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DAW updating and soft reinstallation nightmares, anyone ?
Old 28th September 2019
  #1
Gear Nut
 
cubic13's Avatar
DAW updating and soft reinstallation nightmares, anyone ?

Let's say it : I could (and probably should) have changed my DAW with all the softs that I use for a more up-to-date and better performing Windows 10 one since several months, if not more. Having a nine years old DAW still perfectly working, I know that it won't last forever, though. But the problems, almost all related to Windows itself and VST plug-ins (all being 64 bits, fortunately), are these :

- Windows 10 : I have seen all the pitfalls coming from forced updates spread all over the web music sites. What should I expect and which version to choose (Home/Pro, OEM/USB...) ?

- Emulator X3 (VSTi sampler) : no longer produced and maintained. Will I be able to reinstall it on a Windows 10 base system, as Creative destroyed the E-Mu brand and the soft has a kind of challenge response copy protection ? And if not, which alternative will allow me to retrieve my .exb banks ?

- Alchemy 1.55 (VSTi instrument) : Camel Audio has sold itself to Apple, so no more Windows updates. I have downloaded the available archive of it from my user account before it went down, four years ago. Same question : will I be able to install it without any identifiers left ?

- Sylenth One 2.21 : still alive but I'm not sure that I'll be able to reinstall it with the licence that I have. How to proceed with it ?

- True Pianos 1.95 : more or less the same thing as the previous one, with its own protection management...

- Loomer Strings 1.14.8 : idem, with probably another protection management...

- Synthogy Ivory 2.5.2 : I already gave up on this one. I stupidly made an attempt to update the soft which manages the iLock dongle (first version) a while ago. The result is that the plug-in window is now empty and not a single sound can come from it...

I could also add GSi VB3 1.4, Arturia MMV 2.5, the few Kontakt 5 player based libraries owned and Ariesverb (beautifully sounding but 32 bits with an erratic maintainance), among others. The real question (and moan...) is : why all this has to be so complicated to install and maintain, each soft used having its own installation and protection processes without any safe backup implementation ?

Procrastination is the key, here : maybe I should just keep the whole thing as it is and use it until it dies, then do something else than music. I'm in this mood as I'm writing this...
Old 28th September 2019
  #2
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cubic13 View Post
- Windows 10 : I have seen all the pitfalls coming from forced updates spread all over the web music sites. What should I expect and which version to choose (Home/Pro, OEM/USB...) ?
I would recommend Win 10 Pro. You can delay security/quality updates by about one month, and you can delay feature updates by up to a year. That solves most of the update problems. You can then also set it up so that when you update it does it during off hours, or you can trigger it manually.

This way your updates can happen when you have time, and you can schedule accordingly.

I'd also say get the retail version rather than OEM. Honestly, some probably know more about this than me, but my impression is that the retail version is a full version that is fully supported, whereas an OEM version is meant to be installed on a number of computers by a company like Dell, and at least earlier that meant that an OEM license was tied to the first machine it was installed on (machine meaning mobo+CPU+drive I think).
Old 28th September 2019
  #3
Gear Nut
 
cubic13's Avatar
Thanks for the precisions concerning Windows 10, mattias. But here, the "Pro" version in its USB flavor is something like 259 € (against nearly half the price for the "Home" one). So, I'm wondering if it is worth the expense, as I'm also seeing that it's possible to deactivate the forced updates in other ways.

This without talking about all the VSTi reinstallations that probably won't work, for a reason or another : I have no illusion about it...
Old 28th September 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
 

If you are not getting a new computer where the CPU requires Win10 (and there are ways around that) then why change anything? You will not gain anything and for those that may need to recall old projects with all their old plugs its good to keep the old system too (you will have some added redundancy). The long running Win10 thread here has yet to post hard concrete data that W10 is an improvement over Win7 for a lowest latency audio only near real time DAW box.
Old 28th September 2019
  #5
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UnderTow's Avatar
Add a disk to your system and install Win10 on that so that you can keep working on your current install if you run in to any problems.

Alistair
Old 29th September 2019
  #6
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cubic13's Avatar
Thanks for your answers.

