Pro tools hardware not found

Pro tools hardware not found DEFAULT

FIX: Pro Tools hardware is either not installed or used by another program.

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Pro Tools hardware is either not installed or used by another program. If you thought that having Pro Tools 9 installed meant no more “Hey, Mr. Engineer Genius, where’s your fancy hardware?” errors, then this nagging error probably came as a surprise. It did for me. Since installing Pro Tools 9, my workflow has allowed […]

March 10th, 2011 | Audio, Recording, Technology | AVID, hardware, Mac, Macbook Pro, Mbox 2 Micro, Mbox 2 Pro, OS X, Pro Tools, Recording, solutions, Sweetwater | Comments: 10

Pro Tools hardware is either not installed or used by another program.

If you thought that having Pro Tools 9 installed meant no more “Hey, Mr. Engineer Genius, where’s your fancy hardware?” errors, then this nagging error probably came as a surprise. It did for me. Since installing Pro Tools 9, my workflow has allowed me to jump around from my Mbox 2 Pro, Mbox 2 Micro, and MacBook Pro’s built-in sound card. This has been really handy while trying to finish up my album on the road. But, apparently, all that hardware hopping can cause the playback engine to get stuck in some funky states that don’t so work –if at all. See my previous post “FIX: Pro Tools could not set sample rate to specified value” for a similar issue.

Obviously, the problem has something to do with the playback engine. Since the error dialog only offers an ‘OK’ button, which closes Pro Tools, there doesn’t seem to be a way to work around the problem. There is not even a way to know what hardware Pro Tools is expecting.

Until now.

The Fix

I found a simple solution via this Sweetwater forum. The answer given there details how to get Pro Tools running on a PC, but I found that it worked for Macs too and without having to install any drivers. The fix is kind of like booting Pro Tools in safe mode. Simply hold the ‘N’ key while starting up Pro Tools. This will bypass the normal start up sequence and open up the Playback Engine window. Now you can select the correct playback engine and continue using Pro Tools.

In my situation, Pro Tools was looking for the last connected device (my Mbox 2 Pro), but since it wasn’t available it opted for the next available option: my MacBook Pro’s line input, which doesn’t make a very good playback engine.

Let me know if this fix worked for you.



unable to locate hardware

This may seem like the end of the world, but trust me – it’s not as bad as you might think.

(If you have any questions, or run into any problems, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post)

Here are a few ways to fix it:

  1. Make sure your interface is connected DIRECTLY to an open port on your computer (no usb hubs, monitor ports, keyboard ports, splitters, trees or docking stations)
  2. Make sure your interface is turned ON
  3. If 1 & 2 didn’t fix it, try unplugging the usb cable from the computer & move it over to a new port. This should reload the drivers for your interface & refresh the connection with the computer. Note: If you’re using a firewireinterface, Shutdown the computer & turn off the 002 / 003before unplugging the firewire cables!
  4. Run Digi Driver – Go into “My Computer” then your “C:” drive, then “Program Files(if it tells you the files are hidden, click to show the files). Go into the “Digidesign” folder, then into the “Drivers” folder – here is the full path My Computer > C: > Program Files > Digidesign > Drivers.  Now look for the Digidriver logo digidriver& double click on it. Choose “install“.  If any boxes pop up, just choose “Continue Anyway

If Pro Tools still can’t find your interface, then we will have to manually point the computer in the right direction.

Checking For Drivers in the “Device Manager”

  1. Click the “Start” button, then right-click on “My Computer” and choose “PropertiesMy computer props
  2. Click the “Hardware” Tab at the top of the window, then click the button for “Device Managerdevice manager
  3. Click the “+” next to “Sound Video & Game Controllers” to show the contents of that category.
  4. For the Mbox 2, you should see “Digidesign Mbox 2 Audio Driver” & “Digidesign Mbox 2 Midi Driver” – If either of them have a yellow “!” or “?” next to them, then follow THESE steps.
  5. If you don’t see the Mbox 2 Audio Driver, look for something called “Usb Audio Device” & follow THESE steps.
  6. If you see neither the Mbox 2 Audio nor Mbox 2 Midi driver, look for them under the “Unknown Devices” or “Unused Devices” category. Once you’ve found them, follow THESE steps and note the directions in green.
  7. If you can’t find the drivers anywhere, double check to make sure the M-box or 002/003 is plugged in directly to the back of the computer & not through any hub or computer monitor / keyboard.

