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Dennis Parker August 23rd, 2005 03:33 AM

Thanks for the info Robert!

I shoot shorts that are no longer than 8 or 9 minutes when finished. By using my disk utility, I can make quick copies of my finished dvd if I need more copies in the future. My concern was keeping space free on my HD for incoming projects. So I wanted a way to remove all traces of a finished project before starting a new one.

I'm really learning as I go (Aren't we all though!). I thought I had this all figured out when I bought an external HD to use as my scratch disk.....but I did not realize the external drive needed to be firewire. I bought the cheaper USB drive. I actually was able to move my video to the USB external drive, but the audio was out of sync pretty bad and I'm not even mentioning the dropped frames.

I have not experienced any dropped frames so far by using my ibook's internal hard drive....

The print to tape option looked good to, but I can't do that for some reason. Thank goodness I don't have any problems when capturing footage.


Boyd Ostroff August 23rd, 2005 06:49 AM

Using the internal drive is usually a bad idea, but if it works for you then that's fine. Over time I think you'll have problems. A 4200 RPM drive is really pretty slow, most people feel you need 7200 RPM drives. In terms of external firewire drives, I couldn't get a 5600 RPM disk to work reliably.

But there are several other issues with the internal drive:

1. The operating system itself and your applications needs to read and write from the drive constantly. This can interfere with the constant high data throughput which DV requires during playback and capture.

2. Even a brand new Mac already has thousands of small files on the internal drive. Unix likes to create tons of these things, like temp files and log files. They are periodically cleaned up by the operating system. In all your other applications you'll also create a lot of smaller files. Over time these will cause your disk to become fragmented. DV wants big empty disks with a small number of huge files. A fragmented disk isn't very compatible with this. So even if everything works fine now, you will probably gradually find performance problems as your disk gets more fragmented.

Beyond all this, another philosophy is certainly "if it ain't broke don't fix it," so if your current setup does what you need then that's fine. Just keep some of these things in mind for the future in case you start having problems.

Dennis Parker August 23rd, 2005 07:02 AM


You bring up a lot of good points that I have wondered about. I had an emac that was running FCE and I started to get some performance issues there after a while....

Is there a way to "clean up" my ibook to keep it running tight after I remove a project?!?! I went into FCE documents and opend up the cache, autosave, all of the folders there and deleted the documents inside.

My ibook came with a 60gig HD and I only use it for FCE projects, and loading cds into itunes for my ipod. I do use photoshop elements 2, but I have that installed on an external drive.

So, should I plan on reformatting my ibook's internal HD annually and reinstalling FCE?!? That seems extreme, but if it will keep things going for me....


Boyd Ostroff August 23rd, 2005 07:12 AM

Like I said, most people consider it a bad idea to use the internal drive for video, but "your mileage may vary." Using iTunes on the same drive is even a worse idea in terms of fragmentation I think.

There are programs which attempt to defrag your disk. I think DiskWarrior can do this (you should have a copy handy for emergencies anyway), although I've only used it for salvaging a bad drive.

Personally, I wouldn't use any of these programs on my internal drive either. It's just one more risk of corrupting the drive - for example if you have a crash during defragmentation you could lose everything.

There is also some concern (possibly unfounded) that DV puts a lot of stress on a drive, which isn't a great idea on an internal.

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