@ Bassmankr
I need the change because :
- Steinberg is dropping the support of all OS previous to Windows 10. And it will also be the case for more and more plug-ins publishers (the first one that comes to mind is BFD3, which is already no longer available for me as an update of my BFD2 licence).
- As I said, my DAW is nine years old and has been used on a daily basis. So, I begin to get nervous : something will fail one day or another, probably one of my two HDD, but when ? Tomorrow, in three months, maybe five years ?
- I have installed Windows 7 Pro only once, in 2010. So, I guess that the registry is overbloated of unwanted stuff after all the installations, removals and configuration changes through the years, which is prone to make something fail and slows down the system, even if I don't have a clear conscience of it, presently.
- I want to have more hardware "headroom" for my DAW usage : it is performing in an acceptable way for my usual little projects with Cubase 10 but I would like to be able to go further and use something like BFD3 and maybe Halion 6 (as a possible successor of E-Mu X3) without keeping constantly my eyes on the ASIO usage indicator.


@ alistair
I didn't think of this, thanks. But I am wondering if any HDD/SDD sold these days are reliably usable with my old mainboard (Asus P7P55D-E, Lynnfield days...). Beside this, will the Windows 10 installation still be usable if I transfer it in a new system ?

So many questions, so little time...
Old 29th September 2019
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Not officially supporting and will not work with Windows 7 are two completely different things. BFD3 per their current FAQ webpage says they support Win7 but their beta version just supports Win8 onward. Trust me BFD3 works with Win7 as will future versions of Cubase.

You will not get "more headroom" switching to Win10 with your existing computer. You will get more headroom using the render and freeze functions of Cubase. If need more performance or you are worried about things not working then get a better second computer. Redundancy is your best defense as is multiple backups in different locations. Remember new stuff breaks or gets borked up too and not having total control of your own computer now using Win10 unless you keep it offline has proven to cost time for the things it's borked up. There is a current bug that has messed up a few here that still is not fixed (see the current thread here on that even though it says "solved" in the title lol).

Here is my best advice . . . follow what Alistair said and get another disk for your current computer. Now do a fresh install of Win7 on it and just install what you need to. Now you have an unbloated fresh Win7 box. On your old disk if you want to experiment put Win 10 on it and do an apples to apples comparison via the Latency Monitor, RTL, and Dawbench utilities. You are going to find Win10 will run at higher latency and will give you less instances in Dawbench. Now if you want true safety get a second computer while keeping your old one so you have redundancy. Install you choice of OS but if you go with Win10 there are links in the threads here to utilities that strip some of the spying and background crap that fights against having a lean clean DAW box setup for best performance and lowest latency. Keep Win10 offline and delay updates until others have said it's OK. Use a third computer / cheap laptop for online and other junk you do. Isolating and locking in a configuration for a DAW box is the best insurance for it running it's best and keeping it that way. Newer isn't always better when it comes to this stuff.

Last edited by Bassmankr; 29th September 2019 at 06:03 PM..
Old 29th September 2019
  #8
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cubic13 View Post
@ alistair
I didn't think of this, thanks. But I am wondering if any HDD/SDD sold these days are reliably usable with my old mainboard (Asus P7P55D-E, Lynnfield days...). Beside this, will the Windows 10 installation still be usable if I transfer it in a new system ?

So many questions, so little time...
If you have free SATA ports available, I see no reason why it shouldn't work even with an older motherboard. I would make sure the latest version of the BIOS for the motherboard is installed to avoid any issues. (Check on ASUS's website for the latest version and instructions for updating if you are not yet on the latest version).

If you haven't installed multiple Windows versions on one machine before, do a quick Google search to check for the best approach. It is straight forward but just to check that you are not forgetting any steps or anything...

And yes, your Win(10) license should be transferable. I've always done this. Just install on a new system or a new disk and the license works. As long as you are not using the same license on two (or more) systems at the same time it is OK.

