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marled

(Solved) Reactivation Pain

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Today I received the reactivation message on my Daw pc (within n day(s)), even I had installed nearly the latest release (09 build 68). Because I like this desktop pc to be offline I always copied the installation files from my laptop. So it seems the reactivation purpose that users have a current version is not true for this one!

Okay, I grumbled and decided to connect the Daw pc to reactivate CbB. They always told us that it is just a little thing! WTF, until now I have not succeeded! What does it mean "just login to the BA"? I logged in several times (first I had to update the BA), even signed in to the bandlab site via the assistant, because it was not enough to login to the assistant. I even updated then to 09 build 70, because I thought this is the only thing that helps! No success! And even worse, because I made the pc online the Windows 1903 update was in queue (it had costed me already a lot of time, because it failed 3 times). But I let it run now. Result: 4 hours of frustration and CbB is still not reactivated! Just a small thing! There is a thread "Still using SONAR?", I think this is still a big advantage of Sonar over CbB!!! But I think I abstain from a comment in there!

Edited by marled

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Logging off Bandlab Assistant and logging back on should activate your Cakewalk by Bandlab.

I have my PC connected to the internet via a wired connection 24/7 with no issues as a result.  I have always installed all Windows updates (sans drivers). On occasion, I open up Bandlab Assistant (and log on if necessary.  I rarely leave it running, however.  

I know some people say always disconnect from the internet when using Cakewalk by Bandlab, but I think many of those fears are unfounded.

I have never had any versions of Cakewalk by Bandlab go in to demo mode.

If you continue to have issues after doing the above then you might want to open a support ticket

https://help.cakewalk.com/hc/en-us/requests/new?ticket_form_id=360000025633

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Like Promidi, I am always connected to the internet on my DAW.  I had the CWBL activation message show up for the first time recently and simply opened Bandlab Assistant, let it update itself, logged in and all was well. 

It might not hurt to uninstall then reinstall either or both BA and CWBL if that doesn't work.

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Thanks Promidi and  BRainbow for your responses!

11 hours ago, Promidi said:

Logging off Bandlab Assistant and logging back on should activate your Cakewalk by Bandlab.

I already had done this and a lot of other things (like starting BA as administrator, ...), no success! On my laptop I also never had an issue, but it is almost always online when I use it. So it seems to me it has something to do with offline computers, but maybe it is just a silly guess! Concerning the support request I have no more time to lose at the moment, so I will use Splat instead!

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You are complaining about a "painful" process that doesn't exist for people who use the product as designed. It only goes wrong for people who try to use it in the wrong way.

All of this business of downloading the installation files on one computer, copying the installation files to another computer, running the installer on the second computer, then trying to authenticate using an old copy of BandLab Assistant on the second computer is using the software in a manner that is expressly not recommended by the manufacturer.

BandLab Assistant is there for a reason. Its job is to check with the server to see what the latest version of Cakewalk is, then manage the installation/update/validation process. Before it starts that process, it checks itself to make sure it's up to date and ready to perform those tasks. You had what you thought were the latest install files (maybe they were, maybe they weren't), ran the executable manually, then tried to validate using an out-of-date copy of BandLab Assistant.

So the program that was supposed to be managing the process found a version of the program that from its perspective, came from the future. BandLab Assistant not surprisingly couldn't validate a version of Cakewalk that was newer than it was, so the process failed.

And it was your fault that it did. It's not supposed to work the way you were trying to get it to work and it didn't, so you have no grounds for complaint. I am sorry to be so blunt, but it's the truth, and I want this out here for other people who might try to "outsmart" the installation process: follow the instructions. The instructions say to download BandLab Assistant and then use it to install and validate Cakewalk by BandLab.

No other method of download and installation is approved by BandLab except when there is an Early Access build available, and in that case, I would recommend you make sure your BandLab Assistant is up to date before running the EAP installer. Participation in the EAP means the user is willing to accept a bit of risk anyway.

