Windows 10 USB probs Grrrrrrrrrrr

Ok so there I was yesterday at the concert and my midi keyboard suddenly wasn’t recognised anymore !
I went into the system manager and found out the usb driver for my keyboard (samson) had an exclamation mark. So luckely I was able to reinstall it and reboot so windows found it again.
Still, I can miss that stress 2h before a concert !

Although I completely disabled (or set manual) the update service, I guess that couldn’t have been the prob. (still windows manages to fix some app updates in the background)

Any ideas what could have gone wrong?
I connect a zillion times with this keyboard and everytime it’s without fault. Until now.
Windows, you just can’t trust it???

Did you install something else?? Sometimes stuff just glitches- that’s why god made ctrl-alt-del :smiley:

Yeah, I installed days before a new soundcard, but no problems what so ever even after different restarts.

As long as it doesn’t happen again… :open_mouth:

Did you plug it into a different USB port?

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yeah probably, so frustrating the problem. I guess I’ll need to mark what ports I’m using.
Are usb ports not interchangable?

When you put it in another port, Windows install the driver again, and there is always the possibility that it goes wrong.
Mark the ports is a good idea.

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“Are USB ports not interchangeable?” The answer is, “maybe”. In recent versions of Win 10 Microsoft has been promising/trying to fix a bug that particularly affected MIDI. There were only a dozen or so MIDI ports available and every time you plugged in a MIDI device, it would allocate one and remember it, persisting it in the Registry. MS has come a long way and I hardly notice it anymore, but it remains that the Registry is clogged with stuff. Rebooting doesn’t clear it because it’s in the Registry. Cantabile abstracts the real name of the MIDI device so that helps a lot, but under the covers, you may have a number of devices allocated. You use to have to go to the Device Manager, turn on “Display Hidden Devices” and then delete MIDI devices. On some versions, you had to use Regedit to really clean things out. Latest releases of Win10 are MUCH better. That being said, mark your USB ports and use them the same way each time–especially if there is a MIDI device involved.



Ouch Windows !!!
So I have 3 Samson keyboards, don’t they all use the same midi ID ?

“Same MIDI IDs” depends. How does Cantabile present them (In MIDI ports)? If there are three names, then there are 3 devices allocated. Win7 has the limit of 12 or so devices, so between the 3 KBs and whatever soundcard/adapter (that probably has a MIDI port) there are 4 MIDI devices.@Brad definitely knows this stuff better than I do, but all in all, if you plug them in the same way each time, you’ll avoid problems. Having a powered USB hub with labeled or color-coded (colour-coded for some of you) cables works for me.

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I’ve told this before, but I used to have issues with Sonar where I’d make sure I plugged into the same USB ports but Windows still shuffled them to different ports within Sonar randomly, as far as I could tell. That’s when I decided to route everything into one device.

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I ain’t gonna take any risks anymore!
Yellow is the (powered) USB 3 hub direct to PC
Red the motu, direct to the pc
Green the Samson midi keyboard


I found this out the hard way. Now, I make a point of plugging in my peripherals to the same USB ports every time.

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Same experience here. I learnt the hard way before a gig when I used Cantabile two and completely screwed a setup up because my Focusrite interface did not like being in a USB 3 port.

Two lessons learnt that (very stressful) night:

  • Label everything so you are consistent in plugging things in
  • It’s no good having a backup 50 miles away at home!!!

For these two reasons I had to completely reprogramme my Cantabile 2 setup. I managed it with about 30 minutes to go!

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I had something similar happen when a Windows 10 update killed my Audiobox audio driver. From then on, I only activate my wifi on windows 10 when I choose to and observe the update. All other times, the wifi is off. No problems since. (I don’t use the laptop for any internet activities, only music).

I thought I was safe, because WIFI was always turned off at least a week before a gig…

… And then on my penultimate Welsh Floyd gig in 2017, we were setting up and sound checking and Windows 10 on my Cantabile machine decided to do a major update there and then on my laptop. I could do nothing. It took two hours, but fortunately I had a backup machine

You have been warned…

Since then I have replaced all copies of WIN10 home with WIN10 PRO, where you get to have control again, but I am also probably going to follow some of the advice on this forum and create a setup where I can kill all unnecessary processes when playing live, including the uprate service.


To disable the updates, I tried uwt4 but windows found a workaround for that.
I now found out you can disable the update service or at least set to manual from the services app. It works, at least i get to choose now if the updates are downloaded and installed.
I disabled backups, indexing, defender also because those are huge CPU eaters.
Also i installed that app that tunes your processes for the best.
All seems to work ok,… for now. Windows always surprises me.
I love the guide from Brad, but i think we need a list of actions to prepare windows for live music.


Which brings me to the optimisation again, I refreshed the list:


LOVE a Microsoft-bashing discussion! (I’m Microsoft certified up the wingwang…)
The company you hate to love; love to hate…

  1. USB can ‘move’ depending upon the drive and how windows chooses to install it. (Label everything’ is good advice.
  2. You can disable Windows update by configuring ALL network ports as ‘slow.’ (Just don’t let it join an ‘unkown’ WiFi network)
  3. If there’s ANY WAY for your computer to downgrade to Windows 8.1… It’s WAY more stable than 10 and gets the job DONE! if you’re shopping for a laptop, I HIGHLY recommend the Lenovo Y-70 that COMES with Win 8.1. It’s touchscreen, and comes standard with 16GB RAM over the top of an I7 (6th) processor… about $1,200, U.S… PLENTY of Horsepower, (I get about 5ms of delay using Focusrite 18i20 with three mics, stereo guitar, and keys, WITH effects, (EQ, Comp, Delay, Reverb), for vocals. Gotta optimize Windows like the man said though… Create a script that turns unneeded services (and startups) OFF! (I could go on…)

The actual limit is 10 MIDI devices, and even of all drivers are installed correctly if it’s “slot” is 11 and above it will never work.

AFAIK, this “fault” is still in the Windows code, even at 10!!

There are some devices that re-load drivers (and consequently use a precious midi slot) each time you place it in a different USB port! As has been evidenced on this thread.

And don’t worry, Microsoft have been HAMMERED over the past decade over this, but it still has not changed,as i wrote afaik.