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I've seen lots of challenges with AVCHDs posted on this forum, Paul -- most related to how much they challenge the resources of even a quad core computer. But I've never heard of anything quite as catastrophic as you're describing!
Raglight Filter Manager or GSpot (search on the internet) are free utilities for managing your codecs. These can show you the codecs on your system and allow you to Un-register them.... ie kill them. You can also Re-register them but if I recall it is not as straightforward. I will have to dig out my notes, I think basically I had to keep a track of where it was located on the computer. But the programs can show you this also.
You need to be careful though incase you screw things up. Alternative is of course to re-format your harddrive, I do this every year or so to keep everything fresh and to clear out old junk that I have installed.
Thanks for the suggestions re: codec management. I will set aside some time and work on it... I want to get rid of everything in my system except for the default cedosc and then start over with only what I need for MP4 playback. I think GSpot said at one point it loaded 300+ codecs... that is just ridiculous. I have downloaded several codec packs in my quest for MP4 playback and now that I have a better handle on it it is time to start over ;)
As for the hard drive corruption, I have a better handle on that too. I still don't know WHY, but PE7 definitely crashed while in the "get media" process (adding AVCHD .MTS files from my video drive to the assets list) and the crash resulted in the corruption of the video drive. Windows ran Checkdisk the next boot, found errors and fixed them. The fix resulted in two "found" files that seemed to be parts of folders, not files (right clicking them and selecting properties showed them to be file folders).
After checkdisk fixed the hard drive, PE7 threw what looked like a C++ error every time I tried to add media from the "damaged" folder (the files themselves played back fine in WMP). So on a hunch I moved all the video assets from the "damaged" folder into a new folder and deleted the "damaged" asset folder, the project folder and all auxiliary files from that project. This cured the problem.... I can now add those same assets to a new project and all is back to normal. But it points out that I am vulnerable until I put a raw video backup procedure into place. I got away with it this time but I might not be so lucky the next time. I am assuming the corruption happened because PE was in the process of writing to the project folder (adding assets) when it crashed.
The total number of properly written and installed CODEC's *should not* be an issue. However, many CODEC "packs" contain reverse-engineered, or hacked versions of some of the CODEC's. That is why most of the "packs" are free, but if you wish to obtain the "real" CODEC's, they will cost $ from the issuing company. Also, many "packs" will overwrite, or disconnect full CODEC's, that are properly installed already.
On my workstation, I've got 399 CODEC's (Video & Audio) installed, but all are from the companies, that wrote them - no CODEC "packs" in sight. Add the "real" ones, as you need them only, and if there is a charge, gladly pay it for the stability.
The reason I want to delete codecs and start over is just that.... some have over written others.
Turns out my most recent problem was that (I think) a new revision of the TV Center application for my USB TV tuner replaced some codec that was used to decode AVCHD. But only when using WMP11. Media Player Classic still worked. I got things working again by re-installing K-Lite and while I would prefer a simpler solution I do like the configurability that comes with using ffdshow.
I only need to be able to play WMVs, MPEG2, AVIs, h.264 and AVCHD so it seemed logical to delete everyting and start over. Especially since Windows is so obtuse when it comes to directing applications to a given codec.
May it be any kind of editing/connecting any camera to your system and extracting footages, should not affect your video drive.
yes codecs might be the cluprit behind this.
As suggest you could format your machine and use only paid codecs to avoid any problem further.
I don't think the corruption had anything to do with the CODEC situation on my PC. I don't know what happened and it has not happened again.
I want to delete CODECs because in the early days (last year) of h.264, I had a camera and no way of playing the clips natively. So I did a lot of web searching and downloading. I don't think I picked up anything bad, but I suspect I picked up a lot of stuff I don't need from packages like K-Lite. It just seemed like a good idea to clean house.