3 Replies Latest reply: Feb 28, 2015 1:14 PM by stellarmusic
dmigmac Level 1 (0 points)


I wonder if someone could help me please.

I have just bought a new MacBook Pro 13 (with Intel CPU), and I'm trying to set up my MBox 2, which came with Pro Tools 8 LE (m-powered).

I'm getting the error message: "Unable to locate Digidesign hardware. Make sure your hardware is connected and turned on. Click "Ok" when the hardware is ready."


The USB socket's light on the MBox 2 does not light up, although the other lights are on as normal.


I know this is a widely-encountered issue, and I think it is because this software is not compatible with OS X Lion but I have tried several things so far to isolate the problem:

1) Have connected the MBox 2 to my Dell Window 7 laptop using the SAME USB cable and it works perfectly (suggesting the USB cable is okay and the USB socket on the MBox 2 is okay).


2) Have tried installing the software and drivers from the Installation CD which came with the MBox 2 onto my MacBook three times, in case there was a problem with the installation. This is the same Installation CD I used to install them onto my Dell laptop which did work using the MBox and Pro Tools 8 LE setup (which suggests that the problem is either with the contents of the CD not being compatible or up to date for the MacBook Pro 13 / OS X Lion 10.7.03, or that there is another problem I need to address with one of these three devices/components)


3) I have installed the later drivers for Pro Tools 9 (I believe it was for 9.0.6), although I don’t own the Pro Tools 9 software, so this is a newer driver being applied to my Pro Tools 8 LE software.  After I did this, the MBox 2’s USB light DID come on!

But… when I then tried to open Pro Tools 8 LE,  I got an error: “CRITICAL ERROR - PRO TOOLS NEED TO BE REINITIALIZED”  Then when I rebooted, each time I opened Pro Tools it said: "Pro Tools LE 8 has shut down unexpectedly. Please retry…”


Could someone tell me if my set up is compatible please? Can a MacBook Pro 13 running OS X Lion 10.07.03 ever operate with a MBox 2 and Pro Tools LE 8?


If so, what do I need to do in order to resolve this - is it simply that I need to power on the devices in a specific order? Or do I need to update the drivers (if so which ones and where do I get them?) or do I need to change something else (again, if so please could you tell me what you think it could be?).


I'm new to using such equipment so if you can be as specific as possible and provide links to places to find the solutions that would be fantastic.


Just to add that upgrading to Pro Tools 9 or 10 is the last resort due to the cost involved as I’ve read that it would cost $599 to upgrade which I can’t really afford.


Thanks very much for your help.

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • QinATL Level 1 (0 points)

    The first problem I see is that you are using the M-Powered version. That version only works with M-Audio interfaces. So you will need the regular Pro Tools version that will work with the Digideign and Avid Mbox series interfaces. Pro Tools never corrected the fact that because it says M-Powered it means it works with Mbox. Pretty stupid mistake. M-Powered for M-Audio and not Mbox? You can see why the confusion.


    Second, make sure you install the program without the Mbox being connected. Make sure you read the installing procedure in the manual. Also you'll need to install a couple of drivers and assign midi mapping to your interface.


    The best set-up will be running the PT program on your internal drive and recording straight to an external Firewire hard drive. Do not even bother using a USB hard drive. USB although technically faster than Firewire, it is severely more inconsistent in data transfer than the Firewire connection. This is where so many recording enthusiasts that don't know the in and outs of USB versus Firewire connections. Always use Firewire for your drives.


    When recording or mixing you will need to make adjustments with memory and buffer size. Record at low and mix and high buffers. Also, disconnect from the internet and turn off your antivirus program. It ***** up needed cpu power. Also turn off bluetooth and wifi and if you can use a wired mouse (on PC's is great if you can use the mouse port rather than USB connection for the mouse. Try to only have your Mbox and your iLok connected. You don't want anything else connected except maybe your USB mouse. And don't use any multiple USB hubs. The Mbix must be connected directly into a USB computer port by itself!


    Try thsese and you should see that you'll Pro Tools will run flawlessly.

  • straitjacketjams Level 1 (0 points)

    1) It's a bummer you didn't get the Firewire mbox

    2) Why are you installing mbox drivers for ProTools 9, when you don't have ProTools 9.

    3) Uninstall Everything completely because it is probably messed up.

    4) Install ProTools again.

    5) Next Install the last supported ProTools 8 update, version 8.0.5




    6) This is confirmed to work. I even tested it for you using Lion 10.7.4 and an old usb mbox from my school.

    7) Make the Jump to ProTools 10. It was a very enjoyable upgrade. I love using all my non Digidesign interfaces.


    Note: Anytime you install something from the CD it came with, immediately update the software before trying to use it.

  • stellarmusic Level 1 (0 points)

    I have found a solution for anyone having audio issues (mainly sound deterioration in all music related applications/software). After troubleshooting for a month (and getting mad), I found something. When I upgraded to Mavericks thats when the issue arose. I managed to downgrade to Mountain Lion (since my new Mac shipped with Mountain Lion) although Im not sure its necessary to downgrade once you do what I did to fix the noise issue. This is more for Pro-Tools users and those who use Digidesign interfaces (I have an Mbox 2 Mini). I have Pro-Tools 8.03, but I uploaded a newer driver update for Pro-Tools 9, and everything is fixed now. There are certainly compatibility issues with OSX and third party software and devices, and both Apple and Avid (Digidesign) don't want to deal with anyone that does'nt want to upgrade to the newest stuff, but for those of us that cannot afford to upgrade and need to work, this is a solution.

    Check your drivers!