Unable to start Photoshop CS6 - could not open a scratch file because the file is locked (Windows)

New Here ,
May 19, 2012 May 19, 2012

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

When I first installed Adobe Photoshop CS6 I was unable to run Photoshop or Bridge CS6.  Photoshop would give me an error about "could not open a scratch file because the file is locked.  If I ran either of these programs as an administrator they would run without issue, this led me to believe that there was a permission issue somewhere.  After some digging I found out the both Bridge and Photoshop try to create a temp file (similiar to Photoshop Temp2777223910092) on the c:\ drive of the computer.  In my case the user that I was logged in with did not have access to write to the root of the C:\ drive.  Note that you run the program as the administrator and change the scratch disk location as that changes the preference for the administrator user and not the user that you are currently logged in as.

To get around this issue I first had to give the user that I was logged on with write permissions to the root of the C:\ drive.  Next try and run Photoshop, you will get an error another error about the scratch disk and about and invalid or missing setting file.  To correct this you need to have run Photoshop as an administrator, next you can go to Users\Admin\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS6\Adobe Photoshop CS6 Settings and copy Adobe Photoshop CS6 Prefs and/or Adobe Photoshop X64 CS6 Prefs to Users\<your logged in username>\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS6\Adobe Photoshop CS6 Settings.

Photoshop and bridge should now start up with no issues.

I hope that this can help others out there as this caused me a great deal of frustration when upgrading to CS6.

Views

187.0K

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Dec 02, 2012 Dec 02, 2012

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

hello!! please someone help me i get the message o the scratch disk  missing  file. , ive tried a lot of the things you post it:

* press ctrl alt shift, and erase the setting, but still the same error

* run the program right click as administrator, same error

* press ctrl alt and choose my removable hard disc (which took a longgg time to make it work... but it opened!!! =D, but a msg appear about javascript not been found, and i couldnt save anything that i did because another msg appeard saying that the file could not be found)

* disable the UAC

i just have one user on my laptop, so i cant copy the files from one user to the other i guess thats not my case, (or somethin like that im not very familiar with programing or things like that, so please explain evertithing step by step) and i have just one hard disc, with 50 gb free. windows 7, 32 bits, photoshop cs6.

so nothing works, please please help me =( =(

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Dec 02, 2012 Dec 02, 2012

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

all you have to do is use pixels instead of inches

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Participant ,
Mar 15, 2013 Mar 15, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Thank you so much for sharing your experience. This greately helped me. Here is what happened to me:

As Windows was becoming too big I moved the "Windoss/ Temp" File to an other drive in my computer. After that Photoshop and Bridge would not work anymore. I got the message "could not open a scratch file because the file is locked". Just like you if I ran Photoshop as an administrator I could then open it but it would not work anymore within CS6. The dynamic link being broken.

Reading your post helped me to understand the issue and I put back the Temp Folder in Windows. After that everything is working again.

Thanks again

Cristiana

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 16, 2013 Mar 16, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I'm wondering if it would be possible to first move the scratch disk location, then move the temp directory.

Cristiana, did you try what tomauger suggested?

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Community Beginner ,
Mar 16, 2013 Mar 16, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Did you see above where you can hold down CTRL-ALT during start-up to move the Temp Directory?

It's a "Feature" that frequently lament that Adobe does not mention in the paragraph long dialog box when the error occurs.   Do a "Find in Page" for the keword "CTRL-ALT" on this thread for more directions.

My Background on the issue: This saved me about 20 hours, when I got a brand new system with an SSD / HD Combo.  I'd configured all of my environmental variables (TMP, TEMP, Virtual Ram, Scratch Disk, My Documents, etc) to a D: drive to avoid fragmentation and read/writes to the SSD to avoid hastening it's demise.   I really only had a "Windows" directory and "Program Files" on the SSD.  A clean install of CS6 Master Collection to the SSD blew up and wouldn't open because my TMP/TEMP were on a D: Drive.  The dialog to move the scratch disk was such an easy solution that took 20 seconds (though it took me 3 days to find the soultion!). 

Just hold down CTRL-ALT.   (Probably CMD-ALT on a Mac, but I don't know for sure.)

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
LEGEND ,
Mar 16, 2013 Mar 16, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

The best solution is to provision your system with sufficient SSD storage to allow everything to be kept at its default locations.

Trying to run a system from a too-small SSD WILL net you problems.  What you perceive you save in cost you pay for far more in time and effort.  This thread is testament to that fact.

