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AJA IO HD crashing system?

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David Reynolds
AJA IO HD crashing system?
on Feb 7, 2009 at 3:11:40 am

So let's get started. I am using the IO HD on 3 machines.
1. Work = Mac Pro dual quad 3.2 8gb ram, 3tb internal raid FCP 6.0.5 OS X.5.6
2. Home = Mac Pro dual quad 3.0 9gb ram, 2tb internal raid FCP 6.0.5 OS X.5.6
3. Portable = Macbook Pro dual 2.4 4gb ram esata raid

OKay here goes. I got on loan a few months back an IO HD to evaluate, I tested on all 3 machine over rthe course of a week. Everything worked flawlessly, I was also demoing a Matrox MX02 at the tie for comparison.

So last week I again got the IO HD as I had preferred it to the Matrox.
It was the exact one I had demoed previously. I could not get it to actually see video coming in.
We reloaded software, firmware etc on all machine and nothing, I could get video out off of the FCP timeline however. No input from component, SDI, composite, nothing.

So I wrote AJA and they RMA'ed the unit, received the new one very quickly. With the new unit I instantly go my inputs working.

Now there is another issue. No matter which system it is attached to it eventually crashes the system. Kernel panics, crashes FCP or just straight up freezes. I don't have to be actually capturing or even have FCP open at the time for it to occur. when I am capturing it will be fine for random amounts of time before starting to glitch get stuck and then crash. It is the only firewire device connected when it is on. The firmware is up to date the software is updated etc. I would say hey it's my system, but it happens to all 3 of them. Now another thing I have noticed, and perhaps this is one cause, is that the firewire connection on the back of the unit doesn't seem to be making a good connection. I see the light turn of on the front of the IO occasionally, and I wiggle the plug it can go on and off, I have now tried 4 fw800 cables and have the same issues.

I have tried all these cables with other devices on all machines and no problems.
I made sure to uninstall the Matrox drivers as well. Not sure what else it could be so do you think the connection on the back of this replacement unit could be the culprit to cause such a mess?

I don't want to give up on the unit, as I have used it in the recent past and loved it, but is it always this flakey or am I A doing something wrong or B just getting bad luck this go around.

Any advise is greatly appreciated, I couldn't really find much on this particular issue with this unit.

Thanks in advance!

:Changing the World Frame by Frame: ~Å~


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Bob Zelin
Re: AJA IO HD crashing system?
on Feb 7, 2009 at 2:05:28 pm

David -
how much demoing do you need to do. If the Matrox worked better for you, then get the Matrox. Demos on hardware dont' take that long. Countless people use the I/O HD without the crashing problems. Crashing occurs from bad driver installs, conflicts with things like the Matrox drivers (which you say you uninstalled), graphics card plug in's, etc. You can trash the I/O HD preferences, but if it's crashing on ALL THREE SYSTEMS, and you don't have any other Firewire devices on these sytems, and you are not running on an old G5, and you are running a modern version of OS-X (like 10.5) - then perhaps you should choose the Matrox MXO2.

What on earth can you "demo" for weeks on end ?
Bob Zelin




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David Reynolds
Re: AJA IO HD crashing system?
on Feb 7, 2009 at 3:29:47 pm

Thanks for the reply.
As far as the Demoing goes it is a matter of trying out different scenarios in our studio after our daily shows have completed Of course it's not an all day hour after hour trial. It is a few hours here in there over the course of a week. It would be a faster try out if it wasn't given issues, the point is to show it to the powers that be up stairs for possible purchase. I wanted to ensure that it was properly running before showing it's potential to them. As far as the Matrox goes, it is indeed another choice, all though I was not particularly happy with it my first time out. Perhaps I will try to get it again for a test run. So maybe test run is a better choice of words over demoing. I will try again Monday and remove all prefs etc and reinstall to see if it is happier. I eft it at the studio because i will be out of town later today.

:Changing the World Frame by Frame: ~Å~


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Bob Zelin
Re: AJA IO HD crashing system?
on Feb 7, 2009 at 7:02:01 pm

to their credit, and then issue, AJA is TOO NICE sometimes. I had a client who had an AJA I/O HD, that developed a bizarre problem, where we would have to trash the preferences constantly because of "bizarre green lines". AJA sent TWO replacement units. The customer finally called me. I forced him to stick the "original" problem unit on his Mac Book Pro, and guess what - NO PROBLEMS. So I then forced him to let me do a GROUND ZERO REINTALL of the OS operating system, and full reinstall of FCP, and guess what - NO MORE PROBLEMS.

