Topic: HDSPe and Multiface causing random crashes in El Capitan

After more than ten years of using my original Multiface, first with a cardbus card and later with an HDSPe card, without any problems, I've recently run into a serious issue. I'm on a 2007 Mac Pro 2,1 8-core 3GHz machine, and was using the Piker Alpha boot loader to run OSX 10.10 Yosemite with no problems. However, after recently updating to El Capitan (the last version that will ever work on my machine even with the boot loader) in order to be able to run the latest version of Logic Pro, my machine started crashing often and seemingly random.

At first I was suspecting RAM problems or a corrupt update, but after trying a clean install with the same issues as well as repeated testing with two RAM chips removed at a time, I still had the problem.

The screen just freezes up for a second, then it goes black and the machine reboots. Once I reach the desktop I get a notification that the machine did not shut down properly, a question about if I want to restore what was running, as well as a crash report.

The crash report always look mostly the same, except that the currently running task varies. Sometimes, it's that dropbox was running and rsync was the process, sometimes it's just the kernel, I think there have been five or six different variations. From all my research, the most common cause with this kind of symptom would be bad RAM, but my tests contradicts that.

It was not until yesterday that I finally thought of removing the HDSPe card, and voila! No more crashes.

Now I have the card back in, but with the HDSPMADI.kext disabled and moved to the desktop, and everything is great - except I can't use my multi face :-(

When I put the driver back and reboot, the crashes start to happen again.

Sometimes the machine runs fine for hours, even for a day if it's just idle, but eventually, it reboots. I can usually trigger it by syncing a bunch of files on dropbox or running a backup with Carbon Copy Cloner. Sometimes it will crash within minutes, or sometimes a few hours will go by. When I work in Logic Pro, an hour won't go by before it crashes.

I've searched the web and this forum for anyone with a similar problem but found nothing so far. Is this a known issue? Any fix, perhaps using an older driver?

Thanks in advance!

2

Re: HDSPe and Multiface causing random crashes in El Capitan

That is not a known problem. To make sure the card/box is not unstable/broken you would have to test it with a different computer, or run it from the former OS  in comparison. Seeing the unusual configuration that you use I have to point out that the reason might be just that.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: HDSPe and Multiface causing random crashes in El Capitan

I am downloading a copy of OSX Yosemite as I type and will install that on a separate disk to verify that the problem is limited to El Capitan. However, I really don't think it will be a problem being that I had Yosemite running for the last two years, up until two weeks ago, crash free.

My only other Mac is a laptop so that is a no go. Friends and relatives with PCs aren't generally keen on letting me open up their boxes so I can put a potentially (although highly unlikely) broken card in it, install drivers and then some open source music software to try things out. My friends with Macs are either on laptops or the trashcan, so another no go. Either way, it will take me a while to be able try a different machine.

I'll get back on here as soon as I've tried it again with Yosemite. I have to point out that it too is dependent on the Piker Alpha boot loader (and was working fine earlier). Before that I was running Mavericks and Mountain Lion using SFOTT (SixtyFour On ThirtyTwo, kind of a precursor to Piker Alpha), also without problems, and prior to that, I was on Lion, the last officially supported OS for my machine because of its 32bit EFI.

In the meantime, do you have any download links for previous drivers? I can't remember which version I was using under Yosemite. I do seem to remember TotalMix having the "new" look though so it was probably 4.xx but earlier than the current 4.10.

4

Re: HDSPe and Multiface causing random crashes in El Capitan

All drivers are still available for download, simply exchange the last number:

http://www.rme-audio.de/download/hdspe_x86_410.zip
http://www.rme-audio.de/download/hdspe_x86_409.zip
etc.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: HDSPe and Multiface causing random crashes in El Capitan

Thank you. I went as far back as 4.02 now and even tried the last 3.xx version, unfortunately with no luck. Will get the fresh Yosemite install going later today.

Another thought I had. When I originally updated to El Capitan two weeks ago, I went for the latest drivers right away. In that process, I also updated to the latest firmware. I don't remember which version I updated from. So that is another remote possible cause for my issue.

Is it possible to downgrade the firmware version? And if so, what is the earliest version that would work with El Capitan, and what version of the driver should be used along with it? (I'm thinking perhaps the later drivers demand a certain firmware version?).

Also, since I haven't messed with this stuff in a few years and am a bit rusty, are the firmwares for both the HDSPe care and my interface (Multiface) or is it just for one of them?

Thanks again.

Re: HDSPe and Multiface causing random crashes in El Capitan

After uninstalling all driver files, rebooting, installing version 3.08, rebooting, downgrading the firmware from revision 20 to revision 18 using Flash Update 2.21, then rebooting again, everything seems to finally be running crash free!!!!

More uptime needed to be really sure of course, but so far it's been up for hours and I've stressed the system running backups with Carbon Copy Cloner which usually triggered a crash within half an hour, while playing back a movie. So far so good :-)

Once I feel reasonably sure there are no more crashes I will try updating the driver to version 4.10. Unless there any known issues running firmware revision 18 with the 4.10 driver?

Re: HDSPe and Multiface causing random crashes in El Capitan

I spoke to soon :-(
It crashed again, before I got to do any additional updates. So I'm doing the Yosemite install on a separate drive now...

Re: HDSPe and Multiface causing random crashes in El Capitan

I get a lot of crash reports displayed in the console since installed Mojave on my Mac. (yes i tried a clean install !)

9

Re: HDSPe and Multiface causing random crashes in El Capitan

Don't you think it would be more helpful to copy those reports in here so we know what you are talking about?

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME