CyberLink Community Forum
where the experts meet
| Advanced Search >
WARNING: Nested Projects feature is buggy/broken
Reply to this topic
NigelVideo [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Oct 25, 2014 13:43 Messages: 45 Offline
[Post New]
• PowerDirector Version: 17.0.2314.1
• Version type: Ultimate


THE PROBLEM:
1) I inserted 5 nested projects into my master project.
2) I spend days enhancing & color correcting all the clips in the 5 nested projects (as sources was old Super8 film).
3) When I produced the project I found that the first 2 sub-projects did NOT appear in the final production.

NESTED PROJECTS FEATURE IS BUGGY AND CANNOT BE TRUSTED:
On analysis I found that in the 1st two sub-projects:
A) All my video clips had disappeared.
B) The video tracks have been replaced with AUDIO tracks - see picture which shows multiple tracks with an AUDIO icon but with the words "Video Track".
I've lost DAYS worth of work as I now cannot see the video clips in 2 of the sub-projects so will have to reload OLD versions of these 2 sub-projects and redo all my color corrections and edits!
I'm reluctant to even do this as I no longer trust the entire nested project feature as it seems very buggy and without warning you can lose ALL video tracks in your sub-projects!

MORE INFO:
>As I worked I saved 9 progress version of this project and rolled back to each but the video tracks in the 2 sub-projects of ALL 9 previous versions was gone.
>I had experienced a couple of crashed of PD17 during this period but each time restarted my PC and picked up the last saved copy of my project then IMMEDIATELY saved a new copy. I did not notice when the video tracks went missing on the 2 sub-projects as I was busy working on the other 3 sub-projects and was only reviewing their and the master tabs before the problem was revealed when I produced the entire project.
>Laptop is a BRAND new Dell XPS 13, Gen 8 I7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Windows 10 Pro + all updates - no probs with laptop.
>I am an IT Pro so know what I'm doing.
>I've submitted the above as a technical support request to CL however based on past responses don't expect much from support.
 Filename
PD17MasterProject.jpg
[Disk]
 Description
Master proj showing the 2 corrupted sub projects but they cannot be edited and my changes are not included
 Filesize
123 Kbytes
 Downloaded:
12 time(s)
 Filename
PD17SubProject.jpg
[Disk]
 Description
Sub project with video tracks missing/converted to audio tracks.
 Filesize
101 Kbytes
 Downloaded:
10 time(s)
Reply
optodata
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: California, USA Joined: Sep 16, 2011 16:04 Messages: 3586 Offline
[Post New]
I'm really sorry to hear about all the problems you're having. I appreciate all the effort you put in documenting what's happened, and I can think of 3 things to do right now to safely move forward.

First, "no problems with the laptop" is different than "I haven't seen any problems other than the PD crashes," and it would help if you could run the 64-bit DxDiag test and attach the results. The have been many times when people on the forum find something in there that everyone else missed.

It seems likely that the crashes and using the recovered PDS files may have contributed to the apparent PDS file corruption, but the cause might be something else. It's surprising that all 9 of your interim files show the same problem, which seems to point to the problem occurring at the very beginning, or that something is wrong with PD's current installation. I assume you've rebooted at some point during this fiasco, and you could also try uninstalling/reinstalling PD17 or rolling back to a known good system image to be certain of PD17's health.

Second, I agree that skipping nested projects is a good idea at this point, and if you change your workflow to ONLY work with each "sub" project on its own, you'll avoid any nesting issues. Note that you can copy clips and keyframe attributes easily between different projects, and the Recent Files list makes it very easy to access all of them.

Once you have each individual project completed (or almost so), then create a new meta/master project and insert the smaller ones. Make any final adjustments and produce it.

Third, it's probably a good idea to turn on Autosave and set the timer for 2-3 minutes so you'll have a much more finely grained backup set in case something else goes wrong. That recently saved me at least 3 weeks of rework after an unintentional drive erasure wiped out my main PDS storage drive.

Fourth, it seems like there's at least a chance that your issues are caused by a single (or just a few) corrupted XML statement(s) in the PDS file, and that all of your original edits are actually still present.