Last time I did it,  downloading and installing a Cakewalk upgrade took about 5 minutes. If you had followed instructions, you would have been done with the task of updating Cakewalk in under 15 minutes. I don't know what you were hoping to gain by guessing at what installation files were needed by the Cakewalk installation and copying them over from another computer instead of just connecting to the Internet for the download. You were going to connect to the Internet anyway in order to validate the license. If you don't want Microsoft to install the latest security updates and patches for Windows, you can tell it to defer those.  Unless you are using an older audio interface, there is no reason to defer Windows updates. Even my antique Firepods still work on the latest Windows 10. Whatever, you blew 4 hours trying it your way, so maybe next time try it BandLab's way and see what happens.

Companies these days design and build their software with the assumption that the systems it runs on can connect to the Internet in order to apply updates if necessary. That is just how it is, and if someone chooses to operate outside that, they accept a risk and inconvenience that is not the fault of the software vendor.

Why is there such a big deal about connecting a DAW to the Internet anyway? Is it to remove the temptation toward distraction?

If it's about fear, I can say that I have yet to read on this forum of anyone suffering a virus or malware or hacking attack as the result of having their DAW connected to the Internet. I have, however, read about many hours of time wasted by people trying various stunts to avoid connecting their DAW to the Internet to let BandLab Assistant update and validate Cakewalk. The greater risk seems to be in not connecting.

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7 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

You are complaining about a "painful" process that doesn't exist for people who use the product as designed. It only goes wrong for people who try to use it in the wrong way.

It seems that you are a prophet or something even superior!

7 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

All of this business of downloading the installation files on one computer, copying the installation files to another computer, running the installer on the second computer, then trying to authenticate using an old copy of BandLab Assistant on the second computer is using the software in a manner that is expressly not recommended by the manufacturer.

Where is this said? I never read about that!

7 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

BandLab Assistant is there for a reason. Its job is to check with the server to see what the latest version of Cakewalk is, then manage the installation/update/validation process. Before it starts that process, it checks itself to make sure it's up to date and ready to perform those tasks. You had what you thought were the latest install files (maybe they were, maybe they weren't), ran the executable manually, then tried to validate using an out-of-date copy of BandLab Assistant.

Not true at all, it is just a fxxxxxx guess of you. I had updated the BA to the newest version!

7 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

So the program that was supposed to be managing the process found a version of the program that from its perspective, came from the future. BandLab Assistant not surprisingly couldn't validate a version of Cakewalk that was newer than it was, so the process failed.

You repeat yourself and it's still not the truth!

7 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

And it was your fault that it did. It's not supposed to work the way you were trying to get it to work and it didn't, so you have no grounds for complaint. I am sorry to be so blunt, but it's the truth, ...

You are very blunt! I just want to tell you one thing: All those "modern" ways of installing software by some halfhearted installation programs has some issues. First, you have to download on each pc again, a total waste of resources and time (and it is not only CbB, there are many other installation managers, too)! Second, this blind townsfolk like you get on my nerves, because in rural locations you don't have the same internet connection at all! I don't like to comment the rest of your ...

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My computers were all put on ice while we moved last June. I did fire up my old W7 Laptop right away to use for email etc, but we were busy outside etc so no time for fun.

Just last week I unpacked our 2 desktop computers and fired them up on our nice new fiber optics network. 

When I turned on my DAW and opened Cakewalk it showed as being in Demo mode ( first time I've had this) OK fine. 

Before I did anything I immediately opened Windows Update and let it do it's thing. As you are aware there was a major update so it took quite a few re boots to finally stop updating. 

Then I opened and logged on to the Bandlab assistant and it updated and  finally then I updated Cakewalk. Took all of 4 minutes to complete. As said the system works flawlessly if you follow those 3 simple steps and in that order.  

I then logged on to all my various VST licensing apps and updated everything.

The Office computer is always on line but my DAW machine I often disable the internet while working but only out of habit. I actually notice no difference between being online these days and have often found my DAW has been working away happily with the wireless adaptor active. I was a huge believer in staying disconnected in the past but have slacked off on believing in that now,  As long as Windows is up to date all seems to work now as it should. 

It's free software and it is what it is as far as the way they choose to keep us connected. I just hope they keep this ship afloat. And free is great but I'm sure most of us would not be that upset if we had to start paying again. 

 

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6 hours ago, marled said:

Where is this said? I never read about that!

