FAQs for Support and Troubleshooting

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Peter Chamberlain

Blackmagic Design

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FAQs for Support and Troubleshooting

PostFri Apr 26, 2019 7:17 am

Support and Troubleshooting FAQ

Before posting to this forum, or contacting Blackmagic Design about DaVinci Resolve, please take the time to read through the information below. The forum search function can help you find answers to commonly discussed issues quickly. Additionally, there are multiple third party communities, tutorials and other resources available online.

Please check our Supported operating systems, Hardware System Requirements and Drivers and Updates sections below to ensure you’re on a supported configuration. Many users choose to list their configuration in their forum signature to provide context in all posts. We highly encourage you to include your hardware and software configuration (including driver versions, other video/audio workflow tools) in your signature too.

In our Support page, you can find:
If you are unable to find your answer using these resources, or in the forum, please create a new post asking our community of experts here! In your post, please state your steps and observations clearly and include at least the following details:
  • Diagnostic log archive (from the Help menu, or using the Capture logs tool - see the Logs section)
  • Computer brand, year and model
  • Detailed OS version
  • Detailed DaVinci Resolve version (From the About DaVinci Resolve Menu)
  • Please read our FAQ below - including common questions on feature comparison, licenses, databases and crashes. See the Posting and Contacting Support to understand what context is useful for us to help you.
DaVinci Resolve Studio users who are unable to find existing answers to their questions here and have their serial number from the original activation key or dongle package may also contact our Technical Support service via phone and email. This service is only available to DaVinci Resolve Studio users, unless you are using a Blackmagic Design I/O card like DeckLink or UltraStudio, or are using a DaVinci Resolve Control Surface with the free version of DaVinci Resolve.

FAQ Topics
DaVinci Resolve and DaVinci Resolve Studio
Buying DaVinci Resolve Studio

Operating System
General Troubleshooting
Backing Up and Databases
Posting and Support

DaVinci Resolve and DaVinci Resolve Studio
What are the differences between DaVinci Resolve and DaVinci Resolve Studio?
DaVinci Resolve is a free version of the DaVinci Resolve Studio software.

The free DaVinci Resolve includes all of the same high quality processing as DaVinci Resolve 16 Studio and can handle unlimited resolution media files. However it does limit project mastering and output to Ultra HD resolutions or lower. DaVinci Resolve 16 only supports a single processing GPU on Windows and Linux and 2 GPUs on the latest Mac Pro.

If you need features such as support for multiple GPUs, 4K output, motion blur effects, temporal and spatial noise reduction, de-interlacing, HDR tools, camera tracker, multiple Resolve FX, 3D stereoscopic tools, remote rendering, an external database server and collaboration tools that let multiple users work on the same project at the same time, please upgrade to DaVinci Resolve 16 Studio.

You can find a list that compares the features of the free and Studio releases from the support page of our website.

https://documents.blackmagicdesign.com/ ... arison.pdf

Technical Support
Our professional support service via phone and email, is only available to DaVinci Resolve Studio users. If you are using the free DaVinci Resolve software, use the content below to assist you, or ask our community of experts here on the forum.

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Buying DaVinci Resolve Studio
How do I get DaVinci Resolve Studio?
In order to use DaVinci Resolve Studio, you need to buy an Activation license key from your authorized Blackmagic reseller. They will send you a retail package of the software, with an activation key inside.


It's important to keep this key safe, as anyone in possession of the key can use your copy of the software. Blackmagic do not restrict the second hand selling of licenses, but take caution that the copy you are buying is genuine. Please be aware that some counterfeit dongles have been offered on online sites and these will continue to be blocked with every future release. It's safer to purchase from an authorized reseller.

Every copy of DaVinci Resolve Studio has a unique serial number that will be on the package of the software, and on the activation license card inside. Keep this safe as this is your proof of ownership for that copy of the software, along with the receipt from your authorized Blackmagic reseller.
You will need this serial number for phone or email support from BMD.

The latest version of both DaVinci Resolve and DaVinci Resolve Studio are available from our support page. They are 2 separate downloads.

From here you can also download the manual and configuration guides separately.


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Can I still buy the USB dongle?
If your facility is unable to connect to the internet for activtion the USB dongle is still available as an option for buying DaVinci Resolve instead of purchasing an activation license. Ask your authorised Blackmagic reseller specifically for the USB dongle version.

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Can I use my USB dongle from an older version of DaVinci Resolve?
Blackmagic Design released their first version of DaVinci Resolve in 2009. It used USB dongle licensing to activate the software. This is now replaced with activation key licensing in more recent versions.

