FCP X Trouble-shoot: Can’t Open Project

Posted on by Larry

FCP X Trouble-shoot: Can’t Open Project

Problems with Final Cut Pro X project databases are starting to turn up in my email. So, I wanted to share the following report from Don Stafford.

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I had a very bad problem last night, and wanted to pass on to you and your followers/readers about how I recovered. I’m sure if it happened to me, it has happened (or will happen) to others.

Last night during the middle of an edit of a 30-min short film my MacPro locked up. Mouse would move, but could not click on anything. After waiting about 5 minutes hoping things would begin working (or at east clicking) again, I had no other option but to press the power button on the MacPro.

When FCP X restarted, it hung while attempting to load the project. After waiting for 10 minutes, I checked on “Force Quit” and it showed FCP X as not responding. So I forced quit it, did another restart of the MacPro, and tried again. Same result.

I pulled the backup of the fcpproject file, and tried it. Same result. (Unfortunately, later I realized that upon the 1st attempt to run FCP X after the lockup, it apparently trashed my backup file as well. (This is the one in the BACKUP folder under FCP Projects).

Using Event Manager, I selected another Event/Project just as a sanity check that FCP X was working, and it was isolated to the project I was working on, which proved me right. So I reselected the bad Event/Project to continue my research for a solution.

Googling, I found several people that said they had left FCP X running for “hours” – some successfully, some not. So I gave that a try (overnight).

This morning, FCP X loaded – but no project at all. I loaded in the saved copy of the fcpproject file – still no project. Now I was really sweating it as I have a Aug 2nd deadline on this.

I use Carbon Copy Cloner rather than Time Machine, and pulled a fcpproject file from there – still nothing. Now I am really nervous… I’ve got 2 weeks of work I can’t even see.

So, I had an idea. FCP X didn’t see any projects for this event, and was wanting me to create one. I went to Finder, and renamed the project to “xprojectx”. I restarted FCP X and created a new project with the same name as the old one. I dragged one clip to the timeline. I exited FCP X and the immediately restarted FCP X. The new event with the project of the single clip was there.

I exited FCP X again. Backto Finder. Renamed the new project just created to “newprojectnew”. Then renamed the old project back to its original name. I pulled the last fcpproject file from my Carbon Copy Cloner backup drive and placed it in the project. Restarted FCP X. WHEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It worked. I did lose about 2 1/2 hrs editing… but that sure beats 2 weeks.

As a precaution for future catastrophes such as this, I created a one-line shell script that will copy the current backup/fcpproject file (which is date/time stamped in the file name) to my Desktop. I am going to exit FCP X and run that periodically for a while. I know that is overkill, but better to be safe.

Hopefully, Apple will see the need for multiple saves in the Backup folder, rather than only a single one. Why would they delete the existing file anyway? It has a unique file name due the the date/time….

Sorry to be so long in this email, but it was a long process….

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Larry replies: Thanks, Don, for sending this in.

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4 Responses to FCP X Trouble-shoot: Can’t Open Project

  1. Mikey says:

    One tool I use to prevent this is ProVesioner from digital rebellion. It works to back up project files and events (not the media but all metadata). It also works with fcp7 and adobe premire.

    I use this and back up to my drop box. I’ve had 2 projects get corrupt over the course of the last 6 months but have only lost about 30 min of edit time thanks to this app. I can’t praise it enough.

  2. craig says:

    Very usefull. i have recently experinced the spinning wheel as described total lock up unable to use mouse or any applications, seems like something has changed in FCPX , and is causing this

  3. Reece says:

    I honestly cannot understand what it is Im supposed to do, i dont have a back up of my back up files, and now an event wont show up, so its disabled a compound clip which had the orginial copy of the compound i copy and paste between events , as you cant exactly do templates on this thing

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