Windows MIDI Bug: Undefined External Error [renamed and solved]

Hey gals and guys … maybe you can point me to the right direction to resolve the following weird MIDI issue.

Setup: Win 10 notebook with NI Komplete Audio 6 interface


  1. The interface is recognised by Windows.
  2. Audio in/out of the interface is functional.
  3. MIDI (5pin DIN) in/out is not recognised by various tools like MIDI-Ox, C6, etc. and a DAW. (didn’t check everything on the machine, though).
  4. BUT … MIDI (5pin DIN) is recognised by Ableton Live (9.7) and fully functional in Ableton.

Some analysis:

  1. I have checked and reinstalled the up-to-date driver for the interface, but that didn’t help.
  2. I have checked the interface on a second similar Win 10 notebook and it was fully functional.
  3. I have checked on the internet, but didn’t find something, which would fit to my description.

Big question mark, here.

Since I have worked on Ableton over the recent months, I might have installed or initiated something on that machine, which went under the radar. I am sure, I am missing something.

Thank you for any suggestions or ideas, which will be highly appreciated :smiley:

You’re not trying to use MIDI-Ox etc on the same port while Live is open are you? Windows default MIDI driver is not multi-client.

If not, go to device manager and view hidden devices, you may have a ton of duplicate/ghost MIDI devices in Sound, Video, Game controllers that you can remove (do not tick the remove driver option unless you’re sure of what you’re doing). Some software will only read the first X amount of MIDI devices so this can sometimes alleviate such issues.

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Thanks, unfortunately I was not successful …

Your advice made me to install and use the “Uninstall KORG USB-MIDI-Driver” tool first. After it’s start it marked some midi-drivers to be “corrupted”. I killed those and also with your method some others. Since I use this notebook for music application only, there were not too much devices in the list. I deinstalled/reinstalled the NI-driver, rebooted the system, but the problem is not solved.

Recently I got Ableton to work with touchAble running on my iPad. Great app! But maybe the Windows part did more then only get MIDI via WLAN? I have to check this :wink:

when you say [quote=“SoundRider, post:1, topic:44181”]
MIDI (5pin DIN) in/out is not recognised by various tools like MIDI-Ox, C6, etc. and a DAW. (didn’t check everything on the machine, though).

what do you mean by “not recognized”? does it appear in the list of devices and just not work - or is it not even in the list of devices?

I never suggested you do that. :slight_smile:

Do you have any other process holding the MIDI port open? As I said, you cannot share ports between multiple programs unless you have a vendor specific multi-client driver (most do not do this).

It’s in the list of devices.

Example, if I open any of my MIDI-capable apps, the interface ports show up. But if I try to activate and use them, I get an error message, telling me, that the in and out of this device is not available or has generated an “unknown error”. Or it simply doesn’t work … with the exception of Ableton.

That makes me scratching my head for some days now :frowning:

Of course you didn’t, :wink:

and I think you are right with your idea that something is blocking the port. Your post recalled a similar issue long ago. The Korg tool allowed me to show all “installed” or “corrupted” drivers and to deinstall them. After that treatment that issue was gone.

Do you know about a tool to inspect, what Windows is doing with midi ports backstage?

if it says input/output not available… it might mean that that software thinks its already “in use by another application” or something like that

if it still works in ableton, then it might be something related to that

you said you installed touchable for windows - i have that, and i know it installs a server application for wireless MIDI connections… maybe its that server thing running in the background? you should check your taskbar to see if its running… or maybe just uninstall the whole thing for a bit and see if MIDI starts working again in other programs

Yup the touchAble daemon would be a good start alongside anything like midimux etc if you use those apps.

Yep, I deinstalled this server yesterday too.

I am sure that you and @hellcore are right about the blocking of this port.

Maybe the deinstallation left something un-uninstalled … if this makes any sense :wink:

Check Start-up tab of Task Manager, check services list for anything that looks related.

That’s a good idea … I will do it now. We will get that little critter … :smiley:

I have searched the sevices … well, I have to do it again. Not easy to find the correct entry. It’s not calling to me “hey, look, here, that’s me” … :wink:

Thank you all for your advice … I will report back soon.

