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2nd Hard Drive DV Capture Mystery

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by paranoidandroid, Feb 3, 2004.

  1. paranoidandroid

    paranoidandroid
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    Hello everybody. Here's a strange one (for me at least), and I'd be very very grateful for any suggestions. I've had a Pinnacle dv500 capture card for some time now in my pc (Win98SE) which i use to capture stuff from my JVC camera via firewire. Its always dropped a few frames when capturing to the C drive, due to the drive being slow and full of a million other things competing for attention. I solved this problem by getting a nice fast second hard-drive (which I cunningly called the D Drive) and using that purely to capture video on - and it works a treat.

    Well - it DID work a treat for about two years. I'd not captured any video for a couple of moths, and attempted to do it last week and its all gone wrong. Now if I capture to the D drive it drops atleast a third if not half of all frames - a bit of a nightmare really. It still works as well as it ever did capturing to the C Drive suggesting there's no problem with the camera, or connections. There's nothing on the D drive apart from captured video, so there should be no programmes disrupting it, and running a drive speed test doesnt reveal any fall in performance. Video plays fine from the D drive as well and it appears to be functioning as normal for all other operations.

    As far as I am aware I havent changed any settings in the time since it worked fine till now. I've tried changing the DMA settings, and strangely enough it works better without DMA, the opposite of how it used be. I've also defragged the drive. Does anyone have any ideas as to why the D Drive is suddenly not performing?

    Since I last had it working I've installed an ipod and a digital camera (although both go to the C Drive) and I've had to replace the power supply. Could any of those have monkeyed around with things? I really am all out of ideas!
     
  2. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Hi and welcome!

    One of the most common causes of dropped frames is other background progs useing the resources that the PC needs during capture. Turn off ALL power save functions and disable any screensavers. Also you need to stop all unused progs such as antivirus. I use a great free prog called EndItAll to do this. Do a search for it or PM me your e-mail addy and I'll forward it on to you.
    Also you say you are useing Win98SE. This uses a files system called FAT32 that can only create files up to a maximum size of 4Gb and thats only 16minutes of footage. Are you trying to capture longer than 16 minutes in a single file? If the budget allows I would recommend an upgrade to Win XP (or maybe Win 2000) as this uses a file system called NTFS that can have files up to the size of the disk. It is also more reliable for NLE.

    HTH,
    Mark.
     
  3. paranoidandroid

    paranoidandroid
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    Cheers for the advice. I've downloded the EndItAll programme - it looks a really useful little thing to have. Unfortunately it hasnt helped my problem.

    The C Drive seems unnafected by whatever the problem is - i can still capture to it as normal (it was never quite fast enough to be used as a video drive though). Whenever I hit capture to the D Drive however, while the capture is going on its as if the whole system slows down horrifically, even mouse movements are jerky, the capture preview jerks and frames drop like crazy. As soon as I cancel the capture, the sytem returns to normal, preview runs fine, mouse pointer runs smoothly etc.

    My best guess is that the DMA function has stopped working on the D Drive, or the drive has somehow become corrupted in some way - although I've run the speed test utility that comes with the Pinnacle DV500 capture programme, scandisk etc and they're all registering no problem. Are there any more tests I can run on the drive do you think?

    As far as file size goes, I'm currently only trying to capture a 30second clip - but the frame loss (about a third to a half of all frames) is so bad that those 30 seconds are unusable. I'd dread to think what would happen if I tried to capture anything longer.
     
  4. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    How are all the IDE devices on the PC configured?
    Do you have a CD/DVD drive on the same IDE channel (cable) as the D: drive? If yes then the chances are that the CD/DVD is slowing the HDD down. I would suggest you put both HDD on the same IDE cable and any optical drives on the other.

    Mark.
     
  5. paranoidandroid

    paranoidandroid
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    Checking under system properties shows both hard drives on one IDE channel and my two CD/DVD drives on the other. Is there any chance this is wrong and I've connected the wrong things to each other when re-connecting my power supply?

    I've also reformatted my D drive in an effort to fix the problem, and thats done no good either.
     
  6. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    My only other thought at the moment is that perhaps there is a problem with the IDE cable. Try replaceing this, but make sure it is a full spec ATA cable and not a cheaper IDE cable only intended for CD/DVD drives as this will slow down the drives.

    Mark.
     
  7. IsoArska

    IsoArska
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    I just had the same problem (kind of at least...). The reason was a faulty hard drive, which had a huge number of reallocated sectors. Try running a S.M.A.R.T diagnostics software and see if it gives your hard drive a clean bill of health.
     

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