I'm looking into a different nested project issue in 2514, and I'll see if there's a simple way to identify the nested project boundaries so you might be able to recover your existing edits and place them in a new sub-project.
youtube/optodata

DS365 | Win10 Pro | 8 Core/16T i9-9900K (4.8GHz) | RTX 2070 | 32GB RAM | 6TB SSDs

Canon Vixia GX10 (4K 60p) | HF G30 (HD 60p) | HF S200 (HD 30p) | Yi Action+ 4K | 360Fly 4K 360°
Reply
NigelVideo [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Oct 25, 2014 13:43 Messages: 45 Offline
[Post New]
RE AUTOSAVE:
Already had enabled for every 7min.

RE DXDIAG:
See attached - no problems found.

RE REBOOTS AFTER CRASH:
Yes always did a reboot.
Was prompted by PD to use recovered files sometimes but "think" I only did that when I was working on an individual project but never after I started my master project.
However as you say a corruption may have crept in with a recovered file.

WARNING: DO NOT USE RECOVERED FILES FEATURE:
So now this is ANOTHER "feature" I no longer trust and will not use!
If PD prompts to use recovered files then is should run a verification process against then 1st and if there is ANY doubt about their integrity force the User to load an old version else you will end of like me and lose days if not WEEKS worth of work as the corruption is not immediately apparent so you continue to the road that leads to an inevitable lose of work!

RE DO NOT USE NESTED PROJECTS FEATURE:
It was one of the main reasons I upgraded to PD17!
Much easier to work with smaller projects plus PD is more responsive.
Sure I already tried to have ALL my sub projects 100% complete but inevitably once you combine them you find you need to tweak a sub project to get background music and/or video timing to work between subprojects.

RE REBOOT/RE-INSTALL:
ALWAYS Rebooted after a crash.
Uninstalling/reinstalling PD17: no this often causes more problems than it fixes due to uninstallers no cleaning up the registry or shared libraries correctly ...used to work on an IT Helpdesk so have 1st hand experience.
Only would do if I had symptoms that pointed to a bad install which is not the case here.

OTHER:
>Fourth, it seems like there's at least a chance that your issues are caused by a single (or just a few) corrupted XML statement(s) in the PDS file, and that all of your original edits are actually still present.

AGREED but really why should I have to expend time and effort trawling thru XML for a product that just shouldn't allow this to
happen!
Plus if I was to manually edit the XML you can never be sure you haven't introduced an error yourself plus CL would then also distance themselves from any ownership of the problem since you have tampered with the XML... bit like voiding your warranty if you've opened the case of a hardware product.

>I'm looking into a different nested project issue in 2514, and I'll see if there's a simple way to identify the nested project boundaries so you might be able to recover your existing edits and place them in a new sub-project.
Thanks but I'm starting from scratch with the two subprojects today

Thanks for your helpful comments.
Nigel
 Filename
DxDiag.txt
[Disk]
 Description
DXDiag results
 Filesize
87 Kbytes
 Downloaded:
49 time(s)
Reply
optodata
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: California, USA Joined: Sep 16, 2011 16:04 Messages: 3586 Offline
[Post New]
Quote WARNING: DO NOT USE RECOVERED FILES FEATURE:If PD prompts to use recovered files then is should run a verification process against then 1st and if there is ANY doubt about their integrity force the User to load an old version else you will end of like me and lose days if not WEEKS worth of work as the corruption is not immediately apparent so you continue to the road that leads to an inevitable lose of work!

I know that it does vet the recovered file, just as it does whenever it opens up a normally-saved PDs file, but to me it's a pretty big leap to say that the recover files feature is something to never use. If the problem is corruption in the PDS file that the intake parsing doesn't catch, then all project files are vulnerable, not just the auto-recovered ones.

It's certainly possible that PD was in the middle of autosaving the project when it crashed, but without seeing before/after autosaved versions I don't think we'll ever know. Knowing that's a possibility is something to be aware of should it happen again, but you can also simply go back to the last saved version at any time (unless you used Save As and overwote the original project with the autosaved one).

Quote OTHER: ... but really why should I have to expend time and effort trawling thru XML for a product that just shouldn't allow this to happen!

