How could a system reset lead to Kontakt crashes?

LionelSchmitt Member Posts: 5 Newcomer
edited January 2023 in Kontakt


After doing a full system reset about 2 weeks ago (with disk cleaning and all that) I immediately started getting crashes in bigger projects, the same day I finished installing everything I need.

Some projects crash after a few minutes, others after hours, usually while playback. The behavior is - everything stops/freezes for 3-5 seconds, then it continues playback for a few more seconds till it finally takes down Cubase. It happens in just about all bigger projects I worked on so far and most of them I already had in progress before the reset without a lot of crashes. So it can't really be anything in the projects.

Just a few minutes ago a big project from a year ago crashed within 10 seconds of starting playback. It's a custom track pitch for a trailer and I'm thinking - if I'd be called in to do quick revisions by the studio now... it might get slightly hot for me, depending on whether I'm granted more than 10 seconds the next time I'm opening it. Actually the next time I opened it I worked in it for an hour without issues and closed it down myself, no crash till then. So it's random time-wise.

I tried all the steps here KONTAKT Crashes – Native Instruments (

(there is a windows update from today but I doubt that fixes it since it should have been up to date after the reset - I choose "download from the cloud").

I'll continue with reinstalling Kontakt (since the crashes started the same day or next after initially installing it on the new system I'm not hopeful) and disabling vst3 suspension for Kontakt in the plugin manager.

EDIT: I just discovered I've been running my system in "balanced" power mode. Switching to Steinberg Audio Power now. I doubt that's the cause but who knows. At least it's the only difference between the new and old system. Before the reset I had it always set to "high performance" or Steinbergs plan.

I have been extremely careful what to install and (with 1-2 exceptions and a few free plugins) only installed stuff I already had installed before.

So it's just a cleaner version of my previous system. I would think...

Is there any possible explanation for this?

I only had maybe 3-4 mid-project Kontakt crashes in the whole year before this recent reset.

Generally the sentiment would be - if it persists after a reset it's hardware. But... what if it STARTS after a reset? I have 100% not touched my hardware. As I said, I carefully only installed what I already had, besides 1-2 random programs I uninstalled quickly and a few free plugins.

Actually I had the same series of crashes about a year ago after I updated Kontakt to 6.4.2. Exactly the same behavior and random frequency as described initially, if I remember well.

Last time it was either resolved by a system reset I did back then or a Kontakt update addressing the "database crash", although that's just based on a response to me by someone on the Steinberg forum. Not sure which of the 2 solved it since it happened pretty much at the same time.

Thanks for any ideas. I might do another reset and randomly start replacing hardware and my system drive.

More system info:

Cubase 11 (latest version)

Latest Kontakt 6 version, vst3.

Win 10 Home

Version 10.0.19044 Build 19044

CPU: Intel(R) Core™ i9-10940X CPU @ 3.30GHz, 3301 Mhz, 14 Core(s), 28 Logical Processor(s)

BIOS: American Megatrends Inc. 3201, 04/09/2020



  • Gee_Flat
    Gee_Flat Member Posts: 906 Guru

    Funny you said "it might get hot for me". Looking at your system it seems impossible, but that kind of behaviour reminds me of an overheating CPU. Maybe a fan?

  • Studiowaves
    Studiowaves Member Posts: 450 Advisor

    You might get a good laugh if this fixes your problem. Memory sticks are notorious for developing tarnished contacts. Kontakt is memory intensive and it could be crashing from excessive memory errors.

    My computer was out of warranty and developed problems with slow boot times and eventually no boot at all. I fixed it using this procedure.

    Just a thought, is your computer under warranty?

  • LionelSchmitt
    LionelSchmitt Member Posts: 5 Newcomer

    I barely used CPU power when that old project crashed within 10 seconds. Didn't do anything intense before that. I was also monitoring CPU temperature around that time and it seemed fine. I'll keep monitoring of course.

    I ran memtest86 for about 8-9 hours and there were zero errors. Maybe it wasn't enough... hard to justify doing it much longer since I'm basically at work 24/7.

    Thanks for the link, I'm might try to do that. Not really likely though that they only got dirty enough exactly when doing the reset.

