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

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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.

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New Here ,
Aug 18, 2012 Aug 18, 2012

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PS, I have also started PS in the User profile, then pressed Crtl+Alt+Shift quickly, and recieve the prompt "Delete Adboe PS Setting File?", I click "Yes", but still no joy. Same error

Restart PS, no joy, same error.

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LEGEND ,
Aug 18, 2012 Aug 18, 2012

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You're just paddling upstream trying to run as a non-privileged user.

It's a great idea in theory - it helps you protect your system when you do dumb things like inadvertently run malware.  But in practice it just doesn't work very well.  So you fight your computer instead of getting work done.

You might be able to make some headway by installing Photoshop from your non-privileged user account.

I've taken it one step further:  Besides being in the Administrators group I have disabled UAC.  Everything just works great.  As it should be.

Other steps to help prevent malware are perfectly effective.  UAC is just a poor implementation of a questionable idea.  Running as a non-privileged user when you're sharing a big, expensive resource with a bunch of other people makes sense.  But this is YOUR personal computer.  No one else needs protection from you.

-Noel

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New Here ,
Aug 18, 2012 Aug 18, 2012

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I'm sorry but I disagree. Have been a Windows administrator for near on 15 years I have seen and delt with many issues with User/admin privilege system setting across many Windows OS. Sure, there are issues, but since the trial, installation, roll out and on going use of Windows 7 for the past few years, this is the first program I have come across that I is produced by a "major" manufacturer that has cause issues.

Disabling the UAC, in my opinion, is NOT the solution. It maybe a solution for you, but it is not the solution for us and against our policy. PCs are not necessarily the personal possession of the people that use them, In fact the vast majority are of corporate use and the need to security and low level user account is a very real need. If you believe that the whole idea is questionable, maybe this should be taken up with system designer.

What I would like is a proper Adobe resolution to the issue, as I think others are after.

PS. With the UAC intact, software cannot be install in a USER account - this is the whole point. AN administrator raises the privilege level to install the software. The User than uses the software.

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LEGEND ,
Aug 18, 2012 Aug 18, 2012

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There's no question that Adobe ought to make their product work in the modern security environment.  I didn't say my approach was a substitute for them getting things right.

But Photoshop is what it is.  I'm just describing how to make things work in the real world. 

Maybe Adobe is listening and these problems will be addressed in the 13.0.1 patch.

And please, let's not get into a "who's a bigger geek contest".  Suffice it to say I've got more experience than you.

Have fun fighting your operating system to prove who's boss.

-Noel

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Explorer ,
Aug 20, 2012 Aug 20, 2012

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@Noel

NO! PS is not "what it is". Adobe gets a lot of money from their customers to make it work in a modern environment, they can easily gather the skill to do so and they should.

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LEGEND ,
Aug 20, 2012 Aug 20, 2012

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I'm not trying to discourage you from asking for fixes.  Please don't confuse an attempt to help you get the most from your system with someone being an apologist.

-Noel

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Explorer ,
Aug 20, 2012 Aug 20, 2012

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@Noel

Sorry, your help and fixes are of course very welcome! I only disagree that it's supposed to be this way and, I guess, I hope that somone at Adobe will pick this up and do something about it. I mean, you have to agree that it's quite poor programming to not even use system wide cache spaces by default, but instead assume that every user is a sysadmin?

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LEGEND ,
Aug 20, 2012 Aug 20, 2012

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Absolutely I agree that it ought to be better implemented!  Adobe does see the things posted here and now and again even fixes some, but sometimes I think they're a bit too willing to assign the blame to the user's computer system, or simply de-prioritize the work.  I browbeat them myself over this from time to time, but outside trying to help them clarify issues I can't really influence what they do, so I simply try to help people make things work better.

In the personal computing world a multiple pronged approach seems to work best:  Ask for fixes and at the same time try to make one's own system more apt to run the software properly.  The latter is a concession that shouldn't be necessary but sometimes is.  As a bonus it pays off again and again, because Adobe is not the only vendor who makes mistakes in programming their apps.  I have a lot of experience in this area as a career computer software engineer.

-Noel

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LEGEND ,
Aug 18, 2012 Aug 18, 2012

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Swin70 wrote:

this is the first program I have come across that I is produced by a "major" manufacturer that has cause issues.

Oh, one other thing:  Keep in mind the design of Photoshop (and no doubt a lot of the source code still) is from the early 1990s.  Things were pretty different then regarding how applications were expected to interact with the operating system (e.g., generally speaking, any app worth its salt actually modified the operating system).  Think how opposite that is from today's thinking.

-Noel

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New Here ,
Aug 18, 2012 Aug 18, 2012

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Ok, tired, but may have found a better work around to the issue which involves no UAC or security permission disabling.

It would appear that in my instance, even after the Preferences file was remove from the user profile, when PS tried to recreate this file it encountered an issue (what I don't know) - the Preferences file although created was 0 bytes.

