High Sierra

Apple Logos
Apple Logos

For reasons, I did not upgrade my Mac to the current OS, High Sierra until this weekend. The new file system1 and its growing pains were the cause of my initial hesitation, but then inertia and procrastination took over. Oh, and that my laptop died after upgrading from the public beta of High Sierra to the Golden Master. Possibly a coincidence, maybe not.

Anyway, over the weekend, I cloned my entire boot disk2 using the essential Mac tool, SuperDuper!, and upgraded. If I wasn’t a digital horder, the clone would have been faster, but I am, so it was not. 

Once I had a complete, bootable copy of my main disk, I installed High Sierra. 

Quoting my request for help at a few Mac sites:

Afterwords, I could not load my Sound Preference panel nor get any sound to display.

Activity Monitor reported:
com.apple.preference.sound.remoteservice (Not Responding)

FWIW, I have a speaker connected to the optical digital port, plus I have an Apple LED Cinema display connected. Both worked fine before this morning.

Where do I begin to troubleshoot this?

I tried a Safe Boot, but same behavior, also logged in as another Admin user, same result. I also deleted com.apple.systempreferences.plist

By process of elimination, and by carefully examining Console logs, I found clues with audio .kext files3. I dug into both ~/Library and Library, removed all .kext and other related files for third party audio apps, including Rogue Amoeba’s Instant On.

Later, I found that Rogue Amoeba had blogged:


A small number of our users on High Sierra have experienced a loss of audio on their Macs, with no audio being heard from the computer. This problem can be caused by a conflict between High Sierra and an outdated version of our Instant On audio component (specifically, Instant On version 8.4.3). When Instant On 8.4.3 is installed on High Sierra, MacOS’s audio backend (CoreAudio) can crash, resulting in lost audio.


The conflict described only occurs when the outdated Instant On 8.4.3 runs on High Sierra. Well before High Sierra was released, we updated Instant On to fix the incompatibility. Instant On 8.4.4 (and up) has no conflicts on High Sierra, and users who are up-to-date will experience no problems on the new OS. While very few people will be affected by this issue, any number greater than zero is undesirable.



(click here to continue reading Rogue Amoeba – Under the Microscope » Blog Archive » Fixing an Important High Sierra Incompatibility.)

I then updated Audio Hijack to the latest version, and this fixed everything. Everything!


Just Passing Time
Just Passing Time

  1. APFS []
  2. not a bad thing to do anyway on International Check Your Backup Day []
  3. kernel extensions, known also as drivers []

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