View Full Version : G3 Beige Box - Scratch Disk Full?

Jan 27, 2002, 11:06 PM
Hi All,

My wife has an old 233Mhz G3 desktop which I upgraded to 192MB of RAM about a year ago. Recently, she has been getting "Scratch Disk Full" messages, and it seems that until I can figure out a way to empty it, she can't save her work (she uses Photoshop and Illustrator extensively). I'm not entirely certain how much hard drive space she has left, but she has been throwing out unused applications like a madwoman, to no avail. As a Windows guy (sorry), I'm at a bit of a loss here. Any help would be greatly appreciated - my marrige is on the line!


PS - All 192MB is registering under the "About this Computer" window.

Jan 27, 2002, 11:51 PM
ok... My dad had this problem about a year ago using photoshop and this is what we did.

First. I had to empty his trash. He had NEVER emptied it. There was about 3 gigs in there.

So that helped for a while but then the message started popping up again.

Second. We went through and deleted some stupid huge files he had around.

Third. We called macwarehouse and ordered a ram upgrade and a new hard drive.

Both items are ridiculously easy to install.

And in photoshop there is a "switch Scratchdisk" control panel.
So we switched it to the other drive, which was about 18 gigs.
And he never got the message again. He works with these 100+ megabyte
files in photoshop and when it has these huge files i think it uses part of
the harddrive like virtual memory to handle it.

ok thats all i know.

Jan 27, 2002, 11:53 PM
hey try flowers for your wife.

That usually softens computer problems

Jan 28, 2002, 12:04 AM
obeygiant -

Thanks for your quick reply! I had a sneaking suspicion the problem was related to her hard drive space (or lack thereof). I'll see if we can throw out more of the crap on the drive and make sure the trash can has been emptied. I'd like to avoid buying/installing a new hard drive, but if I have to, so be it. It's better than buying her a new computer.

Oh yeah, and I'll make sure to buy her some flowers too.


Jan 28, 2002, 12:50 AM
Yup, the RAM really isn't related at all to the scratch disk. FYI, if you have a zip drive you can put in a blank zip disk and use it as a temp scratch disk, but do this ONLY if you're desperate and it's an emergency. :D It's slow as hell but if you're on a deadline (like I was) and you didn't have time to sort through and weed out unneeded files it's a quick fix that'll give you an extra 100 megs to last you just that little while longer...

Jan 28, 2002, 03:02 AM
Forget about couples therapy, I'm coming here from now on!

Hemingray, thank for the tip. She does indeed have a Zip drive, and this might just be the ticket to get her through her project.

FYI, my wife is currently working on her graduation portfolio for SVA (School of Visual Arts). Due to personal reasons, she's had a very rough year, and having her computer crap out on her was the final straw. The advice you guys have offered really helps her (and me) out. Thanks.


PS - Hemingray, I'm going to give the Zip disk method a try tomorrow, but just in case I can't figure out how to do it, I might be back here begging again.

Mac o' sex
Jan 28, 2002, 03:34 AM
Scratch disks full is one of the worst things to see in photoshop...it cripples your ability to do almost anything. I work on 2Gig+ photoshop files all day and I have that probelm sometimes....First off if you get the message again, go to the preferences and make sure you have the right drives selected, you can chose up to 4 drives. Second you should purge your history and clipboard, that may free up some scratch disk space, the best way to see if you have space is to look at your hard drive, you can actually see how much scratch space you have by seeing how much real space your disk has left... also try cropping the image at full live area with "delete" selected as the crop option instead of "hide" at full size, so you dont actually crop any live image out, just the stuff outside the image area..if that doesn't work and ALL your disks are full, you can also try to create a ram disk and make it on of the 4 scratch disks so that atleast you can save your file..then for the love of god, go buy a new hard drive...:eek:

Jan 28, 2002, 04:26 AM
Jesus, do you guys ever sleep?

Mac o' sex (nice tag), I'll make sure my wife reads what you wrote (hopefully it'll make sense to her, 'cuz it don't to me), and report back with the results. Hey, and thanks for the tip.


PS - Screw buying her flowers, I'm getting all of you a dozen roses each.

Jan 28, 2002, 04:49 AM
Had same problem on G3 266 minitower - knew I had 2 Gigs left on 6 Gig drive, but Photoshop kept filling it up. Seemed to be a corrupt Photoshop file. If you are working on a couple of files in particular: try opening a new Photoshop document, giving it the dimensions, etc. of the one you have been working with; then drag the layers from the original into the new one; delete the old one and restart the computer. Worked for me.

Jan 28, 2002, 06:07 AM
Originally posted by craniotes
Jesus, do you guys ever sleep?

Some people here are geeks. Geeks have caffine. Geeks don't sleep.

Some people here are from other parts of the world... you know, we walk on our heads and it's day here when it's night where you are.

But those around here that don't fall into either of the previous two categories... no. They don't sleep. Ever.


I'd help if I could, but I can't really add anything useful to what's already been said.

I used to use Photoshop on a PowerBook with a 2 GB HD. I saw that 'scatch disk full' message quite a lot! :)

Oh, and if any of what I've just said makes me qualify for a dozen roses... I'll be right, thanks! :D

Jan 28, 2002, 12:09 PM
That makes sense. Living in NYC, I tend to forget that there are people elsewhere in the world. Of course, that you're geeks is a given. :) I post to a lot of PDA-related forums, and I have to say that by far, this is the most responsive forum that I've ever visited. You guys are great. And yes, I believe that I can now add you and MacBram to my flowers list.


PS - MacBram, thanks!