Adobe Photoshop 7 – Scratch Disks Are Full

2013-09-05 (Thursday) by Mikael Linusson

I'm one of those, probably quite few people, who still use the good old Adobe Photoshop 7, and the other day i ran into a problem. Apparently I had my Photoshop scratch disk set to my D: disk, and I swapped it out with a new 2 TB disk, which made Photoshop show me this message on startup:

"Could not initialize Photoshop because the scratch disks are full"

Then it crashed...

My First Try To Fix It

As it has always worked before I guessed that it must have something to do with my new disk. So I tried the Click the Photoshop icon then hold down Ctrl + Alt to show the Choose Scratch Disk settings window. and I changed the primary scratch disk to C: but it still crashed on startup as it probably didn't succeed to save the change, for some reason.

Then I tried the next thing, which did work. :)

The Solution

If your problem is the same as mine, i.e. that you have a big disk (bigger than 1 TB apparently as my old disk worked) as scratch disk, then this fix will probably work:

You need to disconnect the big disk (see note further down if you are unsure how to do this).

Then launch Photoshop (it should start now) and change the scratch disk to some other disk.

After that you can turn off your computer and reconnect the disk again or go back and enter the same letter to it again.

How To Disconnect The Disk

Either turn off you computer and disconnect it physically or do it via (there are many different ways to do this) Control Panel / Administrative Tools / Computer Management / Disk Management. In there you right click on the offending disk and choose Change drive letter and paths. Remove the letter associated with the drive (remember which letter it was as you have to add it again).

The Caveat

You will be able to start Photoshop 7 with the big disk active, but the problem is that you won't be able to save anything on it. So if it's your data disk you have a problem. :(

There are a few possible solutions to this:

  1. I haven't tried this, but a possible (and maybe the best) solution might be to split the disk into multiple partitions.
  2. Save the data on another disk.
  3. Get a smaller disk.
  4. Get a newer version of Photoshop.