12 Replies Latest reply on Apr 7, 2010 8:06 AM by the_wine_snob

    CS4 won't open files from external HardDisk. "unsupported format or damaged file" ???

    Brandalarm Level 1

      Hi,

       

      I'm having quite some trouble using Premiere but switching between different computers.

      So I created a project on someone else's computer, in which i put video files which were located on my (external)Harddisk. I saved the project on the same harddisk. Making my project, i noticed that Premiere creates 'Preview files' in a separated map.

      I got myself a new computer in which i put the needed 2 GB ram so I could work at home. BUT when i connected my HD to my computer and tried to open the project, the computer said one of the Preview files was missing. Not a big surprise, so i go and search the file; click it but then it says:

      "unsupported format or damaged file", which is absolutely B*llshit because Premier created the file ITSELF?

       

      Also, all the media i imported in the left part of the user screen (dunno what you call it) IS "OFFLINE". It gets weirder, because when i try to find the media using FIND in Premiere, not all the files SHOW UP?!

       

      Im getting pretty nervous, because i need this to work pretty hard

       

      Maybe its usefull to mention that my new computer is a full blown greenhorn [not yet internet connection, not sound yet: i just installed ServicePack 2] and that maybe I'm missing some drivers???

       

      Please, please help me I'm quite losing it actually...

       

       

      Thanks,

       

      Jef

        • 1. Re: CS4 won't open files from external HardDisk. "unsupported format or damaged file" ???
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          Jef,

           

          SP2 of what?

           

          Different drive letter?  Rerender the time line to recreate the render files. No big deal.

          • 2. Re: CS4 won't open files from external HardDisk. "unsupported format or damaged file" ???
            Brandalarm Level 1

            Service pack 2 of windows XP home. My pc is pretty basic..

             

            Quite difficult to do when there suddenly are no more files in my timeline ?! My imported files to the left are offline, my timeline files are vapourised...

            • 3. Re: CS4 won't open files from external HardDisk. "unsupported format or damaged file" ???
              Brandalarm Level 1

              Harm,

              Sorry, but what's a different drive letter?

              • 4. Re: CS4 won't open files from external HardDisk. "unsupported format or damaged file" ???
                Phil Griffith Level 2

                when you plug in ext drive, unless you tell windows otherwise, it randomly sets the drive letter to whatever. Premiere is looking for the files on certain drive letter (what it was last time you used it). Now it can't find them cause the drive letter is different. right click on my computer, select manage, then disk management. set the drive letter for your ext to what it was before.

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: CS4 won't open files from external HardDisk. "unsupported format or damaged file" ???
                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                  Jef,

                   

                  As has been mentioned above, one needs to set the driver letter in the OS of each computer. That will keep the files located on the same driver letter in each.

                   

                  Now, what is the connection of that external?

                   

                  Many have had issues with USB externals, and corrupted files will likely result. Often, one gets read/write errors, and can get the dreaded "Delayed Write Error." I will only use FW-800's, or the better eSATA externals. Still, you need to do as I suggested above.

                   

                  If you have used USB, all might be hosed. I did recover much data from one, with Stellar-Phoenix recovery software, but that is expensive, and a lot of work, AND might not be successful, if the files were overwritten in the same sectors.

                   

                  Good luck,

                   

                  Hunt

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: CS4 won't open files from external HardDisk. "unsupported format or damaged file" ???
                    Brandalarm Level 1

                    Phil,

                     

                    Ok, i get the driveletter thing now, thanks I'll try to figure out what it was and hopefully it'll help. One thing I don't get yet: If you manually locate the files on the ExtHD, then normally the drive letter shouldn't be able to cause any problems? Because you re-locate the files... ?

                     

                    Bill,

                     

                    Also, thanks .

                    But i fear that you just shattered my hope into pieces... Yes, it is indeed USB (i thought it was a common thing to use in this case). I guess the safer way make data mobile (like that Firewire and eSATA options you mentioned) are also a lot more expensive, right?