I fully realize how painful this is, and how time consuming it is to do this, but the AJA I/O HD works. I am not saying that the Matrox MXO2 is not a fine product, but the I/O HD works very well, and is very popular. When you say "I replaced the FW800 cable 4 times" - I cannot even imagine what is going on here. The FW800 cable that AJA provides is fine, and if find that "wiggling the FW800 cable" makes the box work, and then not work, then you have a mechanical connection problem with the FW800 port on your MAC Pro. I have seen countless people in the past develop problems with FW400 ports with HP xw8000 series of computers for AVID Adrenaline systems, and people would always blame the AVID, when the metal port on the HP would go bad all the time.

If you find that the MXO2 does the job for you, the MXO2 costs less money than the I/O HD. But the I/O HD is a fine product, that is widely accepted. If you are having problems with multiple I/O HD boxes, it's probably your MAC.

Bob Zelin




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David Reynolds
Re: AJA IO HD crashing system?
on Feb 8, 2009 at 5:32:07 am

Bob,
First let me start by thanking you for your feedback, as that is the reason I came to CC to begin with.

Now let me go ahead and start fresh because listening to your last two posts I get the feeling your not quite on the same page as me.

To start with I am in no way attacking AJA, the IO HD or anything like that. I have worked with AJA products and people for years as a customer and working with a dealer, I have loved them for years. Their support is top notch and what you may call too nice I see as a great company willing to put out the extra mile, and the warranty covers that as well.

As I stated in my original post I had used the very same IO HD I had problems with on getting video in with, before. The first go around was simple and sweet and worked flawlessly on all 3 machine, yes that's 3. = 2 mac pros and 1 mac book pro as mentioned before.
After running through the usual run down of potential problems and solutions myself and then with AJA it was determined we would switch out the unit. Note that the video-in problem was on all 3 machines.

Once the replacement unit arrived, it needed a firmware update and then was ready to rock n roll. My main machine saw the video-in (like it should) instantly. There were no issues up to this point. After capturing about 15 minutes of footage from an XH A1 through the analog component input, it froze FCP and then the system resulting in a forced power down. Once restarted I went through it all again noting that the firewire connection led on the front of the IO HD was flickering, would go off come back on randomly. So I tried other firewire cables, yes the total was 4, in none of this was I implying that the cable supplied to me by AJA was a junk cable, the point was that I tried multiple cables with the same result. So I tried the unit with the now abundance of cables on both other machines I have, that would be the other mac pro and mac book pro previously mentioned, all of which as mentioned in the original post are up to date on FCP the OS as well as drivers, software etc.

The result, they all had the same reaction with the system freezing random times on each. The last one gave me the you must hold down your power button etc message. So after "messing" with it further I realized I could make the led on the IO HD for FW connection turn off and on by a small touch or wiggle of the cable, not at the computer side but at the IO HD side. That is where my question came from, it wasn't the IO HD is junk, it was a legitimate question for AJA IO HD users who may have at some point come across this or a similar problem. In hopes that I would be able to solve it.

I'm not interested in the comparisons of the MX02 and the IO HD, as I have tried both and prefer one over the other, as previously stated, I already know AJA is a good company with quality products and support, my message was to reach out to other users, that's it.


"The customer finally called me. I forced him to stick the "original" problem unit on his Mac Book Pro, and guess what - NO PROBLEMS. "

and thus I wouldn't limit myself to just testing a unit on one machine as stated before.

"to their credit, and then issue, AJA is TOO NICE sometimes. I had a client who had an AJA I/O HD, that developed a bizarre problem, where we would have to trash the preferences constantly because of "bizarre green lines". AJA sent TWO replacement units."

Yes indeed AJA support is great, but I have to ask was this during the warranty period? And did the customer set it up or did the dealer set it up for the customer?

