5 Replies Latest reply on Aug 14, 2009 1:21 PM by the_wine_snob

    What is best way to manage multiple projects with limited HD space?

    paultool1

      I am running Premiere Elements 3 on a HP desktop with a 250 GB hard drive.  I also have a 500 GB external HD attached.  The main desktop HD is filled up with programs, photos, and current video projects for PE 3.  PE seems to work best when it can access files from the internal HD and not have to access them from an external HD.  Since I have many video projects going now, I cannot keep all the clips on the desktop HD so have put them on the external HD.  I used to keep just backups on the external HD, but now have to keep some of the original copies of clips and projects as well.  So when running PE3 I have to copy things back and forth to the desktop computer HD so I can run it without it needing to access the external HD.  This takes alot of time.

       

      Is there a better way to do things?  What is the best strategy for running PE when HD space on your computer is limited?  Do I need to free up much more of my 250 GB internal HD space so I can run all current projects from there?  And what is the best strategy for backing up my clips and projects.  Multiple external HDs?  Thanks for any advice on file and project management.

        • 1. Re: What is best way to manage multiple projects with limited HD space?
          Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

          The most efficient way to work is to keep your project files and video files on your external drive.

           

          Also, ensure that this hard drive is formatted as NTFS and not FAT32.

           

          And always ensure that at least 15% of your C drive is free and defragmented.

          • 2. Re: What is best way to manage multiple projects with limited HD space?
            the_wine_snob Level 9

            First, welcome to the forum.

             

            I do just as Steve suggests, though for slightly different reasons. I need each Project to be portable between my laptop and my workstation. I have a couple dozen 1 - 2TB FW-800 external 7200RPM HDD's, so each Project goes onto one of these. Obviously with the size, I can group several normal Projects onto the same external.

             

            In my case, most of my Assets are stored on a NAS drive, and I will copy these over to the appropriate Project folder structure on the externals. If I have done Capture, those files will be in the Project's folder structure too. My stock stuff is always a copy, as will be my still images. Each Project has a root folder with its name and then appropriate sub-folders, i.e. Stills, Music, etc. below that root folder. All stays together.

             

            One trick for my case is that each external has the same exact drive letter assignment in the OS of each of my computers, so that external Z:\ is Z:\ on all computers. This must be done at the OS-level for all computers. I use labels on each external, so I know that I have Z:\, or Y:\ plugged in.

             

            For editing, this is not the most efficient way to handle Projects, or Assets. In a perfect world, one would have their OS and programs on C:\, their media on a RAID 0 D:\, their Projects and Scratch Disks on E:\, their Exports on F:\ and maybe their audio on another RAID 0 G:\. All original Assets would be backed up to maybe a NAS unit. This would give the greatest efficiencey, but would kill my portability. I pay a price in efficiency, so that I can spend much of the day by the pool on the laptop and then move the complete Project, along with all copies of all Assets and Scratch Disks upstairs to the editing suite. The workstation is setup like my ideal, but if I have a Project on it (using all of the resources of that machine and it's multiple HDD's), I cannot easily move down to the laptop - so I sacrifice the speed for the portability.

             

            One comment on using externals: FW-800 works fine for me. All of my newer external HDD's have that connection and each computer has either a FW-800 card, or ExpressCard. The use of eSATA would be even better, but I have a major investment in FW-800, so I have to consider that legacy. Someday, they'll all be eSATA, or whatever comes next. I found that FW-400 was too slow for me, so I relegated those older externals to just archive. Years ago, I tried USB externals, but found that I have problems with them, plus the connection speed was painfully slow. I gave up completely on those. I do not think that I have any USB only externals left. Goodwill got them all. I also tried to edit to/from my gigabit NAS and gave up on that because of the speed. It now is a storage unit for stock Assets that are copied over to the Project folders.

             

            If you have USB externals, give them a try. Just be a bit careful, especially if you have a faster computer, as that connection can cause problems if the data stream gets too big and too fast for the connection. Things will definitely go wrong at some point in a read/write cycle. Be very careful and keep copies of all irreplaceable Assets and also your Project files. Little is worse than having something get corrupted because the USB connection could not keep up. I've even had overloaded USB's shut down the entire system in a BSOD. Not very comforting, when you just completed 6 hours of editing!

