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  #1  
Old 09-09-2021, 11:28 AM
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Eric Seaberg Eric Seaberg is offline
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Default Window focus randomly changing... and it's the Avid HD Driver

We just upgraded to new MacPro Racks and installed our 2-HDX cards in one of the Macs. The system did upgrade the OS to 11.5.2 and, I know, it's not officially supported, but we've not had this problem on any of our other MacPro systems running the same OS.

After installing the HD Drivers, and I've tried 2021.7 and 2021.6, any app that is open loses window focus on the front window. This cycles about every four-seconds... losing focus, then it comes back, then it goes away... repeat.

ProTools isn't open at all, this happens with ANY app, i.e. Safari or Finder windows.

I have opened Console, as well as Activity Monitor, and keep seeing activity from "Avid Audio Server" and "Avid Video Server". As these tend to cycle and come back with errors, it coincides with the focus change in the windows.

I uninstalled the HD Drivers and the problem disappears, so it's definitely and issue with the drivers.

At this point, we're trying to back-rev the OS on this one system, hoping it will take us back prior to 11.5, and reinstall 2021.7 drivers to see what happens.

Again, we've got other MacPros running 2021.7 but they don't have HDX cards, just HD Native. Other than that, the setups are identical.

If things change, I'll come back with an update.
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  #2  
Old 09-09-2021, 12:38 PM
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Default Re: Window focus randomly changing... and it's the Avid HD Driver

Update... we did a RECOVER of the OS and, of course, Apple installed 11.5.2 again. We checked window focus before reinstalling HD Drivers and it was fine. We then installed 2021.7 drivers and restarted... the window focus problem came back.

Also looking at Console and the system log, there were LOTS of errors like this:
----------------
AvidAudioServer[801]: WARN: Failed to create memory by name: com.avid.aap5739
AvidAudioServiceHelper[87]: ERROR: Сan't wait anymore for completion of endpoint distribution
----------------
We booted Pro Tools and confirmed the hardware was seen and everything connected to our SSL console via MADI and, of course, the window focus issue is gone.

We're still running some other tests looking for conflicts on the PCI buss, but that's a different issue.

Hopefully this is OK now. I just wondered if any other HDX systems were having issues in the new MacPro... thanks for reading.
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  #3  
Old 09-24-2021, 12:54 PM
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Default Re: Window focus randomly changing... and it's the Avid HD Driver

OK, this problem is back and I'm going to let Avid know. I do believe it's an issue with Big Sur 11.5 and later. We received MacPro rack computers which came with Big Sur installed at 11.5. We tried reverting, but since that's how they came we couldn't go back to 11.4.

Anyway, the problem exists UNTIL ProTools boots and the HDX cards wake up. This only happens on our HDX2 system and not on HD Native cards. Once the HDX cards are awake, ProTools can quit and the problem doesn't come back.

Still wondering if anyone else can verify this? The symptom is:

Open any finder window and watch the RED, YELLOW and GREEN buttons in the top-left of the active window. The focus will change in about :05 seconds, for us anyway, and the window will become inactive... buttons dim, then focus returns in another :05 seconds. With multiple windows open, the focus NEVER goes to another window, but simply disables ANY window focus.

This also happens within a browser window. Typing in a web address, if you can't finish typing by the time the focus changes, you're typing nowhere until the focus returns. Again, once ProTools has booted and woken up the HDX cards, it's fine until you reboot the system, then the cycle starts over.

Thanks for reading!
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  #4  
Old 09-24-2021, 02:46 PM
dominicperry dominicperry is offline
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Default Re: Window focus randomly changing... and it's the Avid HD Driver

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Seaberg View Post
OK, this problem is back and I'm going to let Avid know. I do believe it's an issue with Big Sur 11.5 and later. We received MacPro rack computers which came with Big Sur installed at 11.5. We tried reverting, but since that's how they came we couldn't go back to 11.4.

Anyway, the problem exists UNTIL ProTools boots and the HDX cards wake up. This only happens on our HDX2 system and not on HD Native cards. Once the HDX cards are awake, ProTools can quit and the problem doesn't come back.

