OSX 10.4.9 Alert sounds suddenly stopped

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by 23skidoo, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. 23skidoo macrumors newbie

    Nov 30, 2006
    Here's a weird issue that only started about 2 weeks ago. While most sounds work fine - videos, games, Internet, the click sound when I change volume on the keyboard -- a few of my basic alert sounds have suddenly stopped.

    I refer to the beep I get with an error, and the shuffling sound when I empty the trash, and the "clonk" sound when I transfer files between folders. (I'm on a 2.16 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo)

    I checked the Sound Preferences pane and the volume is turned up and everything seems to be set as it should. And as I say I've had no issue with any other sounds- MP3s, Internet streaming video, DVDs, games, the "read text" feature on Word, etc.

    Then - and this has only started in the last day - my Mac has started giving a "visual representation" instead of the alert sounds, on some occasions. Which means my screen briefly flashes grey during moments when I should be getting the alert sound. I've never actually seen it do this before, even when I had set the sounds to mute.

    I'm running 10.4.9. I have several reasons for not upgrading, not the least of which is the last time I upgraded my OS I lost Bootcamp, which was an annoyance back when I could reinstall it. Now, of course, losing BC is a bigger issue and I'm not prepared for moving to the Leopard OS at this time.

    I've restarted the machine with no difference. I'd like to avoid having to reinstall my OS.

    I haven't installed any software or added peripherals recently. I have started using a digital recorder that has a USB connector and doubles as a memory stick, but I can't imagine that messing up my sound (and yes I eject it properly and all that). I have been a bad boy and have let my disk space drop to the 28 Gb range, which I know is bad and I'm working to offload stuff, but I've been this low (lower in fact) before and alert sound hasn't been an issue.

    It's not a huge deal. To be honest some of the sounds annoyed me anyway. But if this is a harbinger of possible instability, it does concern me a little bit. Otherwise I'm just curious if anyone has an idea what might have occurred here. Thanks!

  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    Make sure the following is checked:

    System Preferences -> Sound -> Sound Effects -> Play user interface sound effects

    and the following is unchecked:

    System Preferences -> Universal Access -> Hearing -> Flash the screen when an alert sound occurs

    Why these settings would be changed without your knowledge I don't know, but it sounds like that's what is going on.
  3. erstwhilepo macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2009
    Run disk utility and check permissions.

    Worth a try.

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