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Old 05-28-2003, 11:18 AM
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Lightbulb General Troubleshooting - Pro Tools on Mac OS X

Please review this guide and the appropriate sections for possible solutions to the problems you're experiencing.

If you are getting an error in Pro Tools, the first step would be to search both the forum and the Knowledge Base for the error number(s) you're getting, as a vast majority of errors have solutions already. Make sure to remove the minus sign (-) from in front of the error number during you're search, as a minus sign in a search field means you want to exclude the following term from the search.

If you are experiencing a particular technical issue that does not include an error number, try searching the Knowledge Base and forum by key words that are related to your problem. Try a few different, related terms to see if they produce better search results. Use the Advanced Search on the forum to narrow or expand your search results. For general 'assertion', 'neoaccess' or 'neoassertion' errors, see below for a possible solution, then do a search for the last few sections of the error if the presented solution does not help.

Other things to check:
  • Reseat cards and cables and/or replace cables. Even new cables are prone to failure and cable failure is one of the major causes for issues.
  • For recording or playback issues, test from a different drive to eliminate the drive as a source for the problem.
  • Remove components of the system to determine if they may be related to the problems - devices such as MIDI controllers, USB drives, etc.
  • If possible, for general hardware issues, try a different port on the computer or testing the questionable hardware on another computer, to see if it follows the hardware or is specific to your system.
By process of elimination, you can narrow down the ultimate cause of your issues and determine the best course of action.


Verify you are using a supported Mac and your system meets all of the minimum requirements. You can find compatibility information here.

- Verify that you have the Minimum or Suggested amount of Ram loaded in your system.
- Verify that your version of the Mac OS is supported with your version of Pro Tools.

More Information:
Mac OS X Requirements with Pro Tools

- Make sure all drives are formatted Mac OS Extended (Journaled) with Apple's Disk Utility. Pro Tools cannot use UFS or HFS volumes. If the drive was originally formatted in OS 9 or with any other application, backup the drive and reinitialize it with Disk Utility. See Hard Drive Requirements - Pro Tools LE for Mac OS X for more info.
- If you are on a PowerPC (PPC) Mac, you cannot record to a GUID partitioned drive (which is typically the partition type for Intel based Mac boot/OS drives). You must reformat the drive as Apple Partition Map. APM formatted drives can be used for recording with both PPC and Intel based Macs.

IMPORTANT! You MUST use a secondary hard drive (not your main OS drive) for recording and playback of audio in Pro Tools. Recording or playback from the OS drive is known to be problematic and the cause of many different error types. If you are using your system drive and encountering errors, the first thing you should do is get a compatible drive.

Pro Tools supports recording and playback to a secondary drive that meets the following requirements:

7200 rpm or faster
9ms seek time or faster

Firewire drives must have the Oxford 911 (FW400 port), Oxford 912 (FW400 & FW800 ports) or Oxford 924 (FW800 ports) Bridge chip. Other Oxford chipsets, while not fully tested, have not shown any issues and should generally work well with Pro Tools.

USB drives are not supported and are known to be problematic. Avoid using USB drives, as they are known for causing a variety of errors.

Plug-In Compatibility

Make sure that all Plug-Ins are compatible with the version of Pro Tools you're running. It is extremely important that you have installed only compatible plug-ins. See reply post below for more info!
You can check the version by selecting the plug-in and go to the "File" menu and choose 'Get Info', or hit Command-I and look at the version information under the 'General' Section.

