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My Cubase/Nuendo is crashing on statup, what could be causing that?

A Steinberg program can crash or display errors upon start-up for many reasons. Before looking at some of the possible culprits it’s good to understand what exactly takes place when a Steinberg program launches:

On start-up, Cubase/Nuendo begins to “talk” to the computer’s Operating System (Windows XP, Mac OS X etc)
A verification of a connected USB dongle is made
A request for the use of MIDI hardware is made
Video playback components are scanned
A request for the use of audio hardware (ASIO) is made
Compatible plug-ins (such as VST, Direct-X, Software Instruments, etc) are scanned
Cubase/Nuendo now opens with a successful acquisition of all necessary components

Crashes or start-up error messages occur when something goes wrong in the steps outlined above. Here are some explanations as to why a crash can occur at each step of the start-up process:

1. Upon start-up, Cubase/Nuendo begins to “talk” to the computer’s Operating System (Windows XP, Mac OS X etc)

A crash at this point can occur because:

Too many background applications are running on your computer at the same time that you launch Cubase/Nuendo.
Poor or corrupt installation of your computer’s Operating System
Incompatible Operating System
Virus Infection
Using a computer that does not meet the minimum system requirements
Corrupt installation of Cubase/Nuendo
You’re not running the latest updated version of Cubase/Nuendo

2. A verification of a connected USB dongle is made
A crash at this point could be due to:

Corrupt copy-protection drivers
Outdated copy-protection drivers
Damaged USB dongle
The license on the USB dongle is invalid
The computer’s power suppler isn’t providing adequate power to the USB bus
The USB host controller is sharing resources with other computer components (audio card, video card, hard drive controller, Firewire, etc)
Too many devices are connected to the USB bus (Dongle, MIDI interface, printer, scanner, web-cam, etc)
3. A request for the use of midi hardware is made

A crash at this point can be because of:
Corrupt or improper MIDI driver installation
MIDI interface is in use by another program
MIDI interface is sharing hardware resources with other computer components (audio card, video card, hard drive controller, Firewire, etc)
Damaged MIDI interface

4. Video playback components are scanned

A crash at this point could be because:
The Operating System’s video playback components are corrupt
Direct-X, Video for Windows or Direct-Show on PC
QuickTime on MAC
The latest version of PC or MAC video playback engines is not in use
Video components are already in use by another application
An incompatible video codec

5. A request for the use of audio hardware (ASIO) is made
A crash at this point could be due to:

Corrupt or improper audio driver installation
Audio hardware being already in use by another application
Audio hardware sharing hardware resources with other computer components (MIDI interface, video card, hard drive controller, Firewire, etc)
Damaged audio hardware
Word Clock is not properly set or configured

6. Compatible plug-ins (such as VST, Direct-X, Software Instruments, etc) are scanned

A crash at this point could be due to:
Corrupt or improper plug-in installation
Incompatible Plug-in
Plug-in is not VST 2.3 compliant
You are not running the latest version of the plug-in
The plug-in is NOT dual-processor compliant
Outdated version of Direct-X (PC only)
The plug-in’s copy-protection being not present, corrupt, or expired
The plug-in’s content cannot be found or loaded
The plug-in being powered by dedicated hardware (UAD-1, Powercore, etc) and is:
Sharing resources with other computer resources
Improperly installed
Damaged
Incompatible with specific OS version
Finally, to prevent and eliminate crashes or error messages when launching Cubase/Nuendo, always make sure the following is in order:

Your computer system meets or exceed the minimum system requirements
Your software applications, plug-ins and video drivers are compatible, properly installed, and updated to the latest versions
The hardware driver’s dongle, MIDI and audio are compatible, properly installed and updated to the latest versions
Background running applications are minimized to optimize system performance and reduce conflicts
Understanding how Cubase/Nuendo operates, and then following these guidelines, are essential ingredients for maintaining a reliable music production system.

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