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  #1  
Old 07-02-2013, 11:20 PM
StewartR StewartR is offline
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Default MBox Pro3 blue power light flashes constantly and protools can't connect

Hi All;

I have an issue that it seems many people have had. However, no one seems to have found a solution for it so I thought I would put it out to the group to see if there is any new information.
My MBox Pro 3 is a little over 2 years old and I have used it with no serious issues for this time. On the weekend used it to record some demos and general ideas. This worked fine for about 5 hours. After this time, I started to have issues with Protools not connecting to the MBox Pro and therefore not working. It also couldn't even play music through Windows Media Player so the problem isn't ProTools specific.
It was then that I noticed the flashing blue power light (of death). It just kept flashing and when it did it didn't work. It might not flash for a few minutes but sure enough it would start again. I contacted the company I bought it from and, whilst they were brilliant, it is out of warranty. They did say though that they have had three different customers report the same issue to them in the last week. When I search the internet for this issue, there seems to be load of reports of it over many years but nothing that definitively solves the problem
Things I have done to try and resolve the problem are:
1. Turned everything (PC and MBox Pro) off, left it for a while and then turned it all back on (multiple times over a number of days)
2. Pulled the fire-wire cable out of the PC and MBox and put it back in
3. Checked all the connections at the back of the MBox pro (all fine)
4. Checked the connection to the power transformer (all fine)
5. Changed power points that the power transformer is plugged into (no difference)
6. Upgraded the firmware of the MBox Pro to the latest version (i think it was 1.1.8 for the PC)
7. Taken my power supply unit to an electronics store and had its output checked (it was fine, at least for the test period)
8. spoken to my local AVID repairer and checked cost of getting it assessed and repaired (seems expensive and almost as much as buying a new one)

I looked in the mbox pro manual and it said that if the blue power light flashes that means that either there is something wrong with the power supply (it doesn't seem like this in my case but I could be missing something) or the clock is not locked (I'm not sure what that means! All my connections seem fine though and it worked for 2 years). Of course, something could have just broken inside the unit as well I am guessing

Does anyone have any extra information or further troubleshooting ideas that they could provide? Or, better still, a solution? There seem to be far too many instances of this being reported for it to just be me that is grappling with it. Perhaps there is just an inherent fault in the MBox Pro 3 design and build?


Thanks in advance,

Stewart
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  #2  
Old 07-03-2013, 02:09 AM
guatamas guatamas is offline
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Default Re: MBox Pro3 blue power light flashes constantly and protools can't connect

Clock!!!

One thing I have noticed, when I don't turn my mbox on first and then the pc Windows wont play back audio

So I would go into the CP/Setup and under Clock Source choose a different option wait a few seconds and select internal

The ladder lights light up and now I can launch pro tools and play audio via iTunes or WMP

See if this helps
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  #3  
Old 07-03-2013, 01:13 PM
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albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: MBox Pro3 blue power light flashes constantly and protools can't connect

I thought the Mbox Pro could run on bus power if it was connected via a 6 pin to 6 pin FW cable. I also remember reading that, with that cable, you should NOT use the power supply. Now granted, this could be referring to the original dark blue Mbox Pro(2nd generation), but it might be worth removing the power supply to see if bus power takes over Its also worth trying another FW cable as they have been known to fail, and for no apparent reason(happened to me anyway).
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:36 PM
StewartR StewartR is offline
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Default Re: MBox Pro3 blue power light flashes constantly and protools can't connect

Hi Guys

Thanks for the replies. I tried them both and they didn't resolve the problem (see my comments below) but made me try something else which may indicate a root cause possibly

I tried turning on the MBox Pro (power by the external power supply) by itself, without turning the PC on. Doing this, the MBox Pro seemed to be fine. Its blue power light was solid and appeared to have no issues. So, I left it for a little bit and then a bit more and then eventually I checked on it after 90 minutes ... and the blue power light was still solid, no issues. So, sitting by itself, it seems to have no problems. However, as soon as I booted up my PC, the blue power light started flashing again and it had problems. I tried this a few more times and got the same result each time
So, does this indicate that the MBox Pro itself, as well as its power supply, are fine but there might be something wrong with my PC or its various drivers that cause the MBox issues (I have upgraded the MBox Pro firmware the other day as part of troubleshooting remember)? What communication happens between the PC and MBox Pro when the PC boots that could be a problem? Does anyone know what I can do to fix it or troubleshoot it further?

Regards the other excellent advice,

I tried the adjusting the clock source as suggested and had a little bit of improvement but not much. When the power light was flashing non stop and the MBox Pro was completely unusable, when I adjusted the clock source away from internal and back again it did indeed make all the ladder lights light up and the MBox Pro became usable again for a few minutes but then the blue power light went back to flashing on and off and became unusable again
I also tried running the MBox Pro without the power supply plugged in and just the firewire cable connected to the PC (when the PC was turned on). Alas, the MBox wouldn't power up at all like this; it seems to definitely need the external power supply

Thanks again,
Stewart
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  #5  
Old 07-04-2013, 01:55 AM
guatamas guatamas is offline
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Default Re: MBox Pro3 blue power light flashes constantly and protools can't connect

What's your setup process for powering up?