Trawling through XML defintely isn't a typical activity for PD users, it's a last ditch kind of idea that might let you recover at least some of your hard work. I also have to say it's a little ironic to hear an IT person say how software "shouldn't" allow something to happen. I mean, I completely agree but this is the real world undecided

Quote Plus if I was to manually edit the XML you can never be sure you haven't introduced an error yourself plus CL would then also distance themselves from any ownership of the problem since you have tampered with the XML... bit like voiding your warranty if you've opened the case of a hardware product.

That's not really the case here, though, since you can send an original copy to Cyberlink and work on a separate copy. No tampering with actual evidence even if you wanted to try to recovery.

Also, the DxDiag results do show some potential issues. For one you haven't yet updated to PD17 v2514, which has addressed quite a few earlier issues.

In addition, the Intel video driver for your UHD Graphics 620 is a year and half out of date, so that would be the next thing I'd fix. It looks like there may be a few other relevant updates available at the Dell website for your laptop there, too.

Once those are in place, I hope you'll have better results moving forward. Good luck!
youtube/optodata

DS365 | Win10 Pro | 8 Core/16T i9-9900K (4.8GHz) | RTX 2070 | 32GB RAM | 6TB SSDs

Canon Vixia GX10 (4K 60p) | HF G30 (HD 60p) | HF S200 (HD 30p) | Yi Action+ 4K | 360Fly 4K 360°
Reply
NigelVideo [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Oct 25, 2014 13:43 Messages: 45 Offline
[Post New]
RE: but to me it's a pretty big leap to say that the recover files feature is something to never use.
I disagree, if it "recovers" something then obviously there has been a problem beforehand so EXTRA verification should be used against anything "recovered". This is why Microsoft open BOTH version (last saved & recovered) when you open a recovered Office doc so the User can review for themselves. As you say further down your reply most PD User are NOT coders so they must be given the best/safest option.

RE: I also have to say it's a little ironic to hear an IT person say how software "shouldn't" allow something to happen. I mean, I completely agree but this is the real world
I disagree again... why should the product consumer accept to be a "unpaid tester".
CL have a beta tester program for that which you have to explicitly OPT IN then accept the risks... for the people that do NOT opt in it is very reasonable for them to expect the saving of their files to work correctly & reliably.
Yes bugs do happen but we should NOT just expect & accept this poor quality... would be like buying a new car and the motor breaking down and we all say "oh well that happens"... yes it does but we should not expect nor accept it lightly.

For one you haven't yet updated to PD17 v2514, which has addressed quite a few earlier issues.
I check and force a check EVERYDAY - the bell icon has NOT advised me of an update!
Why not since this is the end User mechanism builtin to explicitly advise of updates!
Where can I get the update from? (NOT beta update)

In addition, the Intel video driver for your UHD Graphics 620 is a year and half out of date
I rolled back to the previous/my version as the latest makes screen dim and brightness cannot be increased - known problem.
One thing I learnt in IT (took me a loooong time since I like "new) is that newer is NOT always better!
Reply
NigelVideo [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Oct 25, 2014 13:43 Messages: 45 Offline
[Post New]
For one you haven't yet updated to PD17 v2514, which has addressed quite a few earlier issues.
I check and force a check EVERYDAY - the bell icon has NOT advised me of an update!
Why not since this is the end User mechanism builtin to explicitly advise of updates!
Where can I get the update from? (NOT beta update)
UPDATE:
JUST checked the updates page and I DO have the latest (NONE BETA) patch available (v.2314) installed.
See here: https://www.cyberlink.com/support/powerdirector-video-editing-software/patches_en_US.html

Where do I get this v2514 update from?
(Again ONLY if NONE BETA else I'm increasing the risk of problems... and I would only do this if there wasa beta feature I wanted OR just happy to be a "unpaid tester" which is a NO for both for me)
Reply
JL_JL [Avatar]
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: Arizona, USA Joined: Oct 01, 2006 20:01 Messages: 3731 Offline
[Post New]
Quote For one you haven't yet updated to PD17 v2514, which has addressed quite a few earlier issues.
I check and force a check EVERYDAY - the bell icon has NOT advised me of an update!
Why not since this is the end User mechanism builtin to explicitly advise of updates!
Where can I get the update from? (NOT beta update)
UPDATE:
JUST checked the updates page and I DO have the latest (NONE BETA) patch available (v.2314) installed.
See here: https://www.cyberlink.com/support/powerdirector-video-editing-software/patches_en_US.html

Where do I get this v2514 update from?
(Again ONLY if NONE BETA else I'm increasing the risk of problems... and I would only do this if there wasa beta feature I wanted OR just happy to be a "unpaid tester" which is a NO for both for me)

You are 100% correct, the GM4 update, 2514, was posted that it will delayed for perpetual users. Explained here: https://forum.cyberlink.com/forum/posts/list/78263.page#post_box_321851 I think it's about a 2 week celebration so probably more than a week away.

