Archive for the ‘Mac’ Category

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Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Mac OS Snow Leopard – clean install (not upgrade)

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

“… if you want to upgrade to Snow Leopard, Avid recommends that you do a clean install of the OS, rather than a simple upgrade. ” []

Codecs for Mac/PC/linux & FCP/Avid transfer

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Eugenia recommended ([] as of September 2008) DNxHD and ProRes, among other codecs, for transfer between PC and Mac.   She also advises Lagarith for transfer to/from linux, though it sounds slightly tricky.According to BobRusso (Applications Specialist at Avid) []:<<< 

You can install the ProRes decoder on a system without FCP:


Make sure you have the latest version of the Avid codecs. They can be downloaded here:

I suggest using MPEG Streamclip to convert the files:



Avid-qualified Macs (incl MacBookPro)

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Mac video production: Framerate Conversion Strategies & Tools

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Gleaned from Philip Bloom’s presentation on using a 30p native cam to produce to other standards (e.g. 24p):

  • Edit native, convert the edit result, not the source (rushes). Saves render time (& space)
  • Don’t edit H264 – current machines are not fast enough to avoid jerkiness.
    • Before edit, convert to ProRes (standard is sufficient, no need for HQ).  If disk space at a premium then could instead use XDCAM EX format but that is not compatible with Cinema Tools.
      • Conversion to ProRes is done twice as fast by Mpeg StreamClip (free) than by Compressor.
        • Mpeg StreamClip:
          • [File > Open Files, File> Export to QuickTime, choose format ProRes 422, change top-slider to Full 100% Quality (default is less)
          • Can also use it to batch-convert, result can be either separate files or all concatenated in sequence.
  • FrameRate Conversion:
    • Simplest: speed change – change the timebase (the rate at which the existing frames are presented).  OK when speed change does not matter (e.g. static scene).
      • Can be done e.g. via Cinema Tools.
        • Stages: Analysis then select desired new framerate then Conform.
        • (or [Cinema Tools: File > Batch Conform],  select a folder containing set of files, select any example file in it, Open, change speed, go: all the files are done)
    • Speed-preserving frameRate conversion can be done by Compressor or by JES Deinterlacer (free)
      • Compressor
        • Open Compressor
        • Drag file to job-strip
        • Create a Setting if needed
        • Geometry (5th icon along) – set Frame Size to “100% of source” (to ensure Compressor setting doesn’t re-scale)
        • Frame Controls: Unlock
        • (ignore settings that don’t apply e.g. resize method)
        • Rate Conversion: choose the fastest you can get away with
        • It is not compulsory to set a Destination.
          • (what happens if not? same directory as source?  what filename gets generated)
            • If no destination specified then file goes to same directory, auto-named as the original filename plus the name of the export format Setting.  Example: From TRV 12-39 it generated TRV 12-39 AvidGrade-QT ProRes, where QT ProRes Interlaced was a compression setting (previously defined by myself).  Incidentally the QT-DV was 35MB, the generated QT-ProRes was 47MB.
      • JES Deinterlacer
        • Choose >  (input your file)
        • Output > Compressor > Export
          • (nothing to do with Apple’s Compressor, at least I assume…)

How to export a FCP7 project to FCP6

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Based on info from Rick Young’s Blog at, 16 Nov 2009

How to export a FCP7 project to FCP6:

  • Export XML from the FCP7 project – choose Apple XML Interchange Format, version 4 (not 5).
  • Open this in FCP6 then manually reconnect the media.

Alternatives that don’t work:

  • Export a project as Apple XML Interchange Format, version 5  then import this into Final Cut Pro 6 – it asks for a Template.
  • Export EDLs from the FCP7 project and try to bring these into the FCP6 project – doesn’t work.

Avid & FCP on Mac – Coexist?

