11 Replies Latest reply on Jun 26, 2012 4:08 PM by Noel Carboni

    Unidentified Locked File Prevents PS CS6 From Opening

    Retired Spook Level 1

      Photoshop CS6 (64 bit/ Windows 7) installed and ran perfectly. On second and subsequent runs, I get the Windows message "Could not open a scratch file becausethe file is locked, you do not have nevessary access permissions, or another program is using the file. Use the 'Properties' command in Windows explorer to unlock the file." The message does not specify which file is locked or by whom.I run as administrator, and this is the first program I run - only system programs should be running in the background. Tried PCMag TaskPower, which supposedly provides a list of all locked files and allows you to force an unlock,  but could not ID any possible culprits.


      Retired Spook

        • 1. Re: Unidentified Locked File Prevents PS CS6 From Opening
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          This is not a "file", it's whatever drive you use for your temp directory. The permissions are busted. Check the permissions on your C: drive and allow write access for SYSTEM and your user.



          • 2. Re: Unidentified Locked File Prevents PS CS6 From Opening
            Retired Spook Level 1

            I checked the Security tab on the C:\ drive and SYSTEM has Full permissions for the entire drive as I expected it would. I use solid state drives for the operating system and programs for speed. These are relatively small compared with hard drives, and I always reset my scratch drives to large relatively empty hard drives right at the start. (Boy, can the Premier Pro Media Cache ever eat up a Terabyte in no time if you don't clean it regularly!) This is a brand new system I specifically bought to use with CS6 when it was released.


            Having just installed Photoshop CS6, I am only testing it out at this time, and I'm not sure I checked on what is being used for a scratch drive. But there is very little data in use at this time, and none of any importance. The annoying thing about that error message is that it gives no indication about what file is locked or by whom. And since I can't start the program, I can't access Preferences to change this. At this point, since I don't have any data to lose, I am thinking about uninstall/re-install. But I wouldn't want to do that if I was in the middle of a project.


            Retired spook

            • 3. Re: Unidentified Locked File Prevents PS CS6 From Opening
              Retired Spook Level 1

              I uninstalled then re-installed both the 32 and 64-bit versions (they don't seem to be separable.) No joy. I still get the same error messages on both of them. They are totally unusable.


              Retired Spook

              • 4. Re: Unidentified Locked File Prevents PS CS6 From Opening
                Jeff A Wright Adobe Employee

                Moving this discussion to the Photoshop General Discussion forum.

                • 5. Re: Unidentified Locked File Prevents PS CS6 From Opening
                  Retired Spook Level 1

                  Final Update. Just got off Live Chat with the final answer:


                  There is a corrupt folder that is installed with the product. Find it, delete it, and PS CS6 will rebuild it correctly. Here's how:


                  1. Click the Start button, type %AppData%, and then hit Enter. This will take you to the Roaming folder.


                  2. Open the Adobe folder. You will see a folder called Adobe Photoshop CS6.


                  3. Delete the Adobe Photoshop CS6 folder.


                  4. PS CS6 should now launch. It will rebuild the Adobe Photoshop CS6 folder correctly.


                  This worked for me.

                  • 6. Re: Unidentified Locked File Prevents PS CS6 From Opening

                    Retired Spook's solution works for simply launching Photoshop, but when I try to resize anything I get the exact same "could not open a scratch file" issue...it is totally unusable...


                    The only files Photoshop creates are the following (both in my F:/personal folder, which is a scratch/temp drive I have):


                    lilo.xxx, which is an empty folder with full permissions for all users


                    Photoshop Tempxxxxxxxxxxx, which is a 400 - 800 MB file, again with full permissions for all users


                    amt3.log, which seems to be some kind of licensing file, but again it has full permissions


                    I thought maybe my temp variables could be the problem, so I changed the user environment variables for "TEMP" & "TMP" back to:




                    ,instead of




                    ...and it works fine. Seems like there is something hard-coded into Photoshop that requires the default temp directories for environment variables to be set per-user (I have the system TEMP & TMP to my own scratch disk and that hasn't affected anything).


                    Is there any work-around for this or should we wait for an update...because using my system disk for scratch & temp files is noticeably slowing everything down.