As a  random test I copied the "Adobe Photoshop X64 CS6 Prefs.psp" from the Admin profile to the User profile. Security permission are automatically inherited in Windows 7 (in fact XP and up), then started PS.

et volia. PS started in the user profile, no errors.

Not sure if there will be any fall out from this, however checked the "Camera RAW Prefernces" and the location folder points to the user profile.

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New Here ,
Aug 18, 2012 Aug 18, 2012

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As far as I could see, the permission were identical on the file that was created by PS at 0kb and the resultant file i copied in from the admin profile. Not sure what this issue is, but there is obviously one.

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Explorer ,
Aug 20, 2012 Aug 20, 2012

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@Noel

I think you're missing the point. PS is marketed to photographers and artists, not computer "tweak super user admins" per se. And not even being able to run the software, without being one, is poor, lazy ass programmed, overpriced junk of software. BUT with a market monopoly Adobe gets away with it.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 19, 2012 Nov 19, 2012

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If only the author of the scratch disk error message has included the text, "... or hold down CTRL+ALT during startup to remap your scratch disk to a new location." instead of suggesting that I locate my scratch disk directory and ensure it is not set to read-only.   The message was already a full paragraph long, and offered no help!

I honestly had no idea which directory Photoshop had defaulted to and no idea which TMP file might be read-only. It was so much easier to just use your CTRL-ALT trick to select a new drive!

As far as the cause, my new Dell XPS PC is just 6 hours unboxed.  I'd only installed Symantec Endpoint Protection prior to this failed install of CS6 Master Collection. Upon the first launch of my virgin software, I was presented with all of these warning diaogs that bombed the system.  

Thank goodness for your screenshot and this posting.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 20, 2012 Aug 20, 2012

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The 32/64-bit problem cannot exist on my pc,as I did not install the 32-bit version of Photoshop CS6.

I changed the scratch disk for Photoshop to a suitable drive.

As I mentioned in my report, Photoshop does behave as it should when started on its own, but reports the scratch disk problem when it is called from Acrobat; I have now found that this happens if it is attempting to save the file that is being edited as a pdf; saving as a tiff or a jpeg worked OK. If I start Acrobat as Administrator, then call Photoshop, the problem does not occur. This suggests the problem is pdf-related.

All of this is happening in my personal tmp folder, wich is on another disk than the boot disk. As an experiment, I set my permissions for the tmp folder to full control, but that did not make a difference.

The fact that these problems do not occur with the 64-bit CS5 version of photoshop only increases my dissatisfaction with the CS6 version.

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New Here ,
Aug 20, 2012 Aug 20, 2012

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@jerdenberg

I don't think this issue is purly NTFS security permissions based, more so this is a UAC based issue. It would appear that Adobe have not followed Microsofts guidance in implementing thier program to work for multiple user levels.

As Noel suggested, one way to do this is to disable the UAC. In my opinion, this is a bit like someone losing thier keys to thier house then to resolve the issue they remove all the doors and windows. Sure, they will be able to get in and out, but so will evryone and thier dog. A better solution might be to get a new key cut.

Basically, Adobe should have the resources to re-work thier software to work with the OS for which it is indended to operate on.

However, did you try copying the prefernces file from a working Admisistrator profile to the user profile?

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LEGEND ,
Aug 20, 2012 Aug 20, 2012

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Analogies are fun.

I liken disabling UAC to replacing a door with a lock that is so balky that it both sometimes keeps you from getting into your own home and allows crooks through occasionally.  The words "false sense of security" come to mind.  Your new door always works for YOU, and it no longer needs to be so secure because you've put up a way better fence around your yard and you've stopped inviting crooks into your neighborhood.

People who think UAC is necessary sometimes assume people can't change other parts of their working environment or change bad computing habits, when in fact doing so can keep malware from ever getting near your front door.

-Noel

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New Here ,
Aug 20, 2012 Aug 20, 2012

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So I have come across this thread to try and find a resolution for this issue and i have to say parts of this upset me.

Half the thread is people accussing others of either not listening to the advice or yelling.

the whole segment of the person who hit no when photoshop asked them to delete their settings was very annoying since i did hit yes and thats when this whole thing started.

instead of making people who have this issue read a whole page of people arguing about stupid things that don't adress the issue why not put up something usefull.

my photoshop worked PERFECT for 2 years until i clicked yes to deleting my settings this morning.   Now i get the scratch error. the reason i did that was because my fonts were all screwed up and someone suggested that would fix the error. 

I have 200 gb free, all tmp files removed. i am unable to edit the scratch file settings under performance even in admin mode.  

so does anyone have a solution to this issue?

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New Here ,
Aug 20, 2012 Aug 20, 2012

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I take it that you are running WIndows 7 and have tried all the CTRL+SHIFT+ALT stuff? 

