21 Replies Latest reply on Apr 14, 2010 4:55 PM by Jeff Bellune

    Why does Premiere CS4 crash on larger projects?



      I'm  running a fast machine (i7CPU 920@2.67 GHz - it has 4 cores) with lots  of ram (12 gig) on a cleanly installed system 7, nothing else running in  the background at this point). Three hard drives - main application  drive (640 gig) and two raid 0 1 tB drives for video storage.) My  graphics card is a GeForce GTX 260. I have updated all computer drivers  and am running newest version of adobe CS4 (4.21).


      Whenever  a project gets to a certain size (say 50-80 clips) my computer freezes.  I don't have the problem on smaller projects - but when I get near a  threashold it continually freezes.  My clips are HD files (1080p and the  source files can be between 30 and 50 gigs on larger projects). I  don't believe it is a corruption or compatibility problem as it only  happens on larger projects. Same problem happened on Vista as well -  don't believe it's a windows issue.



      1. Is  there an optimum set-up / configuration for CS4 ( I thought I was close -  but obviously I'm not) to account for larger files and larger projects.

      2. Any idea  why Premiere craps out (freezes)) on larger projects.

      3.  Is there a known limit for Premiere (I seem to have found it) for  either number of clips, size of clips or anything else.

      4. Is this  unique to PC - I haven't heard of this problem on macs.

      5. Is  there somewhere you can pay for Adobe Premiere tech support?


      thanks in  advance for your help.

        • 1. Re: Why does Premiere CS4 crash on larger projects?
          JaysonM-Y Level 3

          Your project does sound a bit massive... you are editing on external/separate drive from the OS drive rite?... Even on a Mac Pro(which I am currently on) the workflow counts. Projects do tend to bog the system down when they get massive. Would it be a problem to split up the project in parts?

          • 2. Re: Why does Premiere CS4 crash on larger projects?
            jimmfox Level 1

            I have a 640 gig c drive with the applications and a separate d drive (two 1

            TB drives in a raid 0 configuration) for video files. (And another 5 tb raid

            for storage)


            Your point about it being 'massive' is exactly what I would like to get some

            feedback on - but no one seems to want to comment on this - it's really

            important. What does Premiere consider massive? I have about 100 full HD

            (1080 p) files from a Sony EX1 and would like to have them all on the same

            timeline. (The files are about 35 gigs in total). It's a huge problem having

            to break them up into multiple projects and then it's impossible to get put

            them altogether.


            It's really hard to imagine that this is unusually massive. (I have 2 other

            projects on the go just like it...) If this is a problem - it's only going

            to grow as the cost of good HD cameras comes down.


            I'd really love to get some feedback on this.


            thanks for responding by the way.

            • 3. Re: Why does Premiere CS4 crash on larger projects?
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              30 - 50 GB media does nor appear massive to me. With HDV, I have done projects with around 85 GB material and had no problems. You only mention HD, which can be many flavors. What are you editing?

              • 4. Re: Why does Premiere CS4 crash on larger projects?
                jimmfox Level 1

                Harm - thanks for the response.


                I am editing Sony EX1 footage - about 100 clips - full HD - 1080p. I don't

                think it's a computer setup issue, although I'd be happy to know how to

                improve my setup.


                I had exactly the same problem on Vista. To test this, I created an

                absolutely pristine install - no other background computer activities, no

                virus issues, no clutter, up to date drivers, etc on Windows 7. The problem

                is persistent and obvious but the solution eludes me:


                Whenever I start editing large projects - over 50 full HD files, Premiere

                starts to crap out - and usually quickly. CS3 used to give me some warnings

                by going slower. CS4 prefers to surprise me. I find myself saving files

                every minute. I have heard other people say - 'I've used 200 files with no

                problem" or "Premiere can handle anything". Is it the number of files AND

                the size of files. People use Premiere for editing RED footage - I can't

                imagine how.


                One solution - which I used last night in a panic - is to break the large

                project into two separate projects, then render one large uncompressed file

                from one of the projects and bring it in to the timeline of the other

                project. Even though the file size is still the same, the number of files is

                much smaller (about half)  and Premiere doesn't seem to have a problem with

                this. That is however, a really inconvenient (silly) way to edit a video.


                Another possible solution (a guy from Sony was only lukewarm on this one)

                was to use CineForm Neo HD to process the video prior to ingestion.

                Apparently this takes some processing load off the system as the files are

                not being compressed and uncompressed on the fly. I have no idea if this

                would help and the only thing the sales expert at CineForm was able to tell

                me was to try it and see for myself.


                Would using a Matrox help?


