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Electronic Theatre Controls Inc

Obsession dual tracking backup boot speed matching

When a dual tracking system is booting up, each processor will wait for the other to come on line, but it will only wait for a minute or so.  If the other processor is taking too long to boot, it can cause them to lose tracking on boot.

What you may be seeing

  • Tracking failure errors on boot (if this occurs after booting up, then one processor is failing).
  • Your facepanel always asks you to choose between 2 processors on boot.
  • A warning message saying another processor is online but not part of the system.
  • Inconsistencies saving and loading shows.


If your system sometimes/always fails to track on boot, you may be able to fix it by simply booting up each processor at different times.  You'll have to monitor the diagnostics of each processor to figure out the discrepancy in boot time and vary the time you turn on each processor accordingly.

Otherwise, you will need to send in your processors for repair which may require new hard drives for both units.  These hard drives are becoming increasingly rare and may not be available.

  1. Make sure the entire system is shut down (no green lights on the front of the processors).
  2. Plug a monitor into each processor.
  3. Press both power buttons at the same time (or have them depressed already and flip on the power conditioner or breaker).
  4. Watch each monitor to see if one processor is slower to boot than the other.  If they both boot without major errors (usually ISA960 errors) but are losing tracking because one is much slower than the other, simply take note of the slower one and how much slower it is.

Whenever you boot from now on, turn on the slower processor first, wait the noted time difference, and then turn on the faster one.


For a dual processor system to track properly (without the above workaround), both hard drives must be a similar model and speed. When replacing a hard drive in a dual processor system, both hard drives must be replaced with matched drives in order to match boot speed. 

Replacement hard drives must have Obsession software loaded via a zip disk at the factory. Please see this article for more information.

However, the issue may not necessarily be related to the hard drive.  Voltage, RAM, or ISA card age and/or issues can also cause this. 

Please contact your preferred dealer and/or ETC technical services for further assistance.

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