Jeff
Reply
optodata
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: California, USA Joined: Sep 16, 2011 16:04 Messages: 3586 Offline
[Post New]
Quote In addition, the Intel video driver for your UHD Graphics 620 is a year and half out of date
I rolled back to the previous/my version as the latest makes screen dim and brightness cannot be increased - known problem.
One thing I learnt in IT (took me a loooong time since I like "new) is that newer is NOT always better!

Of course, but that doesn't necessarily mean that no updates at all are better than running a driver built for Win10 RS2 with a system running RS5.

FYI There is a recent firmware update on the Dell support page that will let you disable the laptop's auto brightness feature, which may be why the newer Intel driver was too dim.
youtube/optodata

DS365 | Win10 Pro | 8 Core/16T i9-9900K (4.8GHz) | RTX 2070 | 32GB RAM | 6TB SSDs

Canon Vixia GX10 (4K 60p) | HF G30 (HD 60p) | HF S200 (HD 30p) | Yi Action+ 4K | 360Fly 4K 360°
Reply
NigelVideo [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Oct 25, 2014 13:43 Messages: 45 Offline
[Post New]
To be clear:
My laptop is running ALL latest available drivers without bugs including latest BIOS.
BIOS update you referring to is NOT for my model 9360.

However we have digressed from the actual problem as it has NOTHING to do with my display driver version.
You need to breath out and let go of this one thing... appreciate your responses though 😉

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Feb 06. 2019 23:07

Reply
ynotfish
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: N.S.W. Australia Joined: May 08, 2009 02:06 Messages: 9681 Offline
[Post New]
Hi NigelVideo -

I probably haven't followed every detail in this thread, but I worked (initially) on your opening post. Whilst I don't doubt any of your reported observations, I have not been able to replicate them here.

There's a slight point of difference. I've tested on both the 365 version (build 2514) & the perpetual version (beta build 2509). Whether that makes any difference I don't know.

Of course I couldn't replicate your project's content but followed as closely as possible your stated steps.

Process:

  1. A series of 5-6 projects were imported in each case. They were imported as nested projects (set in Preferences). This was done 3 times on each PC, so there were 3 projects, each containing 5-6 nested projects.

  2. After insertion in the timeline, each of the nested projects was expanded & edited separately.

  3. At completion, the combined project was produced.



Observations:

  1. During editing, all projects & files played back correctly.

  2. After saving & closing the combined project, then re-opening, all nested projects were as I left them.

  3. No video or audio tracks were replaced with ANY other media.

  4. After production, no part of any project was "missing". The duration of the produced files exactly matched the combined nested projects, with all content present & accounted for.



It's difficult to work out a way forward with your issue, unless you were able to pack the combined project & upload it. That option may be impractical or undesirable.

Cheers - Tony

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at Feb 08. 2019 23:54


Visit PDtoots. PowerDirector Tutorials, tips, free resources & more. Subscribe!
Full linked Tutorial Catalog
PDtoots happily supports fellow PowerDirector users!
Reply
NigelVideo [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Oct 25, 2014 13:43 Messages: 45 Offline
[Post New]
Hi Tony,
I appreciate your time and effort in doing this to try and replicate my problem.
However I don't think it is caused by a set series of steps so cannot easily be replicated.
Instead I believe it is due to PowerDirector's overall instability/buggyness.
I will explain why I have come to this conclusion.

MY LEVEL OF WINDOWS KNOWLEDGE:
Firstly I would like to point out that I am an IT Professional (Infrastructure Architect) of over 30 years’ experience specialising in Microsoft/Windows type software. I am only making this point so others following will understand that I have an above average ability to diagnose the root cause of Microsoft Windows instability problems however I am HIGHLY aware that even the most experienced IT Pro can overlook something that may be found and solved by people with less experience so I VERY MUCH appreciate EVERYONE’S input and suggestions.