"So I then forced him to let me do a GROUND ZERO REINTALL of the OS operating system, and full reinstall of FCP, and guess what - NO MORE PROBLEMS. "

Oh yes ground zero while it may work it may not, and until I have down time to try that long process out I think I should examine every other possibility first don't you? Ground Zero is kind of a last resort and I'm not at my last resort yet.

I do appreciate your feedback, I really do, but again I think perhaps we were not on the same wave link, I'm not attacking AJA or their products, if anything I am fully supporting them as a company. I was looking for other options and experiences from other users. The more input the better, whether you think it's my macs fault, the cable, the connection on the IO, driver issues, ground zero I am more than open for discussion, opinion, feedback, lectures etc. I appreciate you and any one else taking time out to listen, and write back. Just understand I am not attacking AJA.

Thanks again
-David

:Changing the World Frame by Frame: ~Å~


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Bob Zelin
Re: AJA IO HD crashing system?
on Feb 8, 2009 at 4:41:54 pm

David -
I do not know what your problem is. I can tell you this about my little story, with my customer. He called AJA, they could not figure out the problem. They sent him a new box. The problem still happened. He called them back. AJA blamed his RAM. He pulled out his RAM. Same problem. He called me. I blamed his preferences. I trashed everything (FCP prefs, I/O HD prefs, Quicktime prefs, etc.). Everything worked ! Until the next day (several hours after using it). I came back. I trashed everything again. It worked - for several hours, then the problem came back. I put this I/O HD box on his MAC Book Pro, and no problems. I put it back on his MAC PRo, and the problems were there. I did everything that I knew how to do, and I did everything that AJA suggested (including a new box), and the problems were still there.

I am unfortunately well aware that EVERYONE has "some little program" that they have been using for years, that causes some stupid conflict with certain hardware. And the only way to identify this without driving yourself crazy is to do a ground zero reinstall. This is what I wound up doing with this particular customer, and guess what - all of a sudden, the I/O HD box started to work. So what was the problem - I HAVE NO IDEA. He had lots of graphics programs and plug ins and all kinds of crap on his computer, and it worked for over a year, and then this "problem" developed. Well, now there is no "problem".

Again, I am not questioning what a nightmare it is to do a ground zero install on a system (that seems to work fine with the MXO2) - a system that you make a living with every day. But no one can identify every conflict with every product. Whenever I am working on any system, - be it AVID, Blackmagic, Matrox or AJA, the FIRST THING I do is UNPLUG EVERYTHING and make the system as simple as possible to avoid any possible conflict. And when this fails (and it failed in this case), after doing everything I possibly can, I force the client to "bite the bullet" and let me do the reinstall.

I know that you would love for someone to say "are you by chance using the XYZ plugin for Adobe After Effects, because we have seen this plugin cause the I/O HD to fail" - but I don't have that information, so I can't give it to you. Perhaps someone else on these forums can suggest something.

I related a story on the Kona forum about a month ago, where I had a "problem" with a Kona LHe card using a Sony HDW-M2000 VTR, that did not show up on this clients Kona 3, so I blamed the card. AJA support knew that a setting on the HDW-M2000 had to be changed from AUTO 1 to AUTO2 to get the Kona LHe to work, and with a quick turn of a menu dial, the problem was over. I know that you need this kind of answer now (just tell me what plug ins conflict with the I/O HD), but I don't have that information. A reinstall will probably resolve your problems.

Bob Zelin




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David Reynolds
Re: AJA IO HD crashing system?
on Feb 8, 2009 at 5:56:24 pm

Bob,
You continue to be an asset to the community.
I think I will bite the bullet on one of my other machines first and trial by fire scenario.
In the mean time my main system will just eat lunch without the help of the IO HD.
It will survive I will survive and eventually we will figure it all out.

Thanks again for your insight it is very helpful.

:Changing the World Frame by Frame: ~Å~


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Jeff Mack
Re: AJA IO HD crashing system?
on Feb 10, 2009 at 4:01:19 pm

David,

I think the point you may have missed with Bob's commentary is that it is awful suspicious that it was working fine at first and then you tried out the MXO2. Even though you state you removed those drivers, could there be something left on your system? Just seems like the box which works pefectly and did work perfectly for you, now does not run perfectly for you AFTER you installed another hardware solution and possibly software and drivers that MIGHT not be totally removed.

My 2 cents.

Jeff



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