                My next (only?) hope is to get a very good graphics card (CUDA - to

                accommodate CS5) and hope this takes some processing issues off the

                motherboard and off of Premiere, but I would welcome any and all feedback on

                any other way to optimize for managing Large (whatever large happens to be)

                files in Premiere.


                I would love to see a one page 'Optimum' configuration setup for Premiere.

                The 'video guys' update their best DYI machine configuration. It would be

                really helpful to the whole community if an expert put together a complete

                optimum configuration recommendation. (Yes, I appreciate that there is no

                one 'correct' way - but there are certainly best practices that could help

                to guide the growing community.)


                This problem is only going to get worse for Premiere as more people do more

                things with larger HD files.

                • 5. Re: Why does Premiere CS4 crash on larger projects?
                  Harm Millaard Level 7



                  You have a good system, your footage should edit easily and there should not be any problems, unless:


                  Your hard disk setup is complaining. You have a great CPU, enough memory, a good GPU and a good OS and by your own admission a clean and lean system. The disk setup is the weakest part in your setup. My experience with EX material is that CS4 edits it very easy, so the only logical conclusion is that your disk I/O is lacking. This could be caused by background processes, like indexing or compression on your disks, by using the sidebar, by using Aero, by having your time line display more than names only (heads or tails), by a myriad of things.


                  Check out this site: Windows 7 Service Configurations by Black Viper


                  If that still does not help, post a screenshot from Process Explorer. Look here for details: Sysinternal Utilities

                  • 6. Re: Why does Premiere CS4 crash on larger projects?
                    PaulieDC Level 2

                    Jim, I have a similar rig to yours. I agree with Harm, the disk I/O is the most likely suspect. Three things I would look into:

                    1. Your system drive should definitely be a WD Raptor. The 300GB drive spins at 10K rpm and will improve access/throughput bigtime.
                    2. Where are your scratch disks? I would take that 640GB drive that is now replaced by the Raptor and use it specifically for your scratch disk. Some may argue that it needs to be on a raid drive, but a separate drive is no slouch there. So, Raptor for sys drive, RAID set for assets, 640GB for scratch.
                    3. Your RAID set... are they RAID class drives? For instance, WD makes the Black Caviar series, great standalone drives, but bad for RAID because they employ timeout circuitry to correct hard disk errors. We love that when standalone, but RAID hates it. That's why they make the RE3 series specifically for RAID. They're more expensive though. I think Harm uses cheaper Samsung drives (he can pipe in here to correct me). Anyway, if you're using straight drives then that may be the culprit. But I seriously think that if you have all three bullet points on this list secured, you're editing issues will vanish. (Disclaimer: if they don't, I'll be vacationing in Zimbabwe for the next 12 years...)


                    Also, Windows indexing is evil, turn it off. As far as Cineform goes, I use the inexpensive NeoScene for my Canon 5D2 footage, I can't edit without it. My raw footage plays smooth in WMP and QT, but once in Premiere, it basically grinds to a halt. But once I convert the video from native .mov to Cineform's .AVI, it's smooth as silk. Upsamples my cheesy 4:2:0 to 4:2:2 as well, and it really does look a wee bit better, even with interpolation. The one drawback to NeoScene: a 1GB 5D2 file becomes almost 3GB when converted. But, storage is cheap. Lastly, that brings up the question about CS5 and a GTX285... would we need Cineform conversion at that point...


                    Hope that helps!



                    • 7. Re: Why does Premiere CS4 crash on larger projects?
                      jimmfox Level 1

                      Hey Paulie, thanks for that. There is no end of permutations of things to go



                      Not sure it is I/O but you may be right. I am exploring one avenue first: It

                      could be a ram issue - ram failing at upper limits. I have heard of this

                      before. The reason this could be the case is that my program isn't really

                      sluggish. It is either working well or it simply craps out. My old system

                      (with CS3) used to get slower and slower when I had memory issues and would

                      eventually freeze - but I had lots of warning. Now, it's either working or

                      it freezes (when I have a large number of large files) which sort of sounds

                      like RAM (to me).


                      Currently I only have two drives: C (640 gig) for applications and d: for

                      video storage. (the video storage is two 1 tB drives in a Raid 0

                      configuration. (I back up to a separate raid). So no, I don't have a third

                      drive for scratch disk. I take it that is an ideal configuration- adding a

                      third drive just for scratch disk.


                      After a RAM test (take out 3 see what happens, take out a different 3 see

                      what happens), I'll work my way down your list. Really appreciate the

                      feedback. Don't want to think about the hours I've lost on this issue.

                      • 9. Re: Why does Premiere CS4 crash on larger projects?
                        PaulieDC Level 2

                        Even better!


                        BTW, one of my six 2GB sticks went wonky right after the build and it showed up in the BIOS as not being there. Useful info? Nah, just chattin'...


