a few customers came back at us as they were facing a slightly weird problem with RME cards on Windows 7 systems.
The reported problem is that after installing (sometimes after some up-time of the machine hosting the card) the RME card not all of the available channels are visible or accessible via the RME mixer or any application accessing the card. Most of the times the number of channels visible via the RME mixer was reduced to 4. Attempts of updating the firmware on the card have failed and resulted in a crash of the RME mixer.
After some investigation and with the help of RME support it is now clear what is causing this:
By default Windows 7 uses a "balanced power" mode. Some of these settings are less than ideal and so the default setting also contains an option that allows windows to manipulate the power for the PCI(e) slots. This doesn't work well with the RME cards and may potentially lead to the problem described above.
The solution is simple: Choose the "high perfomance" power mode in Windows 7 and double check the power plan of this mode to ensure that the PCI(e) slots power consumption cannot be controlled by Windows. After that the RME card should work fine.
Hope that helps!