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A little while back I updated my OS to El Capitan 10.11.6. Ever since upgrading from Yosemite the OS has not been able to detect any audio device. In safe mode, it can detect so them and runs no problem has to be a software issue (as identified by apple). I don't want to manually add everything back to a new system to find the issue.

Any help would be hugely appreciated!

  • It's obviously a 3rd party kext that's causing the issue. Without knowing the make/model of the USB device it's a bit impossible to assist. – Allan Feb 6 at 16:13
  • It is a Focusrite Scarlett, it is not specific to that model though. It doesn't work with any interface. Is there any diagnostic that would find the 3rd party kext? Seems strange that it only became a problem one I updated OS – Toby Feb 6 at 17:08
  • Not strange at all and is quite common. This is just one of the reasons I like to do clean installs rather than in-place upgrades. To find the 3rd party kexts, issue the command kextstat | grep -v com.apple. It will list only the ones that didn't come with the OS – Allan Feb 6 at 17:11
  • After locating them in Terminal, how do I find them on the system? – Toby Feb 6 at 19:33
  • Look in /Library/Extensions and if that doesn't work you can try using find. Example sudo find / -name someDriver.kext and that will tell you where it's located. – Allan Feb 6 at 19:45
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The fact that Safe Mode works suggests that the old drivers for your external audio interface are no longer compatible with the newer OS. Check on the manufacturer's website for a new version, and/or follow any instructions for uninstalling the old driver.

Some audio interfaces are "CoreAudio compliant" and can actually work fine without any additional drivers to those built-in to MacOS. After you've removed the old drivers, it's worth seeing if it will work without installing new ones.

  • It is Core Audio Compliant, works on every other mac except mine. It used to work prior to the OS update. Do you think it is worth removing the old drivers regardless? What subfolder are they kept in? just to make sure I get the 'right' ones – Toby Feb 6 at 17:10
  • The trouble with old drivers is that they cause these problems when a new OS comes along. Either because the OS changes things, or because they weren't written correctly to Apple's rules. Best to remove them if you can. – benwiggy Feb 6 at 17:58
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After trying both of the replies the audio driver is working, looked to be a possible combination of both .kext and extension. Sadly I am not 100% certain to which made it work in the end, I searched the terminal for the kext as suggested, then opened console to see if there were any issues when plugging in the device. It seemed as though it was being blocked somehow by an old extension. So I removed a .kext file and the extension by the same name. Restarted and now it is working

  • It would be more likely to be up voted and be helpful to others in the same or a similar situation if you provided details as to how you solved the problem. – Allan Feb 6 at 20:50
  • Hi Allan, Sorry it seems to have moderated the post! my original post read as follows "Sadly I am not 100% certain to which made it work in the end, I searched the terminal for the kext as suggested, then opened console to see if there were any issues when plugging in the device. It seemed as though it was being blocked somehow by an old extension. So I removed a .kext file and the extension by the same name. Restarted and now it is working" Apologies again! – Toby Feb 6 at 20:58
  • I don't know what you're referring to. – Allan Feb 6 at 20:59

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