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Travis, Mac-Trained Product Designer
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 759
Experience:  19+ Years of Mac Experience, BSA in Design and 6 Years of Mac Training from University of Cincinnati
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I try to start my imovie software and it just hangs, it checks

Resolved Question:

I try to start my imovie software and it just hangs, it checks iphoto for any new video, after its done that....the circle rotates and that's it...then it shuts down before it filly starts up.
What can I do. I have saved all my old projects to my external drive (I know they were taking up alot of space) what can I do now?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Travis replied 7 years ago.
If the following suggestions work, please let me know and you can Accept the answer (and if possible, leave positive feedback). If not, please DO NOT Accept the answer. Instead, let me know and we'll try some more things or I can refer you to another Expert who may be able to help you further.

This doesn't sound like an issue of too many things on the hard drive to me. It is more likely a problem with iMovie itself. Try running the general maintenance listed below on the computer. It is an obvious square-one approach. I normally suggest this first because it is good practice plus if we dig too deep into a problem and simple measures could have repaired it in the beginning we'll be kicking ourselves later... This is going to be a long email so I suggest printing it out for your reference.

First let's try a Safe Boot. This will perform several clean up procedures that may be affecting the machine's performance and startup.
1) Shut down your computer completely.
2) Start up the computer and immediately after the startup chime, press and hold the Shift key
3) Once the gray Apple and progress indicator appear, release the Shift key
4) Note: Startup will likely take substantially longer than normal
5) In Mac OS 10.4 or later, you will have to login to your account, even if it normally does so automatically.
6) Shut down the computer.

Now let's check / repair the disk permissions. Although this doesn't fix all problems it is a great way to start when working on a machine, besides it often cleans up any other smaller problems you may or may not be experiencing.
1) Restart the machine.
2) Before you have opened any programs, go to Applications / Utilities / Disk Utilities.
3) Run the Verify Permissions, then Repair any errors it finds.
4) Shut down the computer.
5) Restart and try imovie again.

If iMovie is still freezing up, then let me know. There are other things we can try. I'll stick with you until we get this corrected. Good Luck!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I just tried all of the above on your suggestion. No luck with Imovie after that still :-\ I started imovie and it took 2 minutes to check for new video in my iphoto application and then took 5 minutes for the circle to continue circling, then I did a force quit.

What should I do next?
Expert:  Travis replied 7 years ago.
Have you created a temporary admin account (System Preferences / accounts) to see if the issue is occuring system wide or is user specific? This will help narrow down the troubleshooting.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Ok, So it must be an account specific problem. I created a new profile, opened imovie and it was fine.

I thien opened the same account I always use and it took 2 mins to scan my iphoto for new video and then a 8ish minute wait before the program quit on itself.
Could it be the amount of music and photos that I have in iphoto too that it messing it up maybe? I have had my mac for 2 years now and I have 17,000 photos/videos

Expert:  Travis replied 7 years ago.
Yes. It is possible that the media on the computer is causing problems.

Before we go any further, I would suggest you use a program like Carbon Copy Cloner ( to create a restorable backup of your Hard Drive to an External Hard Drive. This free program will make a mirrored copy of your hard drive in it's current state that you can go back to if things go south after the following changes. I do this personally before I perform any kind of install, update or major change to my system.

What we are going to do is create a full backup of your computer, put the external in a safe place and then try to establish a fix for the problem on your computer. We'll need to remove some of the media in order to do this, so I just want you to have a backup just in case (I'm all about the safety-net).

After you get a backup together that you can restore to if necessary, can you go into iPhoto on this machine and backup a lot of the old media. Burn it off of the machine or put it onto another external drive. That way when iMovie starts up, it doesn't have to go through everything to look for files. Then retry iMovie to see if that corrects the problem. If that doesn't correct it, then backup the newest files that you've added to iPhoto to see if something is corrupted and causing the issue.
Travis and other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Travis replied 7 years ago.
I am about to head home from the office for the evening (lovelyXXXXXahead of me). I will be back online this evening though so please post any questions or comments here and I'll get back as soon as I can (about 3 hours from now). Thanks!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I'm trying your last suggestion...its taking a while and I have 2 little ones a foot that are a little bit of a distraction;-) I will be working on this tomorrow night too...more to come...thanks so far!
Expert:  Travis replied 7 years ago.
No problem, I'm in no hurry. I'll be around to help if you need me. Just post to this thread and I'll respond ASAP
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I would like to pay you for your help so far...I have in my work week now so my personal time at the computer to fix it will be I can't bring your suggestions to fruition on my computer. After I accept (pay), can I still talk to you on this tread or does it close?

Expert:  Travis replied 7 years ago.
If you do accept, the thread will stay open for 7 days for us to continue to correspond. However, if you would like to wait until we get this resolved, that is fine by me. Just post back here every couple of days to keep it from timing out and I'll continue to help as I can.

Thanks! We'll get you up and running, and I'll be here to answer any questions you may have.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Awesome, thanks...I do appreciate the help so far to "accept" but I don't want to drop the tread...
sorry...busy working mom syndrome strikes again. But I will chip away at this. I have a cute halloween imovie to make and post on facebook for all to see :-D
Thanks for being understanding. I just did want you to think I was "stiffing" you on your payment.

Expert:  Travis replied 7 years ago.
No problem at all. I know all about being busy. Just post how you are doing and if you have any questions and I'll reply ASAP until we get it completely resolved.
Expert:  Travis replied 7 years ago.
Just checking in on your progress. Let me know if you have any questions. No hurry, just keeping the thread open.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I am backing up/moving my 2008 and older images to my external hard has taken me a while...still doing it but I wanted to pay you. Sorry for the delay. I'm sure that was the issue..if not I will hope the tread is still open...

Have a great rest of your weekend
Expert:  Travis replied 7 years ago.
Thanks! If you have any further questions please let me know.