Hollywood studios hit by Avid shutdowns on Mac Pro [u]

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2019
An unknown problem is reportedly making cylindrical Mac Pro workstations running the Avid video editing suite to "slowly crash" and then not boot back up.

Apple dropped the 2013 Mac Pro from its website in June 2019, but it was still in some stores in July.
Reports of problems appear to all relate to Mac Pro, but that may be because it's so commonly used in video editing


The issue appears to be affecting Mac Pro primarily, though that is the most commonly used Mac in studio production. Some reports say that the affected machines are running older versions of macOS.

According to Variety, the problems were first seen on Monday evening in Los Angeles. Some Mac Pro machines were refusing to boot while reports on Twitter say that others would "slowly crash" during use.

The cause is not known. Avid told AppleInsider:
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.
Apple has not responded. In the meantime, video editors on Twitter and Facebook have been advising users to keep their Macs switched on, not reboot them, and back up all data.

From what I gather there's a massive failure of Macs with iLok/Avid that's happening all over right now. A lot of L.A. post shops and people out on shows having their Macs slowly crash and wont boot again. Engineers are looking in to it. Don't shut your machine off. #postchat

-- Matt Penn (@mattpenndotcom)


Variety says that video editors suspect that the problem was caused by a software update, but it's not clear whether they mean an Avid one or macOS.

Online discussions between users suggest that the problem may be malware or other virus attack affecting Avid Media Composer version 8.8 or later, on a 6.1 Mac Pro, and running macOS prior High Sierra. If correct, then this is an extremely specific virus which should not affect most users, but is currently hitting many.

While neither Apple nor Avid have released a solution, online video editors are circulating advice on how to work around it.

Latest - Sept 23 it may be a virus or something. pic.twitter.com/yFDDcsIK7A

-- MarcusPun (@MarcusPun)


Avid has previously been used to edit films such as "Baby Driver" on MacBook Pro.

Update 6:10 a.m. Eastern: Specifics of the alleged virus and reported workarounds added.
Update 1:50 p.m. Eastern: Added Avid's statement.
Update 7:54 p.m. Eastern: Avid CEO Jeff Rosica said the company is working with Apple to rectify the issue. In the meantime, Avid CPO Dana Ruzicka walks users through the problem, as well as how it can be avoided and potentially solved.





Update 10:41 p.m. Eastern: According to Mr. Macintosh, the problem lies with the Google Chrome Keystone updater, not AVID as originally suspected. The site names two fixes for the problem, one of which involves modifying the /var symlink to /var -> private/var, which enables the removal of Keystone's LaunchAgents. A second patch from Google Support provides a similar symlink fix but can be run from the macOS Recovery Console.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    October coming... Mysterious shutdowns... Halloween..... Brilliant!!
    edited September 2019
  • Reply 2 of 23
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,452member
    Everything points to a software update or malware but my money is on a software update. That’s why I think auto-updates to system software is risky. Safari 13 appears to have some nasty bugs right now. You would think these Hollywood studios are smart enough not to apply updates on production machines until they have been tested, Avid as well as macOS. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 23
    lkrupp said:
    Everything points to a software update or malware but my money is on a software update. That’s why I think auto-updates to system software is risky. Safari 13 appears to have some nasty bugs right now. You would think these Hollywood studios are smart enough not to apply updates on production machines until they have been tested, Avid as well as macOS. 
    Safari 13 is beta software and not currently in the wild otherwise.

    There have been no MacOS updates to systems prior to High Sierra for a long time, and Safari 13 doesn't run on even High Sierra.
    edited September 2019 emig647
  • Reply 4 of 23
    Just in time for the new Mac Pro launch. 🤔😉
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 23
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,452member
    lkrupp said:
    Everything points to a software update or malware but my money is on a software update. That’s why I think auto-updates to system software is risky. Safari 13 appears to have some nasty bugs right now. You would think these Hollywood studios are smart enough not to apply updates on production machines until they have been tested, Avid as well as macOS. 
    Safari 13 is beta software and not currently in the wild otherwise.

