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G5 Tiger never crashed this much

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Blake Porter
G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 15, 2011 at 3:21:23 am

Not even close. The old Tiger G5 was so, so stable compared to our new macpro.
We figure the new macpro crashed 25-35 times as of November (10 weeks ago). Some crashes worse than others. It used to crash regularly when rendering Quicktimes from FCP. Not as much recently.
Now it just crashes at any given moment during edits. ...Like it just did now, prompting me to write here on C Cow.
Does anyone know if this has been common for others?
**Dual 2.66 12-core 16 GB 10.6.6
Primary media: XDCAM, Proress After Effects (cs5) layered compositions


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Michael Gissing
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 15, 2011 at 4:48:43 am

[Blake Porter] "Does anyone know if this has been common for others?"

Not common here. I had more crashes with Tiger on a G5 than with SL, FCS3 and all up to date. OS and FCS3 were a totally clean install, not an upgrade over an old version. There are so many reasons why you might be having crashes from faulty hardware to the way the system was installed and is maintained.

However, if you have up to date OS and software, then the culprit is less likely to be the OS or FCS3. Many culprits range from plugins, other software that may be running in the background, hardware drivers incompatible with OS and FCS versions.


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Shane Ross
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 15, 2011 at 5:18:13 am

Try working in ProRes sequences...even with XDCAM footage. When mixing other footage types in XDCAM or other GOP sequences, that leads to crashing as GOP formats are very processor intensive. ProRes in XDCAM is worse by far than XDCAM in ProRes.

Shane

GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Rafael Amador
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 15, 2011 at 9:54:35 am

Run DiskWarrior or TechTools on all your HDs.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Ben Holmes
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 15, 2011 at 1:59:44 pm

If I had more than one crash a week, I'd take the system apart and re-install everything. What kind of storage is it connected to?

Edit Out Ltd
----------------------------
FCP Editor/Trainer/System Consultant
EVS/VT Supervisor for live broadcast
RED camera transfer/post
Independent Director/Producer

http://www.blackmagic-design.com/casestudies/detail.asp?case=therydercup


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Blake Porter
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 15, 2011 at 4:56:22 pm

For externals, the most crashes came with: eSATA to RAID 0. Crashing a lot with FCP, while rendering xdcam (proress sequence) to quicktime. Ran Diskwarrior on all drives more than once. Complete fcp re-installs done.

Wondering if eSATA was to blame so I went back to Firewire800 with external Barracudas mounted in a Voyager drive bay. Less crashes during render, but still some crashing during regular editing.

I recently added an INTERNAL 2TB Barracuda. After several days of operation, and In the middle of the first project -BAM- "Mac OS X can't repair the disk" This new drive crashed too. After rebooting and all folders came back empty. Project gone. Cold sweat panic creeped over me with the deadlines looming.
Diskwarrior brought everything back. Immediately swapped to new external and got the episode out.


I wish there was a fool proof way to read the Crash Reports! ... know of any?

Crashes began immediately after receiving system. I purchased through a well known vender. Turn key. All set-up. All proper.



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Shane Ross
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 15, 2011 at 5:20:16 pm

[Blake Porter] "I wish there was a fool proof way to read the Crash Reports! ... know of any?"

Yup. CRASH REPORTER, part of the FCS Maintenance Pack from digitalrebellion.com. I use it all the time.

If you are having this many crashes, I too recommend that you back up data, wipe the system drive, and install things fresh. Somethings not right. That isn't normal.

Shane

GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Matt Lyon
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 15, 2011 at 5:45:17 pm

You can also keep a "console" window open (Applications>Utilities>Console) while editing and see if Final Cut spits out any error messages. If you see any I/O errors, it could point to problems with the disk drives or buses.

It also probably couldn't hurt to zap your PRAM. I like to do this whenever I modify any hardware aspects of my machine.

Have you talked to your vendor about these issues?

Matt Lyon
Editor
Toronto


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Matt Lyon
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 15, 2011 at 3:13:53 pm

Like other people have said, it's pretty hard to draw general conclusions about why crashes happen. Every editor will have a different set of anecdotes.

In my case, we just upgraded at work from a G5 w/ os 10.4.11 to an Intel box w/ Snow Leopard. Still running FCP 6.0.6 though. I have found it to be LESS stable then my old configuration.

