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Choppy Avi files in widows media player and premiere

This is my first question so I appoligize if I am not posting in the right place.

I have two hard drives in my HP Pavillion.  the Main drive is a 250gb drive that came with the comptuer (a HP Pavillion m400y) the other is a 300gb I installed earlier this year.  Both are Maxtors.  The 250gb drive has been noticibly slower in the past few weeks, and today I noticed that AVI files captured and/or edited with premiere and stored on the 250gb drive have a choppy play back.  The problem is I'm on a deadline and need to finish editing these files by the end of next week.  I should also mention that the same files played back fine on the 250gb when I last accessed them eariler this week.  

Any suggestions would be appreciated.  
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BLCSwimmer
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BLCSwimmer
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Expert4XPCommented:
The first thing I would do is defrag the drives.  The Windows defrag is at Start/All Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Disk Defragmentor.  

There are several commercial ones also available:

Two popular ones are Diskeeper
http://www.diskeeper.com/defrag.asp 
 
PerfectDisk (which I use myself)
http://www.raxco.com/ 
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BLCSwimmerAuthor Commented:
Thanks - I'll give Perfectdisk a try and see what happens.
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garycaseCommented:
Defraging may indeed help;  but it also sounds like the drive(s) may have reverted to PIO access mode, which would account for both the slow transfers and the choppy playback you're seeing.

To check this, go to Device Manager, expand the IDE/ATA/ATAPI controllers (click the "+" sign); and for each of the IDE channels do a right-click, Properties, and look at the Advanced Features tab.   See what the "Transfer Mode" is set to (should be "DMA if Available"); and see what the "Current Transfer Mode" is  (should be UDMA-x, where x depends on whether it's an optical drive or hard drive and the capabilities of the drive).

If the "Current Transfer Mode" is PIO then that's almost certainly your problem.

Do this:  (this is a harmless registry change -- it simply forces the transfer modes to be redetected on the next boot):

Load RegEdit (Start - Run - Regedit)

Go to the following keys:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\ Class\{4D36E96A-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}\000x

The last four digits will be 0000, 0001, 0002, 0003, and so on.

Under each key, delete all occurences of the following values:

     MasterIdDataChecksum
     SlaveIdDataChecksum

Now reboot your system.
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BLCSwimmerAuthor Commented:
OK - my day went from what was realy a minor inconvenience (I could have moved the files to the other drive to finish this project) to a MAJOR problem.  While running the defrag (using perfectdisk), the power went out, now all I get is "a Disk read error occured.  Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart".  I'm hoping someone out there can tell me I'll be able to fix this without having to completely restore my hard drive.  I do have a system restore disk and fortunately I backed up recently...but....

help!!!
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garycaseCommented:
Well ... if you've read many of my posts, you know I consider a UPS an absolutely mandatory part of a computer (you've just learned part of the reason why) ...  but that's too late now :-)

You are fortunate compared with many -- you HAVE a backup :-)

Although some of the commercial defragmenters do a more sophisticated job than the built-in XP tool; one advantage of the XP defragger is it does the defrag in a "power-safe" mode;  e.g. it moves the data, THEN updates the directories, etc.   While you can still have problems with this (power-fail during the instance of a directory sector write), it's must less likely.   But you should STILL have a UPS.

Enough of a lecture ... did you check the PIO status before this happened?

... as for recovery ==> it appears the files being moved at the instance of the power failure were system files;  otherwise the system should still boot and the problems would occur when trying to access the damaged files.

The disk MAY be generally okay otherwise -- you could boot with a Bart's PE or Knoppix CD and look at it -- but you'll almost certainly have to do a reload of XP.   A Repair install may work -- but I wouldn't recommend it;  your drive is now in an unstable state and there's no way of knowing (unless Perfect Disk has a recovery mode) exactly where the operation failed.   If you have Spinrite, you could run it on the drive, and it MAY be able to recover the failed sector/sectors -- but even if it does, it depends on just how Perfect Disk organizes its write whether or not that would be helpful.

