Troubleshooting software crashes

Document ID: 384231

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

·    Optimizing their computer

·    Rebuilding a corrupt project

·    Recapturing a corrupt clip, etc.

·    Uninstalling and reinstalling Avid Studio

For further troubleshooting, determine which of the failure modes below best matches your problem, then read on to review the suggested troubleshooting steps for that case.

Case 1: Avid 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: Avid Studio crashes after a user action such as a click on a certain tab or button. The crash is predictable and consistent.

Case 3: Avid Studio crashes repeatably when you perform some specific combination of steps.

Case 1: Studio crashes randomly

Here are some troubleshooting steps to try. You can work through them in order until you get a result.

Get the latest version

Make sure that you have the latest version of Avid Studio installed.

Optimize settings

Check these settings in Avid Studio that may be adjusted to get better results.

Quality: Select ‘Fastest Playback’ and see if your results improve.

Background playback optimization: Try disabling this option to see if it helps your crashing problem. Poor preview playback may result from this setting.

Render while play: Try turning off this option if you notice that the crash tends to occur while you are previewing.

End background tasks

It is important with this type of problem to unload any background processes before using Avid Studio.

Many ‘tasks’ (software programs) run ‘in the background’ on every Windows system, usually without drawing attention to themselves. Occasionally, however, one of these may be the cause of instability in a particular application.

In Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7, the Ctrl+Alt+Delete key combination leads to a window on which the Task Manager button may be selected. You may not see much under the Applications tab, but the Processes tab will show you what is running. See knowledge base document 229157, How do I turn off background programs that are interfering with system performance and software installation?, for detailed instructions about how to proceed.

Defragment your hard drive

See knowledge base document 232457, Windows hard disk defragmenting information, for instructions and advice on this step.

Update video and audio 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 (right-click on the My Computer icon and select Properties). In Windows XP and Windows Vista you can select the Hardware tab then click the Device Manager button.

To determine what video card you have, click the plus sign next to Display adapters in the Device Manager list. Now your video card will be displayed. To determine the manufacturer and date of its driver, double-click the card name. Now click the Driver tab to 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. Double-click the card name to determine the driver information in the same fashion as for the video card.

Driver updates are often released through the websites of the hardware manufacturers such ATI at, Nvidia at, and Sound Blaster (SB) at

Update Windows

Make sure you have all available Windows updates for your computer. They are available from:

Optimize computer performance

Windows provides a built-in tool for this purpose.

1.    Right-click Computer and select Properties.

2.    Click the Advanced System Settings link.

This will bring up the System Properties window.

3.    Click the Settings button in the Advanced section.

4.    Select Adjust for best performance, and click OK.

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, you will need to free up some space.

Uninstall and reinstall Avid Studio

If none of the suggestions so far help, you could have a corrupted installation of Studio. If that is the case, you should try uninstalling Avid Studio and then reinstalling it. You can uninstall Avid Studio with Start Ø All Programs Ø Avid Studio Ø Uninstall Avid Studio. You can also uninstall via the Programs and Features list in the Windows Control Panel. Once Avid Studio is uninstalled, install it again from your disc or program download.

Check for a 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 to rebuild the project if the system remains stable.

Check for corrupt media

If the instability seems to occur when you manipulate certain audio or video clips, you should recapture or import the audio or video. If the media were imported and created by another application, you should capture with Studio and create a test project. While Studio works with many video formats, the clip you have may be corrupt or in an uncommon variant format. If you have a wav or mp3 files that seems to be problematic, convert the file to the other format and then import the file.

Reinstall Windows

This is quite a drastic step, but if the steps to this point have not helped, Windows itself may be corrupt. The heavy processing demands made on your system by a multimedia authoring tool like Avid Studio can reveal instabilities that might not show up with ordinary applications. 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 Windows crashes.

To use the system information tool:

1.    Click Start, then Run, and type ‘Msinfo32’ in the search window under the Start button. Press Enter to bring up the System Information window.

2.    Expand the Software environment category on the left side of the window.

3.    Click on Windows error reporting.

If the Windows Error Reporting window has many entries, it could be an indication that the OS is unstable or that the computer has a hardware issue. Inspecting the entries may show what caused the crash. If most of the crashes involve system software like Window Explorer, then the OS has a problem. Frequent random crashes are another common sign of a corrupt Windows installation.

Case 2: Studio crashes after a user action

If Avid Studio crashes, or tends to crash, when you click on some particular tab or button, start by trying all of the steps in Case 1 above. Such a 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 correct the situation.

To try to determine if the failure is specific to a particular project, create a test project and add a few scenes to the timeline from the sample video. 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 fail, 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 repeatably

If Studio crashes when you performing some specific procedure or combination of steps, start by trying the troubleshooting steps given above for Case 1, since this is just a more complicated version of Case 2. It is often very difficult to pin down the exact sequence of steps that results in a failure. A simple test project using the sample video, as noted above, will be a big help first in your own investigations, and second to help achieve a fast resolution if support is required.

Troubleshooting software crashes