Photoshop: CS6 (mac) not allowing ExFat disks as scratch volumes

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Photoshop CS6 (mac) not recognizing (internal) ExFat disks for Scratch Disks after latest update (13.0.4 x64). Running OSX 10.7.5. The same issue happening on multiple mac pros - Mid 2012 and mac pro Mid 2010. All other adobe apps are able to use this scratch disk & everything works fine on the (bootcamp) windows side after the update.
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Jellings

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Posted 5 years ago

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Chris Cox

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If Photoshop won't allow the disks to be used for scratch disks, then the OS thinks that they are not writable, are network volumes or removable devices.
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Jellings

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Thanks for your reply, I've just looked in disk utility and OSX seems to recognise it as an internal drive. I've attached a screenshot of disk utility next to photoshop's prefs.
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Chris Cox

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Photoshop lists all volumes that the OS thinks it can write to, that are not removable or network volumes.

So somehow the OS is telling Photoshop that they are not writable (like NTFS volumes on MacOS), are removable, or are network volumes.
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Jellings

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Is there any way to see what photoshop is being told / what osx is listing them as to photoshop? The other adobe applications are able to use these disks fine, although it seems they have a different UI for this.

As a side note photoshop is able to recognise a bootable SD card with OSX installed that's attached via USB
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Chris Cox

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Not easily. I just installed a new SSD, formatted as ExFat, and confirmed that Photoshop won't use it as a scratch disk.

Unfortunately I also found out that my big disk with source code on it is failing - so I'm very quickly backing up my data before I do any further experiments.

If an SD card is listed for scratch, that's a problem with the OS details for that volume -- it should be listed as removable, and thus unavailable for scratch.
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Jellings

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Hi Chris, thanks for looking into this, sorry to hear your disk is failing.
I've just poped the SD card into my macbook pro running mountain lion and photohop CS5.1 (12.1) and it shows up there as a potential scratch disk too. It's HFS formatted and is a bootable OSX drive, so it's possible it's "marked" as an internal drive somehow.
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Chris Cox

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(critical data backed up, drive replaced, but #^#$%^ Time Machine data lost)

Yep, apparently more recent versions of OS X mark all disks the same - so we can't see if they're removable, and got rid of that bit of code. (and I haven't been working on this code in a few years and missed some changes)

And I forgot that we won't use locked volumes for scratch (duh).

But we also added some code a few years back to avoid some nasty OS bugs and file system emulation problems: if the drive does not support HFS native operations, we won't use it for scratch. And the ExFat drives don't support all HFS native operations. Most importantly it looks like it can overcommit when file sizes are set (setEOF). That was a serious problem when we tested UFS and ZFS on MacOS (we could allocate space, then fail at an arbitrary later time while writing data) -- so we disabled volumes that don't have the correct support.

We'll have to do some investigation and talk to Apple about their ExFat implementation to see if we can safely enable it for scratch disks.
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Chris Niewiarowski

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Any update on this? I'm the sysadmin here at Ex'pression College and all out media drives are ExFAT on out dual boot systems between OSX and Windows 7.
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Chris Cox

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No updates yet. Apple isn't exactly the quickest at supporting developers.
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Chris Niewiarowski

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Ya, tell me about it :(. Thanks for the update Chris, much appreciated.
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Jellings

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We experimented with setting up HFS sparse images that auto-mount on login through startup items in osx for use as a scratch disk for Photoshop (seems to work ok but only briefly tested), though looks like we're going for a small HFS partition of the main scratch drive.
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Chris Cox

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Using a disk image for scratch is a bad idea - they will be quite slow due to the disk image overhead.