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Old Jul 3, 2009, 10:19 PM   #1
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Default Scratch disk for Photoshop CS4

I am just now getting into CS4 and read in this forum that I should set up a scratch disk on a drive other than the one that contains my XP and the CS4. I have two 7200 rpm hard drives, both of ample size. Am I advised to set up a partition on the second drive solely for a scratch disk? If so, what size? "5 times file size" and such mean little to me at this stage of my learning, as I don't know how deep I will get into multiple layers etc. I am currently doing photo editing on RAW files. Do I set up 5GB? 10GB? Many thanks in advance.
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Old Jul 6, 2009, 1:32 PM   #2
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I have never seen an advantage to a separate partition on a drive. Perhaps there is some slight advantage, but it is pretty small. Just use the physical drive your C drive is not on.
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Old Jul 6, 2009, 2:40 PM   #3
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Thank you, Slipe. This is what I will do unless I hear other advice. The only advantage I can imagine in using a partition, say 10GB, is that the drive may need less defraging. But this is just a wild guess on my part, and even if true may not be worth the effort in repartitioning a drive that is already in use. Cheers.
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Old Jul 6, 2009, 10:09 PM   #4
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In my experience storage drives don’t get very fragmented. I defrag them occasionally and the utility reports they aren’t very fragmented before I do. That surprises me because I delete a lot of photos.

I think something that helps is that I transfer a lot of old stuff to an external HD anytime I get anywhere near 50% use of the storage drive. I think if there is plenty of space and the drive is reasonably defragmented a separate partition for the scratch disk isn’t significant. What is significant is that it isn’t sharing the same disk with the computer virtual memory and operating system.
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Old Jul 6, 2009, 10:21 PM   #5
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Thank you again, Slipe. Yes, I see about the scratch belonging on the disk used currently just for storage. PS4 set this up on its own. Good advice. Also, "don't fix it if it's not broken". I'll not set up a separate partition on my second drive unless sometime later my periodic check on the fragmentation level shows up an issue.
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 6:19 PM   #6
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How do I set up a separate scratch disc? I've seen the warning but never knew how to do it. I've several external drives, one that I store dups of this years photos on and another that stores the last several years.

Thanks, Suzan

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Old Jul 25, 2009, 8:18 PM   #7
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Setting up the scratch disc is not difficult. I believe it is under the file>preferences menu. The virtual memory and scratch disc settings are in the same page. Just use the navigator bar next to the currently assigned scratch disc to change setting. If you have never looked at it, you may find that it has already set it to one of your additional drives. I don't know if using an external drive as a scratch disc is recommended or not, though. Since it is something that is used a lot, there may be a problem with the USB (I'm guessing) speed being less than that of an internal drive, and causing some slowdowns.

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Old Jul 25, 2009, 11:07 PM   #8
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In my PS and Elements it is at Edit > Preferences > Performance. Photoshop seems to set the primary scratch disk to a drive other that the one with the operating system. What I was curious about was whether or not it would be beneficial to partition a part of the fastest secondary drive just for the purpose. I read somewhere, possibly at the Adobe website, that this might be useful. Unfortunately I lost the reference. But I do remember that using an external drive is not recommended.

Re setting up the partition on an existing drive - perhaps a more experienced member can help. I just call my brother.

BTW, there are dire warnings about not assigning 100% of a drive to PS, that some portion must be left for the OS and other processes. Being an experimenter at heart and having only data on my scratch drive, I worked up from the 70% default in 5% increments to see what happens. Now I'm at 100% for both PS and Elements, and haven't had any problems. I'm not recommending this to others, though .
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Old Jul 26, 2009, 8:32 AM   #9
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Why do you have Photoshop and Elements. Photohop is enough for any job. Elements is a junior version for those unwilling to go all out and get Photoshop. Your scratch disk is your virtual memory. Photoshop only needs 2 GB, however, its recommended to use more. Personally, I think 10 GB is way more than you will ever use no matter how big a project you are working on. Remember, your scratch disk is not necessarily where you end up saving the file. Its only for memory.
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Old Jul 26, 2009, 9:11 AM   #10
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Hi Bynx. I have both Elements and CS4 for two reasons. First, I have been using Elements for some time and can get a modest job done with it in a flash, while I'm very early in the learning curve with CS4. I try not to use Elements as a crutch but force myself to use CS4 unless I'm in a hurry. Second, I have friends who know even less about post processing than the newbie I am, and I am teaching them Elements. Some have only ACDSee and I help them with that. Hopefully, with patience, some of these worthwhile people will move from ACDSee to Elements and later yet, if they inherit a fortune, and will buy the real thing. I'm not sorry that I did even though I had to postpone some other projects to finance it. For example, getting something modest to calibrate my monitors.

Many thanks for the 10GB figure. All other sources I have come across have talked about it but not specified the GB.
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