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"Can't open a scratch file" error

May 5, 2012 11:18 AM

Running PSD 12.0.4 (Extended) on a Mac Pro, Mac OS 10.7.3. Plenty of ram; plenty of hard disk space.


I just finished installing a new 1TB drive in one of my bays; I now have (3) 1TB drives total. Initialized the new drive (Mac OS Extended/Journaled), partitioned for Lion, then installed the OS and migrated everything from my primary (boot) drive using Migration Assistant.


After finishing, PSD gives the following error on start: "Could not open a scratch file because the disk is not available". I can command+option on start, select the boot drive as scratch and set the rest to None; that configuration works (and sticks). However, if I try to set scratch volumes to either of my backup volumes, I get the same error. Additionally, Illustrator can't even see the other two volumes in the scratch disk selector (PSD sees them, but won't accept them).


Here's what I've done:


- using simple disk drive names (i.e. WD1, WD2, WD3)


- verified all drives with Disk Utility

- ran drive diagnostics on all drives using SMART Utility (no problems found)


- reset paramter ram (comand+option+p+r on Mac startup)


- repaired permissions (all volumes - no permission errors found)

- reset PSD prefs (command+option+shift on start)

- deactivated/uninstalled/reinstalled PSD


At this point, I'm stumped. This must be related to having installed the new hard drive (everything was fine prior to that), but I don't know what else to try at the moment.


Anyone have any ideas?

  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 5, 2012 7:24 PM   in reply to JoeLigo

    It sounds like you copied the files from old drive to new drive.  While this may work you might have better luck if you installed the program on the new drive with disks.  In PS there are a number of files that are "common files" that have to be in a certain place on the main drive for program to work well.  If you just copied everything over this might upset the balance.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 7, 2012 7:39 AM   in reply to JoeLigo

    Have you reset your preferences?  Click on start icon for Photoshop and IMMEDIATELEY hold down the CMD + OPTION + SHIFT keys.  A little tricky but you should get a reset window.  If you see splash screen you are too late.


    Does you OS see all 3 drives?  Might need a Mac guy to weigh in.

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  • Trevor Dennis
    5,974 posts
    May 24, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 7, 2012 7:48 AM   in reply to JoeLigo

    I'm using Windows here, but I have experienced drives becoming read only when adding drives, and I have seen other reports of similar problems.

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