Manually Installing Digidesign Drivers

    1. In the device manager, right-click on driver with the “!” or “?” on it (or the “USB Audio Device”) and choose “update driverupdate driver
    2. If it asks to connect to the Windows Update to search for software, choose: “No, not at this time” and click “Nextno not at this time
    3. On the next window, choose the bottom option, “Install from a list or specific location [Advanced]” & click “NextSpecific list
    4. In the next window, choose the bottom option again, “Don’t search. I will choose the driver to install” & click “NextDon't Search
    5. It will now show you a list of drivers – Choose the appropriate driver for your device & click “NextDriver List

(Examples of drivers:Digidesign Mbox 2 Audio Driver, Digidesign Mbox 2 Midi Driver, Digidesign Mbox 2 Firmware Updater, Digidesign 003, Digidesign 002.)Note: It will likely tell you “This driver is not digitally signed!“, but just click “Next” anyways.

NOTE:If you see a list of categories instead of a list of drivers, scroll down to “Sound Video & Game Controllers” & double click on it. Now you should see a list of compatible drivers.

    1. Windows Logo Testing

mbox audio driverClickContinue Anyway

    1. ClickFinish

Finish Driver

  1. Repeat steps1-7 if you have other drivers that need updating with the“!”or“?”on them.

Like this:


This entry was posted on Friday, August 7th, 2009 at 5:31 pm and is filed under 003 Factory, 003 Rack, 003 Rack+, Mbox 2, Mbox 2 Mini, Mbox 2 Pro, Troubleshooting / Support. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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Pro Tools Error Codes - What They Mean And How To Fix Them

In this article, we take a comprehensive look at the error codes that Pro Tools can throw up when you are least expecting them. We look at each message, explain what is going on and offer advice on how to resolve the problem.


DAE stands for Digital Audio Engine on older versions of Pro Tools and AAE is short for Avid Audio Engine which replaced the DAE from Pro Tools 11. So for the rest of this article, we will refer to the errors as AAE Errors.

AAE Error 2

AAE Error 2 is likely to come up when you press Play in Pro Tools.

You will get this error if there are 2 or more hard drives that are labelled with the same name. It doesn’t matter whether they are internal or external drives that are connected to the computer, if you have 2 drives of the same name, Pro Tools cannot tell which drive is which.

The solution is to rename at least be of the drives so that they have different names.

AAE Error -13

An AAE Error -13 can pop up when you click on a track, in the timeline, in the clip list, or when making a track active or inactive. This is usually a permissions issue. When clicking on a track or in the clip list you may not have the appropriate permissions for one of the files you are effectively trying to access or you may not have permission to access the folder the file(s) are in.

The advice is to check the full file path of your audio and video files to make sure they reside in the correct location and to make sure you have the necessary permissions to access the folder, especially if it is on a network-attached drive or on a drive that isn’t yours.

AAE Error -35

Along similar lines, as AAE Error 2, there is AAE Error -35. This usually pops up when launching or opening a session with Pro Tools on a macOS Pro Tools system.

It can be the same issue as Error 2 in that you could have 2 drives with the same name, but AAE Error -35 is more likely to occur because one of your drives has one or more macOS illegal characters in the name.

Illegal characters are * | " : < > ? / \

These should not be used in session or project names or media names. Apparently, they may be used when naming playlists but be aware that they will be replaced by an underscore (_) if they make their way to an audio file name via recording, bouncing, consolidating, etc.

As a consequence, it is recommended that you try and avoid using these characters when naming sessions and playlists in Pro Tools.

Also, avoid using these illegal characters in external hard drives and networked volume names, naming drives and folders as well as using forward / and back \ slashes and connecting external drives sharing the same exact name.

We did discover that you can use Emojis and Symbols. For more details check out our article You Can Use Emojis And Symbols In Pro Tools Sessions - Here's How. However, note that we did add a caveat regarding illegal characters.

Basically the safest thing to do is not to use * | " : < > ? / \ when naming anything!

AAE Error -55

AAE Error 55 can pop up when launching Pro Tools. It would appear that the main reason for an AAE Erro -55, is an incompatible plugin. The question is which one.

Note that an incompatible plugin can cause problems just being in your plugins folder, it doesn’t have to be used in the session, just being in the plugin folder is enough to be a problem.

There is no shortcut to figuring out which plug-in may be crashing your system, this is how you do it.

  • Create a folder on your desktop (or somewhere safe) and then drag all the plug-ins from your plug-ins folder to the new folder for safe-keeping.

  • Split your plug-ins into two groups. Drag one half of that group back to your plug-in folder and see if your system launches

  • If it does, then pull them back out and try the other half - it should crash.

  • If it does, then divide the remaining group in half again and repeat the process until you find the culprit.

