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Photoshop CC not recognizing thumb drive for selection as scratch disk

Community Beginner ,
May 10, 2017

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I have the most current version of Photoshop CC (updated today, 5/10/2017).  I want to use a 32gb thumb drive as an additional scratch disk for photoshop.  I have the thumb drive installed and I can read/write to the drive manually but when I go to the Scratch Disks option in PS it's not seeing that drive.  The drive was originally formatted as Fat32.  I've tried reformatting as exFat and NTFS, closing and reopening PS after each reformat, but it's still not seeing that drive.  I currently have a portable hard drive hung off another port and it sees that one fine (this is a backup drive so I don't want to use that as a scratch disk).  Why won't it see my thumb drive? 

I'm on a Windows 7 laptop.

IIRC, thumb drives cannot be used as scratch disk space. Personally, I'd not ever want to use one for scratch, even if I could. An internal 128 GB SSD would be a much better choice, and would only cost about $80. A USB 3.0 SSD would work, too, but would cost more

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Photoshop CC not recognizing thumb drive for selection as scratch disk

Community Beginner ,
May 10, 2017

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I have the most current version of Photoshop CC (updated today, 5/10/2017).  I want to use a 32gb thumb drive as an additional scratch disk for photoshop.  I have the thumb drive installed and I can read/write to the drive manually but when I go to the Scratch Disks option in PS it's not seeing that drive.  The drive was originally formatted as Fat32.  I've tried reformatting as exFat and NTFS, closing and reopening PS after each reformat, but it's still not seeing that drive.  I currently have a portable hard drive hung off another port and it sees that one fine (this is a backup drive so I don't want to use that as a scratch disk).  Why won't it see my thumb drive? 

I'm on a Windows 7 laptop.

IIRC, thumb drives cannot be used as scratch disk space. Personally, I'd not ever want to use one for scratch, even if I could. An internal 128 GB SSD would be a much better choice, and would only cost about $80. A USB 3.0 SSD would work, too, but would cost more

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May 10, 2017 0
LEGEND ,
May 10, 2017

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IIRC, thumb drives cannot be used as scratch disk space. Personally, I'd not ever want to use one for scratch, even if I could. An internal 128 GB SSD would be a much better choice, and would only cost about $80. A USB 3.0 SSD would work, too, but would cost more

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May 10, 2017 3
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 10, 2017

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None of my external drives are showing as available as Scratch space (14 drives in total, but only 7 available).

This Lynda dot Com chapter discusses USB3 external drives, but I can't find other information about nhow to mount then so they show up in Preferences.

Taking advantage of scratch disks

The bottom line here is that a pen drive is a terrible idea when it comes to Photoshop scratch space.  I have a few drives that are 'reasonably' fast, but they don't come close to a USB3 external or pocket drive.  So a Pen drive would dramatically slow things down even if you could get it to work.

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May 10, 2017 2
Engaged ,
May 10, 2017

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i don't think ANY programs allow external drives to be used as 'scratch' disks. and as has been noted previously, it wouldn't be a good idea anyway.

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May 10, 2017 1
Community Beginner ,
May 11, 2017

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Thanks.  I did find something about this elsewhere eventually but you've confirmed that.  I have a Samsung portable hard drive that Windows sees as a permanent storage type.  PS sees that no problem but didn't really want to have to constantly hang that off my laptop.  Not sure how I'd add another internal drive to my laptop or if it's even possible so it looks like I'll be using the portable HD for now.

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May 11, 2017 0
LEGEND ,
May 11, 2017

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Ah, a laptop. Which laptop do you have? Some laptops do have an extra bay for a second hard drive. If not that, you could get a new SSD (say 1 TB?) and use that as your new C drive. Then set aside a new 100-200gb partition for scratch disk. The partition isn't entirely necessary with the fast SSDs these days.. However, a separate partition would both prevent you from filling the system's drive past what you'd want for scratch, and prevent large scratch files from taking up system space.

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May 11, 2017 0
Community Beginner ,
May 12, 2017

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Thanks for all the info.  I'm using a Del Inspiron 15.  It's actually a work laptop that's several years old.  I've been casually looking at getting a new personal laptop (mine died a little over a year ago) and will have to keep all that in mind while looking.

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May 12, 2017 1
LEGEND ,
May 12, 2017

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Okay. Yes, the 15 only has a place for one drive. Some of the 17's have room for two. So you'd need to use on disk for boot and scratch

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May 12, 2017 0
New Here ,
May 30, 2018

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After remote session with Adobe - I am now able to select my drive - Run as administrator and drives will show up.  Open creative cloud and "Run as administrator" first and then photoshop as administrator.  (right click on icons on desktop to see the "run as administrator" menu choice).

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May 30, 2018 2
New Here ,
Nov 13, 2018

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Thanks for sharing! This "Run as Administrator" fix helped my Adobe apps to recognize the "missing" secondary hard drive I wanted to use as "scratch" too. It still won't read my thumb drive though as others have mentioned earlier.

For those of you who might want to "Permanently run a program as an administrator", this support article should help:
Run an Adobe program as administrator | Windows 7, Vista

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Nov 13, 2018 0
New Here ,
Jan 17, 2020

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You can actually use thumb drives. But I can't get my USB 3 Kingston drive to be recognised. However I can get my Sandisk Cruzer force USB2 stick  to work and it's been a life saver with the latest Photoshop CC 2019. Noone recommends it but my macbook pro SD drive is full and this 256 Gb thumb drive has allowed me to work just fine without slowing everything down. Otherwise i get Scratch disks are full messages all the time.

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Jan 17, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 17, 2020

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If your system drive really is that full, you should consider the PS message an early warning, and one you should take seriously. You may soon have much bigger problems than Photoshop. Your whole system may freeze.

 

Never allow a system drive to fill up beyond 70% or so.

 

 

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Jan 17, 2020 0
kaius LATEST
Community Beginner ,
Sep 29, 2020

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I had the same problem, a Kingstone usb pendrive usb 3.0 128 GB.

Photoshop didn't recognize it as scratch disk disk. I fixed formatting the pendrive in journaled using Utility Disk (I have a Mac).

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Sep 29, 2020 0