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Studio crashing problems on Pinnacle Studio 15 and Older

If Studio is crashing, the cause of the problem is most likely a configuration issue, or a problem with a project or content file. Many customers fix this type of issue by:

  1. uninstalling and reinstalling Studio
  2. optimizing their computer
  3. rebuilding a corrupt project
  4. Recapturing a corrupt clip, etc.

More details on how to troubleshoot problem are listed below.

Please determine which of the failure modes below describes the problem you are having and then refer to the troubleshooting steps for that case.

Case 1 - Studio crashes randomly. There doesn't seem to be any one thing that will cause the crash, but it seems to crash frequently.
Case 2 - Studio crashes when clicking on a certain tab or button. This is predictable and will happen every time.
Case 3 - Studio crashes when performing a specific combination of steps. This is predictable and will happen every time.


CASE 1 - Studio crashes randomly


Solutions:
1. LATEST VERSION OF STUDIO: Make sure that you have the latest version of Studio installed.

  • If you have Studio version 15, there is no update at this time.
  • If you have Studio version 14, there is no update at this time.
  • If you have Studio version 12, download the latest version here.

Note: Studio 12 patches will only patch a previous install of Studio 12. Studio 11 patches will only patch a previous install of Studio 11. Etc.

If you have an older version of Studio (Studio 9 or 10, etc), it is advised for you to update to the current Studio software.
How to download and install a patch:

  • When downloading the patch make a note of where it is being saved to. We recommend saving the patch to the desktop.
  • Before installing the patch, make sure that you do not have any other programs running. Studio must not be running.
  • Once it is fully downloaded, double-click on the patch to begin the installation.
  • Follow any on-screen prompts to complete the installation. Reboot the computer after applying the patch.



2. DISABLE CERTAIN SETTINGS IN STUDIO: Disable background rendering and hardware acceleration within Studio. You can access these settings clicking on the Setup pulldown menu and selecting Edit. In the window that is displayed, on the right-hand side, is a box marked Rendering and there are 2 settings.

In Studio go to Setup - Video and audio preferences. Try unchecking the following boxes: Enable full-resolution preview, Enable hardware acceleration, Enable background rendering. Then restart Studio.

3. END BACKGROUND TASKS: It is important with this type of problem to unload any background processes when using Studio.

What are background Processes? Background processes are not just programs that you may have manually started. Many other things are generally running in the background that you may not be aware of.

If you are using Windows XP or Vista you can hit CTRL-ALT-DEL and then the Task Manager button. You likely will not see much under the Applications tab, but if you click on the Processes tab, it will display a list of what is running. Click here to go to the FAQ that describes how to shut down extra background processes.

4. DEFRAGMENT YOUR HARD DRIVE: Defragment the capture hard drive: Since hard drives become fragmented over time, it is important to defragment the hard drive on a regular basis. See this link to a Microsoft article on using the Disc Defragmenter.

5. UPDATE AUDIO & VIDEO DRIVERS: Make sure that you have the latest sound and video card drivers loaded from their manufacturer’s websites.

You can determine what sound and video card you have by checking in Device Manager. You can get to Device Manager by right clicking on the My Computer icon and selecting Properties. If you are using Windows XP or Vista you can select the Hardware tab then click the Device Manager button.

To determine what video card you have, click the plus sign in front of Display Adapters in the Device Manager list. Now your video card will be displayed. To determine the manufacturer and date of the video card driver, double click on the video card name. Now click the Driver tab and you will see all the driver information including Driver Provider and Driver Date.

The process for the sound card is very similar. In Device Manager the sound card is displayed in the Sound, video and game controllers section. You can double click on the sound card to determine the driver information in the same fashion as the video card.

Here are some links to common sound and video card manufacturers websites that would have driver updates available:

ATI : www.atitech.com
Nvidia : www.nvidia.com
Sound Blaster (SB) : www.creative.com


6. WINDOWS UPDATES: Make sure you have all the latest Windows updates that are available.

You can get the latest Windows updates from this site.

7. SET YOUR COMPUTER FOR BEST PERFORMANCE:

  1. Right click My Computer.
  2. Select Properties.
  3. Click the Advanced tab.
  4. In the Performance section, click "Settings."
  5. Click the Visual Effects tab.
  6. Click "Adjust for best performance".

8. DIRECTX: You could try updating to the latest version of DirectX. You can download it from Microsoft.

9. FREE SPACE ON BOOT DRIVE: Make sure you have 10 GB or more on your boot drive for paging. If you do not have 10 GB or more, you will need to free up some space.

10. UNINSTALL/REINSTALL STUDIO: If none of the above suggestions help, you may have a corrupted installation of Studio. If that is the case, you should go through this procedure:

11. CORRUPT PROJECT: Try rebuilding the first few minutes of your project. If this does not cause any instability, try adding a few more minutes to the project. Continue rebuild the project if the system remains stable.

12. CORRUPT VIDEO OR AUDIO: See if the instability seems to be when you manipulate certain audio or video clips. If it is, then you should recapture the audio or video. If the audio or video is imported and created by another application, you should capture with Studio and create at test project. While Studio works with many video formats, the clip you have may be corrupt or an uncommon format. If you have a WAV or MP3 files that seems to be problematic, then convert the file to the other format and then import the file. Many WAV and MP3 files on the Internet can be corrupt or in non- standard format.

13. REINSTALL WINDOWS: This is quite a drastic step but if the steps above have not helped, the Windows itself may be corrupt. While your other applications may be running fine, Studio will tax your system with the size of the video files that are used.
One way to help determine if your Windows install is part of the problem is to run the Microsoft system information tool. This tool keeps track of when your Windows install Crashes. To find this information follow these steps.

  1. Hit Start, then run, and type Msinfo32 and hit enter(on Vista systems type Msinfo32 in the search Window under the Start button). This will bring up the System information Window.
  2. You should see three categories on the left of the screen, expand Software environment category.
  3. Now click on Windows Error reporting.

If the Windows Error reporting Window has many entries this is an indication the O/S is unstable or the computer may have a hardware issue. You can look at each entry to see what may have caused the crash. If most crashes are a Windows function like Explorer then the O/S has a problem. Any large amount of random crashing is a good indicator for a corrupt windows installation, as well.

CASE 2 - Studio crashes when clicking on a certain tab or button within edit mode''.

Please try the all of the steps in Case 1. This problem usually means that Studio is not installed properly or has become corrupt, so uninstalling Studio, then reinstalling it, and then patching the latest version should fix this case.

Create a new project and call it test01.stx to try to determine if the failure is specific to a particular project. Open the demo file and put the first 3 or 4 scenes into the timeline. Then click on the tab or button that seems to cause the failure. If this test project does not crash, it may mean that the problem is with the actual project you are working on rather than with Studio or your system. If the test project does fails, please contact support and provide us with the details on the exact failure mode. We will try to recreate the problem.

CASE 3 - Studio crashes when performing a specific combination of steps.


Please try the all of the steps in Case 1. This case is just more complicated version of CASE 2. It typically is very difficult to determine a sequence of steps that may be causing a failure. Again, you should create a test project with our demo file and try to recreate the failure mode.

Create a new project and call it test01.stx to try to determine if the failure is project specific. Open the demo file and put the first 3 or 4 scenes into the timeline. Then click on the tab or button that seems to cause the failure. If this test project does not crash, it may mean that the problem is with the actual project you are working on rather than with Studio or your system. If the test project does fails, please contact support and provide us with the details on the exact failure mode. We will try to recreate the problem.

 

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