             

            Good luck, and hope that some of this helps,

             

            Hunt

            • 3. Re: What is best way to manage multiple projects with limited HD space?
              paultool1 Level 1

              Thank you very much for your help, Steve and wine-snob.  I would have thought it better and faster to run projects from the internal hard drive of the computer and keep the relevant clips on it as well, rather than from an external hard drive, so this was news to me.  I know it also must depend on how fast and powerful the computer is...  new laptops seem to come standard with 3 or even 4GB of RAM now which would obviously help in video applications like PE especially when multitasking.

               

              I have recently bought a new external drive, which came as FAT32 so I must convert to NTFS.  I had earlier notes containing the following on how to do this and I hope they are still current:

               

              To convert a volume to NTFS from the command prompt

              1. Open Command Prompt. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.

              2. In the command prompt window, type: convert drive_letter: /fs:ntfs

              For example, typing convert D: /fs:ntfs would format drive D: with the ntfs format. You can convert FAT or FAT32 volumes to NTFS with this command

               

              Here's the link:

              http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb456984.aspx

              • 4. Re: What is best way to manage multiple projects with limited HD space?
                the_wine_snob Level 9
                I would have thought it better and faster to run projects from the internal hard drive of the computer and keep the relevant clips on it as well, rather than from an external hard drive, so this was news to me.

                 

                I must have confused you. YES, it is better and faster to run your Projects from a set of internal HDD's. However, I am talking about a properly setup I/O sub-system with a minimum of 3 physical HDD's (no partitions). Personally, I feel that 3 physical HDD's should be the minimum to work with on almost every NLE program.

                 

                I suggest this configuration:

                C:\ doesn't have to be that large, but fast is important - only OS and program files (and can contain Page File too). Do not use any non-redundant form of RAID for this drive, even though their is a speed increase. If you do, have full backups of everything and a Slipstream OS install disc.

                 

                D:\ should be both large and fast (some use RAID 0) - media* (and maybe Page File)

                 

                E:\ should be both large and fast - Projects and Scratch Disks (if RAID 0, or any other form of non-redundant RAID is used - backup very often)

                 

                * If one is doing Captures from tapes, one has them for backup and can recapture. If one is using almost anything else, the original Assets should be stored on a separate HDD, if RAID 0 is used. Only work from Copies of the Assets, incase the RAID 0 fails.

                 

                That is the best for a minimum editing rig, IMHO.

                 

                Now, one of the reasons that I will sacrifice the speed, and use the externals is for portibility between machines. This method is not the ultimate for performance, but allows me to work on a Project from different computers - I pay the price of performance for this one benefit to me.

                 

                Good luck,

                 

                Hunt

                • 5. Re: What is best way to manage multiple projects with limited HD space?
                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                  To convert a volume to NTFS from the command prompt

                  1. Open Command Prompt. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.

                  2. In the command prompt window, type: convert drive_letter: /fs:ntfs

                  For example, typing convert D: /fs:ntfs would format drive D: with the ntfs format. You can convert FAT or FAT32 volumes to NTFS with this command


                  Yes, that is still correct. One tip: before you go to the CMD prompt, use My Computer/Windows Explorer to get the Volume Name for that external. You WILL need that and it must be exactly what is reported to you, capitalization and all. When you get into Convert, you will be asked for that Volume Name, as a failsafe. Enter it exactly.

                   

                  Now, tip two: once you have set up your external, go to the Disk Management of your OS and assign a drive letter. Then, everytime that you plug that external in, it will be reported with the same drive letter. This will save you having to "Find Assets" in PrE. If you move this external between computers, you will do this in the OS of each computer.

                   

                  Tip three: if you are using the external for just your Projects and Assets, in Windows Explorer>Properties, turn OFF Windows Indexing. I do this for all HDD's. It works OK if one has a bunch of Word, or similar documents, but there is nothing in most Project and Asset files for it to actually use. Next, it takes CPU cycles, and can "lock" files, when you least expect, or want those files locked.

                   

                  Good luck,

                   

                  Hunt