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Old April 26th, 2005, 02:07 PM   #1
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Scratch Disk Memory? Newbie Confused.

Hey gang, I could use your assistance.

I'm the happy owner of a G5 Mac with 2 gigs of Ram and a 200gig Harddrive. I am currently using FCX till I can save up for Pro, and plan on getting another (hopefully external) hard drive in the near future. Till then though, I have a problem that confuses me. When I boot up FCX and start to capture footage on my camera (XL1s), it tells me that my scratch disk is almost full.
Now, at this point I still have 180gigs left on my computer, and haven't even captured anything yet! It still allows me to capture, but I'm not sure if there is some setting I need to adjust or tweak to fix this. I tried capturing a project the other day and it would not capture the entire project, but keep stopping in small chunks. Am I missing something, or do I just need a huge drive to avoid this?

Thanks for any help.

-Byron
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Old April 26th, 2005, 02:32 PM   #2
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That's odd. What does it say the scratch disk is set to when you look at your preferences? Generally speaking, it's a bad idea to capture to the same drive as your system and applications, but that doesn't explain why FCE thinks your disk is full.

You might run a disk utility, like diskwarrior, just to confirm there are no problems on your drive. Are you running some old versions of either FCE or the system software?
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Old April 27th, 2005, 12:18 AM   #3
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Hmm...upon reinspecting, I originally read the warning wrong. The warning instead says that my "start up" disk is almost full, and needs to be emptied. I only have the one drive, and it still has 180 gig left on it. Under the scratch disk preferences, all are set to this drive as well. I do intend on getting an external (by the way, any suggestions for brand, size, whether external or internal with a case is better?) hard drive, but this still seems strange to me. The message appears when I first open the capture option and click "Capture Now". Perhaps I'm capturing immense files..?

PS. As I recall now, the capturing would stop because of a dropped frame error. It doesn't seem to be repeating now, however.

PPS. On a side note, when I use the cross dissolve, if I extend it too far the footage 'jumps' when transitioning. Any idea why?

Thanks so much for the help!
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Old April 27th, 2005, 05:44 PM   #4
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Ahhh..."startup disk is almost full." You are running low on RAM. Many applications, such as Final Cut Express, use lost of RAM...and when your RAM runs out, it starts to use your main system drive (your startup drive) as RAM memory.

You need more RAM. How much RAM do you have now?
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Old April 27th, 2005, 10:09 PM   #5
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I have 2 gigs of ram....I thought that'd be enough. Yeesh!
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Old April 28th, 2005, 09:23 AM   #6
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2 GIGS?!? Than this is curious.

Repair Permissions?
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Old April 30th, 2005, 12:11 PM   #7
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Well, I repaired the permissions, but still no change to the error. On the brght side, it doesn't seem to be affecting what it captures, so I may be able to get by with just ignoring it.
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Old April 30th, 2005, 03:48 PM   #8
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Byron, I'm at a loss to understand what's going on. I'm glad that it still seems to work for you, but it would be a good idea to try and figure out why you're getting these errors. Have you looked at Apple's FCE support page here: http://www.apple.com/support/finalcutexpress/ and also the forum on Apple's website? http://discussions.info.apple.com

These are both good resources for troubleshooting pesky problems.
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Old April 30th, 2005, 03:51 PM   #9
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Also... just a random thought... Look in your system settings for the minimum free space on scratch disk preference. If this were inadvertently set too a very high value (like 100,000 or something) then I believe you would get warnings that you're running out of space.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 03:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron Huskey
(by the way, any suggestions for brand, size, whether external or internal with a case is better?)
If you want the fastest possible access to data and lowest cost, then another internal SATA drive is the ticket. To get the most GB/$$$ look in the 120GB to 250GB range. One can frequently find excellent value with in the Sunday ad's from Circuit City, Best Buy, Office Max and other companies. I recently purchased a 300GB drive for about $0.40 per GB -AFTER- rebate.

Drives larger than 250GB, or which have higher performance (10,000 rpm or 16 MB cache) spec's will cost significantly more per GB.

Since your G5 only has two drive slots you may want to think long and hard about putting in anything smaller than 300GB in the remaining open drive slot. Note there are kits to add two or three more drives into the case, but these are very expensive and fill the area currently occupied by the PCI cards. IMHO, the minimum size drive I would install would be 250GB.

The other option, hanging 1394 drives outside your G5 will give you a work area cluttered with wires and "power bricke" - much like my work space. One can purchase inexpensive 1394a enclosures for $40 to $50 and then install an inexpensive IDE (parallel-ATA) drive, or purchase an already built up unit from LaCie, any of the major disk manufacturers, and even a number of other no-name companies.

For the best performance with an external drive, one can purchase 1394b enclosures. Various benchmarks I've seen indicate that the performance gain with a single hard disk 1394b enclosure is about 8GByte/sec to 10GByte/sec average - far less than the bus bandwith difference would indicate (50MB/sec versus 100MByte/sec). Note that USB2.0 is about 10% to 20% SLOWER than 1394a and places a larger overhead on the cpu.

I've owned many 1394a drives and the only problem I've encountered is with a PPA "Gear Box" brand enclosure which doesn't work when two of these enclosures are on the bus at once.

Just around the corner are external SATA (eSATA?) and SAS (Serial Attach SCSI) drives. These will have much higher bandwidth than 1394a or b but will require a pci card for your G5. Like all new technologies, early adopters will pay a price premium...
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 12:04 PM   #11
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Well, I ended up trashing the preferences and rebooting, and this seemed to (for now) solve the problem. Thanks for the help and advice everyone.
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Old May 7th, 2005, 10:30 AM   #12
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I was just reading some posts over at Apple.com and think I may know what your problem was. Are you perhaps running either Virex or Norton Anti-virus? They are known to create a problem with "capture now" just like yours and should be turned off while capturing (or just not used at all).

Here's what happens: FCP freezes during a capture and the virus program creates a file that appears to take up all of your hard drive space. You need to locate any files in the capture folder with a .av extension and throw them away. This is supposed to clear up the problem.

Here's a more thorough examination of the issue on Apple's site:

http://discussions.info.apple.com/we....0@.68a84950/0
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