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Windows Vista & 7 issues - Cubase 5 and other hosts

Concern: Windows Vista, Windows 7, Cubase 5

This article relates to possible occuring issues after changing the system from an older system to Windows Vista, 7 or 8, or after updating sequencers like Cubase to a newer version. In most cases these issues are related to windows user account control.

On this page you can find a lot of background infos on this:

Windows uac virtualization - what you need to know about it - click here to read

First of all the fastest fix for most of these issues:

Simply set the default running mode of your VST host to "administrator". To do this right-click on the application shortcut, choose "properties->compatibility" and here check "run as administrator" and save the settings.

This won't affect the functionality of your host at all, it just gives it back full writing rights which have been restricted by windows protection.

You may need to re-license or even uninstall/re-install the plugin once more then, but the issues should be gone now.

In most cases the problem should be solved now.

Also be sure to use the newest version installers which are optimized.

You can find the newest version numbers listed here.

Still not solved yet?

If the issues still are there, then uninstall the plugin again and clean up these two places. To see the first one you need to activate hidden file view before (Start->Control Panel->Folder Options->View -> activate "Show hidden files and folders".).

1. Clean up virtual file store:

C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files

Here goto the application folder/place where your VST plugins folder is, for cubase e.g. VirtualStore\Program Files\Steinberg\VstPlugIns, and delete the whole "SonicProjects" folder.

2. Clean up virtual registry store:

Goto Start->All Programs->Accessoires->"Run" (blue icon), which will open the registry

Here open this location:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\VirtualStore\MACHINE\SOFTWARE

Here delete those two folders: DHsem, Sdhsem

Before you re-install OP-X PRO again be sure that the default running mode of your VST host is set to "administrator" (see above).

Background informations

What's the reason for these issues?

Since Windows Vista and Windows 7 Microsoft has implemented a new protection system which restricts the writing rights of applications if they reside within the system's program files folder and have no so called "trustinfo manifest" which means they're officially certified by Microsoft.

In that case the applications are forced to write their files and registry keys to isolated "save" places called "virtual store" instead to the place they want to write the data actually. This re-direction is called "virtualization". The redirection places are:

Files and data:
C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files

To see this folder you need to activate hidden file view before (Start->Control Panel->Folder Options->View -> activate "Show hidden files and folders")

Registry keys:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\VirtualStore\MACHINE\SOFTWARE

In most cases the application does not get aware of this re-direction since windows makes those virtual store places look like the real places to the program.

But it can get problematic then when the foregoing installation has not taken place with virtualization active, and virtualization suddenly gets active, e.g. after updating a sequencer. In that case the program or plugin won't find its data or keys anymore.

This unwanted behaviour can get relevant for OP-X PRO if your shared VST plugins folder resides within the system's program files folder, which e.g. is the default place in Cubase (Program Files\Steinberg\VstPlugIns). If the host software loses trustinfo on an update then the reading and writing streams of its plugins are immediatly redericted to the virtual store places. This means for the plugin: it can't find again its modules and registry keys. This can lead to multiple "missing module" errors, or the unability to find again the licensing data, even if it has been licensed before.

The error scenario often is this one: OP-X PRO is being installed into the "right" place. On first loading it's conceived to extract a bunch of necessary modules into a folder called "OP-X PRO" next to the dll. If windows virtualization is active, then windows prevents it to write the modules there because its a potentially unsafe action of a not trusted program winthin the system area. So it redirects the writing out to the mirrored virtual store place in the user area. OP-X PRO however will always look in the same and conceived relative place (the OP-X PRO folder) for its modules, and since they are not there, there are a lot of "missing module" errors on loading. The same for registry keys: On unlocking the plugin OP-X PRO tries to write the user data to a dedicated place in the registry. If protection is active, then windows automatically redirects those keys to the virtual store place in the registry. But OP-X PRO of course still will look in the "old" and conceived place for the license data, and since it's not there it can't find it and says its not licensed, although you've successfully licensed it before.

The very easy fix for all this is to set the default running mode of the used VST host to "administrator" as described above. this makes virtualization inactive and gives back the program and its plugins full writing rights.

Sometimes it may be needed to clean up the virtual store places so that the redirected files are not there anymore. You'll also find missing files there.

If you set up a new system or install a new sequencer it's always recommended to place your shared vst plugins folder in a different place that the default one, which unfortunately often is in the program files folder. Cubase lets you place it to anywhere, even to a different drive (e.g. the "samples" drive) which is cleaner anyway.

Windows 7 64 and 64bit hosts

OP-X PRO will run without a problem within 32bit hosts in Windows 7 64bit. Most 32bit vst hosts and sequencers run without a problem in Windows Vista 64.

Cubase: If you don't work with massive sample libraries (Orchestras etc.) then the 32bit version of Cubase will do it. The 32bit version is included in the package and can be installed and used in Windows 7 64bit. The main advantage of a 64bit sequencer is that it can access more ram, which only gets relevant when using huge sampling libraries. For normal applications, the 32bit version will do.

If you want to use OP-X PRO in a 64bit host, then you need to use a bit-bridge. Some 64Bit hosts (e.g. Reaper, Cubase, Sonar) already have a one built in by themselves and so you don't need to care about it. Simply install OP-X PRO to the 32Bit plugins folder and make sure this plugin path is added in the program's plugin preferences. Then the bridging will be applied automatically once OP-X PRO is loaded. If the host doesn't offer a built in bit-bridge or the included bit-bridge doesn' work well then you have to use a 3rd party bit-bridge like JStuff JBridge:

http://jstuff.wordpress.com/jbridge/

If you should have issues with JBridge (e.g. a Dispatcher opcode error) then use the "separated GUI mode" option instead of the integrated mode.