These original dongles, still work with the most recent version of the software! All you have to do is download the latest version and install it on your system, and use the same original Blackmagic dongle.

Previous owners have been able to update to the most up to date version of Resolve for free. While we cannot always guarantee this in the future, Resolve users have received free updates for nearly 10 years!

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How can I upgrade from DaVinci Resolve to DaVinci Resolve Studio?
Once you have your activation license or USB dongle, make a backup of all your current Resolve projects and files.

Download the latest version of DaVinci Resolve Studio from our website and follow the instructions in the manual to uninstall the free version of Resolve, and install the Resolve Studio software.

We highly recommend you back up your project database and export any active projects. Details to do this are in the manual. All your projects and files should automatically be brought over from anything you were working on in the free version but a back up is a prudent step before upgrading.

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How many machines can I use my activation key on?
Each activation key can be activated twice, for example once on a desktop workstation and another on a laptop. If the license key is activated a third time, then all previous activations of the software will be cleared, and you will need to activate any copy again.

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I’ve upgraded my machine - How do I transfer my license from my old machine?
Just enter your activation key again on the new machine after installing DaVinci Resolve Studio. If you have reached your number of activations, all previous activations of the software will be cleared automatically. Alternatively you can choose the Deactivate option from the “Help” menu in DaVinci Resolve.

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I’ve downloaded the free version of DaVinci Resolve but it’s asking me for my license key?
The full version of DaVinci Resolve is called DaVinci Resolve Studio, whereas the free version is called DaVinci Resolve. These are 2 different software downloads from our website. Please make sure you have the correct version.

https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/suppor ... and-fusion

If you are being asked for a license when opening the application it would indicate that you have the Studio version of DaVinci Resolve installed. If you are trying to use the Studio version of DaVinci Resolve, then enter your activation key when prompted, or connect the USB dongle and restart the software.

If you want to use the free version, download the correct DaVinci Resolve installer, run the uninstall utility to remove the paid version and then follow the instructions in the manual to install DaVinci Resolve.

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Where do I find public beta versions and prior releases of DaVinci Resolve?
From time to time, we release public beta versions of DaVinci Resolve, for widespread testing and to allow our users to get familiar with the coming versions of the

If you are experiencing severe problems with a beta version, it is advisable to roll back to the previous version of DaVinci Resolve you are working with.

All versions of DaVinci Resolve Studio and DaVinci Resolve including public beta and prior versions can be found in our support site.

We actively monitor our forums and crash reports, but we cannot respond to every individual case.

Resolve Licensing Troubleshooting
I am trying to Activate DaVinci Resolve Studio and I am getting an error. Why should I check?
Check your internet connection - Make sure you are connected to the internet and that you can access the Blackmagic Design website: http://www.blackmagicdesign.com
If you cannot access the internet then you likely have a local network problem that needs to be investigated first.

Disable any firewalls - Your firewall, depending on how it is configured, might be blocking certain traffic. You might need to temporarily disable your firewall in order to perform the activation.
Once the activation is complete, you can enable your firewall again.
Institutions like Universities and Corporations might have firewall rules blocking traffic at a network level, and you will need to speak to your IT department about this.

Try Phone tethering or a VPN service - If you have a mobile phone that supports tethering to use the mobile data, you could try tethering your system to your phone and using the cellular 3G/4G data connection for activation. This will often bypass any network restrictions.
In the same way you can also try a VPN service, which will generally bypass local network restrictions and even any problems with an entire region or an ISP.
Once activated, you can connect and use your regular network again as normal.

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How do I disable my license?
You can go to the Help menu within the Resolve Studio software, then choose the De-Activate License option.

Can I remotely de-activate a license from a different computer?
It is not possible to disable an activation license remotely.

When a key has been activated 2 times, the 3rd time someone tries to activate it will automatically cancel all previous activations and work again for the next 2 activations. You don't need access to previous systems to de-activate them first so it doesn't matter if your computer died or is no longer accessible. However if you use the auto deactivation process too many times in short succession the license will auto suspend for 7 days. This is to prevent piracy and they’re isn’t a manual reset.

This is why it is important to keep your key private only to you. Anyone in possession of the key can activate your copy of the software, or they can prevent you using the key for 7 days.

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Operating System
What operating systems can I use?
The ReadMe file for DaVinci Resolve and DaVinci Resolve Studio contains the currently supported operating systems and versions. It’s important to use a supported operating system as we cannot guarantee compatibility with other versions.