It should be:

Mbox 3 pro, wait a few seconds

Power PC

turn monitors on


FYI to others the Mbox3 Pro requires an external power supply
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  #6  
Old 07-04-2013, 04:10 PM
StewartR StewartR is offline
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Default Re: MBox Pro3 blue power light flashes constantly and protools can't connect

Fire-Wire!!

The company that I bought the MBox Pro from recommended that I check my fire-wire cable before I looked into more drastic options. I bought a new one yesterday and tried it out last night and it seems to have completely solved the problem. I did some editing in protools for about 20 minutes with no issues and then recorded midi and audio for 20 minutes, also with no issues at all
So, everyone who has ever had this issue (and it looks like many, many people, judging from the amount of pages typing "MBox Pro flashing blue power light" into google returns!), see whether your fire-wire cable needs replacing. It worked for me.
guatamas, thanks for your tip re the order of booting up. I don't always do it in this order but will from now on


Thanks again everyone
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:43 AM
HKnight HKnight is offline
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Default Re: MBox Pro3 blue power light flashes constantly and protools can't connect

Quote:
Originally Posted by StewartR View Post
Hi Guys

Thanks for the replies. I tried them both and they didn't resolve the problem (see my comments below) but made me try something else which may indicate a root cause possibly

I tried turning on the MBox Pro (power by the external power supply) by itself, without turning the PC on. Doing this, the MBox Pro seemed to be fine. Its blue power light was solid and appeared to have no issues. So, I left it for a little bit and then a bit more and then eventually I checked on it after 90 minutes ... and the blue power light was still solid, no issues. So, sitting by itself, it seems to have no problems. However, as soon as I booted up my PC, the blue power light started flashing again and it had problems. I tried this a few more times and got the same result each time
So, does this indicate that the MBox Pro itself, as well as its power supply, are fine but there might be something wrong with my PC or its various drivers that cause the MBox issues (I have upgraded the MBox Pro firmware the other day as part of troubleshooting remember)? What communication happens between the PC and MBox Pro when the PC boots that could be a problem? Does anyone know what I can do to fix it or troubleshoot it further?

Regards the other excellent advice,

I tried the adjusting the clock source as suggested and had a little bit of improvement but not much. When the power light was flashing non stop and the MBox Pro was completely unusable, when I adjusted the clock source away from internal and back again it did indeed make all the ladder lights light up and the MBox Pro became usable again for a few minutes but then the blue power light went back to flashing on and off and became unusable again
I also tried running the MBox Pro without the power supply plugged in and just the firewire cable connected to the PC (when the PC was turned on). Alas, the MBox wouldn't power up at all like this; it seems to definitely need the external power supply

Thanks again,
Stewart
Im taking a stab in the dark here but it seems to me that the problems lies in the Mbox Pro Driver 1.1.8 cause I was having the same issue but once I went back to 1.0.19 all went back to normal for me. So I AVID needs to address an issue with the driver and Windows 8.
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  #8  
Old 08-01-2013, 05:45 PM
StewartR StewartR is offline
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Default Re: MBox Pro3 blue power light flashes constantly and protools can't connect

Thanks for this. Good advice.

I will look at the driver also. In my case, I think it might have been a dodgy firewire cable though because once I replaced that, all has worked fine since


Thanks again

Stewart
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  #9  
Old 10-18-2013, 07:59 PM
HKnight HKnight is offline
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Default Re: MBox Pro3 blue power light flashes constantly and protools can't connect

I changed my firewire cable and I still have the problem. 1.1.8 just DOES NOT work for me. It will work on the first reboot and then it stops after that. I have to manually shut off and then back on. LAME! I just grabbed the 1.1.9 drivers tonight and I will post my findings in a day or two. Hopefully AVID fixed it cause its a pain. I dont mind use the 1.0.19 drivers for now but I would like to switch to PT11 in the future and I dont want to have problems doing so. I feel like if Im gonna spend hundreds or even a little over one thousand dollars on a product that a company should totally stand behind making it work for me. I know I didnt buy a ten thousand dollar unit but its shouldnt matter.
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  #10  
Old 12-27-2014, 01:20 PM
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bigjohnbates bigjohnbates is offline
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Default Re: MBox Pro3 blue power light flashes constantly and protools can't connect

So just to update this thread as I have spent a week on this issue ... I was initially running Yosemite, Pro Tools 11.3, a core 2 Macbook Pro (mid-2009) and an Mbox3 (not Pro). Blue flashing light, not Mbox in playback engine, Mbox not available in I/O.

The reason I was running Yosemite with Pro Tools 11 was that I missed the upgrade to Mavericks from Lion. Yosemite is still an unsupported OS (and Core 2 Macbook Pro is an unsupported machine after Mountain Lion) so I backed up everything in Time Machine and did a clean re-install of Mountain Lion.

I also downgraded to Pro Tools 11.2.1 just in case 11.3 was too new. PT 11 runs great but still no Mbox. After trying a ton of searches I just started trying different drivers. Success tastes so sweet!! For me the winner was Mbox_1_1_5_Drivers_80211.dmg.

Just putting it out there because Avid support (although paid for) gave me no real ideas or solutions. They just confirmed I was on the right track.
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