PE4 has always been crash-happy on my machine, the specs of which I list:
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo @2.66GHz
RAM: 4GB DDR2
OS: Win7 x64 service pack
Graphics card: nVidia GeForce GT 520 (2GB)
Harddrive: 1TB (Seagate, I think...could be Western Digital) with 645GB free space
From the threads I've read, I've seen that nVidia cards can sometimes cause problems with Adobe software, so that could be part of the general crash problem. My driver is the latest (updated today, 7/3/13.)
Anyway, I've begun encountering a problem with a 33-minute-long animated film I've been editing in PE4. The movie has a lot of material on the timeline because all the animated video clips were split up with freeze frames in post-production to sync footage with dialog, and then there are a bunch of short sound effect clips on top of that plus music. Total, I have two video tracks and 8 audio tracks. I published the movie as an MPEG to my computer last night and then this afternoon, I burned a few DVDs of the finished project. When I reached a point about 13 minutes into the film, the speakers on my TV emitted a horrid screaching noise that lasted for about two seconds. In the film, a .wmv clip is playing with an ambient sound effects clip and a series of three short, consecutive sound effects for a character knocking on a wood box. (These audio clips are in separate tracks and are not a part of the .wmv file; I added them separately.) I thought perhaps my TV speakers were the problem, but my computer speakers acted the same way. Next I assumed that some glitch had occurred in media encoding and so I closed PE4, reopened, and burned a new disk with the same result. I checked the .mpg file that I exported last night, and the screach was absent from it.
I next tried to examine that specific spot in my timeline, but when I scrolled to it and zoomed in to a level where I could see <1 second long sound clips, the program crashed without mentioning a specific error. The Windows error reporting box popped up and simply informed me that "Adobe PE4 has encountered a problem and needs to close." Sceneline mode doesn't crash at that point, but timeline does. The only thing I can conclude is that somehow files on the timeline got corrupted between last night and this afternoon, but since I can't even look at that part of the timeline without a crash, I can't even replace the clips at that area. Am I overlooking something silly here? Any help would be appreciated. If I haven't supplied needed information, I'm sorry; and I'll be happy to add it.
While I review your entire post, I can offer that PrE 4.0 has been basically "rock steady" for me, on a somewhat similar computer. While I have a Quad-Core CPU, and then an nVidia GeForce 8800M - 512MB (laptop) GTX chip. OS = XP-Pro SP3, and 4GB RAM.
I have been able to crash it, but only 3 times, and in each case, I was running a bunch of other Adobe programs, using a very long Duration Timeline (about 2 hours), and did NOT shut down other programs and processes.
Still, very steady, for me.
Will comment on the details of your Project later.
Good luck, and in the meantime, I hope that others will have some tips for you.
Let us start with the usual drill.
Adobe Folder. For pile ups of previews in Adobe Premiere Elements Previews Folder and conformed audio (cfa and pek sets) in the Media Cache Folder.
Edit Menu/Preferences/Media. Click the Clean button to get rid of all conformed video (.mcdb) files.
Run the ccleaner (regular and registry cleaners)
Remember you have only a 32 bit application there with all the resource limitations of 32 bit system. That makes computer optimization, especially around the time of high productivity, important to keeping the subsequent workflows flowing to a successful completion.
These audio clips are in separate tracks and are not a part of the .wmv file; I added them separately.)
But do they sit on top of .wmv footage that has its own audio so that the audio of the .wmv is in conflict with that of the audio clips above it?
You may have two problems, audio conflicting and resources compromised.
Please review and let us know if any of the above applies to your situation.
I'm encouraged by the fact that you have 4GB of ram and everything's working. I was concerned that part of my crash problem (the program crashes all the time even before I had the above-stated issue) was insufficient RAM, but since 4GB is all my motherboard can take, I would have been in serious trouble if that were the problem. Thanks for your prompt response; I'll look forward to your forthcoming analysis of the specifics.
Four GB is all that any 32-bit OS can access - well, actually closer to 3.5GB, but we'll just call it 4GB.
Now, I rely on some of the suggestions in this article, when editing larger Projects on XP-Pro: http://forums.adobe.com/message/2910195#2910195
Good luck, and ATR has some good suggestions, that might be beneficial too.
OK I've done that. I do indeed have loads of cfa and pek files in the specified locations...can I delete those safely? I ran the "clean" function from the edit menu as specified, although the program is now running through and re-conforming all the clips. I also ran CCleaner. In response to the .wmv issue, I'm sorry my initial description was ambiguous. I meant to say that the .wmv has no associated audio (it was silent anyway but I deleted the empty associated audio track so there is nothing in the Audio 1 track underneath this video) so the sounds that are running on top of it are the only audio being played at that point.
EDIT: I just tried playing the timeline at the trouble spot, and the ambient audio is OK but the knocking effect is absent. I got right up to the point it occurs and then the program crashed on me, which is better than I was doing before, but still doesn't allow me to remedy the dilemma.
CFA & PEK files can be Deleted. However, if they are required by the Project, they will be recreated, so just be patient, if the program begins Conforming Audio.
If you have had many Projects on that comptuer, you will likely have leftovers from those. CFA files CAN be very large.
Thanks for the follow up.
Deleting the Media Cache Folder (cfa and pek sets) in the Adobe Folder can be done safety. The program will automatically regenerate these files when and if the program decides it needs them. Same as in the case of the conformed video (.mcdb) that we cleaned out via Edit Menu/Preferences/Media.
Deleting the preview files is important since that typically represents a large amount of large sized files. Have you done that yet? In this task, these are the files generated when you rendered the Timeline in the Edit Mode. Worst case, you will have to re-render if you need to get a good look again via the best possible preview.
series of three short, consecutive sound effects for a character knocking on a wood box.
At this point, can you get at those 3 files and remove them from the project? If so, does removal of them result in a crash free playback?
All the cfa and pek files have been deleted, and the program seems to have regenerated the ones it needs. In the preview files folder, however, are a bunch of video clips whose names all start with "Rendered - ..." and then a string of characters. I'm assuming I can delete those as well? I thought I could but I wanted to double check. They are in .avi format.
I still can't get to that spot on the timeline without a crash. When I open the program, I'm zoomed out almost as far as possible, so I put my cursor at about the right place and start zooming in. Almost as soon as I can see the problem clips, it crashes. I noticed that the clip itself looks a little odd...it's like it's missing the image of the waveform. I'll try to include a screenshot here so you can see what I'm talking about. I'm not sure what that means...
Those slivers are the sound effects, some of which are less than a second in duration. The timeline is just too zoomed out to show them as anything more than slivers.
That notwithstanding, I actually found a workaround. Since I had saved the movie as an .mpg file last night with no corrupted bits, I just opened a new project and dropped the full video file in there. I just redid my DVD menus and I just burned a disk with no trouble. It still doesn't explain why the problem occurred initially, but it at least makes the problem moot. Thank you so much for all your help; I appreciate your time.