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Optimize your computer before you start editing

Optimize your computer before you start editing By Déclic Vidéo FX - Last updated on Sunday, March 25, 2012
53162 Views :: 13 Comments :: Article Rating (Total Votes: 52)
Category: Studio 1-15 Tutorials / General  -  Previous tutorials
Published on Sunday, January 24, 2010
Created on Friday, January 15, 2010 7:17 AM

Users often report issues where Studio seems to be the cause, but they often realize after investigations that's finally not related to the editing software. Except typical issues related to graphics cards and their drivers or poor PC management there is generally some 'Top 10' of known issues.
Rémy Fehlmann has developed a list of recommendations applicable from Windows XP up to Windows Seven, allowing you to improve the performance of your system. This list doesn't contain 'myths' but only easy to handle solutions that have been tested and confirmed by the users. Any change that would require technical knowledge or would create any issue was systematically discarded in order to get that stuff safe. Hope this will help.

Please notice that those recommandations should be applied prior to Studio install, such as Disabling Windows Vista/Seven UAC Control prior Studio install (famous (UAC).

Step 1 : Recommendations specific to Windows operating system

An operating system properly calibrated and well optimized will provide maximum resources needed to editing.

  • Disable any Energy Save function such as Cool & Quiet or similar (check also Bios settings).
  • Check with the manufacturer of your motherboard if a newer BIOS is available to solve particular problems of compatibility of memory (some cases were found where Studio was crashing during Make Movie due to intensive memory usage).
  • Disable Windows Screen saver and Power Saving :
    (Control Panel> Power Options).
  • Let Windows manage the pagefile automatically:
    (fixed size can lead to unexpected problems).
    If you have multiple hard drives you can improve performance by setting the pagefile to another hard drive, physically not on another partition of same disk drive.
    Note that this kind of optimization has less benefits with the latest generation PCs with lot of memory.
  • Disable Fast User switching:
    (Control Panel> User Accounts> Change the way users log on and off).
  • Disable UAC user control under Windows Vista and Seven (Edit settings control user account). Important ! To do before installing Studio !
  • Disable Indexing files:
    (Explorer> right-click on each drive> Properties> Do not allow indexing - apply to C:\ and all subfolders and files).
  • Set the Indexing Service in Windows to MANUAL:
    (Start> Run> type services.msc, OK> double-click Indexing Service> Stop Service> Update service starting this Manual).
    Note that Windows Seven might notify you that the Indexing service is not activated. Limited impact and you might ever not notice any difference.
  • Optimize the programs startup (also valid with Windows Seven):
    1) Open Windows Explorer and go to the folder C:\Windows\Prefetch (if any);
    2) Delete all the files located in this folder and let the browser window open;
    3) From the Run command .., type the command (case sensitive!):
    Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll, ProcessIdleTasks
    4) Wait and look: Windows will collect usage statistics and update your PC. You should see it working if you let the window browser opened in the C:Windows\Prefetch : new files will appear in this folder, confirming that this tip is not a myth! (fyi Windows does that automatically according to specific rules and provided that the Scheduled Task Service is not disabled - see below in the Step 2 "Disabling some services depending on your area of use").
    Note: with Windows Seven you can customize the Start menu to display the "Run .." command no longer displayed by default. The settings are located in the Properties of the Taskbar and Start Menu> Tab "Customize ..." > Check the "Run command".
  • Delete temporary files:
    (Start, Run, type % temp% , OK. Then delete all temporary files or folder that will appear (some might be locked/in use - just ignore and continue).
    Some freewares or sharewares are also cleaning temporary files. This manual cleanup still valid at any time and can help you to just check the number of the temporay objects. Obviously this has to be done only when you are not updating/installing programs or currently using apps..
  • Optimize Windows boot sectors and files pre-loaded into memory (Prefetch). This solution also applies to Windows Seven:
    From the Run .., type the command :
    defrag C: -b
    A window will appear and confirm the optimization operation that will complete shortly.
    Note with Windows Seven you can customize the Start menu to display the "Run .." no longer displayed by default as opposed to XP. This is in the Properties of the Taskbar and Start Menu> Tab "Customize ..." > Check the "Run command" option
    For XP only: Disable XP spy !:
    From the Run .., type the command (case sensitive!):
    regsvr32.exe-u c:\windows\system32\regwizc.dll
  • Use only one firewall (except the router). For example, keep the Norton Firewall and disable Windows Defender.
  • Check for errors in the Windows Event Viewer, especially in the Applications folder (eg Pinnacle MS SQL). If necessary uninstall Pinnacle MSSQL in Control Panel> Add / Remove Programs (no impact on the installation of Studio).
    Pinnacle MSSQL is used by a product like Pinnacle Media Center. This is an instance using Microsoft SQL Server. Uninstalling Pinnacle MSSQL will resolve the error reported in Event Viewer and Studio will be better. Microsoft SQL Server has been installed either by Pinnacle (No Studio), either as an application using Microsoft SQL Server. You can also uninstall Microsoft SQL Server to improve performance of your machine if you are sure you do not have another product using it.
  • Change the options in the Automatic Windows Update to ask you before installing an update. Not necessary with Windows Seven where the process of automatic updates is very smooth.
  • Disable Windows Monitoring of each Drive and then reactivate: will delete all Restore points and recreate a fresh one. While uninstalling/installing programs there is an impressive number of snapshots of your systems that you might want to clean as some point once your machine looks stable.
  • Use software such as the excellent free CCleaner to remove all obsolete references to the Windows registry. The registry size can be reduced up 15-20% with the following benefits:
    - less memory usage (the Registry is loaded into the memory)
    - less Studio iterations searching for audio drivers etc. at startup time
    - Studio will not get stuck with obsolete references
  • The number of Active processes is a good indicator on the health of the PC. It can be viewed in the Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Del). Reference: fresh installed machine with few programs plus internet connectivity has usually less than 45 active processes. Then, the number may increase to 60-70 depending on additional programs you might add and the related services & processes.