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Reports and advice vary:

  • Some advise “No”.
    • []
      • “What about installing other video applications such as Premiere Pro or Canopus Procoder?
        Installing other NLEs such as Premiere, Vegas or Edius is seriously not a good idea. You will definitely run into huge problems and this may even result in having to reformat your system in order to fix things. Transcoding applications such as Sorenson Squeeze, Canopus Procoder, CinemaCraft and Media Cleaner are fine. “
      • “There are many software programs which you can install safely on your system without affecting performance or stability. However, our view is that your Avid system should be used for video editing only. If you need Photoshop or After Effects, feel free to install them. However, the problem is that the more software you install, the more likely that something somewhere will have a negative effect on performance. Using your Avid system as an office PC is not a good idea. “
  •  Others say yes:
    • []
      • “There was a problem where FCP would act up if the Avid codecs were installed (installing Avid installs them), so maybe that’ll be a problem.  Otherwise, install both and try it–if they don’t run, uninstall and pick your editing poison.  Ghost your drive before hand in case you run into problems.  It’ll be faster than waiting for “definitive” reply.” (2007-05)
      • “I’m running them both, w/no observable deficiencies.  At least on Avid.  I can’t say I’ve used FCP for more than 10 times or so.  I really air out the Avid 2.7, so I can say it’s solid w/the FCP install. ” (2007-05)
      • “I’ve got both on the same cpu and I haven’t noticed any difference. They both seem to work fine even if they are both running at the same time. That is if I’m doing a major export or render on the Avid I can still edit on FCP with Avid working in the background. I would suggest that you keep your media on separate drives though.” (2007-05)
    • []
      • “I run both systems on one partition of my Adrenaline system. There really is no problem. The only thing to be aware of is the capture card. If you are using an Aja card, you’ll need to disable it when launching the AVID by holding down the SHIFT key.” (2006-06)

FCP only half-likes CineForm AVI – try Cineform MOV instead.

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009


  • In FCP I imported [File>Import] a CineForm AVI file residing on an NTFS disk.   It showed up in FCP’s browser OK.  I dragged it to Viewer and it played there OK.  I dragged it to timeline and it displayed there as a clip i.e. as a long pale-green block.


  • When I tried to play teh timeline the Canvas screen remained blank.
  • Also the timeline clip-block had no thumbnail (which, given my configuraton of FCP, I would normally expect)


  • Mac support for AVI is said to be half-hearted.  This is probably what is happening here.


  • Try re-wrapping the Cineform AVI file as a CineForm MOV file.
  • This can be done via Cineform’s bundled tools as follows:
    •  On the PC by using HDLink
    • On the Mac by using ReMaster
  • (I have not yet tried this)

Auto audio leveller – beyond simple normalization/compression

Monday, June 22nd, 2009


Discovered at:

The Levelator is a freeware application (for various OS)  that automatically evens out multiple audio sources:

“It’s software that runs on Windows, OS X (universal binary), or Linux (Ubuntu) that adjusts the audio levels within your podcast or other audio file for variations from one speaker to the next, for example. It’s not a compressor, normalizer or limiter although it contains all three. It’s much more than those tools, and it’s much simpler to use. The UI is dirt-simple: Drag-and-drop any WAV or AIFF file onto The Leveler’s application window, and a few moments later you’ll find a new version which just sounds better.”

“So how do we calculate levels and process audio for The Levelator?  We first isolate segments that are silent and remove them from the calculations. We define silence as audio segments which have no subsegments of 50 ms or more where the RMS is greater than -44.0dB. We then compute the RMS value of the remaining segments and normalize them to our target RMS level of -18.0dB.

The above is actually a drastic simplification of The Levelator’s processing, which takes into account a number of subtleties when dealing with certain real-world sources. For example, the silence threshold of -44.0dB is not reasonable if the audio before normalization is already very quiet. The -44.0dB value is therefore used only after the overall RMS is first normalized to near that target. This requires an iterative calculation. The Levelator processes an entire audio file, not a continuous stream, so we have the advantage of infinite lookahead and the ability to make multiple passes over the data in large and small chunks.”

Pluraleyes: Multicam auto-sync (based on audio)

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Mac/FCP add-on to automatically synchronize multicam clips based on their audio content.

