Last last night, I ended up updating my MacBook to Mac OS X 10.5.7, the latest version of the software. It’s caused two problems: The first is that it’s killed the audio output on the computer; in the preferences pane, the only option I have is […]

apple-macbook-pro-with-multi-touchLast last night, I ended up updating my MacBook to Mac OS X 10.5.7, the latest version of the software. It’s caused two problems: The first is that it’s killed the audio output on the computer; in the preferences pane, the only option I have is “digital output.” The second problem has been an overall degradation in performance — think Shaq O’Neal moving around a basketball court with an injured knee.

I ended up tweeting about my audio predicament, and was immediately offered ways on how to fix the problems. Sadly, none of them helped with the audio but they did help restore the system performance. However, since then a lot of people have described a whole myriad of problems associated with this OS upgrade — some have mentioned display problems, others are complaining of slow speeds and many are like me: their computers are without sound. Apple’s support discussion forums are chock full of complaints (though on the flip side, the OS X 10.5.7 does boost the battery life of netbooks.)

If you are a Mac owner, I would say don’t upgrade to the latest OS version…at least not ’til the problems are solved. I am off to the Genius Bar to see if they can fix the sound.

By Om Malik

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  1. I do a lot of OS X kernel-level development.

    There’s an extremely good chance there’s something wrong with your AppleHDA.kext package, located in /System/Library/Extensions/

    Try replacing this file from another OS 10.5.7 system. Then do a disk permissions repair (very important), followed by executing the following command from the terminal:

    sudo touch /System/Library/Extensions

    Reboot and things should improve.

    1. Drew

      Thanks for the hack. I am in transit right now — I will be online soon and try and get this done soon.

      1. Before you do any OS hack, you should try to simply reset the hardware, the SMC on intel Macs or PMU on PPCs. This is a known fix if you’re having power or hardware issues.

  2. Mike Osterman Thursday, May 14, 2009

    Have not had problems with the sound or overall performance, but I lost the footer in a Word document and Entourage has been flaky since updating. Not sure if these are caused by 10.5.7, but the timing is suspicious.

  3. Chetan Bhawani Thursday, May 14, 2009

    Am very late to read this post? Or you late in writing it?
    Already upgraded, but lucky that nothing bad went on my side.. Sound output is good as normal.

    1. Chetan

      Lucky you :-) Ditto to Mike Osterman. Glad to hear that you didn’t have any problems.

  4. A friend had the same issue, and this is what finally worked for her:

    1) First you must uninstall all traces of “Flash,” “Macromedia,” and “Shockwave” in the system library and each user’s library. Look in the folders below.

    System library:
    /Library/Application Support
    /Library/Internet Plug-Ins

    Each user’s library:
    home of user/Library/Application Support
    /Library/Internet Plug-Ins

    2) Then you must go to System Preferences/Accounts and temporarily give every user administrative privileges; i.e., check the “Allow user to administer this computer” box.

    3) Then you must log on as each user and install Flash Player 9 using Adobe’s “Install Flash Player 9 OSX” application.

    4) Then you can go back to System Preferences/Accounts and remove administrative privilege from users that shouldn’t have it.

    That’s it. It seems that Adobe’s installer doesn’t work correctly if the user doesn’t have administrative privilege. The result is that users are unable to raise the volume setting above silent.

  5. The slow speeds are probably due to spotlight rebuilding/updating its indexes, which is what my machine appeared to do.

  6. I don’t see the word “Combo” anywhere in your post or the comments so far. The very first thing to do if an update causes problems is to go download the combo updater and reupdate over the top of your current system.

    Combo updaters contain entire apps, not just snippets of them. So if Mail got some patches, you get a whole new Mail app in the combo updater and not just the couple of internal files that got changed. Frequently, applying a combo updater can have a positive effect on systems with post-update issues…

    Might be worth a shot?

    1. Heavyboots,

      Thanks for that tip. Totally appreciate it.


    2. I second that. I downloaded the combo update and updated my Dual-125GHz G4 and Mail is actually a bit snappier than before. Haven’t had any audio issues either.

  7. Wow, I’m so glad everything went OK on my machines – I hadn’t heard about this before I updated them. That said, Spotlight DID start a new indexing run after the reboot…

  8. david sanger Thursday, May 14, 2009

    Repeatedly drops WiFi signal, losing DHCP address, when going to sleep, then freezes. Hopefully they’ll put out fixes for these problems.

    1. I have problems with my mbp losing it’s dhcp managed ip-address (both wired and wireless) … i upgraded my Linksys wrt54g2 router (since i thought that was somehow suddenly causing the problem, as a printer seemed to have an ip problem as well), reconfigured the router, but i keep having the problem, while another Mac on the LAN seems to connect without problems. That’s when i thought it might be related to me recentrly upgrading my macbook pro … Reading this post, i’ll try the combo-updater in a moment, but wonder whether that will help…

      1. Please let us know if you have got it to work yet.

        If I keep advanced options open on System Preferences>>Network>>TCP/IP the IP address gets assigned then promptly disappear.

      2. The problems only went away after upgrading to snow leopard.

  9. had a bizarre issue with the display on my mbp whilst i was working on the system- the screen brightness on the laptop kept going to zero but did not affect my external monitor. removed the dvi connection and still the same issue, rebooted without the dvi and manually adjusted the screen brightness and it still was resetting to zero. did this again and finally it seemed to work back to where it was before the update..

  10. And this is why I am waiting a while before updating the OS on my Mac Pro. Many people have updated with no problems, but in a week or so, we should know whether the problems being experienced by a few people are due to the installation of OS X 10.5.7 or due to the other apps on their systems.

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