Can I use a Linux distribution other than CentOS?
We do not test or certify any distributions of Linux other than our designed platform of CentOS. As such we cannot guarantee compatibility or performance when using any other distribution.

DaVinci Resolve is a professional application and needs to be stable above all else. Given the many different distributions and variations for Linux operating systems, it is simply not possible for us to develop, test, support and guarantee robust operation on any other distributions.

For this reason, we even provide our own ISO for installing the correct version of CentOS with all required dependencies.

If you wish to use DaVinci Resolve on Linux we only recommend installing the application on the currently supported CentOS. If you wish to try a custom installation, or a different distribution then you may wish to look through our user forums to see if any other end users can offer assistance with this.

For DaVinci Resolve Studio, Blackmagic Design can only provide you with Technical Support when using a supported distribution.

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Is there a version of Resolve for Windows 7 or 8?
We only test and certify Windows 10 for use with the latest versions of Resolve. We no longer test or certify Windows 7/8/8.1 for use with Resolve. You could run a legacy version of the software in a legacy configuration, but the latest version of DaVinci Resolve and DaVinci Resolve Studio is supported only on Windows 10.

General Troubleshooting

Note: Before making any changes to your system, you should make a backup of all your work and projects and put it in a safe place.

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About System Requirements
DaVinci Resolve works on a wide variety of platforms with performance characteristics based on hardware configurations. The general requirements are the same, whether you are using the free version or the Studio version, although some advanced features in the Studio version may require a greater system specification.

Some systems that are below specification may run Resolve, however we cannot guarantee compatibility, performance or stability. If you are experiencing any problems with Resolve, first make sure that your system meets the requirements.

These requirements include:
  • A 64 bit operating system as detailed in the ReadMe file and configuration guide
  • A minimum of 16GB of RAM is recommended, 32GB if using Fusion
  • An NVIDIA, AMD or Intel GPU with a minimum of 2GB of VRAM that supports versions greater than either supports Metal, OpenCL 1.2 or CUDA 10. (CUDA compute 3.0)
  • A modern quad core CPU or greater
We provide an in depth configuration guide for Resolve systems. In here you will find certified workstations and components for Resolve systems, as well as the performance expected from them.

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Drivers and Updates
Make sure that your system is up to date with the latest drivers for all the hardware, as well as the operating system version, patches and service packs.

Please be especially careful about changes in graphics cards drivers. The minimum requirements and recommended drivers differ between versions of DaVinci Resolve.
On Windows, please check for driver stability before you upgrade a working system. Your manufacturer may have specific versions of drivers catered towards stability. We recommend doing a complete uninstall of the previous graphics card drivers before upgrading to avoid DLLs left behind.
On Linux, please ensure that you use the manufacturer provided drivers. Please refer to the Linux Installation Instructions.txt in the Linux installer package to check for recommended driver versions for each release.
You also need to make sure that additional software that your system requires, such as CUDA is up to date.

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Third party software and hardware
If you are having problems with DaVinci Resolve, try removing third party devices such as I/O cards, and additional GPUs or control surfaces.

Some software, such as firewalls and antivirus, may interfere with the software running on some systems, and you should try disabling these as a troubleshooting step.

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DaVinci Resolve has a function to generate diagnostic logs that can be analysed to look for problems. It is important to get the logs from DaVinci Resolve, generated immediately after a crash. OS generated diagnostics and logs are of little use. Please post a link to these logs on the forum - this will often give others a chance to assist you. If you are unable to post a link, put a space in the path so the forum doesn't think its a link, eg. my logsarehere. com

You can grab logs by restarting DaVinci Resolve and choosing “Create Diagnostic Logs on Desktop” from the Help menu.
If you have automatic crash reporting enabled, adding your contact details and description would help us contact you if we need further details.

If you cannot launch DaVinci Resolve after a crash, please follow the steps below:

Mac OS:
In Finder, select "Go to Folder..." (⇧⌘G by default), type the path /Library/Application Support/Blackmagic Design/DaVinci Resolve/ and hit Enter. Run the CaptureLogs application.

Go to C:/Program Files/Blackmagic Design/DaVinci Resolve/ and run CaptureLogs.bat application

From the Applications menu, under DaVinci Resolve, select DaVinci Resolve Capture Logs

Note: Additional information - including the NFO file for Windows users and the SPX file for MacOS - is often useful. Please check the Posting on the forum section on how to obtain this information.

