Posting this to several threads because lots of people seem to have different forms of this issue and I want to spread the word on what worked for me. Here’s my story…
I run Studio One 5.x with 100+ plugins on Windows 10. Mainly use Waves, SoundToys, Plugin Alliance, and Fab Filter EQ. Everything was working great and then one day it all stops. Loading projects that normally took seconds to load started taking 20+ minutes always getting stuck at loading the plugins. Each plugin took minutes. Waves plugins seemed to be the worst but Plugin Alliance was also slow.
I tried uninstalling and reinstalling all my plugins and the DAW and different versions of the DAW. I tried refreshing licenses, etc. nothing worked. After two days I’ve finally figured this out. Long story short is was my SD card reader! I had inserted an SD card (which I don’t use very often) and it was causing this issue:
google - “TechNet disk-id collisions with empty card-reader”
Simplified explanation: Waves and other plugin manufactures use your hardware configuration to build a unique key for your computer to keep track of the license. Every time you use the plugin they take a hardware inventory to makes sure the license is on the right computer. My guess is this SD card reader issue was causing that hardware inventory process to fail. This is not an issue with the DAW so this issue/solution is not unique to Studio One and should work on other DAWs.
Other symptoms of this issue were my computer was taking an extra long time to start/restart. Wave Central took a long time to start. Windows Explorer was very slow and my computer in general seemed to get stuck every once in a while. Also disk manager took forever to load getting stuck at “connecting to virtual disk service”.
Unplugging the SD card reader fixed everything. Projects load in seconds again. Computer boots fast again. Etc. Weird thing is I’ve had this SD carder for over a year and never had a problem. I guess this is the first time I’ve had an SD card sitting in the reader while using Studio One.
One clue was I had two phantom disk drives (and drive letters) that never disappeared even though no USB drives/sticks were connected. These were associated with two “Generic MassStorageClass USB Device” under “Disk drives” in Device Manager.
I should also note that if you are having the slow loading plugins issue, because of the hardware inventory process, it could be another piece of USB or other hardware and if it is not the SD reader you should systematically remove/add other hardware to see if that is the issue.
Hope this helps someone.