Do you have a "Scratch" partiton/drive? What do you store on it?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by slooksterPSV, Nov 7, 2005.


Do you have a "Scratch" drive?

Poll closed Nov 14, 2005.
  1. Yes, I have another drive/partition for "Scratch"

  2. Nope, but I do plan on getting one

  3. Nope, and I don't plan on getting one

    0 vote(s)
  4. What's a "Scratch" drive?

  1. slooksterPSV macrumors 68040


    Apr 17, 2004
    In a lot of pictures (especially professionals in Magazines) one's Mac has a "Scratch" drive. I've gotta wonder, do you guys have one? If so, what's on it? If not, why not?

    I do I have a 30GB Maxtor Internal Hard drive in an External Hard drive enclosure. I use it to store other files - Music, Downloads, iDVD/iMovie created movies, and later on Photo projects I will work on - actually probably anything/everything I can put on this scratch drive.

    EDIT: I use it as a Photoshop "Scratch" drive to store Cache, History, and other items when working on photos. - by definition that is a Scratch drive :D
  2. TheMonarch macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2005
    Bay Area
    By calling it a "Scratch Drive" I think you might throw off a lot of people. Scratch Disks/Drives are usually referred to another physical disk where an app can store additional data where it works without bogging down the whole system (Where the OS is at). A common app that does this is Photoshop. What you referred to is just and external drive (Judging by the explanation of its contents you described.)
  3. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    On my Power Mac I have a drive that's a scratch drive as it's usually meant. It's the drive where all my video files are stored, including captured files and rendered files. Early on in the Final Cut Pro manuals, it is recommended that you set up your system that way, otherwise FCP (and other apps) will be trying to read/write video on the boot disk, and since that's quite hard drive intensive, it can cause the OS difficulty in getting fast enough access to the hard drive. When you say scratch disk, that's what I think of.

    If you mean an external hard drive for file backup/storage of large files, I've got one of those too for my PowerBook. It's a 250 GB external Firewire/USB drive with two partitions. One is for clones of my PB's startup drive. The other partition (the bigger of the two) is for storing big audio, video and image files that I don't really need on my PowerBooks hard drive.
  4. contoursvt macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    Hmmm, I have one drive dedicated to my OS as well as applications, another drive for data storage and one drive strictly for swapfile (I'd consider this last one my scratch drive).
  5. slooksterPSV thread starter macrumors 68040


    Apr 17, 2004
    Wouldn't it count as a Scratch drive if I use it to host data when making iMovie VCDs or iDVD movies or doing intensive photo work in Photoshop? Would that count? Not sure. Instead of doing all the work on my HDD, I do all the work on a separate drive aka Scratch.

    OK I used PHotoshop and defined it as a Scratch drive
  6. matticus008 macrumors 68040


    Jan 16, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    I simply inserted the "scratch" definition in my head before voting. After reading this thread, it seems there's some debate on what a scratch disk is.

    A scratch disk is just a working disk for dumping video files while working in Final Cut or possibly iMovie, as I've always understood it. It's not a "junk drawer" or random storage volume and I'd never use it for long term data storage. This is because it undergoes immense read/write operations while it's being used and it's all temporary data.

    That way, if the drive craps out, I still have my last save on a storage drive, and I can do regular housekeeping just by wiping that entire drive without worrying about deleting anything important. People working on more constrained resources might have just one external disk and therefore also store data on it, but the entire point of a scratch disk is to provide a working space separate from the boot volume for large projects (rendering, video, extremely high end imaging).
  7. slooksterPSV thread starter macrumors 68040


    Apr 17, 2004
    I at first got the wrong impression of a Scratch drive, but I have had it setup, but I still store data on there that is permanent, but can be lost - data I don't care about so if the drive goes down oh well. I have setup both Illustrator and Photoshop to take advantage of this. I work a lot with Photo's lately, so this'll be a big + for me.
  8. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Yes. I have separate Photoshop scratch drives on my work G5 and my dual G4 at home...

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