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External Drive issue--footage unusable in FCP

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Jocelyn Kelvin
External Drive issue--footage unusable in FCP
on Oct 9, 2011 at 7:10:39 pm

I'm cutting a feature in ProRes422 on a MacPro desktop. 8-core processor, 16gb memory, and FCP is running off of a 512gb solid state internal drive. I'm saying all this to say---there's no way the internal processor can't handle the footage I'm using. (still doing the rough cut, no cgi/color, nothing to render.)

Unfortunately, my footage is on a 3tb Seagate drive (the producers didn't know to get me a Raid, and had already begun transfering. Micro-budget, so I've been working with it, even though it isn't the best.) Have had a few glitches with it before, but nothing that didn't fix itself in a little while.

All of a sudden on Friday morning the footage stopped playing. I have 'tell me dropped frames are happening' turned off, but that's what's happening, I'm sure---the footage plays for about 2 seconds, freezes, and then skips to a frame much farther down the line. It literally is unplayable. Starting FCP up and reading the projects is also taking twice as long as it was three days ago, and I've obviously done no more editing than I had then. I'm on scene 90 of 98, so, things I've tried already:

-Unplugging and replugging in the external drive; restarting the computer, all that sort of attempt
-Verifying and Repairing the external (even when told it didn't need to be repaired)
-Making a new media project and a new cuts project with only scenes 90-98
-Unplugging the drive overnight to let it "rest."

Did a quick check just now, and the footage is doing the same thing if I open it straight into Quicktime. This clearly isn't an internal error and it obviously has to do with the external, but ALL my pro-res files are on this external and....there's got to be some way to take care of this. It's clearly a drive failure but there really isn't a forum JUST for that, so I figure this is the place to be. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!


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David Roth Weiss
Re: External Drive issue--footage unusable in FCP
on Oct 9, 2011 at 7:56:06 pm

How is the 3Tb hard drive connected?

1) USB

2) FW800

3) FW400

What are the settings as listed in the RT drop-down (upper left of the timeline)?

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Bringing "The Whale" to the Big Screen:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-2-MikeParfit...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Jocelyn Kelvin
Re: External Drive issue--footage unusable in FCP
on Oct 9, 2011 at 8:02:54 pm

Firewire 800.
I already changed Unlimited RT to Safe RT under guidance of a forum.
This definitely is an external drive issue and not an inside-FCP issue (do apologize for posting it in the "wrong" forum, but there isn't a "right" one)
You are one of the most knowledgable posters I read, so thanks for mulling this over with me.
At this point, the files aren't even popping up in my finder window. It may be classic disk crashing, and I've got someone on hold to pick up a 4tb G-Raid even though we don't have the $, but if I can find some way to get the files back I can at least transfer the pro-res to a new drive and hope that fixes the problem.

Let me know any thoughts that you have. Thanks, David!


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David Roth Weiss
Re: External Drive issue--footage unusable in FCP
on Oct 9, 2011 at 8:17:07 pm

Actually, unlimited would be better Jocelyn.

[Jocelyn Kelvin] "At this point, the files aren't even popping up in my finder window."

That is definitely a bad sign.

Do you have Disk Warrior by any chance? I have a suspicion it might help.

In any case, I'll be happy to help you figure this one out. It's possible you bought a lemon, but if the issue still happens with the new drive let me know, even if you write me privately.

[Jocelyn Kelvin] "You are one of the most knowledgable posters I read, so thanks for mulling this over with me."

Thanks for the kind words... But no need to butter me up, I'll help you anyway.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Bringing "The Whale" to the Big Screen:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-2-MikeParfit...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Nelson Goforth
Re: External Drive issue--footage unusable in FCP
on Oct 9, 2011 at 9:34:02 pm

Your 'transfer to a new drive' is probably your best, safest option (and certainly a RAID will help the edit). I hope that producers have the original camera files backed-up elsewhere; I'm assuming there a number of days work involved. There are many times when 'cheapest' isn't.

Nelson

Red Camera Rental & Indy Features, Denver Colorado.
rockymountain4k.com * 303.506.2456


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Chris Tompkins
Re: External Drive issue--footage unusable in FCP
on Oct 9, 2011 at 9:48:09 pm

I would back up ASAP

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Bret Williams
Re: External Drive issue--footage unusable in FCP
on Oct 9, 2011 at 10:37:12 pm

Are you running the latest version of Lion by chance? My FW 800 has gone buggy. Same symptoms. Slowly degregated over a day. One of the drives also had eSata and it works just fine over eSata. Another FW800 drive has been corrupted now and wont mount at all.