I said that it is not recommended. I didn't say that they say "don't do it." I misspoke with the "expressly" I suppose. I meant it for emphasis, but that was a misuse of the word. My point was that they tell us what to do to successfully install and register the product. You and others that I have heard from that went through similar misery didn't follow those instructions. It's not meant for someone to download a bunch of files to one computer, try to puzzle out which files are the right ones, copy them to another computer, run them, then connect to the Internet for registration. That's not how the software installation is designed to work.

6 hours ago, marled said:

I had updated the BA to the newest version!

Where is that said? I never read about that! 😉 You mentioned you copied "the installation files." I did not see where you said you installed the latest version of BA. My apologies for making the incorrect assumption. Still, it's not designed to work like that, and no surprise, it didn't.

Just because you ran what you thought were the "installation files" and it looked like the installation completed and you were able to start Cakewalk doesn't mean that it was installed correctly. It is probable that BandLab Assistant does things other than just downloading the executable, running it and then doing the validation. When I've looked around in my file system during download, it downloads other small files which may be key files, unique identifiers or whatever, that are necessary for the validation process.

I'm truly sorry that you went through so much hassle, and my tone was harsh, but you're not the first one to go through this thing of copying files around, having the validation fail, then come to the forum blaming the software. Cakewalk's license is free, but it does have a license which is enforced and administered by the BandLab Assistant app. If you try to circumvent the operation of BandLab Assistant, it won't be a surprise that the program doesn't work properly.

Installation managers with Internet-connected licensing are common. Waves, Native Instruments, iZotope, Spitfire Audio, Plugin Alliance, BlueCat, HOFA, ImageLine, UVI, Adobe, countless others.

BandLab doesn't make us install iLok/PACE or other dongles or save serial numbers or have anything running in the background, all they ask is that every 6 months have their little app talk to their server. And if we want the latest version, use the little app to  update it. This is not burdensome. People who try to circumvent this process and then complain that it's the software's fault when they run into trouble are being silly.

As for "blind townsfolk," I helped a rural user on the old forum figure out a way to get and maintain CbB via mobile phone data. He bought a "burner" just for this purpose. Otherwise, for heaven's sake, if one is living in a really remote area, save up for a portable computer that can be carried in to the nearest public library to use their Internet connection. It's going to be one of the challenges of living in a remote area, if they want to use Cakewalk, how to get their computer into civilization every 6 months. It's a problem for the user to figure out, not BandLab. If  someone can't get their computer 15 minutes of broadband access twice a year, then  Tracktion 7 is probably a better solution, or drop $30 for Mixcraft when it's on sale or $60 for Reaper.

Edited by Starship Krupa
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17 hours ago, marled said:

I already had done this and a lot of other things (like starting BA as administrator, ...), no success! On my laptop I also never had an issue, but it is almost always online when I use it. So it seems to me it has something to do with offline computers, but maybe it is just a silly guess! Concerning the support request I have no more time to lose at the moment, so I will use Splat instead!

Damn terrifying, and I'm in process of building slowly an offline machine right now. I was having that suggestion once in another topic, why not give us an option for offline activation, even a paid one for those who want to "go pro" - install and have peace of mind also if one wants to keep that version forever. And it's same easy to control the amount of activations since the process would have to go through the servers anyway for an unlock code. On my laptop that is always connected I have run bandlab assistant only once when installing cakewalk, next time will be when I decide to install another new version. How much is that different from staying offline?

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1 hour ago, chris.r said:

why not give us an option for offline activation

I'll ask the big question here: why should BandLab give us the option for offline activation? What benefit is it to them to accommodate this use case and what is the use case in the first place? You talk as if it is automatically understood why someone would not want to connect their computer to the Internet, but I don't understand it at all. Can you please explain it to me?

Why is this so important? Why is it "damn terrifying" to you to have to connect your computer to the Internet for a few minutes every 6 months?

You're obviously not afraid of or forbidden to or unable to get on the Internet in general or you wouldn't be able to get Cakewalk in the first place, and you wouldn't be able to post on this forum, so what is it? What's so freaking important about being able to have a DAW computer that's so completely isolated from the Internet that it can't be connected even for a few minutes twice a year?

