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Success with Asus ThunderboltEX 3 and Z370 and UAD Apollo

Joined
Jul 26, 2018
Messages
258
Motherboard
Asus Z370-A Prime
CPU
i7-8700
Graphics
RX 580
Mac
MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
iOS
Man, I was about to throw that card out of the window until I tinkered enough. Installation of High Sierra was an absolute breeze and getting everything working required, well, nothing - it just did. All ports. I'm sure that's to blame on the guide I followed. But, yeah, every port and everything works flawless and 100 percent stable. I'm sure I could spend some time on making my profiler say "Intel" instead of unknown but its performing at its best and I've never had a Pro Tools/UAD experience like this. I can just work and work...and work...and work.

Everything was easy except for the EX3 and UAD. To be clear it did work for the first week then it stopped. Not sure what happened but it just stopped and it took roughly 4 days of in and out of Windows, macOS (when I could), and BIOS. I kept reading about everyone else's problems and solutions but theirs were hot plugging or getting it running first boot, but I couldn't get mine at all. Per usual, I guess, the first time I got it up and running I skimmed and skipped things, got lucky, then lost.

Windows installation. Every guide says it, here's my experience.

BIOS, Load Optimized Defaults. Important. If you have specific macOS settings (besides thunderbolt) then take note and readjust after setting to Optimized Defaults.

Fully Disable Thunderbolt in BIOS. There are options for Enabled, Disable, Fully Disable.

Boot windows. Download ASUS EX3 drivers, tools, firmware,whatever it is. It should be two folders though: ASUS Setup in one (lots of files in there) and Firmware Update (a handful).

Open ASUS setup. If your only option is to remove Thunderbolt software, then do that and restart. If its asking you to "agree" then it's going to install. Don't do that. Close it out.

In the folder with ASUS Setup, right click the file that says "p100" and click install. Do the same for "p100x". Then run ASUS Setup. If I'm remembering poorly then "p" isn't the prefix. Either way the 100 and 100x are the files. It'll be clear when you're there and more than likely the only files with "install" in the menu option.

I can't say with 100 percent certainty that the order of operations here is necessary but it's what worked for me, and I stuck to it.

Restart Windows then shut down.

Boot to BIOS and Enable thunderbolt and make sure Thunderbolt OS for Unknown is enabled. You don't need to change this later. Set security to No Security and turn off USB. (I'll get to the USB thing later. Perhaps you guys can help me). I'll also post my BIOS settings. I don't understand them all. So maybe we can discuss what some are. I'd love that anyways.

EDIT: I noticed I also have wake and boot disabled in the Thunderbolt options. I'd set your bios to mine (attached) but I don't remember if I started the install that way. Either way, it works in Windows and OS now to this setting so I'd go for it.

Turn on the UAD Apollo while in BIOS. You can hot swap in Windows so this is more of a redundancy. Save and exit and boot to Windows.

Open the Thunderbolt App in your Start Menu and you should see two ports. If not then remove the thunderbolt software via the ASUS Setup Installer, restart, and try again. Or your BIOS is whack. Refer to my edit above.

Now run the firmware update. This gave me a lot of grief. I kept getting a "no wmi" error or something like it and could not update. What worked for me was the install order, running the thunderbolt app first, and having UAD Apollo on before opening the thunderbolt app and the firmware update. Click update. Shut down, unplug for 30 seconds, or for me until the LED's die. Boot back into Windows.

Download the UAD software, install, and restart. Not sure if a restart is necessary but why not. You should see your Apollo as connected in the UAD Control Panel App. Try turning it off and on. Did it connect? If you see percentages in blue then your on. Otherwise it will say No Device in red.

So now boot to OS. You should have UAD software already installed. If not our check can just be seeing if the UAD comes up in sound preferences. Click the sound icon on your tool bar and it should be in the dropdown menu. The UAD app is a bit clearer. If its not there first time then try a reboot. If not, start over!

So here's where every guide ends and that's absolutely OK, but for me, a relative noob, I was loosing my damn mind. Every time I would see it working in Windows, I would try to boot macOS I would get the slow crawl load bar which means its not going to boot and will end with the No sign. If I turned Thunderbolt off in the BIOS, it would boot every time. Turn Thunderbolt on, no boot.

So, I started going through Thunderbolt settings and looking for some that would allow me to boot into OS. Then, I'd make sure it would boot into Windows. Then, I made sure that I could boot back and forth with zero hang ups. Then, I looked for settings that would allow me to boot into Windows, see the Apollo connected, and boot into macOS and see the Apollo connected.

Disabling Thunderbolt USB was my big winner (possibly GPIO3 Power, 128 Lanes, Disabling Boot...see images). That really got it going for me. Now other post are making sense. Maybe this is easily accomplished for most of you but, damn, that was rough.

