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D8B Error Messages
 “System Error 43”,  “CMOS display type wrong” and “Memory Extraction Error” messages

A “System Error 43-Contact” message will appear in the VFD (vacuum fluorescent display) for the following reasons:

  • The console is in initial phase of console boot up.
  • When the console and the CPU are not communicating properly.
  • When the CPU is not responding due to a hardware failure.
  • During software installation (see Download Instructions).


  1. (a) Hard drive may not be detected by the motherboard. (b) Hard disk surface errors. (see Conditioning Your Hard Drive - .pdf, 118KB) (c) The hard disk is detected positively. In this case replace the hard disk to check if this is the case. If necessary try to recover as much a possible user data when the drive is attached to a PC with Norton Utilities or similar software, (see Virtual Labs) in case the user does not have a backup (which is not a good case – this is instructed clearly in the Owners’ Manual and therefore Mackie can not take any responsibility in case of data loss).
  2. Follow steps listed under “CMOS settings - BIOS Settings for 166Mhz (.pdf, 148 KB) or BIOS Settings for 300Mhz (.pdf, 162 KB) ” to reset the CMOS settings.

    Also see - D8B BIOS Quick Setting
  3. Other CMOS related problem. It could be necessary to turn off the d8b, remove the battery described in section “Battery backup” and reset the CMOS settings described in section 1).
  4. Installation of new software can only be achieved with a monitor and mouse or keyboard attached.  If an installer disk is inserted into the CPU without a monitor attached the user will only see the “Error 43” message and will miss the message on the monitor that says “Please click OK to proceed with the installation”.
  5. We have had one or two rare instances where an unusual monitor mouse and keyboard arrangement caused the d8b to not boot properly, resulting in the System Error 43 message appearing.  For example, one user had made his own extension leads for the mouse and keyboard, while another was trying to use a switching box to add two mouse and keyboard sets for different parts of the room.  Powered switching boxes such as the Belkin Switchview will work but passive switching boxes will not.

    See D8B Keyboard and Mouse.
  6. Please remember that the d8b IS NOT A STANDARD PC – it has its own operating system and does not claim to support a large range of external mouse, keyboard and screen combinations. If in doubt try booting the desk with standard peripherals attached and if everything works OK then the problem exists with the peripherals.
  7. If the problem still exists when rebooting the d8b then check the ribbon cable connectors inside the CPU that connect the data port to the motherboard (disconnect power first before reseating the cables).
  8. Hard disk flat-cable disconnected. In this case the hard disk is not detected which can be seen on the XVGA screen right after the moment the CPU is powered up. To freeze the screen when the information scrolls by, just insert a non-bootable diskette, for example disk 2 of the OS. Remove the disk afterwards (disconnect power first before reseating the cables).
  9. Complete hard disk failure. (see Conditioning Your Hard Drive - .pdf, 118KB)
  10. Make sure the data cable is connected between the CPU and the console.  If it is already connected then disconnect and reconnect at both ends (called reseating). Make sure the screws are tight to ensure good contact. If necessary exchange the cable. The cable could be exchanged with a 25 pin modem-cable, so male to female and 1:1 pin connections. This cable can be found at any local computer hardware store.
  11. Fried CPU motherboard or other cards in the CPU. Last but not least this is a possible cause. This is typical when nothing is shown on the XVGA screen when the CPU is powered up. Replace the defective piece of hardware.

See Mackie Authorized Service Center Locator.

 “Control surface not responding” and “Cannot locate DSP card” error messages.

These error messages can be caused by a variety of circumstances but are almost never caused by a hardware failure in the console.


1.      For “Control surface not responding” message:

  • Clock sources that are connected to the clock I/O card, main digital I/O card or a DIO card and are powered on before the d8b may be sending clock information to the d8b during boot up and can interrupt the boot sequence causing these error messages to appear. Turn off each external device and re-boot the console first.
  • Follow the same troubleshooting procedures listed for the “system error 43” message.
  • If the error message still exists, remove all DIO.8, OPT.8, PDI.8 or AIO.8 cards in the console (including the main digital I/O) and re-boot the console. If the console boots up normally without the cards, turn off the console and reinstall the cards one at a time until the error message re-occurs. Replace the defective card.
  • If these suggestions do not resolve the problem see - See Mackie Authorized Service Center Locator.

2.      For: “Cannot locate DSP card” message.

  • Try the same suggestions listed above for the “Control surface not responding message”.
  • The hard drive could be defective. (You can try to check if the drive is spinning but you must remove the CPU chassis top first.)
  • The DSP card in the console could be defective.
  • Try to determine which piece is at fault, the console or the CPU. Try connecting the console to another CPU to see if the results are the same. If this is not an option you may have to exchange both the Console and CPU.

See Mackie Authorized Service Center Locator.

 Read floppy error messages

Occasionally a floppy disk or downloaded file may become corrupted causing a “read floppy error” message to appear on the d8b monitor. Always use floppies that are in very good condition.


  1. If the file is from an original floppy disk (from Mackie) then it is necessary to obtain a new set of disks or download the OS from the website.
  2. If the file has just been downloaded from the website then make another disk image of that same file on a new floppy disk.  Typically this will solve the problem. Also, if using a Macintosh computer make sure to use Disk Copy v6.3.3 (or higher) of Stuffit Expander.
  3. If the read floppy error message still appears after using a new floppy disk then it is very likely the file has been corrupted during the download process. Download the file again.

See Mackie Authorized Service Center Locator.

 Error 43 - "DSP Control Card Not Ready"

his error is generally caused by a missing or bad connection in the DATA cable or sync card.  It is almost never caused by a hardware failure.

Check the DATA cable between the console and CPU.  Make sure it is connected to the correct port (Console DATA).

Reseat the sync card.  If they have the Apogee clock I/O and this doesn’t help, put the original sync card back in.

Reseat/Remove the I/O cards.

See Mackie Authorized Service Center Locator.

 Check Sum Error

This error is memory related. Usually, this error occurs when the physical RAM memory (.pdf, 64 KB) is different from the BIOS/CMOS last know state. It is likely that the physical memory has been modified (upgraded) and when the CPU is booted, the BIOS is expecting the previous RAM value but does not see it. Rebooting will usually fix the problem, but sometimes it is necessary to enter the mother board BIOS and set the CMOS to scan the RAM upon boot. Once the RAM has scanned (counted) you can go back and disable this option. All righty then.

See Mackie Authorized Service Center Locator.


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