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Movies and Video For people making movies and editing video with their Mac.

Final Cut Pro crashing

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Member Since: Jan 21, 2009
Posts: 3
noddydog is on a distinguished road

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I am a video manager for an international charity. What that really means is I have to fulfil all the production roles on a tight budget. About a year ago we purchased a Mac Pro from a well known UK Mac/video specialist to edit HDV footage in FCP.

The spec of the Mac is as follows:

Mac Pro - 2.8Ghz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
4GB Ram (2 x 1GB {presumably Apple} + 1 x 2GB Kingston module)
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB GDDR3
1 x 320GB 7200rpm Serial ATA + 3 x 750GB 7200rpm SATA 16MB Cache HDD
AJA Kona He SD/HD PCI Express Video Interface
The system was preloaded with Apple Final Cut Studio 2 and Leopard OS X (currently using v10.5.6.)

Note that a AJA Kona card was purchased not only to allow component breakout to a HD TV, but also to assist with HDV handling (at least that's what the supplier informed us).

When the Mac first turned up everything was fine for about 3-4 days of solid use. Thereafter it started to crash more and more regularly, up to 10 times in the average working day. By crash I mean I would get the spinning beachball for a few seconds and then FCP would vanish and I'd be left with the standard "The application Final Cut Pro quit unexpectedly" dialogue box.
I lived with it for a while and then one day FCP just wouldn't open and so we went back to the suppliers who eventually took it into their workshop and did various hardware tests.

Sadly I was without an edit machine for nearly 3 weeks, which really knocked my budget. None of the tests revealed the fault and eventually they formatted and reinstalled everything and handed the Mac back to us saying 'see how you get on now'.

Since they couldn't find any faults we were charged for their investigations. They did say if it continued they would have it back in again for even more intensive investigation and we'd get a refund if the fault turned out to be hardware related.

When the Mac came back it was fine for about 2 or 3 days and then the crashing started again. I kept a log of the circumstances of every crash.
A good 80% of the time they occured in this scenario. I will have about 2-3 sequences open/tabbed on the timeline. One will be my main edit the other two will have all my rushes/footage split across them for me to scrub back and forth through. It is often when scrubbing on any of the sequences that I get the beachball and subsequent crash. The other 20% of crashes have occurred during rendering, applying a video filter to a clip, exporting to QuickTime, closing a sequence tab.

The crashes tend not to occur in the early stages of a project, i.e. when blocking clips on the timeline to create a Rough Cut. It's only when I start applying transitions and effects that they tend to occur.

Overall my conclusion would be that they're linked to intensive processing of larges amount of data. But here's the interesting thing on a regular basis the crashes start half way through the day and will occur much more frequently after the first daily crash.

Quite a few times I have looked at the error report that is sent off to Apple. It's mostly gobbledegook to me but this line did stick out "EXC_BAD_ACCESS (SIGSGV)".

I would really appreciate it if someone can give me a clue to what's behind all this.


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Sounds like a difficult issue to find the root cause of.

Is this only affecting FCP? In other words, other applications are stable and OS X it self does not crash.

I'd start with the usual stuff; fixing permissions, verify and possibly repair disk, scrapping your FCP preferences file.

The interesting thing is that things are good for a few days and then you get problems. So, the other concern is some low level code causing problems. If you can live without it for a few days, try removing the Kona card.

You said it starts half way through the day. Have you done a great deal to stressing the box before then, like a lot of editing? If the problem pops up after stressing the system, but not before, I'd suspect a heating issue. Heat can affect a lot of things, but I'd have them confirm the processors are heat synced properly.

I'd also load the boot DVD and run the hardware tests, repeatedly. Memory is the other thing I'd be concerned about.

You may also want to post your question to Apple's FCP discussion forums too.

Maybe this Troubleshooting Your Final Cut Pro System article can be of help.

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The first thing that comes to mind is the memory.

Originally Posted by Apple
DIMMs must be installed as pairs of identical size and type, from the same vendor. In the illustration below, like-colored DIMMs must match.
You have four GBs of memory but they are made up of three chips sets 2 x 1GBs and 1 x 2GBs. This a guess here, but that maybe part of your problem. If you can afford it get another 2GB memory stick, to have matched pairs. Then install 3GBs on each of the memory risers. On riser each of the risers place the same amount of memory in the same slots as in. On riser 1 slot a has 1GB and then on riser 2 slot a has 1GB.

Double check your users manual, but I beleive this to be correct.

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Member Since: Jan 28, 2012
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Dear All,

I installed final cut pro 7.0.3 n mac 10.6.8 Snow leopard. Whenevery i open final cut pro and other programs like dvd studio 4, Motion or FCP it's asking serial no.

After enter the serial key working fine. How to skip serial key menu in mac os

Thanks in Advance,

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