Still wondering if anyone else can verify this? The symptom is:

Open any finder window and watch the RED, YELLOW and GREEN buttons in the top-left of the active window. The focus will change in about :05 seconds, for us anyway, and the window will become inactive... buttons dim, then focus returns in another :05 seconds. With multiple windows open, the focus NEVER goes to another window, but simply disables ANY window focus.

This also happens within a browser window. Typing in a web address, if you can't finish typing by the time the focus changes, you're typing nowhere until the focus returns. Again, once ProTools has booted and woken up the HDX cards, it's fine until you reboot the system, then the cycle starts over.

Thanks for reading!
You can install Catalina on a MacPro 2019 so there's no reason you can't go back to Big Sur 11.4 or earlier. You probably will need to do a full install from scratch though.

Dominic
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  #5  
Old 09-24-2021, 03:39 PM
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Default Re: Window focus randomly changing... and it's the Avid HD Driver

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Originally Posted by dominicperry View Post
You can install Catalina on a MacPro 2019 so there's no reason you can't go back to Big Sur 11.4 or earlier. You probably will need to do a full install from scratch though.

Dominic
We thought of that, but if it's an Avid issue... and we proved that by pulling the HDX cards... they're going to have to fix this at some point.
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Old 10-06-2021, 07:52 PM
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Default Re: Window focus randomly changing... and it's the Avid HD Driver

I don't think it's strictly a Big Sur issue. We have Big Sur 11.5.3 running on an iMac and several laptops with single HDX cards in Thunderbolt chassis. They do not exhibit this window focus issue. We also have a new MacPro rack with a single HDX card but downgraded that to Catalina when it came in. At home I have a "science experiment" of a 2010 MacPro 5,1 running Big Sur 11.6 with a single HDX card and a UAD Octo card. No issues there either.

So IF it is an Avid/Big Sur 11.5+ issue, it's only on the new Mac Pro since both Thunderbolt and older Mac Pro 5,1 systems here have no issue.
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  #7  
Old 10-07-2021, 06:54 AM
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Default Re: Window focus randomly changing... and it's the Avid HD Driver

The problem is very consistent and happens upon each startup. This is an HDX-2 with cards in slots 5 & 6, Avid's recommendation if you can't start in slot 2. We have the double-wide graphics card which covers slots 1 & 2, with a BlackMagic video card in 3. HDX cover 5 & 6 with an eSata card in 7 to handle external storage devices.

We pulled everything out and the problem went away until we put the HDX cards in with nothing else. Again, once ProTools loads and the HDX cards 'wake up' the problem disappears, even with ProTools shut down, until you reboot then it's "rinse and repeat".

Avid did give me something to look at but I've been on location for two weeks and will try their recommendation when I return this weekend. They have an open ticket and I'll report back to them.
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  #8  
Old 10-07-2021, 07:03 AM
its2loud its2loud is online now
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Default Re: Window focus randomly changing... and it's the Avid HD Driver

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Seaberg View Post
The problem is very consistent and happens upon each startup. This is an HDX-2 with cards in slots 5 & 6, Avid's recommendation if you can't start in slot 2. We have the double-wide graphics card which covers slots 1 & 2, with a BlackMagic video card in 3. HDX cover 5 & 6 with an eSata card in 7 to handle external storage devices.

We pulled everything out and the problem went away until we put the HDX cards in with nothing else. Again, once ProTools loads and the HDX cards 'wake up' the problem disappears, even with ProTools shut down, until you reboot then it's "rinse and repeat".

Avid did give me something to look at but I've been on location for two weeks and will try their recommendation when I return this weekend. They have an open ticket and I'll report back to them.
Just a thought since you just now mention the Blackmagic card. Have you tried downgrading the BM software or removing the card completely to see if the issue goes away? I have experienced issues with BM drivers and Pro Tools in the past.
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  #9  
Old 10-08-2021, 06:16 AM
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Default Re: Window focus randomly changing... and it's the Avid HD Driver

Read my post again... we pulled EVERYTHING out, then put the HDX cards back in and the problem came back.
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  #10  
Old 10-11-2021, 01:22 PM
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Default Re: Window focus randomly changing... and it's the Avid HD Driver

Avid support forwarded a document link to me that went into detail about removing Avid Audio Server... that solved the problem. The document was dated Nov 2019, so there's been some issues with it for awhile and it just seems to rear its head at certain times.

Regardless, all happy now.
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