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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > MBP red light optical audio out problem - software solution?

MBP red light optical audio out problem - software solution?
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yugyug
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Nov 20, 2011, 03:11 AM
 
I'm increasingly having more and more problems with my headphone/line out jack switching to optical audio out i.e the "red light" problem, as documented on this megathread:
https://discussions.apple.com/messag...sageID=3255575

The problem for me is that I can no longer fix it by sticking a toothpick in the slot... does nothing, and the red light continues to come on, and off, randomly and intermittently. So I reckon its a software problem. Or the switch is filled up with gunk. Before I try and solve the latter by taking my MBP apart or dipping a cotton bud in alcohol and sticking that in the slot (which seems extreme to me) I'd like to consider a software solution.

Apparently some Linux users have figured out a way to disable the optical out (IEC958) with some commands, here:
Code Overtones: Mac book red light audio jack problem on Linux
and here:
No sound out of MacBook speakers & red LED in Headphone jack [Fixed] ~ The Pirado

among other places.

So my question is, cannot the same solution be implemented via a command in os x via terminal? I never use the optical out, it seems to me that a software fix bypassing the hardware switch completely would work well and stop people (finally) from shoving toothpicks, biro tubes and even hairclips (and more) inside their macbooks....!
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Athens
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Nov 20, 2011, 04:48 AM
 
I have only seen that on Bootcamp and it was a driver problem. For the amount of work involved to take apart the computer, I would just use a piece of tape to cover the hole if the light bugs you that much.
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
yugyug  (op)
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Nov 20, 2011, 07:42 AM
 
Athens the red light is just the result of the optical audio becoming activated. The real problem is that analog sound is deactivated through speakers and headphone line out. Its a problem that many many MBP users have experienced.
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Waragainstsleep
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Nov 20, 2011, 08:11 AM
 
I can confirm that it happens way too often. I have swapped out many logic boards and I/O boards fixing it.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
yugyug  (op)
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Nov 21, 2011, 10:26 AM
 
thats correct - I neglected to mention that replacing the logic or i/o board is the official Apple solution. A bit overkill. And not a great option for many people who prefer the less expensive toothpick. But I can't fathom why Apple haven't written a patch themselves to fix it.

This forum is filled with smart people who have helped me on numerous occasions... surely their must be someone who can figure out a way to do it, or perhaps tell me why it can't be done?
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P
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Nov 21, 2011, 10:56 AM
 
Not sure if this will work for you, but it is possible to enable more than one audio device.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Thorzdad
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Nov 21, 2011, 11:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by yugyug View Post
...But I can't fathom why Apple haven't written a patch themselves to fix it.
Probably because it's a hardware issue, not a software issue. All those ports are fixed on the board. Thus, the entire board replacement as the official fix.
     
yugyug  (op)
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Dec 5, 2011, 06:32 PM
 
Thorzdad I assume you mean its a hardware issue to fix the problem so that optical out activates and de-activates normally. But to disable it entirely must be possible by software, because thats what the Linux users have done.
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