Photoshop, scratch disks on unpartitioned laptop

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Thread Starter
May 6, 2003
My husband has a dell laptop with his hard disk unpartitioned ie only c:\

We've tweaked photoshop to only have 2 cache's and 75% of Ram but he still gets scratchdisk errors.

Can anyone tell me what the impact of disabling the whole scratch disk is? Is there a tweak we haven't done?

Just for the record his startuplist.txt is below

thanks in advance


StartupList report, 10/10/2003, 9:48:42 AM
StartupList version: 1.52
Started from : T:\StartupList.EXE
Detected: Windows 2000 SP3 (WinNT 5.00.2195)
Detected: Internet Explorer v6.00 SP1 (6.00.2800.1106)
* Using default options

Running processes:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\ccEvtMgr.exe
C:\Program Files\Norton AntiVirus\navapsvc.exe
C:\Program Files\Norton Utilities\NPROTECT.EXE
C:\Program Files\Tiny Personal Firewall\persfw.exe
C:\Program Files\Norton Speed Disk\nopdb.exe
C:\Program Files\Symantec\WinFax\WFXMOD32.EXE
C:\Program Files\Synaptics\SynTP\SynTPLpr.exe
C:\Program Files\Synaptics\SynTP\SynTPEnh.exe
C:\Program Files\DELL\AccessDirect\dadapp.exe
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\ccApp.exe
C:\Program Files\Symantec\WinFax\WFXCTL32.EXE
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\OUTLOOK.EXE


Listing of startup folders:

Shell folders Startup:
[C:\Documents and Settings\Andrew King\Start Menu\Programs\Startup]
PowerReg Scheduler.exe
Distiller Assistant 3.01.lnk = C:\Acrobat3\Distillr\DISTASST.EXE
Shortcut to OUTLOOK.EXE.lnk = C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\OUTLOOK.EXE
HotSync Manager.lnk = Palm\HOTSYNC.EXE

Shell folders Common Startup:
[C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup]
Microsoft Office.lnk = C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\OSA9.EXE
Controller.LNK = C:\Program Files\Symantec\WinFax\WFXCTL32.EXE


Checking Windows NT UserInit:

[HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]
UserInit = C:\WINNT\system32\userinit.exe,


Autorun entries from Registry:

Synchronization Manager = mobsync.exe /logon
PCTVOICE = pctspk.exe
IgfxTray = C:\WINNT\System32\igfxtray.exe
HotKeysCmds = C:\WINNT\System32\hkcmd.exe
SynTPLpr = C:\Program Files\Synaptics\SynTP\SynTPLpr.exe
SynTPEnh = C:\Program Files\Synaptics\SynTP\SynTPEnh.exe
DadApp = C:\Program Files\DELL\AccessDirect\dadapp.exe
WinFaxAppPortStarter = wfxsnt40.exe
ccApp = "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\ccApp.exe"
ccRegVfy = "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\ccRegVfy.exe"
QuickTime Task = "C:\Program Files\QuickTime\qttask.exe" -atboottime


Autorun entries from Registry:

Microsoft Works Update Detection = C:\Program Files\Microsoft Works\WkDetect.exe


Shell & screensaver key from C:\WINNT\SYSTEM.INI:

Shell=*INI section not found*
SCRNSAVE.EXE=*INI section not found*
drivers=*INI section not found*

Shell & screensaver key from Registry:

drivers=*Registry value not found*

Policies Shell key:

HKCU\..\Policies: Shell=*Registry key not found*
HKLM\..\Policies: Shell=*Registry value not found*


Enumerating Browser Helper Objects:

(no name) - C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 6.0\Reader\ActiveX\AcroIEHelper.dll - {06849E9F-C8D7-4D59-B87D-784B7D6BE0B3}
(no name) - c:\winnt\googletoolbar_en_2.0.95-big.dll - {AA58ED58-01DD-4d91-8333-CF10577473F7}
NAV Helper - C:\Program Files\Norton AntiVirus\NavShExt.dll - {BDF3E430-B101-42AD-A544-FADC6B084872}
(no name) - C:\Program Files\Microsoft Money\System\mnyviewer.dll - {FDD3B846-8D59-4ffb-8758-209B6AD74ACC}