  • Jeremy_NI
    Jeremy_NI Customer Care Posts: 8,935 mod

    @LionelSchmitt I've contacted you by email regarding these crashes. We would need to check your system.

  • Studiowaves
    Studiowaves Member Posts: 450 Advisor

    Why did you do a system reset, were you having problems beforehand? Also the tarnish on the memory contacts causes more problems when the system is cold. So the longer you run a mem test the more likely they will work. This is why my computer stopped booting. I had to wait a few minutes for it to start before it finally stopped booting. Once it started up, it was fine. I just thought maybe using a lot of memory the doesn't normally get used was causing the problem. You see, my computer had to keep trying to pass the memory test before it would boot. It seems once the contacts make a connection they stay working or intermittently work before they make that connection then stay working. This interim could be causing you problems. good luck

  • LionelSchmitt
    LionelSchmitt Member Posts: 5 Newcomer

    So if I understand correctly it could just not show up in the mem-test because it runs better overtime?

    Not sure that would apply in my case since the crashes happen in big sessions which should warm things up pretty well. So almost the opposite. I don't get crashes in smaller projects for instance. In the last few days I haven't had any, probably because I worked in smaller projects mostly. Or the re-install fixed it, which is hard to imagine since it appeared the same day of initially installing Kontakt.

    I made the reset because of yet another Kontakt crash related to "Kernelbase" that ONLY appeared while loading the project and was related to 2 specific libraries. Here is a thread by someone else having the issue, where I commented too and explained my workaround, if anyone also has issues with Cubase projects crashing while loading. Serious cubase crash because of kernelbase.dll | VI-CONTROL

    I tried all steps to fix crashes related to "Kernelbase" (apparently it can happen with all sorts of software) and nothing worked so I figured there was a core issue in my system. This crash also persists throughout the reset, but I'm only able to check older projects. Didn't happen in newer projects yet, mostly probably because I avoid the 2 libraries that bring me the issue. Not naming publicly because it's certainly something on my end. The person in the vi-control thread has that issue with another library by a different developer than my 2, so it's not directly a fault of the library I think.

  • Studiowaves
    Studiowaves Member Posts: 450 Advisor

    This stuff can be a hand full. Years ago a lot of programmers just didn't know how to write Windows programs. A couple of guys quit Microsoft and started their own consulting company for Window programmers and had a pretty good business going. So if a few programs crash and all the updates they throw at us never fixes the problems, it's pretty obvious they don't know what they are doing. I've never had a problem with Kontakt crashing. Reaktor does on occasion though. If you have a computer problem anything can happen. I just brought up the memory cleaning because poor contacts is like having bad memory. That causes all kinds of problems. It an easy thing to do and it's the first thing on my list. I clean all of the plug in cards while I'm at it and they last a while. But yeah it's true, contacts become better contacts once they actually make a connection. But each pin may not always be used or rarely change it data. So if the data doesn't change it won't help that pin bind to it mate. That's what causes erratic crashes. I'd clean em up just to rule that problem out and see if it helps. It couldn't hurt, just follow the steps in that link to the tee so you don't hurt something. About it, hope it helps.

  • JesterMgee
    JesterMgee Member Posts: 2,476 Expert
    edited January 2023

    I have been going through some similar issues with a new build, reason I only do a new build every 10-12 years and try keep a rig running as long as possible, been 2 months now and still setting things up and troubleshooting, luckily my original rig is still functional and I always build a whole new machine and keep my original running so I can have a backup while I set things up.

    Check RAM

    First, I decided to switch from Intel to AMD for the first time in 20 years and while the power is great, there are some things I have had to deal with in regards to strange issues, one of this was random crashes especially in things like Games where it would crash almost like clockwork 30 seconds into a game for no apparent reason.

    This took a week of frustration and trial and error and looooooooong story short, the issue was related to what is called "XMP" for "overclocking RAM" to achieve the speed on the tin.

    The RAM I have is Corsair 32GB DDR5 5600Mhz but it is actually manufactured and detected by the system as 4600MHz (as is all high speed RAM) but can be "reliably" overclocked using what is known as XMP or "Extreme Memory Profile..."