But, I have been experimenting with booting in 32 bit kernel mode (hold down the "3" and "2" key during startup). I have definitely noticed much less crashes. I can't speak for whether this would be the case w/ FCP 7.

Matt Lyon
Editor
Toronto


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Jason Porthouse
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 15, 2011 at 4:56:58 pm

I'd point the finger at FCP vs. XDCam. Many haven't had any trouble, but many have.

Assuming you've no stomach for converting all the XDCam to ProRes - you can do the following...

Turn off thumbnails in the browser and timeline if you have them on. Edit in a ProRes sequence with rendering set to ProRes, and if you really want to be radical, strip the extra RAM out of your machine. I know it sounds crazy, but I know of at least 2 people who've done this with very good results.

As an aside, call up the Activity Monitor whilst you're in FCP and have a look at the system memory. On all the machines I've had problems with, the free memory has diminished till the crash happens. Dunno why but it'd be interesting to see if yours does this too...

Jason

_________________________________

Before you criticise a man, walk a mile in his shoes.
Then when you do criticise him, you'll be a mile away. And have his shoes.

*the artist formally known as Jaymags*


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Rafael Amador
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 15, 2011 at 7:18:13 pm

[Jason Porthouse] "I'd point the finger at FCP vs. XDCam."
Blake started mentioning the stability of the old G5.
I would star by trying to fine-tune the System.
I work with all the XDCAM flavors (25/280 Mbps) since 4 years with no crashes.
Footage alone can not make the system crash unless there is something wrong on the very system.
System maintenance is the key.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Blake Porter
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 15, 2011 at 7:42:55 pm

The vender did get involved: FCP re-install - forward crash reports - install FCS Maintenance Pak and Diskwarrior.... I think the tech guy was counting on these to "fix" the problems. Beyond installing and the 3rd party repair softwares, he had no real world ideas. I mentioned something about Jpegs once, and he said "oh don't use an uncompressed Jpeg... that will crash it for sure". At that point I thinking "this guy has no experience with fcp" Can you imagine a brand new 2011, 12core MacPro with 16GB RAM crashing because of a full size Jpeg? I very politely asked for a new tech guy ... for "fresh perspective". Never got one.'
I suppose a full size Jpeg may not be optimized for FCP, But for a tech guy to point his finger at that? Come-on!

For each serious crash I did come-up with work-arounds to get the job done and out the door

Testing suggestions:
**Console is now open (and loaded with Messages).
**Trying to take notes on Free Ram usage.



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Jon Chappell
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 15, 2011 at 7:48:32 pm

"Can you imagine a brand new 2011, 12core MacPro with 16GB RAM crashing because of a full size Jpeg? I very politely asked for a new tech guy ... for "fresh perspective". Never got one."

Images larger than 4000 pixels in width or height can in fact cause crashes.

My software:
FCS Maintenance Pack - Tools to keep Final Cut Studio running smoothly and fix problems when they arise
FCP Versioner - Backs up Final Cut Pro projects to XML and creates changelists for each revision
More tools...


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Chris Gordon
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 15, 2011 at 9:59:21 pm

When you say crash, is this the entire OS or just FCP?

From reading your other posts, I'd suspect the following:
- Bad memory (OS X will log DIMM Parity corrections in /var/log/system.log, so you may want to look there and see if anything shows up. You may also just try reseating all of your RAM).
- Power supply or just poor power signal in. Are you using a good UPS or similar solution?
- Drivers for your RAID controller. You may want to make sure you have the most recent and correct drivers.


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Blake Porter
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 15, 2011 at 10:15:18 pm

Chris wrote:
When you say crash, is this the entire OS or just FCP?
Answer: FCP but other applications will crash too. ..And one brand new hard drive sorta wiped itself clear too. (We tested the RAM too)

Chris wrote:
Are you using a good UPS or similar solution?
Response: Interesting! Our UPS has needed a new battery for about as long as we've been crashing...
We get daily beeping warnings which we've chosen to ignore ...for some reason...



