Photoshop CC: Cannot save anywhere but a local drive

  • 1
  • Problem
  • Updated 3 weeks ago
  • (Edited)
First let me start by saying, please don't tell me Photoshop and other Adobe apps don't officially support writing to a server. In our small business, and in those I worked for where they had lots of prepress technicians, working off of a server has been the norm for over 30 years.

I don't know if this affects Windows users, but I'm guessing not, given the results of hours of testing here.

There is a problem in Mojave. Or more specifically, Mojave and Adobe's apps.
No matter how you connect to any remote device, the Adobe apps will randomly (and often) say you can't save the file, or, write access was not granted. Doesn't matter if it's a server, or even just a shared folder on another Mac.

I had rather recently made Mojave my everyday OS on a 2010 Mac Pro. Saving files open in Photoshop back to the server was hit and miss. Mostly miss. I booted into High Sierra to see if that was the difference, rather than the server. Yes! The exact same, up-to-date version of Photoshop CC 2019 can save a file you're working on over and over without a single error message. But as soon as someone else logs into the server from a Mac running Mojave and opens a file with Photoshop or other Adobe app, the files of the folder that person is in get locked (or something). We cannot be in the same folder. Not even the Mac running High Sierra. As soon as the user with Mojave disconnects, all error messages go away for the High Sierra user.

Locked files (or whatever Adobe's apps, or Mojave are doing), don't just affect the other user, the problem also affects yourself. You can be the only person connected the server, and as long as you're booted to Mojave, you cannot work from the Adobe apps without getting messages that you can't save a file.

When these write errors occur, you end up with hidden junk files that get left behind in the folder. Depending on how you connected to the server, either .afp.deletedxxxx or .smb.deletedxxxx files. The xxxx being a number. These can accumulate by the dozens rather quickly, eating up lots of server space as they're the same size as the image you were working on. Some will be removed by the server when you dismount. Others you have to get rid of manually.

I don't know who's really to blame here, but since it seems to be only the Adobe apps that cause this issue while in Mojave, then I would say it's Adobe that has to figure out what their apps are doing wrong. From the messages you get, it would appear the Adobe apps aren't releasing files after completing a write. So the next time you try and do a save of your progress, it won't let you. Photoshop hasn't released the file, so neither can the server. Bingo, bango, bongo, you get write error messages. That's my guess, anyway.

Apple will also be getting this bug report. Mainly because testing points both ways. It could just as easily be Photoshop is releasing files after a write, but Mojave isn't. But from Mojave, I can be in Quark XPress, and literally any other non-Adobe app and write back to server all day long. It's only the Adobe apps that fail, and lock other users out of an entire folder. But at the same time, the exact same version of Photoshop CC has zero problems writing to the server in High Sierra or older OS. So then it appears Mojave is the problem.

One way or the other, the combination of Mojave and Photoshop CC makes it impossible to work directly off the server. You haver to copy files you're going to work on the desktop, then copy them back to the server when you're done. This is time consuming and almost makes having a server pointless.

Our new 2018 Mac Mini can of course only run Mojave, which makes it nearly impossible for us to work off the server together.

We've tried having the Mac running High Sierra connect to the server via AFP, and the mini as SMB, but that makes no difference. The main issue is if you're using the Adobe apps in Mojave, you literally cannot reliably save a file from within the app anywhere but to a local drive. Doesn't matter if anyone else is using the server. If you're in Mojave, you cannot write to any server or shared drive without experiencing write errors. Worse, just being connected affects everyone else whether the other Macs are using Mojave or not.

For the time being, I've gone back to High Sierra on the older Mac so at least I can write to the server without issue (when I'm the only one on it).
Photo of Kurt Lang

Kurt Lang

  • 10 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

Posted 2 months ago

  • 1
Photo of Cristen Gillespie

Cristen Gillespie

  • 1537 Posts
  • 472 Reply Likes
Okay, let me run this past you. You may have given me a clue to what's been happening here, but only from time to time, and I AM on High Sierra. But it only started with 2019.

I'm solo here. I have two computers, and they're connected over WiFi, so I can access the various drives as needed. Sometimes, though, and only on my laptop running 2019 (I have 2018 on my Mac Pro), I get the message after saving a file that I don't have permission to save it. But if I go look in Bridge, it has been saved, but minus a thumbnail so I only see the generic icon.

So whenever I get this permission denied popup, I can merely save it again and I'll get the message that the file already exists (which it does), and I overwrite it. Now I'm golden and I get a proper thumbnail generated.

