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TOPIC: FCPx Catalina crashing on export ONLY from external drive

FCPx Catalina crashing on export ONLY from external drive 15 Jul 2020 01:09 #108708

  • davidbergman
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Latest Catalina OS and FCPx.
2016 15” MBP with touchbar.
Internal 2TB SSD.
G-Technology G-DRIVE mobile Pro 1TB Thunderbolt 3 External SSD

No problem working or exporting when all data is on internal drive.
No problem working when all data is on external drive (actually reads/writes a bit faster than my internal).

However, exporting from external drive, it almost always crashes. Sometimes it just quits in the middle without any notification. Once I had a kernel panic (are they still called that?) and the whole machine shut down. Same result with new projects, so it’s not a particular render file or similar.

Very frustrating because I bought this external to use as an FCPx media drive for active projects and then dump them off for archive storage. But I’ve had to move everything over to my internal (sometimes 500 gigs of 4K files) just to export a project.

Thoughts? Thanks in advance.

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FCPx Catalina crashing on export ONLY from external drive 15 Jul 2020 11:01 #108711

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davidbergman wrote: ...exporting from external drive, it almost always crashes. Sometimes it just quits in the middle without any notification. Once I had a kernel panic (are they still called that?) and the whole machine shut down. Same result with new projects, so it’s not a particular render file or similar...


A kernel panic generally means a system-layer issue and cannot be fixed by altering apps in the user layer. Make sure the external drive is formatted either HFS+ or APFS. Run Disk Utility First Aid on that drive, also the system drive. To run First Aid in update mode on the system drive, the system must first be booted in Recovery Mode: support.apple.com/en-us/HT201314

Make sure you have at least 20% free space on both internal and external drives. MacOS can behave unpredictably if short on free space.

To safely clear up more free space, use the inexpensive 3rd party utility Final Cut Library Manager: www.arcticwhiteness.com/finalcutlibrarymanager/

You can also search your drives for large files in Finder or use the free 3rd party utility OmniDiskSweeper. This is safe and has no ads: www.omnigroup.com/more

Verify the external drive is only using the thick original factory cable, not a 3rd party cable or a hub. New external SSDs are highly sensitive to cable type.

If you are using an external monitor, temporarily unplug that while you are testing.

Make sure you are not running Chrome or any browser based on Chrome such as Brave. Chrome mis-uses the MacOS VideoToolBox framework, causing FCPX to hang or crash. However it should not cause a kernel panic.

If you have any HEVC material there is a narrow bug in FCPX that can cause application crashes or hangs. However it should not cause a kernel panic. Transcode any HEVC material to optimized media.

To locate HEVC media you can add a codec-specific search to Finder. In Finder do CMD+F, then change "Kind" to "Other", then pick "codecs" This will add a codec search to Finder. Then repeat that but select Codecs contains HEVC, and for search scope pick "This Mac". This will do a Spotlight indexed search of metadata in all files for those using HEVC encoding.

Inspect whether you have any 3rd-party kernel extensions loaded. Any of these can potentially cause a kernel panic. Type this in a terminal window:

kextstat | grep -v com.apple

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FCPx Catalina crashing on export ONLY from external drive 15 Jul 2020 16:34 #108720

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Thanks for the reply.

External is formatted APFS.
Disc first aid has been run on both internal and external drives.

External is empty except for the currently active project or two. Also at least 50% free.
Internal drive is 50% free.

External is using T3 cable that came with it. Works fine in every other way.
No external monitor (I’m away from home during the pandemic).

I have Chrome installed, but usually have no other apps running when I’m editing.

No HEVC media. All Canon DSLR 4K files or internal screen captures.

Kernel extensions result show only Dropbox:
Index Refs Address Size Wired Name (Version) UUID <Linked Against>
180 0 0xffffff7f8500b000 0x6000 0x6000 com.getdropbox.dropbox.kext (1.11.1) 8736FC10-CB0F-3681-8D0A-28A85760A359 <8 6 5 2 1>

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FCPx Catalina crashing on export ONLY from external drive 16 Jul 2020 11:31 #108728

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davidbergman wrote: ...External is formatted APFS...Disc first aid has been run on both internal and external drives...


Re Chrome, OK to have it installed but it must not be running or even in memory when doing FCPX operations. Verify with Activity Monitor. Dropbox kext should be OK, Canon 4k DSLR media should be OK.

In general if it *ever* has a kernel panic that calls into question the system layer - hardware, drivers, etc. You could try Apple Diagnostics but this is a lightweight test and an error-free pass means nothing. OTOH if it finds a problem that is significant: support.apple.com/en-us/HT202731

Assuming it's an application-layer issue, can you post an FCPX crash log as at attachment? Copy/paste to TextEdit, save as .txt. I will examine that.

