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Defrag question...again

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Jeff Mueller
Defrag question...again
on Jul 14, 2010 at 1:35:37 am

I know there's been a lot of discussion about this both here and on other forums, but I must say the more I read the more confused I am. Admittedly I am not a techie, more a creative type who loves what technology can do.

My problem: I have started having crashes and slow downs that I didn't used to have. Although FCP crashes the most, in the last few months (but not the six months before that when I first went to FCP7) I've had crashes in Color, Compressor, DVD Studio Pro and After Effects (also use Photoshop, both CS4), there are other symptoms too, but the only thing that has changed in the system to my knowledge is the data on the hard drives.

I have some back up drives, but the two that I use as "critical" are my internal 7200 RPM 250 GB drive that houses applications and my scratch disk which is a G-Raid3 1 TB connected by FW which was new when I went to FCP7 and mostly has had one project on it.. I have had a bunch of stuff going on and at times the drives have gotten quite full although the minute I see them over 80% I try and archive off as much as possible. I have run Disk Verify (all good) and Repair Permissions on the internal, the G-Raid passed Verify as good. I don't have Disk Warrior. PS I have also tried trashing preferences and clearing the index files.

So I have been reading up on Defragging and some say yes, others say no way. Apple is quite vague, generally saying you don't need to but with a caveat that those dealing with large files such as video might need to, in which case use a third party app. I've found two apps (none that are Freeware), iDefrag for $30 and Drive Magic for $100. They both have demos available but neither Demo actually does a defrag. So I downloaded the iDefrag demo and ran it. As best I can tell (but I don't really know what data forks and resource forks and kernals are) iDefrag is telling me I need to defrag and should click the buy it now button. Yet several highly respected contributors here on the Cow have said in the past DO NOT DEFRAG.

From what I have read (but don't know if it's right) the "automatic" defragging built into OSX (which is why some say no need to defrag) works by attempting to reorganize fragmented files each time it opens one. But it only works on files up to 20MB, most of my scratch disk clips are bigger than that (when using ProRes 422). If this is the case many video editors must be having fragmentation issues.

Can someone set me straight?

Thanks,

Jeff Mueller
http://www.ApertureVideos.com
Santa Barbara, CA


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Zane Barker
Re: Defrag question...again
on Jul 14, 2010 at 2:02:15 am

The Mac os does basic defrag on its own, it's not 100% but fairly good. If you want a full defray I have used drive genius in the past for that.

But in my opinion your money is better spent on disk warrior.

You say your drive is over 80% full. Ether free up space or get another drive. The general rule is 10% free on a drive but with media drives you want 20% free minimum.




**Hindsight is always 1080p**


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Ken Jones
Re: Defrag question...again
on Jul 14, 2010 at 2:28:57 am

Bad RAM perhaps?


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Jeff Mueller
Re: Defrag question...again
on Jul 14, 2010 at 4:38:45 am

Thanks for the suggestions, I'll let you know how things work out. Still open to more input, too.

Jeff Mueller
http://www.ApertureVideos.com
Santa Barbara, CA


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Jiggy Gaton
Re: Defrag question...again
on Jul 14, 2010 at 5:02:38 am

Real world results

Well, I can't set u straight, as we are plagued with these problems as well, but most all problems occur on machines where the internal drive is over 80% full...like macbookpros usually are (gotta get some 500 or 640gb internals there some day). Disk warrior is great for directory corruption and Drive Genius 3 does a good defrag albeit it takes a very long time. Repairing permissions is usually futile, but I would not trust anything but those three methods of disk repair. Anyway, I'm starting to think "that's just apple" when it comes to maxed out drives in macbookpros.

On other machines like this imac with a 1tb internal driver and maxed out memory there are far fewer problems (occasional crashes), and the only real difference is drive size. Interesting enough, we have one imac whose sole purpose in life is protools LE and now M-powered, and it has no problems whatsoever. It's used for music, and an occasional music videos in FCP, and I don't think it's ever crashed...not once. The files there are smaller then on my editing bay machine which is used for docus and 3D work, and crashes occasionally, but I am using C4D with plugins, and from what I hear, that's just a way of life.

All these machines are 2008 era, and again, only the one's with the maxed out drives trying to edit prores that have the kinds of problems you describe (assuming you are talking about general run of the mill random crashes).

So who knows, maybe size does matter after all...
jigs


Phoenix Studios Nepal: A small A/V Production House in Kathmandu.


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Jiggy Gaton
Re: Defrag question...again
on Jul 14, 2010 at 5:38:54 am

Free Tip

I believe this to be true, please correct if wrong: you can obtain a free defrag and backup at the same time using Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) from Bombich. Just clone your internal drive to an external (takes about 2 hours for a larger drive). Use a block level clone to the external. Then reformat your internal drive, and clone back the image using incremental clone. This will put all the files back in place on a nicely defraged internal drive, plus you now have a working backup. Total time spent: about 4 hours.

cheers,
jigs


Phoenix Studios Nepal: A small A/V Production House in Kathmandu.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Defrag question...again
on Jul 14, 2010 at 2:37:30 pm

What OS are you on?

