The volume control, it does nothing!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Jynto, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. Jynto macrumors 6502

    Jynto

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #1
    I've been having this problem for over a week. The volume controls have no effect on the sound coming out of my MacBook Pro's speakers. I used the keyboard controls (F10, F11 and F12) and the volume icon in my menu bar.

    Strangely neither one effects the other. If I turn the volume down to mute with the keyboard, then the menu bar still shows the icon for high volume. Neither one affects the volume of the sound being produced. And the 'plick plick' sounds are all equally loud.

    It's a somewhat intermittent problem. Restarting fixes it temporarily. But it always comes back within an hour or so. Plugging in headphones temporarily fixes it. But then half the time it goes back to being broken when I unplug them.

    The problem has occurred at least once when the headphones were already plugged in. So I know it's not a problem with the internal speakers.

    I don't know if any of my apps would mess with the system volume. No sound tools or anything like that.

    I am running Snow Leopard (10.6.8) on a mid 2009 13-inch MacBook Pro (5,5)
     
  2. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Cimmerian End
    #2
    Have you tried removing the menu bar icon and then adding it on again? You can do this by going to Sound under System Preferences and unchecking "Show volume in the menu bar."

    Also, when you use the function keys, is it displaying the volume bar in the middle of your screen?
     
  3. Jynto thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jynto

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    Jan 16, 2012
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #3
    Yes, to clarify, when I push the function keys the volume appears to change. But it's obvious from the 'plick plick' sound that does nothing. And the apparent change is not corroborated by the menu bar icon.

    Yes, I have tried removing and re-adding the menu bar icon. It didn't fix it, not even temporarily.

    I also tried clearing the PRAM with CMD-OPT-P-R at startup, but the problem came back a few hours later.
     
  4. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    Jul 17, 2010
  5. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #5
    If you feel it's worth it, perhaps try a fresh install of OS X? I would suggest to reinstall the application normally, but it's the volume control so I am assuming the only way to "reinstall" that would be to reformat.
     
  6. Jynto thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jynto

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    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #6
    Currently the sound section in System Preferences is the only thing actually able to control the volume.

    My next step is to boot from an external drive, and see if the problem returns. Wish me luck.

    ----------

    Would that do anything that a reboot doesn't?
     
  7. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #7
    Does the volume ever work? If it never works then probably would not be a benefit. Takes all of 1 second to try though. Activity Monitor search for coreaudio or coreaudiod and force quit. It will respawn. Then test.
     
  8. Jynto thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jynto

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    Jan 16, 2012
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    Nottingham, UK
    #8
    I would have tried it, but I lost battery and had to reboot. I'll try again when the problem comes back.
     
  9. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #9
    Are you sure there isn't a firmware upgrade you missed? This is a rather old issue I thought was fixed. The killing coreaudio just keeps you from having to reboot every time.
     
  10. Jynto thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jynto

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    Jan 16, 2012
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #10
    Killing coreaudiod did something, but didn't fix it. It was stuck on a low volume setting before, then I tried to turn it up. I killed coreaudiod, and it got stuck on a higher volume.

    I tried booting from the external drive, and the bug came back. But it was just a copy of my system dating back from a time when I already had the bug. I will experiment further when I get hold of another Macbook.
     
  11. Jynto thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jynto

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    Jan 16, 2012
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #11
    Further testing revealed it is a software problem. I put my computer in target disk mode, then used it as the boot disk for another Mac. The bug returned almost instantly.

    It looks like I'm going to have to reinstall Mac OS 10.6, or some components thereof. Anyone know the best way of doing this so I don't lose any of my system settings application settings, etc?
     
  12. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    Jul 17, 2010
  13. Jynto thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jynto

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #13
    I reinstalled Snow Leopard from the DVD, but there were never any options on the installer. It just installed. Everything seems to be in place though. My keyboard shortcuts are still there in System Preferences. :)

    Back to 10.6.0 for the time being. Currently waiting for 10.6.8 to download. Did inertial scrolling come in a point release?
     
  14. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #14
    Pretty sure.
    Did it fix the volume issue?
     
  15. Jynto thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jynto

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    #15
    No

    WTF
     
  16. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #16
    You've maybe got something you installed that is fighting with it perhaps?
    Does it do it in a new user account? I'd try to isolate whether it is system or user. System being something you may have installed as you just replaced the /System directory. If it continues through a new user account it is either hardware busted or a rogue app or process or daemon taking control away. Go through all your apps and utilities and prefs and kexts for anything out of the ordinary. What a PITA. I feel you man. It's something though and OS's are complex after many user installs etc. My 10.6.8 installs do not exhibit this.
     
  17. Jynto thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jynto

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #17
    So I tried closing everything, then using Activity Monitor to quit as many background processes as I could, checking the volume control after each one. But the bug remained. Then I turned on the guest account, logged into it, but the bug remained. Then I went back to my account and Activity Monitor. I uninstalled DisplayLink and SIMBL because they would not stay closed. I force-quitted ALL THE THINGS. During this process I noticed I could check for the bug by plugging my headphones in then out again. And so the bug remained. I must have force-quitted something important because the UI disappeared, and it was just my cursor on my desktop background. I tried the volume keys and yes, as if to mock me, the plicks were all the same volume, the bug remained.

    After a restart, I noticed that the volume icon in the menu bar was no longer an icon. But the slider still appeared when I clicked on it. I think I tried to re-enable it in System Preferences. And at one point there were two volume controls in the menu bar. So I removed the 'ghost' one. Then I tried to move the other one into its place. But it disappeared when I cmd-clicked on it, as did two more of the menu bar items. There appeared to be a problem with the menu bar, but the volume control bug, despite repeated plugging and unplugging of my headphones, appeared to be gone.

    A quick restart fixed the menu bar. I've tested the volume many more times, but the bug appears to be gone. I don't know what fixed it. How ironic that I spend hours trying properly to fix it, and then it almost fixes itself. I tried to describe what happened as best I can in case anyone from the future is reading this. Sorry I've written a tl;dr post.
     

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