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Chris Gordon
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 15, 2011 at 10:23:58 pm

Those Xeon CPU and all of that ECC RAM are power hungry. If you're not giving the machine good power, you can have all sorts of issues including crashes, disk corruption, etc. Make sure your UPS is rated for the power draw of your machine -- you may need something beefier than what your G5 needed.


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Matt Lyon
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 16, 2011 at 4:38:18 am

I would for sure ditch the UPS. I've definitely witnessed almost the exact same symptoms on a machine with an underpowered UPS. This seems especially likely since your problems got "less worse" when you switched drives ... which was probably lower powered and therefore the UPS was slightly less taxed.

Matt Lyon
Editor
Toronto


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Rafael Amador
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 16, 2011 at 12:02:58 am

[Blake Porter] "Are you using a good UPS or similar solution?
Response: Interesting! Our UPS has needed a new battery for about as long as we've been crashing...
We get daily beeping warnings which we've chosen to ignore ...for some reason."

That could be the reason of the malfunctions.
Sometime ago I had lot of trouble just because the ground on my system power wasn't well connected.
was like the external drives got switched-off for a fraction of a second. HDs kept mounted on the Finder and the ball spinning.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Ken Jones
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 16, 2011 at 12:50:41 am

Since it is a "brand new system" my guess is that you got some bad RAM in there somewhere. Did you run Apple Hardware Test and test all of the RAM?


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Blake Porter
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 16, 2011 at 1:35:25 am

Ken Jones: "Did you run Apple Hardware Test and test all of the RAM?"

No. It was tested with FCS Maintenance Pack, I believe.



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Jon Chappell
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 16, 2011 at 1:39:35 am

FCS Maintenance Pack does not perform memory or hardware testing.

My software:
FCS Maintenance Pack - Tools to keep Final Cut Studio running smoothly and fix problems when they arise
FCP Versioner - Backs up Final Cut Pro projects to XML and creates changelists for each revision
More tools...


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Ken Jones
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 16, 2011 at 2:23:33 am

I would run Apple Hardware Test and have it test all of your RAM. Apple Hardware Test is located on one of the system disks that came with the computer. Since you have 16GB of RAM it will take several hours to run, so set it up to run overnight. AHT will test each stick of RAM and will tell you if one of them has a problem.


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Blake Porter
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 16, 2011 at 4:24:33 am

OK Jon, after I get this project out I'll run AHT.
Thanks



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Ben Holmes
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 16, 2011 at 3:17:27 pm

Interesting to see these replies - my second thought was bad RAM.

If you have a good vendor, try new RAM, or a replacement Mac Pro - see if you get the same issues in your exact same setup. Try the system without the UPS as suggested (we had an underpowered one here kill the only thing it was connected to in a very short power cut, everything else not on the UPS was fine - but it was a temp UPS bought in because the permanent one had failed...)

If your vendor is not willing to do this, get a better one.

Addressing two points above: I'm working right now with a mixture of HDCAM as ProRes, DVCProHD and XDCAM. I see no more instability with XDCAM than the others (ie. nothing really - although these systems have an inexplicable issue with unrendered text in timelines).

Lastly - large stills in FCP? Bad idea all round. Either convert them to a size approximate to your sequence frame size (allowing for some zooming) or use AE or even Motion to export them as video. FCP is VERY unstable with large stills - it cannot manage the memory required well at all. A music piece I cut recently had to have each still resized to something more suitable so I could work with them (it was sort of a collage effect). I 'cheated' and did this quickly in preview.

Let us know how you got on...

Edit Out Ltd
----------------------------
FCP Editor/Trainer/System Consultant
EVS/VT Supervisor for live broadcast
RED camera transfer/post
Independent Director/Producer

http://www.blackmagic-design.com/casestudies/detail.asp?case=therydercup


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Larry Asbell
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 16, 2011 at 4:14:35 pm

Yes, stills larger than 4000 px in either dimension have caused crashes for me but also stills in Greyscale mode will crash FCP almost everytime in my experience. Bring them in to Photoshop and convert them to RGB.



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Blake Porter
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 17, 2011 at 6:04:44 pm

Got some time - so I ran Apple Hardware Test. I did not select "extended testing".
Test results: "No trouble found" This test took about 1 min. 15sec.

I have now launched the "Perform extended testing". I will update you all when complete.