SSDs are not particularly expensive nowadays; even the most modern high performance models can be had for under $1 a gigabyte.  Sure, this is still more than a spinning HDD, but not so much more that you have to do gymnastics to "fake out" Windows. 

Moving various things to a spinning HDD simply defeats the performance gains you get from SSD storage.  You WANT all that stuff writing to your SSD, because SSD storage is up to 5x faster than HDD storage.  More if you RAID them.

Nor need there be, with a modern SSD that does flash wear-leveling, concern about "wearing it out".

Example:

http://www.amazon.com/OCZ-Technology-Vector-2-5-Inch-Warranty/dp/B00A9YQP8I

-Noel

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
May 01, 2013 May 01, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I have had this exact problem.  Brand new system, everything configured correctly.  For me, nothing worked.  Running as an Administrator, resetting the swap file in Photoshop.  It wasn't a temp file issue.  It had to do with VMWare and Photoshop clashing with settings that VMWare does to "optimize" running VMWare Workstation combined with overclocking the processor.  I am no expert, but I was able to track the problems back to working correctly before VMWare was installed and not working after.  For me, it had to do with a mix of overclocking that I was doing on my ASUS motherboard with Intel i7 processor combine with VMWare changes to the system.  Let's be clear, Photoshop is the industry standard, -and- most versions of Photoshop have been rock solid. The current CS6 isn't horrible, but it can have its moments; most of the time very solid.  Try removing any overclocking on the processor and see if Photoshop doesn't magically start working.  If that doesn't work, I would try removing VMWare with overclocking turned off and possibly re-installing the OS and then Photoshop.  That may sound extreme but it will help to identify which components of external software is causing the problem.  I hope this helps. 

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Community Beginner ,
Jun 15, 2013 Jun 15, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Question to Noel who stated the recommended solution is to put everything on the same drive as Adobe intends: 

Although problems could be avoided by leaving everything in their default location and purchasing really expensive large-capacity SSDs....

  • Don't excessive reads and writes hasten the demise of an SSD?
  • And, Isn't there some beneift to maintianing frequently accessed, static file (Program/System) on a defragmented SSD while mapping the high high volume dynamic files in a different disk?

Maybe mythinking is a decade old, but SSD sectors (Kingston for example) used to have a fininite number of read and writes before the SSD Media deteriorates and the ability to store the 0/1 (On/off) state of each sector fails.   Manufactorers used to advise that folks avoid placing high-volume volitile/dynamic data on SSD's to avoid hastening their demise.  Plus, keeping a small optomized boot disk used to be akin to a relgious tenate of PC faith... like setting the paging file it's own HD or partition.

-Andrew

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Jun 14, 2013 Jun 14, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I ran into this problem this morning on a brand new machine that I'd built specifically for the purpose of photo editing with Photoshop.

My machine, for those interested, has the following disk setup:

1 x 256 gigabyte Samsung Pro 840 SSD as the boot drive (C:)

2 x 2 terabyte Seagate HDD in a RAID 1 array (E:)

1 x 128 gigabyte Samsung Pro 840 SSD as a dedicated scratch disk (F:)

To save space on my SSD boot drive, I'd used Microsoft's Sysprep utility to relocate the '\Users' directory in its entirety to the E: drive during the installation of Windows.  This, I believe, is what caused the error when launching Photoshop.

The computer is running Windows 8 64-bit, and aside from the Adobe Creative Cloud application installer, Photoshop CC was the first application installed other than Windows updates and device drivers.

In my case, the solution was to hold Ctrl+Alt+Shift when starting Photoshop under a normal user account, then immediately go to the Edit menu -> Preferences -> Performance and uncheck the C: drive as a scratch disk location and check my F: drive.  Photoshop now opens normally.

I hope this helps!

Message was edited by: Prime61071 Corrected the menu entry.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Jun 15, 2013 Jun 15, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Hi,

I am having a similar issue yet your proposed fix does not fix it.

C(Boot) is SSD

D-Drive is HDD

F-Drive is SSD (with most proograms including Adobe CC).

I changed the scratch disk from C to D and the above problem ("Could not open a scratch file because the file is locked, you do not have necessary permissions, or another program is using the file. Use the 'properties' command in Windows Explorer to unlock the files")

I have WIn 8 and before I changed the scratch file location, Photoshop worked just fine!

Please help!

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Community Beginner ,
Jun 15, 2013 Jun 15, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

This may or may not help, but have you tried right-clicking Photoshop to launch it with the "Run As Administor" option when you try the CTRL+ALT+SHIFT Key combo?  

