From my post at InsanelyMac:
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:
- Fire up iTunes and start playing something. Crank up all the volumes so you don’t have to do a sanity check later.
- Fire up Finder/Utilities/Audio MIDI Setup
- In Audio MIDI Setup, view properties for OUTPUT
- 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.
- 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.
- Now hit the CONFIGURE SPEAKERS button.
- 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.
- If you’re hearing your iTunes play, close down reboot and then your APPLE sounds should work as well.
- 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.
If you need the Azalia drivers/kexts/installers – they can be found here.