>capturing to an external drive through USB (2) connection
That MAY be your problem... eSata is best, USB3 is not as good as eSata, but still works - http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1117813
ONE possibility is this $47 USB3 dock with fan http://www.amazon.com/StarTech-SuperSpeed-Docking-Station-Cooling/dp/B0055PL2YI
Thanks for contacting Adobe forums,
As you stated that you are capturing to an external drive trough USB 2.0,
the faster the access speed of the disk containing your media or the Media Cache disk files, the faster Digital Video applications can read and write media files. Internal hard disks have faster access speeds than network servers (a hard disk accessed over a network) and removable media
The rate to sending the data to the drive from premiere pro is higher than the overall data transfer speed of the USB 2.0 drive.
Try to save the captured file the on the local drive.
here is the doc which provide you overview of the workflow http://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/kb/networks-removable-media-dva.html
I believe this will help.
I appreciate the thoughts, but I've used the same drive/setup with my 7 year old Macbook(not Pro), and capturing the same type footage from the same camera, it did just fine. Remember, HDV is, data rate-wise, like capturing SD DV. It captures just fine, no dropped frames, everything works well until the 'escape' key is hit. It's as though it only sometimes wants to finish/wrap the video file. The data is there, the icon in the finder shows it to be a Quicktime Mpeg file at 'X' amount of size(appropriate to the time captured). But to stop the spinning wheel in PPro I have to 'Force Quit' PPro, and then most times, but not all, I can go back to the captured file and it will play. Weird!?