                    So basically, what you are saying is that the ExtHD isn't correctly exporting and importing the files from one computer to another? That the files get damaged or alternated during the creation on one computer and the importing on another computer? And that this is due to the USB?

                     

                    That would mean that trying to recover the part of the Project that was already made is a waste of time ('hosted', als you colourfully name it ) and that i better invest my time in recreating the project using the same sourcefiles but on my computer? Oh hell, ...

                     

                    One more thing I didn't get in your answer: what does 'overwritten in the same sector mean'?

                     

                    I very fondly appreciate all of your help,

                     

                    Jef

                    • 7. Re: CS4 won't open files from external HardDisk. "unsupported format or damaged file" ???
                      Brandalarm Level 1

                      Ok, this thing gets weirder and weirder.

                       

                      *First: I tried changing the drive letter: Since the computer I first worked on was a computer on which a lot of drives were installed, I tried all the letters from E to J, and only with the drive letter G Premiere did NOT ask "where is the rendered file ... ". So i guess this would have been the original drive letter, right? still, all the imported files to the left are labeled 'Offline'.

                       

                      *And, worth mentioning, I have been a calf saying that the files on my timeline had vapourised, because I was on a wrong timeline tab. Yes, I ám a moron.

                      As Bill told me, I rendered the timeline, BUT... same thing: the video plays, yet where there is supposed to be images i get the lovely red box saying "Media Offline".

                       

                       

                      So, just for the test I opened a new Project an tried to import my source files into the new Project. The files i work with are .m2t, which normally do NOT cause any problems with Premiere, and i'm sure of that because I worked with them on the previous computer.

                      BUT, all of a sudden, Premiere won't import .m2t files in no project whatsoever. Also, it won't import .mov files and .avi files; the only piece of video I was able to import in a new project was WMV.

                       

                      So, where does that take me? I have a recent version of CS4, so thats not the problem. Does Premiere or my computer need plugins/drivers/something-else? I repeat that my computer is VERY basic, I have pretty much a naked Windows service pack2 installed and just some basic features like winrar and VLC.

                      Is it my computer? But that would not explain why the same error (" unsupported format or damaged file") occurs when I try to open the files on an iMac.

                       

                      Thanks, I really really hope somebody knows what is going on.

                       

                       

                      Jef

                      • 8. Re: CS4 won't open files from external HardDisk. "unsupported format or damaged file" ???
                        Harm Millaard Level 7

                        Jef,

                         

                        Open CS4. create a new project and when you get the sequence settings screen, are AVCHD, HDV and XDCAM presets selectable?

                         

                        If not, you are using the trial version or your full version has reverted to trial status. The trial does not support anything MPEG, even when wrapped in AVI.

                         

                        If you have the full version that reverted to trial status, take the following steps:

                         

                        1. Deactivate

                        2. Uninstall

                        3. Run Clean Script CS4

                        4. Reboot

                        5. Repeat steps 3 and 4

                        6. Repeat steps 3 and 4 again

                        7. Install

                        8. Activate

                        9. Update to 4.2.1

                        • 9. Re: CS4 won't open files from external HardDisk. "unsupported format or damaged file" ???
                          Brandalarm Level 1

                          You're right!

                          My version must've reverted to the trial status...

                          Thanks, but what I don't get: the Trial version of Premiere has to be exactly the same version as the full Premiere, otherwise one couldn't make the Trial version legal by inserting a product key?? If you download the trial and then, say after 12 days you buy a productkey and insert it, you have the full version but the installation on your computer doesn't change, does it?

                          How come that AVCHD, DHV and XDCAM are not supported by the Trial version if the software installed is the same as the full version? Did Adobe put certain 'restrictions' on the trial so that it won't play these formats but when one buys the Productkey these restrictions get eliminated?

