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Hollywood filmmakers reporting 'large failures' of Mac Professionals operating Avid

Update: Avid has confirmed the issue and issued a brief statement.

Avid is aware of the reboot issue affecting Apple Mac Pro devices running some Avid products, which arose late yesterday. This issue is top priority for our engineering and support teams, who have been working diligently to determine and resolve the root cause. As we learn more, we will immediately publish information—directly to our customers and via our community forums and social media platforms—in order to resolve this issue for all affected customers and prevent any further issues.

Hollywood filmmakers, editors, and post-production companies are reporting “a massive failure” of large numbers of Mac Pro machines running Avid Media Composer, an app popular in the movie industry.

Reports say that machines are failing to reboot…

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Variety cited a Facebook group for Avid editors saying the problem is halting work on shows.

Something is happening all over LA just now where Mac Pro (trashcans) will not reboot after a shutdown. This is not just one or two computers, I’m hearing word from a few Avid vendors that this is happening all over town! No one knows what’s going on, but it’s bringing shows to a complete halt.

The post goes on to say that “a potential solution” is in the works. This appears to be to reinstall macOS while leaving data intact.

There are mixed messages about the variables involved, but there are reports of macOS 10.11 to 10.14 inclusive being affected.

Variety says the problem is widespread.

Film and TV editors across Los Angeles were sweating Monday evening as their workstations were refusing to reboot […]

Users reported that multiple computers at their company were affected by the issue, with social media chatter indicating that a number of different companies were affected by the issue.

Isolated reports suggest machines are “slowly crashing,” but most seem to be referring to reboot failures on startup or after a deliberate restart. This suggests that most people can avoid the problem by not shutting down or restarting machines.

The advice for anyone using Mac Pros running Avid is to do an immediate backup to protect your work, and not shut down/restart until more is known.

Filmmakers are a key target for the upcoming 2019 Mac Pro, which was first shown at WWDC this year. Apple listed impressive specs.

  • 300 watts of power, runs fully unconstrained
  • 2933 MHz ECC memory, 12 DIMM slots
  • 8 internal PCI slots, four double-wide slots, three single side slots
  • Half-length slot populated with two TB3 ports, audio jack, two USB A ports, two 10Gb Ethernet ports
  • Up to 1.5 terabytes of RAM
  • Intel Xeon processor with up to 28 cores
  • Apple designed a PCI connector with a second PCIe connector and power
  • Multiple graphics options; can configure with options such as Radeon Pro Vega II
  • Two GPUs connected via Infinity Fabric Link, 5X faster than PCI bust
  • Apple built a brand new card called Afterburner for video editing, 6 billion pixels per second. 3 streams of 8K, 12 streams of 4K

We learned yesterday that this will be assembled in the US with more US components in a move likely designed to skirt 25% import tariffs.

Update: Avid has shared an official response and made the issue a “top priority for our engineering and support teams.”

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