Compare the version installed against the compatibility grid here and update or uninstall as necessary:
General Setup and System Optimizations

Please read the "Getting Started Guide" and configure your system according to the instructions there as well as in the Guide for your OS:
There are also videos available on YouTube and Vimeo:
Energy Saver
  1. Open System Preferences>Energy Saver
  2. Set the "Sleep Sliders" to Never (Computer Sleep) and Never (Display Sleep)
  3. Make sure the box next to "Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible" is unchecked
  4. Click on the options tab at the top
  5. If you have a "Processor Performance" drop down menu select "Highest"
  1. Click on the AirPort Icon in the Menu Bar in the upper right corner of the screen
  2. Select "Turn AirPort Off" from the menu
  3. If you don't see the AirPort Icon in the Menu Bar then:
  4. Open System Preferences>Network
  5. Click on the "Show" drop down menu and select "AirPort" (if there is no AirPort option, then AirPort is not installed on your computer)
  6. Under the "AirPort" tab, towards the bottom of the window, check the box next to "Show AirPort status in menu bar"
  7. Follow the first two steps after that is done
Bluetooth (Optional - typically you only need to disable this if your bluetooth devices are causing problems in Pro Tools)
  1. Open System Preferences>Bluetooth
  2. Click on the "Settings" tab and make sure "Bluetooth Power: Off" if not click the "Turn Bluetooth Off" button
Firewire Networking (Definitely disable this if you are using any kind of firewire drive or interface!)
  1. Open System Prefs>Network
  2. In the drop-down box next to 'Show', select 'Network Port Configurations'
  3. Uncheck the box next to 'Built-in Firewire'
  4. Click on 'Apply Now' button in the lower right hand corner of the window.
iLok Drivers (These are necessary for the proper operation of Pro Tools)
Troubleshooting tips

Please download and install the Pro Tools Tech Support Folder, which has tools and utilities to assist in diagnosing and troubleshooting potential problems you may encounter, including a plug-in version generator which can be useful when verifying plug-in compatibility.

If we have asked you to provide a plug-in version list and you're on Leopard, you may need to run the Plug-In version generator twice for the correct version numbers to show up. Please be sure to trash the previously generated list before running the utility again.

Delete Pro Tools preferences.
  1. Go to Users > “your user name” > Library > Preferences
  2. Delete 'com.digidesign.protoolsLE.plist', 'DAE Prefs' (folder), 'DigiSetup.OSX' and 'Pro Tools preferences'
  3. Empty trash, then restart the computer
You can also use the Pro Tools Preference and Database Helper to trash preferences and databases automatically, as well as providing a few other useful tools. (This application is provided by a 3rd party and is not tested or supported by Digidesign)

Repair Permissions
  1. Quit Pro Tools and launch Apple's "Disk Utility" application, located in: Mac HD > Applications & Utilities
  2. Select your boot drive (the whole drive, not the volume underneath the drive)
  3. Go to the 'First Aid' tab and select "Repair Disk Permissions"
Apple recommends doing this any time you install new software, update your OS or install any software.

Delete Databases and Volumes

This step can be useful when receiving random 'assertion' or 'neoaccess' errors, especially when recording or saving.
  1. Delete the "Digidesign Databases" folders on the first level of all mounted hard drives
  2. Delete the "Volumes" folder:
    • Pro Tools versions 7.3 and earlier it's located in MacHD > Library > Application Support > Digidesign > Databases.
    • Pro Tools 7.4 and higher will find it in MacHD > Library > Application Support > Digidesign > Databases > Unicode.
  3. Empty trash, then restart the computer
6086, 9128 or other errors when using certain plug-ins, VI's, software synths or samplers

Reducing the number of CPU's in the Playback Engine may be required for certain plug-ins to function properly with Pro Tools.

See the next post for more specific information regarding Mbox 2 Pro and M-Audio firewire interfaces.

Test RAM

A somewhat frequent cause of general computer problems has been traced to bad RAM. Unfortunately there's no reliable software test of RAM. The only way to be absolutely sure is to remove and/or swap RAM modules, hopefully with known good ones.

Disable Virus Protection

Disable any Virus Protection Software. Check for evidence of anti-virus software in Library > Startup items. Move these items out of this folder and restart the CPU (do NOT remove the DigidesignLoader or PACESupport folders).