I am reliably informed, but not smart enough to do the maths, that irrespective of the number of plug-ins you have, that you should find the culprit in around 8 moves - not of course accounting for those with low plug-in counts. I’m smart enough to realise that if you have 7 plug-ins then you can do it in less than 8 moves.

Once you have identified the culprit then go and get the latest version and install it and all should be good.

AAE Errors 1174, 1177, 1178 and 1179

We have grouped these 3 error messages together as they all relate to Pro Tools HDX cards.

AAE Error -1174 can pop up when you are using an HDX card in an expansion chassis. The advice is as follows…

Shut down the computer and power cycle the chassis (if applicable). Zap PRAM when restarting the computer. Launch Pro Tools. If the error persists, run the DigiTest utility to verify if there are any failures. If there are failures, try moving the HDX card to another PCIe slot and run the utility again.

AAE Error -1177 will pop up if you do not have an audio interface connected to an HDX card when you launch Pro Tools. The advice is to ensure that your interfaces are powered on and that all DigiLink cables are secured on both ends.

AAE Errors 1178 and 1179 are warnings that one of your HDX cards is overheating With an AAE Error -1178, this is a warning that the HDX card fan is not spinning. The advice is to ensure your HDX card(s) have been connected to the internal power of your computer or chassis, and that the fans are working properly. One of the most common reasons for an HDX card fan not to be spinning is that a neighbouring card isn’t properly located and the card is preventing the HDX card from spinning.

AAE Error 1179 is a more general overheating warning message showing that your HDX cards are operating at temperatures above their intended threshold. The advice is to ensure that the fans on the HDX cards are functional, and that the airflow in the computer or chassis in which they are installed is not compromised, by checking for excessive dust in exhaust ports or nonfunctional fans. If your computer or chassis is installed in a quiet rack or isolation studio furniture, ensure that the operating temperature inside is less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

AAE Error -1180

AAE Error -1180 can pop up if your Pro Tools computer is set to enter Sleep or Hibernate mode. The advice is to disable Sleep and Hibernate.

AAE Errors -6101 and -6106

In researching the 6106 error in Pro Tools 12, it led us to a family of Pro Tools errors that relate to the H/W buffer size in Pro Tools. These include Pro Tools errors -6086, -6085, -6031, -6080, -6093, -6097 and -6101 with error messages like these... 

  • The operating system held off interrupts for too long. If this occurs frequently, reduce the number of plug-ins or increase H/W Buffer in the Playback Engine Dialog. (-6086)

  • The audio device buffer underflowed. If this occurs frequently, try decreasing the "H/W Buffer Size” in the Playback Engine Dialog (6085).

  • You are running out of CPU power. Remove some RTAS plug-ins or increase the CPU Usage Limit in the Playback Engine dialog (-9128).

The Hardware Buffer Size (H/W Buffer Size) controls the size of the buffer used to handle host processing tasks such as Real-Time AudioSuite (RTAS) plug-ins.  These messages will usually only be displayed during playback or recording and will result in Playback or recording being stopped.  These messages may occur for a variety of reasons:

  • RTAS Processing overload

  • Incompatible hardware

  • Interface communication problems

  • Incorrect System Optimisation

  • Incompatible Plug-ins

  • RTAS Processing Overload

You may simply be running too many simultaneous RTAS plug-ins, so to rule this out first check your CPU (RTAS) meter in the System Usage window. But the problem is much more likely to be elsewhere in your system. So work your way through these suggestions to help resolve the problem.

Incompatible Hardware - Computer hardware that has not been specifically tested and approved by Avid may contribute to buffer errors. The following are the most common system components to cause buffer errors if incompatible:

Motherboard Chipset (on Windows machines) - Firewire Controller (less likely on newer machines, but if you are still using older FireWire peripherals this may still be an issue).

  • Network Adapter

  • Integrated Graphics

  • Interface Communication Problems

  • A faulty firewire or USB cable may be the culprit. Some ports work better than others. Try all available USB and firewire ports.

  • Incorrect System Optimisation

Turn off Wi-Fi - In their computer optimisation guides, Avid recommend that you turn off your Wi-Fi connection if your computer is equipped with Bluetooth wireless and/or a Wi-Fi (AirPort) card, for Pro Tools to work correctly.  In addition to freeing up system resources, disabling these can help resolve DAE errors -6085, -6086 and -6101.

Incompatible Plug-ins - Sometimes having incompatible plug-ins installed can degrade system performance and contribute to buffering related errors. Check that you have the correct versions of all plug-ins for your version of Pro Tools.