    Some optimization utilities are already supporting few optimizations mention here. These are also featuring more sophisticated optimizations that are intentionaly not listed here such as:
    - Increase internet bandwidth up to 20% (originally reserved by Windows);
    - Defragment the Registry;
    - Turbo Mode to temporarily give full power to Studio;
    - Optimizations tailored to the performance of the machine;
    - Advice about services or programs potentially not required;
    - etc..
Step 2 : Disabling some Services depending on your area of use

Turning off some unwanted Services will free up resources for editing. However, it must be done properly because it can reduce performance or create unexpected problems. It is, for example, not at all recommended to disable the Windows Task Scheduler, even if you do not schedule tasks because Windows uses it for background optimization tasks.

The following services can be disabled without any risk. Just assess if you need to do so (Column Usage). The performance gain is limited, because those services are on hold but you save some memory and consume less energy which is particularly interesting with a laptop eg. with the Wi-Fi.

To access the service management: (Start> Run> type services.msc, OK)

Stop the service, then put it in Manual
No scanner installed - Windows Image Acquisition (WIA)
Windows Help not needed - Help and Support
No Wi-Fi - Wireless Configuration
Not sharing files or printers - Server
No need to send error report to Microsoft - Error Reporting Sevice
No need to synchronise Windows clock - Windows Time
Already uses a firewall other than Windows - Windows Firewall
The fast user switching is disabled - Fast User Switching Compatibility
Step 3 : Graphic Card
  • Aim to improve performance by installing a "highend" graphics card is a worth - but be careful - will be not necessarily fully supported by an older version of Studio. For example known issues displaying some HFX transitions with 9600 nVidia cards and Studio 11.
  • Download the latest available nVidia/ATI driver version.
  • The Check3D utility provided with Studio does not necessarily qualify at 100% last generation HD cards. This does not necessarily mean that your card is not compatible with Studio, but rather the tool has it's own limitations.
  • If your graphics card supports HDMI and you connect a monitor with an HDMI cable the sound will come out of the speakers of your screen without additional audio cables. Known limitation : the impossibility of outputing at the same time HDI and Analog outputs of the sound card (speakers). For example with Windows Seven it is necessary to choose: HDMI or Speakers 'Playback device default'.
Step 4 : Hard drive
  • If you have multiple hard drives, take the opportunity to spread the load by adjusting the parameters of Studio for it to put the auxiliary files on hard drive other than C:\ by default.
  • If you have an external hard drive connected to USB, change its settings so it does not support hotplug disconnection can improve performance. Once connected, go in the Device Manager and look in the Properties of that device. You should find a Tab with that hotplug option to disable.
  • Defragment hard disk is fine but will not necessarily solve when your system is abnormally slow. Try rather to find some process/task abnormally using CPU. In the Task Manager, sort the CPU column to view by usage.
  • SSD drives are much faster than "classic" hard drives dues to their new technology. If you are considering buying, be careful to the characteristics when the price looks interesting. Can be an old model not using the last generation memory controller, and at some point can lead to performance issues dues to lack of optimization while performing write operations. Windows Seven supports SSD models with content optimization compatibility. If the manufacturer is providing a tool to solve such issue look in the forums if the users are not reporting issues such as data lost..
Step 5 : Processor
  • Install AMD Dual Core Optimizer if you have an old Dual Core AMD.
    A lack of synchronization of an internal clock may cause problem of sound and image synchronisation in Studio or even crash of other applications like the old Lego Star Wars game.
  • XP is not optimized to fully use Quad Core processors (the CPU utilization rate is generally limited at 50%). It's because the engineers originally designed multi-tasking architecture according to processor performance at that time.
  • Windows Seven is optimized to better exploit multi-core processors, and improved performance of disk I/O which is welcome to Studio that use intensively the files.
  • The best performance is obtained Studio with Vista and Seven 64-bits even if Studio is just 32 bits native!
Step 6 : Memory
  • Check your memory modules in case of Make Movie issues occuring with long intensive rendering. If multiple memory modules are installed try with only one, then alternate (same memory type recommended).
  • Check if an updated BIOS resolving memory compatibility problems is available from the manufacturer of the motherboard.
  • Overclocking is at your own risk.
Step 7 : Slowing at Studio's start up
  • Check if the hidden file runsilent.txt is present at the root of each drive. For example C:\. If yes, edit and remove all blocks of redundant lines if they exist, then make the file read-only (this file is issued from SoundSoap plugin).
  • Obsolete remaining references in the Windows registry may slightly slow down Studio's startup (see Step 1).
Step 8 : Third party softwares and utilities
  • Avoid using resident programs that scan the hard drive for files, for example OSCheck.
  • Avoid installing software like Nero In-CD or equivalent that can lock the drive and make it unavailable for Studio.
  • If possible disable all scheduled automatic tasks third party softwares such as Norton Ghost, Nero BackItUp Scheduler, etc.. Some versions of antivirus software can be configured to stay quiet while running programs specified by the user, for example Studio!
Step 9 : Validation de la configuration

