MCintosh MA7900 USB Driver causing Windows10/11 Crash

The Windows10/11 is experiencing intermittent kernell crash when playing music or any sound over the USB port in the MA7900. The Windows driver on the MCintosh web site is like 10 years old. The online support team had me try many things and nothing fixes the problem. Please note that this intermittent problem is present from day one when I bought the MA7900. Is there anyone out there using that configuration without any problems? Any suggestions to get an updated driver outside the MCintosh labs?


Have you tried using the MA7900 without installing the McIntosh driver? On Windows 10/11 you usually don't need a driver.

The MCintosh technical support person explained that for Windows one must use the driver posted on their web site and for Apple laptop no driver is needed. As a result, I never tested without installing the MA7900 USB windows driver. Thanks for your suggestion.

Can you use the compatibility mode to set windows to use the Windows 7 settings? Worked great on my windows 11 computer. I really don’t think Windows 11 is quite ready for prime time yet. I have a new Asus gaming desktop and every 3 weeks or so, it reboots itself and says “recovering from a bug check.”  Wtf? Asus help and Microsoft’s help was garbage.

The problem first happened using a desktop PC running Windows8. I upgraded to a laotop running Windows 10 and the same problem happened. The only two components that remained the same was the USB driver and USB cable. I replaced the USB cable and that did not fix the proble. Upgraded to Windows 11 and that did not fix the problem. The only variable that remain unchanged is the MA7900 USB Windows driver. The kernel crash stop code 0x133 points to a bad driver according to the Microsoft online documentation. It would be nice to know if anyone in the planet is running successfully the MA7900 connecting the USB to any version of Windows system. Thanks for the feedback.

Are you using the built-in USB audio driver for Windows 11?

Try this - go into Device Manager and find the MA7900 (should be under 'Sound, video and game controllers'). Right click then select 'Properties', then 'Driver' tab. See if 'Microsoft' is listed as the driver provider. Then click on the 'Driver Details' button. Check the files listed, one should be something like 'C:\Windows\system32\DRIVERS\usbaudio2.sys'.

I am using the driver downloaded from the MCintosh web site. The device manager shows "Sound, vide and game controllers" description as "Mcintosh USB Audio". The properties setting "Driver"  tab shows Manufacturer "CEntrace, Inc.". Driver date "10/7/2013. Driver version "". This is a 9 years old driver from CEntrance, Inc. provided by MCintosh. It is highly likely that this driver is causing the intermittent kernel crash "DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION" stop code 0x133. The only way to know for sure is by the driver developer or Microsoft to analize the mini dump created after the kernel crash. Again, it would be nice to know if anyone in the planet is able to run the MA7900 or any MCinstosh unit over the USB connected to a PC/laptop running any version of Microsoft Windows without experiencing intermittent Kernel crash. Your support is appreciated.

Try uninstalling the McIntosh driver and use the Microsoft driver included with Windows. Most likely the driver is trying to call a function that has changed with the Windows 10 / 11 kernels.


Follow these instructions about uninstalling drivers - link to Microsoft article.


After restarting, Windows should automatically detect the MA7900 and install the Microsoft driver. Use the instructions in the previous post to make sure that happened. Then test your setup. Hopefully you'll be able to play music without causing a kernel panic / crash.


I used the device manager to uninstall the driver. After restating Windows the MA7900 was not detected and the sound setting in Windows did not show the MCintosh device. The front panel of the MA7900 did not display the bit/rate 32/192k as usual. Therefore, Windows 11 does not have any inbox driver for the MA7900. As a result, I installed the original MCintosh driver package. After restarting Windows the MA7900 was detected and the bit/rate 32/192k shows on the front panel. This time the Windows Sound settings shows the MCinstosh USB Audio device as a choice to play the music. I was able to play music from spotify and video from Youtube music. Since this is an intermittent problem, I don't know if the problem will happen again after reinstalling the oribinal MCintosh driver. I will keep you posted.

Hmm... that's odd. Even CEntrance says that Windows 10 includes a USB audio driver - link. Maybe you can try the driver on their website if you still have issues going forward.

Hmmm... that's interesting. The MCintosh helpdesk engineer told me about two years ago that Windows never provided a driver for the MA7900 and it was required  to download and install the MCintosh driver.  I will continue to test to see if the issue can be reproduced.

Your plan is great about getting the driver directly from CEntrance if the Windows OS crashes again. Thanks for your support.

After three days of working fine, Windows 11 just crashed as usual with "DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION" stop code 0x133.


I implemented the plan of downloading and installing the CEntrance universal audio driver and it appears that the installer completes fine but the this driver is not connecting to the MCintosh DAC.


First, installed the driver on top of the existing MCintosh driver to see if the device manager "Sound, Video and Game Controllers" shows the new driver associated with the MCintosh. The old CEntrance driver was still present.

Second, used device manager to uninstall the old MCintosh CEntrance driver. Run the new CEntrance driver installer utility. It completted fine. However, the MC7900 was not showing on the display the bit/rate 32/192k. This is an indication that the new CEntrance USB DAC driver for the device is not loaded.

In conclusion the new universal CEntrance driver versin 9.6 downloaded is not compatible with the MC7900 DAC.

Installed the old MCinstosh driver back and Windows is playing music over the USB to the MC7900 with the expectation that the intermittent problem is still present.

This intermittent Windows crash "DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION" stop code 0x133 when using the MC7900 USB DAC is very difficult to resolve.

It seems to me that this is a class problem and perhaps no one else in the planet is crazy to use the Windows operating system to play music using the USB DAC on the MC7900.