Bottom Line:   Time to do a reload.  Be glad you have a backup.  (... and buy a good UPS:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16842101219)

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garycaseCommented:
... the good news about doing a reload is it will almost certainly fix your stuttering issue.   This would also be an excellent time to segregate your system from your data -- so a reload in the future will have NO impact on your data.   I'd suggest you read what I wrote here before doing the reload (or at least before you start reloading all of your data):
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Desktops/Q_21582113.html
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BLCSwimmerAuthor Commented:
thanks - I figured as much.  I had started the Dfrag before I saw your message.  I'll definitely be getting a battery backup.  I did several hours of digital logging before this all started and that wasn't backed up- I think I'll try spinrite, see if I can pull off the files I need and then reload the whole system.  Not exactly what I was looking forward to doing on a Sunday.  Before doing that though, I do have access to other computers - If I were to connect the drive to another system, do you think I might be able to access the data files and migrate them over to a temporary drive, or is that wishful thinking?
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garycaseCommented:
If you buy a UPS be SURE you get one with AVR -- the one I linked you to is a good unit for a single PC.

Spinrite may help restore any failed sectors -- if you're familiar with it you know it runs for a LONG time, but is an excellent program.   And it's totally non-destructive, so it's safe to run it.

I think there's an excellent chance that if you hook the drive to another as a slave you'll be able to pull off your data files -- it depends on whether the failure occurred while writing any key directory information.   If you can NOT see the files, then do NOT do anything that writes to the drive (no ChkDsk, no initialization, etc.).   While it's slaved to another system, do this:

(1)  Download and install the free demo copy of GetDataBack from www.runtime.org  (you need the NTFS version)

(2)  Run it against your failed drive.   It can reconstruct directory data from the other data structures on the drive -- so there's an excellent chance you can get all of your data with this.   It will only SHOW you what it can recover without buying a license; but if you like what you see I'd think the nominal cost of a license ($79) is well worth it to recover the files.

From what you've described I'd say there's a very good chance that with GetDataBack you'll at least be able to do exactly that -- get your data back :-)
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BLCSwimmerAuthor Commented:
That sounds like a plan to me - I'll give it a shot and let you know - but not till tomorrow -its 2am here in PA - I've had enough for one day!!
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garycaseCommented:
... sounds like bedtime !!  It's 1am here and I'm thinking the same thing.   However, ... overnight would be a good time to run Spinrite if you have it :-)
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NireckCommented:
There is also a program called recover my files i have a version that might help and i can lend my license to you, since i dont use it anymore, so let me know if you need it
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BLCSwimmerAuthor Commented:
Well - my system is now back up and running - thanks Garycase.  GetBackData worked great, I was able to recover nearly all of the files I lost except for one or two and those I was able to reload from the batch file I recovered.  So other than having to spend almost the entire day on Sunday copying data and then reloading software I'm in good shape.  As for my original question about stuttering I suspect the reload has taken care of the problem though I haven't tried running video files off this drive yet.  If it doesn't I'll let you know

Thanks for all the help.
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Expert4XPCommented:
BLCSwimmer, I'm glad to hear its working again.  Having a disk drive crash happen at any time is always a major event!  I still believe the cause of the choppy AVI performance is/was that the files were not contiguous and the defragmentation and extra overhead of reading from different parts of the drive in the middle of playing, is the cause.

PerfectDisk, which I recommended also defrags in "power-safe" mode.  Perfect Disk utilizes the Microsoft move file Application Program Interface (API), so it uses the same technology as the built in Microsoft defragger.

http://www.raxco.com/products/perfectdisk2k/perfectdisk2k_features.cfm

My belief is that the power outage caused the head crash; I've seen a head crash occur on PC's that were sitting idle during a power outage.  But as garycase stated, a UPS is really a necessity for all PC's.

Also points up the need for a good backup and backup plan for your PC and data.  Hope you have one.  

Good luck.
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