Discovered in article at:

The article says: “…PluralEyes … syncs up multi camera footage without use of timecode. It’s in beta and you can download and try it out yourself.  (In the article author’s tests) it worked on about two out of every three clip pairs. When it worked, it was perfect, effortlessly lining up and then converting clips into a multicam clip in the browser.”


System Requirements:

  • OS X 10.4.11 or later
  • Final Cut Pro 5.1.4 or later
  • PluralEyes™ analyzes the audio content, so all clips to be synced need to have an audio track.

Backup & Archive to Multiple External Drives: “Retrospect Backup” tracks what’s where

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Once captured, the next problems are backup and archive.  Here is one man’s solution:

  • We capture to a 2TB drive and edit from it as well. Then once it starts to get full, we use Retrospect Backup software to move files from the 2TB drive to smaller removable drives. Retrospect keeps track of the drives and once they fill up, you can just add another one. The main reason we do it this way is that Retrospect keeps track of all the data so that it’s very easy to find and restore projects. You can view them by the date you saved them or you can simply do a search…even for individual files. Plus, because they are firewire 800 drives, the restore process is very quick (at least it is right now with standard def DV footage….HD footage will take up more space)
  • [
    • It also has other useful info e.g. the transfer rates experienced in practice.


Interacting with Windows from a Mac Environment

Friday, June 5th, 2009

Mac OS and Windows machines can now interact over a shared network.

The link below mainly covers:

  • Connecting to Active Directory with Directory Utility
  • Using Entourage with Exchange
  • Communicating via Messenger and OCS
  • Bridging the platforms with virtualization


Mac read/write access to NTFS

Friday, June 5th, 2009

“To get work from Mac to PC, don’t use HTF, use an NTFS formatted drive running NTFS-3G for Mac OS X  [] on the Mac.   Then the files will transfer without issue. “.

This advice was found on the CineForm thread at []

NTFS-3G is a read/write NTFS driver for several operating systems including Mac OS X.

System requirements:

  •     * Mac OS X 10.4/10.5, running on an Intel or PowerPC computer.
  •     * MacFUSE 2.0.2/2.0.3 or later installed.

The package has been tested with Mac OS X 10.4.11/Intel and Mac OS X 10.5.6/Intel.


Credentials/Claims []:

  • The NTFS-3G driver is a freely and commercially available and supported read/write NTFS driver for Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenSolaris, QNX, Haiku, and other operating systems. It provides safe and fast handling of the Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7 file systems.
  • NTFS-3G develops, quality tests and supports a trustable, feature rich and high performance solution for hardware platforms and operating systems whose users need to reliably interoperate with NTFS.
  • The driver is used by millions of computers, consumer electronics devices for reliable data exchange, and referenced in over 35 computer books.

Sony XDCAM EX and Apple ProRes (QuickTime) ARE accepted by Color (allegedly)

Friday, June 5th, 2009

According to a CreativeCow thread [], with the right updates art least, it is possible to pass both XDCAM EX native files and ProRes derived from them into Color.

Now I am well-confused, because:

Being fully-engrossed on PC-based projects, I am unable to verify any of these

HD (compressed & uncompressed) and Computer (Capture & RAID) Bandwidths

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

I like to have a feel for bandwidths – roughly how big these things are and why.  Especially when I start running out of storage space and having to purchase additional disk drives etc…   Also I like to get a handle on how adequate my RAID will be for capturing uncompressed HD.  Google-search & calculations:

  • In the case of HD-SDI (1080i50), bitrate is around 1.5 Gbps []
  • In our case we have 720p50, but that apparently has about the same uncompressed bandwidth as 1080i50, namely 1.5Gbps []
  • My system has a RocketRaid+ProAVIO RAID5 arrangement.  I have not yet tested its uncompressed capture ability (I havea BlackMagic card), but it (if I’ve calculated it right), it looks like it should handle it easily.
    • RocketRaid themselves report tests [] involving an AJA capture card and a RAID5 array (as is mine) giving read and write speeds at about 400MBps (=3.2Gbps, because B i.e. Bytes = 8*b = Bits). 
      • If I understand this right, my system has a capture bandwidth twice that an uncompressed HD signal.  Plenty of headroom then.
  • ProRes’s 123 Mbps is not far off the “100Mbps” figure often mentioned in relation to the Convergent Design flash memory recorder, at which level the recording, compressed (as is ProRes) in a variant of MPEG2, is regarded as almost indistinguishable from uncompressed.

