Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 50 / JULY 1984 / PAGE 6

What Is A Scratch Disk?

I have a 1541 disk drive, and have a question about the performance test program included on the TEST/DEMO disk that comes with the drive.

When you run the program it instructs you to insert a scratch disk. What is a scratch disk? Is it the TEST/DEMO disk, and can I damage the TEST/DEMO disk if the program continues with it in the drive?

Harry Metz

Yes, the programs on the disk can be damaged. If the write-protect notch is not covered and you continue running the program with the TEST/DEMO disk in the drive, all of the programs could be wiped out.

In computer terminology, scratched is defined as meaning empty or available for use. A scratch disk is one that has no useful programs on it, and can be used to SAVE files. A scratch tape is the same. It's like a "scratch pad."

When the performance test prompts you for a scratch disk, take out the TEST/DEMO disk, and place a blank disk into the drive. Do not use a disk which has programs on it that you desire to keep.