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nckswtc1 Level 1 Level 1
My iMovie has been crippled by error messages that pop up whenever I try to accomplish anything in iMovie. I always see "Searching for movie data in the file ''" for a few minutes, then "The movie file '' cannot be found. Without this file, the movie cannot play properly." I cannot actually use iMovie because of these errors.

I've tried everything from reinstalling iMovie to removing application support files to removing my iMovie Events and iMovie Projects folders to creating a .mov file, calling it and seeing if that'll shut iMovie up – nothing works.

Once in a while, iMovie will ask for a different movie file, with the same problem.

Any ideas?

iMac 26" and Late 2009 MBP, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • Edgarin108 Level 1 Level 1
    I am having the same problem. The window keeps popping up and iMovie doesn't let me do anything. Seriously, I request help.

    Details: I am using the latest version of iMovie (8.0.5) and the latest version of Mac OS X (10.6.2).
  • Victorius Level 1 Level 1
    I am having the same problem. I have iMovie 8.0.6, and Mac OS 10.6.3 installed. When I open iMovie, the program shows a text box "Searching for Movie data in XYZ.MOV", cannot find it, then is display "The movie file "XYZ.MOV" cannot be found. Without this file, the movie cannot play properly.", and it repeats this sequence again and again. The problem is that the file XYZ.MOV has deleted long ago, I cannot find it. Also, I have no idea which Project file is asking for XYZ.MOV, and deleting all the project files I have to get rid of this nuisance warning is a massive deletion. There is an infinite loop here that is destroying my workflow. Any suggestions on how to fix this will be appreciated.
  • Level 1 Level 1
    I am also having the same issue. I open imovie and if I'm not connected to my main external hard drive that contains my imovie files, I just get this error message one file at a time. I'm sure there are hundreds of files.
  • matrix123 Level 1 Level 1
    Similar problem. I get the same error message on several different computers. Even if you cancel it, it then results in the application freezing or moving slowly or not responding to any clicks.
  • Level 1 Level 1
    I have also been getting the same error. I was on the road with my laptop and I couldn't use Imovie for a job because the error would keep coming up. Now I'm in my office and the same errors even though I'm hooked into my same drive.


  • Mafklapper Level 1 Level 1
    Exactly the same problem here, extremely annoying. Run latest OS X and iMovie.

    Did recently install all old data from a Time Machine backup to my new iMac. Is it possible the problem is related?

    Need help urgently! Did anyone figure this one out already?
  • Mark Towns Level 1 Level 1
    same exact problem here. Apple, help us!
  • BalaVishwa Level 1 Level 1
    I am having the same exact problem ... can someone please help?
  • martydorio Level 1 Level 1
    I have exactly the same problem. However, I discovered (quite by accident) that if you let the system keep looking, it will eventually stop and allow you to do stuff.

    Depending on the number of files it searches, it takes a while. If you close iMovie, though, it restarts this search all over! So, don't close it till you are done.

    Meanwhile, we need some help!

  • mmccurdy Level 1 Level 1
    I am having the same issue. I don't know what the previous poster means by allowing the system to continue, since I'm prompted with a "Cancel" / "Search" dialog after each missing clip. Slight digression: "Search" is not even the correct term here according to UI guidelines ("Choose" or "Locate" might be better choices given the file picker dialog that results).

    I'm actually using Aperture to relocate my video masters on removable media, which is a very nice feature of Aperture, but completely breaks iMovie unless it's connected. Seems like a pretty major oversight.... can we just have it fail more gracefully here and allow us to work with new stuff without getting hung up on missing movie clips from the past?
  • Pator12 Level 1 Level 1
    I have also the same issue.
    Imovie is looking for some missing files for MANY hours. After that its possible to use iMovie. But if I quit iM, the next time I start it, it will look again for the files.
    I tried to rebuild iPhoto library , import dummy files renamed after the missing movies : it doesn't work.
    The only solution i have for now is to use iMovie on a new account, where i copied the movie clips i need to work on... very annoying.
    I really hope Apple will fix this problem in ilife 11...

    iMac 24" 2009
    MacOS 10.6.4
    iMovie 9
  • grumpybear Level 1 Level 1
    Same here. iMovie has been rendered useless with a never ending stream of searching for movie screens!! COME ON APPLE! This is a joke.

    Oh..and I am using iLife '11 too! I was hoping that would fix the problem. $50 bucks down the tubes.
  • kyle_h123 Level 1 Level 1
    Same for me! Since the last time I opened iMovie 8.0.6, I imported 14 DVDs of family photos and videos into Aperture 3.0.3 as referenced files. Now iMovie is tied up...guess I'll check back in the morning.

    This doesn't make much sense...iMovie should know that these files are referenced, and after seeing the volume is not online (DVD not inserted) it should just skip them.

    There's no work-around? Or a preference to change so it doesn't do this? Do I even want iMovie to repeat what's in Aperture?
  • El Robbo Level 1 Level 1
    Me too this is, very, very poor.

    Seems to be a problem referencing Aperture filed movies.
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