Searching for Roon OS core never completes

Roon Core Machine

OptiPlex 7090 Micro BTX
Windows 11

Networking Gear & Setup Details

WiFi on TP-Link Deco mesh router
Using NordVPN. Problem occurs with or without the VPN.

Connected Audio Devices

Connected via USB cable to KEF LS50 wireless speakers.

Number of Tracks in Library

Description of Issue

Roon will only play on the PC it is installed to. It cannot find the core on that machine Nor can any other devices find the core.

Followed this advice

And this advice

No help

I think you are misunderstanding things here.

You are running the Roon software on your Windows 11 PC. The Roon software package for Windows is an all in one package that includes the Roon Core, the Roon User Interface, and the Roon output component for the audio hardware on your PC.

So, your Roon is running on the Windows 11 Operating System - the Windows OS.

Roon OS is the operating system built by Roon Labs that is used on their Nucleus hardware, or on self-built Roon systems using Intel NUC hardware that have ROCK installed on them.

So when you are asking Roon to “Find Roon OS” in the Settings > Setup menu of Roon, it’s never going to find a Roon OS in your home network, because you don’t have Roon running on a Nucleus or an Intel NUC using ROCK.

If other devices (e.g. your smartphone or tablet) that are running Roon can’t connect to the Roon Core running on your Windows 11 PC, then that’s a different situation. If this is your problem, then let us know, and we’ll carry on with the diagnosis of this issue.

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Thank you for the reply.

I’m simply following the advice on your pages.

I still cannot play anything on the machine Roon is installed on or on any other PC or tablet.

The tracks just jump from one to the other and no sound plays through the KEF speakers.

I already installed the KEF USB driver.

This is different from what you wrote in your initial post. There you said that “Roon will only play on the PC it is installed to.”

For someone in the Support team to help, they are going to need a clear statement of what the issue is.

Are you saying that you can play tracks through your PC speakers (using the “System Output” zone), but not to the zone of your KEF speakers?

Or is the skipping occurring on all zones?

Does the skipping occur with both locally stored tracks on your PC or also with tracks from a streaming service (Tidal and/or Qobuz) via Roon?

I notice that your last post in the forum was 2 years ago. Has everything been working up until recently? If so, has anything been changed in your setup recently (e.g. upgrade from Windows 10 to 11)?

Everything I have reported was correct when reported.

Here is a log.

Yesterday I set up a new PC as media hub. See Optiplex pics 1-3. I installed the KEF USB driver. The LS50s have the latest firmware (4.1).

I first saved the Roon database from the old PC and imported it when installing Roon on the Optiplex.

Roon at first worked on that PC. It played through the KEF speakers through the USB connection and through the wireless connection.

I could also play back through USB or wireless with all other gadgets: iPad, Android phone, Surface Pro (see pics) and Dell R11 PC (see pics).

In the afternoon the Roon core stopped playing though the USB connection for no apparent reason. And none of the other machines could find the core.

The problem persisted despite multiple restarts. Eventually the other devices found the core.

Problem 1
The core PC will not play to the KEF speakers through the USB connection. Tracks just skip from one to the other. This happens when controlling through any of the devices. It happens even if I disable all other devices on the core other than KEF USB. The core PC can play fine to the speakers through USB without Roon. The core PC has no other audio outputs except an HDMI to the TV and from there a digital out to a Sonos soundbar. Roon will still play to the KEFs using the wireless connection.

The problem of no playback via the USB connection happens for local music and Tidal.

No, the problem of Roon not playing through the USB connection happens frequently. I usually manage to fix it by restarting the core PC. Or if that will not fix it, I reinstall Roon again. Sometimes that also does not work and I have to make a clean Roon installation (without the old settings). I have had to do this dozens of times.

A common error message I see when this happens is something like “Too many failures. Stopping playback”.

Problem 2
When Roon is working normally, Roon disables the audio connections on the Dell R11 PC. This outputs to Focal XS speakers that disappear in Roon on that PC. Turning off the NordVPN software brings them back. But I use the same VPN on the two other PCs. NordVPN does not disable the audio connections in Roon on those machines.

I have tried using the split tunnelling feature of NordVPN to disable the VPN just for Roon. But Roon still disables all audio outputs from the R11 PC.

Let me know if you need more info.

Hey @Danyal_Freeman,

Thanks a lot for getting in touch and sharing a clear description of the timeline and issues you ran into. We’d love to help get you back up and running, but first, a quick thank you to @Geoff_Coupe :pray:

As far as Problem 2 goes, using a VPN for Roon playback is not officially supported. VPNs can interfere with traffic reaching the proper destination, it is not suggested to use a VPN with Roon. Some VPNs have “split tunneling” which allows apps to be excluded, if your VPN has such a setting, you can try to add Roon to it. If this is something you’re interested in try to get working anyway, the best place to talk about it is the #tinkering section of this site. Other Roon users have gotten these types of setups to work and you can often find help getting this set up there.

For Problem 1, could you please try disabling any firewalls or antivirus you might have on the PC (just temporarily). Can you play to your KEF speakers?

End point zone creation relies on RAAT multicast discovery. If something blocks that then the audio zone disappears. My guess is that there is something set in the VPN software in that installation which blocks this traffic.

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Thanks for the suggestions.

Here’s what I have discovered.

  • My Roon core will output to the KEF speakers via USB if I start the VPN after loading Roon, but not the other way around.

  • Roon works fine on some PCs with the same VPN software running but not on others.

  • The problem of Roon being sometimes unable to output to USB speakers appeared long before I started using VPN software.

Customers always feel disappointed when one software manufacturer blames the other and vice versa, and both leave the customer feeling helpless.

Another user in the #tinkering forum asked a similar question that no Roon staff member has answered:

Another good question for Roon is: How can the conflict be attributed to just NordVPN when it does not disable audio devices and playback on different PCs using Windows and the same versions of Roon and a VPN?

I have avoided asking questions in these forums when problems arise because of a tendency for Roon staff to talk down to their customers, who are simply trying to get the unreliable Roon software to work.

For less money than Roon charges for an annual subscription, Microsoft offers more software, huge OneDrive storage and 24-hour support that includes a real person calling you and fixing your issue in real time.

No wonder Roon subscribers frequently feel aggrieved on these ‘support’ pages.

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Not sure if this is relevant, but I’ve recently started having problems with one of my MacBooks I use as a remote (not an endpoint) not being able to find the Roon Core even though my iOS devices have no such issue. I just discovered that the problem is the NordVPN Kill Switch. As long as that is not running when I open Roon on the MacBook all is well. If I keep the app on once it has connected, it doesn’t matter what I do with the VPN; however, if I close the Roon app I have to disconnect the VPN to get the Core connection back. If I turn off the NordVPN Kill Switch, Roon works fine with or without the VPN connected.

Please note: I do not run NordVPN on the box that is running Roon Core. I’m only talking about the MacBook I use as a remote control, not an endpoint.

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