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Old September 17th, 2009, 02:44 PM   #1
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CS4 Instability

I'm using Premiere Pro CS4 to edit HDV footage from the Canon XH A1s (1440x1080 @ 30f), using the HDV 1080p30 preset in Premiere.

My machine:
Dell XPS 420
Intel Core 2 Duo processor E8500 (3.16 GHz)
4 GB DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz
SATA II Raid 0 with dual 500GB Hard drives
Sound Blaster X-FI Xtreme Gamer
ATI HD 512mb graphics card
Vista Ultimate 32 bit (up to date)
k-lite codec pack (for an MPEG codec)

Premiere is VERY unstable while editing HDV MPEG footage but is rock solid for Standard Def AVI video. The use of effects seems to make the problem much worse. I've had Premiere crash with only one video in the timeline and heavy effects. Then again I've been able to make a 30 minute video with few effects and few crashes. This problem is wasting a lot of my time and patience.

Any ideas?
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Old September 17th, 2009, 03:04 PM   #2
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Get rid of k-Lite. This may require a complete reformat and reinstallation of OS & programs. Second, get a separate boot disk. Raid0 for a boot disk is a really bad idea, about as bad as installing k-Lite.
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Old September 17th, 2009, 03:20 PM   #3
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I originally installed K-lite to fix windows media player playback of HD MPEG videos. Could this have caused all these problems? And what's wrong with having RAID 0 for the boot disk? Thanks
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Old September 17th, 2009, 04:33 PM   #4
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Yes, the codec pack -- any codec pack -- can wreak havoc with your system.

Several reasons you don't want a 1TB RAID0 for your boot disk. First, there's no redundancy so if you lose one disk you lose your whole PC, and with two disks you have double the chance of a disk failure compared to one. Second, you don't need a terabyte system drive. Your C drive should have OS and programs only. Third, your project and media files should be on a separate disk anyway, so splitting up your disks would help with this if you just un-RAID them.

But frankly, with your two 500GB drives, I'd add a third 150GB 10K Raptor for your C drive and then use one of your other two disks for media, and the other for renders.

Make sure you're not running any other programs when you edit, including virus checkers, disk indexing (make sure that's OFF on all disks) and an open internet connection. Your chip is stressed enough as it is, and will likely never perform great with HDV, but by easing the tasks you ask of it you may have better stability.
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Old September 17th, 2009, 04:34 PM   #5
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If one disk fails you"ll loose it all, better to have one disk primarily for windows and programmes and a raid0 which only contains your videofiles. Always have another disk available to backup your most important data or even footage your working on. I take it you are using that raid0 set up with windows, programm files and your videofootage?
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Old September 17th, 2009, 04:38 PM   #6
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I uninstalled the codec pack and now WMP won't play MPEG2 videos back right. I did some experimental editing and Premiere crashed again.

There is one thing I forgot to mention above. Just before each crash the hard drive activity light goes solid, Premiere freezes for a few seconds and closes.
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Old September 17th, 2009, 04:44 PM   #7
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As Harm very accurately says, you may have to reformat and reinstall OS and Apps to get rid of all effects of the codec pack. For playback, check out Media Player Classic or VLC Media Player rather than WMP.

For less stress on your chip, consider using a Cineform product, which un-compresses your video before editing so your CPU doesn't have to work as hard.

That disk light you're talking about does seem to validate the theory that your disks are not set up optimally for this task. But I think the real problem is with your chip -- it just isn't robust enough to handle HDV well.

Consider Cineform's Prospect HD or at least Neo. Much more info on these products over in Cineform's forum right here at DVInfo.
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Old September 17th, 2009, 04:53 PM   #8
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How do you separate RAID0 dives? I've been thinking about getting Cineform for some time. If I were to get it which one version you recommend for me?
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Old September 17th, 2009, 05:58 PM   #9
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You may still have Search Indexing turned on. That is devastating for performance. You may also have disk defragmenting on, which is another reason for lousy performance. There may be a lot of other background processes, nearly bringing your system to a standstill. Check that with Process Explorer from SysInternals.


BTW, Adam, I regained position number 1 on the PassMark test: PassMark Software - PerformanceTest System Benchmarks - Fastest Performing PCs
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Old September 17th, 2009, 06:18 PM   #10
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Mitch -- You might be able to get away with Neo HD if you don't need all the features that Prospect HD provides, as Prospect is not yet fully functional with CS4. Check out the Cineform website and read the product comparison and decide which is best for you, then be sure to go to the Cineform Forum here and read all the posts in all the threads going back several months, so you'll have a good idea of what issues there are right now with Cineform and Adobe and what each package can and cannot do.

I've used Cineform's stuff since Premiere Pro 1.5.1 came out, which included a small version of one of their prior products, and wouldn't have been able to edit HDV on my old machine without it.

To transform your disks into separate drives, just go to the software RAID manager that is likely on your system, and select something like Delete RAID array. DOING SO WILL WIPE OUT EVERYTHING ON YOUR SYSTEM DRIVE COMPLETELY, so be prepared to reformat and reinstall Windows, and set up your disks as JBODs. It's not for the faint of heart but it isn't rocket science, either. Usually there's a prompt to go into the RAID BIOS on startup before Windows loads -- you usually set up your disks first and then install Windows. If you're not comfortable mucking about inside your system's brain you might want to take it somewhere.

Harm -- Great news! Congrats!
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Old September 17th, 2009, 07:04 PM   #11
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So what is the benefit of using Cineform over transcoding the HDV videos into the QuickTime or Panasonic p2 formats using Adobe Media Encoder?
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Old September 17th, 2009, 07:25 PM   #12
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In a nutshell, what is CineForm?

Really, it's all in the forum and website.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 02:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Gold View Post
To transform your disks into separate drives, just go to the software RAID manager that is likely on your system
With a dell the raid set-up is bios controlled, press f2 during set up which will bring you in the bios, select "drives", "sata operation" and select "raid autodetect/ata" instead of "raid on" which is the systems default in a raid set up.

Before doing this I would check under "drives" to which sata (0,1,2...) your drives are connected, when you deactivate the raid it's best to deactivate one of the 2 drives as well. After you reboot your system won't startup anymore and you have to install your windows again using the dvd. After you have reinstalled all you can go back into the bios and activate the 2nd drive which most likely will have to be formatted and activated again before windows can see it.
If you are not comfortable doing something like this I would definitely bring the pc to a pc store, it will save you from lot of headache :)
Once the intsallation has been done and you have installed all the software, drivers and latest patches buy a program like Ghost to back up all, if something goes wrong later you can always have a fully functional system in a few minutes.
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