                           


                          Anyway, i'll do as you said and try that out! I hope you can help me with the question mentioned above...

                           

                          Thanks alot, you're very very helpful.

                           

                          Jef

                          • 10. Re: CS4 won't open files from external HardDisk. "unsupported format or damaged file" ???
                            the_wine_snob Level 9

                            Jef,

                             

                            One thing I don't get yet: If you manually locate the files on the ExtHD, then normally the drive letter shouldn't be able to cause any problems?

                             

                            What so often happens with externals is that depending on what else might be plugged in at the time, the OS will assign the next available drive letter to that external, unless you set that in the OS, and it may, or may not be the same as last time.

                             

                            One way to tell where PrPro last saw the file, is to look at the Path, when PrPro asks, "Hey dude, where's my file?" Another is to Open the PRPROJ file (it's XML) in NotePad and do a Find for the file name. You will see the Path there. You will need to tell NotePad to Open [All Files], and may need to do a couple of Finds, to get to one with the full Path. Make a note of that, especially the drive letter. Then, if possible, go into the OS Disk Management and set the drive letter to match. I would do this from a cold boot, with ONLY this external attached, so that as many possible drive letters, will be available. The OS will assign that chosen drive letter, based on the ID of that drive. From then on, it will always be registered with that drive letter.

                             

                            Yes, it is indeed USB (i thought it was a common thing to use in this case). I guess the safer way make data mobile (like that Firewire and eSATA options you mentioned) are also a lot more expensive, right?

                             

                            What seems to happen with USB's is the OS gets so far ahead of the connection, that the read/writes get smurfed. When one is just doing a Copy of the files, they work fine, and I still use many of mine for archiving Copies of files - but never working to/from. Just to Copy to/from.

                             

                            USB's have been around for a long time, and so have FW-400's. The FW-800's and eSATA's are newer. FW-400's, at least in my testing, did not suffer from the data loss issues, that USB's did in working situations. They were just too slow for me to use them effectively in the editing. FW-800 upped the ante, and work fine. eSATA is even better, being very, very close to the performance of an internal eSATA. Most current externals, except for the really low-end ones, offer several possible connections. Most of mine are FW-400/FW-800, and some offer those, plus eSATA. Because I have so many legacy externals, without eSATA, I have not added that connection, plus my workstation is full, with not one slot available. Next workstation will have both FW-800, plus eSATA, and all new externals will have eSATA.

                             

                            The multi-connection units are probably a bit more expensive, but one usually get other positives, like capacity, and maybe even RAID. As the prices have fallen, the specs. and capacities have gone up. I think that I paid ~ US$250 for my first USB 250GB external. Now, a similar unit would probably be ~ US$49. For that same $250, I can get a 1TB unit.

                             

                            So basically, what you are saying is that the ExtHD isn't correctly exporting and importing the files from one computer to another? That the files get damaged or alternated during the creation on one computer and the importing on another computer? And that this is due to the USB?

                             

                            Yes, this can be the issue, and it seems to be connection-specific to USB. The same situation has happened with "Thumbdrives." It seems to be that the USB connection is so slow, though it could also be bottlenecks with the computer's bus speeds, and less to do with the drives, specifically.

                             

                            Also, many of these externals are partially designed to be backup units, and come with backup software and drivers to accommodate that software. These drives, in modern OS's, do not require drivers, unless the backup software is utilized, but those often get installed. Those drivers can be very problematic too, as all reads/writes go through them.

                             

                            Tracking down the 100% iron-clad reason has been tough, as some folk never had an issue, and some had it with multiple brands and models of USB externals. I spent weeks on various fora back then, trying to get to the bottom of the issue, but there were so many variable, that I gave up and issued a blanket edict - NO USB DRIVES for editing. One power-user here, stated that he'd used USB externals with PrPro for years, and had never had one issue. Just too many variables for me.

