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MacBook Pro 13″ With No Sound Out

September 10th, 2009

As Mac users, we often take for granted that the OS works with all Mac hardware.


Sometimes what can appear to be a hardware issue (the sound card not showing up in System Profiler) is in fact caused by an incompatible version of the OS.

The 13″ MacBook Pro sound card requires a slightly different OS driver that only comes with the OEM install disks (10.5) for this book. If you attempt to install another version of 10.5, the sound card will not show up and there will be no audio out through the speakers or headphone jack.

We saw this kind of issue previously when the PPC models starting including the scrolling trackpad. Only the OEM install disks could be used to install the OS in order to get the trackpad to work.

What can make this even more tricky is that if the wrong version of 10.5 is installed on a 13″ MBP, only a clean install with the right OEM disks will install the right sound drivers (Archive and Install & Software Update won’t work.)

If you need to re-install your OS, use the disks that came with your Mac first and then run Software Update. Installing 10.6 will also fix this issue.

  1. Steve
    September 10th, 2009 at 14:19 | #1

    Might this also be the case for the loss of sound on the MacBook Air? My sound input/output devices stopped showing up about a month ago, and I only get sound with a USB headset now.

    A number of people have replaced the sound cable, but I’m wondering it it’s simpler than that. Plus, if the drivers have become corrupted, a new cable wouldn’t really make any difference.

  2. September 10th, 2009 at 15:17 | #2

    I would try going to 10.6 first, which would replace the driver. We’re aware of the sound cable issue on the Air, replacing the cable may be necessary but it could also just need to be re-seated. If upgrading to 10.6 doesn’t solve the issue, I would have us or another AASP take a look.

  3. Brian Smith
    September 10th, 2009 at 15:47 | #3

    I’m running into this issue currently. The only problem is that I am using my companies OSX image (even though I put in my OSX DVD for the install of the new image). Nonetheless, the audio driver seems to be the only thing that doesn’t work.

    I’m shocked that the only way to get the audio to work is to reinstall the whole OS from the default DVD’s. I am moving from a windows world where drivers are very easy to update.

    Is there no other way?



  4. Brian Smith
    September 10th, 2009 at 19:19 | #4

    I fixed it. I found another person in the blogosphere that basically reinstalled MAC OS with DVD that came with laptop. Sound works and all apps are still there.


  5. Elena-Beth Kaye
    September 20th, 2009 at 00:47 | #5

    I looked here because we needed a MBP13 with Leopard, but it came with Snow Leopard installed. When I erased and installed a non-OEM 10.5.6 and then used Migration Assistant, I had a similar problem. The sound card did show up in System Profiler, but System Preferences said “No output devices found.” Elsewhere on the web someone posted another solution of replacing kext files. But before I tried that, I figured it couldn’t hurt to install the 10.5.8 Combo Updater. Well, guess what? After restart, the sound is back! Much simpler.

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