Sequence Renders: What & Where?

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Suppose you added an effect to the timeline and as a result it shows a red “Unrendered” (or “Needs Rendering”) line above it.  You press Command-R (say) and rendering happens and now you can play it in real-time.  But what exactly is this rendering?  What format is it in and where does it go, i.e. what file(s) in what folder(s) ?

  •  The rendered file appears in a project-specific subfolder of the Rendering folder of FCP’s Scratch area.  In my case I defined the latter to be on the RAID.
    • Location was: [RAID_ProAVIO/App-Specific/Final_Cut/ FCP_Scratch/Render Files/Voda 2009 Estab 001/]
    • Example file name is: “Sequence 1-WP1-00000001
  • The coding format is ProRes 422 – Standard, not High Quality (which would be overkill).  This is good news!
    • VideoSpec displays its FourCC code to be “apcn”
    • The rendered file’s bitrate, according to VideoSpec, is an average of 123Mbps, around four times that of the HDCAM EX high-quality mode (35Mbps).  Nevertheless a great reduction on the uncompressed bitrate (around 1.5 Gbps) and broadly comparable to Convergent Design’s 100Mbps, judged by some to be virtually indistinguishable from uncompressed quality.  So it bodes well.

    Final Cut – Find/Try the Basic Enhancement Effects

    Sunday, May 31st, 2009

    Basic effects from my point of view are color curves, color correction and denoising.  Indeed the test footage I had was in dire need of all these enhancements.  Here, I began seeking how to do a simple levels adjustment, hoping to move on afterwards to S-Curves as in Sony Vegas.  However even for simple levels adjustment the process in FCP turned out not to be as simple as I hoped…  Probably the best solution was FCP’s 3-Way Color Corrector.  Had high hopes for using Apple Color (the application, not a fruit-specific effect) but for some reason FCP’s “Send to Color” option was greyed-out.

    •  .

     To begin with, here are some handy tips: 

    • FCP: FCP > User Preferences: Undo Levels -> 99, Recent Clips -> 20 (max poss)
    • Playing the Unrendered: Some kinds of effects cause a red line to appear above the affected part of the timeline, meaning essentially that the effect is so heavy on CPU that it can’t be played in real-time and must first be rendered (e.g. hit Command-R), then the red line disappears and it plays smoothly.   For me, such renders typically take a minute or two – boring and frustrating when all you want to do is experiment with settings etc.  There is however an alternative: Alt-P for “force rendered playback”.  Not so smooth but far less boring.  Reference: []

    Now the actual Effects experiments:

    • Levels Adjustment – Attempt 1 (works but awkward): The in-built Levels effect.  This effect is not what I expected – it is a little weird and non-intuitive.  Others agree.  
    • Levels Adjustment – Attempt 2 (easier): Joes Filters [] makes a (commercial) filter with 5-way controls (min & max input & output plus gamma) as in Vegas.  The sliders are tiny and fiddly – but presumably that’s an Apple thing (?)
    • Levels Adjustment – Attempt 3 (failed so far): Apple Color.  That’s reportedly far more sophisticated in capability than FCP’s filters and allegedly [] includes S-curve levels adjustments equivalent to Color Curves as in Sony Vegas. It is advised by some [] to use that instead.   Allegedly [] a good instructional DVD on it is Creative COW Master Series : Stop Staring and Start Grading with Apple Color by Walter Biscardi.
      • So I tried to use Color, as follows: [FCP: (Sequence) > (RtClk) > Send To > Color].  However Color was greyed out (unavailable).  Why?  Color is installed OK and can be started up as an app in its own right.  Tried doing that then “..Send To” it again, but no difference – still greyed-out.
    • Some other people [] had some other difficulties in FCP<>Color exchange.  Though not exactly as mine, it illustrates kind of the fiddly fussiness that can become an issue.
    • Yet others [] suggest instead using the Low/Mid/High levels sliders of the 3-Way Color Corrector to achieve the same effect as an S-Curve.  
      • There is a free tutorial for this at Creative Cow, explaining not only levels adjustment but also my standard “face cropping & vectorscope” method of flesh color correction.  There are plenty more FCP tutorials there of similar calibre.  
      • I tried the 3-Way and yes it is by far the easiest method, very simple and intuitive, though once again the (Apple-standard?) sliders are a bit too small and fiddly.
      • A further advantage of using the 3-Way is that it also in Apple Color and can an even (in some sense) be migrated from FCP to Color, if that’s where you later prefer to work on the grading.
    • Still wish I had a proper interactive S (or Bezier) levels/colors curve effect though…

