Digital Permormer Can’t Save After Hard-Drive Clone/Migration

NOTE: the following refers to DP 5.1 on a Mac with OS 10.4.11… If you have a different version of OS X or if you’re running an older version of DP, things might be a little different

After cloning my drive with Carbon Copy Cloner and migrating to the clone, I found that Digital Performer wasn’t able to save files! Error Says:

An Error occurred while writing to the disk. The file [name] was not saved. This file was created in a later version of Digital Performer and cannot be opened in this version. Try to save your file on another disk or folder, or with a different name.

Oh no!


A little digging found me these Instructions from MOTU but they are slightly incorrect, at least they were for me.

The fix is to delete an invisible file called Auth-DigitalPerformer 5.0 from your Hard Drive’s root directory.

If you’re not comfortable doing things in the Terminal, File Buddy is a great app for this sort of thing. It’s like a souped-up Finder allows you to work with invisible files and do all kinds of other advanced things with the stuff on your Mac. It’s a very useful program but it does cost like $40 bucks.

A free Applications that will get the job done just as well is called Visibility and it’s made by a company called Zevrix Solutions. Download it, install it, launch it, click on Show Invisible Files, the Finder will relaunch, then you will see the file called Auth-DigitalPerformer 5.0 in your Root directory. Trash it and DP should be happy again. Afterward you can use Visibility to put the Finder back to normal.

Do be really careful not to move or delete any of the other invisible files. They’re hidden from you for a reason.


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7 Replies to “Digital Permormer Can’t Save After Hard-Drive Clone/Migration”

  1. The good news was that I found only you when it came to this problem. The bad news was that the procedure, though it went as described, did not work for me.

    Agreed, you did say that the Leopard experience may be different, so maybe that’s it. I don’t know.

    Since the search engine in MOTU’s tech support doesn’t work, you can turn grey before anything comes up there. I can’t even guess how you got that article from them.

    In 10.5, incidentally, you can find invisible files through the “spotlight” search.

    Anyway, I still have the same problem.

  2. Gary,
    I just migrated to a new Leopard OSX 10.5 machine and my intitial try at what is described above didn’t work for me either
    I found out how to make it work at least for me:
    1. Delete the invisible file
    2. Start Computer up from Install Disk
    3. Repair Disk Permissions using Disk Utility
    4. That’s it.

    The point is you have to use Disk Utility from the install disk, not just from applications/utilities/ while OSX is running from you system hard drive.


  3. Well, I did that, too and the same error occurred but get this story:

    First I’ll tell you the ending: I’m up and running right now, and with little or no thanks to MOTU TS (which can mean either “tech support” or “tough …” well, you know.

    Anyway, take note of this. Once upon a time…

    I first checked files made under different situations (DP4 with Tiger, DP5 with Tiger, DP5 test files in Leopard both fresh and with old stuff imported).

    I found that only the DP5/Tiger files wouldn’t save and the DP5/Leopard files only screwed up when the stuff from the bad file were imported. So I isolated a few things and went after MOTU by dialing-to-death and catching them between busy signals (G-d forbid they should have a decent hold system).

    He couldn’t wait to get me off the phone and rushed me through the first good idea…turning off the audio by choosing “MIDI only.” Then we opened the file and no problem, so we figured “OK, corrupted audio files somwhere in the OSX transition from 4 to 5. Goodbye. Click.” So I deleted some audio files in there and now I could make changes and save without the “can’t save” dialogue, but I was still getting occasional machine crashes with the “Kernel panic” (screen goes gray, message says to force-restart). Familiar with those?

    Then, when I tried to delete some MIDI tracks (not files, but tracks), I crashed every time, either on the delete, or when I quit the program. Something was really wrong, because the tracks wouldn’t delete.

    I narrowed it down to the instrument track and, In the end, it wasn’t just “permissions,” as you experienced, but re-authorizing certain programs and plug-ins that DP connects to.

    I took a fresh file and created an instrument and tried to assign it to BFD drums, At that point, DP allows BFD to give me a warning dialogue if it’s missing authorization. Apparently, my old files with BFD (and the tracks connected with it) had already been created, so the warning opportunity during assignment had passed.

    After that, if BFD needs authorization, either the BFD warning dialogue won’t pop up or DP won’t let it. So I’m crashing and even MOTU can’t tell why (though they THINK they do).

    I re-authorized BFD and all was well…sort of. I was still getting occasional kernel panics and other wierd stuff reconfiguring Audio MIDI Setup. After spending days trying to narrow it down to certain drivers, I simply replaced the AMS program and there it is.

    Go ahead. Try to find THAT in the manual!

    Sorry about the length, but I felt the whole story was necessary. I tried cutting to the important stuff. Hopefully, it’ll help the next guy who googles a similar “not saved” problem.

    Certainly, MOTU’s suggestion of saving to somewhere else or with another name was not the answer.I’m alerting them and FXpansion (BFD) of this string of ours.

    Thanks for writing back and actually helping me eventually find the way to go.


  4. Okay, so I did the route with deleting the AUTH DP 5 as suggested at top and it worked like a champ. Also, I used the free app Visibility. OSX 10.4.11.

    I don’t know about y’all, but after days of trying to reach motu on ts over the phone and after filling out their Tech Link bs (only to have two of them automatically deleted!) I’ve had enough.

    I’ve had DP for 10+ years. But I can’t take it anymore. Their support is offensive.

    I just finished installing Logic Studio, and I don’t ever want to hear the word Unicorn again. Sucks for my kid.

    Good luck,


  5. OK. I’m loading DP 6.0 for the first time. and I’m getting this error message. I have Waves, Protools, and Reason on my PPC G5. And I have tried the fixes above. Can someone please help.

    Thank you for your time,

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