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My application doesn’t start when I try to launch it, what do I do?
This might be because the system you are tying to run Resolve on does not meet the minimum requirements for DaVinci Resolve. Please work through the General Troubleshooting resources above to check your system is up to spec and try to isolate the problem.

Before doing anything, you should make a backup of all your work and projects.

For Windows users with start up issues, it is advisable to do a complete uninstall of the DaVinci software, then download the latest version from the website and re-install. The Windows uninstaller tool may be useful if you run into more deep-rooted issues.

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Application is crashing at random
Work through the above troubleshooting first. Unstable software can often be the result of the host system not meeting the minimum requirements, or even a problem with the system hardware or drivers. Running high end applications like DaVinci Resolve can stress the system in ways that general use might not, so be sure to test the system thoroughly.

Most software crashes are rarely random, and will be happening due to a specific operation or function. Be sure to run the diagnostic logs function as soon as the crash happens, as this will be required for further investigation.

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How can I optimize performance on my system?
DaVinci Resolve contains a number of advanced techniques for optimization while using the software. Resolve allows users to cache effects, clips and even the whole timeline.

You can also generated optimised media from your original files, which are then stored in your cache folder. These files are designed to be easier for Resolve to work with which improves performance.

Alternatively you can turn on proxy mode, which lowers the resolution of the files you are currently working with to a half or quarter on the fly.

For further information and detailed instructions on how to enable these, please take a look at Part 1, Chapter 6 of the DaVinci Resolve manual.

You can also check other applications that are running on your system and consider closing them, as they may be taking up system resources. This also includes software running in the background such as anti virus and firewalls. Sometimes, disabling energy saving settings may help, but this would be specific to your system.

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Why does DaVinci Resolve run better on high end systems?
You may be interested in how Resolve works and this will help explain the system requirements and performance.

DaVinci Resolve performs its image processing with 32 bit floating point precision, not just for effects but all image processing, these are really big numbers! This allows DaVinci Resolve to work with incredible quality and colour accuracy, however it also requires more system resources to do this processing.

This is why performance is better on high power systems, while systems that have a lower specification may struggle to work in real time.

As DaVinci Resolve performs all of its image processing on the GPU the graphics card becomes a very important component in any DaVinci Resolve system. Graphics cards have on board memory called VRAM, and having more VRAM will increase performance, depending on the video you are working with.

For example, a GPU that has 4GB of VRAM might allow you to grade in real time for HD video, but you might need a graphics card that has 8GB of VRAM or more, to allow 4k real time, or even multiple GPUs! Note; VRAM is not accumulative if you have more than one GPU and you should not run SLI.

Typically, encoding and decoding of video and audio files, is done by the CPU or processor in the system. This means your performance will change, depending on your media and your processor capability.

For example, if you are using heavily compressed video codecs like H.264, then this will require much more CPU power to decode, than uncompressed video. There are exceptions to this rule with some of the latest GPUs.

Some codecs, like the new Blackmagic RAW are designed to be high quality and fast decoding at the same time, making them really easy and powerful to work with.

High quality video, especially uncompressed and some RAW formats, have large file sizes. This requires a high data rate from your storage solution, in order to access the video data in real time. Spinning disk HDDs offer slower data rates than SSDs, but you can use technologies like RAID to create fast disk arrays.

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Backing Up and Databases

What is the database?
DaVinci Resolve uses 2 types of database to store your projects.

A disk database is a file structure that contains every project and your configuration meant for single user workflows. DaVinci Resolve creates the disk database at the default location automatically the first time you run the software.

The default disk database created using Resolve 16 beta or after will be present in the user application support directory. This corresponds to:
Mac OS: /Users/<your user name>/Library/Application Support/Blackmagic Design/DaVinci Resolve/Resolve Disk Database
Windows: C:\Users\<your user name>\AppData\Roaming\Blackmagic Design\DaVinci Resolve\Resolve Disk Database
Linux: /home/<your user name>/.local/share/DaVinciResolve/Resolve Disk Database

Default disk databases created prior to Resolve 16 beta will be present in the user application support directory. This corresponds to:
Mac OS: /Library/Application Support/Blackmagic Design/DaVinci Resolve/Resolve Disk Database
Windows: C:\ProgramData\Blackmagic Design\DaVinci Resolve\Resolve Disk Database
Linux: /opt/resolve/Resolve Disk Database
On a PC, this folder is hidden by default so you can either copy and paste this file path into the Explorer window, or you would need to enable viewing of hidden files within Windows.

Advanced users can have multiple disk databases in custom locations and switch between them using Project Manager. Please refer to the DaVinci Resolve user manual for more information about this.

