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Old October 25th, 2012, 09:37 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New York, New York
Posts: 7
FCP7 Constant Crashing

Ok, there’s a lot to cover here, so bear with me.

The Set-Up:

-Three Mac Pro work stations- all operating OSX10.6.8 Snow Leopard, FCP 7.0.3, timelines are 1920x1080 XDCAMEX 1080p24

-Station 1- Late 2008, Mac 3,1, 10GB Ram, NVDIA GeForce 8800 GT, 2 x 2.8Ghz Quad Core Intel Xeon
-Station 2- Late 2008, Mac 3,1, 6GB Ram, NVDIA GeForce 8800 GT, 2 x 2.8Ghz Quad Core Intel Xeon
-Station 3- Early 2008, Mac 1,1, 6GB Ram, ATI Radeon X1900 XT, 2 x 3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon

-EonStor Raid System connected with fiber optic cables through QLogic 1400 switch

The Problem: FCP7 is consistently crashing when the real memory the application is using gets close to the 2.56 gb max. When this happens, we get blue and green flashes, and other glitches before we go down. We have ordered more RAM, reduced project size, got rid of thumbnails, and reduced the number of sequences we have open and this has helped but not completely kept us from crashing.

In the past week, FCP is crashing on stations 1 & 2 randomly, without warning, and without the real memory usage even getting above 2gb (we watch it using activity monitor). We created all new projects and sequences for what we were working on for fear of corrupt files or media. Still no luck.

Additional Notes on Problem:
- We understand that our set-up is dated, but we cannot upgrade to Lion or Mountain Lion because our Raid and QLogic do not work with it (we have tried!)
. We would have to upgrade firmware on the raid, which is potentially dangerous for our drives. The QLogic does not even have a firmware upgrade which means we would have to buy a new one and we don’t have the budget for that.
- The graphics card in station 3, the station that does not crash randomly, is different than the other two (and I think more powerful). Could a graphics card issue be to blame? Any way to test that?
- We have used XDCAM files for storage purposes. We have over 700 hours of footage and cannot turn it all in to prores.
- On that note, we occasionally get Media Not Optimized for Final Cut Pro warnings on random XDCAM files, which we have researched and find that people say should just be ignored.
- Also, while doing a little analyzing of the most recent crash report, we found a repeated error=code 12 message. People are saying this can be caused by long file names over 32 characters. We have a bunch of those. Any one know anything about that?
-The other error code we see repeated is Error: MPEG2Decompressor[0xd8c0b6c0]: failed to initialize AppleVA decoder (-3)
- Lastly, in the past week when opening certain projects something strange is occurring in regards to reconnecting media. When the reconnect box appears, it shows two drives (that are online) but no actual media to reconnect. Hard to explain. We have stopped opening those projects for fear of them being corrupt.

Solutions We Have Tried:
- Clearing preferences
- Complete reinstall of FCP
- Complete reinstall of OSX
- Cleaning out the towers with canned air
- Deleting excess autosaves, renders, duplicate projects
- Emptied thumbnail cache
- Reducing project file size to below 100mb
- Reducing number of projects open at one time
- Reducing number of sequences open
- Ram tests show RAM is good

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Last edited by Matt Weckel; October 25th, 2012 at 11:27 AM.
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Old October 25th, 2012, 05:30 PM   #2
Inner Circle
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: New York City
Posts: 2,501
Re: FCP7 Constant Crashing

If it was one of your work stations crashing it would probably be the Mac's hardware or software corruption. With the issue occurring across two stations, I would be inclined to offer the opinion that it's the fiber network and beyond where the issue is emanating from.

Either the network is experiencing data transmission loss (bad switch?), which would cause problems with FCP, you have corrupted video files which would also cause problems in FCP, or one of the RAID drives are getting old and is about to die. If the problem can be isolated to specific video files then experiment with recapturing the files. Anyway you look at it, consider backing everything up very soon.
William Hohauser - New York City
Edit/Camera/DCP production/Animation
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Old October 26th, 2012, 07:00 AM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Plantation, FL
Posts: 238
Re: FCP7 Constant Crashing

I have had a similar situation on my 3,1.
It happens less frequently than your situation, i suspect . . . more on larger projects. I've been putting up with it for a year or more.
It started when i upgraded my video card, esata card and raid. I'm unable to figure it out.
I don't remember it ever occurring when using a single screen.

Please post a resolution if/when you find the offending element.
Mark Ahrens
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Old October 26th, 2012, 09:39 AM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New York, New York
Posts: 7
Re: FCP7 Constant Crashing

Thanks for the replies!

I have some updates-
-Ran a disk utility check and found 3 of the partitions on my RAID to be corrupt. Could not repair in disk utility. Had to use Disk Warrior and now they seem to be ok.
- Downloaded a trial of digital rebellion's FCS Maintenance Pack, and used the crash analyzer to read a report. It appears crashes are being caused by some or all of these problems:
1) XDCAM codec issues (suggests using XDCAM files in prores timelines. We are going to be transferring all of our XDCAM current sequences to prores ones.)
2) Graphics cards issues. Possible replacement needed
-Ran Corrupt File Finder from the FCS pack on some projects that frequently crashed and it appears that I have no corrupt or incompatible files
- Moved scratch disks from tower HD to a partition on the RAID under a file named Final Cut Pro Documents. Larry Jordan mentions that this should always be the name of the folder in a post of his
- Have more RAM coming in today for the 6gb machines. Dont think it will fix anything, but might at least relieve some stress and postpone inevitable crashing.

William, do you know off hand how to properly test the fibre cables? And the switch to see if we are getting the optimized performance out of both? (and we do have everything backed-up!)

No crashes yet today, but its early :). I probably won't have much to report until next week when we are working in all prores timelines. Let's hope I don't need to go out and buy new gfx cards.
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Old October 26th, 2012, 04:12 PM   #5
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 1,262
Re: FCP7 Constant Crashing

Hey Matt,
Also make sure if you use any stills or other kinds of media that you keep your pixel size under 4096 in any dimension as this caused me a lot of issues on a recent project with multiple editors of varying technical adeptness. Good luck
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Old October 26th, 2012, 04:17 PM   #6
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New York, New York
Posts: 7
Re: FCP7 Constant Crashing

Thats a big one definitely! We always run our stills through PS Batch Image Processor to keep em under 1920.
Matt Weckel
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