Persistant audio problems (Macbook Pro 17-inch, Late 2011)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kinkersnick, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. kinkersnick, Aug 14, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2012

    kinkersnick macrumors newbie

    Aug 14, 2012

    I am having a persistant problem with audio on my MBP - I've read just about every thread I can find on this, and haven't found a solution that works.

    Note: This is not the problem of pulling out headphones and having the red light in the headphone jack.
    Also: resetting PRAM has no effect.

    The symptoms:
    1. Audio in Apple apps doesn't work:
    - Quicktime doesn't even open anymore (throws this error: "XXX could not be opened. An unknown error occurred (-101)") This could be unrelated, but I suspect it has something to do with the same problem causing the audio fault (though I may be wrong).
    - iTunes doesn't play at all. Everything else about it works, but if I press play, nothing happens, the time-slider doesn't advance at all (it's not that it's playing and I can't hear it, iTunes won't even play)
    - Final Cut won't output audio either (this is the real problem, as I am an editor on a deadline, who just happens to be in the mountains of Bolivia, so no chance of a Genius bar anywhere nearby...)

    2. Audio plays fine in VLC
    - I can open audio and video files in VLC and watch them with sound.

    3. The startup sound for the computer works

    4. The audio icon on the menu bar is greyed out as if muted, and I cannot drag to control the volume. If I try to change the audio with function/F-keys, I get a muted image display.

    5. If I go to Audio-Midi Setup, and go to Built-in Output, and configure the speakers, both speakers readily produce the white noise test to show they are working (which is strange).

    6. If I go to Sound in System Preferences, it lists Internal Speakers under 'Name' and 'Built-in' under 'Type', but has nothing under 'Settings for the selected device' (I don't know if it should or not anyway). The Output volume shows it is full, but the 'Mute' checkbox next to it is ticked, but also greyed out and untouchable.

    7. Sometimes when I boot up, the audio icon in the menu bar comes on as normal, but a few seconds later, reverts to the greyed out mode.

    8. Every so often, and for no apparent reason, the audio will work again. Maybe for a day, maybe for an hour. And then it just doesn't.

    ANY and ALL help on this much appreciated. I can't work in this situation, and if I can't work, I'm screwed!
    As I said before, there is no red light in the headphone socket, and resetting the PRAM does nothing (these are the two most cited solutions for similar problems I have found).



  2. geoffreak macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    Have you tried booting into a clean installation of OS X to rule out a software issue?
  3. kinkersnick thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 14, 2012
    It's not a particularly viable option. I'm in the middle of nowhere, and don't have any installation discs etc.
    I suppose I could buy/download Mountain Lion, but I'm right in the middle of quite a few projects, and don't really want to change OS right now, nor have to completely reinstall everything.
    I'm hoping there's a way to track down the problem without a clean install.

    Incidentally, by clean installation do you mean completely wiping everything (apps and documents etc.) or just reinstalling the OS on top of everything?
  4. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    I don't know what OS you're running, but on older versions of OSX an Archive and install would delete your system folder and reinstall a new one, leaving all of your applications and documents alone. I don't know if this option is available in Lion or Mountain Lion.

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