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@Starship Krupa hi, I get the impression that you read posts quickly, here in this topic at least, without going much into details what the author is trying to say. And then you start to defense Bandlab as if someone was trying to fight Bandlab, but some here are actually only fighting a situation, that seems to not concern you at all. No one is fighting with Bandlab though. In my post I said that I have a laptop that's always online (the one I'm posting on the forum btw) where I have Cakewalk installed but I'm also building a production PC that I'm going to keep offline. I don't update Cakewalk with each next version released and would wish that version installed on the offline machine to keep working until I decide for a next update. And even if I'm forced to do it every 6 months, the risk of going through same issues as Marled is a bit terrifying for me. You don't want it to happen on your production machine especially when in the middle of a project of in front of your clients. It appears that even few minutes online twice a year can mess up your offline setup.

Having the offline option is very desirable here for me perhaps just because I'm that kind of a person, idk, and most other software offers a solution. It is fine if you can't understand it and it says that you don't feel the need for it. With time I have gathered intro versions of few other DAWs that I'm messing with around and for the moment when my production machine will be ready to fire up maybe I'll decide to go with a different DAW, we'll see. No big deal. And in any case I still have my SONAR working... just recently tried it and activated offline. It worked perfectly so there's that.

Edited by chris.r
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On 11/9/2019 at 3:44 PM, Starship Krupa said:

...why someone would not want to connect their computer to the Internet, but I don't understand it at all...

If you rely on one single computer for all your computer needs, then yes you can't really manage without an internet connection. But it might be different if you have several computers for different uses. An internet connection is not necessarily available in 100% of situations. 2 examples:

  • I used to take a laptop to work for onsite recording. I was not allowed to connect it to the staff network. It was an old laptop and did not have wifi. But I didn't need an internet connection anyway unless some software suddenly required a reactivation, which would have been very inconvenient.
  • For a while, my current DAW PC was in a bad spot for receiving wifi and I had to run a 20-metre long ethernet cable along a corridor and across the lounge, etc. to a router. This was a trip hazard so I only connected it when absolutely necessary.
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6 hours ago, chris.r said:

I don't update Cakewalk with each next  version released and would wish that version installed on the offline machine to keep working until I decide for a next update.

And it allows this. Are you under the impression that it doesn't? All BandLab Assistant does in the brief seconds that it contacts the server is check to see if itself is up to date, and if it isn't, it updates itself, then re-validates Cakewalk. Updating Cakewalk is completely optional.

6 hours ago, chris.r said:

if I'm forced to do it every 6 months, the risk of  going through same issues as Marled is a bit terrifying for me.

All you are "forced" to do every 6 months is briefly connect your computer to the Internet and run BandLab Assistant long enough for it to contact BandLab's server to re-validate. This has nothing at all to do with Marled's situations and the issues he ran into.

You suggested that I read posts quickly and miss what the author is trying to say, but if you read Marled's original post and my responses to him, you will see that he tried his own method of updating Cakewalk and only after that, the validation failed.

Instead of just connecting the computer to the Internet, running BandLab Assistant, and letting it go through the process of updating and validating, he manually copied some files he found on one computer over to another computer hoping that it would work. It didn't work, and he blamed the validation process.

It's not whether you keep your computer online or offline or dangle it from a fishing line out your window if you want to. Read the post from @John Vere up there where he says that he had two computers that were completely offline for over 6 months and when he connected them to the Internet Cakewalk was in demo mode. So he ran BandLab Assistant on them,  and it took them each 4 minutes to update and validate Cakewalk. Done.

Marled tried to upgrade the software in an unapproved way and the process failed. He didn't let the computer's validation expire, he was trying to upgrade. John let his computers' (2 of them) validations expire and then upgraded in the approved way and the process went smoothly. Do you get the difference?

There is something here to be "terrified" about and that is trying to second-guess or circumvent the upgrade, installation, and validation process. Recording and mixing music is fun to "DIY," but not upgrading software that relies on a download manager. Let the download manager do its job, then you can unplug your computer and go about your business.

10 hours ago, chris.r said:

You don't want it to happen on your production machine especially when in the middle of a project of in front of your clients.

Certainly not, and if your desire or need is to have your DAW computer not connected to the Internet, and you're running Cakewalk, you should connect for validation well before your previous validation will be running out. Like you do with your passport before taking a journey overseas, except much less trouble and expense.

