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Pesky Updates Ate the Video of My Homework

There are preventive and troubleshooting techniques you can use to help resolve issues when updating Final Cut Pro By Diana Weynand, James Alguire and RevUpTansmedia

Apple recently updated Final Cut Pro to version 10.0.3, adding a boatload of welcome new features and fixes, and just as with the previous updates, also introducing a number of problems for people after updating to the latest version of FCPX. There are a few things you can do to prepare for an update to help minimize problems and disruptions to your workflow, and a few things you can do after an update to help recover. This tutorial will outline some steps you can take to a more successful update.

The Rules of Engagement

There are a few rules regarding updating software, that if followed will make updates go more smoothly, whether it's your operating system or the programs that you use on a daily basis.

  • Rule number 1: Never update your software in the middle of a project.
  • Rule number 2: Backup your data before performing an update (or making any major changes to your computer).
  • Rule number 3: Never be the first to update your software.
  • Rule number 4: Read the Readme file or online documentation before performing an update.

While there may be more, these, I believe, are the essentials. Let's take a look at each one.

Rule number one helps keep you from pulling your hair out when you have to completely re-install your software or restore the computer to a previous state, losing valuable time in the process. Always update your software in between projects. That way you can test for any issues that arise without risking your client's video files and minimize the risk of missing deadlines because the plug-ins you need, the hardware devices where your data is stored, or your software itself become unusable after an update. Murphy's law usually guarantees that without proper preparation, these things can happen. Never (ever) update in the middle of a project.

Rule number two is your safety net in case you ignore rule number one. As long as you have a backup of your data (System, programs, and video) you can always get back to a previous state and start again, or recover critical data, hopefully losing only the time it takes to perform the restore. You should already have a regular backup procedure in place that protects your media assets and those of your clients. Time Machine is a good option for short term disaster recovery, but don't depend just on that. A long-term archival solution for backing up and storing data should be in place as well. Backup early . . . Backup often.

Rule number three also protects you, by letting you learn from others who live on the bleeding edge of technology, upgrading as soon as updates are available, and who discover all the potential gotchas and glitches and ultimately provide solutions so that when you update you don't fall into the same pitfalls. Obviously updates that provide cool new features or critical fixes to existing problems cause a great deal of excitement when they are released, but it's good to be patient and see what shakes out before you commit to updating your software. Take a deep breath and count to ten before updating.

Rule number four keeps you in the know about what features and fixes, and potential gotchas a particular update may include. A readme document will also usually indicate any requirements (operating system version, firmware revision, type of Mac, etc.) or steps that may be needed prior to performing the update. They also help determine whether you need or want to perform the update immediately or should wait (but keep rule three in mind). Just think of those television public service announcements that always end with "The More You Know."


In Case of Emergency, Break Glass

So now that you know what steps to take to prepare for an update, what do you do when something does happen and you experience problems after the update is installed? First, in the words of Douglas Adams, "Don't Panic!" Take a deep breath and try to calmly figure out what's wrong and how to correct it. There are some basic things you can do to help locate and resolve the problem.

Try Restarting the Computer.

Many updates from Apple require the Mac to be restarted after the installation completes, but it can't hurt refresh the system by forcing all the system process to reload by restarting.

1 In the Menu Bar select the Apple Menu > Restart.

2  In the confirmation Dialog box click Restart.


3 In the Finder launch Final Cut Pro and see if the problem remains.

Note: Sometimes just quitting and re-launching Final Cut Pro may resolve the issue.   

Login as a Different User

Mac OS X is a multi-user operating system and you can have more than one user account configured for use. By logging in as a different user you can determine if the problem you are experiencing is caused by a system issue or by a glitch in your user account. If you don't have a secondary user account you should create one to help assist in troubleshooting problems

To create an additional user account:

1. In the Finder under the Apple Menu choose System Preferences.


2. In the System Preferences Window click Users & Groups


3. The Users & Groups Preference pane will open displaying a list of current users and options to create new user accounts or adjust current ones.

4.  In the Users & Groups pane click the lock icon on the lower left.

5. To prevent unauthorized users from making adjustments several System Preference panes are locked and can only be unlocked by an Administrator account.


6. In the authentication dialog, enter your Administrator username and password to unlock the preference.

7. At the bottom of the User List click the Plus button to add a new user.

A new user sheet will drop down.

8. Choose standard from the account type pop-up menu, then enter your chosen Full Name, Account Name, and password. You do not need to enter a password hint.

9. Click the Create User button to create the account.

Note: If you are part of a large organization that manages its systems you may need to contact your IT department to perform this option.

Now log in using the new account.

1 In the Finder, from the Apple Menu choose Log Out <Name of User>.

The system will close your account down and bring up the Login Window. If you are running the default settings the Login Window will display a list of Users. If you have set more secure settings then the Login Window will display a simple Username and Password field.

2. At the Login Window either select the new user from the listed, or type in the account name and password, and click the Login Button.

You will be logged in and presented with the Desktop of the new user account.

3. Launch Final Cut Pro and see if the problem persists.

4. If the problem is gone, then the problem is with a setting or file in your regular user account. If the problem is still there, then the problem may be with the operating system's settings or files.

5. From the Apple Menu choose Log out of < Name of User >

6. From the Login Window log back into your regular user account.


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Related Keywords:Final Cut Pro, FCP, FCP X, Final Cut Studio, Video Editing, nonlinear editing, post production

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