    There have been no MacOS updates to systems prior to High Sierra for a long time, and Safari 13 doesn't run on even High Sierra.
    Well, I think you are mistaken. Software Update notified me two days ago that there was an update available. It was Safari 13. There are active discussions goin on in the Apple Discussion Forums with people wanting to go back to Safari 12 because of issues after updating. So, yes, Safari 13 is “in the wild” right now. And I’m on macOS 10.14.6 Mojave and the update came in through the normal channel.
    edited September 2019
  • Reply 6 of 23
    lkrupp said:
    Everything points to a software update or malware but my money is on a software update. That’s why I think auto-updates to system software is risky. Safari 13 appears to have some nasty bugs right now. You would think these Hollywood studios are smart enough not to apply updates on production machines until they have been tested, Avid as well as macOS. 
    Safari 13 is beta software and not currently in the wild otherwise.

    There have been no MacOS updates to systems prior to High Sierra for a long time, and Safari 13 doesn't run on even High Sierra.
    Safari 13 is not beta.  It was available as a macOS update on September 19th, for Mojave.  I'm not sure about older versions of macOS.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 23
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,446member
    nicholfd said:
    lkrupp said:
    Everything points to a software update or malware but my money is on a software update. That’s why I think auto-updates to system software is risky. Safari 13 appears to have some nasty bugs right now. You would think these Hollywood studios are smart enough not to apply updates on production machines until they have been tested, Avid as well as macOS. 
    Safari 13 is beta software and not currently in the wild otherwise.

    There have been no MacOS updates to systems prior to High Sierra for a long time, and Safari 13 doesn't run on even High Sierra.
    Safari 13 is not beta.  It was available as a macOS update on September 19th, for Mojave.  I'm not sure about older versions of macOS.

    My iMac was updated, it is running  High Sierra.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 23
    This sounds kind of like AVR54 in the Intel Atom C2000 line of processors. Essentially, the LPC (Low Pin Count) bus would degrade over time. This bus is used to connect the processor to the system board firmware, and it eventually renders affected processors unable to boot. It's fixed in stepping C0, but owners of earlier affected processors are advised to avoid using USB as much as possible.

    I wonder if something similar has happened here due to some quirk of the iLok authentication/authorization system.
  • Reply 9 of 23
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,446member
    lkrupp said:
    Everything points to a software update or malware but my money is on a software update. That’s why I think auto-updates to system software is risky. Safari 13 appears to have some nasty bugs right now. You would think these Hollywood studios are smart enough not to apply updates on production machines until they have been tested, Avid as well as macOS. 

    A system software update wouldn't normally affect just a single specific app, it would likely affect many apps. In this case the file permissions of a specific app bundle, iLok, is being changed. This is an authorization system used by Avid. If it becomes inaccessible, you can no longer run Avid.
    edited September 2019
  • Reply 10 of 23
    An unknown problem is reportedly making cylindrical Mac Pro workstations running the Avid video editing suite to "slowly crash" and then not boot back up.

    Apple dropped the 2013 Mac Pro from its website in June 2019 but it was still in some stores in July
    Reports of problems appear to all relate to Mac Pro, but that may be because it's so commonly used in video editing


    The issue appears to be affecting Mac Pro primarily, though that is the most commonly used Mac in studio production. Some reports say that the affected machines are running older versions of macOS.

    According to Variety, the problems were first seen on Monday evening in Los Angeles. Some Mac Pro machines were refusing to boot while reports on Twitter say that others would "slowly crash" during use.

    The cause is not known and neither Apple or Avid have responded. Video editors on Twitter and Facebook have been advising users to keep their Macs switched on, not reboot them, and back up all data.

    From what I gather there's a massive failure of Macs with iLok/Avid that's happening all over right now teer results. A lot of L.A. post shops and people out on shows having their Macs slowly crash and wont boot again. Engineers are looking in to it. Don't shut your machine off. #postchat

    -- Matt Penn (@mattpenndotcom)


    Variety says that video editors suspect that the problem was caused by a software update, but it's not clear whether they mean an Avid one or macOS.

    Online discussions between users suggest that the problem may be malware or other virus attack affecting Avid Media Composer version 8.8 or later, on a 6.1 Mac Pro, and running macOS prior High Sierra. If correct, then this is an extremely specific virus which should not affect most users, but is currently hitting many.

    While, again, neither Apple nor Avid have released a statement about it, online video editors are circulating advice on how to work around it.

