Why does Cubase often crash if left unattended overnight? (C11, Win 10)

Do you have a crash dump that we can have a look at? Maybe it tells some story about the reason for your problem.

The most recent one of these did not produce a crash dump. This time it never really “crashed”; it froze. It remained on the screen but would not respond to input. I had to kill it in Task Manager.

I’m not sure what this means. It’s a desktop PC. Nothing ever goes to sleep on it. When I come in the next morning nothing’s any different than if I just left to get a snack or go to the bathroom.

If your system has USB devices that sleep after a certain amount of minutes or other peripherals that can cause an issue

If your system has USB devices that sleep after a certain amount of minutes or other peripherals that can cause an issue

Nothing else on my PC except Cubase does this. I have lots of apps that I leave running on my PC overnight that use USB devices and are not frozen when I come in in the morning. The only USB device that Cubase depends on is the audio system (A Steinberg UR22MkII with the Steinberg USB driver) and everything on the PC uses that same audio interface, but aren’t frozen in the morning. I can’t emphasize more clearly: this problem is unique to Cubase - nothing else on my computer (mis)behaves this way.

It’s getting to the point where I have to remember to save my projects and shut down Cubase when I go to bed at night or step away from the computer to do other tasks., which I don’t have to do with any other application. Also, sometimes I wake up in the wee hours of the morning or sometimes some music pops into my head while I’m doing something else and I want to run over to the computer and start putting in the notes while that feeling is fresh. I can do that with ALL my other creativity apps because I don’t have to shut them down all the time.

Even if I’m up really late I would always save and shut down. It’s just the right thing to do for numerous reasons. By the way not all other programs rely on usb devices remaining on as Cubase does. Also what about wasting energy!

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cubase has always been buggy, stuttering, crashing, freezing…

over the years i been using since cubase 7…
it kinda ruins it because its the best daw (my opinion) i never get issues in other daws like reason, fl studio or studio one pro. the developers take notes you have much to improve in stability of the daw

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I’m not aware of any USB devices on my PC go to sleep. And none of my other software has such a dependency; so why does Cubase?

Cubase does auto backup.

Also what about wasting energy!

At night my PC automatically runs malware scans, does backups, or I do long, computationally-intensive graphics-rendering operations. This is a 24/7 operation. My entire studio is on a big UPS that can keep the whole place running at full capacity for an hour which is plenty of time to get my generator running if there’s a power failure. I’m sure there’s a glacier in the arctic my with my name on it melting away.

Let’s get back on topic: : when it freezes (hangs) but doesn’t crash and produce a debug file, what are my options for seeing why it’s hung?

Yes, this is exactly my point. It’s a great product when it works. But it doesn’t work reliably and for someone on a production schedule or who has a backlog of work stability and reliability are more important than fancy features.

So getting back to the question: when it freezes (hangs) but doesn’t crash and produce a debug file, what are my options for seeing why it’s hung?

Is this something that you’ve had happen for ages, or it just started more recently?

I.E. After something like updating from Sonic SE 3.4 or 3.5 to Sonic 7? After installing or upgrading to HALion 7?

Have you more recently updated any of the sounds for HALion/Groove Agent to use the newer dongle-free Steinberg Licensing system (Sonic 3.5.10 and later can work dongle free with a qualifying host such as Cubase/Nuendo 12, or Dorico 4 provided one also takes the latest HSSE library updated in Stienberg Download Assistant)?

It’s a shot in the dark, but some of us ran into some glitches (Steinberg hosts that ‘hang/freeze’, but don’t ‘crash’ or produce crash-dumps) since upgrading to Dorico 4/Cubase 12, and more recently HALion/Sonic 7 that seem to have something to do with the newer mediabay server.

Over in the Dorico forum it was suggested to do this for the time being and it seems to solve a lot of problems for me.