In case of doubts about the performance of your machine look for Base 550 and Dreamlook 1, 2, 3 benchmarks available on Pinnacle Studio French Forum and compare with the results of these tests (sorry, it's only available in french).

Step 10 : Your computer is slow to boot ?

No doubt, apply the following advices, and consult this tutorial: My PC is slow to boot ...

Step 11 : References

Version 1.4 - Last modification on January 20, 2010

  • Added « Services can be disabled.. »
  • Updated « Third party softwares and utilities »
  • Updates for Windows Seven
  • Added various informations
  • Update for publishing on DV FX website

{Thanks to Saby who translated this tutorial from french to english and cross-checked}
{Thanks to Le Papy who compiled this tutorial to match the website design}

And if you still have problems when video editing, consult this other tutorial: When everything goes wrong

Share/Save this article

Graham By # Graham @ Sunday, January 24, 2010 11:51 PM
Re. step 8 .I have Nero 6 light.Is this the same as "In CD".My drive does lock up sometimes but it seems to be the DVD it's self.I bought some TDK made by some Chinese company called CC.Previously the ones I was using were MYTEK.The irony is that it was a Nero utility I used to find out who made the disk's.

Remy Fehlmann By # Remy Fehlmann @ Monday, January 25, 2010 7:03 AM
Hi Graham,

Good question. Agree that explanation is not crystal clear.

Nero-In CD is a Nero component shipped since ages with Nero suite. It is not installed by default with Nero, but some users might have installed it by using Nero custom install and selected all components.

We do not recommend to install Nero-In CD it if you don't need to directly drag & drop files to media, as he might lock the drive to allow Packet Write.

We also noticed some compatibility issues with Virtual Drive that might be installed by i.e. Pinnacle software such as Instant Copy (also an optional component available in install options).

We also highly recommend you check if the manufacturer issued any firmware update and check regurarly. Can solve media compability issues as well OS compatilbity such as with lastest Windows Seven.

Hope this help.

Gert Oskar Reitner By # Gert Oskar Reitner @ Monday, January 25, 2010 9:24 AM
This really shows your professionalism in providing help !

Graham By # Graham @ Monday, January 25, 2010 3:23 PM
Some of my problems are caused by the brand of my computer.I have an E-machine.It is a purposed built computer for large retailers such as 'best buy'.Consequently I have a CD burner that can not be updated.These machines are built to be cheap and are a good bargain for the average user.But I won't buy another.

J Compton By # J Compton @ Saturday, January 30, 2010 6:50 PM
You Guys ROCK! Thank you very much for taking time out of your day to help other in need...
I wish more were like you guys....very generous.....Thank You

Blog and SEO Tips By # Blog and SEO Tips @ Thursday, March 25, 2010 3:21 AM
thank you very much for this tutorial. This is very helped me to optimize my computer when i using pinnacle or other.

danny By # danny @ Friday, September 3, 2010 4:11 PM
Is there anyway to get Pinnacle Studio HD Version 14 working on a Virtual Hard Disk. I use parallels 5 and when I try to open Pinnacle it says that it has crashed.

