22 Replies Latest reply on Nov 1, 2011 8:53 AM by John A Mathias

    Media Offline

    John A Mathias Level 1

      Hi Guys

      Something most peculiar is happening to my project(s) in Premiere Elements 7. Everything proceeds in a normal way with various editing processes, the work is regularly saved, then I close down and when I resume editing, loads of files are labelled "Media Offline" with the dreaded red screen. This I have encountered before and usually has been due to a file being saved in the wrong place . In this case, the offending file(s) are still listed in the Project column, but showing no evidence of being "off line", and can be opened in the clip monitor. The difficulty is that I have no way of finding why the file is considered to be off line.If I delete the file in the project list, and re-install it from its original and unchanged location, all is well again. Since there are about another 50 or 60 files behaving in this bizarre way, I think I'll delete them and re-capture them.

      I'm running Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit on an Intel Quad core running at 2.5 GHz, with 4 GB of RAM.

      I'd be grateful if anyone has an idea why this is happening and how I can avoid it in future. John Mathias

        • 1. Re: Media Offline
          Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

          Where are your media files located? Are they on the C drive or on a second or external drive?

          • 2. Re: Media Offline
            John A Mathias Level 1

            Hi Steve, The captured .avi files are on a separate disk D, whilst the stills and music are on C. Could this be the problem? I've always thought that the scratch files are best kept on a separate disk. John

            • 3. Re: Media Offline
              Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

              Is your D disc an internal or an external drive?


              Have you "mapped" the drive to your system? If you don't permanently map it -- particularly if it's an external drive -- Windows sometimes thinks it's a different drive, and that confuses any links to it, including Premiere Elements' links to your video files.

              • 4. Re: Media Offline
                John A Mathias Level 1

                The D drive is an internal 1Tb drive and is mapped. I've done several previous projects with the system as it is now without any problems. This is a pretty big project involving about 2.5 hours of video. John

                • 5. Re: Media Offline
                  John A Mathias Level 1

                  Actually Steve, when I think about it, I'm not sure about the D drive being "mapped" . In Administrative Tools/Computer Management/Disk Management, the C and the D drives are both there. Is that what mapping means? John

                  • 6. Re: Media Offline
                    John A Mathias Level 1

                    Hi again Steve, I thought I'd like to update you on this "media offline" situation. I decided to cut my losses and save the part of the project I'd already worked on as an exported .avi file. This I imported into a new project and there have not been any further recurrences of the "media offline ".

                    There must have been something very strange incorporated into the original project because if I attempt to add any media clips, video, music or stills to the original project, the "media offline" message appears every time I re-open the project after a save.

                    I think I'll just put this down to experience, though it had me exasperated at times! Thanks for your help, John Mathias

                    • 7. Re: Media Offline
                      nealeh Level 5

                      If you point PRE at the appropriate file for the first of your 'media offline' entries it will then check that location for the other 'offline' files.


                      Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children

                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Media Offline
                        John A Mathias Level 1

                        Hi Neale,

                        Yes, that's what is supposed to happen. But each of my files in PRE appeared "intact", that is they didn't show the "media offline", but the corresponding clip on the timeline did. Still a mystery, but fortunately, circumvented. Thanks, John

                        • 9. Re: Media Offline
                          the_wine_snob Level 9

                          This ARTICLE goes into more detail on what can cause media to be listed as offline, and how to address that issue.


                          Good luck,



                          1 person found this helpful
                          • 10. Re: Media Offline
                            John A Mathias Level 1

                            Thanks for pointing me to that article Bill, but my problem is slightly different in as much that I have definitely not altered any of the asset file locations , I never get  "Where is file ______.avi?" messages at start up, and the assets in the project media panel are always "good" in as much as they open in the preview panel despite being "Media Offline in the monitor!

                            Well I seem to have encountered a rather unique set of problems, but, have discovered a way round which may be of assistance to others. I thought I'd cut my losses and start the project again, and to save time, archived the project using the Project Archiver facility. To my utter amazement, once I'd done the archive,  the project which was littered with "Media Offline" screens,  all came good and I was able to continue with the project.