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On 11/9/2019 at 3:32 AM, Starship Krupa said:

Where is that said? I never read about that! 😉 You mentioned you copied "the installation files."

Here 😉:

On 11/7/2019 at 9:31 PM, marled said:

I logged in several times (first I had to update the BA), even ...

 

On 11/9/2019 at 3:32 AM, Starship Krupa said:

BandLab doesn't make us install iLok/PACE

I would prefere even this!

Concerning the copy of the installation files: I have used now Sonar/CbB for many years and I was used to copy installation files. With the old Cakewalk installer it was official where it stores its downloads and you could copy them to another system and it used them to install those versions; or if you wanted you could start the installers manually (there were even special parameters). The installer was/is also capable to go back to an older version! It was very user-friendly, the most user-friendly installer IMHO! 😊

 

On 11/9/2019 at 5:44 AM, Starship Krupa said:

I'll ask the big question here: why should BandLab give us the option for offline activation? What benefit is it to them to accommodate this use case and what is the use case in the first place? You talk as if it is automatically understood why someone would not want to connect their computer to the Internet, but I don't understand it at all. Can you please explain it to me?

There are many reasons to use a Daw pc offline, here are some of them:

  1. To avoid performance issues when Windows 10 is downloading updates (I had this several times and this was the first and foremost reason why I set my desktop offline. In some cases I had even problems with the drivers caused by Windows 10 Updater and I had to reboot first before I could resume my work.
  2. Not to be forced to do updates during a busy time, i.e. have the freedom to the updates when you are ready (also this is essentially a Windows 10 issue).
  3. Generally can network background processes affect the performance and cause dropouts.
  4. In rural areas you can lose the internet for some days or even weeks (once our connection was broken nearby, only 2 houses were affected, so it took 3 weeks until it was fixed! In such a case you are glad if you still have access to Sonar Platinum!). Okay, this is more a reason to have products that do not have online usage.
  5. Once our router was hacked and the more your Daw is online the more risk you have that it is also hacked.
  6. Lightnings: My network switch was destroyed when a lightning encountered our telephone cable, although it is in a completely different location in the house than the router (that was also dead and the incoming contact was brown).

I am sure there are many more reasonable arguments, but I don't mind if someone thinks they are no issue for him.

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I have fixed the issue. I wrote down all my preference settings (just to be sure) and uninstalled CbB and BA. Rebooted the system. Redownloaded BA, logged in and let it download CbB again (it took much longer than in John Vere's case). And voila it was fixed! Even my preferences were still there! 😊

But still I am working on some changed configuration caused by Windows update 1903. Also I have an issue with CbB (same with Sonar) with transposing audio files (Radius Solo Vocal). I never noticed this before, but in some cases I have nasty clicks (even visual when zooming in). Maybe it is caused by Windows 1903, but I have to do additional research!

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4 hours ago, Kev said:

If you rely on one single computer for all your computer needs, then yes you can't really manage without an internet connection. But it might be different if you have several computers for different uses. An internet connection is not necessarily available in 100% of situations. 2 examples:

  • I used to take a laptop to work for onsite recording. I was not allowed to connect it to the staff network. It was an old laptop and did not have wifi. But I didn't need an internet connection anyway unless some software suddenly required a reactivation, which would have been very inconvenient.
  • For a while, my current DAW PC was in a bad spot for receiving wifi and I had to run a 20-metre long ethernet cable along a corridor and across the lounge, etc. to a router. This was a trip hazard so I only connected it when absolutely necessary.

I understand the hardship argument, for sure. But in both of your cases, you were able to get your systems connected for a few minutes to do the validation, right? One, you run a long cord for 10 minutes then unhook it, the other, it's a laptop, you go to a coffee shop and have some coffee with your Cakewalk.

What I'm wondering about is why folks who seem to have ready access to a 'net connection are going to so much trouble to keep a computer isolated. They're not saying they won't have access to an Internet connection, it's like a matter of principle or something, and I'm curious about it. Why is it a burden to have to plug the thing in every so often?

People used to pay me a lot of money to make sure their computers were  kept updated, and I find that computers tend to run best when they're in that state, and updates these days come through the Internet, so wanting to stay away from that channel seems odd to me. Tell me, guys.