How did you install that OS?

Did you simply upgrade FCP or did you do a fresh install from 6 to 7?

How long has it been since you've done a complete reinstall?

How often do you crash?

That's a lot of different applcations to crash, and the common thread does seem to be all video type appications which might point to the extrnal hard drive. I'd plug in another drive and see if it works better. If it works better, you can probably assume your drive has too much information, if you are still crashing, I'd suspect something more at the system level.

Jeremy


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Jeff Mueller
Re: Defrag question...again
on Jul 14, 2010 at 3:45:33 pm

Hi Jeremy:

OS is 10.6, I did a fresh install of everything (including the OS) when I installed FCS3 sometime late last fall. Have not done a reinstall since then. Crashes are random and different, sometimes just FCP crashes, other times the whole machine freezes, sometimes FCP opens up where I left off, other times I have to restore from an archive, sometimes I'm doing something I'd consider to be heavy processing and HD access, other times I'm just sitting there mulling a cut and when I go to play the timeline it crashes, frequency varies, could be 3 times in a day or go for 4-5 days fine.

I have a couple days off from my big project so I'll try working on a smaller project from a different drive and see how that goes.

Thanks,

Jeff Mueller
http://www.ApertureVideos.com
Santa Barbara, CA


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Wayne Carey
Re: Defrag question...again
on Jul 14, 2010 at 3:49:07 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "That's a lot of different applcations to crash, and the common thread does seem to be all video type appications which might point to the extrnal hard drive. I'd plug in another drive and see if it works better. If it works better, you can probably assume your drive has too much information, if you are still crashing, I'd suspect something more at the system level. "

All very true, Jeremy. But we are seeing these issues too on our systems. Ours do have 500 gig OS drives that are about 60% free space, and our video goes on the TerraBlock (shared fibre channel array).

The only thing I can say... when these crashes do come, I usually reset my permissions and I almost always have a long list of corrected permissions every time.

_______________________________

Wayne Carey
Schazam Productions
http://web.mac.com/schazamproductions
schazamproductions@mac.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Defrag question...again
on Jul 14, 2010 at 4:06:12 pm

[Wayne Carey] "and our video goes on the TerraBlock (shared fibre channel array). "

Totally different animal than a FW GRaid. :)

So when do your crashes happen? If you edit off of a local drive, do the crashes still happen (I know that's a lot to ask, why edit local when you have a TerraBlock?)


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Wayne Carey
Re: Defrag question...again
on Jul 14, 2010 at 4:58:44 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "So when do your crashes happen? If you edit off of a local drive, do the crashes still happen (I know that's a lot to ask, why edit local when you have a TerraBlock?)"

Well, I will admit that most of the time, our crashes have something to do with graphics. It could be a Photoshop file or JPEG on the timeline. It could be a Motion project. But sometimes, I'll just hit the space bar to play my timeline and FCP just stops and crashes.

We edit completely from the TerraBlock. Very very rarely do we edit from a local drive. The last time was when the upgraded the TerraBlock from 6TB to 12TB.

Either way, every time there is a crash, you can reset the permissions and a long list will show what has been fixed.

_______________________________

Wayne Carey
Schazam Productions
http://web.mac.com/schazamproductions
schazamproductions@mac.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Defrag question...again
on Jul 14, 2010 at 5:01:55 pm

[Wayne Carey] "Either way, every time there is a crash, you can reset the permissions and a long list will show what has been fixed. "

And does that fix the crashes?


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Wayne Carey
Re: Defrag question...again
on Jul 14, 2010 at 5:35:21 pm

No.

I can tell you that if you add a Motion project to your timeline, such as a simple lower third, it will crash about 90% of the time. I use Motion projects on the timeline because this was on the the big selling point of FCP6 if you remember. Besides, its keeps the drives cleaner and makes edit easier, except for the crashing.

_______________________________

Wayne Carey
Schazam Productions
http://web.mac.com/schazamproductions
schazamproductions@mac.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Defrag question...again
on Jul 14, 2010 at 5:37:05 pm

[Wayne Carey] " I use Motion projects on the timeline because this was on the the big selling point of FCP6 if you remember. Besides, its keeps the drives cleaner and makes edit easier, except for the crashing. "

Oh I remember. I avoid that workflow all the time. I still "send to" motion but I uncheck the 'embed motion content' box.

Motion projects crashing FCP6 seemed to have been a major issue if I remember correctly.


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Wayne Carey
Re: Defrag question...again
on Jul 14, 2010 at 5:49:02 pm

And they still do in FCP7!

_______________________________

Wayne Carey
Schazam Productions
http://web.mac.com/schazamproductions
schazamproductions@mac.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Defrag question...again
on Jul 14, 2010 at 5:55:59 pm

[Wayne Carey] "And they still do in FCP7! "

Yeah, I hear ya. It would be totally sweet if this worked as advertised, but for now, I keep them separate, although still use the send to command.



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