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Pro tools error "The operating system held off"

Discussion in 'Pro Tools' started by rockdude, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. rockdude

    rockdude Active Member

    Yea im new to pro tools but man i have learn alot over the past couple days but i have been getting this same message when ever im recording or playingback most the time but I cant find a solution. "The operating system held off interrupts for too long. If this occures frequently, try increasing the "H/W buffer size". I did some searching on the Internet for a while but no one seems to know for sure what exactly causes it. The PC im running this on is not the most powerful out there, P4 3.0Ghz / 1Gb RAM. But in my resource manager its far from using up the 90% cpu i set it to and seems to have enough RAM left. Yet I still get the message so is it a performance problem? And yes i increased the H/W buffer already :wink:
  2. SuprSpy79

    SuprSpy79 Active Member

    what did you set the H/w Buffer to? how many track and plugs are running when you get the error message?

    And get another stick of ram lol
  3. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Hard drives?
    If you're recording to your system drive, get a 2nd.


    Sata HDDs are cheap as anything these days, 80GB for £35 or 500GB for oh, £70 I think it was.
  4. BRH

    BRH Active Member

    One single plugin not up to date with the version of PT you are running will cause this.
  5. rockdude

    rockdude Active Member

    um it happens with just even one track at times when im recording or just playing back. I just installed pro tools 8, im only using the plugins that come with it like the piano/Boom/Xpand. Also what now about the 2nd drive so its good to do work on a seperate harddrive in pro tools from which the program is installed? I was under the impression its best to do work on the drive its on. Also I got the H/W buffer at 2048 samples
  6. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Use a separate drive for the audio data, preferably on a different host connector from the system drive if it's a PATA (IDE) interface.

    Have you got all networking disabled when you are running PT? Not just unplugged, but disabled in the control panel. Timeouts from unresponsive network devices can easily cause the error you report. You should set up a separate hardware profile for audio work that is tailored to have everything except essential devices disabled.
  7. rockdude

    rockdude Active Member

    so I should cut off all networking while using pro tools, like just disable my network card?
  8. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

  9. rockdude

    rockdude Active Member

    hmm it seemed to have helped as far as when im just playing in a virtual instrument but once I start recording a track and deff after I get a track and playback or more tracks it does it. Basically as im recording tracks and or playing in instrument im watching my cpu usage go to 50% in no time and when it goes over 50% it gives me that message like everytime within 10 seconds so im thinking its the cpu being too weak :cry: but yes i do need more RAM if i want to record any decent amount of tracks. But what do you think once this cpu usage sky rockets my HDD is spinning really fast and loud.

    also when lets say i have no tracks recorded just 1 instrument track up and im playing on the virtual piano lets say, after about 15-30 seconds of playing on my keyboard the audio glitches up where my cpu usage is rising, it likes just freezes silent for about 1-2 seconds then continues where it left off and it just making it a pain to record without a little hickup here and there. So is this a certain sign of low cpu power?
  10. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    As people have said, this could be a problem with using the same drive for both the program and the audio - basically a data transfer bottleneck. Two drives employ two buses for data transfer. (Tech guys: please correct me if I am oversimplifying this or describing the problem incorrectly.)

    This is something that you want to fix regardless of where you go with the cpu. It's cheap, fast, and easy to move to the next computer if you decide to upgrade. A new drive would be my first priority. More RAM second. I wouldn't even start trying to diagnose cpu problems until you have these known problems taken care of.
  11. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Rockdude -
    The fact that turning off the networking made a significant difference means that you are on the right track. It's not low CPU power on its own that's your problem, it's how that power is being shared around.

    You need to (a) tweak your computer for audio (there are threads on this forum with links to other sites showing various ways of doing this), (b) get a second disk drive for audio installed on a different host bus from the system drive, (c) put more memory in the computer.
  12. rockdude

    rockdude Active Member

    ok the harddrive situation makes alot of sense now looks like I need another HDD. Ok but heres my next question I was in the market of getting a external USB HDD and was about to get one, but I seen pro tools does NOT work well with USB HDDs. So can anyone confirm this or had experiences of their own with USB HDDs in pro tools?

    Second I had a question about my random glitches I get with my Mbox 2 mini. Ok so when Im NOT in pro tools just with windows media player up listending to music of bands somtimes my track randomly thru out it will freeze up for a half a second then continue on. And also when I first start up a track like double click on the file it takes time to start playing the track rather than instantly without the audio interface. I have my Mbox2 mini connected to monitors/speakers from its stereo out using 1/4" to RCA, dont know if that helps but why am I getting these little glitches and lag with songs starting up when I load them up?
  13. music293

    music293 Active Member

    I have a Mbox2 Mini and I've run it on a pc with an external usb HDD. It works, but the track count is lower, your buffers need to be bigger making PT less responsive.

    The short is, if you CAN use firewire, DO use firewire.
  14. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    1. Spend some time on the DUC - digi user conference
    2. Stay away from the USB if possible. A firewire HD is really one of the best directions to go to.


    Check into the specs and optimizing your system info
  15. rockdude

    rockdude Active Member

    ok cool, I got another hard drive on the way! But this lag issue with my Mbox has got me more upset now no one seems to have a answer. Like I said im not in pro tools just listening to files in WMP and it will lag for half a second usually a couple times in song. And if im doing other stuff like browsing internet while listening it will happen even more freaquent usually when I click something to load. Any help? :cry:
  16. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    You are simply reinforcing the point that we have all been making - you can't mix serious audio record/replay with ANY other computer activity, especially not browsing the net or any sort of anti-virus software.

    How many icons have you got showing in your system tray? More than two? Set up a profile with networking disabled and use that profile for your audio work. Switch back to your standard profile when you want to go surfing.

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