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Larry Asbell
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 16, 2011 at 4:35:45 pm

There is no point in keeping a UPS in your system if doesn't perform in this test:

Save all your work then pull the UPS's AC cable out of the wall. If your computer cuts off, then your UPS is not doing anything for you and should be out of your system. You're better off with a simple power strip until you can replace the battery and confirm that the UPS will supply back-up for at least a few minutes when the mains power goes.

Last week I saw something very strange. In the system I was using, the computer would instantly cut off when the power strip to VTRs and monitors was turned on. I could think of no logical cause until I tried the above test on the computer's UPS. The test showed that UPS battery was dead. I replaced it, let it charge up and not only did the UPS now supply back up power, but the computer was no longer bothered by switching on the other gear.

Hope this helps.



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Blake Porter
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 17, 2011 at 7:23:41 pm

UPS: With everything on, I pulled plug from wall. UPS switched to Bat power... Monitors and Macpro remained on. Battery level indicator suggested very, very low bat power, but it did it job for now.



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Matt Lyon
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 17, 2011 at 7:32:44 pm

Blake, the issue isn\'t just about the \"charge\" that the UPS battery is holding. The problem is more likely that it isn\'t hefty enough to supply adequate power to your gear. Small drops in supply levels could cause your disks to spin down very briefly, enough to cause IO errors, which lead to crashes (hence all the crashes on export).
Have you tried running some exports without the UPS in the system? I would have done that before all the other tests.

Matt Lyon
Editor
Toronto


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Harry Bromley-Davenport
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 16, 2011 at 6:25:30 pm

If you are using Snow Leopard 10.6.6 and have therefore updated to the current ProKit 6.0.2., read this:

http://www.lafcpug.org/phorum/read.php?1,261655,261655#msg-261655

My crashes stopped IMMEDIATELY on taking this advice.

Best

Harry.



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Rafael Amador
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 17, 2011 at 12:00:18 pm

10.6.6 here. No problems with Pro-Kits or whatever.
Rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Blake Porter
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 17, 2011 at 7:13:44 pm

RESULTS ARE IN: The "extended" Apple Hardware Test results: No Trouble Found (50min)



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Ken Jones
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 17, 2011 at 7:22:17 pm

My last guess: Did you install any of the old internal PCI cards from your old G5 into your new Mac Pro?


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Blake Porter
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 17, 2011 at 7:27:18 pm

No sir, all new hardware.



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Ken Jones
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 17, 2011 at 7:52:52 pm

Okay. One last guess. Any chance you are hooked up to a Time Capsule or any other disk that is performing Time Machine backups? FCP hangs and will eventually crash on me all the time if I have my Time Capsule turned on. I have to remember to turn it on and off depending on the type of work I am doing.


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Blake Porter
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 17, 2011 at 8:00:16 pm

No. Have not tried Time Machine yet.
I'm currently reading about possible ProKit issues with ProKit v6.0.1 and 6.0.2
I have no idea what ProKit is... But some people are suggesting deleting and re-loading an earlier version.
A couple editors with crash problems are reporting successes doing this.



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Jon Chappell
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 17, 2011 at 8:33:28 pm

"I have no idea what ProKit is..."

It handles the interface for Apple's Pro Applications and iLife suite. Apple seems to have added some new features for iLife '11 that have broken Final Cut Studio.

My software:
FCS Maintenance Pack - Tools to keep Final Cut Studio running smoothly and fix problems when they arise
FCP Versioner - Backs up Final Cut Pro projects to XML and creates changelists for each revision
More tools...


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Blake Porter
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Jan 17, 2011 at 10:58:17 pm

New batteries have now been added to UPS (We have a APC 1500). I purchased replacement batteries (2) from local Batteries Plus.
We are up and running. Now to scratch my head about this ProKit issue...



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BrAd Steiner
Re: G5 Tiger never crashed this much
on Feb 1, 2011 at 1:23:27 am

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/8/1003922

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/8/1011917

It seems to me to be the same issue with me. xdcam might be the common thing. I've had the crashes described on computers both on and off UPS. Lots of xdcam thumbnails seem to do it... this is just the most recent thread to examine the issue. Wish to God there was a cure.

Praise to the COW

BrAd Steiner
ImageWorks Media Group


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