Crash Proofing Pro Tools (video)

Ever had Pro Tools crash on you in the middle of working on a your music? Then you should watch this video.

I made this video to show you the key areas of the Digidesign Compatibility web site and show you some of the things you need to know to make your system as “crash-free” as possible.

Setting up your Pro Tools system to be stable is surprisingly easy to do. So watch this now and prevent your future sessions from being rudely interrupted by a cold error message saying “The Application Pro Tools has Quit Unexpectedly“.

Update: Sorry for the inconvenience. This lesson is now available only as part of the Pro Tools course at


  1. Larry Durham says:

    Hi Chris
    The video’s are playing great! Your sound is extremely good with plenty of volumn ans clear, crisp dioalog. Thanks!


  2. Larry ~ Thanks for letting me know!

  3. The video’s are playing great.

  4. Hey!
    Extremely well explained video.
    Im just tracking down lots of problems on my set up.
    Though i have been going through these stages a few times now
    your video inspired me to go through my set up and get to the bottom of things.

  5. Jørgen ~ Thanks for the comment. I appreciate the feedback very much.

  6. Hey Chris
    Very informative video. I was having a little problem with
    updates but you clarified the issues that I needed resolved.
    Thanks again. Keep’m comin’.

    Ronnie A.

  7. Kevin Bruff says:

    Great Job. Thank you.
    I have renewed my interest in Pro-Tools. After a year or so of being frustrated with it I have begun to take another glance at how it can me to accomplish my goal.

  8. Peter Roumeliotis says:

    Great videos!
    I’m using PC. Just about to install Win 7, 64bit, with a new hard drive. I have one for audio presently (WD), and I’m thinking of another Western Digital (larger then the old one), for operating.

    My question is why should I use an external hard drive? Always considering the sound quality. Is Glyph better sounding? They use Seagate HD. Western Digital, Black SATA III are just as good if not better. Yes, Glyph has have safety issues as per data loss, but I will set up the HD for that. Any suggestions?


    • Peter ~ Sorry for the long delay in my reply and thank you for the compliment.

      About your question. Did I say “external” or “dedicated” drive? (I should have specified, “dedicated” – sorry). You should use a dedicated drive for audio. If it’s a second internal drive, that’s fine.

      The basic idea here is that a drive is a physical mechanism. Although it is capable of retrieving data very quickly, the demands of Hard Disk Audio (the name says it all) are such that far more data being retrieved and stored simultaneously than, say, a Word Processor or Photoshop.

      This is why the specification requirements for hard disk audio recording are much more stringent than the typical internal 5200RPM drive can meet.

      In addition to this, even if you are running a fast (7200RPM+) internal drive for your OS, I would still use a second (or multiple), dedicated drive(s) for audio because your Operating System and Applications retrieve and write data to the drive as you are working. Albeit not to the extent of HD Audio or Video, of course. But enough so that it can interfere with the process of your audio being written or played back from the drive.

      Thirdly, recording audio to the system drive is not supported by Avid.

      As far as Glyph sounding better? No. I wouldn’t say that. But where reliability and speed are concerned, they’re fantastic.

      At the moment I am running six drives – three extra internal SATA drives and three LaCie external FW400 D2 Drives. I believe all are Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM drives. All of these cost me less than I used to pay for three or four rolls of tape totaling 40 minutes of 48 track recording. (Remember that?!). In other words, drives are dirt cheap for the amount of audio you can record on them, for anyone who is wary of spending the extra $.

      And just for fun. Here’s a true story. Last year, I thought my taste for expensive (or “more” expensive drives) was becoming out-dated. After all so many people seem to insist on recording to any ‘ol drive these days, right? So, I went to the local computer store and bought an Iomega 500GB External FW drive. Five weeks later, I turned on that drive and it literally went up in smoke. Really. (My wife will forever remember that as the day I lost it over “that hard drive”).

      In the end it cost my close to $1000.00 to recover the session data from the fried drive. Now, it could have been an anomaly, sure. But I’ve never had issues like that with Glyph or LaCie.

      One last tip: some users (myself included) switch of Auto Session Backup while recording and then turn it back on when editing.

      PS: Backup often.