Cubase 8 Pro will not start TPkd driver

I’ve updated my eLicencer and iLok Licence manager but I keep getting a message to Reboot after installing device drivers.
Namely TPkd

Btw – I have ProTools 12, Cubase 8, Cubase 7.5 and Cubase SX3 (for old midi files), recently I installed Audacity and Realtek HD audio drivers.


Cubase 8.5 Pro / Win 7 - me too.

This is a PACE/iLok driver problem.
Either it didn’t install properly or you have old versions hanging around causing problems or you have plugins not compatible with the new version.

There’s a couple of Avid knowledgebase articles and quite a few forum threads (other forums) around if you google it.

I spent hours Googling / parsing results - most legacy Avid circa 2009.

All refer to the PaceApp - which Pace no longer supports - referring users to iLok. iLok tech support referred me to Steinberg.

I’ve used the Windows 7 search funtion for TPkd*.* - it is not present in my system. i.e. this is not a versioning error, this is a missing file, apparently not installed by the Steinberg installer.

Devcice Manager - “Non Plug and Play Drivers” there is no entry for TPkd.

To be clear - the eLicenser app itself works fine. I can see my licenses, etc…

This only appears when starting Cubase 8.5 Pro.

Why would it be installed by Steinberg installer…Cubase doesn’t use PACE/iLok?
I also don’t have this file on my system and Cubase starts fine without it so I don’t see how the problem is with Steinberg.

Is Cubase scanning plugins when the error happens? What exactly happens…is it stopping Cubase working or is it just an error message?

I did manage to get Cubase working again. When this error came up I was able to press OK and then I received many error messages for plugins so I sat here pressing Enter for each acknowledgement OK, (taking notes of plugins) once I went through this Cubase allowed me to choose my Project and I made adjustments removing vsti’s and vst’s that were suspect. Seemed to solve the issue.
Honestly don’t know why I even have PT 12 on my computer, it tends to freeze/crash way too often and it totally lacks the MIDI drum editor which I love Cubase for. :sunglasses:


Firstly - while it’s true Cubase itself doesn’t use PACE, it handshakes with their own eLicenser app which is driven by the PACE engine. eLicenser reads the dongle and tells Cubase whether or not it is authorized to start.

Root cause here I suspect is an older Steinberg key - used without issue from SX3 to 4 to 6 to 8. Now 8.5. The OS in the key itself must require the TPkw driver. Steinberg’s eLicenser app doesn’t install it. iLok’s current app doesn’t either.

CURRENT being the keyword.

Thanks to Sergio Flores of PACE Anti-Piracy Technical Support (via iLok) for engaging when he simply could have responded, “Not my dog - contact Steinberg” this is now happily resolved.

For background - quoting - “TPkd is a driver of ours used only used by older protected products. We no longer use the tpkd.sys driver as it has been deprecated by our newer technology.”

However, iLok does provide a legacy installer along with their current installers - located in a folder appropriately entitled, “Old Installers.” Execute and voila - TPkd appears in the “Non Plug and Play Drivers” section of Device Manager.

So - the solution for those with older Steinberg keys evidencing this error is to either download the current iLok driver set from, and execute the legacy installer (I did so after running the current installer without uninstalling anything) OR (I suspect) purchase a new Steinberg key, which will no longer require the legacy driver.

Thanks for engaging GRIM and Rexgtr - appreciate the effort!!!

Good luck!!