Enumerating Task Scheduler jobs:

Symantec NetDetect.job
Norton AntiVirus - Scan my computer.job


Enumerating Download Program Files:

[BrowserProxy4 Class]
InProcServer32 = C:\WINNT\System32\AlxTB1.dll



[Update Class]
InProcServer32 = C:\WINNT\System32\iuctl.dll

[Shockwave Flash Object]
InProcServer32 = C:\WINNT\System32\macromed\flash\Flash.ocx


Enumerating ShellServiceObjectDelayLoad items:

Network.ConnectionTray: C:\WINNT\system32\NETSHELL.dll
WebCheck: C:\WINNT\System32\webcheck.dll
SysTray: stobject.dll

End of report, 6,092 bytes
Report generated in 0.190 seconds

Command line options:
/verbose - to add additional info on each section
/complete - to include empty sections and unsuspicious data
/full - to include several rarely-important sections
/force9x - to include Win9x-only startups even if running on WinNT
/forcent - to include WinNT-only startups even if running on Win9x
/forceall - to include all Win9x and WinNT startups, regardless of platform
/history - to list version history only
Jun 27, 2000
You don’t want to disable the scratch disk. Photoshop writes a lot of stuff to the scratch disk even if you have 2 Gigs of RAM – and it can’t put it anywhere else. Scratch disk problems are usually caused by running out of space on the hard drive or not having it defragmented. The scratch disk has to run in contiguous hard drive space and Adobe says it has to be defragged often. If you haven’t defragged recently do it.

I don’t think there is any reason to have more than one scratch disk if you have only one hard drive. Multiple scratch disks are for multiple drives. You should have just one scratch disk if you have only one hard drive.

Keep in mind that that 75% you selected is available RAM. If you have other stuff running and taking RAM the amount that Photoshop can take is smaller. Also everything that is already running when you open Photoshop keeps its RAM. You can increase that 75% if you want. If you scan something with Photoshop having too much of the available RAM the scanner will go slow because it has to write to virtual memory, but most things work fine with a higher available RAM assigned. It is a good idea to Ctrl+Alt+Del and shut down anything you don’t need running before you open Photoshop as it increases the available RAM.


Thread Starter
May 6, 2003
thanks slipe. He defrags more often than most people but atleast now we know it's worth it - and why. I'll get him to diary it as a frequent event.
Oct 26, 2001

You think it would be good to set the "virtual memory" up higher so it can be used better for the scratch disk?
I have nortons and have it so I have my own swap at the being of the hard drive.
I have 512 MB of memory and and have the "virtual memory" at min 1536.
I know it takes away your diskspace having it this way but it keeps the swap file in one place and then if it needs more disk space it uses the free space.

On some image programs I can pick where you want the scratch disk or virtual memory and they give you 3 or for place you can use to say where you want it.
But in some the first pick is grayed out or want to use the windows temp first so it has to be used for it will go where you want it to. So that is why I am asking about making my "virtual memory" bigger.
Jun 27, 2000
Hi hewee:

To the best of my knowledge the scratch disk has nothing to do with Windows virtual memory. And Photoshop can¡¦t be set to use virtual memory instead of the scratch disk. And when the partition with the scratch disk is full Photoshop stops regardless of how much pagefile is available. Adobe recommends putting the scratch disk on a different partition from the swap file or page file. This is from the Photoshop 7 help file:

„h For best performance, scratch disks should be on a different drive than any large files you are editing.
„h Scratch disks should be on a different drive than the one used for virtual memory.
„h Scratch disks should be on a local drive. That is, they should not be accessed over a network.
„h Scratch disks should be conventional (non-removable) media.
„h Raid disks/disk arrays are good choices for dedicated scratch disk volumes.
„h Drives with scratch disks should be defragmented regularly.¨

And they consider a scratch disk to be the entire remaining drive. You don't set a size in Photoshop for the scratch disk like you do with the pagefile - just the drive to put it on. It will take all of the available remaining space so there is no reason to make a second scratch disk on a single drive. IMO setting aside more space for Windows virtual memory would just leave less for the scratch disk.
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