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Using external SSD for After Effects -problems

New Here ,
May 06, 2023 May 06, 2023

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This sounds like I'm missing something obvious, but as I'm not all that tech-savvy I'll post my question and (maybe) let you have a good laugh.

 

I've just purchased a 1 TB LaCie SSD external drive, as I want to use that to make my AE work smoother. My AE keeps crashing (crashed 23 times over last weekend) I'm guessing because I'm running out of memory using my iMac hard drive. In the AE Preferences - Media & Disc Cache, I've now chosen a folder on my SSD for Enable Disc Cache and Conformed Media Cache and pressed OK. All looks fine.

However, when I start to edit all cache goes straight to my old cache folders on my iMac, despite those not being a chosen option anymore. Nothing goes into my SSD disc folders, and my crashing problem remains.

 

What am I missing?

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Crash , How to , Performance

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Community Expert ,
May 07, 2023 May 07, 2023

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Would you check the disk format of LaCie SSD? It would be better to reformat it.

 

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New Here ,
May 08, 2023 May 08, 2023

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I have reformatted it. No change. The format is ExFat, which, according to Apple, is compatible with my iMac.

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Community Expert ,
May 08, 2023 May 08, 2023

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If you use it with Mac osx only, why not you choose Journal, instead of ExFat?

 

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Community Expert ,
May 09, 2023 May 09, 2023

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ExFAT, created by Microsoft, is certainly Mac-compatible for general use, like storing normal files. The reason a lot of external drives are formatted as ExFAT is simply so that it works right away if the buyer plugs it into a Mac or PC. But ExFAT is not an ideal Mac format; for example, Apple won’t let you install and boot macOS from an ExFAT formatted volume. This might be related to the problem, I am not sure if there a similar restriction when it comes to the media/disk caches for Adobe video applications.

 

It’s definitely worth trying to reformat that external SSD in one of the more supported Mac volume formats. The most supported format is Apple File System (APFS), which is optimized for SSD performance. APFS is how every new Mac’s internal storage is formatted. The older format that Apple is phasing out is Mac OS Extended (HFS+). Your iMac internal storage is formatted in one of those two ways.

 

I use an external SSD that’s been working well as a media/disk cache volume. It’s formatted as APFS.

 

Edit: Just as a side note, I looked up the requirements for scratch disks in Photoshop. For Macs, APFS and HFS+ are supported, and ExFAT is not. That definitely makes me wonder if After Effects also doesn’t want to use ExFAT for caches.

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New Here ,
May 09, 2023 May 09, 2023

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When I access the SSD disc via Disc Utility, I can't find APFS as an option, only MS-DOS(FAT), ExFat, or Mac OS Extended (two versions). That's it. My iMac is from 2017, so maybe it's too old(?)

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Community Expert ,
May 09, 2023 May 09, 2023

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It might depend on which version of macOS your iMac is running. There was a point several years ago when Apple started adding APFS as a file system option, but I can’t remember which version it was.

 

To keep it really simple, instead of maybe going through a whole macOS upgrade just to get the APFS option, it’s perfectly acceptable for this purpose to format the SSD as Mac OS Extended (Journaled), which definitely has been well supported for many years. Given what you’ve described, I think that is probably how your iMac itself is formatted.

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New Here ,
May 09, 2023 May 09, 2023

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When I check my Macintosh HD it runs on APFS. Strange then that I can't find that as an option for my SSD disc. RE: your edit comment -I agree that one Adobe app preferring APFS ought to mean the rest of them do as well.

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