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On 11/8/2019 at 1:46 PM, Starship Krupa said:

Last time I did it,  downloading and installing a Cakewalk upgrade took about 5 minutes.

I will not repeat my post in recent thread, you can find full story if your want. Two major points:

  • for some people it takes much longer. I can not update even just Assistent in 5 minutes
  • for some people Assistent NEVER works as expected, I guess also the consequence of slow connection

Recently I have upgraded my computer. So, Windows 10 installed from scratch and updated. Downloaded new assistant. "Installing..." (NO PROGRESS INDICATOR). After an hour, I have decided to check... the file it was downloading was not growing. To check that, I had to know where files are, no?

Unlike on my old computer, the second attempt to install CbB with Assistant was successful: it has managed to start installation after downloading. Still, all that is Pain.

 

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38 minutes ago, marled said:

With the old Cakewalk installer it was official where it stores its downloads and you could copy them to another system and it used them to install those versions; or if you wanted you could start the installers manually (there were even special parameters). The installer was/is also capable to go back to an older version! It was very user-friendly, the most user-friendly installer IMHO! 😊

Oh, snap, now I'm really sorry you had all this trouble, I couldn't figure out where you got the idea to copy these installation files and just run them. This is making sense now. You did know what you were doing, it just doesn't apply with the new download manager, I guess. BA makes some other little files and it seems like they are important. It probably has something to do with identifiers used to integrate with the online BandLab DAW, which is still being worked on.

I don't know if you know, but if going back to earlier versions is important, Steve Cook has a utility that lets you archive and switch CbB versions. I keep a few by using the trick of copying and renaming my Cakewalk Core folder before I let BA do the update.

I'm always nervous about messing with any software installation that's handled by a download manager, because I'm terrified (to use chris' term) I'll wind up in a situation like yours. Even VST2's, which are pretty forgiving, I don't like moving them from one folder to another because I'm afraid that some resource will wind up in the wrong place.

48 minutes ago, marled said:

There are many reasons to use a Daw pc offline, here are some of them:

  1. To avoid performance issues when Windows 10 is downloading updates (I had this several times and this was the first and foremost reason why I set my desktop offline. In some cases I had even problems with the drivers caused by Windows 10 Updater and I had to reboot first before I could resume my work.
  2. Not to be forced to do updates during a busy time, i.e. have the freedom to the updates when you are ready (also this is essentially a Windows 10 issue).
  3. Generally can network background processes affect the performance and cause dropouts.
  4. In rural areas you can lose the internet for some days or even weeks (once our connection was broken nearby, only 2 houses were affected, so it took 3 weeks until it was fixed! In such a case you are glad if you still have access to Sonar Platinum!). Okay, this is more a reason to have products that do not have online usage.
  5. Once our router was hacked and the more your Daw is online the more risk you have that it is also hacked.
  6. Lightnings: My network switch was destroyed when a lightning encountered our telephone cable, although it is in a completely different location in the house than the router (that was also dead and the incoming contact was brown).

I am sure there are many more reasonable arguments, but I don't mind if someone thinks they are no issue for him

Thank you for answering my question! These are all very valid points.

I'll reply, and please, I'm trying  not to do it in the spirit of trying to win any argument, but rather provide information and possible solutions that users of the forum might not know or might not have considered.

I believe in understanding what's going on rather than waving a hand and saying "a DAW works better when you leave it offline" or whatever. That's why I asked. If that is true, I want to know why. I don't like computer superstitions. I'm a big redneck when it comes to Microsoft forcing me to run updates and malware protection and all that. I use Windows 10 Home and figured out how to permanently disable Defender's realtime scanning because it was causing a performance hit. I just leave it off. My computer, my rules. I had to learn how to enable some hidden features to do it, so I did, but it worked.

First, you might be pleased to know that Microsoft seem to have had a lot of users complaining about the forced updates issue and have taken some steps to address their needs.

On my Windows 10 Home system I can set up to 18 hours a day as "active hours" where Windows won't try to restart the computer to apply updates, and it will never try to apply them if it detects that I'm active on the system.  Also, I can pause updates for up to 35 days at a time if I want to. I still have to accept the updates at the end of the pause period. I don't have a problem with that, although I do understand that others might.

