9 Replies Latest reply: Oct 2, 2009 6:03 AM by AndreasvanHaren
AndreasvanHaren Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
I have some sound problems and noticed that in the Audio Midi setup screen, the audio output is set to mute and zero and is grayed out. Can I reset this somehow so it is not grayed out anymore?

imac G5, Mac OS X (10.5.6), 2.5 gb ram
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,460 points)
    First try resetting PRAM. Some sounds settings are stored in PRAM.

  • AndreasvanHaren Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    I did this, but it's still grayed out.
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,460 points)
    Are you using the built-in speakers, something connected the headphones port, or something connected to USB/FireWire as your audio output device?

    I have some sound problems...

    Can you describe your "sound problems" in more detail.
  • AndreasvanHaren Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    I use the built-in speakers for audio. I do have always a usb connection plugged in, but that is for charging my iPhone.

    My sound problem is that msn messenger acts very weird. Since a couple of days, one and only one sound alert doesn't work any longer. The alerts for incoming mail etc work, but not when someone comes online. I did all the normal checks within msn messenger and everything looks OK. The sound itself is fine when played.

    I reinstalled all my audio software (Logic, Sibelius) and MSN messenger, Office, and did a system clean with Onyx. Still that same problem stays.

    After that I checked the audio midi settings and noticed this grayed out audio output what makes me believe could give my problem.

    Do you have any idea what is happening? Is this a bug that suddenly shows up?

  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,460 points)
    Since it is related to an application, you may want to run +Repair Disk Permissions+ in Disk Utility, if you have not recently.

    Have you checked the preferences for MSN Messenger? I don't use that program so I can't check it myself, but there may be a setting there for selecting the alert sound to play, and to turn off that particular alert sound.

    You can also try moving the preference file for MSN Messenger to the Desktop (with the program NOT running), to allow the program to create a fresh file the next time it runs. I don't know the exact name of the file, but is should be here

    <user home folder>/Library/Preferences/

    and have a name that indicates it is for MSN Messenger. If you lose some settings that you need, you can put the file back.

    If sound is generally working (such as for playing music in iTunes), I don't think it is related to Audio Midi Setup utility, although I'm not sure why the settings there are disabled.
  • AndreasvanHaren Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    I removed those files, and started msn messenger. New files were made by MSN but the error is still there.

    I think I will have to reinstall Leopard from scratch. That should fix it.

  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,460 points)
    Before you do that, I would try creating a new admin user account.


    Log out and log in to the new account. You will be using default user preference files. Try using MSN Messenger in the new account. If it works properly in the new account, the cause is something in your normal user account.

    You may also want to try removing and then reinstalling MSN Messenger, before doing something drastic like reinstalling the complete OS. This isn't Windows here...
  • Baby Boomer (USofA) Level 9 Level 9 (57,015 points)
    Did you ever contact MSN Messenger customer tech support?

  • AndreasvanHaren Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    No yet, but I think it's time now.

    I completely reinstalled Leopard and didn't install any audio software yet, only did the system updates and installed msn messenger.

    The problem is still the same: no sound alert when someone comes online although he other alerts work normally. And my audio midi preference screen still shows the audio output grayed out. I do have normal sound though so I am not sure any longer if this grayed out is so important.

    This is really a mysterious problem to me!