Since starting that manually and leaving it running I’ve had fewer issues. The command line is:
start "" "%programfiles%\Steinberg\MediaBay\SteinbergMediaBayServer.exe" "--usermode" "--standalone" "--keeprunning"

I’m not sure this is relevant at all for Cubase 11, but if you’ve taken Sonic/HALion 7 or related updates/upgrades lately it’s worth a shot.

I keep this batch file:
Start And Keep Server Running.zip (293 Bytes)
on my desktop and run that after booting if I know I’ll be using Cubase.

It’s been happening since I got the Cubase - about two years. But it’s infrequent maybe once every month or two.

Sometimes I get outright crashes - but that usually happens when I’m actually using it - these freezes almost exclusively happen when it’s been left up, but not used for along time, but not necessarily overnight. When I’m working on a film soundtrack I spend a few hours in Cubase and then switch to spend a few hours in Premiere Pro, going back and forth -and sometimes when I come back to Cubase it’s frozen even though the PC has been in active use.

I had this same problem. I reinstalled my Windows OS and Cubase and it has not happened since.

I had this same problem. I reinstalled my Windows OS and Cubase and it has not happened since.

That seems like a rather extreme approach. And I’m having no problems with any other apps; of which I have many large complex ones with all kinds of hardware and driver dependencies, so it’s clearly a Cubase problem. This is a Cubase forum so I’m hoping someone could tell me what causes these freezes or how to diagnose them when they happen.

What it told me was that there was something wrong or corrupted in the OS. I had tried everything else and this is what fixed the problem for me.

You also said you reinstalled Cubase. Anyway, what was “everything” else? It obviously couldn’t have been “everything” because it didn’t identify or fix the problem. It was only everything you were aware of or could think of, and that’s the same problem I have: Since posting this I’ve received various comments and advice but none of it was specific to diagnosing or debugging a frozen Cubase. Crashes at least give us a crash dump. How do we diagnose a freeze?

Reinstalling (either the OS with all your apps and settings, or Cubase, with all the VSTs and other plug-ins and add-ons) is like using a Patriot missile to kill a mosquito. It may be a really annoying mosquito but it’s still way overkill.

It really shouldn’t. :crazy_face:

I have been using Cubase since the late 90s. As an every-day user, pop composer…rarely over 250 audio/instrument/group/efx tracks, and heavy VSTI use, even without UAD, the crashes or what you might call freezing/unresponsive happens quite rarely. Sometimes it makes a difference if you buy off the store shelf as opposed to having an audio PC builder configure and built your PC. At the very least, look at what they are using for parts and configuration such as PC Audio Labs, then compare to what you have or want to buy.

With that said, and this applies to anyone, it sometimes can help of you list your computer specs with your forum profile. Especially your graphics card and audio interface. And then if possible, attach the crash reports here.

Well, it doesn’t die on my computer.
Cubase is indeed quite ‘configuration’ sensitive but that’s where you might find the solution:
It crashes on
USB devices going to sleep
MIDI connections unstable
Windows suspending things
Outboard gear being turned off

So how do I keep my PC healthy? (no guarantee)
Clean Windows (11) install twice a year (I abandoned Win 10 long time ago)
I check the device Manager (software devices) and delete (= uninstall) systematically those ‘ghost devices’ )
I read this on the Steinberg site:

When I had a consistent crashing Cubase I did contact support and they had a solution (was NVIDIA driver related BTW)

As I said, this is not a crashing problem; it’s a freezing/hanging problem. It’s not a crash. Cubase remains on the screen but accpts no input and does not display refresh and produces no crash dump, even if forcefully stopped.

If Cubase is indeed uniquely sensitive to the configuration of the PC - more so than other DAWs, professional editing tools like Premiere Pro and Photoshop, or software development and debugging tools like Visual Studio and Android Studio - all of which I have on my PC and none of which have stability problems then that is a problem with Cubase.

It’s perfectly possible to write software that runs on Windows; interfaces to a wide variety of hardware devices and their drivers, and provides safe sandboxes for third-party plugins to run in and everybody but Steinberg seems to know how to do it. It’s nice to know that there are people here whose time has so little value to them that they think nothing of regularly reinstalling their OS (and presumably their apps, settings, etc).