AAE error -6101 in record or playback at lowest buffer setting on OS X 10.11.x (El Capitan) 

This is another known reason for Pro tools to throw up a 6101 error message, as it is a known issue using Eleven Rack, Mbox 3, C400, or C600 on some older (USB2) Macs running OS X 10.11.x (El Capitan). The initially recommended workaround is to increase the HW Buffer size. The better news is that Avid has reported that this was fixed in later versions of the drivers for these interfaces so make sure you have the latest driver installed. v1.2.9 of the drivers is listed as fixing this problem

Pro Tools loses audio playback or an -6101 error occurs when disconnected headphones on a MacBook Pro 

This is another known example of where Pro tools can report a 6101 error. While playing back Pro Tools 11 and listening to audio from the internal headphone output from a MacBook Pro computer, if the headphones are unplugged a 6101 error may occur.  If the headphones are disconnected while Pro Tools is idle and not playing back, audio may no longer come out of the speakers on the MacBook Pro.   To resolve this, either plug the headphones back in to continue monitoring audio, or restart Pro Tools to hear audio from the built-in speakers on the MacBook Pro. 

–6101 error when previewing audio with Pro Tools Aggregate I/O

When previewing audio in the Import Audio dialog with Pro Tools Aggregate I/O selected as the Current Engine (in the Playback Engine dialog), and with the Mac OS File view is set to Columns view, you may encounter a –6101 error. Try changing the Mac OS file view from Columns to List or Icons view, or use any of the built-in audio devices instead of Pro Tools Aggregate I/O to avoid this problem

AAE Error -6117

With Pro Tools First, an AAE error -6117 means "Device is not present" and is likely due to a missing driver for your interface. This is likely to be on a Windows machine.

Download and install the driver for your audio interface (download drivers for Avid interfaces)

  1. If a driver is not available or using the built-in audio hardware on a PC, try installing ASIO4ALL. Check out our article on ASIO4ALL.

  2. Hold the N key down immediately after launching until the Playback Engine window opens to select your device

If the same error occurs, Avid recommend you try the following...

  1. Right-click the Speaker Icon you can see on the lower right side of your screen. Then, click Playback Devices.

  2. Right-click the devices and disable all sound device.

  3. Do the same in the Recording tab beside Playback (on top of the dialogue box) After all the Playback and Recording devices are disabled, try to run Pro Tools First again. If it runs, you can enable all the sound devices again.

Although the -6117 error is most likely to happen in Pro Tools First, it can happen in other versions of Pro Tools when it cannot find an audio interface. One user with Pro Tools 12.6.1 reported that de-activating all audio devices (in devices panel of windows 8.1), then re-opening Pro Tools, it will work with the generic driver. Finally, re-activate the correct audio device and drivers and it worked fine. 

Another user with an Apollo Quad interface on Windows 10 with Pro Tools 12.4 reported that whenever they try to load up Pro Tools they get the error: "The selected audio device could not be initialized. Please choose another audio device." When they hit "OK", they got: "AAE error -6117 was encountered". Their fix was to go to Playback devices on the Windows toolbar and make sure the Apollo was enabled. Then go into Recording devices and make sure the Apollo was disabled. This caused Pro Tools to recognise the Apollo, and can still play sound from iTunes/Spotify/etc.

AAE Error -7054

The most likely reason that an AAE Error -7054 would pop up is that you have an out-of-date plugin in your plugin folder. More specifically a 32-bit plugin in a 64bit version of Pro Tools. Prior to Pro Tools 10 all plugins, as well as Pro Tools, were 32-bit code. Pro Tools 11 was the first version of Pro Tools that was 64-bit and so this error was very common in the early days of Pro Tools 11. However, it is possible to install an older 32-bit plugin and so trigger this error message.

The solution to a Pro Tools AAE Error -7054 message, is to make sure you have the latest version of all your plugins installed.

AAE Error -9013

This is a weird one as the suggestion in the error message is completely misleading. Pro Tools reports "AAE’s memory is running low. Please try to increase AAE’s Preferred Size. (AAE -9013)", or it might just report "AAE -9013 is encountered".

Either way, what this may actually mean is that Pro Tools is looking for a missing file or drive, which might occur if the session's storage device becomes unmounted.

The advice is that you ensure the session's storage volume is still available, and then quit and relaunch Pro Tools. There is no way to adjust AAE's preferred size. and so Avid close by asking that we "Please disregard that instruction"!

AAE Error -9073

This is one of the most common Pro Tools errors and in essence, is Pro Tools saying that it can’t get the data fast enough.

There are usually two main ways Pro Tools reports -9073 errors...