    This is something I never had to deal with on my 10 year old system but XMP is suppose to allow you to run your memory at the rated speed, however I found after a LOT of testing that in my case, this is not reliable. XMP will adjust things like the memory base clock, voltages and other metrics that the motherboard manufacturer sets to run the memory at a faster speed. The specific model of RAM I have is not listed as tested on the manufacturer website, Corsair is and many sticks are, just not the exact AMD compatible sticks I have in my system. I even exchanged the RAM but same issue.

    Solution was to drop XMP in my case and manually set the RAM to run at 5200 not 5600 Mhz and for me, this has been working stable for a month now. THis may not be the same case you have but if you have just built a new machine and decided for RAM with any speed above 4600Mhz just realise that this speed is gained through manufacturer overclocking so a test could be as I did to just set XMP off (may be called something different in other boards) and see if it improves things.

    Strange thing is this only caused application crashes and never caused an operational issue or OS crash and only seemed to cause issues when the system was under certain loads because all other stress tests worked just fine.

    Check Plugins

    I also had an issue where in Ableton Live I would get a crash 9 out of 10 times when loading a previous project. Even a new project I based off the tracks of an old one and saved would crash when I tried to open it again and sometimes it would load but mostly would crash and Ableton could not help because I use Komplete Kontrol on every track and that is all they see as plugins loading so a problem to be aware of when you use a wrapper and have issues.

    The way I solve this kind of issue is to look at the possible plugins that could be causing an issue (like Waves since that is always causing problems.... don't invest in Waves!!!!) and remove a plugin from your plugin scan location then load your project and test.

    If you find that a certain plugin seems to be the cause, fork save a project as a test that appears to have the issue and now delete everything in that except the tracks that have the offending plugin and see if the same thing occurs.

    In my case, I discovered I had Kontakt 7 Player installed but I have the full version of K6. In Komplete Kontrol there is an option in there to "Use Latest Plugin Version" so old projects would load up and use K7 instead of 5 or 6 that I have installed. No idea why but this caused sessions to crash on load so my fix was to uncheck to use latest and switch back to K6 and also remove K7 player since I will never use anything that relies on it.

    Plugins and software sadly are not as stable or efficient as they use to be. With everyone screaming for "more features" and "higher 8k+ graphics" etc and developers trying to push the boundaries of what plugins can do, performance and stability are suffering which is why I still keep all my productions relatively simple.

    Invest in Backups / New SSD

    Not sure the reason for your "Reset" if you mean you completely wiped your system or if you "rolled back" to an old version and updated things from there?

    If you use your machine for actual income based work then you should think about doing things more tactful.

    I NEVER format a system and start again, way too much down time. If I need to reset a system I will purchase a new SSD and either cloan my first one or install from scratch but keep the original SSD handy. Many times I have needed to check something on the old system.

    I also recommend investing in a way to take a system snapshot so you can easily recall a past configuration, buy a cheap 8TB HDD and just take a backup of the main system every 3 months.

  • Studiowaves
    Studiowaves Member Posts: 450 Advisor

    XMP has caused a lot of problems for a lot of people. I got a good laugh when some kid said his memory could reach speeds of bla bla bla. I looked it up and they rated the memory when is was in liquid nitrogen. Lol Good to know you had problems overclocking. Gee this computer is fast. gzzzt kzzt, well it was. lol

  • JesterMgee
    JesterMgee Member Posts: 2,476 Expert

    Thing is I have no interest to overclock my new machine. My prev machine has an overclocked CPU just because it's 10 years old now and it runs at 4.8Ghz on a 3.5Ghz i7 4820K. XMP was a new thing to me, I ahve always had to manually set the memory clock in most cases to get the desired speed, but IO noted this new system when I installed the RAM that "XMP" was required to reach the speeds quoted on the tin.

    It took over a week of frustrations for me to dial down the issue to this tho, just happened to stumble on a lonely post about a similar issue on like the 20th result page of a google search and it tested out to be the cause of my problem. Prob not the OP since they mention they have not redone their hardware, just an OS reset, but for future googling of a similar issue it could save a poor soul a few years of their life in lost stress. Nothing worse than sinking several thousand $$$ in a much needed new machine to have constant crashing. You re-evaluate what the point of $h!t even is anymore.

  • Studiowaves
    Studiowaves Member Posts: 450 Advisor

    Gee, and I thought replacing the battery was hard. lol

  • LionelSchmitt
    LionelSchmitt Member Posts: 5 Newcomer

    Many thanks for all the info!

