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Old November 8th, 2006, 05:55 PM   #1
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Is your new MacPro Tower crashing on renders?

Our new MacPro Tower (3ghz IntelCoreDuo; 8GB RAM) is crashing during renders, both in the G5-version of Final Cut Pro and in the newest Final Cut Pro 5.1.2.

Take the same sequence on the same external drive and plug it into a G5 running either the older FCP or 5.1 and it renders perfectly.

So something's up with our MacPro. What could it be?

Is anyone else experiencing this?

Detail:
These are big crashes that require rebooting (the power button is the only option after this type of crash). The crashing started pretty much right away after we took delivery of the MacPro and finally got to the point where almost every render was crashing. We could not reinstall FCP as the disks were out for the crossgrade. When the shiny new disks came we thought our problem would be over -- and it seemed so at first. But now, two days later, we have just seen our first render crash in 5.1.2, just like the ones we saw before installing the universal version. Makes me think we have a lemon -- or a bad cable, a bad ext. drive, overheating, an electrical fluctuation...something like that -- and all of the above are certainly possible in our setting. But I thought I'd start by asking if anyone else is having a regular crashing problem on renders in the MacPro Tower. We have never had a problem like this with FCP in our G5 or G4s.
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Old November 8th, 2006, 06:15 PM   #2
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If you're getting crashes on renders, and not when doing anything else, the first thing I'd try is delete ALL the render files. Then try again. if it still crashes, change the render disk to another disk. This might help isolate the problem.

Best when troubleshooting this kind of stuff is start with a clean install of FCP (or in lieu of that at least with the preferences file deleted) and make sure you have all the latest updates for Pro Apps, the System, an FCP.

If you suspect flaky hardware, after doing the above, run the Apple Hardware Test (it's included on the install disk that came in the elegant black box).

Good thing it is pretty easy to swap out the hard drives in the new Mac.

In my own experience, random hard crashes are usually related to bad RAM. Apple Hardware test can help identify if you have bad memory modules.
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Old November 8th, 2006, 06:40 PM   #3
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The only thing I can think of is that since you said you were running the old version of FCP maybe you have a Quicktime codec installed that's disagreeing with FCP.
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Old November 8th, 2006, 07:02 PM   #4
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If you installed your own additional RAM, read this Apple Knowledge Base article. Not only is OS X picky about RAM, apparently so is FCP.
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Old November 8th, 2006, 07:08 PM   #5
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THANKS for the RAM install tip, Dave - I hope others notice it here -- it is really worth highlighting - maybe in a "So you're buying RAM, eh..?" sticky.

Aware of this issue I bought 8 identical bars of 1GB RAM - that way I could not make any mistake!!
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Old November 8th, 2006, 07:17 PM   #6
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Scott,

We're not having trouble with FCP yet. It's installed and up to date but haven't started using it.

I have expreienced problems with an ATTO dual fibre channel card. Apparently ATTO has not issued drivers allowing the card to work with MacPros with over 2 gigs of RAM. We have a 2.5 terrabite Ciprico RAID that could not be striped as a RAID until I removed 5 of 7 gigs of RAM. The machine required unplugging the power source for 30 sec before it would boot again.
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Old November 8th, 2006, 10:46 PM   #7
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I had a Quad that was having similar problems where it would sem-randomly kernel panic, requiring a hard reboot. It was pretty random. The Apple Store replaced the power supply, but that wasn't it, because it continued to crash. It, too, had 8GB of RAM. I eventually replaced it with a Mac Pro and that machine has been rock-solid. Rendering out several hours of video over the last week or so, and nary a single crash.

My suggestion is to bring it to the Apple store and let them run it on their whiffy overnight version of AHT. It's more than the one we all get in the box.
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Old November 9th, 2006, 10:50 PM   #8
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Maximum utmost kudos to David Tames! David your post above
( http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showpost....63&postcount=3 )
worked! We did all the things you suggested and we really think the problem is behind us now. I mean, stay tuned, i suppose it could recur, but things seem to be rolling quite nicely with no more crashes AND: Incredible speed.

The key to curing this issue appears to be re-rendering in the MacPro (and FCP v5.1.2) materials that were already perfectly well-rendered in the G5 running the pre-Universal version. Adding new rendering in the new MacPro environment on top of renders that came from the G5 led frequently — not every time, but often — to crashes.

So the lesson here is: When you upgrade from the G5 to the MacPro and also bump-up to FCP v5.1 and v.5.1.2, be sure you to a total re-render of anything you have in progress, and do that total re-render in the new MacPro environment where you are going to be working in future.
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