  1. DAE can't get audio from the disk fast enough. Your disk may be too slow or too fragmented.

  2. The PCI bus is too busy for DAE to communicate reliably with the audio hardware.' Error occurs during Bounce to Disk, playback or record on Mac or Windows platforms. DAE (and more recently AAE) error -9073 "

The leading cause of the -9073 error is recording, playing back, or bouncing to a drive that is literally "too slow or too fragmented".  A lot of the advice relates to older computer systems with Firewire or USB drives etc.

In my experience 9073 errors come up at the point Pro Tools cannot get all the data on and off the session drive fast enough. That can be because the data is too fragmented, ie bits of the audio file are spread across the drive, but again things have moved on so much that fragmentation isn't always the issue. Also, the reasons for -0973 error messages can be many and varied, but can include the fact that the computer is too busy to serve Pro Tools in a timely manner, which could be background applications running and so on

The PCI Bus version "The PCI bus is too busy for DAE to communicate reliably with the audio hardware. Disk too slow or too fragmented" is a variation on the same problem but in this case, it is the PCI bus that is getting clogged up so that Pro tools can't get the data fast enough.

Things To Try To Resolve -9073 Errors

Pro Tools HD users have had Disk Cache since Pro Tools 10, which enabled Pro Tools to load some, or all of the session and media into your RAM, making 9073 errors history. Disk Cache came to Pro Tools Vanilla in version 12.2, which makes the likelihood of getting 9073 errors on any Pro Tools system later than v12.2 much less likely.

Even so, it is still possible to get 9073 errors with Disk Cache. If playback is started while Disk Cache is in the process of filling, Pro Tools will stop playback with an AAE -9073 error. Avid recommends that you wait until Disk Cache has finished caching the timeline to begin playback.

Check your Disk Cache settings. Some users have reported that if it is set to Normal Pro Tools can still produce 9073 or 9173 errors. Increasing the Disk Cache to say 10GB (providing you have the memory for it) may resolve the problem.

Look at any application that might be scanning drives creating catalogs etc, as they will make the hard drive have to work harder.

Spotlight indexing has been found to cause -9073 "disk too slow" errors while recording in Pro Tools.  You can disable Spotlight indexing:

  • Open OS X System Preferences

  • Open the "Spotlight" Control Panel

  • Select the "Privacy" pane

  • Use the Add button (the "+") or drag a folder or disks into the list

Audio tracks with lots of edits, as can be created when using Beat Detective, can also cause -9073 errors. Bounce to disk, Consolidate, or using Track Commit all can help.

Advice On 9073 Errors On Older Systems

If you have a lot of tracks in a session then consider splitting your audio tracks up across multiple drives to prevent this error. 

Partitioning large drives into volumes no larger than around 9 gigs in size can help prevent fragmentation. But partitioning drives can also cause issues and again this largely relates to older systems. Large drives now rarely need partitioning for performance reasons.

Firewire drives have been known to cause 9073 errors. Avid recommends that all Firewire drives must have an RPM speed of 7,200 and have the Oxford 911 Bridge chip.

AAE Error -9118

AAE Error 9118 is likely to pop up when you are attempting to Destructively Punch into or process a file. It indicates that an attempt has been made to write to the same file multiple times during processing.

The advice is if the error occurs repeatedly when attempting a particular operation, quit Pro Tools and reboot the computer. Then try again.

AAE Error -9171

This error usually pops up when the hardware buffer size is too low and relates to other CPU Overload Errors at Low Buffer Sizes, but the key issue is low buffer sizes.

In the Pro Tools 12.5 notes Avid report "CPU performance degradation with lower buffer sizes (AAE error -9171) with HDX"

When using Pro Tools 10.2 on a Mac or Windows dual-processor system and Host Processors in the Playback Engine is set to a number of cores that is equal to double the number of physical CPU cores, playback at the lowest available buffer sizes will throw up CPU Overload errors.

For example, if you have a dual 6-core CPU with Hyperthreading enabled, Pro Tools will allow 24 Host Processors to be used.

If you are using 32, 64, 128, or 256 sample H/W buffer sizes on a dual-processor system, then Avid recommend that you set Host Processors to the number of actual physical cores.

In the dual 6-core CPU example, the desired Host Processor setting to avoid errors strictly related to this bug would be 12.  

This bug does not occur when the H/W buffer size goes above 256 but is seen most frequently at 32 and 64 sample buffer sizes.  However, this bug is not known to occur on single CPU configurations. 

A DAE -9171 error can be encountered when recording large track counts at high sample rates and low buffer sizes with the HD Native Thunderbolt interface, Pro Tools 10.3.2 or 10.3.3 and the 2011 MacBook Pro (non-Retina) computers with disk cache enabled.  

