A few days ago, my MacBook Air (13", mid-2011) running macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 (17E199) would no longer produced any sound, neither through its built-in speakers nor the headphone jack.
Pressing the volume keys on the keyboard brings up the volume overlay, but with a stop sign underneath, and none of the keys have any effect.
The volume (speaker) icon in the menu bar is greyed-out, and its volume slider is disabled. Option-clicking displays both input and output as grayed-out, with no devices shown.
To be clear: It's not about audio being distorted or noisy or flaky or weird; I don't have any audio output at all.
Apparently, my machine no longer has an audio output device.
Editors, please keep reading before you mark this as a dupe: I am aware that this issue has been asked here many times, but none of the suggested fixes work, so I'm kind of trying to pull all the bits and pieces into a single coherent post.
Trying to fix the issue, I tried all of the following (suggested here and elsewhere), sometimes repeatedly, with no luck:
- Rebooted the machine (duh); checked if my OS is up-to-date (it is)
- Plugged a headphone jack in and out repeatedly, also jiggling it around a little, as people have been suggesting that the jack's internal switch may sometimes get stuck and cause this issue
- Checked the system prefs for sound/audio, which would normally let me select "Internal speakers" as the default output device. But there is no such option, nor any other device to choose from (the selector window is just completely empty)
- Launching audio/MIDI setup (which showed up with an empty main window), I tried to set up a "main device", which worked, but it said that the main device was not available/present (or something to the effect that the hardware in question is apparently AWOL)
- Tried fixing permissions on the main volume (but learned that this isn't even possible anymore on Sierra)
- Did both a PRAM/NVRAM and SMC reset
- Rebooted into hardware test mode and did both the normal and extended tests; both found "no trouble"
Other than this issue, my machine is completely fine, both hardware and software wise.
Now I’m all out of ideas.
Of course I may also have damaged the sound hardware, but that wouldn't make any sense. First of all, I did nothing to the machine that could have caused this. It was sitting comfortably on my desk all the time. Second, a hardware malfunction would surely result in some kind of problem being reported on the OS side, or would it?
The only thing left that comes to mind is that the audio device driver at kernel or IO device level may have become corrupted or disabled. Could this happen? (If so, how? I haven't changed any system settings, installed any software (especially no "flaky" ones) or did anything else unusual). How could I check for and fix this?
Any help would be appreciated.
[Update, thanks Allan]
The output of running
system_profiler SPAudioDataType is
Audio: Devices: Hauptgerät: Manufacturer: Apple Inc. Current SampleRate: 0 Transport: Unknown