Pro Tools Unable To Locate Hardware [FIXED]

If you’re a die-hard Pro Tools user like me, you’ve probably encountered many errors. The ‘unable to locate hardware’ error is no different and isn’t something to be afraid of, and by following this guide, you’ll be able to get rid of it in a few minutes.

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What happens is that Pro Tools sometimes does not register the hardware you are using, this could include your speakers or any other audio playback devices, as well as your audio interface. The error may also show up if you are using an internal sound card. All you need to do is update your drivers, either ASIO4ALL or the specific interface/hardware drivers and the error will go away.

Because of the use cases described above, there can be two ways to accomplish the fix. The steps are pretty straightforward, the first step is to check if your devices are registered with Windows properly and the next is to manually update the drivers to the latest configuration.

pro tools - unable to locate hardware

A Quick Physical Check

First, let us start by physically checking if our hardware is connected. Sometimes it could be a loose USB port connection that is causing the issue. Disconnect your device from the USB port and try to plug it in somewhere else. This will help you understand whether you need to proceed further or stop here.

If you are still facing the issue, remove the device from the USB port and connect it via an alternative USB port on your system. This will prompt you to re-install the device, which shouldn’t take much time.

Since most devices are plug-and-play, switching the USB ports will initiate the device installing mode, re-installing the device on your PC/Laptop. If you got an installation CD with your device, you might also need to use that to install the device with the drivers.

If you are still facing issues, then follow the below-mentioned steps.

pro tools - device manager
  • Right-click on the Windows icon on your desktop to see the context menu. Go upwards and Click on “Device Manager.”
pro tools - device manager
  • Scroll down to find the “Sound, video, and game controllers option.”
pro tools - device manager
  • You can see all the sound and audio devices connected to your PC/Laptop. If you fail to see the audio devices you are looking for, right-click and select “Scan for hardware changes.”
  • This will prompt your PC/Laptop to scan for new devices installed on your system.
  • Once the scan is complete, the drivers will be registered in your computer system and ready to use.

What if the drivers are installed, but the issue persists?

Now you must be thinking, I have the drivers installed on my machine, but I’m still getting the issue? WHat’s going on? Well, this could mean that you are facing an outdated driver issue. Windows is constantly updating its drivers, and you need to keep up with the times. Most often than not, Windows automatically updates the drivers, but sometimes you may have to do it yourself.

How do I know that there is an issue with the driver?

Windows has made it quite simple to know if your driver has an issue or not. Simply look at the side of your drive. If you have something like an exclamation mark on it or a question mark, you will know there is an issue with the drive.

How to fix driver issues?

  • Right-click on the drive with the issue icon.
  • Click on the update drive.

This will prompt your PC/Laptop to download the latest drivers or updates for the particular drive.

ALWAYS KEEP IN MIND: Once you update or install a new drive on your PC/Laptop. Restart your system to take effect in the best way possible. Do not try to start using the software without restarting.

When you restart your system, it re-registers all the drivers installed on your system. This includes all the recent updates. This would help solve the issue if you were previously using outdated drives.

Check your ASIO4ALL drivers

Every DAW requires ASIO drivers. This is what connects the software to the hardware. It is also responsible for low latency between software and device. In short, this is a significant driver to have. If your PC/Laptop does not have this software, then do not worry. You can download the latest version from the official website and do it yourself. Most Pro Tool users like me have faced this issue while using Pro Tools for the first time.

How to download ASIO4ALL?

  • Go to the official
  • Search for the latest drivers in the download section.
  • Click on download.
  • Find the .exe file in your downloads folder and install the drivers.

Configuring your DAW and interface hardware using ASIO4ALL

pro tools - asio for all

Once ASIO4ALL is installed on your system, you’ll need to set up your interface so you can receive audio while working with your DAW with the least possible delay.

To do this, you must start your ASIO4ALL Offline Settings and choose your interface from the drop-down menu. Your DAW’s default playback device should be ASIO4ALL.

  • Open ASIO4ALL Offline Settings that you will find on your desktop or your Start Menu.
  • Play around with the settings to have it look like the image above.
  • Select ASIO4ALL as the input/playback device in your DAW’s input/playback settings menu. The DAW settings menu is shown below.

Once you have installed the driver and changed the settings to suit your needs, you can open Pro Tools and check to see if the hardware issue is still there. In 9 out of 10 cases, it is always the missing drivers that cause the issue.


I hope this article has shed some light on the issue and helped you resolve it. Pro Tools is not that complicated, but like any other DAW, there can be roadblocks from time to time. Luckily, you can always troubleshoot and identify the root cause, and with a few simple steps resolve most errors.

As long as you have your drivers updated, the unable to locate hardware error will not show up. It’s common for drivers to get messed up during updates, or sometimes there’s just a new version out there that is better than what you currently have installed. So always keep your drivers in check and you’ll be free from all hardware issues!

Allan K.