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Jocelyn Kelvin
Re: External Drive issue--footage unusable in FCP
on Oct 9, 2011 at 10:59:41 pm

@David - not buttering you up! reading through these forums and checking your responses has been very helpful to me over the years. so, let me give you the compliment! I don't have disk warrior, unfortunately. and since we are getting the g-raid, i'm thinking that's worth the money more than disk warrior right now. i'll keep in touch with you about the new drive if anything goes wrong.

@nelson - totally agree and have said so from the beginning. i do have the RAW files backed up, and some but not all of the ProRes. With the files not opening on the drive, I'm thinking I'm going to have to completely recompress. Assuming I name the new drive the same thing as this one, and have the file names the same, fingers crossed my merged clips should link perfectly. Right?

@Bret - I'm running Snow Leopard (10.6.8). But that's really interesting. Unfortunately the drive doesn't have an eSata so I can't do the check. Sorry to hear you're experiencing drive failure as well. Did you replace the FW800 drive?


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Nelson Goforth
Re: External Drive issue--footage unusable in FCP
on Oct 9, 2011 at 11:21:34 pm

Drive name and directory structure the same - should work, just take the 'down' drive out of the loop (or rename it). If nothing else relinking the media should be a breeze. If some of these other ideas for recovering the old drive work then IT can serve as the emergency backup - if not I'd see if the producers can scrounge up some additional drive space to back up your ProRes files. Even on multiple slow drives using odd bits of storage it could save you a lot of work (I'm assuming a Red shoot, and no Rocket to be had).

On my shorts I've usually given the producer (or SOME other person) copies of the original R3D files plus any renders I've done and kept them somewhere else entirely. Occasionally they brought the drive and I add any further renders, effect shots, music, whatever to the archive. I e-mail the FCP project file from time-to-time, just so it resides somewhere other than my computer, my house.

Nelson

Red Camera Rental & Indy Features, Denver Colorado.
rockymountain4k.com * 303.506.2456


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Steve Eisen
Re: External Drive issue--footage unusable in FCP
on Oct 9, 2011 at 11:07:13 pm

If your drive mounts but your files do not show in the finder, there still is hope.

If you have Adobe Bridge, open it up and select your drive. The app usually will see the files. At least most of them. From there you can drag and drop the files onto an external drive.

The other option is Data Rescue III. It does miracles.

Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Vice President
Chicago Final Cut Pro Users Group


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Jocelyn Kelvin
Re: External Drive issue--footage unusable in FCP
on Oct 10, 2011 at 4:20:05 am

Thanks everyone for your help today.

I did get a copy of Disk Warrior. Ran it, and the files showed back up (thank you!). Also got the G-Raid drive and got to set it up about five minutes ago. Unfortunately, because they are two external drives both connected to the computer via FW800, the transfer is looking SUPER slow

@Nelson - I do have a couple of different backups of the raw files, one out of the house. I also feel more comfortable that way. The other drive we have is 2tb and our prores files are almost 3tb (in addition to the raw 600 or so gb of footage) so we didn't back the ProRes up, unfortunately.

Looks like that will be okay except for this immense transfer time (currently reading at 15 hours for 258gb?!?) Anyone have any idea how to solve that?


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Nelson Goforth
Re: External Drive issue--footage unusable in FCP
on Oct 10, 2011 at 4:49:31 am

"Looks like that will be okay except for this immense transfer time (currently reading at 15 hours for 258gb?!?) Anyone have any idea how to solve that?"

A good night's sleep? There really isn't anything else except to go to eSATA (that's what I do) or the new Thunderbolt... which is only marginally available anyway. Just be glad you're not on USB.


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Jocelyn Kelvin
Re: External Drive issue--footage unusable in FCP
on Oct 10, 2011 at 4:54:35 am

I am glad I'm not on USB :)

However, this is still happening because of an issue with the older drive, I believe. I just did a test--stopped the transfer, and had it transfer first to an internal, as I've done that before with the same drive/footage and it's taken more like 2-3 hours (so 6 would still be less than 15.) It's still showing up as 15 hours to transfer 258gb from the external to an internal drive....

Any ideas?


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Jocelyn Kelvin
Re: External Drive issue--footage unusable in FCP
on Oct 10, 2011 at 5:10:37 am

....any advice will be welcome. I have 2.7tb of footage to transfer. At this point I'm wondering if the old drive is so corrupt (even post-DiskWarrior) that it would be quicker/easier to recompresss the prores files all over again. Any advice is welcome.


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Nelson Goforth
Re: External Drive issue--footage unusable in FCP
on Oct 10, 2011 at 5:15:02 am

Sorry Jocelyn, I've been skating around the edge of my knowledge as it is. Do you need any advice on Photoshop, maybe? Or homebrewing?