This thread has been going on for days and I still have no advice on how to diagnose a Cubase freeze/hang.

If it’s not ‘crashing’ then some sort of hand-shake is supposed to happen that isn’t. Sadly, it can take a LOT of time hunt it down (at least with my limited knowledge in what tools might be out there that can insert debuggers and make logs of everything).

It could be a ‘dongle’ issue. It could be a plugin issue. It could be a driver issue. It might be an OS service or a hardware issue. It could be a ‘bug’ in Cubase itself. Who knows?

If system logs and such aren’t very helpful, then the thing to try is a gradual process of elimination.

Step 1: Reinstall eLicenser. Try your dongle in different ports. Always try that first! In my experience over the years, this can fix a LOT of issues with Steinberg hosts.

Step 2: If you can, try a different audio interface. Even if your only option is to try the included Steinberg WMD>ASIO bridge with your motherboard’s bult-in audio interface. If that worked, then you can figure the issue with your interface or its drivers.

Step 3: Disable ALL third party plugins. If your problems go away, gradually add them back ‘one by one’ until the problem comes back.

Another option that might save some time is to set up a fresh system drive. As in…either set up a dual boot situation, or physically swap the drives (don’t format/over-write anything…keep your current setup so you can dual boot, or shove it back in the sled and keep using it). Personally I keep at least two system drives anyway. I use one for ‘testing’ the latest and greatest updates/upgrades BEFORE I install it on the ‘stable’ system drive.

Anyway, starting with a fresh system from square one and ‘slowly’ installing the stuff you want to use one bit at a time can help sort out if it’s a given plugin or piece of kit that brings things to a grinding halt.

Yep, it’s a time consuming pain the butt, but what else can you do other than sending it to someone with the knowledge and tools to insert proper diagnostic tools? I’m assuming Cubase probably has debugger flags and such that will force it to ‘log’ every single thing it does…but I personally don’t know how to activate them, or what tools are needed to view and interpret the logs!

It might be that filing a support ticket eventually leads to someone from Steinberg giving instructions on how to enable some debugging modes and submit various ‘logs’. In some cases they might even schedule a remote session and ‘do it for you’.

There is a place under ‘support’ in your My Steinberg account to file ‘support tickets’.


I did edit my previous post to add a paragraph, but…

Dongle, Dongle, Dongle … eLicenser, eLicenser, eLicenser (iLok and such too if you use those). It might even pay to pick up a spare and try a new one.

Check them…run maintenance on the dongle…try different ports. Check the usb drivers on your system.

Another thing that might sound crazy…

Double check power modes and such for your motherboard. Try disabling any sleep or low power modes for a time to ‘see’ if that makes problems go away.

If your power supply is aging (or otherwise has LOTS of ‘hours’ on it), grab a fresh one, and get a bigger one than you think you’ll need. Particularly if you have a beefy graphics card connected to it.

Never ‘skimp’ on the power supply. Get a GOOD one. If your local AC dips and spikes, it can cause issues that you don’t notice because you’re ‘away from the keyboard’ when the ‘lights flicker’. Better power supplies should have enough conditioning going on to keep voltages stable during these spikes and dips from your AC outlet.

Better motherboards will also have some ‘conditioning’ going on in the DC realm to help deal with short dips and spikes in voltage. It’s possible that with age, it doesn’t work as well as it once did. Some motherboards might also skimp on power conditioning for things like ‘supplying 5v to the USB ports’. Plus, capacitors and such do have a lifespan, and they can get leaky over time.

It’s ‘very important’.

If you can, it’s also a good idea to run a conditioner and back-up power system of some sort between the wall and your workstation.

Little dips or spikes in voltage can indeed do things like, ‘flake out stuff plugged into the USB ports’. I.E. ‘aging dongles’.

Have a look at this post, please: