Resolving audio performance issues when using boot camp on a Mac

It should be noted that using BootCamp configurations is not officially supported. The following is advice in order to configure your system as adequately as possible when using this configuration.

If you are experiencing performance problems with your FireWire interface when running it on Windows via boot camp on a Mac, you should perform the following steps to help improve performance. Please note that, due to the nature of Boot camp, in some circumstances these may not entirely resolve your performance issues.

Optimise your Windows for audio
- If you are using Windows XP, follow the article here. (Please note: it is very important that you install the FireWire hotfix for your service pack. If on SP 2, make sure to perform the registry edit as instructed)
- If you are using Windows Vista, follow the article here.
- If you are using Windows 7, follow the article here.

Disable “kbdmgr.exe”
“kbdmgr.exe” is the Apple Boot Camp software that allows touch commands with the trackpad and control of volume and brightness via your Mac's keyboard. It has been found to cause severe problems with audio performance and should therefore be disabled to allow good audio performance.

To do this:
- Select “run” from your start menu
- Type “msconfig” and press OK

- Navigate to the Startup tab
- Untick “kbdmgr” to disable it

- Restart your computer

Please note: this will prevent trackpad touch commands and keyboard control over volume and brightness from working. To have control over this, you will need to re-enable kbdMgr.

Disable graphics card features
The graphics card drivers have been found to interfere with FireWire audio performance when using boot camp. To help reduce this problem:

Disable graphics write combining by:
- Right-clicking on your desktop and selecting properties>Settings>Advanced>Troubleshooting
- Unticking “Enable Write Combining”

Disable NVIDIA PowerMizer by:
- Right-clicking on your desktop and selecting properties>Settings>Advanced>GeForce 8600M GT>Mobile>Change PoweMizer Settings
- Selecting “Not manage my power consumption (Disable PowerMizer)”

Please note: These steps depend on the model of your graphics card. If the above menu options are not available then these steps do not to apply your graphics card and you should move onto the next step.

Disable other conflicting hardware
Some of hardware in your Mac can cause conflicts that reduce the audio performance of your FireWire device when using boot camp. To help prevent this, open the device manager and disable (by right-clicking and selecting disable) your:
- Wireless adapter (This is the most likely to cause problems)
- Network adapter
- Internal sound card
- Laptop battery
- Bluetooth adapter

Please note: You may find that you can achieve sufficient audio performance without disabling all of the above. Try adding one disabled device at a time to see how performance improves with each disabled hardware.

Check your FireWire adapter/cable
If you are having connection problems and can't pass audio at all on both Mac OS X and Windows, and are using a FireWire 800, it is likely that there could be problems with your FireWire adapter/cable. See the article here to find an adapter that we have found to work well.

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