Actions is sorta there too, but it looks like I can't choose it... it's sorta grayed out. I did click on it earlier, & that may be why, but I don't think I saved anything, just viewed where it wants to save to. I was afraid to click on any other choices until I know what the heck is going on.

I guess that's all I know to ask right now. I really don't recall how far I'd gotten in CS4 Actions. I kinda think I had a lot more created in CS2, but perhaps had thought out my sets better in CS4... not sure. So I'm saying I may have an equal amount to lose each way, if one program's actions get lost & only one program's actions remain. Writing down the Actions' steps & everything I've got visible right now should help me somewhat in recreating everything in CS 4. Incidentally, I did try a few image processes using those visible old Actions, and the Actions seem to work just fine. They didn't "Save As"; they saved right over the original file, back into the source folder I got them from even though I'd specified another destination folder. (they were copies in the first place, so no problem, but I don't know why they didn't follow my script.) Also, none saved anywhere at all at first; they just piled on top of eachother in PS & I had to click "X" on each file... it then asked me if I wanted to save the changes before closing & I said "yes", so that's the only way the changed files even ended up in the source folder.

This has always been the part of batch processing that eludes me terribly & gives me migraines... file automate & image processor, etc. all have differing ways of handling the new files & it's so hard to know when, where, & how they will save. This has been a problem when creating actions, because I don't know which "save" steps to include or not include with the action. Very frustrating. I need to comprehend that before creating more actions, or it's a complete waste of time.
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Old Jun-21-2011, 04:57 PM
#17
WinsomeWorks is offline WinsomeWorks OP
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Any ideas on this latest? Sorry the post is so long. Can't blame anyone if you didn't feel like wading through it. My biggest concern right now is whether I should be trying to create any actions in CS 4, when the Actions section is CS2. Don't wanna screw something up further.... enough of a mess already.
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Old Jun-23-2011, 06:15 AM
#18
arodney is offline arodney
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If you lose your preferences, actions are gone. However, look for the ActionsPalette.psp file which has the data you can restore.

C:\Documents and Settings\Username\Application Data\Adobe\Photoshop\X.0\Adobe Photoshop CSX Settings\Actions Palette.psp

HFS Path: Mac HD:Users:XXX:Library:Preferences:Adobe Photoshop CSX Settings:Actions Palette.psp
Filename: Actions Palette.psp

Then copy this file from your old install to your new one.
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Old Dec-29-2012, 06:02 PM
#19
jgunnink2 is offline jgunnink2
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I had this same problem, but in my case I just needed to copy my actions from one computer to another. I found a solution for my problem at least. I had to go to my Actions window, highlight the Action Set I want to save, click the little menu icon (upper right of the actions window), select "save action", and then it allows you to save that action as an *.atn file on your computer. I dont know why it doesn't automatically save your custom actions as individual files...it should...but anyway, there's the way you can manually save them for future upgrades/potential hard drive failures.

P.S. If you are able, re-install CS2, and see if the old actions show up...then maybe you can manually save them like I did. Although, you probably already tried that.
Old Jan-09-2013, 11:26 AM
#20
Mnemosyne is offline Mnemosyne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckinsocal View Post
Here's what I learned with Win XP so I don't know if it applies to Vista or not.

First, take Ziggy's advice as it will probably be easier and faster.

I learned that unless you intentionally save your custom action as you create it, Photoshop will save it for you but not where you'd expect. In my case, it saved them in C:\Documents and settings\[my user name]\application data\adobe photoshop cs3\presets\actions.

So, your missing actions may be in some similar folder if Vista has such a thing.
This.

I have to constantly manually save my actions that I make/download/add, else they won't be saved. If I close PS they will load, but if PS ever crashes, they will disappear.

Also, I use a Mac, and they've never saved in an alternate folder anywhere. Mine just disappeared.

You may be SOL.
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