This is an issue specific to the 2011 (non-Retina) MacBook Pro computers (8,1 8,2 and 8,3).  

As a workaround, Avid recommend...

  • Use a different computer (Retina MacBook Pro computers do not encounter this error)

  • Turn Disk Cache off while recording at higher sample rates

  • Revert to Pro Tools 10.3 or 10.3.1

  • In some cases, raising the H/W Buffer size can help reduce the error.

AAE Error -9173

This is another common error on Pro Tools that can occur in a wide range of circumstances. There are usually two main ways Pro Tools reports 9173 errors...

  1. Pro Tools ran out of CPU power. Try deactivating or removing Native plug-ins. (AAE error -9173)

  2. Pro Tools 11.2-11.2.2 experiences an AAE -9173 during a real-time bounce to disk.

Things To Try To Resolve -9173 Errors

Pro Tools ran out of CPU power. Try deactivating or removing Native plug-ins. (AAE error -9173)

This can occur if you are pushing the CPU too hard.  Go to Window > System Usage and check the CPU usage meter.  If the CPU meter is > 80% you should deactivate Native plug-ins to find the most CPU intensive one. You can then make them inactivate and replace with a less CPU intensive plug-in or Bounce/Commit the processed audio to a new track and make the original track inactivate. 

Other things to check...

  • If using a Click Track in Pro Tools 12.5, try deleting the Click Track (Bounce or Commit the track prior to deleting if needed). Avid report this problem was resolved in Pro Tools 12.6. The temporary workaround is to render the click using Commit or offline bounce and import after bounce deactivating the Click Track.

  • If this error is occurring with a real-time bounce, try enabling the Offline option in the bounce dialog box or bounce to a track, rather than use Bounce To Disc.

  • With Pro Tools 11, try enabling Dynamic Plug-In Processing in the Playback Engine.

  • This error code can be caused by a plug-in. Track down and remove the offending plug-in and should be good again. The troublesome plug-in doesn't have to be in your session. Just being in the Plug-ins Folder is enough.

  • Reports on the DUC recently suggest that for Mac users to try the Turbo Boost Switcher app. It seems to manage the sudden CPU spikes that can trigger -9173 errors.

  • Some Windows users have reported improvements when Hyperthreading is turned off, although it would seem this is much less helpful for Mac users.

Avid even went as far as to canvas Pro Tools users with a customer survey on 9173 errors especially on Windows 7 and 10 systems. There is a post on the Pro Tools Ideascale on this too.

Pro Tools 11.2-11.2.2 experience an AAE -9173 during a real-time bounce to disk. Real-time bounce to disk fails with an AAE -9173 error.

Avid reports that this was fixed in Pro Tools 11.3.  But suggested workarounds for previous versions are...

  • Use the offline bounce feature in Pro Tools 11

  • Use a real-time bounce to track to print the mix

Check Your Plug-ins - 9173 errors can be caused by having older plug-ins in your plug-ins folder. So check your plug-ins and make sure that they are all up to date. We used to recommend PluginUpdate to help with this process, but support for it has been discontinued and the database that supported it is no longer live, so it has taken away the main functionality, so it’s back to checking the latest version from each developer's website one by one.

AAE Error -13001

This is a Windows-only error and seems to be more common when trying to use Pro Tools First for the first time.

If you get an AAE Error -13001 message then the advice is to right-click on the Pro Tools icon and choose Run as administrator this gives you the appropriate permissions to run Pro Tools.

AAE Error -14018

AAE Error -14018 is also plugin related. The most common reason for this error is that there is at least one plugin in your plugin folder that has not been activated.

For example, we had a question back in Podcast 344 from November 2018 in which community member Dave Wraight was experiencing AAE Error -14018 with Realguitar and Realstrat plugins. Another user had reported having the same problem with these plugins and it turned out that the plugin was not registered…

“It wasn't until I tried to open the application outside of ProTools that the plugin told me it was NOT yet registered. Must have been running in demo mode up until I got the error. You get the license emailed to you from MusicLab when you purchase the plugin. You navigate to the license attachment in the email to register. Hey presto!... Solved!”

UAD Pro Tools Widows users can also experience AAE Error -14018. In the Univeral Audio UAD-2 DSP Accelerator System Setup and Configuration guide says…

“The Windows operating system settings in this section are necessary to ensure optimum stability and performance with UAD-2 hardware.

To use Pro Tools 11 or Pro Tools 12 with UAD AAX 64 plug-ins under Windows, the following steps are required. The procedure must be performed each time an updated version of UAD software is installed (once for UAD v8.5, once for future UAD releases, etc).

