Recently, I’ve been exploring Pro Tools First to learn the basics of processing and mix audio in a live setting.

I started off with Pro Tools First as I had some friends who were able to teach me the ropes. While the initial setup went smoothly, 1 week later, I started facing the error below which rendered Pro Tools TOTALLY unusable. Every time I tried to Create a new project, I would face the following Error:

Could not save as "0000" because Assertion in "d:\ code\ scm\ protools\ release\ 2020\ r2\ protools\ app\ document\ uprojectbundlemgr.cpp", line 1701.

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As a person that is very familiar with Windows, this error was strange for a few reasons:

  1. My D drive defintely DID NOT have such folders
  2. I didn’t even do anything in pro tools that might have caused pro tools to exhibit this error.

It took me 2 WEEKS to figure this out. All the other online guides did not help me, so today, I am sharing a potential new solution that might help you if you are using Windows 10!

How to Fix Assertion Error in Pro Tools/Pro Tools First in Windows 10

Disclaimer: As with any guides I post, If you follow this guide, you are at your own risk. Do not hold me accountable for lost data files, lost licenses/money, your animal dying right after following this guide (lol) or for anything else that might happen after. You’re on your own! But if you follow this guide to the letter, I’m pretty sure you’ll be safe.

There are a few things you can try if you face this Assertion Error:

Solution 1: Check your Audio Settings in Pro Tools.

  1. Ensure Pro Tools is closed. Then, click the Pro tools shortcut on your Start menu/Desktop.
  1. When the Pro Tools Splash screen appears, PRESS AND HOLD “N” on your keyboard
  2. Pro tools will ask you to select your playback device.
  3. Select a known good playback device, be it an ASIO hardware interface, or ASIO4ALL Driver. Then, set the appropriate sound playback settings if available. Then click “OK”.

4. If you are using ASIO4ALL, double check that the correct sound device has been selected. This can be done when pro tools is open and ASIO4ALL is selected as your playback device. A green arrow will be in your taskbar, which you can double click and check to ensure the correct sound output/inputs are selected.

If those steps didn’t work, here’s Solution 2!

Solution 2: Clear your System Preferences

You will need admin access to do this.

  1. Ensure Pro tools is CLOSED.
  2. Press “Ctrl + R” on your keyboard. Then, type %appdata% and hit OK.

3. The Appdata/Roaming Folder will appear. Click the View Tab, and tick the checkbox to show “hidden items

(WARNING: THREAD CAREFULLY when this checkbox is ON. Do not delete hidden files that you are not sure off when this checkbox is enabled! Hidden files are usually demarked by a transclucent icon. Some hidden files are CRITICAL to the operating system/programs you use, and may cause windows/your apps/files to not work properly if the hidden files are deleted. You have been warned!)

4. Open the Avid folder, and delete the Pro Tools folder.

5. Repeat step 2 above, this time, deselecting the checkbox for “Hidden items” (Trust me, you don’t want to delete the wrong files in future by mistake, lol)

6. Restart your computer and try to launch Pro Tools.

Solution 3: #TECHWITHAARON ORIGINAL SOLUTION- Reinstall the Visual Studio 2012 Runtime!

This solution was discovered by me – No one else on Google search covered this before. After attempting TONS of other troubleshooting steps that didn’t work for me (including using uninstaller apps, checkdisk, and even scouring through the computer to delete everything pro tools related and trying again), I realized that I had an issue with another seemingly unrelated app that refused to open.

This other application would totally refuse to open, and Instead, tell me this:

msvcp110.dll is missing from your computer. 

Then I had a brainwave moment: What if Pro Tools depended on the same file, which is caused the assertion error that I was facing? Perhaps Pro Tools was just bad at giving helpful clues to what was missing and causing it to be unable to run

I did some research, and realized this “msvcp110.dll” file was from the latest Visual Studio Runtime. This Runtime is actually pretty important as certain apps are built based on it, and this runtime needs to be in 100% working condition for your computer to run certain apps properly.

So Here’s how you can install it.

WARNING: ALWAYS, ONLY download and install these types of runtimes from a trusted source like Microsoft’s (Which I am linking you to below!)

Steps:

  1. Head to this website and download “Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2012 Update 4”
  2. Select your language, press download
  3. Download the appropriate runtime for your computer. If your computer is AMD/Intel based and built in the last 7 years, you can try the “VSU_4\vsredist_x64.exe” file first (this file is meant for 64-bit Windows Installations)

4. Run the installer, and press “REPAIR”. When the repair is complete click okay and complete the installation.

5. Restart your computer.

6. Try to open Pro tools again! If this was the cause of your problem, Pro tools should now be able to open and create new project files! YAY!

Happy? Like my Facebook page so you can receive more useful tech news and tips like these 😉

Now, if you were wondering….

What caused this issue?

If solution 3 Helped you, chances are that this file ( msvcp110.dll ) somehow got corrupted while pro tools was running in your previous session. Alternatively, it could have been a corrupted windows update/program install that caused this DLL file to be overwritten, which caused pro tools to not be able to launch, just because of this missing runtime file.

AVID, If you are reading this…

PLEASE UPDATE PRO TOOLS/PRO TOOLS FIRST TO GIVE MORE INFORMATIVE ERROR MESSAGES AND SOLUTIONS. Especially in this case, Your error message was almost as useful as wet toilet paper – not useful at all…. 🤣

Also it would be nice if you could bless me with a full perpetual version of pro tools for this discovery. Contact me via my facebook page or the email on my about #techwithaaron” page if you’d like to do that, because I’m sure this discovery will resolve a number of user’s complaints and they will buy your full version in time to come, thus bringing you revenue 😀

Erm…HELP! Your Special Solution Didn’t help me…

Oh man. In this case, I can only help you by showing you a few more alternative solutions you can try (although they didn’t work for me). But who knows? Based on my logic, these solutions below might help some users. I will continue adding a few when I have the time:

Solution 4: Use Revo Uninstaller

  1. Download and install Revo Uninstaller (it’s free and works really well. Very useful software in my arsenal for YEARS)
  2. Fully Uninstall everything AVID/Pro Tools Related – That includes AIR XPAND 2, AVID Link, Etc. If you have a pro tools license, please deactivate that license FIRST (if you can)!
  3. After each uninstall, use Revo uninstaller’s Moderate or Aggressive scanning to pick out pro tools files. Delete these files and registry keys. (WARNING: YOU MIGHT LOSE YOUR SAVED FILES BY DOING THIS. PLEASE BACKUP FIRST)
  4. Then, Restart your computer and try a reinstall. Cross your fingers and hope that works

Solution 5: Create a new local user Account on your computer

According to a friend, creating a new user account can sometimes give windows a clean place to start. Unfortunately, that didn’t help me, but it might be worth a shot in your case. Please follow Solution 4 above, first, then follow the instructions on this guide to create a new user account *WITH ADMIN PRIVILLEDGES*.

Solution 6: run an SFC Check (with DISM)

It is possible that your windows 10 installation has gone awry, causing the app to be unable to open as well. Please try Microsoft’s guide here to see if a system repair will resolve the issue with Pro tools. You never know, I have faced strange issues with apps that only went away after an SFC check!

If SFC tells you that some files could not be repaired, You might need to run the SFC command again for another 3-4 times for the repair process to be complete . In some cases, Windows needs to repair files that were tampered/damaged in stages. If you have tried doing this and the issue still does not resolve, please restart your computer and run DISM/SFC command line codes again

If you have any other potential solutions for the Assertion error, do drop them in the comments below. Let’s build the best guide against weird assertion errors on Pro Tools!

#TechWithAaron Signing off 🙂

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