If so, does PS start OK as the Administrator? To check, run PS as Admin, Right click PS icon, then click "Run as Administrator"

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.)

I would love to knwo if this helps anyone, or if it just help helped me.

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Explorer ,
Oct 13, 2012 Oct 13, 2012

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After sorting the cache disk issue to enable Photoshop to run, there are other issues that makes CS6 a real pain.... CS6 just gets worse and worse (I had virtually no problem with CS5 Master Collection on my system)

Problems with PS CS6:

I cannot past a shape from Illustrator (or any other app) as smart object or Pixels... I get a "Could not open scratch file becuase file is locked" error. I can only past as path or shape layer.

If I open a file with smart objects, I will not be able to save the file unless I rasterise shape layers.

If I run as Administrator:

I can paste as Smart Object.

However, If I run an app as administrator, I cannot save to our Samba File Server and must copy files locally to work on them.*

As admin, I lose the ability to drag files from file explorer into PS*

*This is the same with Indesign (samba server and drag and drop to document) and Bridge which unless I run as admin, they both crash on startup.

It's getting increasingly difficult to see any real advantage upgrading from CS5 to CS6, sure there may be a few bells and whistles, may be 'faster', but to actually use them in a real-world working environment... CS6 is a pain unless you only work with files on your local machine. Iv'e heard that part of the fault is that I have my User folder on a secondary drive. Now that SSD's are a bit cheaper and larger, I may look at getting a 240GB and re-installing my whole system (on both machines), but It'll suck if it doesn't fix it and CS5 ran sweet without a hitch.

Both machines:

Windows 7 64bit

CS6 Master Collection (Adobe Cloud)

120GB SSD with user folder on alternate drive

Drive array totalling approx 5TB

16GB Ram

i7 2600K

2 x GTX580 SLI (Single GTX580 on my work machine)

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 27, 2012 Oct 27, 2012

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After a new install, changing the scratch disks after running as administrator didn't fix the problem for me.

Copying over Administrator's prefs file to my normal user account did work though, so thanks Swin70. Hopefully this issue is somewhere above the bottom of Adobe's bug tracking priority list.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 27, 2012 Oct 27, 2012

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What scratch disks are now identified in your Edit - Preferences - Performance dialog?

-Noel

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New Here ,
Nov 13, 2012 Nov 13, 2012

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YES TO SWIN 70, POST #64... Thank You Very Much For This Post!

This worked for me on two different workstations, with different user privileges (less than Admin) and different versions of PS. Both under XP PRO, one copy of CS(1), one of CS5.5. The user profile structure is a tad different under XP, but the idea is the same.

I don't yet know about issues with Acrobat or Illustrator, but for Photoshop this was the answer.

And to those on this thread who are intent on vocalizing the depth and bredth of their vast knowledge and experience as a means to justify their overt hostility toward those deemed lesser than themselves simply for holding an opposing opinion I say... grow up. The lack of maturity by some on this thread is simply stunning.

And no, this problem is not the result of ignorant users running ill-maintained machines (perhaps in some, but certainly not in the majority of cases). It's an issue that should be addressed by Adobe so it never raises its ugly head again. Even Ahead/Nero (V6.0!) has a little applet that allows Administrators to grant application-specific rights to users needing to burn a CD. If nothing else, an executable patch doing the the same thing for accessing a scratch disk seems pretty reasonable to me.

Message was edited by: Reckless283 (Les De Moss)

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LEGEND ,
Nov 13, 2012 Nov 13, 2012

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Swin70 wrote:

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\"

I wonder how it came to be that you have a C:\Users\Administrator folder.

I don't have Adminstrator subfolder of Users on any of my Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8 systems here.

Is it possible this was a result of installing a later version of Windows as an upgrade from XP (or a chain of upgrades)?  Maybe a case Adobe didn't account for?

-Noel

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New Here ,
Nov 14, 2012 Nov 14, 2012

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Noel Carboni wrote:

Swin70 wrote:

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\"

I wonder how it came to be that you have a C:\Users\Administrator folder.

I don't have Adminstrator subfolder of Users on any of my Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8 systems here.

Is it possible this was a result of installing a later version of Windows as an upgrade from XP (or a chain of upgrades)?  Maybe a case Adobe didn't account for?

-Noel

This is determined in the way you set up your PC in the first place. The administrator accounts are disabled by deafault, however, the vast majority of business systems will enable this account and lower the rights on the standard user acounts.

It is a completely standard business and systems practice, one which I'm sure Abobe have on thier own internal systems. I don't think they would have overlooked this.

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LEGEND ,
Nov 14, 2012 Nov 14, 2012

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Thanks for the response.

Of course, I had a lapse.  Administrator is being enabled as part of the custom setup for the enterprise.  As I always am the full administrator of all my own systems here I don't do that as it's not needed.

-Noel

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