Traktor Crashes With Surface Books (or How I learned To Disable Stupid Power Settings)

Not quite the normal techy stuff I will probably write about, but it is another of my hobbies and since this is going to be more of a blog than anything else, I thought why not let it out on here.

Some of you who know me are aware of my DJ hobby and my obsession with house music and 90s Eurobeat. Whilst I have moved on a lot from my collection of badly encoded 128kbps MP3s (now they’re decently encoded 320kbps with some vinyls as well) not much else has changed.

Recently I’ve been asked to DJ at a couple of work parties and have really enjoyed playing those gigs. However, one issue I found was the system I use. Now don’t get me wrong, I really like Traktor as a piece of software and the Traktor Kontrol S8 I use alongside my turntables is a great piece of kit. However, since I switched from a Macbook Air to a Surface Pro, things haven’t been smooth sailing.

For a start, I started to get random crashes on the Surface Book. There didn’t seem to be a particularly good reason for it in my opinion. They were also kind of random. I tried everything I could think of. I moved my music from a USB stick to a powered hard drive, used a powered hub, I even tried to put it on the internal hard drive. Traktor still kept crashing. I think I managed to solve the problem now, though… I hope… Otherwise I’ll have to dig out the old Macbook and pray there’s enough hard drive space on there…

It seems that the Surface Book has a REALLY agressive power management system. So much so, in fact, that a lot of the power options you used to find in the settings have been hidden away. Gone were the High Performance and other settings. All that was left was “Balanced”… I suspected there might be some USB management settings screwing around, but there was nothing to change…

The Solution To My Problem… So Far…

Took me a while, bit I eventually stumbled upon something called “Connected Standby”. Apparently it’s some stupid new idea from Microsoft that tends to ruin the life of a DJ… For normal usage it’s fine, but when you’re using something requiring as near as damn it realtime audio and control, it tends to suck a little. IT basically allows the Surface to shut off devices willy-nilly to conserve power. In my case it was shutting off the hard drive and USB bus intermittently when not in use. Not normally a problem, but when you load a song into memory you might not access the drive for another few minutes at least. Especially not if you’re playing around with beats and have loaded a few tracks prior to juggle before selecting the next part of your set.

So we need to disable that…

  1. Click on the start icon or click in the search bar in the taskbar at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Type ‘regedit’ without the quotes and open up the Registry Editor.
  3. In the left directory tree, find:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Power
  4. In the panel on the right, double click CsEnabled and change the value from 1 to 0.
  5. Restart the computer and now you can access the more advanced power settings and power plans.

The only problem I’ve found is that if I re-enable the Connected Standby and reboot again, the extra power plans vanish again. So it’s a trade off… Long battery life, or more control… Having the DJ setup I have to sacrifice the nice long battery life… Maybe I should just dig out the old MacBook Air and use that solely for DJing… At least it’s a nice easy place to keep everything… We’ll see. Catch you later!

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