So maybe because I'm also working between shared drives I get this? But only sometimes? And it never comes up if I'm working on El Cap in 2018, and saving between shared drives.  I should also say, it's pretty rare to pop up, but once it does, I can get the same message for the next files I try to save in the same session, if I have next files.

It could just be my computer flaking out on me, which is sort of what I was thinking, but what you're saying sounds about right for the kind of circumstances where I'm saving to a drive on a shared computer.
Photo of eartho

eartho, Champion

  • 979 Posts
  • 280 Reply Likes
"I had rather recently made Mojave my everyday OS on a 2010 Mac Pro."

Why did you do this? 
Photo of Cristen Gillespie

Cristen Gillespie

  • 1537 Posts
  • 472 Reply Likes
> "I had rather recently made Mojave my everyday OS on a 2010 Mac Pro."

Why did you do this? >

Because he could? <G> I know a couple of other people who decided to upgrade the firmware on their 2009 Mac Pros and are at least up to Sierra/High Sierra, but thinking about Mojave—because the latest Pro line of Macs is super expensive, so they're trying to eke out the very last ounce of usefulness from what they've got. They've already upgraded everything on it they could reasonably upgrade, so. . .

Of course, imo, anyone upgrading to Mojave just yet is taking their life into their hands. But that's just my outlook on it. LOL
Photo of Kurt Lang

Kurt Lang

  • 10 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
But it only started with 2019.
I wondered that, too. When I tried from High Sierra, I kind of expected to get the same errors and would then use the Creative Suite tool in install CC 2018 and test that. Didn't need to as 2019 has zero issue for us from High Sierra.
Why did you do this? 
Haha! Well, partly to try and keep up on my font article. That and at first, 10.14.2 seemed to have most of its issues ironed out - until we ran into this major problem. But I've also decided Mojave is just a bit too much for this older Mac. Everything happens a bit slower. I'll keep up on the Mojave updates for purposes of the article, and testing in general, but it looks like High Sierra is really the newest OS that runs well on this hardware.
So whenever I get this permission denied popup, I can merely save it again and I'll get the message that the file already exists (which it does), and I overwrite it.
Hate Bridge. Won't use it - ever. Other than that, if either of us are in Mojave and you get an error message about writing your file, you can sometimes just hit Command+S again and it will save. Most of time, it won't. You get scolded again. The only option is to do a Save As to your desktop, unless losing your edits can be considered another choice.
Photo of Warren Heaton

Warren Heaton

  • 178 Posts
  • 78 Reply Likes
I strongly recommend against working directly from SMB and or AFP servers.  Same goes for NAS storage.  You're just asking for your files to get corrupted.

Ideally, you'd configure a SAN.  Of course, there is a significant cost involved for the hardware, the setup and the maintenance.

LumaForge now offers a very easy to configure option, but it's still a little pricey: https://lumaforge.com/jellyfish



Photo of Kurt Lang

Kurt Lang

  • 10 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
You're just asking for your files to get corrupted.
We've been using our Synology NAS for two and a half years, saving and working on thousands of images with absolutely no problems. Until Mojave, that is.

And it's not just to the NAS. The Adobe apps in Mojave can't write a file anywhere other than directly to your own computer, or an attached standard removable drive.
(Edited)
Photo of Kurt Lang

Kurt Lang

  • 10 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Well, who knows what happened? As suddenly as the issue appeared, it seems to have resolved itself.

You could say the NAS had a bad block on the drive it kept trying to write to (creating the various write error messages). Except, that wouldn't at all explain getting the same errors trying to write to a shared folder on another Mac.

You could say it must have been Mojave since the same version of Photoshop worked fine from High Sierra. But that theory is out the Window since the 2018 Mini is now having zero issues writing to the NAS. We can also be working in the same folder, like we have since we bought the NAS.

The only thing that changed at the same time these errors disappeared was the network. We had sold our Epson 4900. Disconnected from the 8-port Netgear switch, the errors stopped. And no, it's not the switch itself because the NAS is still connected to that same switch.

I don't know how (bad Ethernet cable from the switch to the 4900?), but just getting the Epson off the network seems to have been the solution. Or, the port the Epson was plugged into on the switch is indeed bad.

Whatever the case, the problem is gone.
Photo of Kurt Lang

Kurt Lang

  • 10 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
#$*!@% Wrong. All seemed fine for about a week. As soon as our other person logged into the server from the 2018 Mac Mini, and opened an image in the same folder I was in, I instantly got messages I couldn't save my file.
Photo of Kurt Lang

Kurt Lang

  • 10 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Alright, we have it completely narrowed down. You can be on the server or shared drive at the same time and no one will have any problems working on and saving their files - as long as you're not in the same folder.