                            I expect one of you will recognise what this means, but for me it saved me from near despair. John Mathias

                            • 11. Re: Media Offline
                              the_wine_snob Level 9

                              Now, let's go back one step, to see if we can isolate where the Media Offline might have come into the Project.


                              If one Opens a Project, and PrE cannot follow the link that was established, when the Assets were first Imported, at THAT point, PrE should give the "Where is file ____ ?" If, at that point, the user chooses any one of several options, such as Offline All, Skip All, etc., then PrE will Open the Project, BUT will show all Assets, where the link could not be followed, as Media Offline. If the user then Saves that Project, all Assets, without a good link, will then always show as Media Offline.


                              At that point, the user CAN individually (one file at a time) choose Link Media, and then use the Finder to reestablish the link to that file. Because this operation is done, one file at a time, it is always best to address any Asset linking issue, BEFORE Saving the Project. If, when the links are first found to be bad, the user chooses to use the Finder to reestablish those links, PrE will really help a lot, as at the first file in a particular folder, PrE will then automatically check for any other Assets in that folder, and reestablish the links for all. If the Assets are scattered around in separate folders, the process will have to be repeated for each folder, but because of the automatic Finding mode, much time can be saved, as the Finder will only need to be navigated to each folder, but will relink ALL used Assets in each of those folders.


                              Now, that is how things are supposed to work. It seems that in your case, something did not function, as designed. If you never got the "Where is file ____ ?" message, it is likely that there was some sort of corruption in the PREL (Project) file, but I cannot imagine what it would have been. Broken links (remember, the link is an Absolute Path, so every character is very important), and the resulting Media Offline, are pretty straightforward - if the link (that Absolute Path) is intact, the PREL just Opens properly. If the link is bad, PrE needs help in reestablishing it.


                              It appears that the process of Archiving the Project managed to reestablish the links, and all was then good. At this point, all that I can speculate is that the corruption was cleared up.


                              Given that the links are Absolute Paths, other than the common, Moving, Renaming, Deleting operations, causing a broken link, all that I can imagine is that for some reason, PrE was unable to follow the links properly. This could be an I/O issue, where the HDD was not reporting the files to be in the location, that PrE last saw them in. To address any possibility of any I/O issues, I would definitely do a deep ScanDisk operation for the HDD(s). This could be a sign of something going wrong with the HDD(s), and that could affect any/all files on that/those HDD(s).


                              Other processes can effectively "lock" a file, when PrE checks the link, such as active, real-time anti-virus scanning, pop-up blockers, malware detections, or even Windows Indexing. However, such operations will most often yield "Media Pending," until the anti-whatever program releases the file. As a sidenote, the anti-whatever processes can cause a Project to NOT be able to be Saved, and the normal message is along the lines of "The operation could not be completed, as the file is in use by another program." The one weakness is that error messages, both at the OS level, as well as the PrE level, are not always perfect (if they ever are), so one might get the correct error message, might get something totally obscure, or no error message at all. Since you did not get ANY error messages, comes close to eliminating these issues, but maybe not totally.


                              The above are just thoughts, and there could well be other explanations, that I am either unaware of, or just not thinking of.


                              One test, though probably too late now, would be to check the AutoSave PREL files, to see if they exhibit the Media Offline problem. Much would depend on exactly what you did, and if those older AutoSave files have been overwritten. If, you did a Save_As, before the Archiving (and subsequent fixing of the issue), then you could go back to the original Project, navigate to its AutoSave folder, and Open the five (unless you changed the default for AutoSaves) AutoSave Project files. If you did not do a Save_As, and then worked for awhile on the Project, the AutoSave files have been overwritten, and reflect only the condition of the Project file, and any subsequent editing that you have done.


                              The bad news is that we may never know what went wrong, but the good news is that you are now editing your Project, with all Assets linked. That may be as good as it gets. Still, I would carefully check each HDD, just to make sure that there are no I/O issues there.


