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Old September 14th, 2007, 03:12 AM   #1
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Vegas Causes My System to Shut Down.

Hey Everybody,

I'm always glad you're here. To quote one of the homeless guys back in my old neighborhood, whenever something goes wrong, "help is on the way!"

In any event:

I have a trial version of Vegas Platinum Edition 8.0, Build 122. I have some data I imported from a DVD camcorder disc and am now trying to turn into a movie in MPEG-2 DVD PAL format.

Every time I try to compile the movie, at some point--whenever I walk out of the room--the render process causes my computer to completely shut down. Because I'm out of the room, I'm not sure if there are any error messages, how the computer shuts down, etc. But when I come back, the computer is definitely in the off state--to be needlessly technical--and, when I boot it up, it boots up just as though I had shut it down normally.

Based on the length of the MPG files Vegas does manage to put out (to an external, 500GB, USB 2.0 hard drive, no less) the system shuts down at random intervals: some of the movies are almost full length at two minutes and change, others only render for 30 seconds and then quit.

I have power management turned off on my computer, so I doubt it's a case of the system just going into hibernation or some other power-saving mode. (I've considered setting gremlin traps, but I don't know where to purchase them.) I'm thinking about trying it one more time--and setting my camera up to record the screen so that I can look back and see what's going on.

This one perplexes the bucket; I'd rather not kick it (whatever that means; jet lag and coffee are killing me slowly, I think).

Until then--

Sincerest regards,

Luke
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Old September 14th, 2007, 05:31 AM   #2
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Your problem may be caused by heat.

Are you overclocking your cpu?

If so, set it back to normal.

Are the fans (if any) running in your computer?
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Old September 14th, 2007, 09:53 AM   #3
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Nope: no over-clocking; all fans purring. My computer--a laptop with a standard, desktop-class Pentium IV--does tend to run hot, though. I'll try it again tonight with the machine propped up off the table to see if it works any better. (That usually worked to keep it cool back in the States.)

--Luke
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Old September 14th, 2007, 10:13 AM   #4
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Just a thought: Have you ever run a RAM test???

Some systems work OK when not pushed too hard, but when a huge program like a video editor comes along and hits a bad spot way up in the RAM, they'll roll over and die.

You can find free diagnostic programs on the web that'll check all the bits in your RAM chips.
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Old September 14th, 2007, 10:37 AM   #5
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Could be a driver issue, could be a hard drive issue. Try rendering to your internal drive, or another driver. I've had driver issues with the new generation western digitals, and have actually had to jumper them back to 150, and not 300, when I did that, my crashes went away.

But it could be heat, find a heat monitoring software, and look at that, also, turn off any processes you don't need. I usually will create a new user in windows to work if I have a lot of junk on my machine that loads.
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Old September 14th, 2007, 03:15 PM   #6
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I have a two year old Alienware laptop that in the last few months has been running hotter than usual and turns itself off (with no warning) after 30 mins or so heavy use. I bought a cheap Akasa cooling base a couple of months ago and that works a treat - still runs hot but just not so hot it falls over.

I had all but forgotten about the problem until I took my son to shoot a commercial in the north east (UK) last week. I took the laptop for him to play his games in the evening (yeah, yeah - while I was in the bar!) but he came down on the first night to say it had just shut itself off. What hadn't I taken? The cooling base. Brought it home on Sunday and it has been running a deep virus scan on a terabyte of external drive data - good as gold.

Wouldn't surprise me if you told me you had an Alienware laptop, Luke, and that this was your problem.

Keep us posted.
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Old September 14th, 2007, 08:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke Stoneburner View Post
My computer--a laptop with a standard, desktop-class Pentium IV--does tend to run hot, though.
Yeah, that's one of the hottest configurations ever put in a laptop. (I have one.) Slowly, over a long period of time, the fans will suck in dust, which acts as an insulator to warm things up even more.

I've thought about taking mine in for service, just to have them vacuum and brush it out. Never done it...

Last edited by Seth Bloombaum; September 15th, 2007 at 10:32 AM. Reason: corrected typo
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Old September 15th, 2007, 07:17 AM   #8
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WalMart sells some really nice little fans, with metal shrouds (blade cover) for $5.00 (your price may vary). I have not looked for the fans lately so they may not still have them.

For a test, I would prop up the laptop by placing 2" or so high blocks under the four corners. Then I would get a small fan to blow under and over the laptop.

Rendering in Vegas is a torture test for your laptop.

Since the render takes a relatively long time, without you needing to be typing on the computer, the above suggestion may be worth a try. Most any small fan will do.
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Old September 15th, 2007, 10:50 AM   #9
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Yup. I've only run one successful test, but--it looks like heat was the culprit: I propped the laptop up on foam blocks and--wallah! The movie renders all the way through.

I haven't added any new fans to the machine (which is a Toshiba Satellite, by the way--the exact model number of which I can't remember off the top of my head). However sadly, there are no WallMarts near where I am. There are a lot of Japanese camera shops; I might stop in one soon.

Sure enough, I do remember it shutting down some number of months ago when I tried to play Sim City 4 with the thing sitting on my lap (my legs nearly caught fire just before it did, as I remember--or at least it felt like they would).

The air intakes are getting quite clogged with dust, I've noticed now that I'm moving and have had cause to flip the chassis over and take a look at the underside. I was imagining myself using compressed air to blow the dust into the machine--out of the grill, to keep it from completely clogging up, but--I think you can all see where I fear that might lead. I wonder--how else to get the dirt out of there?

I'll try a damp tissue next, before I do anything drastic.

I don't think it's a driver issue. I've not had a difficult time writing large amounts of data to either hard drive; it's only when I'm beating the CPU to death with zeros and ones from Vegas that the system goes down.

No RAM test has been run: couldn't find a suitable application in the few, spare moments that I've had (although, I did download the application from Microsoft designed just for such a diagnostic. I don't have any blank CDs now, however, to burn the boot disk it relies on).

Nonetheless, the good ol' Appalachian fix has worked: just putting the thing up on blocks! Next, all we need to do is find a way to work duct tape into the fix and we'll have a story. <D

Thanks to you all for your help.

--Luke
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Old September 15th, 2007, 11:02 PM   #10
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Dear Luke,

I am happy that you have a solution.

I recommend that you power off the unit, then use a good vacumn cleaner (with the necessary attachments) to clean all of the intake air vents that you can find. This may help. If not, it should not do any damage.
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