I've recently encountered an interesting audio problem, using OS X with a Windows partition (via Boot Camp). Specifically, if the Windows partition is used, and then the computer is restarted into OS X, the sound no longer works in OS X. Once OS X has been restarted, the audio once again works. The audio always seems to work on the Windows side.

Further Clarification When the audio isn't working in OS X:

  • the speaker icon in the menubar is grayed out
  • if you go to Sound preferences, no output devices are available
  • System Information, under the Audio tab, shows a list of outputs under "Devices", but nothing under "Intel High Definition Audio" (when functioning normally, after the OS X side has been restarted, there are a number of sub-options, including "Headphones", "Line Output", etc.)

Replication Scenarios causing audio loss:

Boot OS X : Audio works → Reboot OS X : Audio works → Repeat (Audio always works)

Boot Windows : Audio works → Reboot Windows : Audio works → Repeat (Audio always works)

Boot Windows : Audio works → Boot to OS X : Audio doesn't work → Reboot OS X : Audio works

Boot Windows : Audio works → Boot to OS X : Audio doesn't work → Boot to Windows : Audio works → Boot to OS X : Audio doesn't work

Relevant System Information

Mac Pro 4,1
Mac OS X 10.8.4 (12E55)
Windows 8.1 (Preview)

I understand that Windows 8.1 isn't officially supported by Boot Camp and whatnot, but I'm actually kind of curious what is causing this to happen.

  • To properly research this, it would be great to search Event Viewer in Windows and paste any relevant errors related to audio you may see into this thread. I would also do the same in Console on the Mac. – bispymusic Jul 12 '13 at 15:16
  • Personally this sounds like an issue with the driver provided by Boot Camp, which hasn't been tested against Windows 8.1 probably. One thing to try: on Windows, open Device Manager. Locate the audio device. Right-click and "Uninstall". Check the box to "delete the driver software". Then go to Action > Scan for Hardware Changes. Allow Windows Update to search for the driver. If that fails, locate the driver on Intel's site and install it from there. See if that fixes the problem. – bispymusic Jul 12 '13 at 15:19
  • Also, a workaround that would probably fix the issue is to reset PRAM when you restart your system. This probably isn't very ideal however as it resets other video and audio settings as well. – bispymusic Jul 12 '13 at 15:21
  • Thanks, I'll try that once I get access to the machine again. I didn't even really consider that a driver could have effects across operating systems, but that would probably be a good explanation. – Sourcerer Jul 12 '13 at 15:51
  • Hmmmm, when I run Uninstall from Device Manager, no "Delete the Driver Software" option is given. When I scan for hardware changes, the old drivers pop right back up again. – Sourcerer Jul 12 '13 at 23:26

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