Other Troubleshooting
  • Remove any unnecessary USB or Firewire devices or any other extraneous hardware and then restart the computer.
  • In the case of possible hardware issues with your Mac the next step is to test the Mac hardware. To do this, boot off of the Apple Hardware Test CD or Software Restore DVD (depending on Mac model) that shipped with your Mac. If you are booting off of the Software Restore DVD, hold the option key while the Mac starts up, then choose Apple Hardware Test. Once Apple Hardware Test loads, press Control+L. This puts Apple Hardware Test in loop mode. Click Extended Test, and let it go (preferably overnight).
Login Items

Certain items that always start up when you log in to your computer can conflict with Pro Tools operations. The way to check what is starting up every time you log in is:
  1. Open System Prefs>Accounts
  2. Select your account from the list on the left hand side of the window
  3. Click on the "Login Items" tab on the right hand side of the window
  4. Go through the list and select each item and click the "-" (minus) button below the list to remove the item in question.

Certain items that always start up when turn on your computer can conflict with Pro Tools operations. The way to check what is starting up every time you start your computer is to navigate to:

Mac HD > Library > StartupItems

Any Digidesign Files/Folders located in this folder should be okay for use with Pro Tools. Common files/folders to have are:
  • Digidesign Loader
  • Digidesign Mbox 2
  • PACE Support
Any other files/folders should be backed up and removed for optimal Pro Tools operation


FileVault is an Apple utility to help protect your files. When FileVault is turned "ON" this can conflict with Pro Tools and the installation of Pro Tools. Make sure FileVault is disabled following these steps:
  1. Open System Prefs >Security
  2. In this window look where is says: FileVault protection is (on/off) for this account
  3. If FileVault is on click the button to turn off FileVault
Spotlight Indexing

If Spotlight Indexing is running in the background, this can cause errors in Pro Tools. You should make your recording and playback drives 'private' which will disable Spotlight indexing on those drives.

To add a drive to the Private list, go to System Preferences>Spotlight, click on the Privacy tab and drag the drive icon on your desktop to the privacy list window or click on the '+' sign under the list and then select the drive you want to make private, adding it to the list.

New Admin Account (Typically only necessary if all other troubleshooting has been tried already)

Try creating a new user with admin privileges in System Preferences > Accounts.
  1. Click the Lock to authenticate
  2. Enter password
  3. Click the "+" (plus sign) under the list of users
  4. Type In Pro Tools for the Name
  5. Enter a password and verify (optional)
  6. Check the box 'Allow user to administer this computer'
  7. Click 'Create Account'
Then login to this new account and run Pro Tools
  1. Go to the Apple menu and go to 'Log Out (Username)'
  2. Login in to Pro Tools
  3. If there is no icon in the Dock, navigate to MacHD > Applications > Avid -or- Digidesign > Pro Tools
  4. Double-click on 'Pro Tools LE'
If the problem goes away after creating a new admin account, it's likely that there is an OS service preference corruption. Pro Tools uses OS services for many of it's dialog windows, Quicktime Playback, etc. Unfortunately in these situations it's very difficult to determine the preference that is causing the problem and your best bet is to migrate over to the new account - unless, of course, you did the smart thing and have a recent backup of your OS drive in which case you can revert to your backup.

General NeoAccess or Assertion errors

If you receive one of these errors, usually after recording or when trying to save a session, it can usually be resolved by following the steps for trashing preference and database files listed above.

