Video Cards which are Incompatible with JAWS

Before you invest in a new machine, check the following link on the Freedom Scientific website that lists certain video cards that, at this time at least, simply will not work with JAWS for Windows. Note that the low-priced Dell machines often seem to use these cards. Also remember that things change quickly so the information at the Freedom Scientific link below may be updated soon.

Recently, Dancing Dots has begun to offer our own desktop systems which are optimized for JAWS and use with products like SONAR and Sibelius. We know that the video cards, soundcards and other components will work just fine with JAWS and the mainstream software we provide. The majority of our tech support calls tend to be to resolve hardware conflicts caused by such third-party devices which our customer did not purchase from us. We will soon get some specifics onto our website but if you are in the market for a new system, please E-mail to or call us for details.

We have not yet been able to find a laptop system which we feel comfortable recommending for such use. If you have a laptop that you use with JAWS, SONAR and/or Sibelius which you like a lot, please reply here and give the specifics.

Windows XP Service Pack 2

Check out this interesting discussion thread:

Part 1:

Hello everyone.

I was contemplating installing this new update on my studio computer until I found this post on a Satellite broadband forum! I have installed it on my wife's machine without a glitch, but she does not do any music related work. I also installed it successfully on my Dell laptop with no problems. On the laptop, I have Sonar 3 and Sound Forge 7, but I have not had the time to test everything! Specially the Waves plug ins.

Considering the post below, I think I'll be doing much more research and testing before I go through with this update!

Pasted Post below...

Busted a bunch of things for me I installed it on several consumer PCs in my service business with no problems whatsoever. THEN came hair-pulling distress. I also run a recording studio and audio restoration/CD Mastering operation. Installed it on one of our studio machines and every single audio editing and mastering app was busted. ANY click whatsoever would yield spontaneous reboot and/or BSOD. We think we have it tracked down to extreme incompatibility with the Digidesign hardware drivers for Pro Tools, and the Waves/Sony/Sonic Foundry (and a lot of others) DirectX plugins. SP2 won't play nice with any of them. Digidesign and Sony are recommending that ppl stick with SP1, and thus far, have no plans to make their apps/utilities compatible. Fortunately, SP2 did uninstall "sort of" cleanly. I only had to re-install about 8 or 10 things again to get them to work. I'm still having issues with DVD-related video codecs hanging up, though.

Part 2:

More on Sp 2 and Sonar

Here's what I found on Sonar 3 and earlier concerning the installation of Windows XP SP2! At least there seem to be a way around the problem...

Post follows...

Topic: XP SP2 - info from Cakewalk



Here is some information on the use of SONAR 3 (or earlier versions) with XP SP 2.

SP2 adds a security feature called Data execution prevention (DEP) aka 'NX memory' (NX = no execute). The idea is that viruses often enter a computer by coming in via a data buffer, and then injecting code into the data buffer and running that code. SP2 locks that down by only allowing true code pages to be run.

On later model AMD chips (the AMD 64 in particular), NX has hardware support. The chip itself will trigger an exception if a virus tries to run in data memory.

SONAR 3's (and earlier generations) mix engine uses self-generating/modifying code, which is equivalent to code running in data memory. After installing SP2, running SONAR may cause XP to warn about a Windows security problem.

To prevent XP stopping SONAR, go to the system control panel and find the tab where DEP is configured. In there you are allowed to specify applications for which NX can be shut off. If you are using SONAR 3 you will need to add SONARPDR.EXE or SONARSTD.EXE to the list. Choose the appropriate name for the executable file.

You may also configure this via the warning dialog box that XP displays when a it detects DEP. Click Advanced in that dialog to get to the DEP configuration and set it as described above. For more detailed instructions, click the link below and scroll to the bottom of the page.

For more information on the DEP feature in XP SP2 refer to the following Microsoft link:

Detailed description of the data execution prevention feature in Windows XP SP2

Part 3:


The guy at M-Audio tech support confirmed that their advice was not to install SP2 on any computer running their hardware until they have created drivers that will cope, but I'm afraid he had no time frame.

-----Original Message-----
Same here. I don't have a second computer, but I'll wait to install SP2. There will be workarounds. M-Audio and others will come up with them, if they haven't already.

