Octatrack stuck in Demo Mode


I just got a used Octatrack MKII some days ago and am very unhappy to not being able to get it working really.
When I first turned it on, it said insert Flash Card. When I did this, the Octatrack freezed. After restart, it showed the same behaviour.
So I read the manual and decided to try Demo Mode. I entered it via pushing [Yes] during boot and that worked fine. I had some fun with the Demo Mode and decided to get a card reader the next day to see if something is wrong with the CF card.
From there on I now never got out of the Demo Mode again.

I bought a Card Reader and the CF card seems to be fine, I formatted it to FAT 32.

  • When I start the unit with the card inserted, it freezes at the Demo Mode Screen (just before you get to the normal mode with all the menues etc.)
  • Midi upgrade to OS 1.31 didn’t change anything
  • Holding down [No] during bootup doesn’t help
  • Entering early startup menu works, Empty reset doesn’t help

I am out of ideas and a bit frustrated… would want to get started with this amazing device as soon as possible:)

I know about the two other threads, discussing the same issue, but they didn’t find a solution or didn’t post it.

Thank you for your help!

Why was the card not left in-situ you should be asking yourself that - unfortunately if people are not careful with how the card is inserted or what junk gets stuck on the card then it can lead to broken or bent pins

First suggestion is get a clear photo of your pins on the rear - post that here

The fact that the card is fine is encouraging (i.e. no pins stuck in that one), is it the original card though ? Share a description/picture of the card - if it’s not the original and it’s not in the box then it hints that the previous owner had to replace it - possibly because of issues - there’s no reason to ship it with the card out imho, the card acts as a guard and it should ideally be left well alone

Take it up with the seller if there’s an issue with those pins on the rear although I suppose they could say that you had damaged it when you inserted the card

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Thank you for the fast answer!
Some of the card reader’s pins are infact bend down. I hope this was not me… hard to tell. I was not super uncareful, neither super careful. Trying to repair this should be hard, I guess…

Indeed, there may only be one opportunity to salvage things, so do not rush or retry the card. Elektron support will give you the best advice, this will be something they are very familiar with


Thank you!

This morning I managed to solve the problem myself. If it can be of any help to someone, here is how:

I had three bent down pins. Very carefully I worked on them with a small screwdriver an a knife and managed to get them upright again. I made sure the top of the pins were perfectly in place again, because I couldn’t manage to get the whole pin straight (they were still crooked, like a banana).

I then tried to insert the Compact Flash card very very carefully and perfectly straight. I had to apply quite some pressure (I guess because the pins were crooked) and I rechecked several times if the pins were still upright, before it finally clicked into place.

I then booted into the Startup Menu and ran the Testmode. Finally it said “ATA: [OK]” and I booted normally. I still entered Demo Mode… But booting while holding [No] brought me to normal mode! That was it.

(so the “Stuck in Demo Mode”-problem could be solved by fixing the card reader and was in the first place probably caused by me uncarefully pressing the CF card into the OT…)

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Keep it in if it’s working and forget you have a card reader ! (i.e. use USB for transfers from now on)


If i were you i would invest in a brand new CF Card… Last thing you want is to lose your OT work…

Of course! I won’t take it out in near future, maybe never.

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run it past support anyway - I’m only speculating, but there may be redundant pins - so if it developed again, one brutal last resort workaround may be to get rid of the pins (if they were even redundant, unlikely) - on the other hand all pins may be required - either way, don’t force a card and carefully straighten them out again if they do look wonky or misaligned - so long as they go into the card they’ll probably stay in good shape - you can format the card on the machine if needed to - that way it ought to boot into normal mode

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Amazing work, the bent pins issue is notoriously hard to fix and costs a fortune to replace via support. Go buy a lottery ticket!

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Not just OT’s but cameras a few years back were notorious for the bent pin problem.



Oh cool, forgot about that, I even responded to that thread! Ty I’m away to recklessly eject and insert my CF card several times