How to Remove Expired (Demo) Plug-Ins & Software:

See Knowledge Base 206445

Uninstall and reinstall Pro Tools
  1. Run the Pro Tools installer from your CD-ROM or web download.
  2. Click on the Custom Install menu and choose "Uninstall".
  3. Click continue and then choose the option for "Clean" uninstall
  4. Click OK when it reports that the uninstall was successful and then reinstall Pro Tools.
Digi 002/002R users experiencing any combination of the following symptoms and whose serial number ends in the letter A-F should contact Digidesign Tech Support by phone for information on getting your unit serviced:

The unit keeps on clicking when powering up, or when launching Pro Tools.
"Unable to locate Digidesign Hardware" error message when launching Pro Tools.
Dots or blank scribble strips (002 only)
Firewire light in back is blinking or turned off completely
Sample Rate light is off or blinking
Unit won't power up, or only powers up intermittently
Only the Mute light is lit when powering up and you are unable to disable Mute

If you're experiencing noise from the Mbox 2, there are several things to try:
  • Make sure you're using balanced cables on all balanced inputs and outputs. Remember that the Mbox 2 outputs are unbalanced, and should use unbalanced connections.
  • Try using a power conditioner for all your electronic gear (Furman, Monster).
  • Run your outputs directly to shielded monitors and not through a mixer to see if the noise goes away.
  • Some noise complaints arise from noisey power supply units inside computers - try installing and running on another computer (or if you're using a laptop, unplug the power supply and run off of batteries to see if noise goes away).
  • Unplug and turn off all unnecessary gear and run only the computer, the Mbox 2, and monitors.
  • Listen through headphones.
  • Make sure you're not running through a USB hub or other device - the Mbox 2 always needs to be plugged directly into the computer.
  • Try all USB ports on the computer to see if the noise lessens.
  • Trace your cable path for long cable runs, and isolate your cables from possible interference (other gear, florescent lighting, CRT monitors, etc).
  • Lastly, if you feel a repair is necessary, please contact Tech Support to set up a Return Authorization.
If you continue to have problems after going through all of the above

Help us help you!

To enable Digidesign Technical Support and other users to assist you with your problem, PLEASE provide a complete system profile as well as a complete description of the problem you're experiencing, including the exact text and error numbers in any error messages you're gettting. PLEASE list exactly which of the above steps you've done - you can use the title of each section to indicate if you've done the step or not.

At the very least, we need the following information:
  • Computer model and processor speed
  • OS version
  • Pro Tools version
  • Amount of RAM installed
  • Any attached peripherals (hard drives, video devices, other firewire or USB devices that may be attached, etc)
  • Number and type (firewire, SATA, SCSI, etc) of drives installed
  • Which of the drive(s) are being used for recording and playback
  • A concise list of the troubleshooting you've already tried - please be as specific as possible! The first thing we'll ask is 'Have you done everything in the Setup and General Troubleshooting thread?', so we'll want to know that you've done ALL of it and, if you've not done everything, we need to know what you have or have not done, as this can have a huge impact on further troubleshooting.
The more information you can provide, the easier it will be for Tech Support and other users to assist you - take the time now to document everything you can and you'll save time in the long run.


Note: To enable other users to help you, please include all of your system details when posting an issue to the forum; Pro Tools hardware, Pro Tools software version, computer model/processor speed, OS version, amount of RAM installed, type of hard drives used, etc.
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Old 07-15-2009, 10:23 AM
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Default Re: General Troubleshooting - Pro Tools LE and HD on Mac OS X

Mbox 2 Pro and M-Audio firewire device specific issues

You should NOT use the AC adapter for the Mbox 2 Pro unless the firewire port on your computer doesn't supply power - for instance, if it's a 'mini' firewire port with only 4 pins. Doing so can cause 6085 errors.

Mbox 2 Pro and most M-Audio firewire interfaces do not support FW800 connections anywhere in the chain. If you only have a firewire 800 port on your computer, you can try using a FW800 to FW400 adapter cable however keep in mind that this is not the ideal solution and may still be problematic. A better solution is to get a FW400 expresscard (for laptops) or PCI/PCIe FW400 card (for desktops) and connect your interface to that. The Siig 2 Port card (link to expresscard or PCIe versions) has been shown to be suitable for this situation.