    Import Sony EX XDCAM 720p50 into Final Cut: On a Surer Footing

    Sunday, May 31st, 2009

    Following advice passed on from Sony (by Obi Lidobe/Ejukene), I installed latest Mac versions of Sony XDCAM support software [from under Tools/Downloads], namely:

    • Final Cut Pro XDCAM Transfer v2.9.0
    • Clipbrowser v2.5
    • SxS Device Driver
    • XDCAM EX Log&Transfer Utility v1.0
    • This set of items presumably constitutes the “separate plug‑in from Sony … required to enable (the XDCAM EX) features”.

      Tried using FCP to see if the new XDCAM EX features are now available:

    • FCP: FCP >Easy Setup: The nearest obvious template was “XDCAM HD”.  But does that cover “XDCAM EX” or only their older optical disk based XDCAM ?
    • FCP: File > Import > Sony XDCAM Transfer
    • Transfer: required setup of cache folders etc.  Default was on personal area of Mac HD.  Chose instead to put it on my RAID: [/App-Specific/Sony XDCAM Transfer], with subfolders /Cache, /Import, /Export Scratch.  Can change these later on under [Sony XDCAM Transfer > Settings]
    • Transfer: File > Add Sources.  Can select multiple files.  Can access NTFS-captured files in original Sony (BPAV) folder structure.  Automatically queues job to build thumbnails (only does that, doesn’t convert the files to anything yet).  
    • Transfer: Thumbnails appear.  Can multi-select them.  
    • Do [Transfer: (Files) > (RtClk) > Import].  This generates equivalent QuickTime (“.mov”) files to the Import folder you specified earlier under Settings.  QUESTION: Does one have to define such settings individually for each project?  How best to organize their location?  The size of this equivalent file is almost identical to that of the original “.mp4” file (in the EX’s BPAV folder).  Presumably it is the same codec (data), just re-wrapped.  QUESTION: Would it be better to import them to ProRes (since this – unlike the XDCAM EX format – is a non-GoP format)?
    • Incidentally, the [Transfer: (File) > (RtClk) > Export Clips to Folder] option generates equivalent “.mxf” files, again broadly the same size, prompting for the destination folder.  QUESTION: Is this intended for foreign NLE’s such as Avid or Vegas rather than FCP?  Is it “export” in the sense of “from FCP to outside world”?
    • As a result of the [Transfer: …Import] operation, “.mov” files exist in the Import folder (as defined in Settings) and also they are listed in FCP’s Browser (top-left pane). 
    • FCP: Drag one of these files to Timeline.  Prompts: “Not the same format – change?”.  Say YES.   So I guess my doubts about the appropriateness of the HDCAM HD template were justified.  QUESTION: What format is it now then?
    • FCP: (Sequence) > (RtClk) > Properties: 50fps, 1280×720, Compresor = (XDCAM EX 720p50 (35 Mb/s VBR) ).  QUESTION: Does that imply that when the Sequence is rendered (as in getting rid of the “Needs Rendering” red line), it is rendered to this same format?  QUESTION: To reduce generational losses (in this highly compressed format), would I be better off setting this to be ProRes, and if so then what format?  Presumably if the original clips had been imported to ProRes, I would have been automatically prompted for that Sequence setting when I dragged those imports onto the Timeline (from FCP Browser).  
    • Also presumably the ProRes approach would benefit external (to the FCS system) workflows e.g. enhancement in VirtualDub (via the Windows read-only version of the ProRes codec, just a “Dec”oder).  In that scenario, the external Windows app would have to write to some other broadly equivalent format such as Cineform.  Is there a Cineform decoder for Mac?  If I had it, would the [FCP: File > Import] or some other way be able to import (convert to FCP-friendly format) that format?   Not just a case of re-wrapping but re-compression.  Would I have to use Compressor in principle – and is it capable of it in practice?