                             

                            That would mean that trying to recover the part of the Project that was already made is a waste of time ('hosted', als you colourfully name it ) and that i better invest my time in recreating the project using the same sourcefiles but on my computer? Oh hell, .

                             

                            Could be, but let's try two things first, and keep our fingers X'ed. First, do a New Project, and try to Import Project, with that Project. What happens?

                             

                            If it's still a no-go, take a look at this ENTRY in the PrPro-Wiki. Pay special attention to the XML Wrench section, for tips and instructions.

                             

                            Don't give up just yet. These steps take little time and little effort, and might get you going, without a rebuild.

                             

                            Here's hoping, and good luck. Please report your success.

                             

                            Hunt

                            • 11. Re: CS4 won't open files from external HardDisk. "unsupported format or damaged file" ???
                              Brandalarm Level 1

                              Harm,

                               

                              Thanks alot. Your remark about the missing presets led to the solution in the end. Indeed, the presets you mentioned were missing. So, like you told me I made sure I was still using the full CS4 version by taking the steps you mentioned. In the end, I'm not sure whether my version had reverted or not, but by doing this I was at least sure that I was really using the Full CS4. Being sure I had the full version, I opened a new project, came to the presets screen and - .. the presets were still missing!

                              That got me thinking.

                              In the end, the answer was pretty simple: Human error (which means: I am a moron.)

                               

                               

                              I said this when I started the topic:

                               

                              "Maybe its usefull to mention that my new computer is a full blown greenhorn [not yet internet connection, no sound yet: i just installed ServicePack 2] and that maybe I'm missing some drivers???"

                               

                               

                              When I got my new computer, my workspace was - let's say.. a little bit messy. With the Windows service pack2 cd inserted in the drive, I may have forgotten to install it - busy doing other configurations. I'm not sure. I may have/ may have not installed it. And that was the big troublemaker. Renewing my Premiere CS4 installation, Premiere mentioned tjhat it was recommended to have minimum XP SP 2 installed and advised to have SP3 installed. With this being the only requirement that wasn't totally up to date, I installed SP2 and next SP3, after which i re-installed Premiere and - tzadam - I got the missing presets. The Presets also were the source of my corrupt project. With all the previous work done, the project now opened smoothly.

                               

                              So, next time someone has format errors on a windows, I'll be the first to advice to double-check the Windows XP service packs (SP3 advised).

                               

                              Anyway, your comment did it, so thank you!

                               

                               

                               

                               

                              Bill,

                               

                              As you can read above, the trouble wasn't caused by the external, but that didn't make you comment less valuable!

                               

                              As you explained, I did the thing with the paths and got to know the drive letter. As I suspected before, it was indeed G: . I sorted that out, so that won't cause any more problems.

                               

                              I also appreciate your comment about the External drives. As I am now very low bugetted, I'll stick with the USB drive for his project. I'm not planning anymore to move between different computers. But I've spread the knowledge about FIrewire 800 and eSATA drives to a friend of mine who is planning to go through with editing. He can do whatever he likes, but at least he knows the dangers of USB now.

                               

                              Also, i tried most of the things mentioned in the ENTRY you linked, but eventually that wasn't necessary anymore to acces my Project.

                               

                              Thank you for all the thinking and explaining! People like you make the forum a healthy working organ .

                               

                              Jef

                              • 12. Re: CS4 won't open files from external HardDisk. "unsupported format or damaged file" ???
                                the_wine_snob Level 9

                                Jef,

                                 

                                Getting things sorted out is job 1 around here. That you are up and running is our goal. Thanks for reporting.

                                 

                                We'd all love to know the exact set of circumstances that lead to the reversion to trial for a full-paid version. At least there is a "cure," though it does take some time. Personally, I think this is an issue with the CS4 update installer, but it could just be an odd chain of events.

                                 

                                Good luck, and let us know how it goes. Good luck with the USB too. One power user here used them for quite a while and had zero issues.

                                 

                                Hunt