6-15-2013 11-20-43 AM.gif

(I don't know if that will help.  I'm just putting on my random "Win8 Security Wierd'isms Cap" and thinking about the phrase "necessary permissions" from the dialog.)

I had the same problem when I switched to an SSD with Win7.  The Ctrl+Alt+Shift should work, but I think I had to "Run as Administrator" to get the related registery changes to take hold.

Good Luck!

Andrew

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Jun 15, 2013 Jun 15, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Greetings: First a disclaimer… I do not recall for certain if this relates to the scratch disk issue, but seem to recall that it does. I am ill, and unable to provide more than what follows. Good luck! –Les D

http://www.it.ringling.edu/known-issues/adobe-photoshop-fails-to-launch

http://www.it.ringling.edu/known-issues/adobe-photoshop-fails-to-launch-due-to-permission-issues/

THE FOLLOWING ARE MY PERSONAL TXT NOTES TO MYSELF ABOUT THIS ISSUE:

After changing USER settings, you get a warning that PSHOP can't access bla bla bla... (essentially won't start):

Log on to machine with Administrator privileges

Delete .psp file for that use (photoshop preferences file)

Open Photoshop, reset preferences, close Photoshop

Log off Administrator

Log on as User.

IF THAT DOESNT WORK, this worked for me -Les:

Log on as administrator and:

If it works, try copying the settings file from the Administrator profile to your profile

Copy

"C:\Users\Adminstrator\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS6\Adobe Photoshop CS6 Settings\Adobe Photoshop X64 CS6 Prefs.psp"

to

"C:\Users\YOURUSERPROFILE\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS6\Adobe Photoshop CS6 Settings\"

(Note- The above asumes you are using the 64bit version and that you profiles are on the C partition.)

(Slightly different in XP, but the concept is exactly the same. Do a search on C crive, including hidden and sys files for .psp files. Youll find one for each user. Copy the one from admin to the other users (rt click on the search result to go to the containing folder).

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Jun 16, 2013 Jun 16, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Reckless283, you are a reckless helper!!! Your message was very helpful as it nudged me in the right direction. Meanwhile I had uninstalled the whole Creative CLoud and reinstalled... yet to no avail as PS still would not open (BTW it would open as adminsitator!).

I went then to

"C:\Users\Adminstrator\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS6\Adobe Photoshop CS6 Settings\Adobe Photoshop X64 CS6 Prefs.psp"

as you recommended. The reinstallation process had created a SECOND file named "Adobe Photoshop X64 CS6 Prefs.psp" (which is a secret to me how to files can be neamed with the same name yet this is irrelevant for this exercice here). I checked which was the new oe (per date, time of installation) and renamed the other one to "Adobe Photoshop X64 CS6 Prefs.OLD". Thereafter, PS opened normally under my normal (non-admin) user account again.

Get yourself celebrated! Thanks!

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Employee ,
Jun 21, 2013 Jun 21, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Hi everyone,

The Photoshop team has released an update to CS6 (version 13.0.1.2) to fix a number of issues with the initial logic for which drive to pick for the initial scratch disk. You should get the update automatically or you can download it directly at:

http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=5595

This fix has also been put into Adobe Photoshop CC which was released on Monday. If you are still having trouble post a reply and we will take a look.

Thanks,

Jeff

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
LEGEND ,
Jun 22, 2013 Jun 22, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Hi Jeff,

A question comes to mind...

Adobe, apparently as a hard policy, never replaces the initial download with a build including subsequent fixes (in other words, if a person downloads Photoshop CS6 even today from Adobe.com, they get 13.0.0.0 then have to apply updates).

The chances of anyone doing an update before running the initial download first are near zero!

What good does it do to change the initial drive selection logic in Photoshop CS6, given that NO ONE is going to run Photoshop 13.0.1.2 first?  Or did I misread what "what drive to pick for the initial scratch disk" means?

The root question is this: 

When updates are released, why doesn't Adobe put up full builds for initial download that contain all the latest fixes?

-Noel

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Employee ,
Jun 24, 2013 Jun 24, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Hi Noel,

Two reasons for doing this from the Adobe side:

1) If we introduce a bug in the .0.1 build then customers might be without a working version of Photoshop

2) Our installers are either "patchers" or "full installers" currently. We would need to re-work the patchers for dot releases to be full installers instead of patchers.

Both reasons have some pros and cons associated with them and especially #2 we talk a lot about internally.