    Import Sony EX XDCAM 720p50 into Final Cut: Websearch

    Sunday, May 31st, 2009
    • Googled for any well-known solution to the lack of 720p50 support.  An article from Nov 2007 at the Aulich & ADamski website [] said that the previous (to then) lack of 50p support in FCP had been addressed in updates (at that time) to Final Cut Pro, Motion, DVD Studio Pro, Color, Cinema Tools, Soundtrack Pro and QuickTime Pro.
    • At [] the Release Notes of Final Cut indicated that XDCAM EX support had been added in FCP version 6.0.2.  This support included for XDCAM EX 720p50 VBR as per my footage.  
    • Notes also said: “Important: A separate plug‑in from Sony is required to enable these features”.  But no actual link etc. was stated…
    • Notes also said: “Once you ingest your XDCAM EX footage to QuickTime media files on your scratch disk, you can simply choose the XDCAM EX Easy Setup that corresponds to your footage and edit as you would with any other native format in Final Cut Pro”.  So at least now I know my footage should be ingested to QuickTime not MXF.
    • Notes also said, re “50p Support”: “Along with support for a number of recent 50p video formats, Final Cut Pro 6.0.2 includes support for 50 fps timecode in all timecode fields and project properties. A new 50 @ 25 timecode format has been added for deck support and EDL compatibility with 50 fps formats.  Note: Motion, Color, and Soundtrack Pro now support 50p footage as well.
    • Notes also said, re “Updating Motion and Motion Templates”:Final Cut Pro 6.0.2 master templates require Motion version 3.0.2 or later. By upgrading to Motion version 3.0.2 or later, you take advantage of important fixes and improvements made in the Motion application and templates.”
    • I checked the version of my installed Motion and it was indeed 3.0.2.
    • Setting up an FCP project (though not specifically XDCAM EX): article at []
    • Organizing FCP project disks/folders/files in a tidy fashion: article at
    • How to render for a DVD []: “Make sure you sequence is rendered and then export a Quicktime using current settings with compression markers and do not make it self-contained (assuming you compressing on the same machine). In Compressor pick a DVD setting that works for you delivery.”

      Import Sony EX XDCAM 720p50 into Final Cut: Initial Stumbles

      Sunday, May 31st, 2009

      Initial Stumbles 

      • Shot footage on an EX3 suitable for DVD and web.  Following advice of “gurus” such as Alister Chapman, shot it in 720p50 mode.  Having done so, wanted to get it into Final Cut for editing etc.
      • Initially, used ClipBrowser (v2.0) to ingest the footage.  Didn’t know if I should do it the same way I did on Windows for Sony Vegas, that is by generating a “.mxf” file or by generating a “.mov” file.  Tried both.  These are containers, not codecs.  The “.mxf” file is Material Exchange Format while “.mov” is QuickTime.
      • Wanted to know more about the contents e.g. the codecs used and their settings.  To get this, used VideoSpec – a video analyzer broadly like GSpot on Windows)
      • MXF contents: FourCC “mpg2” (MPEG-2), Bitrate 35000 kbps,  fps 50, 1280×720, PAR 1:1, DAR: 16:9, Chroma subsampling format YUV420p.
      • MOV contents: FourCC “xdva” (XDCAM), Bitrate 34900 kbps, fps 50, 1280×720, PAR 1:1, DAR 16:9, Chroma YUV420p.
      • In FCP, tried to find a standard setting suitable for this, but nothing matched. In particular there were 60p formats but not 50p formats – frustrating.   Instead made a “best guess” at the most closely matching format and customized it.  I think I ended up with format “HDV 720p50” but was concerned that HDV may have different standards (e.g. number and aspect ratio of pixels) to that of my EX XDCAM footage.

