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I have a Mac mini and the sound has disappeared. I have also lost the sound icon off the toolbar. I went to preferences for the sound and see that mute is checked. I can't un-check it because it is in gray-scale. Any ideas?

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Try to open the system preferences then click sound,on the sound you can see the Internal Microphone below the Name,on the lower,beneath the output you can see the Show Volume in Menu Bar,you can put some check on it and everything's gonna be alright :)

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I had it once before. You should check your audio-input. Good chances there is a red light inside your input.

Inside your audio jack, there is some kind of spring which controls your output (internal speakers or headphones). And for some reason, this switch inside the audio jack is stuck. Try using a toothpick (if you dare) and try to unlock the quill.

If using a toothpick did not work, you need to take the computer in for service, because there is probably something wrong with your I/O board.

If there is no red-light, my answer expires.

About the disappearing of the icon in the menu-bar, you should try and reset your PRAM.

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  • Would that also explain the icon disappearing from the toolbar and not being able to un-check mute? – Ron Aug 8 '12 at 14:48
  • It explains the fact you can't uncheck mute. About the icon disappearing, you should reset your PRAM (see my edit) – Michiel Aug 8 '12 at 14:53
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    @Michiel I doubt the PRAM is going to help the menu bar icon much. The OP needs to check the "Show volume in menu bar" in the Sounds preferences. – Cajunluke Aug 8 '12 at 14:59

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