It is true for this particular fix, that you will need to run the updater to Adobe Photoshop first before getting this bug fix. I can definitely appreciate this won't solve it for all users but it is the best way we could deliver it. If users cannot startup correctly, hopefully one of the things they will try is to ensure they have the latest patch applied first.

Thanks,

Jeff

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Jul 17, 2013 Jul 17, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I fixed this nasty problem, had put it off for months cause I knew it would take a solid sit down and after like an hour..

Watch http://tv.adobe.com/watch/the-complete-picture-with-julieanne-kost/how-to-reset-photoshop-cs6s-prefe...

I've got it on Windows 7.

Pay close attention to the location of the files.

Move the 32 and 64 bit preferences from the one hidden folder within the administrator account to the the same one in the user account. These vary from system to system hence the laborious video. Um, in my case the 2 files got moved from

D:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS6\Adobe Photoshop CS6 Settings

to

D:\Users\Myname\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS6\Adobe Photoshop CS6 Settings

Just search your whole computer for .psp files to find where yours are...

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Aug 07, 2013 Aug 07, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

thanks for the help,

this is bad form on Adobe's part

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Contributor ,
Oct 09, 2013 Oct 09, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I have the same problem.

Newly installed Windows 8

Newly installed CS6

Photoshop started for the first time says "Could not open a Scrat" and after that "Could not initialize Photoshop..."

Photoshop does create an empty "Adobe Photoshop X64 CS6 Prefs.psp" in "C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS6\Adobe Photoshop CS6 Settings"

Photoshop can be started as Administrator but I don't want to start Photoshop as administrator.

From where can I copy a basic "Adobe Photoshop X64 CS6 Prefs.psp"?

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Sep 10, 2014 Sep 10, 2014

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Hello, were seeing an error with Photoshop CS6 and it looks to relate to our mandatory profiles. Our users don't have any admin rights and the application launches and then errors. It looks to be struggling to create the pslog.txt file in the users profile.

If I login with admin rights it is creating this file in the route of C: The question is why can't PS write into the users profile temp folder on a mandatory profile? InDesign works ok, that writes into the temp directory fine.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Contributor ,
Sep 18, 2014 Sep 18, 2014

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Giving users write permission to C:/ is one of the worst things you could do. You really can't trust a user or the virii this user could contract.

Better:

start PS as administrator

set Temp data to something else as C:/ for instance D:/ and remove the checkmark for C:/

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Apr 11, 2016 Apr 11, 2016

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

This thread is almost three years old and my problem with this scratch disk thing--after trying all those possible solutions--is still giving me pain in the a$$! Setting my scratch disks to at least a separate partition (if using a single drive pc, even my temp/tmp, shell folders/libraries for that matter) has been a practice since CS2 since I don't like Phtotoshop (or any other app) messing with my system drive.

In particular, this problem--in fairness to Photoshop and to Adobe in general--only occurs when I try to paste an object from Illustrator to Photoshop as Smart Object or Pixel. And this problem only occurs in PS 6. I have no problem like this in PS2 by the way.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Oct 28, 2016 Oct 28, 2016

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Folks, it is near the end of 2016 and will be 2017 soon.  I just installed Photoshop CS6 to find that I am getting this scratch disk error.  I only have a C: drive and no other drives under Windows 10 Professional.  I launched Photoshop by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ALT then clicking YES when asked.  Under preferences, I cannot uncheck the scratch disk under the C: drive at all.  Photoshop will not let me.

According to the post from Jeff-Adobe over three years ago, this issue was supposed to have been fixed?  I have installed all available updates for Photoshop CS6 after I started it as per above.  However, I constantly get this scratch disk issue with each and every start of this program.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Employee ,
Oct 28, 2016 Oct 28, 2016

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Hi Dryne,

May I know how many local drives do you see on your computer? I think the reason you are not able to uncheck C: drive is because you only have C: drive and no other drives. If you only have one local drive, then I recommend you to delete all the temp files and empty the recycle bin and try launching Photoshop after doing that.

To delete temp files Open the windows explorer then type %TEMP% and hit enter, then delete all the files stored in this location.

Regards,

Sahil

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Oct 28, 2016 Oct 28, 2016

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

LATEST

Hi, Sahil.  Thank you for responding.  I only have a single hard drive, which is drive C:

My recycle bin is currently empty.  I just deleted all TEMP files that I possibly could under:

C:\Windows\Temp

C:\Users\(me)\AppData\Temp

C:\Users\(me)\AppData\Local\Temp

However, whenever I start Photoshop I always see the message about the scratch file being locked.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines