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07-16-2013, 11:20 AM   #1
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Problem With Pentax Photo Lab

Hello, I am having a problem with my Pentax Photo Laboratory. Originally I wasn't able to edit images within the folders, I had to move the image to my Desktop to edit them, then move them back into the folder. Okay, fair enough. But now when I edit a photo and hit the X to leave it and save the changes, I get a message that says, "Changes to this picture can't be saved because Photo Gallery has experienced a problem." Also, when I plug the camera into my laptop, the images will indeed download as .DNG files. However thumbnails of the images do not show up, I just get a blank box with the name of the image, for instance 001.DNG, beneath it. Not only do the thumbnails not show up, but neither does the option to extract a .JPG from the .DNG.

Basically, until I get these problems resolved, any images I take with my camera are useless to me.

I have gone into my Control Panel and did an Uninstall on the Pentax file there, thus to then do a Reinstall. I even went onto the Photo Lab download disk, brought up all the files on it, got their names, then went on my computer and uninstalled those. However when I then insert the download disk into my computer's disk drive, and go through the steps to install it, I get a message saying that I can't do that because the contents are already on my computers - even doing a Search on my computer finds nothing with the name Pentax on it. I can still create folders and move pictures around, but that's pretty much it.

I'm stumped. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

07-16-2013, 12:17 PM   #2
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The answer is use different software. Sorry, I've used the Pentax software, (and still do for only 2 functions). It is buggy, unstable, frustrating, and not user-friendly.

There are tons of alternatives, some are free.

Look through the threads in the digital processing forum. People like:

Lightroom
Photoshop
Photoshop Elements (PSE)
Gimp
www.faststone.org

and others.
07-16-2013, 12:41 PM   #3
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Hate to sound like a non-connoisseur, but honestly I like Pentax Photo Lab. It does everything I need it to do. At least before it stopped working. It did not escape my notice that it stopped working right after when, in order to save disk space, I went through and deleted a bunch of files I thought were "unimportant". I am nagged by the thought that I screwed things up, myself. If I could get PPL working again, I'd be a happy camper.
07-16-2013, 01:33 PM   #4
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If you delete "by hand", traces of the application will still reside in the Windows Registry. That's probably why - when reinstalling - the installer "thinks" that the contents is still in place.

You may have to clean up the registry with a tool like RegistryMechanic before you can reintall.

Has the software disappeared form the add/remove programs (XP), programs and features (Windows 7) in the control panel? If not, try to uninstall again from the control panel.

07-16-2013, 02:43 PM   #5
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Sadly I don't know how to clean up the registry with a tool like RegistryMechanic.
07-16-2013, 03:16 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Duane Thomas Quote
Hate to sound like a non-connoisseur, but honestly I like Pentax Photo Lab.

I'm not a connoisseur :-)

But even after upgrading to 4.30 or whatever the next to last greatest one (that was supposed to be more stable, etc), I still have to resize all the program windows (it never remembers the layout - if you know the setting, please let me know), and more than a couple hundred images in the folder has about a 50% chance of hanging up. Also, it takes at least 5 seconds to go to the next image while browsing (compared to under a second with Faststone), so it is not even handy to chimp with.

But it does save exif data (function 1), and lets me see and move the xmp files after conversion (function 2) that Faststone does not see.

Good luck!
07-16-2013, 03:21 PM   #7
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All I use it for is cropping, playing with the exposure and occasionally tint, and creating folders and moving pictures into them. Even the stuff you've just listed is way beyond what I need.
07-16-2013, 03:44 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Duane Thomas Quote
All I use it for is cropping, playing with the exposure and occasionally tint, and creating folders and moving pictures into them. Even the stuff you've just listed is way beyond what I need.
My wife uses Picasa, the downloaded version. It can do basic editing, and you can handle folders. I use Lightroom, myself, along with a whole bunch of other stuff.

07-17-2013, 12:48 AM   #9
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If on a Mac, the trio Aperture/Pixelmator/PhotomatixHDR is really hard to beat. Also, it'll not set you back so much that you need to take out a 2nd mortgage, and you'll not be dependent on the "software-as-a-service-to-be-paid-monthly-or-we-hold-your-photos-hostage" approach that Adobe has chosen.

No doubt, there are other tools, but the above are what I use.
07-18-2013, 06:34 AM - 1 Like   #10
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@Ole
QuoteQuote:
If you delete "by hand", traces of the application will still reside in the Windows Registry. That's probably why - when reinstalling - the installer "thinks" that the contents is still in place.
You may have to clean up the registry with a tool like RegistryMechanic before you can reintall.
@OP
QuoteQuote:
Sadly I don't know how to clean up the registry with a tool like RegistryMechanic.
Registry cleaning programs are mainly searching for "dead" references to files and paths.

