Create Content Archive Failed

mac.caldermac.calder Registered User
edited March 2009 in Axon
Hi all...

Well I am trying to back up the Axons at the venue I just moved into (Platinum Theatre, aboard the Liberty of the Seas), primarily because the software is quite out dated ( and there are a few visual glitches which I think will be fixed by an update in software, however when I try and create a content archive, it fails at about 24% - it is not always on the same clip, but it is always around about the same point, and always with the same (unhelpful) "Creating Content Archive Failed" message

First I thought maybe it was because the drive was Fat32 and it was reaching the file size limit of FAT32, so I hooked up my laptop running CMA with NTFS formatted hdd - and it failed again... Then I thought maybe I was reaching the limit of the HDD - as both my laptop and the Axon had about 60GB of free space. So I hooked up my 500GB drive to my laptop, and it failed again...

Is there a log file or anything like that which I would be able to access to see why it failed? Or is anyone able to give me suggestions as to how I could complete the backup without having to backup and manually re-number about 500 clips (which are rather random in DMX addressing)


Mac Calder


  • Zach PeletzZach Peletz Registered User, HES Alumni
    edited March 2009
    Hello Mac,

    There are currently size limitations on content archives. On a PC you will be limited to around a 3 Gig archive. On a Mac we have successfully tested up to about 32 Gigs. How much content are you trying to archive? You could also drag and drop content onto your computer manually.

    While it is good to always back up your content, you do not need to do so for software updates or images. Neither of these processes will erase any content on the drives.

    One thing I do to always make my DMX addressing consistent is to put numbers in all my files' names. For example:

    01 - Underwater Loop
    02 - Aerial Shot
    03 - Mountain Fly Over

    Then in CMA I sort by name, which puts them in numerical order, and then Auto Assign All DMX.

    I hope this helps.
  • mac.caldermac.calder Registered User
    edited March 2009
    Hi Zach...

    The main problem here is I did not design or install the Axons. Basically, I am just the next light tech in a line of light techs who have (or will) work in this venue on these shows. Added to that, as guest entertainers come on board, technicians add custom content for use in their shows, which are all archived for when they next come on board... So even if the original designers had implemented a naming/numbering convention from the get go, after 2 years, and probably 5 lighting techs, it would be long gone by now. I do exactly the same thing with my naming as you suggest, but in this case, I don't have that sort of luxury.

    As for not needing to back up - unfortunately I do need to - because if worst comes to worst and something is lost in the upgrade process, it is not just a quick call to the designers and an overnight UPS shipment to get the original source material - it can take weeks. So even if I was to be 100% convinced that nothing could happen, I need to convince everyone above me that nothing could happen (especially with
    3. Backup any custom content you are using on your Digital Lighting products. The
    upgrade process should not affect any of your Stock content or Custom content on
    the drives, but backing up any custom user content first is a recommended
    in the release notes)
    ... So I wanted a content archive so that I did not have to manually write down all of the addresses of all of the clips. Obviously if there is a 3GB cap on archive size, I will need to do this manually... bummer

    I believe there is about 30 or so GB of custom content, maybe a bit more.


  • jxgriffijxgriffi Registered User, DL Beta, Hog Beta
    edited March 2009
    Hook up your 500gb drive, create an Axon folder...drag all of the user content and objects onto the drive. It's not as elegant as the archive, but it does indeed work this way. The only thing you can't drag off is the stock content.

    That way, you keep intact the media. You might have to "log" the DMX values, but, in order to preserve it, find a batch rename program and add the number sequence to the top of each folder on your "backup" drive and for each file in that folder. That way, you can actually start the process of keeping it organized if you have to rebuild from the backup drive.

    For Mac, I use A Better Finder/Rename. Great piece of software and works great for exactly this type of job.

    Just some thoughts to help you out a little bit.
  • Zach PeletzZach Peletz Registered User, HES Alumni
    edited March 2009

    If you have a Mac available you should give the archiving a try. The one thing about the archive is that you will not be able to see file names or dmx addresses, it is a DL/Axon specific file format.

    As Jon mentioned, dragging and dropping might be your best solution if you can't get the archive to work the way you need it to. Another feature you might be interested in is DMX Summary. This option generates a spreadsheet of all DMX values for Folders and Files. This would be a perfect log for your records of DMX addressing if you need a reference for any reason. This can be found under the "Servers" menu at the top of your CMA window.
  • SBlairSBlair Registered User, HES Alumni
    edited March 2009
    As Jon and Zach have mentioned,

    I would copy all your content on the server on to another drive.

    You can generate a DMX Summary that you can save or print by running the CMA on a laptop. The CMA built into the Axon can not generate the DMX Summary view.

    To do this, on your laptop CMA, go to the Server view window and right-click on a server and select "DMX Summary". This will then generate a list of all the files and their DMX values that you can save or print.

    Hope this helps.
  • mac.caldermac.calder Registered User
    edited March 2009
    Great! I will try that... btw: are there any known issues of CMA's of different versions (specifically 1.3.x (Axon) vs 1.4.x (Laptop CMA)) not transfering files between each other? I will dig around to find my old copy of CMA just in case that is the issue I am now having.

    Thanks again

  • SBlairSBlair Registered User, HES Alumni
    edited March 2009
    All previous versions of CMA can be found here:

    I recall that there may be some incompatabilities with mismatched CMA/Fixtures between 1.4 and 1.3 so it would be best to use the version that matches your fixture version.
  • mac.caldermac.calder Registered User
    edited March 2009
    Thanks for all the assistance - I now have a nice shiny backup of all of the user content on one of the axons (1 to go)... Hopefully I will never have to use them...
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