WavesLocalServer Causes PC to Crash When Going to Sleep

I have found and fixed a problem caused by the WavesLocalServer background process that causes my Windows computer to crash when going to sleep.

I have recently been experiencing intermittent problems with Sleep/Wake cycles causing my computer to crash. Through observation I realized that the days when the crashes occurred I had utilized Pro Tools that same day, and when I did not use Pro Tools there was no problem on those days. I was able to 100% produce the problem if I ran Pro Tools, then closed Pro Tools, and then executed a Sleep/Wake cycle. In cases where I did NOT run Pro Tools (after a clean boot) I could 100% do Sleep/Wake cycles with NO crashes. This confirmed that running Pro Tools was a trigger mechanism for the problem.

To be clear, here is how the problem on my machine is produced:

  1. Start the computer (clean boot).
  2. Launch Pro Tools and allow it to load plugins.
  3. Either before or after loading a song session, Exit Pro Tools.
  4. Allow the computer to go into Sleep mode (either manually or via timer).
  5. Wake the computer. At this point the computer would crash. The Windows Event Log indicates that the prior shutdown/sleep process failed… which led to the computer crash upon Wake.

Next, in an effort to isolate what aspect of Pro Tools was causing the crash I deleted the Pro Tools Preferences folder. That did NOT solve the problem. Next, I hypothesized that perhaps one of my plugins was causing the problem so I emptied my Pro Tools plugins folder so that Pro Tools would open without loading any plugins during launch. This eliminated the problem… thus proving that one or more of my plugins was the cause of sleep/wake crash.

Next, I went through a sequence of tests to determine which plugin(s) were causing the problem. I was able to determine that the various WaveShell plugins in my Pro Tools plugins folder (C:\Program Files\Common Files\Avid\Audio\Plug-Ins) were the cause of the problem; Example: WaveShell1-AAX 14.25.aaxplugin. Removal of those WaveShell folders from the Pro Tools plugins folder solved the problem. Re-introducing those WaveShell folders to the plugins folder re-introduced the Sleep/Wake crash.

The fact that the Sleep/Wake crash occurred even after Pro Tools had been exited strongly suggested that could be a Waves background process in Windows that was continuing to run even after Pro Tools had been exited, and that such a process must be causing a bad interaction with Windows (or some other background process) during the sleep sequence. After exiting from Pro Tools I opened the Windows Task Manager and looked for background processes associated with Waves. Indeed, I found that the “WavesLocalServer” process was continuing to run in the background even though Pro Tools was not running.

A Google search on “WavesLocalServer” showed that other people have had various issues with this same background process on their systems. Most of the complaints were associated with VERY slow load times for Waves plugins in their DAW. I did not find any reference to other people having Sleep/Wake crashes associated with WavesLocalServer so my problem may be specific to my Windows machine and the processes that I have running in the background from other applications. However, I wanted to post this as a reference in case anybody else in the future experiences the same Sleep/Wake issue.

The Google search on “WavesLocalServer” indicated that some people had solved their particular problem by simply deleting the WavesLocalServer folder from the following location:

 C:\ProgramData\Waves Audio\WavesLocalServer 

Therefore I deleted the WavesLocalServer folder from that location and also disabled the WavesLocalServer process in the Windows Task Manager (Startup tab) so that Windows would not start that process when booting up the computer. Doing those two things showed that the WavesLocalServer background process was no longer running at any point in time (after bootup, while running Pro Tools, or after exiting Pro Tools). Most importantly, this solved the Sleep/Wake crash problem. I can now open and close Pro Tools and then let the computer go to Sleep without a subsequent crash upon Wake.

The only consequence that my Google search revealed that could be a negative after deleting WavesLocalServer is that Waves plugins might load more slowly. In my case I did NOT notice any appreciable change in Waves plugin load times after deleting WavesLocalServer.

I hope that this helps some future poor soul that is pulling his/her hair out wondering why their computer crashes during a Sleep/Wake cycle after using Waves plugins.

Hi @gfrees,

Thank you for sharing.

A Tech Support representative will soon reach out over email to further assist and investigate the issue.