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Old August 4th, 2009, 11:19 AM   #1
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Premiere Pro CS4, random unexpected crashes

When working on a project, large or small, Premiere will randomly close with no error message. I'm editing HDV footage. My system specs: 4GB 800Mhz RAM, Intel Core 2 Duo @ 3.16Ghz, 1TB RAID 0 hard drive and Vista Ultimate 32bit. Any ideas?
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Old August 4th, 2009, 11:59 AM   #2
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Welcome to Premiere.

If you are doing everything off a single HDD, that could be part of the problem. As you've found out, Premiere is very finicky, especially with HDV. Ideally you should have at least two, preferably three, separate physical hard drives.

Also, moving up to Vista 64 may help -- it is supposedly more stable and will allow Premiere to utilize your memory a little better, even though PPro is still a 32-bit app. Right now you are wasting at least 1 of your 4 gigs of RAM.

I used to have this problem all the time until I moved up to Vista 64, but I'm still on CS3.
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Old August 4th, 2009, 12:10 PM   #3
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The RAID 0 does have two separate hard drives. I also have a ATI Radeon HD 3870, driver version 8.510.0.0, with 512mb memory. The video was shot on the Canon XH A1s in the 1440 x 1080, 30f mode. The project I'm working on now has over 100 videos and is about 15 minutes long. I'm using the HDV 1080P30 preset in Premiere. Would it help to buy a Matrox card for my system?
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Old August 4th, 2009, 12:16 PM   #4
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It sounds as though you have both your video files and Windows an the same RAID 0?

If that is the case, then as Adam says, you need to add another hard drive to your system. Use this for Windows and all your programs, and reserve your RAID for the video files.

This will not guarantee no crashes, but you should get a lot fewer.

I have a Matrox card, Windows/programs on one drive, project files on a second, video files on a third, and Preview files etc on a fourth, but I still get the occasional crash.
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Old August 4th, 2009, 12:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch Hunt View Post
The RAID 0 does have two separate hard drives.
No, if the drives are in RAID 0 they count as one drive, because that's how your system sees them. (Edit: D'oh! Alan beat me to it.)

You need one system drive for OS and Programs, and another for projects and media at the very least. You'd be better off splitting your drives up as JBODs.

Your video card is not likely the issue, although with Premiere anything is possible. Could even be a corrupt audio driver (I've had that happen).

If you have Vista Ultimate you should already have the 64-bit version. Try installing that and splitting up your drives before you spend any money on new hardware.
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Old August 4th, 2009, 04:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Gold View Post
You need one system drive for OS and Programs, and another for projects and media at the very least. You'd be better off splitting your drives up as JBODs.

If you have Vista Ultimate you should already have the 64-bit version. Try installing that and splitting up your drives before you spend any money on new hardware.
Ok, so how I split up the RAID 0 drives into two separate hard drives? And how do I convert Vista 32-bit to 64-bit?
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Old August 4th, 2009, 04:50 PM   #7
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Well, it's not for the faint-hearted. Your RAID controller software, presumably onboard, will have a way to do this. You need to delete the whole array and tell the controller that you want no RAID. Doing so, of course, destroys everything on the disks, so be prepared for a complete reformat (after you've backed everything up to an external drive, of course). And once that's done, you should just be able to pop the 64-bit Vista install disc into your DVD drive. Probably will need to set up your BIOS to boot from CD before doing any of this.

I realize this is like saying to play the flute you blow over one end and move your fingers up and down the outside. If you're not comfortable mucking about with your OS and PC guts you may be best advised to take this to someone who can do it for you.

It seems drastic, but video editing is pretty specialized and to do it right you need your PC set up properly.
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Old August 4th, 2009, 07:23 PM   #8
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Adam,

What is the ideal number of drives and setup for running premiere?

1 for OS/programs
2 for data
3 for ?
etc...

Thanks
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Old August 4th, 2009, 07:25 PM   #9
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I really don't think that the hard drive has anything to do with the crashes. HDV is very compressed, down to a data rate of approximately 3 MBps. Now surely two modern 3Gbps SATA hard drives working together can handle that, right? Is my 3.16Ghz Core 2 Duo processor fast enough for editing HDV footage effectively?
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Old August 4th, 2009, 07:43 PM   #10
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Mitch, it's not that simple. By having everything on one virtual drive, you've got your CPU mercilessly banging on the disk for OS, Program, Project, media reading and media writing. It's enough to stress any disk. That's why Adobe recommends you separate all that out. But you're probably right that it isn't the only, or even the most important, culprit here.

I think your chip is underpowered for HDV, and having the 32-bit OS restricts the amount of memory available to OS and Programs.

Joe, IIRC, Adobe recommends one drive for OS and Programs, one drive for Projects, and at least one or more for media. If you had only two drives you could put projects and media on one disk. But you could go completely insane, and do what Harm and I have done, with way too many disks for any human to have. There are a couple of threads on this both here and in the Adobe forums.