At 08:44 AM 9/6/2004, you wrote:
Unfortunately, I don't have the budget for another PC right now, although it's on the shopping list. This has to be both my work and music PC for the moment, so I'm stuck until M-Audio update their drivers. The issue is apparently around USB and Firewire timing, according to a guy in a local store who's always given me good advice before.

-----Original Message-----
Just a suggestion about the SP2 situation. If your studio computers are not networked, and are not linked to the Internet, don't bother with SP2!

It's only significant improvements over original XP is it's security enhancements which do not apply if you aren't using the Net.

I would suggest that it might perhaps be a little foolish to have one's studio PC hooked up to the Web anyway! That's your whole career in that machine! You can pick up a really basic PC off the shelf for a couple of hundred US dollars which you can use for Internet stuff!

I'm in the middle of trying to get funding for my post-production setup and midi-based project studio, and once I get that little lot, it isn't going anywhere near the Internet, and I'll either use 98 SE or XP home original!

Remember that a lot of people still swear by Windows 98 SE for studio work, and there's certainly nothing wrong with XP Home addition. It is the OS chosen by East West and quantum Leap, two of the biggest producers of super-high quality sample libraries in the world. I'd role back if I were you, cuz the changes MS have made are really only relevant to heavy Internet users.

Part 4:

There's absolutely nothing wrong with using your audio PC on the net. In fact, it's often very useful for getting updates, transferring audio files between studios, etc. Just disconnect, and turn off your antivirus program when you're recording. Don't get SP2! Just download critical patches from Windows Update. And don't ask Microsoft. They'll tell you SP2 is fine. Then when you have problems, they'll have no answers.

----- Original Message -----
Hi all,

Following reading a couple of messages that talked about peoples problems with Service Pack 2, and their audio software. I was just wanting to get some others thoughts on this. I know best practice is not to allow your audio box or Digital Audio Workstation, to connect to the internet. However, I find that I need to do this for several reasons. I mean example.

1. I like to download the mail from this list on to my audio machine, so I can quickly try out the hints and advice people offer. I mean it would be a real pain to have to remember what I'd read on my other machine then come to this one and try out all the instructions for using what ever I asked about.

2. Things need updating. I mean for example. Cake Talking has a internet update feature that allows you to check for updates. This uses its own update thing and downloads and updates itself internally. You don't actually download a .exe file and run it.

3. My other PC is knocking on a bit and is one of those small integrated jobs. Unfortunately it has no CD burner and only USB-1, so getting anything large off it is a real pain in the neck.

Right anyway to get to the point. I'm thinking of getting broad band and want to connect my audio machine with it as well. However, I don't want to install service pack 2 on this machine, due to all the problems some people have had. I really don't want to mess around with installing and uninstalling things to experiment. Time could be better spent creating right? So does anyone think this is a mad idea. I mean using my Audio machine on a broad band connection, with out service pack 2? Although I of course do have antivirus and anti trojan software.

This is probably straying off topic slightly so I intend to ask someone at Microsoft a similar question. Once I can find the email address for support or what ever they call it. Should I forward their reply on list if it's of any use? Or do people think this is to OT? OK. Thanks for any thoughts. If I had the wedge I'd go out and buy a PC just for surfing and general internet capering.

Part 5:

Hi all,

Yes, I tried installing SP2 and I'm not sure if it was because of SP2 or what, but it caused me to totally reformat my hard drive. Not fun at all, believe me! Needless to say, I haven't and will not try it again for at least some time. There is a way to block Windows Update from telling you that is a possible update. All in all, I have heard mixed feelings about SP2. Some say the installation was fine causing no problems, but others like myself have experienced problems. I guess it's all up to the individual.

Part 6:

Just a few tips for anyone venturing into Windows SP2 country. There are four golden rules for ensuring a smooth upgrade to SP2.

1) Make sure your virus scan software is up-to-date and the system scans totally clean.

2) Scan the system for Spyware using something like Spybot or Ad Aware. Spyware on systems is one of the major causes of SP2 upgrade failures.

3) Ensure that all your major software is ready for XP SP2. This has for example caught a number of Norton users. I also see that Sonar mentions SP2 in the FAQs.