On my systems at least, extra disk activity caused by Windows downloading the files for the updates has not caused performance issues. That is, so far. I have Delivery Optimization set to allow downloads only from other PC's on my network, so my computers don't distribute Windows Update files to other computers on the Internet. I recommend that anyone reading this make the same settings.

Next, regarding background processes (and disk activity), if  someone is, like you, savvy enough to be concerned about  them, I encourage them to get to know tools like LatencyMon and Process Explorer and Windows' own Task Manager and Resource Monitor and really take control of your system. It doesn't take that long and it's fun to see what programs are actually doing what. I learned a LOT about how Cakewalk does things by running Resource Monitor and clicking on Cakewalk.exe and watching  as I did various tasks. What spiked disk activity, what spiked CPU, etc.

If network activity were to affect a modern computer enough to cause a dropout in the audio subsystem, it would mean that something was VERY wrong with the network, and I mean the network inside the house or business, or the computer's network interface configuration. Bad network card drivers can mess up latency, I had it happening on my own system, but it was a problem that needed to be solved by rolling back the driver, not pulling the plug.

However, an easy way to eliminate all of the above concerns is taking the simple step of disabling your network interface during critical recording and mixing sessions. Open Settings, click Network & Internet, then Change Adapter Options. Right click on the icon for your Ethernet adapter and select Disable. When you want to turn it back on, go back in, right click and select Enable and you're back online. Then you'll know you're getting the best of both worlds: system updated with the latest patches and untouched while you're working. No need to unplug anything, move anything, reconfigure anything. Same effect as pulling the network cord out.

Network outages are ever a possibility. Here I will  take a comically defensive pose and ask if your Internet has ever been down for over 6 months? Really, this is not so much a reason to have your computer disconnected but a cause of its being disconnected. As long as the outage doesn't last 6 months, it should be okay from CbB's standpoint?

Regarding reducing exposure to hackers and lightning bolts (which left your DAW alone both times it looks like), it's true that no connection at all is the best protection against threats to both hardware and software. But there are many other steps that can be taken to ensure safety, and those threats are rare, despite the amount of attention viruses and malware and all that gets on the news. Get good lightning protection for your electronics, get a good malware solution (more importantly, use best practices on your computer) and you'll be fine. Or only plug your computer in for 10 minutes on a clear sunny day every 3 months and Cakewalk will still be happy and your system not at risk.

BandLab is an online company. They seem to be really good folks, but I don't think they are likely to do much more to accommodate people who can't or won't get online. It's a free subscription model and probably going to stay that way.

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2 hours ago, marled said:

in some cases I have nasty clicks (even visual when zooming in). Maybe it is caused by Windows 1903, but I have to do additional research!

It sounds exactly like what was happening with my system right after the 1903 update, but I thought it was solved by patches long ago. The guy, Pete Brown from Microsoft who posts here sent us a link to the Hotfix that cured it. I shall Google it on your behalf....

Yes. I remember now. 1903 was a strange one. The first computer to get the update was the oldest one I own, a Gateway-branded Core 2 Quad (still runs CbB just fine). Then I manually checked my i5 Dell Inspiron notebook and upgraded it. All seemed to go well in both cases, but on my main system, the Dell that I do my DAW and video work on, I think the deal was that Microsoft had a notice in the updates page in Settings saying that my system wasn't "ready" for the update and that I'd have to wait.

Then when they finally let install, Cakewalk started going snap, crackle, pop. Mostly on screen events like moving windows and the like. Pete posted the link to KB4505903 but that was back in August. Sometimes it will take a while for Windows 10 to suck down all the updates and hotfixes after a major update, so maybe if you wait a couple of days and plug it back in and force it to check for updates you'll get a round of hotfixes.

When you do a WINVER, what is the OS build number it gives you? I'm at 18362.418.

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8 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

I don't know if you know, but if going back to earlier versions is important, Steve Cook has a utility that lets you archive and switch CbB versions. I keep a few by using the trick of copying and renaming my Cakewalk Core folder before I let BA do the update.

@marled I was just going to tell you about that very same tool made by scook!

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