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Cannot backup in full

Community Beginner ,
Nov 30, 2020 Nov 30, 2020

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When I try to do a full backup to either of two external hard drives, E: or G:, I get the error message "Cannot complete backup.  Your system is low on disk space".  The Organizer computes the backup size as 210 GB, yet File Explorer shows 1119 GB free on E: and 795 GB free on G:, and 676 GB free on C:.  I still can do incremental backups to older full backups on these drives.   What's the problem and solution here for full backups?

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Organizer, Problem or error

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 30, 2020 Nov 30, 2020

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In the editor menu Help  >> System Info, you should find lines about "Scratch Volume(s)". What does it say ?

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 30, 2020 Nov 30, 2020

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I forgot to mention, I am using Elements 2018 (v. 16).  

I remember scratch files from old versions of Photoshop, but there is nothing in Elements 2018 Help about scratch files.

However, it does mention Catalog cache size as 2.1 GB, and Preferences shows cache in C:\ [user name] \appdata\roaming\Adobe\common.  

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 30, 2020 Nov 30, 2020

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https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop-elements/using/scratch-disks-plug-ins.html

Catalog cache has nothing to do with the cache in the preferences.

Did you find your scratch disk definition (which you can set from the menu Edit >> preferences, section performances?

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 30, 2020 Nov 30, 2020

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I see a setting for scratch discs in my old Photoshop 5, but nowhere in 8, 12, or 16 (2018)

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 30, 2020 Nov 30, 2020

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I see  that the scratch discs settings now are in the Preferences in the Editor -- not the Organizer!

So looking at the Scratch Disc settings in the Editor (not Organizer), it says that the scratch discs free space is the entire free space in each drive.  However, it does not say if any or active.  

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 30, 2020 Nov 30, 2020

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So iof scratch discs settings are relevnt to editing, not organizing, how do they have any bearing on my problem?

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Enthusiast ,
Nov 30, 2020 Nov 30, 2020

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I see that your problem occurs in the Organizer, but did you check for Scratch Volumes in the EDITOR Help >> System Info?

Walter in Davie, FL

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 30, 2020 Nov 30, 2020

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Yes.  The scratch disc size is equal to the entire free space on each drive.

 

 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 30, 2020 Nov 30, 2020

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And Task Manager says I have 6 of 12 GB memory free.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 30, 2020 Nov 30, 2020

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But there is no mark in the "Active?" field for each scratch disk.  

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 30, 2020 Nov 30, 2020

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I did an uninstall and reinstall (without deleting preferences), and got the same error!  Where is there not enough space?  I have more than enough space on each drive.  

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 30, 2020 Nov 30, 2020

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But it muist be some kind of a space problem.  I created a test catalog with 20 pictures and it did a full backup of that.  

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 30, 2020 Nov 30, 2020

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Then I connected to an older catalog of 167 GB and tried to back up, but got the not enough space error again.  Yet I backed up this catalog to the external drive in the past.  

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 30, 2020 Nov 30, 2020

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Next I reopened my old PSE 12, tried to back up its catalog of 115 GB, and again got the error message.  This catalog too was previously fully backed up on this computer.  So it appears there is no corruption of the PSE code.  Same errors on a full reinstall and on a previously fully functional version of PSE 12.  Something must be wrong with my computer?

But I can't get a new computer unless I first can get a full backup of Photoshop and restore it on the new computer, because any worthwhile new computer will have both a SSD drive with drive C: and a HDD with drive E:.  My Catalog now points to drive C: for all my pictures, yet the SSD will be too small for all my pictures; I have to put them on E:, where the Catalog will not connect to them.  

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 01, 2020 Dec 01, 2020

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About scratch disks:

What do your present settings look like?

A screenshot would clarify your situation.

Here is one. The two chosen (active) drives are internal drives with enough space. The C drive is ignored (not enough free space). You choose the order of drives using the two up and down arrows just on the right of the drives list.

Scratch Disk-2.jpg

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 01, 2020 Dec 01, 2020

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freethedata_0-1606839730656.png

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 01, 2020 Dec 01, 2020

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It should be enough to click on the left column on the C: drive, like in my screenshot. Does the checkbox appear?

Then, would the error message be the same?

The general rules for scratch disks:

- You have conventional internal drives: choose another another drive than the C drive

- Don't use external drives

- If you have SSD drive, they are highly recommended if they are big enough

 

About location or your media files: no problem to store them on external drives, that's what I do.

Location of the catalog file: you can choose. Theoretically better in the default location, especially if the drive is big enough. I do sore both my catalog and media files on the same external drive. No noticeable loss in speed.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 01, 2020 Dec 01, 2020

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Made no difference--still got the insufficient space error.  

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 01, 2020 Dec 01, 2020

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Why is the calculated space for this backup only 210 GB, whereas the actual size of my last full backup, as reported by file explorer properties, 476GB, and at that time I had many fewer pictures than now?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 01, 2020 Dec 01, 2020

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Why did I ask you about your scratch disks?

You reported the error message:

"Cannot complete backup. Your system is low on disk space".

For me, that does not mean the free space on the destination drive, but the free space used by the system to allow more space than the RAM. The fact that your screenshot does not show any scratch disk is not normal. Were you able to assign the C drive as scratch disk (make the checkbox appear on the first line as in my screenshot?)

 

Why is the calculated space for this backup only 210 GB, whereas the actual size of my last full backup, as reported by file explorer properties, 476GB, and at that time I had many fewer pictures than now?

Good question. Only you can estimate the true size from the Explorer. So that looks like a second mystery which may be linked with the first one... or not. Did you get the same 210 GB estimate when trying to backup on G or E?

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 01, 2020 Dec 01, 2020

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In your screen shot, you show the C: drive as not active scratch disk, so I didn't check it.  Will try again with C: checked. 

And I got the same calculated backup size for both external disks.

They are having a Black Friday sale on PSE 2021; wonder if i will get the same error if i try a backup from PSE 2021?

As mentioned above, i already did an uninstall and reinstall of PSE 2018 with no different results.  

And also as  mentioned above, i got the same error when i went back to PSE 12 and tried to do a full backup of the PSE 12 catalog.

 

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 01, 2020 Dec 01, 2020

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Tried again with C: checked as active scratch disk;  same results.  

Will try optimize/ repair catalog.  I have noticed in my experience with computers that the displayed error message often has no relation to the true error,  

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 01, 2020 Dec 01, 2020

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Optimizied and repaired catalog, but same results.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 01, 2020 Dec 01, 2020

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I purchased and downloaded PSE 2021, and the full backup completed on this edition, so i guess the problem is now moot.  But an observation, if there was not enough disk space to back up PSE 2018, then likewise there should not have been enough to back up PSE 2021, but this was not an issue in PSE 2021.  Once again showing that the explanation in an error window is seldom the actual explanation.  Guess we will never know the real reason.

 

And a rant about backups.  The incremental backup is worse than uesless.  If gives a false sense of security that you are doing backups, but i have never seen any documentation anywhere on how to restore from an incremental backup.  Also the default locations for PSE Catalog folder is poorly chosen.  Commercial backup programs in their default configuration will never find and backup the Catalog folder.  The backup programs will never look in the Program Files folder, or the Appdata folder, (the two default options), so no backup is automatically made.

 

Now that i finally have the Backup, i have some questions about Restore.  But i willl pose them as a new topic.  Look for it.  

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