Setting scratch disks in Alias?

I’m having some issues with Alias crashing my PC after extended use. I’m not sure what the problem is but just examining the program step by step. The Autodesk documentation lists scratch disk options under “General Preferences → System” here:,topicNumber=d0e226376

But I don’t see the options there at all (Alias 2011). Is there a different place to check? Do I need to clear my preferences out? What is the default directory for the scratch disk?


How much space is free on your primary drive? Are you running multiple drive and are any of them low on space?

The line above it says “Use default temp directory for scratch disk space”

Which most likely means it’s using your personal user folder (My documents) for storing scratch data.

I actually have plenty of room, so I think I might just need a new graphics card. For future reference, is there a way to manually set the scratch disk directory? Might be nice and efficient to add a dedicated scratch disk for all the memory intensive programs.

Scratch disks these days are relatively un-utilized now that it’s so easy to get a system with enough memory. Virtual Memory and Scratch disks are really from the days of having 256/512 megs of ram but still needing to work on the same size files. The reason it’s probably still in the documentation is that they pulled it out of the software completely but never updated the documentation.

If it’s crashing after extended use, my first suggestion would be to do a clean OS install, reinstall only Alias and the necessary drivers and see if you are stlil facing the same problems. The majority of the time I see issues it’s due to some wacky software or driver conflicts. Also, what type of machine is this running on? Stability over time can also be a direct result of heat buildup - especially in laptops. Try downloading an app like RealTemp - it will show you the temperatures of your CPU and GPU. Monitor those to see if temperatures are increasing over time. You can also try doing some CPU intensive tasks to really build up heat and see if that causes instability.

If you’re crashing, also try and take notes to see if it’s crashing when working on a certain file, tool, etc. I’ve had corrupted files in the past which some type of wacky history tree or corrupt surface has caused all kinds of problems. Usually copying and pasting all the surfaces into a new file has helped with issues like that.

Thanks, I’ll give that a try. So with 8GB of memory, there’s no need for scratch disks unless the file is over 8GB? Does it work the same way with Photoshop?

Generally yes. For the most part, scratch data is just a whole lot of temporary buffer information. Like what your last 30 undo’s were for example.

Programs may still use scratch/temp data, but if you hit CTRL+ALT+DEL and look at your task manager you can see how much RAM your programs are actually using. Generally even when I’m working on super heavy data, my individual programs won’t peak beyond 2 gigs or so. Of course when you have 4-5 of those memory intensive apps open at once, that’s when you start running into memory issues.

The only time you will generally see those types of errors though is either when you are very very low on hard drive space AND out of memory (no room for additional virtual memory or scratch/temp data), or if the system is having virtual memory issues (incorrect settings). But neither of those should cause crashing on their own because the program will recognize the error and yell at you first.

Thanks again.