Overtime a new update comes out I see lots of people talking about how hard it is to keep up with everything. And I agree to some extent. Software companies are on huge update cycles to come up with new ideas and fix things that are broken. So it is what it is and we have to deal with it.
Now throw a second computer (or maybe more for bigger studios) and it really becomes a daunting task. It also is at times a necessity as newer computer hardware becomes available (i.e. processors, 4k/5k monitors etc.) the software is updated to handle these new technologies and will perform better than older versions on the same hardware. This is one of the primary reasons I am a huge proponent of Adobe's Creative Cloud licensing model. I digress as this is not really about the Adobe software but just our software updates in general.
When new full versions of Photoshop come out, Plugins and Filters need to be reinstalled. We must wait for the vendors to update their installers for the new version. Hopefully the steps Adobe has taken (see my previous post here) will alleviate some of this. In the meantime we have to reinstall.
Now what I am showing you here is a folder in my Dropbox account. This is where I keep ALL installers for plugins, presets, actions, brushes etc. Basically any software that I purchase that has a downloadable file, it gets copied to this folder. Some software has built in updaters, like Evernote, Creative Cloud, or anything purchased from the Apple App Store. Everything else has installers. Every time I download a new purchase or an update, it gets copied to this folder. This has numerous benefits including backups, the ability to access these files from anywhere. I also keep a Note in Evernote that has all my license codes so these are always accessible to me.
This makes it really easy for me to keep up with updates and reinstalls on multiple computers. I can also use the checkboxes in Evernote to keep track of the items as I install just so I don't miss anything.
Hope this gives you some ideas on how to stay organized with your software installs. There are a multitude of cloud storage and not taking services out there but these are what I feel are the best.
This week Adobe launched a full new version of Photoshop. As always this comes with lots of work for us end users. Mostly with reinstalling plugins. But the good news is this may be the last time we have to worry about that.
According to this article https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/plug-ins-photoshop-troubleshooting.html#topic-5 The new location is going to be the new Permanent location for plugins and is backward compatible with all CC versions of Photoshop.
So as long as the Plugin manufacturers start building their installers to this new location, you should never have to go through this painful process again.
Not all Plugins are up to date yet. I recommend checking with each company and wait for their updated installers before moving to this version. Yes some plugins will work by manually moving them to the new location but that is not advisable and you may encounter problems.
Example. The Nik Collection https://www.google.com/nikcollection/ is already recognizing the 2015.5 version, however it is not installing to the new CC location, it is installing to the version specific location
For now if you choose to do the update, make sure and go to the Advanced Link and uncheck Remove older versions to keep your previous version active. http://blogs.adobe.com/crawlspace/2016/06/faq-photoshop-cc-2015-5-now-available.html
Hard drives will eventually fail!!!
This is not a guess, its a statement of fact. Unless we are talking about Solid State Drives, hard drives are made up of electronic parts and also physical moving parts. Now you could get lucky and never have a problem during the life cycle of your particular computer. But for the most part, drives will fail.
Now I just recently experienced a different kind of drive failure. My drive did not crash or get corrupted. It simply stopped working efficiently. On my MacPro desktop I was experiencing major performance slowness. I had rebuilt the OS once or twice. Now I have another MacPro that went 8 years without a rebuild. Its still running to this day. But this system was having problems. I had run the Mac Drive Utility and it always came back with no issues. I had also run Disk Warrior on it a couple times and while it came up with some index issues that it repaired, my performance was still suffering.
I was going through different software that I suspected may be the issue and doing normal trouble shooting. I was running out of options and was going to just get a new SSD drive and hope for the best.
I was then told about a utility that does more detailed diagnosis of hard drives on a Mac. It's called Drive DX. You can download a free trial.
No other errors. Noting indicating the normal Bad Sectors or other corruption. The drive is just not performing. What could the issue be? Who knows. Electrical, mechanical, low speed? Hard to say. But the drive has now been replaced and my system is back to performing normally.
If you are experiencing system performance issues and you have not found the problem, take a look at utilities that will give you more detailed S.M.A.R.T (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) report.