Suggestions for fixing corrupted projects in Final Cut Pro X

Some thoughts about trying to resolve a corruption problem in Final Cut Pro X

Yesterday, I opened a project, created about 3 weeks earlier and was horrified to find ever time I tried to access the footage FCP X crashed.

There was too much at stake to just abandon the work already done – several days effort..


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After several attempts to open the project and subsequent crashes, I started to try to diagnose where the problem was. Earlier, I had also tried to open the backed up project (back ups are done via “Carbon Copy Cloner” daily back ups) – same results – crashes as soon as the project clips were accessed.

I removed the FCP preferences from the Preference library, re started the computer – no fix.FCP Tutorials from 1.99

Using “Event Manager X”, I  opened FCP  with just the Event open and then with just the Project open. The problem was in the Project, as when the Event was open by itself, it did not crash when the Event clips were accessed. When the project was opened without the Event, FCP still crashed.

First I tried to duplicate the project, it let me create a duplicate with out crashing, but even with only the duplicated Project open, FCP crashed. Then I tried to export the project as a ProRes 422 file (Thinking that at least I could re – import what had already been edited) You guessed it – Crashed again.

With the update 10.0.6, Final Cut now retains in and out points. I realized that all clips in the event library, (that had in and out points retained), could be selected and when a new Project was created these could all be added to a new time line (with the “E” shortcut) in one action. That was certainly getting me well on the way to recovery – but any effects and modifications to those clips would need to be re-added – (not such a good idea after all – but certainly better than having to review the event footage from scratch)

1 In & out points

It was about this time, that I started to look at the Problem report text in the crash document that is automatically sent to Apple. not being a programmer, this was “gobbly gook” to me – or so I thought. I noticed that every time a crash report was produced that it included the words: “BAD_ACCESS” and “INVALID_ADDRESS at”, that address was always the same number “0000000000028” I wondered if that had something to do with the time code in the time line. Maybe the corruption is in the first few clips

1 crash report

In desperation, I opened FCP again with only the Event and duplicated Project open, then immediately accessed the duplicated Project, and before it could crash, selected the first few clips and quickly, deleted them. Wonder of wonders, it no longer crashed.

To, sort of, prove the theory, I opened FCP again with the Event and the original Project – it crashed. I opened FCP again with the Event and the new Project – no crashes.

It is a day later and another 40 minutes of edit has been added to the new Project – all is OK so far. But I have exported the edit so far as a ProRes 422 file – just in case.

What have I learnt?

1/ FCP files/projects can become corrupt – as did those of FCP 7 and earlier.

2/ It is worth trying to solve the problem and not just start the edit again.

3/ Event Manager X is worth it’s weight in GOLD – never would have taken the time to move events and projects from one folder to another hidden folder and back in the Finder – all too hard without Event manager X

4/ Maybe the Problem reports: “INVALID_ADDRESS at” can give an indication where the corrupt clips are in the time line – and maybe able to delete those.

I hope this helps anyone else who has the misfortune to wake up one morning and find a corrupted PCP Project.

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5 responses

  1. This is great advice, but how were you able to open the Project to create that first Duplicate?
    I followed your steps, but to no avail. I have a corrupt project and any time I try top open FCP X, that Project crashes.

    Any advice on opening a corrupted Project?

    • In my case the crash only occurred when the time line for the project was opened (double clicked in the Library). Fortunately, FCP did not crash while the project was just showing in the project library.

      As you will know, to duplicate the project you don’t need to open it in the time line. Just right click on the project in the project library and select duplicate.

      As far as deleting the the corrupt clips, I was lucky in the respect that when I double clicked the corrupt project (in the project library) it would open for a few seconds, in the time line, before crashing. I was able to select some clips, in that short time, and delete them before the crash happened. I had to be quick and repeated it several times, between crashes, before I deleted the corrupt clip/s.

      Hope that helps

  2. Pingback: Linkage Thursday! | Miguel Cobo

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