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Precision Tools for Audio Professionals


USB and Windows 7


Modern computer systems are designed to use as little energy as possible. However, this is often at the cost of the computer’s overall performance, making it more likely to experience audio dropouts.

Basically anything the computer thinks is not being used will be put to sleep after a certain period of time, including the USB ports. As luck would have it, this usually occurs just before the start of a show, or halfway through a recording! The following fixes should be tried to eradicate such energy-saving related performance problems.

First of all, let's look at the USB ports in Win 7, which seem to be getting automatically turned off earlier and earlier in each successive Windows OS:


  1. Open the Device Manager (Start > Control Panel > System and Security > System > Device Manager)
  2. In the Universal Serial Bus controllers section, right click each USB Root Hub
  3. Choose Properties > Power Management and untick the box next to Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power option.
  4. Do this for each USB Root Hub



  1. Go to Start > Control Panel > System and Security > Power Options.
  2. Set the Power Scheme to High Performance (if this setting is not available, click on Show additional plans first).
    Then click on Change plan settings.
  3. On the next page set both Turn off the display and Put the computer to sleep to Never.
  4. Then click Change advanced power settings. In the window that opens make sure you have the following settings:
  5. Hard disk > Turn off hard disk after > Setting (Minutes) = Never
  6. Sleep > Sleep after > Setting (Minutes) = Never
  7. USB settings > USB selective suspend setting > Setting = Disabled
  8. Display > Turn off display after > Setting (Minutes) = Never
  9. Processor power management > Minimum processor state > Setting = 100%
  10. Processor power management > Maximum processor state > Setting = 100%


Please Note:

Many laptop manufacturers install a proprietary application that takes over the control of the energy settings of the CPU and other computer components, especially on battery settings. As a result the energy settings you might make in the Windows General Power Fixes above may not be effective on all settings.

Disable any such application first, and then test if the settings described in the previous section (General Power Fixes) solve the performance issues you experience.

Click Here for the ARX USB Knowledge Base

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