Once it's working, if you shut down in macOS, you have to boot macOS then restart macOS (UAD on the whole time) to get it back on. Otherwise a restart retains its use. If for some reason your knocked out of sync just open Windows and get it to load. Perhaps after a 30 second power cable pull.

I hope this helps. For me the big deal was fixing my mindset and being more strategic. Get this working here, doesn't work here, what can make it work here, oh my god...its TB USB.

Honorable mention: Use PCI port 3 (all the way at the bottom). If the BIOS settings don't work in Windows, then change PCI Lanes to 32 then change after. I can't remember if that was late in the game for me. Also, I'm using an Apple TB3 to TB2 adapter.

Other mention: If Windows auto boots then just go into Boot prefs and change the boot order. I also disabled fast boot as a precaution.

Good luck, and please add info. Would love to hear success from others!

Update: I changed my M.2 drive settings from x2 to x4 and it through off my thunderbolt card. I booted to Windows and it wasn't there so I removed and reinstalled. This time during the procedure I forgot to unplug the computer for :30 after installing drivers and it didn't show up in the Thunderbolt app in Windows. I shut down and unplugged and rebooted to Windows and it popped back up. Rebooted to OS and it was recognized there. Im wondering if the reinstallation was at all necessary; could I have simply shut down, unplugged, rebooted into OS.

Not really looking for responses here, just hoping this is useful to someone.


Last update: If its stopping seeing the Apollo after normal procedures don't reinstall. Just power down, unplug for :30, turn on Apollo, reboot, restart.
 

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Joined
Aug 25, 2018
Messages
1
I see the Asus Z370 motherboard already has USB-C on the board. Is this poort not a Thunderbolt 3 port, thus the need for the card?
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2011
Messages
10
Motherboard
ASUS Z370 Prime-A
CPU
i7-8700K
Graphics
RX 580
Mobile Phone
iOS
Thank you for sharing your setting.
My Windows shutting down normally after applying your thunderbolt bios setting.
before apply, it takes too long time to shut down computer.
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2018
Messages
258
Motherboard
Asus Z370-A Prime
CPU
i7-8700
Graphics
RX 580
Mac
MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
iOS
Thank you for sharing your setting.
My Windows shutting down normally after applying your thunderbolt bios setting.
before apply, it takes too long time to shut down computer.
You're welcome! I hope one day to have the tb3 card working completely. Not just hot swapping but inside system report too.
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
22
Motherboard
Asus Prime Z370-A
CPU
i7-8700K
Graphics
GTX 1050 Ti
Mac
Mac mini
NorthAmTransAm: thank you for sharing this.
I am also trying to get this card working now. Just finished the Mac OS installation, so I am ready to move to this, but would really prefer not to tinker with Windows.
Have you tried without the Windows update of the firmware?
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2018
Messages
258
Motherboard
Asus Z370-A Prime
CPU
i7-8700
Graphics
RX 580
Mac
MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
iOS
NorthAmTransAm: thank you for sharing this.
I am also trying to get this card working now. Just finished the Mac OS installation, so I am ready to move to this, but would really prefer not to tinker with Windows.
Have you tried without the Windows update of the firmware?
I've been wondering the same thing. I would make sure you have the ex3 in the bottom slot and that the bios settings are correct. Remember if you start to get boot hang ups then flip one setting at a time until you find the culprit. Mine was "enable USB" in the thunderbolt settings.

Boot with your device plugged in and on. Try unplugging the computer for 30 seconds as well.

If it works then report back! Remember that in your system report Thunderbolt wont show up but search for the device instead.
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
22
Motherboard
Asus Prime Z370-A
CPU
i7-8700K
Graphics
GTX 1050 Ti
Mac
Mac mini
OK, so now I have the card and Apollo working in Windows. When I boot into OSX, there is nothing. The hardware UAD link led is on (in Windows and in OSX as well), but OSX is not loading the Thunderbolt drivers at all (IOReg is seeing the Thunderbolt part, but not all, see screen shot attached), neither I see it under PCI or soundcard.

Any suggestions?
Screen Shot 2018-09-22 at 23.14.52.png
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2018
Messages
258
Motherboard
Asus Z370-A Prime
CPU
i7-8700
Graphics
RX 580
Mac
MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
iOS
I’d make sure you unplug for 30 seconds, boot OS, turn on Apollo, restart.

If nothing then see if turning off “Enable USB” in your bios under thunderbolt.

Also make sure you’ve got your OS set to other in bios for thunderbolt.

Just try one setting at a time and take your time.
 
Joined
Jul 15, 2017
Messages
5
Motherboard
Asus Hero Maximus VIII
CPU
I7-6700
Graphics
GTX 1080
I've spent hours troubleshooting my USB (even spent 70 bucks for a PCIe card that the forum recommended)...then realized that USB Apollo isn't supported in Mac... sigh. Glad to know there is something that works. Maybe someday someone (hopefully UAD) will write some USB drivers for Mac so you can have an agnostic interface ... wishful thinking.
 

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