Here's one:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/attend-wo...stall-cs4.html

I have my disks set up as follows:

C: System -- 10k Rpm 150GB Raptor -- OS and Programs
D: Workdisk -- 7 x 1TB in RAID0 (soon to be RAID3 w/Hot Spare) -- Project, Captured Video, Captured Audio
U: 2TB External (actually 2 x 1TB Hitachi eSATA in RAID0) -- Video Previews, Audio Previews
V: 2TB External (same as U:) -- Media Cache files
W: 2TB External (same as U:) -- DVD Encoded files and Backup Drive
X: 2TB External (same as U:) -- Final renders and Archives, Swapfile/Pagefile

Last edited by Adam Gold; August 4th, 2009 at 11:10 PM.
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Old August 5th, 2009, 09:46 PM   #11
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In any normal universe, an Intel Core 2 Duo @ 3.16Ghz isn't underpowered for HDV editing!

In the CS4 universe, I suppose anything is possible..... (I'm on CS3)
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Old August 5th, 2009, 10:42 PM   #12
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So, does anyone have an idea of why Premiere would just up and quit on me all the time?
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Old August 6th, 2009, 12:06 AM   #13
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Because it's Premiere. It's just the nature of the beast. I'm not saying we like that about it, but it is what it is.

Go on over to the Adobe forums for a while and you'll see years of posts for exactly the problem you describe, and no solutions, not really. It always seems to come down to, get a better PC and don't ask Premiere to do so much. And I say this as a Premiere user who isn't contemplating jumping ship any time soon, as I simply have too much invested in this workflow to change. And for as many people as are having problems, there are at least as many for whom it's working just fine. Which camp am I in? Depends on what day it is.

I've said this before and I'll say it again: Premiere is like a psycho girlfriend. You can get it to do almost anything if you know how to ask, and when it's great it's REALLY great... but sometimes it just goes off on you for no reason.

(This is where others will chime in and say, if you want stability, get a Mac. I personally have no plans to make that jump. I like living dangerously.)

(It should also be noted that Vegas has much lower hardware requirements and is known for being rock solid and stable, but it's a real learning curve if you are used to Premiere, and it lacks the multi-program integration of CS4... )

You could also consider using a Cineform add-in, which will ease your CPU load considerably at the cost of hugely expanded file sizes. You could look at Neo HD or Prospect HD, if you can afford them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham Hickling View Post
In any normal universe, an Intel Core 2 Duo @ 3.16Ghz isn't underpowered for HDV editing!

In the CS4 universe, I suppose anything is possible..... (I'm on CS3)
Graham, I'm with you completely on this. I'm still on CS3 as well; even though I've bought and paid for both CS4 and PHD4, I'm just not really motivated to install either of them just yet. And I'm running dual Xeon Quads with 20GB of RAM.

If you read Adobe's white paper on this, they really point out that CS4 is optimized for a 64-bit OS with 16GB of RAM, and they strongly imply that if you've got anything less than this you may just as well stay with CS3.

Last edited by Adam Gold; August 6th, 2009 at 12:38 AM.
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Old August 6th, 2009, 11:54 AM   #14
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I have had my share of problems with Premiere and spend quite some time to find the best working solution and today I can say I am satisfied and no Mac user can convince me otherwise.

I noticed Premiere doesn't like a lot of clips in a project, the bigger that gets the more unstable Premiere gets. I use a Sony hvr-dr60 disk with my canon that can produce up to 300 to 400 separate clips for a wedding. I use Sony's ru_util.exe to get the files from the dr60 to my harddrive and then just imported into premiere. But Premiere got real sow then, opening up a project took almost 5 minutes, scrolling the timeline really stressed the harddrive slowing Premiere down as well and switching from sequence to sequence caused harddrive activity that made any other action impossible for about 10 seconds.
If the projects got really huge Premiere also crashed often.

Now I use womble video wizard to combine all those small clips into one large, womble is really a fantastic tool as it can combine 1 hour of footage (with a lot of small files) into one big file in less then 15 minutes. it's more then 4 times faster then realtime on my q6600.

When I import only 1 or 2 big files into premiere everything goes faster, editing, opening a project and so on. The whole system feels more responsive and stable and if I have to work on really big projects I split it up into 2 or more project files. In this case Premiere doesn't give me any problems. (cs3 on win xp pro)
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Old August 6th, 2009, 12:07 PM   #15
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Noa's absolutely right; the more assets you have in the project panel, the more unstable Premiere gets. Premiere also hates titles, stills and graphics; if you have a lot of those, be prepared to save often.

I have my auto-save set to five minutes; be sure when you restore you choose the one with the latest time stamp, not with the highest-numbered filename. Also, it's a good idea to save after every complicated edit.

If you notice that the screen is slow to update as you move your cursor about on the timeline or move elements around, save right away; it's about to crash.
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