Pro Tools "Locate Plug-in" dialog box hidden by startup splash screen and won't respond to mouse clicks

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Joined: 02/12/2009

Avid (formerly Digidesign) Pro Tools has a knack for getting confused. It's not PT's fault, because clearly we humans do not operate in the way that we should. One of the ways humans are clearly wrong is when we change anything about our PT systems, in particular plug-ins (or plugins).

So sometimes PT asks us to relocate something that has not moved. Just so it can rest easy and get back to absorbing our money.

Yesterday Pro Tools 8.0.1 asked me to locate a plug-in while starting up, and helpfully offered a dialog box so I could select the errant plug-in. But PT covered the dialog box up with a splash screen telling me how cool PT 8 is, and excitedly telling me about all the great things it was theoretically loading.

The dialog box can be moved by clicking on the top bar, but it is mostly unusable: keyboard navigation still works but mouse clicks do not. So I was stuck.

So I crafted a workaround, which is written for a MacBook Pro but a similar method might work for a PC:

1) Grab the dialog's top bar and move it to a spot on screen where you can see it. It is likely showing the folder containing the last project you opened. Note that folder.

2) Switch to the finder and navigate to the root level of your computer (above the root level of your hard drive), which shows each of your hard drives, "Network" etc.

3) Open a new finder window and navigate to the project folder that the PT dialog was showing (as described above).

4) Put an alias of your boot hard drive into the project folder by command-option-dragging it. Now you should see an alias with the name of your drive in the project folder.

5) Switch back to PT (might need to restart PT first), and use the keyboard's up, down, left and right arrows to navigate to the alias of your hard drive, then down to the plugins folder.

6) Select whatever item PT is asking for, or just select the plugins folder itself and hope PT can figure it out from there.

7) Get a very large box for all of your gear and move to an alternate universe where we never have to change anything right before a session.