The trigger is always Mojave. If that is the OS in use on any Mac, simply opening a folder someone else is already in locks everyone out, including yourself. You can sometimes save your file, and other times you're told it's in use by another application. Which is wrong since you're the only one with a file open in that folder.

A message that you can't save the file is almost always accompanied by a hidden file that gets orphaned. Such as .afpDeletedxxxx.psd . The xxxx being a seemingly random number.

I say Mojave is specific here because that's when this issue appeared. We've been working off of our NAS for over 2 years with zero issues of users working out of the same folder. Nothing else has changed.

The only remaining question is - is this an Adobe issue, or Apple?
Photo of Kurt Lang

Kurt Lang

  • 10 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Yes, anything that has a firmware update has been.

Having been in electronic prepress for 38 + years, I've heard the arguments about not working off of a server many, many times. Every shop I've ever been in, and in our home business of the past 18 years, this is the way everyone has worked without any problems.

As noted above, we've been working off a small server in our home office for years. First with Snow Leopard Server on an older iMac. Then Lion Server updated on that machine, and finally the Synology NAS purchased two and a half years ago. In all this time, we have never had a single issue working directly off of any of these servers. This is over 10 years of server use with no problems working off of it at the same time.

At least, not until Mojave. We were working off this same NAS with a 2010 Mac Pro (High Sierra) and a 2008 Mac Pro (El Capitan), also with zero issues. We replaced the older Mac Pro with a 2018 Mac Mini. As Apple has always done, you cannot install an older OS than what a Mac shipped with.

Given all of the testing, it points almost 100% to Mojave, I'm certain I could resolve the issue completely by eliminating Mojave from the equation, but it isn't possible to downgrade the OS on the Mini.

Mind you, this isn't just the server. It's any device where you're sharing the same folder. We narrowed it down yesterday to specifically being in the same folder, and one of the Macs with that folder open is running Mojave. That person doesn't even have to have a file open. Simply opening the folder and having it be the active forefront folder on their desktop causes the lockup.

We were able to prove that by having the person copy some files we were both working from to a dummy folder on the server. As long as she was in that folder, and I in another, we could work on and save files all day without a single write error.

Given the other person didn't even have a file open suggests (to me) that the Adobe apps aren't directly the issue, but rather something Mojave is doing.
(Edited)
Photo of David Converse

David Converse

  • 547 Posts
  • 167 Reply Likes
So what happens if its a change that Apple made that they decide not to fix?
Photo of Kurt Lang

Kurt Lang

  • 10 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Then the obvious. You either can't work off the server (if the files everyone needs to work on are in the same folder), or you work in separate folders.

We were doing the latter all morning on our server. One person working on files in a folder from the Mac running Mojave, and myself in a different folder. We can do that all day without a single write error.

We also tested if both of us working in Mojave would stop the problem. Nope, it doesn't.

You can be in the same folder, but only if you're copying files out to your desktop or other folder to work on, then copy the completed files back and overwrite. What you can never do is open a file from any type of shared folder and try to work on it from there if anyone running Mojave so much as even just opens that same folder. That, plain and simple, should never happen.
(Edited)
Photo of Eric

Eric

  • 1 Post
  • 0 Reply Likes
I have been having the same issue ever since I've updated to PS CC2019 and Mojave 10.14.3. I can't save over a modified Photoshop file without me doing a Save As and giving it a new name while on the server.

What I also noticed that is very strange is that our server space had decreased by about 100GB within the past week between our small team. Normally, it takes us a long time to go through that much space. Do you know how to find and delete those .afp.deletedxxxx or .smb.deletedxxxx files from the server that you were talking about? I'm suspecting that is the culprit of the drastic decrease in space and speed after the Mojave update this past week.
Photo of Kurt Lang

Kurt Lang

  • 10 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Virtually every time you get the message you can't save a file, one of those orphaned .afp or .smb files gets left behind.

One way is to find them is to use the built in Mac keystroke of Command+Shift+. (period). That shows hidden files/folders everywhere but your desktop. Repeat the keystroke to stop showing hidden files/folders.

This is the slow way if you have to traverse multiple folders to find all of these. Instead, download the free utility, EasyFind. Launch the app. I prefer to have the settings in the left column like this for most purposes:



At the top right drop down menu, choose your server. In this case, you can search for both at once by changing the left radio button to Any Word. For the search phrase, enter:

.afp .smb

Press enter, or click the search icon at the upper right. It should list all files containing either string, which will be all of the ones you want to remove.

When the search is done, everything listed is live. You can highlight all of them and click the Delete button.
(Edited)