Previous 1 2 Next 26 Replies Latest reply: Dec 6, 2012 3:15 PM by FredDC
Mike Janowski Level 2 Level 2 (285 points)

MacPro build 5,1; dual 2.66 6-core Xeons, 16 gig RAM, OS 10.6.8.


This is more a request for speculation and enlightenment than a cry for help.  I have my opinions as to why its happening, but I'd appreciate any suggestions the greater minds in this forum could provide...


At one of my major client's facilities, their FCP system is what I would describe as "not set up according to best practice".  By that, I mean they have an internal RAID5 with 4 1TB drives (2.61 useful capacity), upon which both the applications and the media reside.


As I told them when they first set this up, "this can cause problems", and I think this might be one of them.  I am CONSTANTLY having to re-render.  No, it's not differences between media and timeline formats.  No, I'm not moving/deleting/monkeying with the media on the desktop.  I render, save, quit...and when I re-open the project, there's about a 50% likelihood that the sequence will have to be rendered again.


This issue seems to be getting worse with age...I've been working on this particular computer for almost a year now, and its gone from being an occasional nuisance to a very regular (and time-consuming) problem.  I strive to keep the drive as clean as possible (offloading old projects, media, etc., to our storage server), and right now have 900 gig of free space on the RAID.  I do not do the maintenence on this machine (as I am only a user, not the admin).  Are there any tips I can give Mr. Admin (besides get seperate media drives, which I've mentioned many a time...)?

  • Mike Janowski Level 2 Level 2 (285 points)


  • Gary Scotland Level 6 Level 6 (11,900 points)

    where is the render files saved, provide the complete path to the render folder

  • Mike Janowski Level 2 Level 2 (285 points)

    As I mentioned above, not set up to "best practice" (eg, media separate from app):


    (HD)\User\Documents\FinalCutPro Documents.


    This concerns me, of course.  But I'm posting now because it's behaving differently now (2 years into our run) than it did when I first began editing on this system.

  • Gary Scotland Level 6 Level 6 (11,900 points)

    Im confused how your Mac Pro is set up


    This should be:


    the system boot drive containing the OS, applications and your FCP project files.


    the internal Raid which is a separate physical drive from the boot drive containing the  scratch disc folder


    see the Edit Smarter web page on how best to configure FCP here:


    Edit Smarter



    I would suggest deleting FCP preferences as per Digital Rebellions Preference Manager


    I would further suggest buying and running Disc Warrior on all your drives regularly:


    Disc Warrior

  • Mike Janowski Level 2 Level 2 (285 points)

    OK...I know the "shoulds", and while I use Disc Warrior religiously at home, I leave maintenence at this client's facility to those who get paid to do it here (I'm a mere freelancer without an admin login).


    What I'd like to get out of this post and discussion is...


    is the fact that ALL data, apps, prefs AND media reside on the same logical unit (the RAID5 which occupies all four physical slots in the computer) the reason I'm losing render files?  And if so, what is the mechanism behind this mystery? 

  • Mike Janowski Level 2 Level 2 (285 points)

    To clarify Gary, the machine is set up simply (and incorrectly, according to best practice):  the tower has 4 physical 1TB drives striped into a RAID5 array, giving 2.61 TB of usable space.  All files (system AND media) are on this RAID.  I have an external server attached via ethernet which is used soley for backup storage.  That's pretty much it...

  • Gary Scotland Level 6 Level 6 (11,900 points)

    is the fact that ALL data, apps, prefs AND media reside on the same logical unit (the RAID5 which occupies all four physical slots in the computer) the reason I'm losing render files?



    Cant guarantee this but this sounds like a disaster!


    Every competant advice I have seen suggests the following:

    read  Larry Jordan's advise     (setting scratch disc)


    Final Cut application installed on boot drive

    boot drive has OS installed, applications and project files

    project files backed up daily to a separate back up drive

    project files are the .fcp files that are saved from FCP when   File > save as

    scratch disc folder located on the media drive not on the boot drive

    media drive is physically separate from boot drive and offers sufficient throughput for the CODEC being used

  • David Mclaine Level 4 Level 4 (1,855 points)


         I think you have enough "evidence" from both your posts, to go to your bosses and get things changed in your system set up. Good luck with it.


  • Mike Janowski Level 2 Level 2 (285 points)

    Thanks.  Yeah, the memo trail has started...for the time being, I'm just changing my sequence settings to match my clip settings.  This should at least make the rendering process smoother (and less necessary), and will certainly speed things up a bit.  I'll let everyone know how it goes.

  • Mike Janowski Level 2 Level 2 (285 points)

    @Gary S - I'm an LJ subscriber.  My system at home is set up according to best practice.  However, out in the marketplace at this particular client, I am an editor, not tech support, and thus can only advise them, and not just "do stuff" to their computers.  Capiche?

  • heathfranklin Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    hi mike, did you ever figure this out?  i'm having the same problem and it's getting worse.   i'll save a project and then re-open it immediately and most of the render files are gone.   no change in scratch disk or anything else.  i like to add color correction (LUT's which require lots of rendering) after a rough edit so nesting isn't really an option as i'm still editing.


    i have 7.0.3


    system SSD with OS and apps

    internal RAID (scratch) with multiple 1TB drives (RAID 0)

    12 GB RAM

    dual quad 2.26

    gt 120 and gtx 285

  • Michael Grenadier Level 7 Level 7 (20,340 points)

    The one thing that occurs to me is whether the system is connected to a network.  If so, I'd try disconnecting and see if that solves the problem.


    Also, do the renders actually disappear or do they simply become disconnected?  I know that it's usually not possible to "reconnect" renders, but this will give us a clue. 


    Also, I wonder whether it's an issue with the raid.  Since the OP also had a raid.  Why not get an external firewire drive and try setting that up as your render scratch disk?  I realize that the thruput might not be ideal, but as a troubleshooting step it would be extremely useful.  If the renders do NOT disappear from the external firewire drive, the problem is almost definitely something in the raid setup.

  • Michael Grenadier Level 7 Level 7 (20,340 points)

    also, the first troubelshooting step is to reset the fcp preferences



    and here are some other troubleshooting tips


  • Mike Janowski Level 2 Level 2 (285 points)

    @ Heath, no, never did actually "solve" the problem, however, minimized the amount of rendering needed during edit by correcting our edit workflow to stay in XDCAM EX (1920x1080i) all the way through the edit, converting to (required by the mothership) 1440x1080i XDCAM HD for "feed" to the playout server, etc.


    @ Michael, a useful suggestion, sir, to set up a temp external rendering disc...I have one I can donate to the cause for the time being and will check. 


    System is of course connected to a network (isn't everyone?), no getting around that...I'll just render to a specific disc first and see if the files actually "disappear" or if they just disconnect, and report back.


    And, thanks for the troubleshooting links.  As might be noted by my silence, system behaves much better (not perfect, but then neither were the builders of said computer...) by simply editing in our shooting codec.  Like they say, put the square peg in the square hole...

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