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dropped frames warning/now not playing

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Brian Lindstrom
dropped frames warning/now not playing
on May 6, 2009 at 5:58:47 pm


I'm editing a documentary on my desktop system (specs below) and the dropped frames warning kept popping up. After trying the suggested remedies to no avail, I researched Creative Cow threads and decided to just disable the warning. Now I can't get anything to play reliably--the picture and image stutter or just stop completely. I have only 5.84 GB left on my Western Digital drive (292.12 GB used). Is that the problem? I have a 2 TB drive available. If I copied all my files over to the bigger drive, would my problem be solved? Or is there a something I can do with my settings that will fix the problem?

2x2.66 GHz dual-core intel Xeon
1 GB 667 MHz DDr2 FB-DiMM

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Dennis Leppell
Re: dropped frames warning/now not playing
on May 6, 2009 at 8:00:09 pm

definately clear space on your hard drive. You always want to have at least 10-15% available free space on a drive, no matter its purpose.

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Matt Geier
Re: dropped frames warning/now not playing
on May 6, 2009 at 8:26:51 pm


When disks reach a point of 80% full, the room for failure and disk fragmentation become greatly increased. This could be some of what you are experiencing. If your data has been badly fragmented, that means it's going to reside in all different areas of the disk, which will in turn reduce how fast the information is getting back and forth, as a result, dropping frames. (that's one theory...)

I have to assume that you are editing with the same formats you have used previously on the disk you have now.

One could hope that cleaning your drive and making it less then 80% full, would improve your performance. If that doesn't work, I'd evaluate other things and find out why those dropped frames might be occurring otherwise. (It could be several things ... but like i said, i assume you're not trying anything different then you did before.)


Matt G

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Craig Thomas Quinlan
Re: dropped frames warning/now not playing
on May 13, 2009 at 5:31:59 pm

There are at least a dozen things that could be causing your issues. The obvious one: is this Western Digital your internal sata drive running your OS? If so, there's part of your problem. Never run media from the same drive as your OS. Regardless of whether or not it's your internal OS drive or an external firewire drive, it's almost completely full, which reduces throughput drastically and causes dropped frames. Copy all of your media to your 2 TB drive and work from that.

Second, what format are you cutting on? If you're trying to cut several streams at anything higher than DVCPROHD, firewire drives will drop frames all over the place. You've got slightly more headroom with internal sata drives. Make sure your storage can handle the bandwidth of your source material.

Definitely add more RAM to your machine if you want to do serious editing. 1GB is not nearly enough.

Lastly, try separating your cache files and your media files. Send thumbnail cache, waveform cache and autosave vault to a separate drive from your media. This alleviates causing your drives to simultaneously deal with hundreds of tiny file transactions (cache files) and large sequential transactions (video), which can lower overall throughput and cause dropped frames.

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