Alistair
Old 30th September 2019
  #9
If you have a valid install of Windows 7 you can still update to Windows 10 for FREE. See https://www.zdnet.com/article/heres-...ws-10-upgrade/ or https://www.howtogeek.com/266072/you...-8-or-8.1-key/ FWIW
Old 30th September 2019
  #10
Gear Nut
 
cubic13's Avatar
@ Bassmankr
Hmm... I have seen in different places that BFD3 is no longer usable with Windows 7 starting from v 3.3.x. The last one usable was 3.2.3...
Beside this, I don't expect any performance improvement with only Windows 10, this is for sure. About the 'headroom', I was thinking of new hardware (Ryzen 3x00 or an Intel equivalent with a matching motherboard and RAM, SDD, etc.). I indeed think that going for a new system is the best choice, keeping the present one as safe as can be, just in case.

@ alistair
Honestly, the multiboot thing is over my computing skills. Added to this, the BIOS is from 2010 and I don't want to try an update, as it's a delicate process (if ain't broken...). Still wondering about the Windows 10 installation on an added disk, though : I'm going to look at this more closely and see how it can be done.

@ thomas
Yep, but I won't make such an update on a working but old system : I might end up with nothing longer working. Too afraid of this, honestly.

So, thank you all for your suggestions. But actually, what is really frightening me is not that much Windows 10 installation (I already did it for Seven without issues) : it's the VSTis and all the licences/protections stuff more or less usable in 2019. I'm really wondering what I'm going to loose in the DAW changing process...
Old 30th September 2019
  #11
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cubic13 View Post
@ alistair
Honestly, the multiboot thing is over my computing skills. Added to this, the BIOS is from 2010 and I don't want to try an update, as it's a delicate process (if ain't broken...). Still wondering about the Windows 10 installation on an added disk, though : I'm going to look at this more closely and see how it can be done.
I understand that you don't want to take any risks with your current working system. Here is another easier suggestion: Take out the existing working Windows disc and put in a new one. Install win10 etc and all the tools you want to install.. You will quickly find out what does and doesn't work. If things go all pear shaped at any time, take out the new disc and put back the old one so that you are back were you started.

Whatever path you chose, best of luck!

Alistair
Old 2nd October 2019
  #12
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cubic13's Avatar
Thanks again, Alistair, for the added suggestion : I got food for thoughts since my first post. But I'm still at the procrastination stage, I admit : I am blocking on all the reinstallations of my instruments, each with its own procedure and requirements...
Old 3rd October 2019
  #13
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greggybud's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmankr View Post
Not officially supporting and will not work with Windows 7 are two completely different things.
Very true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmankr View Post
BFD3 per their current FAQ webpage says they support Win7 but their beta version just supports Win8 onward. Trust me BFD3 works with Win7 as will future versions of Cubase.
Regarding W7 and Cubase,not as much true. I have been working Cubase 10.5 for months, and under W7 there are issues. Whether or not the user notices the issues, or whether or not they are important is up to the user and perhaps even the W7 version. I will assure you however over time, issues will become more apparent. At some point I think you will stop asking yourself if the problem is simply W7 and upgrade to 10.

My advise would be to not make any abrupt decisions until after the new upgrade is released. Test it out. Most likely things will be good, but there are some minor W7 issues with C10.5.
Old 17th November 2019
  #14
Gear Nut
 
cubic13's Avatar
OK, I took the jump two weeks ago, and just received yesterday my brand new Ryzen 3700X based system (1730 €, more details if someone is interested)...

... which is beginning to take dust in the next room...

I'm still at the procrastination stage, afraid :
- not being able to install the VSTis that I've been using for several years.
- making a mistake while installing Windows 10 Pro.

I truely had planned to use my week-end for this, but well : still blocked (a psychological issue, I guess)...
Time to act, cubic, seriously...

Maybe i'll look more closely at this new strange beast this afternoon, if I succeed to take my courage in both hands. I'll let you know how things are going relatively to my OP, then.
Old 17th November 2019
  #15
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greggybud's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cubic13 View Post

- Synthogy Ivory 2.5.2 : I already gave up on this one. I stupidly made an attempt to update the soft which manages the iLock dongle (first version) a while ago. The result is that the plug-in window is now empty and not a single sound can come from it...
I just went through transferring everything to a new W10 PC, from a 6 year-old W7 PC.

