7 Replies Latest reply on Aug 12, 2013 3:25 PM by Mr.Nicklebe

    Total PC freeze when exporting from After Effects CC

    Mr.Nicklebe Level 1

      Hi guys,

       

      I'm having quite a serious problem exporting AFX files (via Media Encoder CC) and also occationaly during RAM previews.

       

      The problem itself is fairly simple. After a varying amount of time my PC will completely freeze and become totally unresponsive. This always seems to happen on more complex scenes involving raytracing, or C4D Lite layers and sometimes just generally complex compositions. I'm forced to restart my computer losing all render progress and any unsaved progress. A couple of times the crashes have totally messed up my AFX, corrupting any open saves and corrrupting my custom panel layouts (very annoying).

       

      I recently upgraded my PC to a fairly beefy spec primarily to cope with complex projects like these. Here are the specs from DxDiag:

       

      ------------------

      System Information

      ------------------

      Time of this report: 8/8/2013, 15:08:15

      Machine name: ALPHA-ONE

      Operating System: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit (6.1, Build 7600) (7600.win7_gdr.130318-1532)

      Language: English (Regional Setting: English)

      System Manufacturer: To be filled by O.E.M.

      System Model: To be filled by O.E.M.

      BIOS: BIOS Date: 01/11/13 16:18:14 Ver: 04.06.05

      Processor: AMD FX(tm)-8350 Eight-Core Processor            (8 CPUs), ~4.5GHz

      Memory: 16384MB RAM

      Available OS Memory: 8090MB RAM

      Page File: 4406MB used, 11773MB available

      Windows Dir: C:\Windows

      DirectX Version: DirectX 11

      DX Setup Parameters: Not found

      User DPI Setting: Using System DPI

      System DPI Setting: 96 DPI (100 percent)

      DWM DPI Scaling: Disabled

      DxDiag Version: 6.01.7600.16385 32bit Unicode

       

      I did notice after I had upgraded that AFX didn't support my new GFX card (Geforce 760) but I found an article that suggested a work around for this which did allow me to use the 760. I don't know if doing this is known to cause problems with renders? My GFX card has the latest drivers. I've tried disabling and enabling the GPU in AFX but either way the crashes occur. I also tried turning off/on Multicore processing as this has given me grief before. But that made no difference.

       

      My After Effect instalation is also the latest version.

       

      These crashes don't happen in other programs like C4D Lite (when rendering directly inside that program), or when playing recent and demanding games.

       

      I have 16GB of RAM installed but seem to only be able to use 8GB as available memory in AFX, which also shows in the Dxdiag report. I don't think this could be causing total system freezes though and do plan on trying to fix this issue when I get time.

       

      Thanks for any help!

       

      -Nick.

        • 1. Re: Total PC freeze when exporting from After Effects CC
          joshweiland Level 2

          You should check out your memory and CPU core allocation.  Check out this article for some good info.

           

          Also, why is only half of your RAM available to Windows?

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Total PC freeze when exporting from After Effects CC
            Dave LaRonde Level 6

            Would I be correct in assuming that you assembled this machine from scratch using various components?  You could have made system integration errors.

             

            Second,  you're using a hack to get a card to work.  Can you assume that the same hack works well with the CC software?

             

            Third, ray-tracing is probably the most processor-intensive and time-consuming thing AE can do.  Since your hack on the card would appear to be innefective, AE can only rely on the processor cores, which slows things down a LOT.  It's agonizing. 

             

            So your machine may not be freezing at all: it may only be thinking, and you're too impatient to wait.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Total PC freeze when exporting from After Effects CC
              Mr.Nicklebe Level 1

              Hi guys, thanks for the replies.

               

              @joshweiland Yes I recently noticed that RAM issue too. It's something to do with 'Hardware Reserved Memory' and I intend to fix it when I get time but I don't think its got much to do with AE crashing. Thanks fo the core allocation article I will read that over and experiment with some settings.

               

              @Dave LaRonde Yes I assembled the PC myself. It's unlikely however that there are system intergration errors (by this i think you mean hardware compatibilty errors?). I bought the hardware as part of an over clocked bundle from overclockers.co.uk who are a very well respected and knowledgable hardware site in the UK. Also I would expect other resource intensive applications (like C4D) on my machine to be freezing up my PC too if this were the cause.

               

              I will reverse the GFX card workaround and see if this changes anything, but this isn't really ideal as 3D without a GFX card is quite a painful process I've found! If it is the cause I will just have to hope Adobe gets round to supporting Nvidias latest cards.

               

              As for your final point I doubt this is the cause. Whilst the HDD light is sometimes on during the freeze (solid light, not flashing) I don't think the system is going to unfreeze itself. I've left the computer on over night or left it on its own during the day to render and come back 2-10 hours later and its totally stuck.

               

              Will post back after I've tried reversing the hack and looking at that article Josh mentioned.

               

              Thanks again guys.

