Windows Kontrol S4 MK2 + Maschine Studio Users Left Stranded By New OS Update

Have a big gig this weekend that you’re performing at? If you’re using a Traktor Kontrol S4 MK2, Maschine Sstudio, or a Komplete Kontrol S-Keyboard in your setup and running Windows machine, you might have a big issue on your hands if the latest update was installed. Keep reading for details.

tl;dr: turn off autoupdating features on every computer you rely on for performance. 

Windows’ Latest Updates (10, 8, 7) All Cause Issues

It is incredibly rare for Native Instruments to use their mass list serve that goes out to all registered hardware users of a certain type, but this morning NI sounded the alarm and sent out warnings. With the latest builds of all modern Windows OS versions (10, 8 and 7), a bunch of NI hardware is completely unrecognized.

Here’s what NI said in their email:

We are currently investigating an issue that affects our TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 Mk2, MASCHINE STUDIO, and all KOMPLETE KONTROL S-Series Mk1 hardware. Following the latest updates to Microsoft Windows 7, 8, and 10, these controllers are no longer recognized.

The issue was introduced in the most recent Windows update. We are in contact with Microsoft to try to narrow down the cause and find possible solutions. Until there’s a permanent fix, you’ll need to roll Windows back to the previous version in order to keep using your hardware.

What’s interesting is that such a small select group of hardware (not every NI product) was impacted. But they all were released roughly in the same time period – so we are guessing there’s something fundamental that Windows is blocking with this generation of hardware. One user in the NI forums speculates, “They released this as a security update, so probably they consider certain kind of communication over USB, where the device has probably direct access to memory as vulnerability.”

Users are getting frustrated on the NI forums, sharing tips on rolling back their Windows versions. Ultimately, it sounds Native Instruments is working with Microsoft to escalate the issue, but a timeline for a fix is uncertain.

Looking to roll back your Windows install? NI made these useful support pages: 

Windows 10  |  Windows 8 | Windows 7

There’s also another complication for Windows 10 users: after a certain amount of time, updates become unremovable. DJ Klimax on the NI forums elaborates:

Unfortunately, with the default windows 10 setup you cannot remove windows updates once they’ve been loaded for more than 10 days (so if you’ve only just found this thread that probably applies to you). However, you should be able to restore to a system restore point created before the offending windows updates were installed.

Open file explorer, right click on ‘This PC’ and choose properties. the ‘Advanced System Settings’, ‘System Protection’ tab and then ‘System Restore.

I had a system restore point available for 22nd Feb, which for me was when the problem windows updates were loaded. As I only use the laptop for Traktor and hadn’t changed any apps or loaded any new files since the 22nd of Feb I went ahead and restored to this point.

If you do a system restore you will lose any changes made since the date of the restore point.

Have you been impacted by this Windows update and NI hardware not working?
Share your frustrations in the comments below.

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