Mac Mini 2010 Audio Jack Issue

I do have a Mac Mini 2010 that I use for my home theater setup. Things were excellent and I was happy user of my Mini. Until I upgraded from MacOS El Captitan to Sierra.

Things went down hell for the Mini. It become a bit slow and the audio jack stopped pushing optical audio signal. My toshlink stopped working all of sudden. Audio through HDMI works fine. But I want to use optical audio since this Mini is connected to my sound system setup.

I googled and found few suggestions that I tried.

  • The first one is to use a wooden toothpick. Just push the metal pieces that hold the 3.5 jack. According to the sources, the metal pieces might be stuck. Did not work for me. Nothing was stuck.
  • Another suggested solution was to reset the SMC chip when you start up your Mac by holding option + command + p + r before the apple logo appears. Did not work for me. It fixed nothing.
  • The third suggested solution was to go to utility folder inside applications. Start up midi application and changed the sampling rate to something lower tha 44.00 Hz. Did not do it for me too.

Once I ran out of suggested fixes, I decided to use the HDMI and just live with it. But I did not like it. Since using the TV speakers is not good compared to using the speakers of a sound system.

So I prepared a Linux ubuntu USB and booted my Mac with it. The I pushed the audio through the jack and it worked. So it seems it is a MacOS serria issue of  removed driver.

The last step that I took was to revert back to Trusty el captitan. This was step was not difficult. All I had to do was erase the hdd through Mac recovery tools. Start up Mac with option button pressed. Then startup disk utility and erase the OS disk.

The you need to prepare a bootable USB stick with El Capitan image. You can obtain the image from apple App Store by going to recent purchases. You will find it there.

Just download it and make sure it is inside your application folder.

The go to terminal and use the following command, just make sure to change the bold “untitled” with the name of your USB drive.

sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ Capitan.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia –volume /Volumes/Untitled –applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ Capitan.app

After this, your USB will be ready. Then just start up your Mac with option key pressed.

And boot from the USB.

That’s it. Audio jack worked like before.

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