saby By # saby @ Thursday, October 7, 2010 2:25 PM
Change your virtual machine. I have no issue at all using VirtualBox or VMWare and whatever the OS installed (XP, Vista or Seven).

kinga7788 By # kinga7788 @ Thursday, June 14, 2012 9:27 PM
Hello, First time ive ever written to one of these discussions or blogs? But I had to say thanks! I followed everyline as best I could all night but was so nervous to hit the install with all the different opinions out there. I used pinnacle studio 12 a few times and got really great reviews presenting at my uncles 70th, so of course now i think im a pro:) I had to buy a studio upgrade since I recently left win 98 and PS1(joking, but very old pc) and now I have the i5 Dell. So I wanted to ask about all those changes I made on pc from your recomendations above, when do I restore them or do I not. I dont know enough about some of them to know if I need it back. Also, I was doing a cost analysis for Avid and if I was going to buy the tutorials, I could spend the same and get Avid and free tutorials according to the deal you mentioned. Should I?? I was so excited to hear about that archive function because my brother and I ran into so many problems and locating files when we did the party project together. We thought we could just copy files and use on each computer, but if they are in different locations, look out!! But archive seems to be the solution, the only problem is, i didnt see it on Avid, and I dont see BIAS Soundsoap anywhere either. Well thanks so much for everything and I hope this makes some sense!

Rémy By # Rémy @ Tuesday, June 19, 2012 4:14 AM
Hi Kinga778,

Many thanks for your detailed input. None user reported having to revert back any of the suggested change improvements whatever Windows version used. Of course some of the changes might not be applicable to some specific version and in this case there will be no negative impact (just not applying the improvement). With regards to archiving projects, latest Studio version introduced Archive Mgmt feature to help saving projects and all related objects, since manipulating them manually is tricky, complex and not safe. With regards to BIAS Soundsoap, this is an optional plug-in therefore no need to waste time if you haven't installed (add-on provided with some Studio versions). Ragerding some of your questions such as documentation we suggest you look first at Avid-Pinnacle web-site since not really related to this 'Optimize your computer topic.

Adding here an improvement goodies:
Check out in 'Control Panel' if Java is there (Java icon). If so, open it and go to 'Advanced Tab', Misc section (latest), de-select 'Java Quick Starter' if available/not greyed. Done! Your PC might eat less CPU randomly - noticed with some configurations.

Hope does help.

kinga7788 By # kinga7788 @ Wednesday, June 20, 2012 3:23 AM
Hello Remy,

Thank you so much for the responses, very much appreciated! Looking back I did give quite a bit of detail, but I will keep it short & specific going forward:) I also may have spoken hastily because after optimizing the system and subsequent install I got the error “importer has stopped working” at every launch as well as when attempting to select the “import” mode. However, after many late nights reviewing my steps, I found the solution at Avid Knowledge Base under “SPECIFIC TROUBLESHOOTING” STEP 10: Start Services
Go to Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services.
• Shell Hardware Detection
• Windows Image Acquisition –I had this particular service set to “Not Started” and “Disabled” probably inadvertently while optimizing the system. The two services above must be “Started” and the Startup Type should be set to “Automatic”. Once I revised the settings, Studio 15 Ultimate started right up with no problems (so far!)
**May be helpful for others to take note when trying to increase performance for initial installation.

For clarity, regarding my question on the new Archive feature, I intended to say that I thought it was a significant and useful addition to S15, but that I did not see it listed anywhere in AVID Studio, which I was considering upgrading to using a current discount I saw at Declic Video blog. However, understanding the rules a little better now, I will search elsewhere for those types of questions.

Thanks again for your time and assistance and I look forward to contributing in the future as I am now half way through the 450 page Pinnacle Studio user doc !!

Déclic Vidéo FX By # Déclic Vidéo FX @ Sunday, June 24, 2012 1:42 PM
Hello Kinga7788,

Well done, thanks for the information, which is valuable for users who might encounter the same problem than you.
Good luck for continuing reading the documentation...

Do not hesitate to join our team, if you feel that you can bring something to the community, everybody is welcomed (email us in such case) !!

PS: No archive function with AVID Studio, sorry...

Remy By # Remy @ Tuesday, June 26, 2012 2:26 AM
Hi Kinga7788,

Just FYI with regards to your feedback:
I had this particular service set to “Not Started” and “Disabled” probably inadvertently while optimizing the system. The two services above must be “Started” and the Startup Type should be set to “Automatic”

Please note a Service set to "Disable" is not started by Windows and can't be started by any App, whereas it can be started "on demand" by any instance requiring it if set to "Manual" (Windows or App). This is why this tip recommends to set Manual as Imaging Service might not be required depending the version of Studio.

Anyway well done and thanks for your feddback much appreciated.

Hope it does help, have a nice day.

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