              • 4. Re: Total PC freeze when exporting from After Effects CC
                Mr.Nicklebe Level 1

                Just an update:

                 

                I rolled back the GPU workaround I did. Tried the render and it crashed again so that wasn't the problem. I also tried swapping out my new GFX card with my old gefroce 470 which is officially supported by Adobe but AE still did the same freeze up whilst rendering.

                 

                I also tried using my old RAM but I don't think my new motherboard supports it as they're old sticks. My plan for tonight is to run Memtest 86 for as long as possible and see if the RAM is faulty and causing the crashes. If this is the problem it would also explain why windows is only using half of the available memory.

                 

                I also read the article Josh posted about the CPU/RAM relationship in AE, very interesting! I'm starting to think/hope that the RAM is at fault which could explain why windows is only using half my memory and possibly also explain these crashes.

                 

                Will post again if I manage to fix this.

                • 5. Re: Total PC freeze when exporting from After Effects CC
                  joshweiland Level 2

                  I re-read your original post...

                  Mr.Nicklebe wrote:

                   

                  Here are the specs from DxDiag:

                   

                  ------------------

                  System Information

                  ------------------

                  Memory: 16384MB RAM

                  Available OS Memory: 8090MB RAM

                  It looks like DxDiag DOES realize that you have 16GB installed, but for some reason only 8GB is provided to the OS.

                   

                  This is very odd.  Since it detects the full 16GB, I doubt that your RAM is faulty/unseated/etc.  If that were the case, it would not be recognized as 16GB.

                   

                  What CPU and motherboard are you using?  It's possible that a setting in your BIOS is to blame.

                   

                  I've seen this happen before on computers with integrated graphics.  They will use a portion of your system RAM as video RAM.  But this is typically only 256MB-512MB at most...not a whopping 8GB!

                  • 6. Re: Total PC freeze when exporting from After Effects CC
                    Mr.Nicklebe Level 1

                    joshweiland wrote:

                     

                    I re-read your original post...

                    Mr.Nicklebe wrote:

                     

                    Here are the specs from DxDiag:

                     

                    ------------------

                    System Information

                    ------------------

                    Memory: 16384MB RAM

                    Available OS Memory: 8090MB RAM

                    It looks like DxDiag DOES realize that you have 16GB installed, but for some reason only 8GB is provided to the OS.

                     

                    This is very odd.  Since it detects the full 16GB, I doubt that your RAM is faulty/unseated/etc.  If that were the case, it would not be recognized as 16GB.

                     

                    What CPU and motherboard are you using?  It's possible that a setting in your BIOS is to blame.

                     

                    I've seen this happen before on computers with integrated graphics.  They will use a portion of your system RAM as video RAM.  But this is typically only 256MB-512MB at most...not a whopping 8GB!

                     

                    Yeah pretty odd I know. My BIOS only reads 8GB of the RAM (doesnt mention 16GB at all I dont think), Resource Monitor and DXDIAG say 8GB of available memory and 16GB of total memory. I did Memtest 86 for 12 hours last night and whilst it came up with no RAM errors it also only detected half of my RAM anyway.

                     

                    I decided to do some experimenting today and tested each 8GB stick on its own in DIMM slot A2 (the manual recommends this slot for single sticks of RAM). PC wouldnt boot at all with one of the sticks but would boot with the other. So I've left my PC with that one 8GB stick in now as I suspect the other one could be faulty. I dont know if this is the cause of my orinal problem but I plan on trying to render some of the projects that were freezing my PC before and seeing if I still get those freezes. If I don't then hurray problem solved! If I do then I'm stumped as to what the cause could be.

                     

                    Oh and my motherboard/CPU are:

                     

                    CPU: AMD Piledriver FX-8 8350 Black Edition 3.50GHz @ 4.60GHz CPU

                    Motherboard: Asus 990FX Sabertooth

                     

                    I agree about the BIOS settings potentially being the problem, I plan on monday to ask the site I bought the bundle from about this and see if I can get replacement RAM and/or advice on whether there's anything specific I can do that would fix this. I tried googling the problem many times but almost every thread I come across is just people who don't realise their 32bit OS cant take more than 4GB of RAM which isn't the issue I'm having.

                    • 7. Re: Total PC freeze when exporting from After Effects CC
                      Mr.Nicklebe Level 1

                      Hello to anyone still following this.

                       

                      I tried exporting again with just that 1 stick of RAM but still got the crash much to my disapointment. However I fiddled around with some settings and turned off multicore processing entirely (I know I tried this before) and also turned on "Reduce cache size when system is low on memory (this will shorten RAM preview)", I'm not sure if this setting helped but thought I'd try it anyway. After this I managed to render out a full video (with C4D layers) without freezing. Hurray!

                       

                      However...

                       

                      I just tried rendering the same project again to be sure it was fixed and got the freeze again so I'm not entirely sure what's wrong, I don't think I changed anything between these two renders. My next effort is to try exporting when I get my RAM problem fixed and see if its some sort of out of memory or bad memory fault with the remaining stick.

                       

                      Any other suggestions are much appreciated!