sound problem with Mojave 10.14.6 (2019-002)/18G2022

MacPeasant123

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 24, 2018
26
27
Just the other day I finally applied the second Security Update for macOS Mojave 10.14.6 (2019-002), which takes my macOS to 18G2022, and now the sound coming out of my MacBook Pro (mid 2012 non-retina MacBook Pro, 13 in) is messed up. It has a buzzing sound, or maybe a better description is that it's like when the sound is maxed out on an sound editor, so it's not clear anymore and there is a noisy sound (sorry about my imprecise description). However, when I use my bluetooth speaker, the sound is perfectly normal, so it's only bad coming out of my MacBook Pro's built-in speakers.

When I experienced this, it made me think of the people with the new 16 in MacBook Pro with weird sound issues, which Apple partly fixed with a software update.

I'd rather not upgrade to macOS Catalina and lose access to 32 bit programs, so that's not an option I want take. Is there a simple fix to my speaker/sound problem on Mojave, or am I stuck with it?
 

Riwam

macrumors 65816
Jan 7, 2014
1,079
240
Basel, Switzerland
Don‘t you think that a software problem due to that update should affect your bluetooth speaker as well? If I were in your situation I would rather think of a hardware problem which by coincidence happened at the time of the update.
I use Disk Warrior whenever I have some problem in the OS but unfortunately it only works with volumes kept in HFS+ and I am afraid your Mojave is in APFS.
 
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Honza1

macrumors 6502
Nov 30, 2013
471
161
US
Reseting PRAM and/or NVRAM may - or may not - help. It is free and easy to try; google the web page (Apple has one). May be the update has tried to patch firmware and did not resent these correctly?
Also, if you think it is system, the next thing I would do is reinstall same OSX version in place. Non-destructive and relatively easy to do. But make sure you have functioning (tested) backup first, just in case. Again, google instructions, but basically you download current version full installer (~6GB) from App store or Apple download links and run that over existing system.
Both easy, should not cause any damage and take reasonable amount of time.
 

MacPeasant123

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 24, 2018
26
27
Thank you to both Riwam and Honza1.

It didn't occur to me that my issue could be a hardware problem that coincidentally happened with the update, and is not directly connected. It's a good lesson in not assuming things.

I tried resetting NVRAM and also later SMC, but my sound problem continues. Reinstalling the Mojave is not something I want to do now, so I guess I'll live with it for now and try a reinstallation later in the year.
 

Honza1

macrumors 6502
Nov 30, 2013
471
161
US
I tried resetting NVRAM and also later SMC, but my sound problem continues. Reinstalling the Mojave is not something I want to do now, so I guess I'll live with it for now and try a reinstallation later in the year.
Hm, reseting NVRAM and SMC seemed so cheap and easy;-)

I should point out, that if you just run Full installer from your current system - therefore over existing system, it should be completely non-destructive. Just pick the disk it is running from and do not do any formatting. This page has link to latest macOS Mojave installer: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT210190 . Simply get it and run it...

It resets only system stuff, does not remove your apps or documents. And when you reboot after this process, your system should look same as before, all data and apps there. If there were any issues with the system "not installed right" or "corrupted", this should fix it. Typically this takes me ~30 minutes and I am back in business. Seems to be needed sometimes when installation/upgrade goes partially "wonky". It is the easiest way of fixing system, which sometimes helps.
I did not expect you to wipe the disk and reinstall all, that may be needless waste of time. This may help as well...
Just make sure you do have backup, things can go wrong any time.

If this does not help, here is what I would do to check if this is hardware or software: get USB some spare SSD (or HD) and install (same installer as above) macOS Mojave on the USB. You need any small SSD. Simply run installer and tell select the external SSD/HD. You may need to reformat that using the installer. Boot on that fresh clean macOS system and try from there. If it is OK, it is your current system...
If it still happens from there, you can install on that SSD even older system (High Sierra) and try. If it happens with all systems, it is hardware. If it happens just with one, well, it is that system. You can now identify, what is causing the problems and decide on solution.
 
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MacPeasant123

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 24, 2018
26
27
Hm, reseting NVRAM and SMC seemed so cheap and easy;-)

I should point out, that if you just run Full installer from your current system - therefore over existing system, it should be completely non-destructive. Just pick the disk it is running from and do not do any formatting. This page has link to latest macOS Mojave installer: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT210190 . Simply get it and run it...

It resets only system stuff, does not remove your apps or documents. And when you reboot after this process, your system should look same as before, all data and apps there. If there were any issues with the system "not installed right" or "corrupted", this should fix it. Typically this takes me ~30 minutes and I am back in business. Seems to be needed sometimes when installation/upgrade goes partially "wonky". It is the easiest way of fixing system, which sometimes helps.
I did not expect you to wipe the disk and reinstall all, that may be needless waste of time. This may help as well...
Just make sure you do have backup, things can go wrong any time.
Cheers! I was always under the impression that a reinstall meant a clean install and starting over, like a computer version of moving house. I didn't know that you can do a full install that is non-destructive.

I'll try this after my next Time Machine back. Thanks again.
 
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MacPeasant123

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 24, 2018
26
27
Just an update on my sound card situation:

After my post, a new Mojave update was put out. I installed that, and the sound problem was still there.

I finally downloaded the full Mojave install as suggested and ran it. It got me back to macOS Mojave 10.14.6 (18G103) which I don't mind if the sound works ok, but after an hour reinstall (which is indeed non-destructive as Honza1 said) my speaker's sound problem remains there :( And like before, the sound on bluetooth is perfectly normal.

I guess I'll do the spare USB drive thing next whenever I get a chance, which may not be quite some time. I'm beginning to think I have a hardware problem that just popped up like Riwam had said.