I'm not buying that you should give up with Ivory2. I have the very original Ivory and successfully re-installed using Cantebelle (sp). Initially I was put back with something said on their website about how old it is...please considering upgrading...blah blah, but I found a way to do it. I would suggest contacting them directly. If I can do it with Ivory, shouldn't you be able to do it with Ivory2?

Everything else on your list I don't use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cubic13 View Post
why all this has to be so complicated to install and maintain, each soft used having its own installation and protection processes without any safe backup implementation ?
It took me over a week, and that's pretty much full days. The stuff protected by iLock, was interesting. I downloaded and installed the latest version of SoundToys, but then when attempting to run I got the message "it seems you have a liscense for another PC...." and was told to uninstall on my old PC with the iLock, then move the iLock to the new PC to make things work. But with Lexicon, who also uses iLock, all I had to do is transfer the iLock.

The same goes for EWQL Play6 Hollywood Gold Orchestra. I didn't uninstall anything on my old PC. I just stuck the iLock in the new PC, then pointed the program toward that huge library that I had already manually transferred.

Bottom line for myself, most developers had a way to do this when going to their website and following instructions. For the few who did not, or it seems I didn't understand, an email to them resulted in explanation within 24 hours. Some, like Aly James require email contact since there is no procedure to do it alone, they give you a download good for xxxx hours etc.

Yes, everyone seems a bit different. I highly doubt any form of standardization to make things more streamlined in the future will happen any time soon.
Old 18th November 2019
  #16
Gear Nut
 
cubic13's Avatar
Hi again, greggybud

OK, I'll look more closely at the issue concerning Ivory and iLock in a next step but honestly, it's not my main concern. What is truely worrying me, though, is if I'll be able to install Emulator X, Alchemy and TruePianos, essentially : I really wonder how I could do without these three. I could live without the other ones (well, thinking of it, I would really miss also Sylenth1 and MMV...).

No progress made since yesterday as I actually didn't had the time. Wednesday is a free day for me, so, I'm decided to install everything as much as I can (BIOS/UEFI settings, W10 pro installation and, if I can and in this order, everything web related, Cubase and the dreaded VSTi stuff...).

I'll report back how things have gone. Thanks for chiming in...
Old 4th December 2019
  #17
Gear Nut
 
cubic13's Avatar
An update : rather speechless about how things have been going... I was expecting the worse and I went through a rather smooth transition. Details :

- Cubase 10 : no real issues, beside the fact that I had to download the 10.0.50 full installer. Took me nearly 4 hours to do so, but well, installation has been successfull, as expected.
- Emulator X3 : I opened the case which was slowly taking dust after several years on its shelf and put the first installtion CD, expecting the worst. I got the best : everyting, including the the added CD content has been installed as it was in my previous system. Just entered my serial number when expected and bingo ! The thing is perfectly working with Windows 10 using either Cubase 10.0.50 or Reaper 5.986. What more to ask for ?
- Actually, it's been more or less the same thing for Sylenth1 v2.21, Truepianos 1.95, Arturia MMV 2.5, among others.
- The one which gave me the most problems was Alchemy : installing the archive from my user Camel Audio account let me with just the half of the presets that I was expecting (something like 1100) and worse, the ones I was using the most were missing. I finally have been able to retrieve nearly everything, using the files which were still on my previous system, including the presets missing (with my beloved Above satellites one...).

Still have to do several added installations (GSi VB3 stuff, mainly) and tweaks to make the whole setup working as expected but overall, I'm really pleased to be able to work with my VSTis as before, this with a system that is reacting at an almost incredible speed (I probably have a biased impression, as my previous system was a nearly 10 years old i7-870 base one, with no SSD). FWIW, here is my new setup :
- AMD Ryzen 7 - 3700X + Noctua NH-U12S SE-AM4 cooler
- ASUS PRIME X470-PRO motherboard
- Corsair Vengeance 32 Gb (2x 16 Go) DDR4 3200 MHz CL16
- Western Digital SSD WD Black SN750 500 Go + Corsair Force MP300 960 Go
- Sapphire PULSE Radeon RX 550 2GD5 video card
- Zalman Z9 case with a 650 W power supply
- Microsoft Windows 10 Professional
Overall, a true relief : I'm still able to use the instruments that were installed and working previously, and this was the main concern of this thread.
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