If your computer has both FW400 and FW800 ports on it, they're most likely using the same bus and the above info would still apply, though you have the flexibility of connecting any firewire drives you're using either to the FW400 or FW800 ports on the computer or to the card, as long as your interface is not on the same bus - so if you connect your drives to the computer ports, connect your interface to the card or vice versa.

If your Mbox 2 Pro is not being recognized it may be due to corrupted firmware. Please follow the steps in the article below, as it should fix the problem:

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Last edited by DigiTechSupt; 09-02-2009 at 10:00 AM. Reason: Added link to Mbox 2 Pro firmware update instructions workaround
Old 10-26-2009, 11:01 AM
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Default Re: General Troubleshooting - Pro Tools LE and HD on Mac OS X

Plug-In Compatibility - It's Important!

Many issues are caused by incompatible plug-ins being installed. They don't even have to be used in the session to cause problems - just having them in the plug-ins folder can cause bizarre problems. The reason is that, upon launch, Pro Tools caches all the installed plug-in data - that cache interacts with many aspects of Pro Tools, from thread scheduling to automation, etc.

I strongly recommend taking 30 minutes to carefully go through your plug-in list and compare it to our Pro Tools Plug-in Compatibility Grid. Remove or update any plug-ins that are not the minimum version listed. If you don't see your plug-in on the list, remove it temporarily for testing purposes then, once your system is stable, verify with the manufacturer regarding it's compatibility. If they indicate it's compatible, put it back into your plug-ins folder and test again. Do this ony by one for any plug-ins in question, so you can narrow down which ones my be problematic.

FWIW I have never, ever seen a case where someone said 'all my plug-ins are compatible' and actually have that be the case so, please, double and triple check. You can't be too careful in regards to this! A majority of instability reported on the DUC has been traced to plug-ins.

After removing/updating any plug-ins always trash preferences, then restart, so that all plug-in data can be reloaded and re-cached.

If you are still experiencing problems, please use the Tech Support Utility to generate and post a plug-in version list so we can double check. Given that our time here is limited, we expect you to carefully verify your plug-ins first.

Also, due to some plug-ins using code that cannot run on a processor dedicated to RTAS, you may need to reduce the number of processors in the playback engine to avoid errors. The processors are still being used - they just run the code that can't run on a dedicated RTAS processor. Some code will interrupt real-time processes if they're run on the same core.
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:55 AM
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Default Re: General Troubleshooting - Pro Tools LE and HD on Mac OS X

If you are experiencing problems with MIDI in Pro Tools (or any other application) where you cannot get input or output, OR your MIDI interface is greyed out in Audio MIDI Setup, try this:

Go to MacHD>Users>your account>Library>Preferences>By Host and trash 'com.apple.midi.a bunch of numbers and letters.plist'.

Go to MacHD>Users>your account>Library>Preferences and trash 'com.apple.audio.audiomidisetup.plist'.

Empty the trash and restart, then see if everything is working.
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: General Troubleshooting - Pro Tools LE and HD on Mac OS X

Core Audio troubleshooting - for general Core Audio problems, such as if your interface is not being recognized or it's greyed out in Audio MIDI Setup (AMS), try this:

Quit out of all open applications.

Trash the following preference files:

1. Mac HD > Users > (Your User Name) > Library > Preferences > com.apple.systempreferences.plist (delete this file)
2. Mac HD > Users > (Your User Name) > Library > Preferences > com.apple.audio.AudioMIDISetup.plist (delete this file)
3. Mac HD > Users > (Your User Name) > Library > Preferences > com.digidesign.CoreAudioManager.plist (delete this file)
4. Mac HD > Users > (Your User Name) > Library > Preferences > ByHost > com.apple.systempreferences.xxxxxxxxxxxx.plist (delete this file)

Empty the trash, restart and test again.
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:30 PM
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Default Re: General Troubleshooting - Pro Tools LE and HD on Mac OS X

If you're experiencing problems with MP3 Option or MP3 Export, please see this page:

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