The PostgreSQL database provides the same functionality as disk database, and additionally allows for collaborative workflows using the Project Server application with the DaVinci Resolve Studio version. If you are only using a single workstation, a Disk Database is recommended.

Please note that accessing disk databases simultaneously using more than one software (including file-syncing services like DropBox) may compromise the integrity of the underlying project and configuration data.

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Backing up the database / Backing up all your projects
We recommend creating regular backups of your database within Resolve, as well as before any change of upgrade to your system. As long as you have your database file, and the source media, you can always recreate all of your work using the same version of DaVinci Resolve.

A full backup of your databases must be made any time you make changes to your system, but especially for major changes, such as upgrading the version of Resolve.

When you upgrade Resolve to a newer version, the database may need to be upgraded. This is an irreversible process rendering the upgraded database inaccessible by prior versions of DaVinci Resolve. If you do not have a backup file before the upgrade, you will be unable to revert back to a previous version of the software.

Both disk and PostgreSQL databases can be backed up in the same way on all 3 platforms from within the Project Manager.
  • To open project manager, click the home button in the bottom right corner of Resolve.
  • If the databases bar is hidden, click on the database sidebar button in the top left of the Project Manager to show it.
  • Select the database to backup from the list on the left hand side and press the Backup icon on top (disk with an outward arrow).
  • Select a safe backup location to save your database file to.

Depending on the size of the database, this can take a few minutes.

Restoring a database is similarly easy - from the sidebar, select the Restore icon on top (disk with an inward arrow) and select the backup file location.

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Manual Backup
Since disk databases can be created in custom user-defined locations, they can be manually backed up by making a full copy of the database folder in your File Explorer of choice, preserving the structure inside.

The disk database folder can be shown by right-clicking a database from the Project Manager and choosing Reveal in Finder. If you are unable to access the Project Manager to backup your database, the default disk database paths are listed above.

PostgreSQL databases can be manually backed up using multiple well documented methods. Please see the official documentation here - this is for recommended 9.5.4 version.

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Posting on the forum / Contacting Support for DaVinci Resolve and DaVinci Resolve Studio
Our Technical Support service via phone and email, is only available to DaVinci Resolve Studio users. If you are using the free DaVinci Resolve software, use the content above to assist you, or ask our community of experts here!

Where contacting Technical Support or posting on the forum, make sure that you provide as much information as possible about your problem.

Please provide a detailed step by step explanation of how to reproduce the behavior you are experiencing. This should include any screen shots and error messages. If the behavior is visual, having pictures or screen recordings is an excellent way of explaining the issue. You can use screen recording software like Quick Time on Mac, or even a camera phone to record your screen.

Please note your DaVinci Resolve version number - as specific as possible. If you can open the DaVinci Resolve application, you can find the version number by selecting DaVinci Resolve > About DaVinci Resolve. If you have the installer file still on your system you can get the version number from that file.

Please also provide a detailed system specification. Some easy ways to get this information are provided below.

Mac OS:
Go to the Apple logo in the top left hand corner and select "About this Mac" >and click the "System Report" button. In the next window, select "File" then "Save". This should then generate the .spx file on your system which you can send to us.

In the Windows Start menu, type DxDiag and run this application. When open, allow for the progress bar to complete analyzing your system. You will see a "Save All Information" button. Save this text file.
In Windows start menu, open Windows System Information. From the File menu, select Save and save this NFO file.
Please send us these two files.

You may have to manually collect this information or use a third party app to collect information pertaining to hardware, drivers and other dependencies. Depending on your configuration, some simple commands like the ones below can be used to gather a good snapshot of this information and troubleshoot issues.

To list hardware and peripherals information, you can use commands like:
Code: Select all
lspci -vn
lsusb -vt
df -H

To list kernel modules and OS services:
Code: Select all
initctl list

To list system logs and graphics drivers:
Code: Select all
nvidia-settings (if you use an NVIDIA card)
unity --version (if you use an AMD card)

Additional commands may be needed to capture the state of audio devices and other hardware peripherals.

Redirect the output of these commands to file and include these files alongside your diagnostic log archive.

Posting Tricks
If you are new to the forum and so are not yet authorized to post links, or the linked file is too big, place the logs and other diagnostic files you have on Dropbox or a similar site and provide a link to that site location in your post. If you put a space in the path, e.g. my. dropbox.com then the forum will not see this as a link and just text so the reader can copy this link, remove the space and review the dropbox info.

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