    I'll check how the RAM speed is set up... never heard about that actually.

    I'd never build my own machine, only buy premade ones from manufacturers specifically focused on audio.

    The reset was a full wipe out of the c drive and reinstall from the cloud. The system then automatically updated Windows as usual.

    I have so many tech issues all the time that I can't be 'tactful'. Whenever something serious happens I just have to take some desperate measures and don't have nerves to becomes a tech expert in an hour so I mostly end up doing... stuff that hopefully solves things. I also don't want touch anything at all in case it breaks things further. If it's too serious I can only think about resetting.

    I think it would take me a lot more time to figure out different ways of tackling serious problems than doing a reset. Although now it looks like this amazingly can bring new even worse issues with still seems fully illogical without changing anything else.

    Good point about system snapshots, thanks.

    I copied my c drive to a hard drive though in case I need any files buried in system folders.

    I have lots of problems with plugins, instruments and Cubase but zero issue so far with Waves (just 5-6 plugins though), not even a little bug.

  • Studiowaves
    Studiowaves Member Posts: 450 Advisor

    Has Cubase been doing a lot of updating of its product. Perhaps check with Steinberg for solutions. It it's not a software issue, your computer may have problems. Has your computer crashed on any other software? Could you have a virus? You said this all happened after a reset but then you say you only do a complete reset when you already had problems.

  • LionelSchmitt
    LionelSchmitt Member Posts: 5 Newcomer
    edited January 2023

    There haven't been updates for my version of Cubase 11 for many months.

    I don't really use a lot of other software, but what I did use never crashed as far as I can tell.

    Actually even Cubase rarely crashed for a year, TILL I did the system reset (well, Kontakt of course to be precise). I doubt I got a virus the same day of rebuilding my system.

    Before the reset I only had crashes when loading certain projects. Since I always managed to open them again with this trick Tip for Cubase crashing while loading a project | VI-CONTROL it's much less troubling than the crashes while working that came after the reset.

    I received some instructions via the Native Instruments support and will have to wait and see. Since it's really random it could happen within seconds of opening the next project or not at all for a few days.

  • Studiowaves
    Studiowaves Member Posts: 450 Advisor

    I feel sorry for ya, nothing worse than trying to have fun and being irritated. Your logic will get you thru this mess and writing it down helps you big time. For instance, you say, "I doubt I got a virus the same day of rebuilding my system." Even though it's unlikely, you do have another hard drive which could have the virus and it's infected your files. I use malware bytes and it's free to try and good too. But I also had another thought, you bought your computer as a music optimized computer. You may not be aware of this but they might have overclocked your hardware. As computers age they become less stable if the capacitors degrade. So when it was sold it may have been stable but now that it's ageing, it's no longer stable. On the order of likely hood and if it is overclocked that would be my number one suspect. A system reset as you described does not change the settings in the basic input output system or bios as its commonly referred too. Generally all motherboard have a bios reset typically called "system defaults". Have you ever been into your bios setting? If not, it's very possible someone over clocked your system to make it faster and now it's come back to haunt you. I know how to handle the motherboards bios settings but I wouldn't go in there if your not good with computers. The company you bought it from may have gone in to the bios and over clocked your computer. Can you contact them and find out? If they did, it's very possibly the root cause of your problem. Luckily resetting the bios back to factory defaults is very simple and takes 5 minutes. Cleaning the memory contacts is also a well know problem, but it's no 5 minute ordeal and you have to be careful. But most definitely, try to find out if that computer has been overclocked. Your symptoms are very typical of borderline functionality with an over clocked system. I serviced electronics for 40 years and have seen a lot of things. So I have a lot of insight. Talk later, let me know what you find out. As a final note, I don't trust getting a straight answer from a computer seller who over clocks systems so you may have to find a friend who knows how to take the system defaults in the bios and set the boot order of your hard drives. I don't think Native instruments support will help you with the computer bios so if things can't be solved as a software issue and you can't find a friend, there's always local computer shop. I doubt they would charge much to reset the bios. But if it's old it would be advisable to have the memory sticks and other plugin boards cleaned while it's in the shop. The link I gave you is true to life, oxidation is a real problem as is over clocking.

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