                        • 10. Re: Why does Premiere CS4 crash on larger projects?
                          cvid01 Level 4

                          Sometimes people forget to defragment their drives more frequently when working on large projects. Just a thought that may have been overlooked.

                          • 11. Re: Why does Premiere CS4 crash on larger projects?
                            jimmfox Level 1

                            Thanks all for the suggestions. I think I have solved it - thought I would

                            post the solution in case anyone is looking for possible answers to a similar problem.


                            The original problem was that very large projects (many files and large files) were freezing Premiere Pro CS4. The problem ended up being a bad/slow/inadequate C drive.


                            My Trouble shooting activities:


                            1. I satarted with the basics, Defrag, get rid of all background junk running in background, make sure there is lots of space on the hard drives, make sure all the updates (application and system) are current, etc. No luck.

                            2. Then after some reading I thought it could be Vista or some type of junk accumlating on my system, so I tried a clean install of Windows 7. No luck.

                            3. Then I tried updating the bios. No luck.

                            4. Then I tried testing the RAM to see if that was the problem. No luck.

                            5. Then I tried disconnecting the two 1 TB drives (in a RAID 0) configuration and running everything of the C drive. No luck.

                            6. Then I tried breaking the RAID appart, disconnecting the C drive and reinstalling system 7 on one of the two 1 TB drives. LUCK.


                            ...that finally seemed to do the trick. Apparently my C Drive wasn't up to the task, but fortunately the drives I used for data storage is. So now I will slowly put back together the system into a 4 drive arrangement - 1 for applications, 2 for data (RAID 0) and one for scratch disk. I am told this is the optimal arrangement.


                            thanks again all for your suggtestions.

                            • 12. Re: Why does Premiere CS4 crash on larger projects?
                              jimmfox Level 1

                              Oh, and for the record Paulie... you were right. Good call.

                              • 13. Re: Why does Premiere CS4 crash on larger projects?
                                PaulieDC Level 2

                                Whew! Probably my first right answer I've ever given. Does this mean I can come home from Zimbabwe now?


                                BTW, I know how tedious it is to reinstall Windows 49 times. One thing I did discover is that as soon as your OS and apps are all installed, you then have to defrag. It's amazing how fragmented a drive is when you first install everything! I got tired of the "new" Defrag with no feedback in Vista and 7 that I bought O&O Defrag, and that works really well. Regardless, glad you're back up and running!



                                PS: I did happen to preorder the CS5 Production Suite Upgrade this morning...

                                • 14. Re: Why does Premiere CS4 crash on larger projects?
                                  jimmfox Level 1

                                  .. and thanks Harm as well. You pinned it on the drives which was indeed the issue.


                                  Now lets see what new trouble I can get into with CS5!!

                                  • 15. Re: Why does Premiere CS4 crash on larger projects?
                                    Harm Millaard Level 7

                                    You can't. CS5 is IMO the best release ever. Fast, stable, and almost bug free.

                                    • 16. Re: Why does Premiere CS4 crash on larger projects?

                                      Hi Harm,


                                      I'm optimistic that CS5 will be more stable since it should reduce low memory related errors.


                                      But when you posted; "Fast, stable, and almost bug free", are you speaking from direct experience?


                                      My biggest concern with the initial release of CS5 is bugs since so much has been rewritten for 64 bits.


                                      Any beta testers want to chime in about the bug level you've seen in CS5?

                                      • 17. Re: Why does Premiere CS4 crash on larger projects?
                                        the_wine_snob Level 9
                                        Any beta testers want to chime in about the bug level you've seen in CS5?


                                        It will all depend on the terms of their NDA's, and when they run out. I would imagine that this will be soon, as Adobe should want to get the "word" out there for potential users and upgraders. Just a guess though.


                                        Until then, we lowly non-beta users will just have to wait.



                                        • 18. Re: Why does Premiere CS4 crash on larger projects?
                                          Jeff Bellune Level 5

                                          I just got back from Las Vegas.  I have seen CS5 up close and personal.  It is fast and very stable.



                                          • 19. Re: Why does Premiere CS4 crash on larger projects?
                                            PaulieDC Level 2



                                            CS5 PP Suite is pre-ordered, GTX285 arrives tomorrow. Sitting here waiting, like Johnny Bench.

                                            • 20. Re: Why does Premiere CS4 crash on larger projects?
                                              the_wine_snob Level 9

                                              Now Jeff, I feel that I must ask - do you still have enough $ left from LV, to buy the upgrade?


                                              Thanks for the report. Nice to hear.



                                              • 21. Re: Why does Premiere CS4 crash on larger projects?
                                                Jeff Bellune Level 5

                                                Strangely enough, I did manage to return home with some money left in my pocket.