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Old September 26th, 2005, 03:27 PM   #1
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Why, Why, Why is this happening?

For the longest time I was able to capture video just fine to my laptop via firewire. I was never able to do it at any length without dropping frames capturing through Premiere but was at any length with the free bundle version of Pinnacle Expression. The expensive (as compared to free) software dropped frames, but only on long imports and the free one didn't drop any, short or long. Try to figure that one out. I only used Pinnacle to load and Premiere to edit. Anyway, over the last few months, it has intermittently not been able to successfully load video without dropping ALOT of frames with either of these but specifically Pinnacle since it was my primary importer. Now it drops frames consistently. I admit that my hard drive was fragmented but it was that way when everything was working just fine. I have also noticed that on cold starts or restarts, that there is a slightly longer time for the system to come up. In addition to that, there is a stuttering (cutting out) of that Windows startup sound and an ocassional studdering of video files during playback that used to playback perfectly in the earlier times mentioned. I recently defragmented my drive, and boy did it need it, thinking that this was the issue. After all of this, I still have the loading problem with dropping frames and the Windows startup music cutting out. I even bought a 7200K external USB/Firewire drive to see if it would make a difference as the destination drive at 7200K instead of the internal 5400K drive. It didn't help. One other strange thing that I have noticed is that when you are just viewing the video in the preview screen for capturing on the PC it is just as smooth as it used to capture. But, as soon as you hit the capture button in Pinnacle or Premiere, it immediately starts to strobe or stutter. I uninstalled Pinnacle and then reloaded it and still had the same problems. I have also ordered a gig of RAM to upgrade from my current 512 Mb. But, like I said, everything worked fine with 512 Mb of RAM from the beginning. So, I'm thinking that this problem is definitely in the PC and not drive related but what could it possibly be?

Last edited by James Emory; September 27th, 2005 at 11:09 AM.
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Old September 26th, 2005, 03:33 PM   #2
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James,

I visited a friend in the midwest a few weeks ago, and went with him to the computer store to buy memory. He told me that he had 1gig, but half (512meg) had gone bad. He stuck it in and all was fine, and cured his problems. This actually sounds like it may be your problem, some of the ram has gone south! It's worth a check!

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Old September 26th, 2005, 03:47 PM   #3
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Interesting. My 512 Mb of RAM is split as dual 256 sticks. Maybe this is the case. I'll be sure to post the results when I install the new sticks. If one or any does go bad, would the Task Manager indicate this?
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Old September 26th, 2005, 03:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Emory
Interesting. My 512 Mb of RAM is split as dual 256 sticks. Maybe this is the case. I'll be sure to post the results when I install the new sticks. If one or any does go bad, would the Task Manager indicate this?
On my friends it would show 1gig sometimes and 512meg at others. Not consistant though. You might check yours once in a while, especially while it is messing up. I am not sure where he was checking for available ram though.

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Old September 27th, 2005, 07:09 AM   #5
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In a pinch until it is sorted out, you could also use Scenalyzer as it has low overhead. On my 4200 rpm internal, I just cannot use Liquid to capture. But, I can use Studio (no GUI playback, nearly blind capture). But to take it to Liquid does require an AVI import.
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Old September 27th, 2005, 08:47 AM   #6
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My biggest question is why was I able to perform these operations for so long with no issues and then all of the sudden.....? Remember, I did use Pinnacle as a workaround for Premeire dropping frames on import. But now, the workaround isn't even working. I do appreciate the suggestion but I also like to know why something happens instead of just looking for a workaround.
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Old September 27th, 2005, 10:29 AM   #7
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Sounds like maybe your laptop hard drive has either gradually gotten fragmented or may be close to full. Either way, removing unnecessary items and running a defragmenting utility would be a good thing to do, whether or not it ends up solving this particular problem.
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Old September 27th, 2005, 11:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
Sounds like maybe your laptop hard drive has either gradually gotten fragmented or may be close to full. Either way, removing unnecessary items and running a defragmenting utility would be a good thing to do, whether or not it ends up solving this particular problem.
I did not mention this earlier but my hard drive is currently only a little over 1/3 full (25 of 60 Gb) and ironically there were no problems when it was really full at about 90% (50 of 60 Gb). I cleared about 25 Gb to try to fix this problem but it hasn't. I did state this in my initial post though.

I admit that my hard drive was fragmented but it was that way when everything was working just fine.

I recently defragmented my drive, and boy did it need it, thinking that this was the issue and I still have the loading problem with dropping frames and the Windows startup music cutting out.
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Old September 27th, 2005, 11:04 AM   #9
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Make sure that you shut down all unnecessary programs when you capture if you haven't. Sometimes I forget and have a virus scan or something else pop up and run automaticaly. This has caused me some headaches.
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Old September 27th, 2005, 11:06 AM   #10
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I never have anything else running when capturing.

I posted this a while back when this first started happening intermittently thinking that it was the problem. It did seem to stop after deactivating Norton while capturing but it was obviously a coincidence because it has just gotten worse to the point where I can't capture at all without dropping frames.

www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=31793
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Old September 27th, 2005, 11:11 AM   #11
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James open Eventvwr (Run, eventvwr). Are there any disk errors in the System section? Any application errors in the Application section?
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Old September 27th, 2005, 11:18 AM   #12
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Tons of errors but I don't know how to interpret that stuff.
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Old September 27th, 2005, 11:46 AM   #13
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Not to scare you, but I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that one possibility could be a failing hard drive (I think George was hinting at this in his last post). I had problems with dropped frames on playback when one of my hard drives was failing earlier this year (not on capture as I wasn't capturing any footage at that time). Wish I'd figured out at the time what was going on.

I'd back up any important files right away. Then run an error checking scan on the drive (in Windows XP right-click on the drive in My Computer, choose Properties, click on the Tools tab, then under Error-checking click "Check Now..."). I also recommend downloading and installing HDD Health, a freeware program that monitors a hard drive's Self Monitoring and Reporting Technology (S.M.A.R.T.) feature. This can help predict an impending hard drive failure. You can download the program from this Web page: www.panterasoft.com

You may not have a failing hard drive, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
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Old September 27th, 2005, 11:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Emory
Tons of errors but I don't know how to interpret that stuff.
In what sections of the Event Viewer? System? Application? What are the error codes (double-click an error to get the code)?
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Old September 27th, 2005, 01:18 PM   #15
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Oh, I know all about hard drive failure. About 2 years ago I lost 72 gigs, not to mention alot of money, from one 36 going bad in the striped set. I have already copied all files from the laptop over to an external drive because of this current situation. I will post those error codes as soon as I can get them. Thanks to you and all for the info so far.
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