      Plan the next steps

      Sunday, April 26th, 2009

      This is now a usable system.

      However, for education and possible flexibility, I next intend to identify benchmark tests for both Mac and Windows, run them as-is on standard disks, GRAID and ProAVIO RAID, attempt install MacDrive (via workaround to dodge RAID driver compatibility issues), retest, also try other cross-filesystem tools. Also, for the ProAVIO NTFS partition, want to identify a reliable filesystem synchronizer. ABSynch comes to mind but I have not used it before.

      Success: Both Mac and Windows can now use the RAID !

      Sunday, April 26th, 2009

      The result was exactly as intended, an MBR partitioning system containing an HFS+ partition and an NTFS partition. Mac OS X was able to read the contents of both partitions. Windows (BootCamp XP) was able to read and write to the NTFS partition.

      Convert GPT to MBR (non-destructively via iPartition)

      Sunday, April 26th, 2009

      Now the question is: Can I non-destructively convert the RAID’s partitioning system from GPT to MBR? Non destructively here means I don’t have to wipe the disk (through reformatting etc) and recover the data from backup. The answer is YES! The Mac-based iPartition app does exactly that.

      iPartition 3.1.1 (154) did it fine, taking around 6 or 7 hours.


      NTFS partition not visible to XP – because it’s GPT

      Saturday, April 25th, 2009

      OK so I have partitions for HFS+ and NTFS but still no extra disk (drive letter) shows up.  XP’s Disk Management tool does list the disk device but allows no operations on it – menu commands are greyed-out.  The tool displays the partitioning system as GPT, which may be a clue:  I think XP is unable to handle GPT-based partitions, only MBR ones.

      iPartition the RAID

      Saturday, April 25th, 2009

      Used iPartition (3.1.0, 153)  to split the existing RAID into separate volumes for the existing HFS+ volume and additionally an NTFS volume, the latter for use by the BootCamp-XP system. (more…)

      WinClone OK After Windows Pruned

      Saturday, April 25th, 2009

      WinClone worked fine once the BootCamp system disk size had been reduced from 250 GB to 30GB and de-fragged. (more…)

      Back-up the System Volumes

      Friday, April 24th, 2009

      Backed-up to my new RAID1 USB drive:

      • Backed-up Mac volume to “Macintosh HD 2009-04-21.dmg”. Presumably I did this via Disk Utility from bootable CD.
      • Tried backing-up XP volume by using WinClone. Normally a smooth process but this time I ran into difficulties.


      How to Partition the RAID

      Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

      The “separate partitions” workaround should be simple to try and will provide a basis for a baseline speed test against which to compare the other workarounds.  iPartition can be run not only from its own bootable CD but also from Mac OS. Only under the latter can it see the RAID. Before doing anything though, back-up the system disks, Mac and Win (BootCamp-XP).


      Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

      Regardless of which product is to blame, what work-arounds are there?

      1. Split the RAID into separate partitions for Windows and for Mac filesystems.
      2. Alternative RAID card e.g. by Promise Technology.
      3. Convert the filesystem itself between Windows and Mac formats, by using iPartition (which I already have).


      Mac: HFS+ accessibility to BootCamp-XP

      Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

      OK so the RAID itself is now accessible to Windows (BootCamp-XP) but since it is formatted as HFS+ the filesystem does not mount as a Windows disk. Reseller helped investigate this further.At first, attempted use of MacDrive 7. a product that (as I understand it) lets Windows apps see HFS+ filesystems (e.g. disks). However after installation, windows kept booting then BSOD then rebooting etc… Exited by forcing a safe boot then uninstalling MacDrive. A query to MacDrive suppliers confirmed it was not compatible with the RR driver: (more…)