    Latest - Sept 23 it may be a virus or something. pic.twitter.com/yFDDcsIK7A

    -- MarcusPun (@MarcusPun)


    Avid has previously been used to edit films such as "Baby Driver" on MacBook Pro.

    Update 6:10 A.M. Eastern Time: Specifics of the alleged virus and reported workarounds added.

    Hello,

    I just had the issue on a MacBookPro 2018 / High Sierra 10.13.6 / MediaComposer 2019.8.0

    Re-installing the High Sierra system in recovery mode (restart with Command+R pressed) solved the problem.

    h2pcornchip
  • Reply 11 of 23
    This just sounds like one of those bogus FaceBook stories . The "truth" will almost certainly be a case of mass hysteria spawned by a couple of random failures.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 23
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,551member
    Note the mention of iLok copy protection.  Copy protection software is basically a root kit running on your machine.  If there's any shade to be thrown I'd start focusing on that crap first. 
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 23
    What a shock that iLok is involved... [rolls eyes]
    AppleExposedcornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 23
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,255administrator
    loopless said:
    This just sounds like one of those bogus FaceBook stories . The "truth" will almost certainly be a case of mass hysteria spawned by a couple of random failures.

    You know, minus the Avid statement.
  • Reply 15 of 23
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,805unconfirmed, member
    But but no one bought this ugly trashcan Mac??? How is Hollywood experiencing this problem?

    lkrupp said:
    Everything points to a software update or malware but my money is on a software update. That’s why I think auto-updates to system software is risky. Safari 13 appears to have some nasty bugs right now. You would think these Hollywood studios are smart enough not to apply updates on production machines until they have been tested, Avid as well as macOS. 

    I can almost guarantee this is Avids problem. Everyone who's ran Avid software knows what complete garbage their stability is.

    They have popular bugs that haven't been fixed in years and more error codes than they know about.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 23
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,164member
    But but no one bought this ugly trashcan Mac??? How is Hollywood experiencing this problem?

    lkrupp said:
    Everything points to a software update or malware but my money is on a software update. That’s why I think auto-updates to system software is risky. Safari 13 appears to have some nasty bugs right now. You would think these Hollywood studios are smart enough not to apply updates on production machines until they have been tested, Avid as well as macOS. 

    I can almost guarantee this is Avids problem. Everyone who's ran Avid software knows what complete garbage their stability is.

    They have popular bugs that haven't been fixed in years and more error codes than they know about.
    Actually it's not. It has to do with a update bug in Google Keystone, a component of a Google Chrome, made in the past 24 hours that apparently only rears its ugly head under very specific circumstances. That's why for example instances of Avid running only under certain versions of MacOS are affected. Google explains how to roll things back until the patch is available by entering the following Terminal commands:

      rm -rf /Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle

      ln -sF /private/var /var

      chflags -h restricted /var

      chflags -h hidden /var

      xattr -sw com.apple.rootless “” /var 

    So yeah a bug, but a Google one. 
    edited September 2019
  • Reply 17 of 23
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,720member
    Just in time for the new Mac Pro launch. 🤔😉
    Someone is getting chewed out at Apple... 'we clearly indicated you were supposed to wait to run that script until after the cheddar shredder starts shipping!'
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 23
    October coming... Mysterious shutdowns... Halloween..... Brilliant!!
     :D  :D :lol: 

    Wouldn't that be something.....throw a bunch of zombies into the mix, and it's an end-of-the-world party!!!

    But, seriously, must be a software update glitch...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 23
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,452member
    So everyone’s explanation was wrong? It isn’t macOS or Avid that screwed up? It was Google? Another case of running off at the mouth before finding out what really happened, much like all the Apple-gates that are conjured up by tech blogs. I thought this forum was populated by seasoned hardware and software development experts.
    edited September 2019 watto_cobraMacPro
  • Reply 20 of 23
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,164member
    lkrupp said:
    So everyone’s explanation was wrong? It isn’t macOS or Avid that screwed up? It was Google? Another case of running off at the mouth before finding out what really happened, much like all the Apple-gates that are conjured up by tech blogs. I thought this forum was populated by seasoned hardware and software development experts.
    To be fair I did post last evening that it was not Avid's issue but instead a Google Keystone bug (post 16). 
    edited September 2019
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