4) Finally, create both a backup, and a System Restore point.

If you have any doubts whatsoever, do not proceed with the upgrade and seek professional advice.

Laptop for MIDI and Audio

1) Hi All, could anyone advise as to a particular laptop computer that would be suitable for doing MIDI and audio recording. 95% of its use will be for sequencing using Sonar and CakeTalking. I've got a quote on a Dell Latitude D800 with a 1.70 GHz processor, 40 GB hard drive and 512 MB or RAM. Is this configuration optimized for at least MIDI sequencing, or do I need more? The hard drive is a 5400 RPM drive. I thought that for audio, one needs something capable of 7200 RPM with a 5-7 second seek time. Is this correct for MIDI work as well, or is the basic Latitude D800 not suitable for any of the above? Any assistance that you could provide would be much appreciated. If you have upgrade suggestions, please include them in your reply. Thanks in advance.

2) Hi, I think the main thing is to make sure that you have at least a 60 gig hard drive and a CD/DVD burner. Plus a minimum of 512 ram, though a gig would be better. Also, Try to get a computer with out SP-2 as part of the OS. SP-2 doesn't work well with most audio drivers. For more info about the trouble with SP-2 check out Now, instead of the 1.70 GHz processor, I would want at least 2.4, however, the 5400 RPM drive is just fine. That's about as good as it gets with lap tops usually. If you are doing mostly MIDI you should be fine with the computer that you are looking at, however, You really need something more, like what I suggested above to do audio. Make sure that you have at least two FireWire ports as that is good for out board audio gear. Hope this helps.

3) Thanks, I'm thinking that it may be more practical to go with a mini tower desktop unit as they come basic with an 80 GB 7200RPM HD and a 2.8 GHz processor. Also, whereas the laptop started out at $1800, the desktop starts at around $1200. I'd still want to upgrade the RAM to at least 1 GB and add a secondary hard drive for storage. What are your thoughts?

4) That sounds better. You might want to think about getting one of the Delta cards for your Audio interface. They have upgraded their drivers, and now they are compatible with SP2. I haven't had any compatibility problems with it, anyway. Believe me, if anyone was going to have problems, I would. My computer acts strangely... It works just fine. It's just weird!

Service Pack 2 (again)

1) Hi, I see a lot of people are using there DAW's with Service Pack 2 installed. I haven't installed it yet, despite the fact I do on the internet with this machine occasionally. I do use a router with build in firewall etc. So just wondered if anyone else has service pack 2 running successfully with the following software and hardware:

Win XP Home
Delta 1010LT, with drivers from around Nov 2004
Sonar 2.2 XL
Soundforge 6.0
Goldwave V5.05
Waves Gold bundle
NI Absynth
JFW 4.51
JFW 5.0

I'm reluctant to install SP2 as I can't afford to upgrade all my software at the moment. But also as I have to use this box to go on the internet for email AV updates etc, I don't like having it exposed to all those nasties out there. Sorry for bringing this whole SP2 thing up again but just wanted to see what the current state of play was. Cheers.

2) I wouldn't worry about it either way. If your current machine doesn't have it, don't bother with it. My brother works for IBM, and all the employees have been told not to install SP2. On the other hand, if you buy a new computer with SP2, don't try to remove it unless you're having serious compatibility problems. If you are running spyware software and virus software, and other cleaning utilities and everything is working, I'd leave it be. I have heard reports of other folks who installed sp2 and it hosed something. This is typical of any major upgrade, it'll take some time for the smoke to clear, and manufacturers of software to write drivers and patches, and of course, some older things will be broken and fall off the curve. So you get the security center with add pop-up stopper, and a little better firewall and stuff, but if major government installations are holding off on xp2, then maybe we should at least for a while. I have had some detrimental results from installing sp2 on my Toshiba laptop, and went back to sp1. Six months from now, it'll probably all be good, but right now, I think if it isn't broke, don't fix it. Run AdAware SE, and Spybot Search & Destroy, and whatever virus program you have regularly, and keep your IE security settings high, disable any Active X stuff you don't need, and stay behind your router and you'll be ok. I know others will disagree on here, but when it comes to Microsoft and major updates, I've become rather conservative, we know the history don't we? Why be on the bleeding edge?