                    • 7. Re: Unidentified Locked File Prevents PS CS6 From Opening
                      Level 7

                      Photoshop just requires that the user have permissions to use the TEMP folder (as defined by the system variable).


                      It sounds like you did not have correct permissions on the directory f:\personal

                      • 8. Re: Unidentified Locked File Prevents PS CS6 From Opening
                        Christen Møller

                        I could open Photoshop without error message only as Administrator, irritating though. Finally found the answer here: http://davikai.blogspot.dk/

                        All my User settings are on partition D, keeping a small system drive C, so this worked for me:


                        After opening up Photoshop as administrator, navigate to Edit > Preferences > Performance


                        There will be a section called Scratch Disks; verify that D:\ is the one checked as active, not C:\ and change it if necessary.


                        After restarting photoshop the problem has gone away.


                        Hope this works for you guys also!

                        • 9. Re: Unidentified Locked File Prevents PS CS6 From Opening
                          Noel Carboni Level 8

                          Many people try to relocate things off of C: in an attempt to use a too-small SSD, or sometimes to reduce the write load on an SSD.


                          Photoshop does NOT work well in this condition. 


                          I don't know why, but I *DO* know I've seen quite a number of reports here by people who must run it As Administrator that say it does not like relocated folders.


                          Other things besides Photoshop don't work as well with this kind of activity either.  Basically you're banking on every programmer always following all the rules to retrieve the folder locations, and doing all the right things - rather than hard-coding paths.  And why use the super-fast SSD technology if you're going to move all the stuff that actually gets accessed off onto another (spinning) disk?  It seems silly.


                          Fundamental advice:


                          1.  If you're going to build a system using SSD, don't skimp.  Overprovision a huge amount of extra storage for drive C:.  You can do this with a very large SSD or an array of SSDs.  Then you need not worry about relocating things that just work better if left in their default locations on drive C:.


                          2.  If you're worried over the write load on your SSD, know that modern SSDs (within the last year) have implemented significant advances in flash write balancing so that this is essentially a non-issue.  Pretty much any modern SSD should run for 10 years under normal use (i.e., without special settings or backflips to relocate data).


                          As proof of the above advice, on my Windows 7 system I have personally configured a large SSD RAID array as a 2 TB drive C:, allowing everything to be at the default locations, and all is well indeed.  I even have Photoshop's scratch files on C:, and to be honest I can hardly tell when the RAM fills and Photoshop begins heavily accessing its scratch files.



                          • 10. Re: Unidentified Locked File Prevents PS CS6 From Opening
                            Christen Møller Level 1

                            You're basically right about changing programmers' intended settings may corrupt things - but keeping a neat, small fixed size partition for Windows has advantages when it comes to system backup. I don't have a SSD actually.


                            Hopefully Adobe will address the problem soon.


                            By the way, I saw in this thread http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1001298

                            that InDesign ands other CS6 programs have similar problems - Many apps crash after clean install of CS6. solution: "run this program as an administrator" in Win7



                            • 11. Re: Unidentified Locked File Prevents PS CS6 From Opening
                              Noel Carboni Level 8

                              My observation is that, while an initial system image backup will be larger for a C: volume with more on it, Windows Backup makes incremental system image backups thereafter.  Though I have 700 GB on drive C:, my system image backup to external USB drive last night ran only 26 minutes, from 1:00 am to 1:26 am.


                              And, if more stuff is being backed up on C:, well, then more stuff is protected by the backup, no?  Given that things like 2 and 3 TB external USB drives are pretty cheap nowadays, it's hard to imagine that it's too much less expense or trouble to have a small system partition.


                              In my case, with everything on C:, I can restore a system image and have a fully configured and functional system.  I even upgraded to a whole new workstation 14 months ago by just restoring my system image backup, and I was back up and fully functional on a completely new system in just a couple of hours.  Just a few months ago I swapped my spinning hard drives for an SSD array and restored the image using the same technique - with VERY minimal down time.  Everything just worked, though much faster.


                              I'm not trying to be argumentative here, and I respect your choices.  But it never hurts to re-evaluate choices from time to time.