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Flexi is eating my hard drives!

Discussion in 'Flexi' started by GAC05, Feb 8, 2007.

  1. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    Guam USA
    I have a problem with the flexi rip manager.
    I send a file to the printer through the production manager and it chews on it for a while as I watch the temp swap file space shrink down by more than 10gig.
    Error message pops up and I check the rip log it shows this:
    <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 summary="" border=1><TBODY><TR><TH align=left>Error: </TH><TD align=left>%%[ Error: limitcheck; OffendingCommand: image ]%% </TD></TR><TR><TH align=left>Possible Reason: </TH><TD align=left>Implementation limit exceeded </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
    The file is not that big - around 200meg for a 3f x 10f color banner.
    2 cymk bitmaps 120dpi (at production size), some text converted to paths and a solid color background.
    I put the layout together in Corel X3 with the bitmaps imported from the customer's cd (photoshop psd's)
    I have tried to send it as an eps in both postcript 2 and 3. Dropping back to level 2 has fixed some errors for me in the past.
    I can print a scaled down version of the file correctly so flexi can read and send it.
    The error only happens at full prodcution size.
    I tried flattening everything down to a single tifi including the background, with just the text still vector in the eps wrapper, but it still won't print.
    When I convert the file to a tif and send it (36"x120" x 100dpi) the text looks like brown mud instead of black.
    My regular print system is an AMD2800 with a gig of ram and 57gigs of free hard drive space running Win2k+sp4 - Flexi-Pro 7.6v2+sp2.
    I have printed much larger jobs set up the same way on this same system without little or no problem.
    Drives check out ok, at least they did.
    I even installed flexi on a better system (almost new) with more ram (2gigs) and a larger faster hard drive (with more than 200gigs of free space) running XP pro with sp2. Same error in the rip log.

    Here is the kicker
    After a few tries and still getting the rip error message, I start to get read-write error messages from the hard drive that the production manager is using for its temp swap files. After a short time it corrupts the drive enough so that windows can't read it and I can't recover anything off it with some pretty good recovery tools that have worked before. I changed the swap file to a secondary hard drive and it did the same thing.
    So far I have killed 2 C drives and one secondary swap drive. I think they will have to be formatted to be used again.
    I know this has happened before, mid last year, I didn't connect the read-write errors to the rip and replaced the hard drives thinking they where going south on their own.
    The new system has not crashed but I only ran the rip with the problem file twice thinking I better get some help before I run out of hard drives.
    I emailed ScanvecAmiable support but don't expect anything soon.
    This is putting some real hurt on a run of 16 banners I need to get printed - yesterday.
    Anyone run up against this before or have any ideas?

    Thanks,
    wayne k
    guam usa
     
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  2. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

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    Kahului, Maui
    most of that is way over my head... but I would never push a 200 mg file for a 3x10 banner. maybe for a glossy vinyl or poster photo for a closely viewed end product... but I'd bet a 100 meg file of the same thing would look the same.

    I use flexi to rip jobs to my mimaki & I almost always convert all my photoshop layers &/or my illustrator vector elements to one big flattened .tif file. I'd set the cmyk for the black to something like 40,40,40,100 & on my Mimaki, that should be a nice black at 100dpi, 360x540, bidirectional, high speed, 4 pass.
     
  3. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    Dec 27, 2005
    Guam USA
    Thanks for the help Isign,
    I gave it a go but still got mud.
    Ended up turning off all color correction and just using the output side of the icc options to turn down the ink limits.
    got 50ft through the printer so far and the colors look good.
    Funny thing is that I was always sending flat tifs to the printer until I joined here and found that I should be sending eps files if the layout had vector text and objects.
    This was the first really big crash and burn I have run into, I'm sure it won't be the last.
    Still need to find out what is going on with the hard drive errors.
    (anyone?)
    Even with a complete cloned backup the downtime can add up.

    thanks again
    wayne k
    guam usa
     
  4. Mike Paul

    Mike Paul Major Contributor

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    CMYK Tiff with Flexi... Bad news.
    RGB bitmaps are much more friendlier.
     
  5. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

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    Kahului, Maui

    sorry... that does look deceptive, because I didn't mention RGB... but in illustrator, I am used to the cmyk sliders for assigning my colors... but when I export to a .tif file... it's ALWAYS an RGB file for printing!!
     
  6. Checkers

    Checkers Very Active Member

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    The file size is a little big, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem. With banners or the majority of "run of the mill" printing 100 dpi is more than adequate.
    Not knowing Flexi, one of the potential problems I see is that you don't appear to have a scratch disk. On a perfect system, if you have 57 gigs of HD space and 2 megs of ram available, you would be able to use that memory whenever you needed it. However, when you start figuring that the O.S. can take 25% of your resources and other programs can take another 25 to 50%, you're now down to 25% of it's potential capabilities. So, when you RIP a file, which normally means you're (theoretically) doubling it's size, you have little or no resources left.
    I would try shutting down any other applications you don't need, reduce the file size to 100 DPI (or less) and convert it to a RGB file, then try the process again. Also check to see if there are ways to maximize the use of your resources through flexi. I know that you can adjust this with corel and photoshop, so it may be worth a shot.
    Finally, are you sending one banner at a time of all of them at once?

    Checkers
     
  7. maxxgraphix

    maxxgraphix Member

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    You don't have something setup right. I rip RGB tiff's that are 1gig no problem.
    Build a clean system. No crap and extra sofware. Just Win and Flexi. Create a boot partition with about 30 gigs. Create a Windows Swap partition at about 20 gigs. Create a files and temp partition with what ever you have left from a 200gig drive. Set Win to use swap partition, let it have it all. Set Flexi to use the files partition and it's temp dir for all the junk it creates while ripping.

    A system with about 1gig-2gig of ram will do it. I run a P4 1.8 with 1.5gig ram and 200gb HD setup as mentioned.

    You can create these partitions without starting over if you think your system is clean. Download the Bootable ISO of Gparted.

    Since your printing through the Win Spooler the file has to go onto the C drive. Then into Flexi's job folder. From there it will RIP using the Temp Files directory.

    Of course you may have a HD controller problem causing corruption. Or a bad HD.
     
  8. Replicator

    Replicator Major Contributor

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    Sun City, AZ
    I usually have 3FTx10FT Banners that are small enough to email -

    I don't think I've ever had a file over 100MB . . . EVER !
     
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