If Pro Tools is not quit after the initial plug-in scan, Pro Tools AAE error -14018, “Unable to locate hardware” and/or other anomalies may occur.

Note: These steps are not required when running Windows 10 May 2019 Update (version 1903) or higher.”

Another user reported that they got an AAE Error -14018 message because…

“For some reason, I forgot to deactivate the plugins on my last computer. Once activated on my new Mac, it works fine now.”

AAE Error -20007

An AAE Error 20007 can pop up when opening some sessions. Bizarrely, if the error is dismissed, Pro Tools seems to function normally. This error can sometimes be caused by a problem with the current I/O setup.

The advice is to rest the I/O Setup tabs to Default. To do this…

  • Open the Pro Tools session.

  • Click on the Setup menu.

  • Click on I/O.

  • In the Output tab. Click on the Default button towards the bottom left corner.

  • Click on the Input tab and then the Default button again.

  • Click OK to save these changes.

  • Save, close, and then reopen the session.

Assertion Errors

There are a group of error messages that can be grouped under the banner of Assertion Errors.

They will throw up an error dialog box and have a message along the lines of…

Could not complete your request because Assertion in " ... xyz.cpp", line 123

The common elements are the word Assertion, a file name ending in .cpp and ending in a 3 digit line number.

The most common solution for these Assertion Errors, whether you are on macOS or Windows is to trash the Pro Tools Preferences.

You can find out how to trash your Pro Tools Preferences either using a 3rd party app, do doing it manually in our article How Do I Trash My Pro Tools Preferences? Tutorial Covering Both Mac And Windows.

If that doesn’t work then for some of these Assertion Errors there are specific fixes.

Could not complete your request because Assertion in " ... CFicAAXWidget.cpp", line 822

This is an error that can pop up when the Pro Tools Playback Engine is not configured correctly and can occur in both Mac and Windows versions of Pro Tools.

There are 3 other options to fix this which you can find in this Avid Knowledge Base Article.

"Could not complete your request because Assertion in "..\\BDM\BDM_Workspace.cpp" , line 1476

This is an oldie, but we include it here for completeness. This can pop up on older Windows Pro Tools Systems. The advice is to remove the CD/DVD disk from the optical drive or unplugging any external USB/Firewire/Thunderbolt storage devices.

Could not complete your request because Assertion in "/Volumes/Development/158347/ProTools/App/AS/AS_PLayListCommandBase.cpp", line 1817 (occurs when processing X-Form)

You might get this one pop up if you have an old version of Avid’s X-Form plugin installed, which is more common when processing longer clips and is fixed in X-Form v12.1. The advice here is to make sure you have the latest version of X-Form installed.

End Of Stream Encountered

Have you ever got this error message “End Of Stream Encountered” or “Could not complete Open Session command because of end of stream encountered” We heard about this ‘golden oldie’ making a comeback.

In our article 'End Of Stream Encountered' Error Message In Pro Tools? - We Show 2 Ways To Resolve This we cover 2 reasons why this error message could be popping up when you are trying to open a session in Pro Tools, First, Pro Tools Standard or Pro Tools Ultimate.

The Error Message You Are Looking For Is Not in This Article

The list in the article is comprehensive, but there are error messages that we have not covered. Most are error messages that occur on much older Pro Tools systems or have been fixed in subsequent versions.

Google is your friend here. Search for both the DAE error or AAE Error. Also, our advice is not to worry about the minus sign at the start of the error number.

Don’t expect to find the answer with the first click. As we know in our research, there are often different explanations for the various Pro Tools error numbers so dig a little further, to get a consensus.

Mike Thornton

Mike Thornton has been working in the broadcast audio industry for all his working life, some 44 years. Mike has worked with Pro Tools since the mid-90s recording, editing and mixing documentaries, comedy and drama for both radio and TV as well as doing the occasional music project. He was the co-founder of Pro Tools Expert and is now COO of Production Expert Ltd.

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Tools hardware not found pro

How To Fix: Pro Tools Unable To Locate Hardware In Windows 10

Introduction – The Purpose Of This Guide

This guide, as the title suggests, explains how to fix the error: “Unable To Locate Hardware Tools” within Pro Tools 9 for Windows 10. In it, we will cover the causes behind this error, and discuss various steps you can follow to correct it.

This guide will require you to have a reasonably modest level of technical skills and an understanding of how Windows works at the general level.

You will be required to do things such as tinkering with program files, reinstalling device drivers, demonstrate basic troubleshooting skills, and have knowledge of how both Pro Tools 9 and Digi Driver works.

