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Sound devices total failure and file loss

Sound devices file loss

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62 replies to this topic





My suggestion is to always send a good enough quality pilot to the camera. You said you were using 7D, in this case a simple wireless G3 system would do just fine. Just send them the better track (boom, usually, unless it's noisy out there) and not the mix on both, and you got yourself another perfectly usable backup. I know it's not the same as the recorder, but if you sort out the levels it could save your ass in some cases, and they will not even notice the difference in sound quality.



  • LocationLondon, United Kingdom
Glad it's sorted - just one thing, though; why is this in the Recording Direct To Computer section?

John Leonard


  • LocationNYC



Thanks for the info, really helpful.


SD gave me a great customer support = deff a company I like doing business with :)

Pablo Diez - Location sound and Music. Greater NYC area. “If at first you don't succeed call it version 1.0”


  • LocationSydney, Australia

I read this entire thread so problem solved or not i'm adding my 2 cents :)


Without upsetting all the Sound Devices fanboys (I prefer Sound Devices myself), I don't see a problem with the title, it was a failure and it happened to a sound devices product, nothing more, nothing less.


Similar problem happened to a sound recordist I've worked with. A few years ago, while recording the CF flashed "slow" and the HD didn't but upon checking it back he realised neither had recorded, after searching the manual it said nothing about the problem. He contacted Sound Devices and they said they knew about the issue but hadn't addressed it in the manual and when any media is corrupted or "slow" all the media or platforms it's being recorded on will also be corrupted. After trouble shooting it turned out to be a fault CF card (obviously not the problem you were having). 


Also that was a pretty good result, sounds like great customer service from Sound Devices.

Marc Wielage

Marc Wielage
  • LocationNorthridge, CA

I think instead of just flashing a small "slow" warning message on the screen, instead the whole screen should turn black and it should say YOU'RE SCREWED in big flashing red letters. 


It might be time to update the manual and make sure people understand the need for fast media, plus giving the main drive some "breathing room" in terms of disk space.


Note this is true for all non-linear recorders, picture and sound.

www.cinesound.tv | location sound • post-production consultant

Angelo Waldron

Angelo Waldron
  • LocationLos Angeles, CA

Is this another operator error thread?

Marc Wielage

Marc Wielage
  • LocationNorthridge, CA

Well, I think it's kind of an underestimation of how severe the "slow media" error is. Jon Tatooles has a long thread on what "slow media" means at this link:




What the manual says is:


Failure During Recording
In the event of a storage media failure, the specific error will be indicated on the LCD and warning bells in the headphone monitor. Possible causes of media failure include, a hard drive in severe motion which results in recording errors, a CompactFlash card filling up while recording, or an external DVD-RAM that can’t keep up with the chosen data rate, track count, or file type. If more than one drive is selected for recording, the remaining drives will continue recording without failure. If a media continues to be displayed as slow after the warning prompt has been cleared, press the Stop key to clear the Slow status.
I think what happened in the o.p.'s situation is, the hard drive was already dangerously filled to capacity (less than 10% open space), and the CF card was too slow, which resulted in losing files. To me, every computer-based recording device in the world will fail under similar conditions. I once saw a $500,000 color-correction computer brought to its knees when it was overloaded with about 95% on all available hard drives, which led to about 2 days of brutal pain and suffering. It's kind of like filling a coffee cup with hot coffee to about 90%, and then trying to run across a football field at top speed... kinda hard to do it without spilling it and getting burned. It's a lot safer if it's only, say, 50% filled. 
Maybe in this case, SD could build in a new error correction check routine at boot-up where it went out and checked the available space on the internal hard drive, and then said, "hey, stupid! The drive is almost filled up! I'd advise that you erase some crap first, or proceed at your own peril!" (I love snappy error messages.)

www.cinesound.tv | location sound • post-production consultant

Angelo Waldron

Angelo Waldron
  • LocationLos Angeles, CA

and then said, "hey, stupid! The drive is almost filled up! I'd advise that you erase some crap first, or proceed at your own peril!" (I love snappy error messages.)

I couldn't handle that from Sven.....Helga I might listen to if I got what I wanted.

Ty Ford

Ty Ford
  • LocationBaltimore, MD



I just read the entire thread. Sorry for your pain. I'm pretty sure all of us have had something bad happen. Thanks for tossing the bones out on the table for us to pick through. I know I learned or relearned some things here. JW, thanks for making this all possible.




Ty Ford


  • LocationTitirangi - Auckland - New Zealand

Great to hear the machine is getting attention.


Yep SD a great company with superb products.


I had a problem on a shoot in a jungle 2 years ago.


We shot all morning and during the last set-up of the morning I moved my

702T to improve radio receiption in the wet jungle.


I must have touched a button? and the machine indicated the CF needed to be formatted

before use!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I replaced the CF and continued working, having told the production of the problem.

All fine but nothing usable found on the first CF despite recovery software that evening.


We had time to re-shoot the lost setup the following day in better light thank goodness.


Never saw the problem again so it was finger trouble and my fault or the CF card.


A personally vexing event, honest is the only way but used the 702T for two more years

without any problem prior to replacing with my fabulous 664



Marc Wielage

Marc Wielage
  • LocationNorthridge, CA

WAV Saver is another utility that might be able to salvage the file, though I'm not sure how well it does with metadata and timecode:


http://www.railjonro...m/WAV Saver.htm

www.cinesound.tv | location sound • post-production consultant


  • LocationSavannah Ga

In case someone doesn't read this whole thread let me write a brief summary: 

Ways to avoid media I/O issues and Slow Media warnings: 

1. Use approved Media 

2. Never let internal hard drive get more then 75% Full ( I personally reformat at 50% Full) 


What to do if you get an issue or warning: 

1. Immediately stop the take and investigate 

2. Listen Back to the file to make sure it present and not corrupt. 

3. Change CF card out ( bad CF cards can cause other issues as well) so just pull it from service until you can examine it closely 

4. Check Space Left on Internal HD 

5. Restart Machine 

6. Do a Record Test. 

7, If Record test is ok continue with your day but check your files rest of day. 


After Shoot: 

1. Wipe Internal Hard Drive 

2. Do a Hard Reset of machine and user settings 

3. Do a full stress record test enable all tracks at 24/48 and let the thing roll all night. 


Bottom Line is Media I/O and Slow Media Issues are VERY serious and should NOT be taken lightly. 

Whitney Ince | www.prolocationsound.com | South East USA
Savannah, Atlanta , Charleston and Jacksonville
FCC LPAB (Part 74) Lic. WQOC497


  • LocationLos Angeles

+1 on "thanx for posting plus everyone's shared experience," "not changing the thread title," and "why is this thread in this forum?"