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I’m not entirely sure if I’m interpreting your setup correctly. From what I understand, you are using a counter output as a sample clock for your analog output, such that each time the counter output pulses, a new data value is output. If this is the case, then when the counter is stopped, your device will not output any more data. If there is room in the buffer, you can write additional data to the buffer, but that data will not be output unless the counter is running. Please let me know if I misinterpreted your question.
Reading your reply, I think you have answered it. Just to be clear, if the counter is NOT running, AND there is room in the buffer, then the call will succeed.