"Cannot save because disk is full" but disk is not full

Explorer ,
Apr 24, 2015 Apr 24, 2015

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I am working on a large 2gb tiff panorama.  I have saved it plenty of times before.  After doing some work today, I went to save it and I get an error "Cannot save file because disk is full".  The disk is very much not full.  There was 15gb of free space on the disk when I tried to save (now down to 6gb because each time I try and save it eats up 2gb that it does not release back when the error pops up), and my scratch disk has 60gb of free space as well.  What is going on here?

I don't want to exit out of the program as I've made quite a few changes to the file that I don't want to lose since I can't save.

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Apr 24, 2015 Apr 24, 2015

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Photoshop is just passing along the error it got from the OS.

It sounds like the OS may be filling that small amount of space with the swapfile  (anything else would have been freed up pretty quickly after the error).

Have you tried saving as PSB?

Have you tried saving to a different disk?

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Explorer ,
Apr 24, 2015 Apr 24, 2015

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Sorry, I misspoke earlier.  The drive I am trying to save to is actually a 1tb drive with 471gb of free space.  The drive with 15gb of free space is the C: that photoshop is installed on.

Also of note that I meant to mention in the original post, the save progress gets to 99% before the error is thrown.

Saving as a .PSB works, so I wonder what it is about the tif that is a problem here.  I would prefer to save the .tiff as this is actually a file I brought over from Lightroom (using the "Edit in Photoshop" option) so I'd prefer to see my changes automatically saved back over there, though I suppose worst case I can import the .PSB in Lightroom and copy the LR adjustments from the other file.

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Explorer ,
Apr 24, 2015 Apr 24, 2015

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Actually it looks like Lightroom does not support .PSB files so I can't get it back in there unless I can get it to save as a .tiff.

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Apr 24, 2015 Apr 24, 2015

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Not sure - disk full messages come from the OS and are passed along. It is possible that some OS file API is returning an incorrect error.

Hmm - did you copy the whole, exact error message?  If it said "scratch disk is full",  or "boot disk is full" that would indicate a very different issue.

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Explorer ,
Apr 24, 2015 Apr 24, 2015

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The file path in the error was chopped off, but the error itself just said "disk is full", not scratch disk, etc.

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New Here ,
Nov 24, 2015 Nov 24, 2015

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Did you resolve this issue? I am having the same issue.  I brought my picture into Photoshop from Lightroom.  When I clicked command + S, I received the same message. I am unable to save the picture back into Lightroom.

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Engaged ,
Nov 24, 2015 Nov 24, 2015

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Hi,

I had few times this error. After two months my hard disk started to make some pretty strange noises and a lot of files started to be corrupted. Not sure if this is your case but check if your hard disk is still 100% alive. Consider also that 15 G of free space on a computer running Photoshop is not to much. Usually around 10 G the computer starts to slow down and may give u unexpected issues.

Please let us know how this ends.
Regards,

Martin Benes

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New Here ,
Jan 19, 2018 Jan 19, 2018

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I was having the same problem trying to save to a 2TB NTFS volume. I repartitioned the drive to create two, 1TB NTFS volumes and I'm now able to save to either volume, so it's apparently a limitation of Photoshop itself and not a problem with the OS. Hope this helps. I should also note that the volume I was trying to save to (E:) was not specified as the Scratch Disk. That points to a solid state drive, in fact, the startup drive, C:

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New Here ,
Jan 20, 2019 Jan 20, 2019

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I had that issue but clicked "save as a copy" and it went through ok.

Good luck.

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New Here ,
Feb 24, 2021 Feb 24, 2021

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It worked! Thank you!

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New Here ,
Feb 14, 2020 Feb 14, 2020

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Hi, (For Mac users)

This problem happens when (Documents Folder) is having more than what system has assined for, Then though your disk is not full the system is not able to calculate Document Folder. That is the same for Adobe Audition. I had this issue with Adobe Audition CC 2020 and when I moved some big size files to other folders, it was OK. 

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Explorer ,
Jun 23, 2020 Jun 23, 2020

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I'm also having this issue. I have around 150GB free, and I have 16GB free on my Mac scratch disk with also my Lacie scratch disk enabled with 75GB free there too. Wtf??

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 23, 2020 Jun 23, 2020

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The message may well be real.

 

A 2 GB file is a big file, and the scratch file can easily be in the 100GB range or more. Each history state can add up to another 2GB, and there's all kinds of extra overhead. I'd never be comfortable with less than 500 GB available scratch space.

 

Are those LaCie 75 GB recognized and correctly reported in Preferences > Scratch Disks? Using an external disk as scratch disk is hit or miss. Even if recognized by Photoshop, it can be too slow. Or too fragmented, if it's a spinning disk.

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Explorer ,
Jun 23, 2020 Jun 23, 2020

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Hey, thanks so much for the reply! My knowledge of scratch disks is very limited so I appreciate the info. It does seem to recognize my external Lacie as an additional scratch disk. My preference is not to use that, though. So to make more space for my Mac scratch disks, besides deleting files and compressing old projects (which I'm doing) will upping my RAM help? Right now I have 2 16gb slots and 2 4gb slots.

Deleting/compressing a first batch of old files (around 100 gb worth) actually didn't work for me. But using Photoshop 2020 instead of 2019 seems to work (for now).

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 23, 2020 Jun 23, 2020

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There is no such thing as "enough RAM". The scratch disk is Photoshop's main working memory. RAM is a fast access cache that keeps things smooth by holding current data that are immediately needed. But it's all on disk, always.

 

This is why Photoshop nees to have a lot of free disk space available. It gets used up in seconds with big files.

 

To be frank, I can't understand why this isn't reflected in the published system requirements. They only say that you need 3.1 GB disk space to install the application. I'm sure that's possible - but it would instantly crash and burn if you tried to actually use it with 3.1 GB disk space. In your case, I wouldn't settle for anything less than 500 GB free space.

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Explorer ,
Jun 24, 2020 Jun 24, 2020

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Really had absolutely no idea that's what my baseline should be. I appreciate the info more than I can say, for some reason it seems to be hard to find basic info like that when you're troubleshooting something like this.

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New Here ,
Dec 24, 2020 Dec 24, 2020

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Here's the answer everyone has been looking for. After many attempts, I came across this workaround:

 

1. Right-click on your Desktop.

 

2. New/Shortcut

 

3. Browse to the target folder where you want to save the file. Not IN the folder, but one level above.

 

4. Click once on the folder. As in, say,  the folder Pictures or My Pictures.

 

5. Create the shortcut, then move it to the Desktop.

 

6. When saving your file in Photoshop or PE, navigate to the target folder by clicking the Desktop/Pictures shortcut.

 

7. If other folders are underneath Pictures, then open the desired folder.

 

8. Save the file. Should be successfully saved to the folder!

 

9. Be happy that someone actually found a cure for the erroneous error message about the disk being full.

 

10. You are welcome. Enjoy!

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