                              Good luck, and thank you for taking the time to report.



                              1 person found this helpful
                              • 12. Re: Media Offline
                                John A Mathias Level 1

                                Thanks a million, Bill, for a lengthy and comprehensive summary which helps me understand how things are meant to work and how they may go awry. John


                                oh, and PS I did check the auto save files and they did show the Media Offline.

                                • 13. Re: Media Offline
                                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                                  I did check the auto save files and they did show the Media Offline.


                                  Thanks for that. It indicates that whatever the problem, it came late to the Project - at least before the most recent five AutoSaves.


                                  Because AutoSaves will Save all the good, plus all of the bad (should there be any bad), and the AutoSaves are FIFO (First In - First Out), and are overwritten, as one edits, I always do Save_As operations, with larger Projects. When a Project gets very large (and important), I also throw in a Save_As_a_Copy (similar to Save_As, but with a subtle difference) at the end of each day. This DOES end up creating several versions of the PREL (so I increment them, to keep them separate in my mind), but also creates a separate AutoSave folder, for each version. All will be created in the Project's "root folder." This then allows me to clean up with one Delete (the Project's root folder).


                                  This ARTICLE (do not think it has been linked above) goes into more detail, and might be useful.


                                  Good luck,



                                  • 14. Re: Media Offline
                                    John A Mathias Level 1

                                    Just one more thing that may ring a bell with someone regarding this particular difficulty, nearly all the Media Offline occurences are with clips on the video 2 or video 3 tracks. John Mathias

                                    • 15. Re: Media Offline
                                      the_wine_snob Level 9



                                      The location of the Clips in the Timeline should not make a difference - but then media should not go Offline, without some input from the user, such as Renaming, Moving, or Deleting the files.


                                      This one has be baffled, as I think that you've checked, or tested, about every possible normal issue with Media Offline.


                                      Good luck, and wish that I could help more,



                                      • 16. Re: Media Offline
                                        Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                                        Have you ensured that this second hard drive is set up in the BIOS set-up (accessible by clicking F1 or ESC when the computer's logo screen show up when you first start your computer, before the operating system starts). Once you've done this and mapped your system, you should not have this problem.


                                        Otherwise, your computer keeps thinking this second drive is a new connection -- and the connections to your project are reset and the files are "lost" by the program.

                                        1 person found this helpful
                                        • 17. Re: Media Offline
                                          John A Mathias Level 1

                                          Hi Bill and Steve

                                          I hope you're not starting to groan at me, banging on about this problem which I'm sorry to say has not gone away, but I can add another intriguing little bit of information. It's this; I discovered that if I select a clip showing Media Offline and then go to Clip and unclick 'Enable' and then restore 'Enable', the clip magically re-appears and stays there during further editing moves. However, it does not survive a save which suggests to me that something is dis(en)abling the clips on a re-start. As a workaround I'll use the enable trick to get them all working before I export a movie of the day's work, but this bit of info might trigger something in you guys' minds.John Mathias

                                          • 18. Re: Media Offline
                                            John A Mathias Level 1


                                            I forgot to say, I have checked out the BIOS and both my SATA drives are setup and fine. I could just add that this setup has been used with PRE several times in the past without any of the current problems, could some other application be interfering? I did have a problem in the past, I think with PRE 4 with Quicktime but I don't recall exactlywhat it was, John Mathias

                                            • 19. Re: Media Offline
                                              Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                                              And have you mapped this drive on your system?

                                              • 20. Re: Media Offline
                                                John A Mathias Level 1

                                                I think I have Steve, but tell me how to check that out, John

                                                • 21. Re: Media Offline
                                                  Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                                                  Right-click on Computer and select Map Network Drive.


                                                  You can then permanently assign letters to your various drives so that Windows doesn't generate a "new" one (which is sometimes the same letter and sometimes a different letter) every time you restart your computer.

                                                  • 22. Re: Media Offline
                                                    John A Mathias Level 1

                                                    Right, J to Z is available to map, so I assume D is already mapped. John