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FCPx Catalina crashing on export ONLY from external drive 16 Jul 2020 15:00 #108731

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I started having issues, removed Chrome, all my issues went away.

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FCPx Catalina crashing on export ONLY from external drive 16 Jul 2020 16:18 #108734

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No problems found via diagnostics. How do I generate an FCPx crash log?

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FCPx Catalina crashing on export ONLY from external drive 16 Jul 2020 16:18 #108735

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Very interesting. I will try that. Is it a problem just with Catalina? I've been using chrome as a secondary browser for years and have never had a problem that I know of.

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FCPx Catalina crashing on export ONLY from external drive 17 Jul 2020 14:52 #108764

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davidbergman wrote: Very interesting. I will try that. Is it a problem just with Catalina? I've been using chrome as a secondary browser for years and have never had a problem that I know of.


The Chrome issue is unpredictable. It can happen on Mojave. It might have changed with updated versions of Chrome but we've still had recent reports of FCPX problems caused by Chrome. You can have it installed on your system but it should not be running or in memory when using FCPX. Verify this with Activity Monitor.

FCPX crash log procedure:

Normally you should get a pop-up saying "Final Cut Pro quit unexpectedly". You can copy/paste that entire crash log to TextEdit, save it, the upload that saved file as an attachment on this forum.

For previous FCPX crashes, they should be saved in /Users/Home Folder/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports. You can upload one of those.

Besides an outright crash FCPX could also hang -- IOW app is totally non-responsive but MacOS is still up and other apps are running. In that case run Activity Monitor, select FCPX, press the "gear" icon and select SpinDump. Save that file. It will be in the 3-4 MB size so ZIP that and upload as an attachment or put on DropBox or some point I can download it.

If MacOS itself crashes or becomes non-responsive that is a hardware or system-layer issue, not an app issue. Special CPU hardware enforces process isolation so a user-layer app cannot crash the entire OS.

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Last edit: by joema.

FCPx Catalina crashing on export ONLY from external drive 17 Jul 2020 18:49 #108768

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Here's an additional note. I've only had the kernel panic once. MOST of the time, the "crash" isn't a normal app crash. There is no notification. No report of a crash. The app simply quits at some point in the middle of the export when it's running in the background or I'm away from the computer (overnight, for example). The resulting file actually is a playable video file, but not complete. Sometimes only 3+ minutes of a 10 minute video. Sometimes more. But the app is no longer running and the file is definitely not complete.
I've never seen that, but it happens pretty regularly with FCPx. Also - last night it happened when internal to internal so it's not drive related. Nothing else running, nothing else plugged in. First time I've seen that. Hmmmmm.

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FCPx Catalina crashing on export ONLY from external drive 17 Jul 2020 19:07 #108770

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davidbergman wrote: ...MOST of the time, the "crash" isn't a normal app crash. There is no notification. No report of a crash. The app simply quits at some point in the middle of the export when it's running in the background or I'm away from the computer....


Verify the computer did not reboot itself. Press OPT+Apple menu, select System Information>Software, observe "time since boot".

Also inspect whether any FCPX crash reports exist in /Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports. You can go there by holding down the OPT key and in Finder select Go>Library.

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FCPx Catalina crashing on export ONLY from external drive 17 Jul 2020 19:21 #108771

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I rebooted after the crash so time since boot won't help this time. Will check it if/when it happens again.

There are two items in the logs in addition to the empty retired folder. but both were created today (the most recent FCPx crash was yesterday).

1) shutdown_stall_2020-07-17-003917_DBerg-MBP.shutdownStall
2) Mail_2020-07-17-141258_DBerg-MBP.cpu_resource.diag

What do I do with these files?

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Last edit: by davidbergman. Reason: Was looking at incorrect folder the first time.

FCPx Catalina crashing on export ONLY from external drive 17 Jul 2020 19:58 #108772

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The shutdown stall indicates MacOS was trying to shut down and some hardware component did not respond within a proper timeframe. This can happen on external hard drives, indirectly triggering a kernel panic.

The cpu_resource item implies MacOS detected and out-of-control cpu hog or else a hung process and took a "spindump" for later evaluation.

Neither of those are caused by FCPX but they could indicate a lower-level system problem which is negatively affecting FCPX.

You could ZIP those and send them to me. I'm not an expert and MacOS debugging but I could look at them. www.transferbigfiles.com/dropbox/joema

For temporary troubleshooting purposes, disable all power saving features in System Preferences>Energy Saver. Also disable screen saver. Just turn down the brightness for overnight processing while this is being studied.

If that G-Drive SSD has any utility or driver software, examine if it enables any kind of power saving or timeout feature. Consider blowing a small fan on it to see if it mitigates a thermal reliability problem. I have seen that happen on several small SSDs after heavy extended use.

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