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adam taylor
Re: External Drive issue--footage unusable in FCP
on Oct 10, 2011 at 12:03:14 pm

sorry, i don't think you have any other option than to wait it out.

2.7tb is a LOT of data. I regularly backup twice that amount (going via fibre channel / cat6 1gb ethernet and Raids) and it usually takes around 30hours. Thats what weekends are for!

The only thing that will happen by stopping your transfer to do tests is that you will take longer to finish the transfer!

and if your drive is faulty, the important thing to do first is get the data off it - the more tests you do, the greater the risk of disk failure before you complete the transfer.

Adam Taylor
Video Editor/Audio Mixer/ Compositor/Motion GFX/Barista
Character Options Ltd
Oldham, UK

http://www.sculptedbliss.co.uk
My YouTube Animations Page


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John-Michael Seng-Wheeler
Re: External Drive issue--footage unusable in FCP
on Oct 10, 2011 at 2:39:42 pm

Having done the math, your drive appears to only be capable of approximately 40Mbs, instead of the theoretical 800. That would explain why nothing would play back. I'd say something is very wrong with the drive...


Do the math. If 258GB takes 15 hours, Copying everything would take roughly 11 times as long, which is 165 hours or 6.8 days.

So you can ether leave it copying for almost a week, and hope it keeps working the entire time or you can re encode the ProRes. Which will take longer?


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David Roth Weiss
Re: External Drive issue--footage unusable in FCP
on Oct 10, 2011 at 3:09:22 pm

[Jocelyn Kelvin] "....any advice will be welcome. I have 2.7tb of footage to transfer. At this point I'm wondering if the old drive is so corrupt (even post-DiskWarrior) that it would be quicker/easier to recompresss the prores files all over again. Any advice is welcome."

Something is definitely wrong Jocelyn. Do you have any other firewire devices plugged in besides the source and new target drives?

If I were you, I would download the AJA Disk Speed test, and then run it on both drives and compare notes.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Bringing "The Whale" to the Big Screen:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-2-MikeParfit...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Jocelyn Kelvin
Re: External Drive issue--footage unusable in FCP
on Oct 10, 2011 at 4:56:38 pm

@Nelson - ha. someday i will get in touch with you for photoshop help, thanks. the homebrewing....might have to wait.

@adam/@john-michael - i've done this transfer, and this is abnormal, so i think the better bet is to transfer the section i have backed up on a different drive, and recompress the rest. i honestly believe that will take less time and have fewer possible issues in the files themselves.

@david - ran the disk speed test. new g-raid moved speedily; old seagate couldn't even start moving. (hit start and it immediately went stop, hit start again, same, etc.) now the files aren't showing up on the disk again AND they aren't showing up in adobe bridge (thanks @steve)

i have all the raw files elsewhere to run through compressor, and about half of the pro-res files on another WD drive (which is moving speedily through 158.42gb right now--taking a little less than an hour). I vote NO to seagate, if anyone is ever curious. This is the worst thing I've ever seen happen with a drive.

Thanks for all your help. Really appreciate having this community.


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Nelson Goforth
Re: External Drive issue--footage unusable in FCP
on Oct 10, 2011 at 5:05:18 pm

[Jocelyn Kelvin] "I vote NO to seagate, if anyone is ever curious. This is the worst thing I've ever seen happen with a drive."

I can't speak to Seagate - I don't think I've used one in years, but any drive can fail. I have relied upon (and recommended) G-Techs for several years, but did see one die suddenly (and for no apparent reason) in mid-shoot once - which is why backup to more than one drive. I had a Red Drive go bad on me similarly -and being a RAID 0 that was scary, though I recovered all but maybe two minutes of footage.

Red Camera Rental & Indy Features, Denver Colorado.
rockymountain4k.com * 303.506.2456


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Jocelyn Kelvin
Re: External Drive issue--footage unusable in FCP
on Oct 10, 2011 at 5:07:25 pm

@nelson - definitely true---and i've seen drive failure before. but i will say this one has been nothing but trouble. that being said, when it worked it was super speedy, so maybe it's just if you are working it really hard. drives are drives, i suppose. pretty scary to hear about the Red.


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Nelson Goforth
Re: External Drive issue--footage unusable in FCP
on Oct 10, 2011 at 5:15:57 pm

re Red Drive - at least it telegraphed a problem. There was a ticking noise, and the last two clips wouldn't play back on camera, so I just switched to another.

That being said, we've moved to SSDs and have probably used our last Red Drive. I take one along as backup media in case the SSD module died or something.

Red Camera Rental & Indy Features, Denver Colorado.
rockymountain4k.com * 303.506.2456


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