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Old February 17th, 2009, 06:25 AM   #1
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Location: Dayton, TN (USA)
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Consistent crashes in CS3

My computer is driving me nuts--Premiere CS3 and/or the computer crashed over 30 times on Friday and it continued on Saturday and yesterday. I'll lay out what I know so far, and any further info or suggestions you can give would be greatly appreciated! I'm running the CS3 Master Collection with the latest version of Cineform Aspect HD. I primarily work with HDV and still shots/titles/graphics in an HDV timeline.

First, let me say that I work for a college and their IT department is fully responsible for fixing this stuff--thankfully I don't have to fix it myself. But, they're also pretty much stumped by these problems, hence the reason I'm turning to y'all.

The computer has a hardware issue which they are guessing is power supply related. A new power supply is being shipped, and they may have to replace some additional components that could have been damaged by the underpowered P/S. That's in addition to the other problems I'm having.

Premiere consistently crashes when rendering the timeline every 5-10 minutes and sometimes gives me a message that its out of memory, sometimes it doesn't--it'll just shut down. When the memory messages pop up, I've opened the task manager and found that Premiere is typically using about 1 GB of memory (I have 4 GB on the XP intel quad-core machine) and it is usually the only program running. When that happens, all I have to do is close Premiere (if it didn't close itself), reopen it, and continue rendering my timeline, stopping every two to three clips to save it so that the next time it crashes I don't lose everything I've just rendered. That's problem number 1.

Problem number 2 is this: every time I use the AME to output to H.264, flash, .mov, .wmv, or mpeg2, the A/V sync is WAY off (this just started about a week ago, along with the computer/premiere crashing problems). If I attempt to output to avi, the final video flashes back and forth horizontally really badly--does that for interlaced as well as progressive outputs. The only "good" output I have right now is to burn to DVD via Encore. The video looks good and I have no A/V sync problems there. For everything else, either the video is bad or I have serious A/V sync problems. Everything is clean in the timeline. Only problem with that workflow is that my primary destinations for the stuff are the web and digital signage on our campus. That means I then have to rip the video DVDs on another computer and convert to H.264 or flash there, which is a HUGE pain.

I've been using the Master Collection CS3 on this computer since July when I was hired and they built the computer, and though there have been random crashes (usually involving memory, which has been replaced twice and had memtest run 3 times), I have never had problems like these until last week. The only thing I can think of that could be related is that the problems began happening immediately after the IT department installed a battery backup on the computer. While that could easily have damaged the power supply (and other hardware components) if it was itself damaged, I don't see how that could have caused the software issues I'm having with the exports from Premiere (certainly that's not a hardware issue?!)

Interestingly enough, the IT department has a second computer with Adobe Master Collection CS3 loaded on it that shares absolutely nothing in common with mine in the way of hardware components. While I don't know if they've tested that computer for encoding problems, I do know that they have found that it will consistently crash every 31 minutes and throw a "low memory" error message. The IT director tells me that his computer will crash every 31 minutes, regardless of which Adobe software he's using. Mine crashes ONLY with Premiere, and ONLY if I'm rendering the timeline; mine also crashes every 5-10 minutes, not every 31. They do not have Cineform on their machine. I use After Effects a good bit as well and it has never once thrown an error message. Premiere's preferences are set to render the timeline for best memory use, not for performance.

I also have the Master Collection on both of my personal computers (an older AMD desktop and a brand-new HP laptop) and I'm not experiencing any of these problems on either machine. That makes me wonder if the IT department may have improperly installed something?

So, any ideas? suggestions? I'm all ears... Thanks!
David Beisner
Media Specialist, Bryan College, Dayton, TN --
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Old February 17th, 2009, 09:49 AM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands
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Heat or PSU problems are likely. Can you tell us the complete hardware setup, the temperatures of CPU, GPU, Mobo and disks during rendering and idle and the voltages on the various rails of the PSU.
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Old February 17th, 2009, 11:43 AM   #3
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Location: Dayton, TN (USA)
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Complete hardware setup:

Intel quad-core 6600, 4gb ram, nVidia GT8600, server mobo, DVD/CD burner, PATA main drive, three SATA 750gb drives in RAID-0, 650watt p/s. According to Newegg's power supply calculator, the system needs a minimum of 694 watts, so I know the PS is already underpowered. They're supposed to be ordering a new one (hopefully 800watts).

Unfortunately I don't know (nor can I get since I'm not allowed to open the case or access administrator-level software) the voltage/heat settings.

Could voltage/heat problems be causing the encoding problems? I can see how it might affect the memory-related crashes, but what could cause the encoding problems?
David Beisner
Media Specialist, Bryan College, Dayton, TN --
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