But the registry can still hold information about a program in an entry which does not point to a certain, not existing file or path. But an installation routine may look for such an entry, and refuse installation if it finds it.

I have faced this problem many many times, and always could solve it by carefully done manual investigation of the complete registry.
Sorry, I cannot recommend to try this to any one - specialists with excellent knowledge about the Windows registry will know what to do. If the OP knows such a person and can trust hers/his abilities, he should have a go.

In any case, before starting such an enterprise, a complete copy of all the branches of the registry should be made WHILE WINDOWS IS NOT RUNNING. This means starting Windows PE or a Linux version from CD/DVD or stick

Last edited by RKKS08; 07-18-2013 at 06:41 AM. Reason: typing and grammar corrected
08-23-2013, 05:59 AM   #11
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I solved the "not able to make changes" problem by switching over to Microsoft Photo Manager. The one thing that's still not working is that when I download images off my camera they still won't become visible. Still getting a blank box and a notation it's a DNG file and that's it. Any idea(s) on how to solve that problem?
08-23-2013, 09:25 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Duane Thomas Quote
I solved the "not able to make changes" problem by switching over to Microsoft Photo Manager. The one thing that's still not working is that when I download images off my camera they still won't become visible. Still getting a blank box and a notation it's a DNG file and that's it. Any idea(s) on how to solve that problem?
DNG is a RAW image format - specifically it is Adobe's version of RAW (Digital NeGative). Most low-end image processing applications are only designed to handle jpeg or earlier digital image formats. I won't get into whether you should be shooting and saving in jpeg or RAW (or both) formats. There are several long hotly debated threads on that topic if you are inclined to search Pentax Forums (and probably any other photography forum).

There are several no and low cost options for processing RAW images, Picassa and FastStone come immediately to mind - again, there are numerous threads here on this topic, just search one of those names and the threads will likely mention other alternatives. There are also a number of very good options for purchase - again, do a search.

If you are using Windows 7 and ALL you are looking for is a means to see your DNG images within Windows Explorer or Windows photo previewer, Adobe has a free codec that is downloadable. Be forewarned that even with this codec installed, Windows will take longer to display a RAW image than a jpeg image in Explorer.
Adobe - DNG Codec : For Windows : Adobe DNG Codec 2.0
08-23-2013, 08:06 PM   #13
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I'm running Windows Vista Home Basic.

Tried to download the program to which you linked. Maybe I shouldn't have, because now the computer tells me (a) I cannot open that program, (b) I can't delete it either because it's currently open - even though I have turned off and restarted the computer twice now. Geez. Hopefully the time comes, one day, that I can delete this program from my Downloads.

Is there a program I could download that would work with Windows Vista Home Basic?

Could I simply change the settings in my camera to save in JPG instead of DNG?

Are the photos I've already taken unusable unless I can get my Windows Photo Manager to decode DNG files?

If I download a program that allows me to view the DNG files, and extract JPGs from them, will I no longer have all the functions of Windows Photo Manager?
08-23-2013, 08:32 PM   #14
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What version of Photo Lab are you using?

If 4.3x could it be related to this?

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/digital-processing-software-printing/8340...4-problem.html
08-24-2013, 06:23 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Duane Thomas Quote
I'm running Windows Vista Home Basic.

Tried to download the program to which you linked. Maybe I shouldn't have, because now the computer tells me (a) I cannot open that program, (b) I can't delete it either because it's currently open - even though I have turned off and restarted the computer twice now. Geez. Hopefully the time comes, one day, that I can delete this program from my Downloads.

Is there a program I could download that would work with Windows Vista Home Basic?

Could I simply change the settings in my camera to save in JPG instead of DNG?

Are the photos I've already taken unusable unless I can get my Windows Photo Manager to decode DNG files?

If I download a program that allows me to view the DNG files, and extract JPGs from them, will I no longer have all the functions of Windows Photo Manager?
Reading is rather important when using a complex tool. I believe I started my post as "If you are running Windows 7" and I know the link shows you the specification that the software is for Windows 7. Windows Vista is NOT Windows 7. Your camera came from the factory set to save jpeg images rather than RAW images. So somebody had to change this. Again, there are a number of threads here in the forum discussing the pros & cons of each image format. Windows Photo Manager does not support RAW images (DNG is just one form of RAW image). There are plenty of software choices that do; some titles were supplied. If you insist that you wish to use Windows Photo Manager, then you have made a choice in image format haven't you? If you look in your camera manual's index, it will tell you how to switch your camera back to saving jpeg images. Just look in the 'J' section to point you to the correct page for instructions.
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