PROBLEM NOT MY HARDWARE OR WINDOWS ENVIRONMENT:
So based on my experience/knowledge I believe my NONE PowerDirector environment (Dell XPS 13 9360 laptop & Windows 10 Pro Operating System) are VERY stable and most likely NOT the cause of my corrupt pds file.
Of course you can never completely rule out these items but my knowledge and logic suggests they are NOT the root cause.
(Optodata kindly reviewed my DxDiag file and pointed out I am not running the LATEST video driver however I rolled back to the previous driver since the latest has a bug plus I'm not getting any issues that suggest a video driver problem).

WHY LOGIC SUGGESTS POWERDIRECTOR IS BUGGY/UNSTABLE:
I've had multiple times (couple of times per week) where PD has just hung in the middle of editing and I could do nothing to make it respond except to reboot my laptop. As I've previously said in this thread when I relaunched PD it offered to "recover" my pds file I accepted the offer and continued my work. I believe THIS (“recovered” pds file) is what was responsible for corrupting my project however the real problem is that this corruption is not immediately evident since you can continue to works for DAYS (as in my case) and not discover a problem unless you check all sub projects.

EXAMPLE OF PD17's BUGGYNESS:
Yesterday I worked on my project for 4hrs and at the EXACT same time my laptop switched to Power Save (due to low battery) PD completely locked up. I waited for 5mins but it remained unresponsive so I was unable to save my latest changes, in fact I could not even ALT+TAB back to PD once I had switched out of it.

GRASS VALLEY CODEC:
The only NONE Cyberlink supplied component I use that could be “blamed” is the CODEC I have to install to read my source AVI files and this is the Grass Valley CODEC v7.31.2939. Yes there is a newer v8.5.0.1927 that I initially installed but rolled back to v7.31.2939 when I 1st started to experience PD17 hangs. I did this because I had previously used the older v7.31.2939 with PD16 for many months on previous projects and NEVER experience PD hangs so at the time thought the newer CODEC might be the cause however now I think it’s just PD17’s buggyness.

HOW I’M WORKING AROUND PD17’s BUGGYNESS:
I’ve actually thought about swapping to different Video Editing software however have invested too much time and effort in my current project to swap at this time but may consider this once finished this project if PD17’s stability doesn’t improve with the soon to be released patch. In the meantime I do this and strongly recommend others also do it to avoid losing their edits:

  1. Do NOT accept PD’s offer to “recover” your pds file when you relaunch after it has hung.

  2. If doing a lot of Fix/Enhance work (like I’m doing with my Super8 film clips) do screenshots of the colour correction settings you apply so you can easily go back and reapply them if PD hangs and you lose your changes.

  3. Keep a small text file open and each time you save your project increment the number suffixed to the filename, copy n paste this filename into the text file along with a short explanation of your changes in that version. This way if PD hangs you can open the last normally saved version (NOT recovered pds) and know exactly what you had last done which makes it easier figuring out what you lost when PD crashed.


Hope this may help other also experiencing problems.
I like PD and would like to keep using it however feel my time consuming edits are "constantly at risk" due to PD hangs which detracts from the enjoyment of using it so unless this is fixed soon I will have to consider switching to another product.

Regards Nigel
Reply
NigelVideo [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Oct 25, 2014 13:43 Messages: 45 Offline
[Post New]
FYI: PD17 STILL UNSTABLE AFTER INSTALLING PATH 2514 (Released 2019-02-10)
Installed the patch, rebooted, no other programs running and after ~1hr of editing a nested project PD started playing a different/wrong clip than the one highlighted on the video timeline.
After I clicked around a few times trying to get the correct clip to play it crashed and the PD error report screen opened.
It asks what you were doing at the time of crash and sends your logs files to CL - I filled it out and submitted.

YOUR WORK IS ALWAYS AT RISK
So once again I lost all my edits but luckily only 15min worth as I'm regularly saving versions and noting the changes in each version which is labourious but necessary due to to PD's unreliability.
I reverted NOT to may last saved version but the one before that as I don't want to risk introducing corruption into my project.
My conclusion is that my work is still always at risk of corruption despite this latest patch.
Reply
Reply to this topic
Powered by JForum 2.1.8 © JForum Team