I may have to give up and use the laptop internal audio port to play music which is not as good as using the DAC on the MC7900.

I appreciate your support services. I

Any new idea or suggestion?

I got frustrated after three years with this problem and replaced the laptop with a new hp laptop running Windows 11 dedicated to play spodify and youtube music only.

The WHATCHDOG error still happens. I may have to buy an external DAC or dump the MCintosh MC7900 to fix this problem or just use the laptop headphone output connected to the AUX port on the MC7900.

Any ideas or suggestion to fix this problem?

I have a MA12000 with internal DAC 2. I was streaming from an iFi Zen Stream via USB. One day it stopped working. The McIntosh guy that handles this stuff basically told me that the DAC 2 never breaks down and it must be a driver problem. So, why did it work in the first place? In the end and after no help from McIntosh my dealer replaced the board. So lesson one would be that the manufacturer won’t help. I streamed via a MacBook Pro, but that was sonically inferior to Zen Stream with iFi’s top power supply. So, streaming from a computer is not ideal. Second, it took so long to resolve that I purchased a Holo Zen Stream KTE and that was a major improvement. Lastly, I upgraded to an Aurender N20 and this, along with proper cabling brought my digital more in line with analog. So, upgrade streamer first. Buy with a solid return policy. I think that you need to spend $1000-$1500 and more to upgrade the DAC. Unfortunately, both upgrading streamer and DAC are important upgrades. I didn’t sense that you wanted to improve the sound, but we’re only looking for reliability. If that is the case then you are stuck with upgrading the DAC.

Thanks for your input Vonh. I agree with you that the MFG does not provide much help with this matter. It looks like, I might be the only person in the planet using a Windows PC connected to the MA7900 USB to play music. You are correct, my primary goal is reliability when using the MA7900 internal DAC over the USB port. As it is right now, the USB port is useless unless the user has an Apple PC which does not require a driver and pray that it works fine. Your feedback is great and it helps me narrow the price range for an external DAC upgrade.

@jmiqui - I created an account just to respond to this thread. You are not alone, I too (am one of the "crazies") that hook up a McIntosh to their PC. This exact same issue happens for me using my MHA100 connected to my Windows 11 PC. same issue existed when I had windows 10. It happens randomly and is most definitely driver related. My PC will ALWAYS crash at some random point once the mcintosh is turned on. if the mcintosh is off and connected via usb, i get random "USB unrecognized errors" that pop up once in a while. 

I found this thread just googling DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION. I also have a Mcintosh c2600 that i had connected to the same PC via usb and never had any issues. It's specifically only when my MHA100 is connected. It drives me insane each time it crashes. 

I spoke to a guy named Chuck at McIntosh and they are aware of the issue. No fixes. Not sure if they will update the driver ever, unfortunately. Good luck. 


Tahnks for confirming that you are also experiencing the same problem DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION timeout  with your McIntosh equipment connected to a Windows 10/11 system.

I experience that same problem for over tow years with a MC7900 connected to two different laptops or a desktop PC running Windows 10/11. I talked to the McIntosh suppor team for over three weeks doing things and nothing fixed the problem. I am convinced that this is a driver caused problen in Windows. I believe that the driver developer is no longer working with McIntosh. As a result, I gave up and decided to live with the intermittent problem as is.

Fortunately, I decided to upgrade the desktop PC with a MSI Z170A Gaming 5 motherboard, Intel i7-6700 3.4 Ghz and a Samsung SSD980 boot drive. Also, upgraded to Windows 11 Pro Build 22621. The goal was to use the PSDIF digital channel connected to the MC7900 instead of the USB channel.

I performed a test to compare the sound quality of the SPDIF digital to the USB channel. The USB sound was better than the SPDIF digital. As a result, I decided to continue using the USB channel to play music with Spotify or music video with Youtube.

I was suprised to notice that the system only failed once in 30 days or so where before it was failing every day. The system is now running fine for about two months.

I don't have time to go back and reproduce the problem using any of the two different laptops. Also, I found a Microsoft article indicating that the new Windows 11 supports using the USB to play music without the need of the OEM USB driver as required with Windows 10 and they provided instructions to enable this feature using the device manager. app. However, I don't have the time to test this feature.



It seems that the DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION timeout problem is a driver or Windows timing issue which went away after doing the motherboard, SSD boot drive and Windows upgrades with the same old McIntosh USB driver installed.

@jmiqui - Interesting info, thanks for sharing about USB over SPDIF. As of last night I tried uninstalling the drivers for it and having it re-recognize itself but instead use the ’windows’ drivers over the mcintosh.

To my surprise, the PC did NOT BSOD with the watchdog error at all. I’ll continue testing today and we’ll see if any changes come about.


Interesting point about upgrading your PC, I also upgraded recently, MB, CPU, GPU, all while keeping the same SSD. I still get the error.


It is what it is, ive considering getting a bluesound node if it ever drives me to the point. The only missing key feature is that if I get a streamer, it only takes care of my music and i lose the ability to hear any PC noise, browser, youtube, movies, etc.


It is what it is.


I agree with you "It is what it is." Otherwise, it can be frustrating.

I am glad to know that you are making progress by using Windows 11 without the McIntosh driver.

BTW: When my system was failing every day, I replaced the USB cable and then the system was failing maybe once a week. That is another indication of a timing problem in the driver and Windows.

I purchased from the "Analysis Plus Purple Plus USB Audiophile Quality USB Cable 1m NEW A-B". That is what I am using now.

Connecting the MC7900 USB to the PC also allows one to use the Pause/Play/Forward/Backard buttons on the MC7900 remote control.

It is what it is. Enjoy the Music!