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See an output device with no sound (AC97, etc.)? Don't forget about the SPEAKER SETUP/MULTICHANNEL in Utils/Audio MIDI Setup


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I had a situation today that I think some of you that are currently banging your heads may benefit from. I had a perfectly working 10.5.4 setup on a Dell Precision 370 with AC97 audio... that is until I attempted to install 10.5.5. I ended up reloading Leopard from scratch (I use this machine as a web browser and for my work iTunes music) so it was of no consequence to lose any data. I selected AC97 as the ONLY audio driver to be installed (AppleAC97Audio.kext) on my Kalyway 10.5.1 DVD.


Last time I installed Leopard, I remember fumbling and bumbling with the audio to make it work. It would LOOK like it's working (you see an output device, can lower/raise volume), but of course no sound would eminate from the speakers. Frustrating.


Today I remembered the Audio MIDI setup in Finder/Utilites. Even though the Dell has a speaker output (technically a single output), line in and a mic input - I had to tell the system that the card had 6 outputs.


When selecting STEREO in speaker setup when outputs 1 & 2 were selected you'd hear nothing. When I upped the outputs to 6 and used 3 & 4 for the stereo output... VOILA... Sound from the speaker jack.


During testing I would just have something in iTunes playing as I fiddled with the settings. The default sounds would only work out of the speakers once I got something from iTunes on the speakers (made sure SOMETHING was working) and then reboot.


I'd suggest the following if you HAVE controls for output (slider works, you have a device in output), but don't hear anything:

  1. Fire up iTunes and start playing something. Crank up all the volumes so you don't have to do a sanity check later.
  2. Fire up Finder/Utilities/Audio MIDI Setup

  3. In Audio MIDI Setup, view properties for OUTPUT

  4. Make sure you have more than 2 channels in the Format section (pull down). Note: if you don't have more than 2 channels, you may want to try loading the various Azalia installers. I know I went through a few trying to get this to work - have no idea if the 6 channels were native when I installed Kalyway.

  5. In the Format section of the OUTPUT control, select "4ch-16bit" or "6ch-16bit" You can mess with it later if you get it SOMETHING out of the speakers..
    When I used 6ch-16, I got only the LEFT audio channel working (but you could hear something - PROGRESS!). When I retooled, and selected 4ch-16 in Format, then selected Speaker Outputs 3 & 4 - BOTH CHANNELS worked.
  6. Now hit the CONFIGURE SPEAKERS button.
  7. Select STEREO at the top (speaker config) and pull down the FRONT LEFT and FRONT RIGHT output to 3 & 4 versus the original of 1 & 2. If that doesn't work, try 5 & 6. 3 & 4 was the winning combo for me.

  8. If you're hearing your iTunes play, close down reboot and then your APPLE sounds should work as well.
  9. If the above worked for you - please post here and let us know your system make/brand/specs and the steps you followed to get your sound working.

Sidebar: On some Dells, you may experience a very weird situation. When I initially couldn't get the sound working (even with my steps above, in my first install which is now defunct), I got frustrated and started removing and plugging my headphone/speaker cable into all of the jacks, one by one. I was playing iTunes while this was happening. The strange part, is that by MOVING the jacks from output to input to input to output the sound suddenly started playing from the speakers with no software changes. I think there may be some circuitry that allows for sounds to come out of the system speaker when you are using Windows (with no external speakers attached) and I had to "trip" the circuit for the system to realize that the hardware should be playing from the jack, not the speaker (although the speaker didn't work either). I know it sounds friggin nuts, but I swear this fixed my last problem with my Dellintosh and it's never been a problem since.

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i got a dell inspiron 6400 (e1505) notebook, my sigmatel audio is not working. in system preferences - sound i see an apple hd audio output, but there's no sound.

i tried your how-to but it wasn't the right solution to my problem it's still no sound:(.

i got a kalyway 10.5.2 install with sigmatel 9200 sound card and an installed sigmatel 9200 card kext.

can you tell me something to do with it?


thanks dude

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A few questions for you:

1. Did you have 4ch or 6ch options in Format in Audio MIDI Setup? Which did you use?

2. Did you try changing your SPEAKERS to outputs 3 & 4 or 5 & 6?

Please be more specific.


Of course I can't be sure this will work for you (laptops are a little wacky this way)... but I can try to help with some more information.


Do this - Set your format to 4ch-16bit. Set your SPEAKERS to 2, utilizing outputs 3 & 4. Reboot. Post back with results or where you got stuck.


Also - after doing the above, try plugging in a headphone to each of your jacks while playing something in iTunes and see if you get anywhere.

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I really don't know. I'd say keep messing with the kext or find a diff patcher for your chipset until you MORE outputs in Audio MIDI Setup (or working sound of some sort) - I think you may have a semi- working configuration, but the OS can't output the audio to the right place. I'm drawing at straws tho - fyi. Good luck.


Can someone tell me if the Azalia Multioutput installers support Intel HD Audio/STAC? I don't think they do or I'd suggest installing one of the 6-output installers. Maybe someone can help elsewhere. Have you tried looking at the Dell laptop thread on the board?


If you need the Azalia drivers/kexts/installers - they can be found here.


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  • 2 months later...

I've got it going in my Dell Dimension 4600 with 44,100 Hz 4ch-16bit with Configure Speakers set at 3 and 4 in Audio MIDI setup. It should be in System Preferences more than utilities. You might need to plug into the rear surround output jack. It might be reversed, but I've only got it plugged into one speaker, though a good one. A Tivoli radio with an aux in. The sound is big and warm for such a little speaker. Old roommate left it behind. Nice of her. This Black Sabbath (Warning) is rocking on it right now! Pretty good, pretty good, pretty good.........prettttyyyyy gooood.



Ugh, saw some stinkers today. You can't have a hot chick if there's not any ugly ones, I mean how would you know since there's no one to compare them to? The CAPS are the hot chicks cuz they stand out. But they're not necessarily more important. Especially if they're all hot. Ad infinutum....

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