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I followed Apple's instruction to reset PRAM ("Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys before the gray screen appears.") and the only thing that happened was that my Mac rebooted repeatedly until I stopped holding the short-cut. After releasing the keyboard OS was loaded but without any startup sound and my original problem remained (see Original problem)

I found out that not being able to reset PRAM may be caused by the user password, so I tried to disable the password request but this did not work either. This seems to be because of FireVault which I deactivated a couple of hours ago. My system is still encoding so it might take another couple of hours until I can see whether this approach was useful.

Does anyone have another advice?

Original problem: No sound, no micro

My MacBook Pro (2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, Mac OS X Lion 10.7.5 (11G56)) was on stand-by all the night. When I opened my Mac this morning I had no sound and my micro did not work either (A call via skype failed (I could not hear anybody and they did not hear me) but the camera worked. I cannot hear music via iTunes nor any other application. Also I cannot hear the click sound when one tries to turn up volume.). Therefore I thought resetting PRAM would be the solution but I failed in doing so as described.

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From what you described it sounds like you successfully reset the PRAM. While holding the command+option+P+R keys your Mac will reboot continuously until you let go. Typically I'll hold them until I hear the Mac chime twice, which is an indicator that NVRAM is also reset. A failed PRAM reset would be indicated by the Mac not rebooting, instead continuing to an Apple logo or password prompt. –  Mr Rabbit Apr 7 at 18:51
    
You might try an SMC reset. For your Mac you would shutdown as normal, remove the battery, press and hold the power button for 5 seconds, reinstall the battery and connect to power, then power on as normal. Apple has a help document on this here, you would follow the "Mac portable with battery you can remove" instructions - support.apple.com/kb/ht3964 –  Mr Rabbit Apr 7 at 18:53
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1 Answer

I never heard of PRAM resetting until my MBP started running super slow and took over 2 minutes to boot up. I found this thorough article about PRAM Reset on nextweb, which helped me greatly. It has instructions for different MBP models and additional resetting instructions to consider. Satisfactory performance since.

I pair the PRAM reset with the SMC Reset. So far performance is great. Though I find I have to reset often whenever I work on major projects in Photoshop and Illustrator. Hope this helps!

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