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#2. You should be able to convert a volume from FAT to NTFS in place - that is, you don't have to move your files off, convert, and move them back. You just convert the file system with the files where they are. Obviously, make sure to backup first, just in case. The drive letter remains the same.
#3. Yes, but that shouldn't be necessary (see #2). When PE starts up, it will tell you if it can't find the files and give you the option of specifying the new location. To simulate this, you could rename "f:/pe2/summervacation" to "f:/peX/summervacation" using Explorer... when PE starts up, you point it to "f:/peX/summervaction". The same process applies when switching drives.
1) You definitely want to format that drive NTFS. Otherwise, you're going to run into a file size issue, and that could be fatal. Fortunately, you can change the drive format without losing any data.
2) Before you work with any photos in Premiere Elements, optimize them to no larger than 1000x750 pixels in size. Making them larger gives you no better quality -- and it lugs the system something terrible, sometimes even crashing it.
3) How many tracks you can use depends on your system as well as what you're using for source files. Officially, you can do up to 99 tracks of video and 99 tracks of audio -- but some people have experimented and used even more for short projects. But optimize your photo sizes and you should see a significant improvement in performance all around.
To point PE2 to the newly reinstalled files, is there a way to point it globally (that is, to a new f drive, and PE2 will know to apply the same subfile structure) or do I have to go to each picture, video and sound bite and point each one to the specific file it is in (some are in f:/2007/summer/videos, some are in f:/2007/summer/pix and some are in f:/2007/winter/videos)?
If all your lost files are in same folder, Premiere Elements will "see" them when you link to one of the files and automatically reconnect to the rest.
Do you have another idea? When I get the box asking where the file is, I highlight F: but nothing happens when I click on "select." PE2 only allows me to select anything when I get down to f:/2007/winter/videos/beach (for when I want the video named "beach." This seems to indicate that I may need to do this for each item (as opposed to selecting F: to be able to pick up files stored in "my videos," "my audio" and "my pictures." And making matters worse, the system does not seem to save the selections that I am able to make, as the same files are unknown and asked for the next time I open the project. I'd appreciate any help so I do not have to re-add and configure every clip. Thanks.
Normally, Premiere (I use the Pro version most of the time) will automatically locate Assets, in the same folder, when you point it to the first. However, I have had a few instances, where that did not trigger, and each Asset had to be re-linked manually. Why? I do not have a clue.
In my biggest Project, that exhibited this behavior, I was using very old versions of the Project in a newer version of P-Pro, AND it was a Mac version (earlier) going to a PC version (later). The Project files (PREL in PE) are but XML files with the links encoded. As stated, Premiere *usually* can find all Assets in the common folder.
One little trick that I learned, in the above case, was to check "Show Exact Match" box, once I navigated to the proper folder, and then for each additional file, I'd uncheck and then re-check that box. Each file would appear, and I'd choose "Open." Yes, a lot of clicks, and why they did not re-link automatically is still a mystery, as it *normally* takes care of all of the rest.
Now, unlike your example, once re-linked, and Saved, Premiere Pro DOES remember, as I would hope, and anticipate.
I'd do a Save_As_a_Copy, and locate this in a new folder. Maybe name it [Filename_New], and work from that. Obviously, keep your original Project. I wonder if there is some sort of corruption happening on these specific Projects. Remember, I am using Pro, and also going from a very old Mac version of the program to a newer PC version, but once you point to the folder, things *should* automatically take care of themselves, for all Assets in that folder.
I wish that I had a definitive answer, but my results have not done, as I would anticipate, or expect. Let us know how it goes, as there might be a clue in there someplace.
Maybe I am missing something. I reformatted my external drive and then copied all of my clips back to that drive. (f:). (they are on the drive) When I open a project in PE2, a box comes up. In the top blue bar is says: "Where is the file "beach.avi"?. In the white main part of the box, it shows my filing structure. I click in f:/, then 2007, then winter, then videos, then beach, and the file beach populates the file field at the bottom (none of the other intermediate file levels populated that field). I then click "select" and nothing happens. I could click "skip" and the blue bar will ask me about every video and audio clip I have in the timeline. My "beach" strip on my timeline stays red with Asian writing on it, and does not show me the graphic of my beach video. I click save and the program saves. I exit, and then when I re-enter the project, it once again asks me "Where is the file "beach.avi"?. Should I just start re-doing the whole video, or is there a fix?
Signed: Baffled in Baltimore
Resolved: I happened to open the project from the file I had backed up to the newer external hard drive and, when asked, point PE2 to the files stored on that newer hard drive (the drive to which I originally backed up the files before I reconfigured the old hard drive) and the program worked just as you folks described it would. Odd. Thanks.
Signed: Still Baffled, But Blissful, in Baltimore
It IS odd, Ned! But I'm glad it's working at least in a new environment.
Good to know that you have some sort of resolution and are back to editing. That is so much more fun, than poking around one's system looking for files.
I see similar problems, when one has done something (maybe like reformatting) with an external. I'm not sure what the problem(s) could be, as most people are not changing the drive letter, or the folder structure, but something does seem to go "pear-shaped," with some regularity.
I do a lot of editing to/from externals, and have never had this problem rear it ugly head. Now, I do set each external to the same drive letter on all of my different systems' OS (gotta' do it at the OS level for each machine), and I have yet had to do any reformatting, etc. If I do, I'll try to observe any anomaly and chart what it could be for future reference. I am baffeled with your problem, as you kept the same drive letter and folder structure - it *shold* work, but didn't.
BTW that red screen with the multiple languages is the "Media Offline" screen. That is what each language is saying. Once the Project has been allowed to treat the media as "offline," and saved that way, the only process to get the links back is to manually Link Media. With lots of files, this can consume great amounts of time and require tons of mouse clicks. The Media Offline happens when one chooses "Skip/Skip All." Were I in that perdiciment, I would definitely do a Save_As_a_Copy (not a plain old Save), so I would still have a version of the Project with the links intact, until I figured out what was wrong. Once you hit Save, the media WILL be offline, until you manually re-link.