If you the reader possess all of the necessary skills and knowledge required to troubleshoot this problem, then continue reading. If not, then it is in your best interest to forward this article to someone more knowledgeable, lest you inadvertently make the problem worse.

Without further ado, here’s how to troubleshoot the error: “Unable To locate Hardware Tools” In Pro Tools 9.

How To Troubleshoot: “Unable To Locate Hardware Tools”

Ensure That Your Hardware Is Plugged In

Firstly, let’s perform a couple of really simple troubleshooting steps here. Often times the source of an issue is simply a piece of hardware that isn’t plugged in or powered on.

With that being said, make sure your hardware peripherals are indeed plugged in, and if necessary, powered on.

If that doesn’t work, then try plugging in your hardware directly into an open port on your computer. If you were using anything like a USB hub, monitor port, splitter, keyboard port, or docking station, then these devices could be inadvertently contributing to the problem.

Try ditching them and try again.

If neither of these two actions got you any success, then try using a different port on your computer, if possible. Doing this will reload the device drivers for your interface and refresh the connection.

Sometimes, unplugging and replugging a cable back in is enough to do the trick.

If your hardware interface involves the use of FireWire cables, then be sure to SHUT DOWN YOUR COMPUTER AND DISABLE THE 002 AND 003 DRIVERS before unplugging the cable(s). This is VERY important.

Reinstall And Run Digidrive

If you still haven’t found any success with the above methods, then you’re going to need to reinstall Digidriver and ensure that it is running. Go into “My Computer”, and then into the C drive (C:).

Next, navigate to “Program Files”. If you are told that the files are hidden, click to show the files.

Next, go into the “Digidesign” folder, and then into the “Drivers” folder. The full path should look like “This PC > C: > Program Files > Digidesign > Drivers.

Once you are in the right place, look for the Digidriver logo (a lowercase white d on top of an oval blue background) and double-click on it.

Click “Install”. Click “Install Anyway” if any additional boxes pop up. This step will ensure that your computer can detect and run the device drivers necessary to locate and use the hardware connected to your PC.

Manually Check For Device Drivers

There is a possibility that Digidriver could fail to update the device drivers for your hardware, or that Pro Tools could still fail to locate your hardware interface. If this happens, then you will need to manually install the drivers yourself.

Head to Device Manager. You can do this by right clicking on the Windows log, and selecting “Device Manager”. Once here, click on the Plus (+) icon next to “Sound Video & Game Controllers” to reveal the contents of this category.

For “Mbox 2”, you should see Digidesign Mbox 2 Audio Driver and “Digidesign Mbox 2 Midi Driver”. If either of them have a yellow “!” or “?” next to them, right click on them and select “Update Driver”.

If you are asked to connect to Windows Update to automatically search for and download drivers, click “No, not at this time”. Then click “Next”. IN the next window that appears, select “Install from a list or specific location” and click “Next”.

In the next window, choose “Don’t search. I will choose the driver to install” and click “Next”.

You will then be shown a list of drivers. Choose the appropriate driver and click “Next”. 

You’ll then be shown a window explaining what driver you are installing, and the corresponding hardware it belongs to. Click “Continue Anyway”.

Finally, click “Finish” in the next window.

If you couldn’t find the aforementioned drivers from earlier, look for them in the “Unknown devices or “Unused Devices” section. Once you’ve found them here, follow the same steps as listed above.

If you can’t find the drivers anywhere in Device Manager, then make sure that the M-box or 002/003 is plugged directly into the computer, and not through any hub, monitor, or keyboard. Then, follow the steps listed above.

Tags:How To Fix: Pro Tools Unable To Locate Hardware In Windows 10, Pro Tools

How to fix Unable to Locate Hardware in Pro Tools

Avid Pro Audio Community

DefaultRe: Hardware Not Found error FIXED

On the AVID support page there are Pro Tools 9 specific drivers. Use the drop down boxes to navigate to your specific device. Scroll down the page and select and download the Pro Tools 9 drivers that come up for your specific hardware.

Once downloaded, turn off your hardware device. Run the driver installation executable file. It will instruct you to restart your computer. After your computer reboots and arrives at the desktop, power on your hardware device. You will get a bubble that says, "hardware setup was NOT succesful", whatever, ignore it, close it, move on.

Open control panel>system>device manager. You'll see the yellow exclamation mark next to your "uninstalled" hardware device (002r, 003r, etc..). Double click, select "update driver">let me choose>i have a disk. Browse to C:>windows>programsx86>digidesign>drivers>. Select your device.

I strongly recommend a reboot before opening Pro Tools. Could just be a crazy superstition, but, it's what I do on all my installs.

You either like Neil Diamond or you don't. I like Neil Diamond.


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