Hi guys … just an update … maybe it’s of some interest :smiley:

First … problem is not solved BUT

  1. after updating to Ableton Live from 9.7 to 9.7.4 my second DAW, SONAR, is having MIDI via my interface again.
  2. C6 and MIDI-OX still report “errors” and can’t find the in/out ports
  3. I haven’t tested more MIDI-utilities so far

I tried to find a Deamon of the touchAble software, but couldn’t find it. It seems that the server, which is installed, has no default automatic start behaviour. I have to start the server manually and hereafter the service appears in the Windows “services”. If I close the server via the little tray icon, the service is terminated too. I guess, this particular server could be unblamable.

This said, I have de-installed touchAble and other MIDI utilities and drivers, just to get something like an almost clean system.

There was one hint at Microsoft-web, where a user reported exactly the same error and the answer was that this could be a corrupted user profile, well, checked this, wasn’t it either.

Could it be that my MIDI utilities just aren’t compatible with one of the latest Windows updates? I will keep trying to get this solved, but I am glad that at least my two major DAWs are operative now.

Thank you very much for your help … and if you have any further suggestions I would be happy to follow your advice again.

Finally … I could find and apply a method to have midi on my Windows computer again … thanks to the web :heart_eyes:

Long story short … after tinkering by myself for much too long, I took some time to research the web thoroughly.

  1. The “Undefined External Error”, which MIDI-OX is reporting on Windows systems, is an issue, which pops up every now an then. Everything hints at a bug in Windows, which has not been addressed since ages. One of the first error reports, which I found, was dated back in 2008. Microsoft seems to be quite uninterested to correct this annoyance.
  2. The inability to listen and talk to midi-devices can appear out of the nothing, well something must have been changed, but it seems not to be something done by the user intentionally. I had this issue, after a new Win 10 update had been installed … automatically …
  3. There is a method, which can correct the problem. It seems to work since Windows 7 (or earlier) and worked for me at Windows 10 as well: A particular registry-key has to be amended by an additional value. All very cryptically, but it works.

For anybody, who is interested or in need to fix this issue, here is a link and short description (in case the link get’s broken) …

Fixing an “Undefined External Error” in MIDI-OX
If you receive an undefined external error like this in MIDI-OX after selecting your controller and clicking OK in the MIDI-OX setup, try the following these steps to resolve the error.
DISCLAIMER: These steps require that you modify the windows registry. You should only do this if you understand that modifying registry keys other than the one specified below could cause irreversible damage to your system. Please read the instructions carefully and do not edit any other values inside regedit, unless you know what you are doing. Additionally, please remember to close MIDI-OX before proceeding with the steps below.
You may also wish to make a manual back-up of your registry, via steps provided by Microsoft here.

The Basics:

The Microsoft Registry Editor (regedit.exe) enables you to view, search for, and change settings in your system registry, which contains information about how your computer runs and interacts with hardware.
Different devices have different Globally Unique Identifiers (GUID). The GUID is a unique key consisting of letters and numbers used to locate a specific devices registry entries. The key we are using later in this article is a GUID for various audio and video devices.

The entry we will add to this key gives access to another driver to help your operating system communicate with your MIDI device.
Steps to follow:

1.    Hold down Windows key and press the letter "R". This will open the Run window. Type in "regedit" and press enter to open the Registry Editor.

2.    Press CTRL + F on the keyboard to open the search window. Copy and paste the following key in the “Find what” field, Ensure that there are no spaces leading or following the key: 4D36E96C-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318

3.    You can confirm that the search has located the correct key because the "(Default)" value shows as "Sound, video and game controllers" (however it may also show as "Value not set"), also the "Class" will show as "MEDIA". If you haven't located the correct key, do not change any entries.

4.    Right-click in the right hand pane in the blank space underneath the data and select "New" >  select "Multi-String Value".

5.    Right-Click on "New Value" and select "Rename". Type in: UpperFilters  (case-sensitive, all 1 word).

6.    Next, double-click UpperFilters and under "Value data:" type in: ksthunk (case-sensitive, all 1 word). Now click OK.

7.    Click File > Exit to close the Registry Editor. Disconnect, then re-connect your MIDI device to the software again.